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FR: he could have been poisoned

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Tenorman, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Tenorman Senior Member

    English. United Kingdom.
    Hi. Are either of these a sensible tranlation of the above please? Elle pense qu'il pourrait avoir été empoisonné.
    Elle pense qu'il aurait pu été empoisonné. Merci d'avance, Tenorman
     
  2. snarkhunter

    snarkhunter Senior Member

    France, Région parisienne
    French - France
     
  3. doinel

    doinel Modlife crisis

    Southern France
    France French
    Elle pense qu'il aurait pu être empoisonné. Il faudrait une conditionnelle après. (... s'il avait mangé ces champignons.)
    She thinks he could have been poisoned if he had eaten the mushrooms .
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  4. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member

    France
    French
    I almost replied the same as you did, but I realized the French sentence qu'il aurait pu été empoisonné is actually wrong.
    It should be qu'il aurait pu être empoisonné. And in this case, it does require a condition afterwards.

    Elle pense qu'il pourrait avoir été empoisonné → She thinks it might be possible.
    Elle pense qu'il aurait pu être empoisonnée (si quelque chose s'était passé) → She thinks he could've been poisoned (if something had happened).
     
  5. Tenorman Senior Member

    English. United Kingdom.
    Snarkhunter, Doinel and Oddmania - thank you all very much.

    I now see the important difference between the two translations.
    But just to be clear about this;
    Elle pense qu'il pourrait avoir été empoisonné. - doesn't need a condition. I am assuming this sentence could mean; 'She thinks that he probably was poisened' in the context that 'he' is in fact, dead. In other words, it has happened. She is not thinking this in the context of him being poisoned if certain events take place.
    Elle pense qu'il aurait pu étre empoisonné. - does need a condition. TM




     
  6. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member

    France
    French
    Yes, I agree with you :thumbsup:
     
  7. Tenorman Senior Member

    English. United Kingdom.
    Many thanks Oddmania.
    All very helpful!
    Tenorman.
     
  8. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Sorry to add to the confusion, but note that you may sometimes hear the latter instead of the former, even without a condition.

    Anyway, see also the thread FR: aurait pu tuer / pourrait avoir tué.
     
  9. Tenorman Senior Member

    English. United Kingdom.
    Even more interesting Maitre Capello!
    Thank you.
    TM
     

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