No puedo aunque quiero.

English Original Sentence

I can’t even if I want to.

“When aunque means even if, the next verb in the sentence is conjugated in a tense of the Subjunctive Mood”.

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I agree with the translation, but I think the reason is a VERY subtle change in casual/modern English. And a better translation would be “I can’t even though I want to”.

“Even if I want to” means that you do want to. This is a very casual/modern way of saying “Even though I want to”.

“Even if I wanted to” means that you currently don’t want to, but hypothetically you may at some point.

For an example of each:

“I’m on a diet. I can’t eat that cake even if I really want to right now.”

“I hate chocolate and I’m allergic to it. So I can’t eat that cake even if I wanted to.”

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Thanks for the interesting explanation! As a non-native English speaker I try to stick with the rules I once learnt, and I find it a bit disturbing when native speakers seem to break them :slight_smile:

But doesn’t the conflation of “even if/though” mean that in past tense “even if” becomes ambiguous: “I couldn’t eat that cake even if I wanted to” (No podía comer esa tarta aunque quería/quisiera"?

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It’s very ambiguous. I think this is along the same lines as the modern use of “literally” for emphasis. E.g. “You literally can’t be serious” (I’m shocked that you are serious).

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“Aunque quiera” is the correct answer, anyway “aunque quiero” doesn’t sound so wrong, even a native could say so.

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