"I wasn't able to keep this secret, and I'm ashamed of it."

Translation:Je n'ai pas pu garder ce secret et j'en ai honte.

June 25, 2020

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I translated wasn't as the imperfect but was marked wrong.


I would think the imperfect suggests you were a complete blabbermouth whereas the perfect confines your indiscretion to a single - embarrassing - incident.


That's correct.

[deactivated user]

    Duo has just let me know that my suggested translation has been accepted: “Je ne pouvais pas garder ce secret et j'en ai honte ”


    ------ also: je n'etais pas capable de garder ce secret et j'en ai honte


    I think that's what the English sentence means.

    A single event would be "I couldn't keep this secret …" or "I haven't been able to keep this secret …".

    "I wasn't able to" = "I was unable" and I think "I was" corresponds to imparfait, "j'étais" not "j'ai été".


    Is there also a correct solution involving "n'arriver pas à" ?


    Not on the list of accepted answers but in real life, you could say "Je ne suis pas arrivé(e) à garder ce secret..."


    Oh, poo! I missed out "pu." (wordbank)


    This is a typical french curve ball. The English translation "I'm ashamed...." is clearly present tense, but the french use the past tense (smoke and mirrors ?)


    Not smoke and mirrors, just a misreading on your part.
    honte is a noun meaning "shame", not the past participle of a verb.
    The word-for-word translation of J'ai honte is "I have shame" and the usual way of saying it in English is "I am ashamed".

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