I must have = Debí haber / Debo (de) haber

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by germanbz, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. germanbz Senior Member

    Benicàssim - Castelló - Spain
    Spanish-Spain/Catalan (Val)
    Hello everybody.

    I would need your help one more time as I have a "theorically" basic question but not "that" basic to me at the moment.

    Reading a script from a listening dialogue exercise, I read this sentence:

    Clearly, I must have fallen asleep, because I wasn't feeling very well....

    The point is that in a secuence of past situations she is telling, here the meaning of the underlined will be Yo debí haberme quedado dormida (If we would tell the same in Spanish) but literally I`d translate that sentence as Yo debo haberme quedado dormida.

    My conclusion is that I must have fallen asleep could work equally as He debido quedarme dormido and Yo debí haberme quedado dormido in Spanish as I think I've never seen something like I had to have fallen asleep..

    Is that true?, I'm a bit confused about the matter.

    And of course, Thank you very much in advance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  2. flljob

    flljob Senior Member

    México
    México español
    Debí haberme quedado dormida. A mí me suena que esa era su obligación. Debo de haberme quedado dormida. Deduce que se quedó dormida.
     
  3. kayokid

    kayokid Senior Member

    Chicago
    English, USA
    Hello. Two comments...
    1. I ran into this structure some time ago and I went almost completely crazy trying to figure out the grammar of the Spanish. I still don't have it straight.
    2. To me, personally, 'I must have fallen asleep' and 'I had to have fallen asleep' are both possible, reflect the same time frame and mean the same thing.
     
  4. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hola:
    Flljob, precisamente que en inglés se formule la misma frase para ambos signifcados es la duda de Germanbz.
    In Spanish, it's like Flljob said:
    I must have fallen asleep. =
    Debí haberme quedado dormida. <—Obligation, advisability. "'I had to have fallen asleep."
    Debo [de] haberme quedado dormida. <—Conjecture, opinion. "I suppose [now] that I had/have fallen asleep [then]."

    Do you say, then, that the same sentence does has both meanings?
    ;)
     
  5. Avispero

    Avispero Senior Member

    Australia
    English
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  6. kayokid

    kayokid Senior Member

    Chicago
    English, USA
    Hello Milton!

    To me, personally, both English ('I must have fallen asleep' and 'I had to have fallen asleep') sentences mean: Debo [de] haberme quedado dormida. <—Conjecture, opinion. "I suppose [now] that I had fallen asleep [then]."

    I can not imagine that anyone, outside of a purely theoretically philosophical discussion, would utter an English sentence such as: "'I had to have fallen asleep," and have it mean obligation or advisability. The timing, that is, aspect simply is not a part of the English language/mindset referring to the past. It would be perfectly possible to say this referring to the present, however. [I must/have to fall asleep right now.] This, I suspect is due in part to the fact that the verb 'must' is defective in nature/conjugation.

    The only way I can think of to express, Debí haberme quedado dormida. <—Obligation, advisability is: I had to fall asleep (right then, in order to get 8 hours of rest).

    I'd be interested to see what others have to say...
     
  7. abb1025

    abb1025 Senior Member

    USA
    English USA
    The only way I can think of to express, Debí haberme quedado dormida. <—Obligation, advisability is: I had to fall asleep (right then, in order to get 8 hours of rest).

    I totally agree with kayokid. :thumbsup:

    I think the main cause of confusion here is that there is no past tense form of must. "Have to" is a synonym for must when we mean an obligation, and we can put it in the past tense: had to.
     
  8. kemolie New Member

    Lima
    ESPAÑOL PERU
    "Debí haberme quedado dormida" =This is right. / " Yo debo haberme quedado dormida" = This is wrong. or other sentence is "Tuve que quedarme dormida"
     
  9. kemolie New Member

    Lima
    ESPAÑOL PERU
    "Yo debo haberme quedado dormida" says amnesiacs.
     
  10. craig10 Senior Member

    English - Scotland
    y qué tal 'me habré quedado dormido' - I must have fallen asleep (supposition)
     
  11. kemolie New Member

    Lima
    ESPAÑOL PERU
    habré (future) ... ejemplo: "Cuando sea medianoche me habré quedado dormido"
     
  12. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hola:
    «Debo haberme quedado dormida» es perfectamente correcto, también con «debo de», para indicar conjetura.

    Si bien es muy cierto que usamos el futuro simple para expresar suposición, este no es el caso que analizamos en este hilo. Se trata del sentido exacto de "must have" según el ejemplo dado.
    Saludos,
    ;)
     
  13. germanbz Senior Member

    Benicàssim - Castelló - Spain
    Spanish-Spain/Catalan (Val)
    That's right but in that case we were telling the story in present, I mean, you are in the tube and suddenly you realise you've passed two stations and you think "I must have fallen asleep". But the point came to me when you have to tell the story in the past, for example you are telling the same to anybody the next day and you say: Well, I was in the tube, and suddenly I realised that I had passed two stations, I must have fallen asleep. In fact it is like that as it appears in the listening and because of that I thought "I must have fallen asleep" seemed to work equaly when you are telling the fact in present or in past, that was the reason of my confusion.
     
  14. juan082937 Senior Member

    español
    Debí de quedarme dormido.
     
  15. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Muy buena opción para indicar conjetura.
     
  16. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    One thing is the internal structure of the verb phrase, where "must have fallen asleep" is the past of "must fall asleep;" another thing is the external perspective of the speaker, which is not bound by the internal structure of the verb phrase. That's why we can say I must have fallen asleep if you are watching tv "now" or "yesterday". In the present ("now"), the consequence of the action of "falling asleep" is given as concurrent with the moment of speaking: I've missed two stations; I must have fallen asleep. In the past, ("yesterday") the consequence of the action is prior to the moment of speaking: I missed two stations; I must have fallen asleep. "Must" is a modal verb, not conjugated, whose only function is to signal probability and not past time (the past time is indicated by the perfect infinitive). To translate into Spanish, then, we need to take into account the external perspective. If the external perspective is present, use debo de; if it is past, debí de. Of course, we can also use other lexical means to represent the same idea, so that I must have fallen asleep could be translated as probablemente/seguramente me quedé dormido.
    Cheers
     
  17. juan082937 Senior Member

    español
    For the present you should use the present perfect debo de haberme quesado dormido.
     

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