Translation:I know that she loves me, but she had never written it.
How do you know if "había" is referring to the implied "yo" or "ella?"
I believe that, if the subject changes between sentences, you have to use a clarifier ('yo' or 'ella' in this case). Since none was given, you can assume it wasn't changed and that the sentence is referring to 'ella.'
But was it the case that "ella" was the subject of the first part of the sentence?
You actually raise a very good point. I think that you have to refer back to the last subject (in this case, 'ella' in 'ella me quiere'), but I'm not sure. Can anyone elaborate on this, please? :)
it seems that the action of writing refers to the action of loving, not to the action of knowing this.
@danielinform. I can't reply directly to your comment because it has no Reply link.
"I know she loves me, but I'd never written it" is grammatically correct and even makes sense. That particular mixture of tenses is unusual but not nonsensical. The past perfect "had (never) written" refers to a time before some other event took place in the past. That doesn't make it incompatible with a related but separate statement ("I know") about the present. The conjunction "but" can join the two statements despite their having distinct tenses.
Here is an example where it is the right sentence:
"Some readers have asked what inspired last week's entry in my blog 'Things I've Learned About My Mother Since I Had Kids.' Well, I was talking to my mom a while ago when she mentioned that she came off as being distant and cold in my blog. I realized she was right, and I wanted my readers to know that she is actually a very loving person. I know she loves me, but I'd never written it."
For another example, see my reply to AndrewsSuzy below.
Duo says that the correct answer is:
"I know she loves me, but I'd never written it."
This cannot be a correct translation - it doesn't make sense.
@Ketutsf Excellent example, and a very professional explanation.
I even gave you a Lingot for that one. :-)
So obvious when you add a sensible context. Thank you. Much appreciated, and very helpful.
But it could also refer back to the main clause before that, which would be "(yo) sé"... So theoretically, the implied subject can be "yo".
Perhaps in addition to what gjdenheijer says (which I can't verify, though I have seen others state it), it simply makes a lot more sense for it to be an implied "ella" vs. an implied "yo": "I know that she loves me, but I had never written it"? How could that ever make sense?
I don't really give Duolingo the benefit of the doubt in assuming that their sentences will make sense. It is, in fact, the case that "I know that she loves me, but I had never written it" is an accepted answer.
for example if you write a diary or you are corresponding with a third person, you could use that sentence. nevertheless without identifier i'd say, she didn't write it.
The mixing of present indicative tense (sé, quiere) with past perfect (había escrito) is what makes this sentence sound a little strange. But I'm betting that it is perfectly correct grammar.
There are tons, and I mean it, tons of sentences in Duolingo that make absolutely no sense and are never spoken or written in the proposed way in a real life, however my take on it is that Duolingo is teaching us how to build sentences, however bizarre they may sound and thus far I have not been able to find any other system better at this job. I just hope that at the end of the whole course I won't sound like an aristocratic douche when I speak Spanish :)
The last part of your comment instantly made me think of the iconic line from the movie Idiocracy which is highly non- PC, to wit: "You talk like a blank and your sh@ts all blank". Prophetic movie by the way.
I was an English major decades ago, and I'm with Fluent2B on this one. That is, I think that each clause, standing alone, is grammatically correct. It's the coupling of the two clauses that's the problem. They just don't belong together. The present perfect belongs with the present indicative here, to my ear anyway. What I would say is "I know she loves me but she's never …"
Wouldn't it make sense if it were part of a paragraph and the next sentence was something like "Until now"?
Maybe. Context is everything, and I know of no codified "rule" that says you can never use the past perfect with the present. Still, I think that I'd likely go with "but she's never written it until now."
There have been several sentences in this section in which tenses have been mixed.like that. By the way likes was accepted as the verb.
"I know that she loves me, but never had written it" is not acceptable even though it seems the most appropriate, considering that the person who "had written" is ambiguous and either "I" or "she" is acceptable for the latter part of the sentence.
A new topic: - you'd really say "I know that she loves me, but she has never written so" - I think the present + the pluperfect is a strange one too.
It depends on the situation. The presence of the pluperfect indicates that the speaker is referring to a time before some earlier event. For example:
Sister: "Do you remember when we were reading Mom and Dad's old letters? Why did you start crying?"
Brother: "It was that letter that Dad wrote about me, telling Mom that he thought I felt unloved and that it was up to her to . . ."
Sister: "Wait. You mean she never told you she loves you?"
Brother: "Right. Well, she never used to. And then suddenly that changed. She started writing these really nice letters, and now I know why. I'm not saying she's a bad mother. I know that she loves me, but she had never written it."
I am confused. I thought this meant " I knew that I love her, but I had never written it." As in, she is pleasing to me.
yes, the past participle of to write is "written". Sadly you'll hear lots of badly educated people (whose mother tongue is English) saying that!
It must have been "I knew she loved me, but she had never written it" Present tense "i know" makes no sense
Doesn't it make better sense to translate it as "I know that she desires me but never she had written it" than to say that she had desired me but I had not written to her, as suggested in the prescribed translation?
The translation that I can see is "I know that she loves me, but she had never written it. I am not sure about how you see the other translation unless it is given as an alternative, but it sounds wrong anyway.