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más difícil de lo que pensé . . . de lo que pensaba

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by mlagrl, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. mlagrl

    mlagrl Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hola foreros:

    How would you translate this distinction? I am translating an artist statement, in which the artist says, "Fue mucho más difícil de lo que pensé . . . de lo que pensaba."

    Mi intento
    "It was much more difficult than I thought . . . than I ever thought."

    Mil gracias.
     
  2. SolAguila

    SolAguila Senior Member

    India
    Bengali-India
    My try, though it's the same.... It was much more difficult than what I thought.... than what I was thinking.
     
  3. mlagrl

    mlagrl Senior Member

    English, USA
    ¡¡Muchas gracias, SolAguila!!
     
  4. SydLexia Senior Member

    London
    UK, English
    You should avoid using 'what' in that way.

    "It was/turned out to be much more difficult than I thought... or had been thinking."

    "It was/turned out to be much more difficult than I thought... or had ever imagined it might be."
    "It turned out to be very difficult...... much more difficult than I had ever thought it would be"


    syd
     
  5. SolAguila

    SolAguila Senior Member

    India
    Bengali-India
    Syd, what's wrong if I use what in that way? I need to know this.
    Another thing, "than I had ever imagined it might be", wouldn't in Spanish it be de lo que pensara/ese?
     
  6. lu_pando Senior Member

    spain
    Spanish
    "It was/turned out to be much more difficult than I thought... or had been thinking." -> voto por esta opción pero al revés, ya que en español el original empieza por la forma menos común o correcta y acaba corrigiendose a sí mimo para usar la más común, "Más de lo que pensé".

    "I turned out to be much more difficult than I had been thinking... or than I thought."
     
  7. lu_pando Senior Member

    spain
    Spanish
    Sería así: "de lo que jamás hubiera imaginado/pensado."
     
  8. SolAguila

    SolAguila Senior Member

    India
    Bengali-India
    Gracias! Entendido.
     
  9. SydLexia Senior Member

    London
    UK, English
    The short answer is that it sounds like "lo qué pensaba"...

    You can use a whole phrase "...than what I thought was likely to be the case" but the short version works much better as an introduction.

    "What I thought (was,) we could try was adding xyz and increasing the abc level."

    You usually want to avoid anything like "the book what I wrote" which sounds.... regional.

    If you leave out the 'what', the phrase simply becomes more elegant:

    ".......(more difficult) than I thought", or
    ".......(more difficult) than I had thought", or
    ".......(more difficult) than I was thinking", see below, or
    ".......(more difficult) than I had been thinking", or
    ".......(more difficult) than I had ever thought".

    You are right that I was changing the meaning too much. The best simple choice as a contrast to 'I thought' is 'I was thinking' but it refers only to my 'present' thoughts, in my head, as I was beginning the job. If that's not the nuance you want, you need to use one of the others, or something else entirely.

    There is no equivalent in English to the precise exclusive difference between the Spanish preterite and imperfect, so there is no 'grammatical tension' to steer you away from pleonasm.

    syd
     
  10. SolAguila

    SolAguila Senior Member

    India
    Bengali-India
    Syd, thank you very much :)
     

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