"Ele não tinha podido ir à festa."

Translation:He could not have gone to the party.

June 3, 2013

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/r_i_l_e_y

Is "He had not been able to go to the party" wrong?

June 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique
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Yup... but "ele não tinha podido..." sounds to awkward to me... "ele não pôde..." sounds more natural...

June 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/WesleyAlcoforado

For me it sounds bizarre as well. It's not incorrect, but it's too convoluted, because there are 3 verbs in the sentence (ter/poder/ir). It's a compound form of the pluperfect tense. We have a simple form also, but this tense is not used in everyday conversation, you'll only find it in books. If you see someone who uses pluperfect, they will probably be trying to show their knowledge of the language and will most probably be using it wrong.

June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/WesleyAlcoforado

The pluperfect tense is used to refer to a situation that occured before another one in the past.

Quando o vi, perguntei-lhe por que não o tinha encontrado na casa de Maria. Ele respondeu que ele não tinha podido ir à festa.

In this situation I'm already speaking in the past (Quando o vi - When I saw him), and I want to know why I hadn't found him, which is a situation that occured before.

The same thing, using a simple form of pluperfect: Quando o vi, perguntei-lhe por que não o encontrara na casa de Maria. Ele respondeu que não pudera ir à festa.

I may have made some mistakes in English, but this is hard to explain even in Portuguese.

June 14, 2013
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