I didn't believe she was coming.

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by zeppo, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. zeppo Senior Member

    context: "Mark told me she was on her way, but I didn't believe she was coming. She was probably still on the couch."

    ... no creí que ella viniera.


    The book on subjunctive "No creí que ella viniera " translated to mean "I didn't believe she would come", but it left out the possible meaning of "I didn't believe she was coming" (as in currently in progress.)

    Just double-checking.
  2. Quique Alfaro

    Quique Alfaro Senior Member

    Santa Fe, Argentina

    No creía que ella estuviera en camino. Probablemente seguía acostada en el sofá.
  3. donbeto

    donbeto Senior Member

    Vancouver (Canada)
    Eng (Canada)
    Well it all depends. I didn't believe that "she was coming" could easily be interpreted as "she would come". If that's the case, yours is fine, with one caveat below.

    If not, if you're trying to say that she was already on here way (in progress), then you need Quique Alfaro's version.

    Caveat. You'll note that in addition to a different "she was coming", that version also has a different "believe". Without getting into too much detail, I "believe":( (sorry!) that creía here works better than creí. That is a fine point that depends completely on context.
  4. zeppo Senior Member

    Thank you, Quique Alfaro.
    Yes, donbeto, the context I was checking on was "in progress" (on her way). I wanted to know if viniera would also apply in that context. From both of your replies I see that it would not, which reinforces why the book I am using did not offer it as a possibility. But I wanted to make sure the book didn't just overlook it. On the contrary, it appears from your replies that in this context where we might say "I didn't believe she was coming", a Spanish speaker would not make use of this phrasing and would instead say "I didn't believe she was in route." This makes sense in English of course, and is used from time to time, but an uncommon response. What is uncommon in one language may be common in another, and for my practice (I use flashcards), I just prefer to make note of this difference in usage rather than say one equals the other. So I thank you both for your replies. They were very helpful.

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