le habría asegurado que

Malbecblend

Senior Member
English (United States)
I know that the conditional perfect tense can be used to express probability in the past and that it normally corresponds to the past perfect + probably. For example, Ya se habría ido, me imagino = He had probably left, I imagine.

With the above understanding in mind, I have a question about the meaning of “le habría asegurado” in the following text about the latest scandal involving Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil.

El congresista- que para declarar tuvo que acceder al recinto protegido por un chaleco antibalas ante la avalancha de amenazas recibidas - afirmó haber alertado de esta irregularidad en persona al líder de su mismo partido, que no es otro que el propio Bolsonaro. Este, tras haberle “mirado a los ojos”, le habría asegurado que la Policía iba a investigar el asunto, algo que nunca sucedió.”

...he had probably assured him that the Police was going to investigate?

It seems like he had supposedly assured him makes more sense in this context.

If so, this would be a use of the conditional perfect tense that I never learned.

Which is the better translation: he had probably or he had supposedly? (Or neither?) If “he had supposedly” is correct, is that a typical use of the conditional perfect tense?
 
  • Cholo234

    Senior Member
    American English
    Este, tras haberle “mirado a los ojos”, le habría asegurado que la Policía iba a investigar el asunto, algo que nunca sucedió.”
    Mi intento:

    The latter, after having looked at him in the eyes, must have assured him that the Police were going to investigate the affair -- something that never happened.
     

    Malbecblend

    Senior Member
    English (United States)
    Must have assured him!

    That sounds better than he probably had assured him or he supposedly had assured him. Thanks.
     

    Cholo234

    Senior Member
    American English
    In Spanish, you find the "overworked se," functioning as pronominal, object pronoun, and even subject (Butt, 2000), and in English you find the "overworked must," functioning as a verb expressing probability, obligation, and also conjecture.
     

    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    You are getting this wrong, " apparently/ allegedly assured him that the police would...". They are giving the Congressman's version of the story and they want to stress that.
     
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    Malbecblend

    Senior Member
    English (United States)
    Le habría asegurado que = debió haberle asegurado que? The speaker’s conjecture about what must have happened/probably had happened?

    apparently/allegedly/supposedly to me is a little different. “He allegedly assured him” is a statement that (to me) implies that others have made the claim that he assured him; the speaker is acknowledging what others have asserted to be true. In other words, the conjecture about the past would be based upon what others have claimed. Whereas with probably had/must have, the speaker himself/herself is speculating about what occurred in the past.

    I’m not debating; rather, I am asking. Can the conditional perfect tense be translated as supposedly, apparently, allegedly? If so, that’s a use of the conditional perfect tense I didn’t learn.
     
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    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    Le habría asegurado que = debió haberle asegurado que? The speaker’s conjecture about what must have happened/probably had happened?

    apparently/allegedly/supposedly to me is a little different. “He allegedly assured him” is a statement that (to me) implies that others have made the claim that he assured him; the speaker is acknowledging what others have asserted to be true. In other words, the conjecture about the past would be based upon what others have claimed. Whereas with probably had/must have, the speaker himself/herself is speculating about what occurred in the past.

    I’m not debating; rather, I am asking. Can the conditional perfect tense be translated as supposedly, apparently, allegedly? If so, that’s a use of the conditional perfect tense I didn’t learn.
    Yes, they are using " habría asegurado" to say that the Congressman claims that Bolsonaro told him that, that's something he says that happened but they don't know if it's true, that's why they chose that tense.
     

    Malbecblend

    Senior Member
    English (United States)
    Entonces, le habría asegurado que = supuestamente/presuntamente le aseguró/le había asegurado que?
     

    Rocko!

