1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

FR: he could never have led the life his parents expected

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by lerockstar, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. lerockstar New Member

    English
    Bonjour,
    I am writing an essay in which I wish to say:
    "After all, he could never have led the life his parents expected of him due to uncontrollable circumstances"

    I've translated it like this:
    "Après tout, il ne pourrait jamais avoir le style de vie que ses parents attendaient puisque des circonstances incontrôlables lui en empêchaient."

    Is that grammatically correct? Or is there a better way of phrasing it?

    Merci,
     
  2. Lacuzon

    Lacuzon Senior Member

    France
    French - France
    Bonsoir,

    I am under the impression that that could is a can in the past, not a conditionnal can. Am I wrong?

    If not, I would say something like: "Après tout, il n'a jamais pu avoir le style de vie que ses parents souhaitaient pour lui à cause de circonstances défavorables/à cause d'un concours de circonstances."
     
  3. jann

    jann co-mod' Staff Member

    English - USA
    "Could" alone is both the preterit and the present conditional of the semi-modal auxiliary that we spell "can" in the simple present... but this is "could" isn't alone. ;)

    He could never have led... = past conditional of "to lead" with semi-modal "can" auxiliary = il n'aurait jamais pu mener/avoir
     
  4. Lacuzon

    Lacuzon Senior Member

    France
    French - France
    Hi Jann,

    And thanks, I got the past but not the mood!
     
  5. lerockstar New Member

    English
    Merci Lacuzon!
    And thank you Jann for clarifying!
     

Share This Page