I answered "He could have made it" and lost a heart. What would be the german sentence for what I wrote?
Word for word that comes out to "Er könnte es getan/gemacht haben", (not sure if they prefer tun or machen here) but that really doesn't make any sense in German.
They would say "Er hätte es tun/machen können" which really doesn't make any sense in English.
"hätte" = "would have"
"tun/machen" = "do/make"
"können" = "(to) be able to"
That comes out to something like "He would have be able (to) make it". Switch "be able to" to past tense "been able to" and it's functional English. I've no clue why they use present tense here, but I'm not German. 'Just go with it' is often the easiest approach.
"Er könnte es gemacht\getan haben." does make sense in germany. It means, that he might have done it.
Is there such a difference in the translation of this sentence between "He could do that" and "He could do it"?
Why is it könnte and not konnte? According to the conjugation table duolingo offers to this verb, konnte is the past conjugation of the verb.
"Konnte" is past tense ("Yesterday, he could do it, but today he can't"), and "könnte" is subjunctive ("He could do it if he had time"), and both of them translate to "could." You ought to be able to put in either one, though as a stand-alone sentence I would tend to favor the subjunctive "könnte." (For past tense, I would usually say "could have done it" in this particular sentence.) But if "konnte" isn't working, I'd say it certainly should.
Wouldn't "Er kOnnte es machen" mean the same? It seems that lot of stuff here is in konjunktiv praeteritum, but what the heck is that? (I sort of googled the werbs)
German differentiates between "He could do it" as in "He would be able to do it" (konjunktiv; könnte) and "He could do it" as in "He was able to do it" (past participle; konnte).
Thank you. You saved the good people of this library I'm sitting in a lot of swearing :)
How come the answer above for "Er könnte es machen" is 'He could do it' instead of he would be able to do it?
Well, not really. "can" is the wrong tense. They're looking for the subjunctive usage of "could" as in "would be able to". "Könnte" in german. "He can" would be "Er kann". "He could" is "Er könnte".
You should select "My answer should be accepted" under the report problem button. They really do a good job of fixing that sort of thing.