Translation:The secretary may have been mistaken.
I simply don't understand the structure of the portuguese sentence. I can only see "the secretary may have been confusing herself".
yes, bit confusing. We would not translate Duo's sentence literally! Another correct option for the English sentence is " a secretária pode ter se enganado". Anyway, it continues not being a literal translation but keeps the same meaning..
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 :-)
I think I need to make a mnemonic of the different types of prepositional arrangements etc. There's really a lot of those pitfalls in Português.
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 :)
Actually, for the second one it works as an adjective although it is still participle... =)
Here, it does not work as an adjective, so it is wrong to use "confundida" =/
So if "se confundido" = "been confused", would "se confundir" = "become confused"? And does this "se+past participle=been....." work for every verb?
Se confundir = get/become confused. The second partmof your question will depend on the context.
It doesn't work for all verbs. Example, there is no such thing as "ela se andou"/"tinha se andado".
That works for verbs which are reflexive and for verbs that are not necessarely reflexive, but whose object can be the subject.
I translated "the secretary may be confused" but it wasn't accepted. As "pode" is present tense, why must it be translated with "have been"?
It seems to me that "ter" has a role here and my literal translation is "The secretary may have got confused" which convinces me we are talking about the past.
Yes, this sentence is in the past. It's shown by its structure. The use of the verb poder in the past (pôde) keeps the same meaning. Your sentence is a good alternative! =)
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.
the action IS in the past. She got confused earlier and it is noticed in the present. Although the "confusion" happened in a previous moment. :)
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?
The audio says "O secretária pode ter se confundido.", I just reported it.