"Pensé que había cerrado la puerta."
Translation:I thought that I had closed the door.
this could also be "I thought that HE/SHE had closed the door" grammatically this is correct.
It could not. As "había" is both 1st and 3rd person, it will semantically attach to the last subject it fits, which, in this case, is the 1st person implied by "pensé". If you want to express that a 3rd person did the closing, you will have to disambiguate by spelling out the subject (él / ella).
You just taught me the meaning of the word disambiguate. Thank you! It was confusing me. Yay learning!
So if I wanted to say "I thought that he closed the door" it would be "Pensé que había cerrado la puerta a él"? or would it be "Pensé que él había cerrado la puerta."
Either would be correct if you leave the "a" out of the first one. In fact, I'd prefer that one in many cases, since it gives emphasis to the él.
But you can't leave the "a" there. He is the SUBJECT (the doer) of the verb "había cerrado," and you don't mark subjects with "a."
I disagree that it couldn't mean this—I think it depends upon the context in which the sentence appears.
I am so glad someone finally explained that rule. It is not a natural assumption that I have come across in other languages. Thank you!
I answered -I thought that he had closed the door- and was correct. Glad that I came to visit this discussion to find that I never really understood the grammar on this one.
I put "I thought that the door had closed" and lost a heart. Guess I need a "se" in there.
I gave the same answer, and I believe you are correct. We needed the reflexive pronoun.
Isn't the "clue" that the only subject in the sentence is yourself (from Pensé)? From my understanding, whilst it could be he/she/it, it would be a poorly formed sentence to not include the other subject after having given the sentence a subject (yourself).
In context - say, if you'd just learned that your five-year-old let the dog out when he had gone outside to play - it wouldn't necessarily have been poorly formed at all. This is the problem with individual sentences outside of context.
When using the imperfect indicative, there is ambiguity between the first person singular and third person singular forms. Therefore, the appropriate noun/pronoun must be used. If not, the meaning is the passive. So in this sentence, the correct translation is "I thought the door had closed", not "I thought that I had closed the door".
I think in real life it would be much clearer to say either: "Pensé que yo había cerrado la puerta" or else, "Pensé que él/ella/usted había cerrado la puerta."
Should it be, the subordinate clause, in the subjunctive mood: hubiera cerrado?
This is getting frustrating. Sometimes it seems that hearts drop off arbitrarily in this section. I also wrote that HE did the acting--WRONG. And "shut" was rejected for "closed." Oh well.
I think we need to allow the different uses of habia for this. There are no clues, not even contextually, that I is the correct use of habia here.
How would the listener know here where whether I'm saying that I/he/she/it closed the door? It could be any of those, right? Are you just supposed to assume?
Without context, you have no way of knowing who closed the door. It could also be 'you', if you are speaking to someone formally as 'usted'.
The problem with isolated sentences, as in Duolingo, is that there is no context. In context, you would probably be able to tell—or else the speaker would specify. (Or, if the speaker didn't specify and it wasn't obvious, you could ask!)