"Él no puede haber leído este documento."

Translation:He can't have read this document.

November 2, 2013



In English, the word "can" and "is able to" have the same meaning. But Duolingo said I was wrong.

March 4, 2014


in spanish does not have the same meaning. can = poder (hacer algo), able to = ser capaz (de hacer algo), can /be able to do something is not the same in spanish language. I can kill someone, but I am not able to do it.

May 25, 2016


You can kill someone, and you are (physically) able to, you simply are not allowed to by law.

December 15, 2016


I had 'he has not been able to read this document' marked wrong as well. I am sure it should be correct.

February 6, 2015


Yeah, and this phrase was my last heart...

October 6, 2014


lo siento

March 16, 2017


mi tambien

March 16, 2017


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!

October 5, 2014


No puede haber leído:

No puede - can not

Haber - have

leído - read

Can not have read. You can't have two conjugated verbs together. Since puede is in front of haber, haber needs to be in the infinitive.

October 6, 2014


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".

You see?

January 12, 2017


"He cannot have read this document" was accepted

November 2, 2013


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?

August 16, 2014


I would say "He can't have read this document", but to express disbelief that he'd read it rather than as a comment on his ability to have read it.

August 22, 2014


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...

January 10, 2015


He could not have read this document was accepted 10/10/15

October 10, 2015


He could have not read this document......

August 19, 2014


When you get older son

July 27, 2015


He is not able to have read this document was rejected.

January 6, 2015


Right? I don't know why either!

August 11, 2017


He could not have read this document. (Accepted)

April 9, 2014


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.

September 6, 2014


I don't know why more people are talking about this answer. Just hearing 'can't have read' just sounds as weird and grammatically incorrect. The english equivalent of fork on a wine glass, ughhhh. 'Could not have' seems more proper.

January 7, 2019


I didnt get it

July 19, 2018


I put: He can't having read this document. Isn't that correct? If someone isn't able to do something because the document precludes it, wouldn't this be the way to write the sentence

December 23, 2013


It is incorrect English to say: "He can't having read this document." You can say, "He can't have read this document".

December 31, 2013


this was my answer, marked correct on 9 Aug 14

August 9, 2014


and if he is a third person, why not has instead of have. I am really lost with this.

September 25, 2016


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!

April 9, 2015


Unless the participle clause is parenthetic: "He can't, having read this document, still claim to be ignorant of the facts.

April 3, 2016


Thank you

November 26, 2018


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?

February 7, 2014


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"

February 21, 2014


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.)

February 21, 2014



February 12, 2015


why couldn't I translate puede as may?

April 1, 2015


Because the connotation is about capacity, not permission?

January 8, 2017


I understand that could not have read and has not been able to read are two different ideas, but how does one say the later?

El no ha pedido leer?

February 28, 2016


Why is the suggested answer could/conditional when podría was not used?

December 15, 2016


"Puede" is from poder conjugated in the present tense, so I translated it as "can". Isn't "could" a different tense? It sounds better in English, but I don't see that tense used in the Spanish sentence.

May 12, 2017


He cannot have read this document

May 12, 2017


Totally applies to Trump

May 14, 2017


Still not sure why "He has not been able to read this document" was not accepted. Reported

September 26, 2017


I almost reported this but I checked it just in case. I asked about this and I was told that it is modal verbs usage in deduction/ speculation in the past. It exists and in use.

June 16, 2018


why not ha leido instead of haber leido?

July 29, 2019
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