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  5. "Él no puede haber leído este…

"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.


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.


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


Is this the same as "Can I come in?" vs "May I come in?". My teacher used to insist that we should say "May I". If someone said "Can I come in?", she would reply "Yes you can, but you may not" :)


Good to know, but translating it into English, it should be correct either way, since English doesn't have that distinction


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


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


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!


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.


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?


He could not have read this document. (Accepted)


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.


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.


"He cannot have read this document" was accepted


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 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.


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...


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


Offended my ears too. I thought it was an error.


I wrote the same as you but it was a bit of ❤❤❤❤❤ to figure it out.


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


When you get older son


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


Right? I don't know why either!


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


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


this was my answer, marked correct on 9 Aug 14


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


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!


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


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.)


why couldn't I translate puede as may?


Because the connotation is about capacity, not permission?


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?


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


"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.


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


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.


why not ha leido instead of haber leido?


Is "He could not have read..." more correct english? I would not say "He can´t have read..." seems like a mix of tenses to me.

What if you made the statement positive,

He could have read... He can have read...

The latter doesn't work for me.

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