Bulgarian: Той никога не би направил това


Hi everyone,

I'm currently studying the Bulgarian conditional mood and I'm a bit confused by the tense.

For example:
Той никога не би направил това

Does that mean:
1) "He would never do that" (he hasn't done it yet), or
2) "He would never have done that" (someone has done it)

From my research it seems that it can be interpreted as both, but the past tense (направил) makes it sound more like 2)

If it can indeed mean both then my next question is: is there a way to make this clearer?
I'm thinking of "Той никога нямаше да направи това" that I think would more definitely be in the past.
But I'm not sure if there is another option for 1)?

  • aleksk

    Senior Member
    македонски, Macedonian
    It's an interesting question. While you're waiting for a native speaker to respond, here's my two cents.

    Yes, I think theoretically it can mean both things, so you have to rely on context. I personally would use the conditional in the sense of 1) and rarely 2).

    For 2), I would use alternative constructions such as the one you offered - He was never going to do that, He had no intention of doing it, He was not the type of man who would do such a thing, There was no chance he would do something like that etc etc depending on the context.

    I don't think you need to make 1) any clearer as most people would understand it as such unless the narrative clearly indicates you are referring to past events.


    Senior Member
    The sentence can be used for both but it still means "he would never do it", whether we're talking about past or present. It's like stating a fact or a principle.

    Той никога нямаше да направи това can mean that he either did or didn't do it depending on context.

    Той никога нямаше да направи това, ако му беше казала истината - he did it because he didn't know the truth

    Той никога нямаше да направи това, дори и да му беше казала истината. - he didn't do it and was never going to do it even if he knew the truth.