dejábala en libertad de dichos e insultos

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by aleksk, May 6, 2008.

  1. aleksk Senior Member

    македонски, Macedonian
    I have some difficulty understanding the following sentence. Could you guys please help me? (it´s an extract from a story not under copyright protection any longer, so I will give you the whole original sentence).

    ..."Asi, menudaban de una a otra parte las provocaciones, pues nadie daba quietud a la lengua y el que más y el que menos dejábala en libertad de dichos e insultos, por lo que las cosas iban de mal en peor, sin que bastase a arreglarlas el que el rey don Pedro diese la razón a las gentes contra los frailes, ya que tal razón sólo sirvió para aumentar la osadía de aquellas y la impaciencia de estos, y para que los vecinos pretendieran tomar el agua a viva fuerza y los capuchinos a viva fuerza tambien, se opusieran."...

    What does the underlined parts mean?

    The first one I understand it as ..."someone less, someone more took the liberty to speak and insult"...But I am really not sure. What is the "la" attached to "dejába" here? What does it refer to? Is this an idiomatic expression "dejar(la) en libertad de"?

    The second one as ..."therefore, the things were going from bad to worse, without being sufficient to rectify them the fact that the king don Pedro gave the right....". I don´t really understand what "el que el rey..." means. Is it actually "lo que el rey...". What is the first "el" really? And why is the subjunctive used (bastase, diese)? It´s a fact that he gave the rights to the people, and not the monks, and that this order did not suffice to settle down the animosity. Is it because of "sin que"? Is "sin que" followed by the subjunctive? But why then "dar" is in the subjunctive? Shouldn´t it be "dio la razón.."?

    I hope it´s not too boring for you to answer this long question. But I´m not sure I get the meaning of the sentence at all, and have no one else to turn to for help.
  2. jsvillar Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain
    It is quite archaic, so it is kind of hard. What follows is not a translation, just an explanation of the meaning. So please don't go too hard on my English.

    el que más y el que menos: everyone (it is an expression, still used)
    dejábala en libertad de dichos e insultos Left it (the tonge) free for sayings and insults. 'La' stands for the tonge. It is probably an idiomatic expression, but I've never heard it before.

    sin que bastase a arreglarlas without being sufficient to rectify them (as you said)

    el que translates as 'The fact that'. It is normally used. Maybe it comes from 'el hecho de que'?

    diese la razón I'm not sure you can say 'gave the rights', that would be 'diese los derechos'. It translates as 'said the people were right', or 'agreed with the people'

    'Sin que' is followed by subjunctive, that's why you say 'bastase'. As for 'diese', I think the sentence stresses the fact that it doesn't matter if King Pedro agreed with the people or not. You could say 'dio la razón'.
  3. Duik New Member

    The text you are reading it's written in a traditional way. Sounds like a "Spanish Golden Age" writer.

    I think the text would go something like this: "...nobody was giving stillness to the tongue and everybody (more or less) was giving it freedom of sayings and insults; therefore, things were going from bad to worst and it didn't matter that the king "Don Pedro" acknowledged the people to be right over the monks, because that only helped to increase the daring of those and the impatience of these....."

    Dejábala combines the article (la) with the verb (dejar). Dejaba is the past (pretérito imperfecto) of dejar. I think the imperfect tense corresponds to the English past progressive.

    Hubiese and diese are the past (preterito perfecto) of haber and dar. "Preterito perfecto" is generally used to mention a past action that took place in a specific moment of the past.

    Hope it helps!

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