Translation:The secretary may have been mistaken.
Right, the reflexive "been confusing herself" sounds strange, we would simply say "been confused". Many Portuguese verbs have reflexive forms with no apparent equivalents in English. Actually, in this case, we can find a phrase which is a reasonable translation and keeps the reflexive quality: "got herself in a muddle". I don't expect Duolingo to accept it though :-)
In case anyone wonders: In this sentence, "confundido" is the past participle of "confundir". Being a verb, it is not supposed to agree with the gender of "secretária".
Compare with the sentence "Eu fui confundida com uma estudante", in which "confundida" is an adjective and should agree with the gender.
Please correct me if I'm wrong :)
According to this dictionary, the verb "confundir-se" (that is the reflexive version of "confundir") translates "get confused" (or "get mixed up") and "se confundido" is the past participle which is "got confused" (or "gotten confused" for some English speakers). Therefore a workable translation is "The secretary may have got confused" which is a past tense form. The translation chosen by Duolingo is just a less literal variant of this sentence.
Good question, Marijke. This is important. Let's look at the verbs: PODE (present of PODER = can or may) TER (infinitive of TO HAVE) se confundido (participle of SE CONFUNDIR = to get confused or be mistaken)
Can have gotten confused.
May have been mistaken.
Do you see how TER + PARTICIPIO give you an event that happened in the past?
The pronunciation in Portuguese has a problem. I heard: O "secretária" pode ter se confundido. I think it needs to be coherent. The correct pronunciation is "Secretário". The subject was pronounced in the feminine form when it must be pronounced in the masculine form.
"The secretary could have been confused" was accepted.
"Confused" and "mistaken" are different. "Confused" implies the subject in question was unsure and therefore in no position to make a decision, whereas" mistaken" means that the decision they made was wrong.
So, which of the two acceptable answers is more accurate? How would one convey the real intent of the sentence more clearly, to distinguish between the two interchangeable interpretations?