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  5. "Eu duvido que ele tivesse aj…

"Eu duvido que ele tivesse ajudado."

Translation:I doubt that he would have helped.

February 21, 2015


  • 1095

Please, explain to me why this past tense "tivesse" suddenly is now "would have..." ?


Would "I doubt he had helped" also be acceptable?


According to normative Portuguese grammar (not allowing for exceptions), these are the correct "sequences of tenses":

Duvido que ele tenha ajudado (I doubt he has helped.)
Duvidei que ele ajudasse (I doubted he would help.)
Duvidei que ele tivesse ajudado (I doubted he had helped.)


But why is the translation above different? It's he would have helped instead of had helped, even though all the previous exercises accepted the English past perfect as the correct translation.


Here's a suggestion from moderator Danmoller in another comment section which validates DL's translation by adding an implied condition:

Eu duvido que ele tivesse ajudado [se ele estivesse aqui.]
I doubt he would have helped [if he were here].


Eu duvido que ele tenha ajudado. (I doubt he has helped.)

Unless DL's sentence is an exception, the imperfect subjunctive after a present-tense verb in the main clause is ungrammatical. The present perfect subjunctive is needed here.



This does not explain why "I doubt he had helped" is wrong. I am a native English speaker and this has a different connotation than "I doubt he would have helped" but both are proper English.


Standard "sequence of tenses":

• I doubted he had helped.
• Duvidei que ele tivesse ajudado.

• I doubted he would have helped [if he could].
• Duvidei que ele teria ajudado [se [ele] pudesse].

"I doubt he had helped" is colloquial, not standard English.


I have to disagree with that last statement. It's perfectly valid (and good) English. It means that I am doubting (right now) that he had helped (in the past). "I doubted he had helped" means that my doubting was in the past. Not the same thing.


If you doubt now about something that happened in the past, why wouldn't you use the simple past rather than the past perfect in the subordinate clause?

I doubt he helped...
I doubted he had helped...


Obg! Adepto as suas explicações gramaticais


i think that "i doubt that he had helped" is a correct translation and is perfect English


Would have is often more common in English than simply had, as it retains that slightly unknown factor depicted in the original Portuguese subjunctive. IE Maybe he would have, if he would have, perhaps he would have etc.


"i doubt that it would have helped" is a better sentence (if that is what it can mean)


Wouldn't it also be correct to say " I doubt IF he had helped" ?

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