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Verbs with different meanings in the preterit: Poder and Querer

Along with saber and conocer, the two verbs we studied in our previous episode, poder and querer are the other two verbs that can change meaning when they are used in the preterit. The verb poder means “to be able to” and “can” in the present, but in the preterite it also means “to manage, to succeed.” The verb querer means “to want, to love” in the present, but it also means “to try” in the preterit. These second meanings in the preterit are widely most common than their original meanings.

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