habría de

shoestring

Member
USA, English
Estoy un poco confundido con el uso del condicional cuando hablando de cosas del pasado. Por ejemplo, el siguiente oración:

"Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas habrían de allanar el camino para iniciar negociaciones con el gobierno."

En este ejemplo, "habrían de" me parece significar "would." Como:

"This meeting and the decisions made there would clear the road for the initiation of negotiations with the government."

Pero si es correcto, no entiendo la razonamiento. Alguien me puede ayudar?

Gracias de antemano,

mike
 
  • shoestring

    Member
    USA, English
    Thanks both of you. That's not exactly what I was looking for, though. I'm wondering very specifically how one would translate "habría de."

    I know that "hay de" means "must," but what meaning does it take on when it is put in the conditional tense, "habría de." It seems especially confusing when used in the context of past events, as in the example I provided above?

    Anyone?
     

    cristóbal

    Senior Member
    EEUU/Inglés
    How does "Would have had to have cleared the way..." sound? Pretty bad, huh? Well, that's how I understand it anyway.
     

    Rayines

    Senior Member
    Castellano/Argentina
    Hola, shoestring: Te doy una respuesta rápida:Este tiempo de verbo, que sería el Conditional,aquí llamado (antiguamente) Pospretérito, o Potencial, se usa, según la "Gramática Larousse de la Lengua Española", para "manifestar una apreciación sobre una acción pasada o futura". Ejemplo: "Ese traje costaría unos 20 pesos hace dos años". Creo que éste es el caso que planteás en tu ejemplo.
     

    jmx

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    shoestring said:
    Estoy un poco confundido con el uso del condicional cuando hablando de cosas del pasado. Por ejemplo, el siguiente oración:

    "Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas habrían de allanar el camino para iniciar negociaciones con el gobierno."
    habrían de (haber de) = tendrían que (tener que) --> they should / they ought to

    Mi traducción :
    This meeting and the decisions taken there should pave the way in order to begin negotiations with the government.

    Parece ser que 'haber de' se usa poco en Latinoamérica.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    jmartins said:
    habrían de (haber de) = tendrían que (tener que) --> they should / they ought to

    Mi traducción :
    This meeting and the decisions taken there should pave the way in order to begin negotiations with the government.

    Parece ser que 'haber de' se usa poco en Latinoamérica.


    Sí, ésta me parece la explicación más clara. Coincido con jmartins >> habría de = tendría que. Acá en ARgentina se usa más "tendría que".
     

    Rayines

    Senior Member
    Castellano/Argentina
    A mí me parece que no necesariamente tiene que tener el sentido de "deberían" o "tendrían que". Según mi mensaje anterior, podría ser una descripción de un hecho ocurrido en el pasado: "Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas allanaron el camino etc.etc.". Pero bueno, esto sólo lo puede decir el contexto general de la frase... mike?
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Narda said:
    La expresión correcta es "habría que... llevarlo a pasear/comerse el helado/morirnos de hambre?

    Para mí "habría que morirse de hambre". No me suena bien "habría que morirnos de hambre" >> en este caso yo diría "tendríamos que morirnos de hambre"
     

    sergio11

    Senior Member
    Spanish (lunfardo)
    shoestring said:
    Estoy un poco confundido con el uso del condicional cuando hablando de cosas del pasado. Por ejemplo, el siguiente oración:

    "Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas habrían de allanar el camino para iniciar negociaciones con el gobierno."

    En este ejemplo, "habrían de" me parece significar "would." Como:

    "This meeting and the decisions made there would clear the road for the initiation of negotiations with the government."

    Pero si es correcto, no entiendo la razonamiento. Alguien me puede ayudar?

    Gracias de antemano,

    mike
    First, your translation is correct as far as I can comprehend the meaning of the English phrase, because you have to realize I am not a native English speaker. That said, I think your translation is perfect.
    Second, I understand the reasons for your confusion to a certain degree, but since you translated it correctly, it puzzles me why you are still confused.
    Third, I cannot understand all the confusion of the native Spanish speakers, because this is a fairly common construction in Spanish.

    Now let's try to understand the logic of the sentence. This whole thing happened in the past. If you were to say it from a present vantage point, you would say, "Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas allanaron el camino para iniciar negociaciones con el gobierno", or in English, "This meeting and the decisions made there cleared the road for the initiation of negotiations with the government."

    However, the author is putting himself in a past vantage point. He is speaking from the past. At the time this meeting took place and the decisions were made, the road for negotiations had not been cleared yet. It was a possibility; it was a wish; it was a potential outcome. Consequently, speaking from the time the meeting took place, the author chose the "potential" or "conditional" tense, to imply a logically sequential future relationship with the meetings and a logically sequential past relationship with the present time.

