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needn't have (done)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Nahuel.us, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Nahuel.us Junior Member

    Cork, Cork, Ireland
    Hi everybody,

    I understand that when we say that someone needn't have done something, it means that they did it, but it was not necessary. And I was wondering the following:

    Would it be correct (or understandable) to say instead of that: 'wouldn't have needed to do something'?

  2. BrooklynBoy

    BrooklynBoy Senior Member

    English - Nueva York
    Yes. Both are correct and used and understandable.
  3. JennyTW Senior Member

    Córdoba, Spain
    English - UK
    Yes, but you can't necessarily use one instead of the other. Look at these two examples;
    "You went shopping yesterday but you needn't have gone because I'd already been" (we both went)."

    "If I had gone shopping yesterday,
    you wouldn't have needed to go."
    (You went but I didn't.)

    I would never use the alternative in these cases. It would be incorrect where I'm from.

    Also, note how in the first example "need" is being used as a modal verb. The negative is made directly and there is no "to" before the main verb.
    In the second example "need" is being used as a normal, not a modal verb because it is conjugated ("have needed" - perfect infinitive) and we need "to" before the main verb.
  4. Nahuel.us Junior Member

    Cork, Cork, Ireland
    Como veo que los dos hablan castellano, les agradezco enormemente la ayuda. La duda me surgió estudiando inglés, y sin estar del todo seguro, entendí 'I needn't have' como 'no habría necesitado' por lo que intentando hacer una traducción literal, me surgió la duda.

    JennyTW muchas gracias por el matiz. tu ejemplo fue clarificante. Aunque no soy capaz de darle un sentido literal a 'needn't have' en español, me ayudaste a entender la diferencia.
  5. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile
    En este caso yo lo traduzco como "...no necesitaba haber(lo) hecho..."
  6. Nahuel.us Junior Member

    Cork, Cork, Ireland
    Me avergüenza admitir que no se me había ocurrido. Me gusta mucho tu traducción, porque respeta la equivalencia gramatical en el infinitivo y el participio.

    Muchas gracias chileno, fuiste completamente revelador.
  7. Nahuel.us Junior Member

    Cork, Cork, Ireland
    Y respeta también el orden, me encanta.

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