I should have left him alone.

Toadie

Senior Member
English
I'm trying to say "I should have left him alone." I'm a bit confused with the whole modal verbs/lassen in the past tense thing.

Should I say:

"Ich sollte ihn in Ruhe gelassen haben."
or
"Ich sollte ihn in Ruhe lassen haben."

?
Or possibly something entirely different?

Thanks.
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    What you wrote sounds like "I allegedly left him alone".

    It should be (in my opinion :D): Ich hätte ihn in Ruhe lassen müssen/sollen.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    I completely agree with Jana, and would like to specify:

    - Ich hätte ihn in Ruhe lassen müssen: emphasizes that it would have been imperative to leave him alone

    - Ich hätte ihn in Ruhe lassen sollen: emphasizes that it probably would have been better to leave him alone
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    I'm trying to say "I should have left him alone." I'm a bit confused with the whole modal verbs/lassen in the past tense thing.

    Should I say:

    "Ich sollte ihn in Ruhe gelassen haben."
    or
    "Ich sollte ihn in Ruhe lassen haben."

    ?
    Or possibly something entirely different?

    Thanks.
    The second sentence is not correct. It mixes time forms. Correct - but not as translation - is, for example, "Ich sollte ihn in Ruhe/allein lassen."
    The first sentence seems to be correct in a grammatical sense. At least in coll. language, the form is used quite often. Im not fully sure whether it is in standard but I do not see that it hurts any rule at the moment, except style. I would also prefer "Ich hätte ihn in Ruhe/allein lassen sollen".

    allein lassen - (neutral, not remain with him, not visit him)
    in Ruhe lassen - (not bother him)
     
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