    Andrés Bello explains it differently. He says this is a "metaphorical" use of the tenses. But it is very difficult to understand his full explanation and I will have to really dig into it to figure out what he is saying. I may be able to explain it better after I study it more in depth; if I can decipher it, that is. In the meantime, maybe someone else, who has a better working knowledge of grammar, can come up with an explanation.

    Actually, if you are located in Bogotá, Colombia, as your ID box says, you may be able to find it out yourself and explain it to us. You have more access to knowledgeable people and other resources than we have here.

    P. S. My wife does not agree with my interpretation. Try to find a consensus from other people as well, especially from the foreros from Spain.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    However, the author is putting himself in a past vantage point. He is speaking from the past. At the time this meeting took place and the decisions were made, the road for negotiations had not been cleared yet. It was a possibility; it was a wish; it was a potential outcome. Consequently, speaking from the time the meeting took place, the author chose the "potential" or "conditional" tense, to imply a logically sequential future relationship with the meetings and a logically sequential past relationship with the present time.
    Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas >>> past tense

    allanar el camino >>> future tense

    habrían de >>> my wish, so I use conditional or potential in Spanish.

    Coincido con vos Sergio... voy a ver si encuentro algo de Andrés Bello para leer un poquitito.
     

    duder

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    I read in a grammar text once that "haber de" could be roughly translated as "supposed to". Based on the ways that I have seen it used in literature since then, I am no longer sure if this translation is the most accurate.

    However, if it were, then the sentence in question could be read as "This meeting and the decisions made there were supposed to clear the road for the initiation of negotiations with the government."

    ¿Qué les parece?
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    duder said:
    I read in a grammar text once that "haber de" could be roughly translated as "supposed to". Based on the ways that I have seen it used in literature since then, I am no longer sure if this translation is the most accurate.

    However, if it were, then the sentence in question could be read as "This meeting and the decisions made there were supposed to clear the road for the initiation of negotiations with the government."

    ¿Qué les parece?


    I think it is the same thing we were saying. Were supposed to = were intended to >>> isn't it the same thing as "tendrían que"??
     

    shoestring

    Member
    USA, English
    Thanks, everyone. Sergio, Artrella, and Duder, your comments have been especially helpful, as in the wider context of the sentence I proposed, the translation "would have to" really doesn't fit. And as far as I can remember, I have tried that translation when I have encountered "habria de" in other places and I don't remember it ever fitting well.

    However, "supposed to" or "should have" seems to make much more sense and, for me at least, carries a much different meaning that "would have to." "Should have" or "supposed to," when speaking of the past implies something that was intended, desired, or would have been wise, but that didn't happen. For example, you could say, "you were supposed to/should have run errands before going to the store, so that the ice cream wouldn't melt." (I should note, though, that these two, though they mean the same thing, have different connotations. The "supposed to" carries a feeling of disappointment or being upset because (it's assumed) the person was told previously to do things a certain way but didn't, whereas the "should have" is a safe way of saying "it would have been wiser.")

    On the other hand, "would have to," as far as I know, is used only in very specific instances when talking about the past, and much in the same way I have understood the use of "tendria que" when used when discussing the past in Spanish. That is, to discuss something that had to be done and was done to achieve a particular goal. Ex. "Pero para satisfacer los deseos de sus papas, Claudia tendria que continuar sus estudios en su cuidad de orígen." "But to satisfy the wishes of her parents, Claudia would have to continue her studies in her hometown."

    However, it sounds like what I'm hearing is that "tendria que," when discussing the past, can mean "was supposed to" or "should have," and therefore could be used interchangeably with (as I understand them) "debió (infinitivo)," "debía haber...," and, according to what I'm hearing, "habría de."

    Thus, the sentence I originally proposed would read, as Duder said,

    "This meeting and the decisions made there were supposed to clear the road for the initiation of negotiations with the government (but didn't)."

    Am I getting this right?

    Thanks again.
     

    Goizalde

    Member
    Spain / Spanish
    Sergio... I'm impressed!! I couldn't think of a way to express it, and you've done it perfectly. Congratulations!
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    cristóbal said:
    My original hunch was "would have had to clear the road..."

    Is that just out in left field, or what?

    Cris, I cannot answer your question... could you please explain the meaning of the bold type sentence?
     

    shoestring

    Member
    USA, English
    "Out in left field" is like saying "way off" or "totally incorrect." It comes from left field in baseball, though I don't know why left field would be any different than right or center field. They are all pretty far from home plate.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    shoestring said:
    "Out in left field" is like saying "way off" or "totally incorrect." It comes from left field in baseball, though I don't know why left field would be any different than right or center field. They are all pretty far from home plate.
    Thank you very much Shoestring! I don't know anything about baseball!
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    cristóbal said:
    My original hunch was "would have had to clear the road..."

