Translation:He can't have read this document.
I am no native speaker of either Spanish or English, but in any grammar I looked at so far present perfect is haber + particip – nothing else. Thus I would have expected “El no ha podido leer este documento” (literally “He has not been able to read that document” rather than “Él no puede haber leido este documento”. My literal translation of the given “Él no puede haber leido este document” is “He cannot have read (particip!) that document”. Can anyone please comment on the use of haber as an infinitive to form the present perfect in Spanish? Thanks a lot!
That is not quite true. English is permitted to have conjugated auxiliary verbs along with the main verb.
In English, you can say "He cannot have read that document!" (For example, you are expressing amazement that someone claims to have read something). Or you can say, "She cannot have finished that entire plate of food!"
You could also say "He could not have read it" or "She could not have finished it".
I wrote that, too, but as a native English speaker I find the translation "He cannot have read this document." offensive to my ears. I would never say that. I would say "He could not have read this document." which would be "Él no pudo haber leído este documento." or "Él no podría haber leído este documento." Anyone else have trouble with this?
I think that " he cannot/can't have read..." is a valid thing to say in english, BUT that if dL wanted to express " he COULD not have read...." it should have been" el no pudo haber leido...". I think that both are expressing the same thing ( disbelief that he READ something) so maybe that's why DL/spanish uses "puede" instead of "pudo"....ie either/or makes no difference...
Yes, I saw that offered as an acceptable alternative. I've racked up a lot of wrong answers giving responses that were just a bit off of what DL wanted. I would have guessed that "he could not have" would call for the conditional, i.e., él no podría haber leído... but apparently not. I just never know.
Hi, I am a native English speaker and teach English as a second (or third, etc.) language. You cannot follow "can" (or "can't" or "cannot") with a gerund or a present participle (both of which end in "-ing", example, swimming, eating, having...) If a verb comes after "can" it needs to be in the base form (example, swim, eat, have...) This is true for all modals and "helping verbs" (should, could, would, do, will, etc.). So you can never have "can't having" anywhere, anytime. I hope this helps somebody!
The sentence "He can't having read this document" really needs a comma: "He can't, having read this document." The Spanish translation of this could also do with a comma, though I don't think you could just stick a comma in the sentence above. I think you could write "Él no puede, habiendo leído este documento" or "Él no puede, después de haber leído este documento". Maybe an hispanohablante could confirm this?
No the comma would change the meaning of the sentence. This sentence is saying reading does not happen due to it being a impossibility.
" he can't have read this document because I am still writing it. "
Adding the comma would say that he can't do something else because of something that he read.
" will he enter the condemned house?" " he can't, having read the sign saying keep out"
Thanks for the reply, although I think we may be talking about different sentences. I was talking about KevinMorri's proposed sentence: "He can't having read this document", and also kind of replying to hebe76. I'm not suggesting that this sentence is equivalent to the DL sentence. (I've edited the first few words of my reply above to make it clearer what sentence I was talking about.)
He cannot have (done whatever)... sounds so wrong in English. Americans would say He could not have (done whatever)... But I appreciate the translation due to differences in the languages and sentence structures required so that we might use the correct Spanish word in reverse translation.