1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Hätte er es veröffentlicht, …

"Hätte er es veröffentlicht, wenn er das Geld hätte?"

Translation:Would he have published it if he had the money?

May 14, 2013



My comment here is not a quibble with DL. I agree with the translation. It explains to me a reason for some of the misuse of 'would' in English. It is a result of mixing of the different uses of the subjunctive in English and German. "Would he have..'' is not subjunctive in English (it is just an interrogative) while 'hätte' is so, in German. For the second part of the sentence 'if he had the money' is in the subjunctive, as is 'wenn er das Geld hätte'. Unfortunately, some people would write "if he would have .." for the latter part.


I'm still confused. Why not use hatte for the second part of the sentence?


See the reply to Paddoz. The conjunction “if” introduces a contrafactual clause, which requires the subjunctive in German.


Oh, you're awesome, thanks!


"Would he have published it if he had had the money?" does NOT have the same meaning as "Would he have published it if he had the money?" Please correct me if I am wrong, because Duo did accept ( in my case) the second translation.


Correct, “had had” [past perfect] does not mean the same as “had” [simple past].

The second translation is indeed correct. The first translation, “Would he have published it if he had had the money.” which would be ‘Hätte er es veröffentlicht, wenn er das Geld gehabt hätte?’, is incorrect.


In my opinion, it's the same in this case. If you remove the "have", there is a difference. The sentence becomes "Would he publish it if he....". "Had had" now indicates the opportunity is gone, and "had" indicates that the opportunity is still there if, for instance, somebody gifted him a million dollars in the next five minutes. If it's still "would he have", the opportunity is gone regardless, and I don't see a difference between "had had" and "had".


That's an insightful point, and it's true that, in the scenario in which he would have used the money to publish it, both “had had”=‘gehabt hätte’ and “had”=‘hätte’ have the same implication of lost opportunity, but even then, because both languages offer equivalent choices, “had had” would be a better translation, being closer to the original.

However, the original sentence can also describe other scenarios in which the condition described by the protasis may still be valid in the present. For example, perhaps ‘es’ refers to an exposé of a scandal which the first ‘er’ (the author, editor, or would-be publisher of the exposé) didn't publish because the second ‘he’ (the subject of the exposé) can't currently be proven to have the money tied to the scandal.


That's a good point for translating. However, I still don't see a difference, because doubt can be expressed in both cases by inflection of the "if".


I can not understand that translation.


Say he didn't have enough money to publish something on his own. But, if he had possessed enough money, would he have published it then?


Why can not the wenn translate as when?


“Would he have published it when he had the money?” would be ‘Hätte er es veröffentlicht, {wenn|als} er das Geld hatte?’. When ‘wenn’ is used with a subjunctive verb form (here ‘hätte’), it means “if”; with an indicative verb form (e.g. ‘hatte’), it means “when”.


This is a great piece of information, thank you!


As a native German: This sentence does not make any sense to me. In my opinion it should read: "Hätte er es veröffentlicht, wenn er das Geld gehabt hätte"


"Would he have made it public if he had the money?"


That's a valid translation too.


I am happy to get it correct from first though both German and English are not my native language. :)


GrgoCriatia. Well done!


There is a lot of very learned explanations above which I am afraid is way above my comprehension. As far as I understand, hätten="would have" and not "had". Hatten = had. If somebody can please explain to me why "hätte" at the end of the sentence and not "hatte", I would really apreciate it.


Would he have published it; had he had money? was not accepted, it is incorrect?


I don't think DL checks punctuation, but the semicolon is incorrect there.


You're missing the definite article: “Would he have published it; had he had the money?”. Otherwise, the German would just be ‘Hätte er es veröffentlicht, wenn er Geld hätte?’.


Andreas is right. The 'the' is necessary because it represents 'a sufficient amount of'' ,,


This one might be a little confusing. What it means in English is Would he have published it (in the past) if he had the money (now).


Ok so how does one say- 'Would he have it published if he had the money?'? I'm guessing like this "Hätte es er veröffentlicht, wenn er das Geld hätte?"


Not quite.

Würde er es veröffentlichen lassen, wenn er das Geld hätte?


‘Würde er es veröffentlichen lassen, wenn er das Geld hätte?’ literally means “Would he let it be published, if he had the money.”


To have something published (or allow something to be published) is different than to publish something one's self. Christian's translation is correct because it does not state that the subject is the person publishing "it"


Agreed, Christian's translation is correct. I was translating it back to English to show the literal meaning, which is also acceptable English.


What is the function of lassen, in this case.can you teach us “have + something + verb3” structure


Duo doesn't accept my translation and crosses out "the" in "the money". How do you say, then, "if he would have the money" in German? How is that different from the translation for "if he would have money"?


Duo gives as translation for "Hätte er es veröffentlicht, wenn er das Geld hätte?" : "Would he have published it if he had had the money?". So it includes 'the" but it has "had had" instead of "would have", but I cannot imagine that this makes a difference for the use of "the".


The English sentence I'm seeing ("Would he have published it if he had the money?") is grammatically incorrect.

You can ask: "Would he have published it if he had had the money?" or "Would he publish it if he had the money?"

It doesn't make sense to ask whether having the money now, in the present, would cause him to retroactively have published it in the past.

Of course, "had had" sounds clunky, so we'd really say "... if he'd had the money?"


Does 'hatte', mean the same for 'would have' and 'if he had' ?


"If he had the money, would he have published it?" Duo says this is wrong. Just because I put the "if" clause before?

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.