    Is that just out in left field, or what?

    Cris, in that case it would have been " hubiera tenido que allanar el camino"
     

    Narda

    Senior Member
    Guatemala
    Habría que morirse de hambre para poder perder que libras

    Tendríamos/tendrían que morirse de hambre para poder...

    A mi las dos me parecen bien, creo que este es un caso subjetivo, pero corríjanme si me equivoco por favor.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Narda said:
    Habría que morirse de hambre para poder perder que libras

    Tendríamos/tendrían que morirse de hambre para poder...

    A mi las dos me parecen bien, creo que este es un caso subjetivo, pero corríjanme si me equivoco por favor.

    La primera me parece correcta.

    La segunda admite dos variantes:

    1) Tendríamos que morirnos de hambre para poder perder libras

    2) Tendrían que morirse de hambre para poder perder libras
     

    Like an Angel

    Senior Member
    Argentina - Spanish
    I feel so sorry for saying this but I have to disagree with you Sergio. Why? I think "this meeting and the decisions made there" should contribute "to clear the road", but I don't know if it will contribute in the end, since it's expressing doubt -for me-, my translation would be:

    Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas habrían de allanar el camino para iniciar negociaciones con el gobierno. : This meeting and the decisions made there should have clear the road for the initiation of negotiations with the goverment.
    But that's just my point of view!
     

    sergio11

    Senior Member
    Spanish (lunfardo)
    shoestring said:
    ..."This meeting and the decisions made there were supposed to clear the road for the initiation of negotiations with the government (but didn't)."

    Am I getting this right?
    You are getting it the way my wife and the other foreros get it, not the way I get it. The way I get it is that they did.

    Again, I repeat: I may be wrong, and let me repeat it again, I may be wrong, but I have heard and read this expression many times and, as I remember it, it was always referring to things that did happen.
     

    sergio11

    Senior Member
    Spanish (lunfardo)
    Well, I guess we all were right in a certain measure. I sent some emails to friends of mine to see what they thought, and so far I got only one answer, which I will give below.

    After I wrote to my friends I thought of checking the database of the Real Academia Española, and found over 600 instances of the use of this expression.

    To my surprise, I found different ways of using it. Of course I could not check all 600 of them, but the ones I could read gave me the following picture:

    1) about 20% had the very definite meaning of a future action in the past, that is, something that did happen at a later time. This was clear and unequivocal from the context.

    2) about a 15-20% had the meaning of something that had to have happened but did not.

    3) perhaps another 20% had a very ambiguous context, so that unless you knew the subsequent course of events, there was no way to figure out what they were actually saying.

    4) the rest, maybe a 30-40%, were simple expressions of possibilities, wishes, intentions, etc., without close links to future events that happened or didn't happen, or whether they did or did not was not an issue.

    Based on these examples, we might probably say that unless you have the knowledge of what happened later or the context clearly defines it, you have no way of telling. It is a very ambiguous expression. This is my conclusion as a layperson.

    Noew from someone who knows. The answer I got from my friend, or rather from his wife, is the following:

    Hola, soy H., la mujer de R., y contesto la consulta lingüística, ya que entra dentro de mi campo de especialidad. Sin lugar a dudas, debe entenderse como que se allanó el camino. Una de las funciones del condicional es indicar un futuro del pasado. Pensá ejemplos del tipo "Ese habría de ser/sería el primero de muchos encuentros" etc. Saludos, H.
    If I find out more I will let you know.

    In the meantime, I hope anyone else who finds out more about this topic will share with us, too.
     

    jmx

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    I write this to correct my own post, and to support, partially, what Sergio11 is saying.

    Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas habrían de allanar el camino para iniciar negociaciones con el gobierno

    This sentence can have 2 completely different meanings, depending on context.

    1) The one explained in my previous post, #8. This use of 'habrían de' is plain everyday spanish in northern Spain, but maybe not in Latinamerica. The key point is that it refers to a hypothetical situation, about which we still don't know the final outcome. Translation :

    This meeting and the decisions taken there should clear the road in order to begin negotiations with the government.

    2) A second interpretation, only in case it is clear from the context that both the premise and the outcome are facts from the past. In other words, we are narrating a historical event. In this case :

    Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas habrían de allanar el camino para iniciar negociaciones con el gobierno = (roughly)
    Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas allanarían el camino para iniciar negociaciones con el gobierno

    Translation :

    This meeting and the decisions taken there would clear the road in order to (later) begin negotiations with the government.