    Senior Member
    Español - México
    Este, tras haberle “mirado a los ojos”, le habría asegurado, según cuenta el congresista, que la Policía iba a investigar el asunto, algo que nunca sucedió.
    No recuerdo mucho sobre el tema porque borraron los hilos antiguos que abordaban el asunto, pero algunos autores establecen que expresiones como "le habría asegurado" sería un registro R3 (elevated), que podría estar remplazando a un "le aseguró" (R1 - colloquial), y tenemos también aquí un discurso referido indirecto que he tratado de evidenciarlo al agregar "según cuenta el congresista" (el congresista dio el mensaje, pero al escribirlo en R3 ya no es discurso referido directo/una cita textual).
    Es parecido a lo siguiente, en donde, debido a que en la traducción al inglés no es necesario el R3, lo pasan al R1:
    segunhabrian.PNG

    Batchelor, R.; San José, M. (2010). A Reference Grammar of Spanish. Cambridge University Press.

    En ese ejemplo, vemos que es poco probable que la alcaldesa haya dicho "habrían matado", ya que ella seguramente dijo "mataron" (habrían diez cadáveres), pero un periodísta o reportero lo pasaría a un indirecto R3.
     
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    S.V.

    Senior Member
    Español, México
    After looking at him 'in the eyes,' B. would later assure him the Police were to investigate. Something that never happened.
     

    Malbecblend

    Senior Member
    English (United States)
    I think I have found the explanation in my class notes.

    Could this be an example of “condicional de rumor,” I.e., the use of the conditional to relate second-hand information? As I understand it from my notes, the “condicional de rumor” is fairly common in journalism. It’s a technique used by the writer to distance himself or herself from what they are reporting. The problem with it is that it can cause ambiguity:
    For example, here is a newspaper headline:
    “Se habría suicidado el exitoso cantante Luis Mi Piel”
    This could have two different meanings:
    1) Luis Mi Piel had probably committed suicide (conjecture regarding the past)
    2) Apparently Luis Mi Piel committed suicide (it’s not clear, it hasn’t been confirmed but that’s the way it seems, that’s what some people are saying)

    Now, going back to my original question, I can understand “le habría asegurado que” to mean something like he reportedly assured him, he apparently assured him, etc. The idea is that the writer is not able to confirm whether or not the congressman was assured by Bolsonaro that the Police Department would investigate. The writer is also not suggesting that the congressman probably was given such an assurance. One would have to figure out which meaning was intended by the overall context. However, because an ambiguity is possible (conjecture about the past or stating what is rumored), some people criticize the use of conditional to relate what is rumored.
     

    Rocko!

    Senior Member
    Español - México
    an example of “condicional de rumor,” I.e.
    Sería otra forma de normbrarlo.

    ACTO 1. Dos personas comentan un asesinato, en R1:
    Asesino malvado: ¿Te acuerdas del Manotas? Yo me lo eché.
    Amigo del asesino: ¿Túúúú?, ja, ja, ja. Yo chitón, de mi boca no saldrá nada.

    ACTO 2. Confiesa "Amigo del asesino" en un interrogatorio policiaco, en R2:
    Detective cualquiera: ¿Es cierto que Asesino Malvado mató al Manotas?
    Amigo del asesino: Sí, me dijo que lo había matado.

    ACTO 3. La noticia sale publicada en un periódico, en R3:
    Titular: Asesino Malvado habría asesinado al Manotas.
    Otro titular: Asesino Malvado habría asegurado haber asesinado al Manotas.


    ¿¿¿"Habría asegurado haber asesinado"??? No fue eso lo que dijo Asesino Malvado en el Acto 1. ¿o sí?
     
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    S.V.

    Senior Member
    Español, México
    You can see that one in 23.16x. Though yours is allegedly, not probably, and the link to tras haber... avoids the yellow press ring to it. In other words, we keep the "futuro del pasado" function (would later... & allegedly is understood).
     

    DAlvarez

    Senior Member
    English and Spanish
    WOULD HAVE + past participle expresses presumption or expectation in the past, while MUST HAVE + PP indicates logical probability or presumptive certainty in the past.

    The latter, after looking him in the eye, would/must have assured him that the Police were going to look into the matter -- something that never came to pass.

    ... would have assured him = le habría asegurado
    ... must have assured him = debe (de) haberle asegurado, tuvo que haberle asegurado
     
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