he couldn't + imperfect subjunctive

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by JuanRojo, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. JuanRojo Junior Member

    NYC
    English - USA
    Hola,
    estoy tratando de traducir la frase siguiente:
    For all his brains and talent, he couldn't persuade his mates to leave him be, let alone take him into their cliques.

    Mi intento:
    Por todo su inteligencia y talento, no pudo disuadir a los otros que lo dejaran en paz, mucho menos que lo aceptaran como un amigo.

    I am not sure if I am using the imperfect subjunctive correctly. Que opinan ustedes?
    -Rojo
     
  2. bedroomeyes Senior Member

    English - American
    Por muy inteligente y talentoso, no pudo persuadir a sus amigos de dejarlo en paz, mucho menos que lo aceptaran como amigo.
     
  3. JuanRojo Junior Member

    NYC
    English - USA
    Thanks bedroomeyes, however, I am not sure i agree 100% with your response. Can anyone confirm your translation?

    And can you give a little more color commentary on where I made the error?

    And just a little point of clarification: The word mates is meant as classmates and not as "friends". Sorry for confusion
    ;-)
     
  4. bedroomeyes Senior Member

    English - American
    Unfortunately I'm not 100% convinced by my response either. Maybe about 95%. To elaborate, I don't think you should use 'disuadir' as your verb because it's kind of like saying, 'dissuading his mates from letting him be,' when you mean the exact opposite. If you want to say 'schoolmates', maybe 'colegas' would be a good word, as in 'colleagues'? Let me try again and then wait for others to chime in...

    Por muy inteligente y talentoso que fuera, no logró persuadir a sus colegas a (de?) dejarlo en paz, mucho menos (a?) que lo aceptaran como amigo.

    Sorry I couldn't be more assertive. It's just that I sometimes get confused with prepositions in Spanish.
     
  5. Peterrobertini7 Senior Member

    cuban spanish

    Con toda su inteligencia y talento, no pudo convencer a sus compañeros que lo dejasen/dejaran en paz, y mucho menos que lo aceptaran en el círculo cerrado de sus amigos.

    Recordar que el imperfecto de subjuntivo tiene connotaciones depasado, presente y futuro.

    :)
     
  6. NewdestinyX

    NewdestinyX Senior Member

    PA, USA|Do work in Spain
    American English
    For some reason I don't like 'disuadir' either, Juan.. For the same reason that I wouldn't use the verb 'disuade' in English. It sounds 'puffy' and 'verbose'. But as to not using the imperfect subjunctive in the middle of the sentence but using it after the 'mucho menos' that is an acceptable syntax in Spanish.. Technically -- using two clauses with the change of subject requires the subjunctive.. but with some verbs of light indirect command Spanish permits using the infinitive for the second verb -- sometimes 'de' is necessary..

    Por ejemplo:
    Dejame saber... instead of 'Deja que yo sepa'

    I think in a proper translation -- the way you handled both clauses was much better.

    Grant
     

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