    That is, both the premise and the outcome did happen, and both in the distant past.
     

    sergio11

    Senior Member
    Spanish (lunfardo)
    Rayines said:
    A mí me parece que no necesariamente tiene que tener el sentido de "deberían" o "tendrían que". Según mi mensaje anterior, podría ser una descripción de un hecho ocurrido en el pasado: "Este encuentro y las decisiones allí tomadas allanaron el camino etc.etc.". Pero bueno, esto sólo lo puede decir el contexto general de la frase... mike?
    Volviendo a leer todos los "postings" vi que Rayines fue la primera que dio con la interpretación de un futuro en el pasado.

    Te felicito, Inés.
     

    sergio11

    Senior Member
    Spanish (lunfardo)
    Como había prometido, aquí están las otras respuestas a la consulta lingüística que hice a gente en países de habla hispana:

    La primera es la que ya listé en un "posting" anterior de hace dos días.

    La segunda es ésta que sigue, y es de mi concuñado. Él no se juega: "he's sitting on the fence", como dicen en USA.

    Yo entiendo que en el contexto de la oración el significado más correcto sería que "el encuentro y las decisiones posibilitarian en el futuro allanar el camino para iniciar las negociaciones". O sea me quedo con una posición intermedia para darte de que pensar.
    Mandale saludos al orejón Charlie, si lo ves con Camila paseando por allí.
    Un abrazo,
    La tercera es la siguiente, de un lingüista, profesor de latín y castellano, que enseñó tanto en España, en la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, como en Argentina, y sigue enseñando en una de las universidades argentinas.
    la redacción es horrible por lo ambigua, porque además -y para peor- se le nota deseo de redacción exquisita, pero me parece que no hay ninguna duda: sí lo allanaron, es decir "terminaron por allanar/fueron la causa de que se allanara".
    Espero tus fotos. Un abrazo.
    Como ven, la interpretación de un futuro en el pasado es una posibilidad muy fuerte, es decir, la que dice que sí, que pasó lo que "habría de" pasar. Como vimos en otros ejemplos, como posibilidad no es la única, pero parece bastante convincente.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Señoras y señores, os dejo la respuesta a la consulta RAE que esta servidora realizara unos días atrás. Espero la disfrutéis.... Adieu!


    From: Consulta 1
    Date: 04/21/05 05:06:48
    To: ARTRELLA
    Subject: narración)


    2.
    haber de + infinitivo. En el español general, esta perífrasis, que se emplea casi exclusivamente en textos escritos, denota obligación, conveniencia o necesidad por parte del sujeto de realizar la acción que expresa el infinitivo, y equivale a tener que, fórmula preferida en el uso común: «He de reconocer que al principio me incomodó la idea de encontrármelo durante la travesía» (Padilla Imposibilidad [Méx. 1994]); «Hubimos de esperar varios meses hasta conseguir recursos económicos» (Laín Descargo [Esp. 1976]). A veces expresa, simplemente, acción futura: «¡No he de morir hasta enmendarlo!» (Cuzzani Cortés [Arg. 1988]); «Ni siquiera la guerra habría de aliviar el temor y el respeto que imponía aquel valle a trasmano» (Benet Saúl [Esp. 1980]). Tampoco en el caso de esta perífrasis es admisible en la lengua culta el uso de la forma habemos para la primera persona del plural del presente de indicativo: *«Ahora los perdedores habemos de ahogar las penas en el vino y pensar en otras cosas» (RdgzMéndez Bodas [Esp. 1976]); debió decirse hemos de ahogar las penas.

    Según recoge Manuel Seco en su Diccionario de dudas y dificultades de la lengua española (Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1998, 10.ª ed.), existe el llamado "condicional de narración". Consiste en emplear el condicional en lugar del pretérito indefinido dentro de una narración de sucesos pasados en que lo normal sería el empleo sucesivo de los pretéritos. Este recurso, que tiene por finalidad la variación estilística de los tiempos verbales, se emplea normalmente en el lenguaje literario, y aún más en la lengua periodística con pretensiones de literaria. No hay motivo para censurar su empleo. Sin embargo, su abuso no es recomendable, pues resulta afectado y resta claridad al discurso, y desde luego, debe emplearse implicando siempre posterioridad con respecto a un hecho o situación inmediatamente antes mencionados.
    Ejemplo:
    "Debido a la tragedia familiar, Uribe Vélez tuvo que aplazar sus planes de estudio en el exterior, los cuales sólo se cumplirían en 1991 en la Universidad de Harvard, donde estudiaría una materia muy propia de su personalidad: negociación de conflictos" (Semana, 15-22/10/1996. Colombia).


    Reciba un cordial saludo.
    ----
    Departamento de Español al día
    RAE
     
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