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  1. #1
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    Question Question about a subjunctive sentence.

    I think my lesson book has a typo.

    Based on this sentence:

    Ese chico corría como si hubiera nacido para ello.

    Is the following sentence correct?

    El abogado llevaba los documentos como si los hubiera traído en una bandeja de cristal.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    I find a semantic problem: "Hubiera nacido" refers to an anterior time to "corría", but "hubiera traído" seems simultaneous to "llevaba", so I´d suggest to you:
    «El abogado llevaba los documentos como si estuvieran en una bandeja de cristal".
    It´s also better in my opinion: "Llevaba los documentos coimo si los hubieran traído en una bandeja de cristal".

  3. #3
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    Hi, I'm Mexican, but not a spanish language expert so i might be wrong...

    Both sentences sound good to me, but for the second one I would say:

    El abogado llevaba los documentos como si los trajera en una bandeja de cristal.

    Also:
    "Llevaba los documentos coimo si los hubieran traído en una bandeja de cristal".
    That is incorrect because the "n" makes plural the subject (the guys who is/are bringing the documents) not the documents themselves.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
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    Excuse me, you are wrong:
    "Llevaba los documentos como si los hubieran traído en una bandeja de cristal"
    That "n" can refer to the documents or to who bring them (other persons, obviously).

    On the other hand, "trajera" and "hubiera traído", strictly speaking, are different verbal tenses.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by momper View Post
    Excuse me, you are wrong
    Actually I'm only half wrong, here is a detailed explanation:

    All of the highlighted sentences below are correct, but have a slight different meaning.

    *** El abogado llevaba los documentos como si los hubiera traído en una bandeja de cristal. ***
    (Original) The reader most likely thinks the only one participating in this sentence is the lawyer himself.

    El abogado llevaba los documentos como si [ellos] los hubieran traído en una bandeja de cristal.
    In this sentence, the subject (el abogado) in singular does not match the plural of many people bringing the documents, so it makes the reader think that a plural 3rd party is involved: The lawyer was carrying the docs. that they brought him (before).
    So this sentence is correct, but is not semantically equivalent to the original.

    Los abogados llevaban los documentos como si [alguien] se los hubiera traído en una bandeja de cristal.
    This is the inverted case of above: Several lawyers are carrying the docs that someone brought them.
    What I said is that your "n" (in hubieran) made plural the 3rd party guys bringing the documents. The "n" (in llevaban) is what completes making plural the lawyers. I was wrong to call the 3rd party guys "the subject".

    Los abogados llevaban los documentos como si los hubieran traído en una bandeja de cristal.
    This is like the original but in plural. The most likely meaning that: The lawyers are carrying the documents as if they were in a crystal tray, no 3rd party involved. But also could mean: The lawyers are carrying the docs. as if they were brought to them in a crystal tray.

    El abogado llevaba el documento como si lo hubiera traído en una bandeja de cristal.
    Changing "los documentos" to "el documento" and removing the s from "los" is what turns the docs. to singular.

    El abogado llevaba el documento como si [ellos] [se] lo hubieran traído en una bandeja de cristal.
    This one has the "n" you said, but again, it makes the reader think that a plural 3rd party [they] are involved, yet the document is singular: they brought a document.

    Yes, I made a mistake, I'm sorry!, but also please excuse me to insist you are wrong because the "n" in no case has anything to do with the singularity or plurality of the documents. It ONLY refers to the ones who brought the docs.

    Uuuffff.... So after a LONG explanation I'm going to stand by my "improved" sentence:
    *** El abogado llevaba los documentos como si los trajera en una bandeja de cristal. ***
    It may be grammatically a little different, but is semantically the same, and is superior in conveying the idea more directly and avoiding all this confusion. But above all is more "natural speech" (at least as we speak here in Mexico City)

    Cheers!

  6. #6
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    So referring to the original question:
    Based on this sentence:
    Ese chico corría como si hubiera nacido para ello.
    Is the following sentence correct?
    El abogado llevaba los documentos como si los hubiera traído en una bandeja de cristal.
    It's correct, but even better in my opinion, to say:
    El abogado llevaba los documentos como si los trajera en una bandeja de cristal.

    However it's not correct:
    Ese chico corría como si naciera para ello. LOL
    Is like when he runs, he is continually borning. Hahaha

    Cheers!

  7. #7
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    Excuse me again: even if only one person has brought the documents, we can say: "Llevaba los documentos como si los hubieran traído en una bandeja de cristal". It doesn´t specify how many have brought the documents, they can be one or several.

  8. #8
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    Hey there, I have a question ... I was listening to a song called 'el aire que me das' from David Bustamante. I tried to understand what is he singing about and came to 'Y mis dedos Llenos de humo, vacios de ti..' and actually I don't quite understand that part ... so I need a little bit of help in translating it.

    My try: and my fingers, filled with smoke, empty because of you

    Llenar means to fill, but when I looked at the conjucation of the verb there was nothing with 'llenos', I mean the present tense for plural of the verb is llenan, instead... so can somebody tell me what's the difference and how exactly is that 'llenos' made and why?

    Thank you in advance! )) :P
    Tose Proeski - The Hardest Thing --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKRrADJ7j3E
    * Agapi mou gurna pisw, Mou Leipeis... :[

  9. #9
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    "Lleno" is an adejctive: "llenos de humo" is "full of smoke".

    And "vacíos de ti" is (maybe, I´m not sure) "they are lacking in you" or "empty without you". It´s a syntagm very difficult for me. How does it sound "empty of you"?

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  11. #10
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    @momper
    If I may ask, Where are you from? or Where did you learn spanish?(in case you are not native speaker)
    May be in your region it's OK to say that (refering to the "n" and the plurality of the documents), but as far as correct grammar, I think it's not OK (I mean It's not equivalent to the original sentence)
    May be if you could explain in detail, as I did, your reasoning as to why you say its OK...

    @velvet_sky
    yeah, I would say: "And my fingers full of smoke, empty of you" If it doesn't makes much sense in english, in spanish either. I've never heard that song, but form that sentence I can picture a guy trying to touch/grab her (the one he loves?), but she vanishes into smoke... In short, she's gone.

    Cheers!

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  13. #11
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    I think your sentence is the best, apart from "trajera" doesn´t fit "hubieran traído", which is another verbal tense, obviously.

    Now my sentence: "Llevaba los documentos como si los hubieran traído en una bandeja de cristal".

    If you listen this sentence, you can´t assert that several persons have brought the documents: "los" refers to "documents" and "hubieran" can refer to "los" (in which case we can´t assert how many persons have brought the papers: only one or several) or it can refer to who have brought the documents, in such a case several persons, undoubtedly.

  14. #12
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    Default other way to explain

    @momper: Hi, I thought of another way to try to explain this to you:

    For document (singular)
    -----------------------
    Yo lo hubiera traido
    Tu lo hubieras traido
    El/Ella lo hubiera traido
    Nosotros lo hubieramos traido
    Ellos lo hubieran traido

    For documents
    ---------------
    Yo los hubiera traido
    Tu los hubieras traido
    El/Ella los hubiera traido
    Nosotros los hubieramos traido
    Ellos los hubieran traido

    So as you can see the "n" is not related at all with whether is one or several documents, just to the conjugation for "Ellos". If this can't convince you, I don't know what will...
    But I can understand as to why you are confused.
    Also, would you please care to answer mi previous question? Thanks!

    Cheers!

  15. #13
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    I´m from Spain.
    Maybe our points of view aren´t too diferent: imagine your team of football has lost 2-0, and a friend tell you: "Si nos los hubieran marcado de penalti, podríamos echar la culpa al árbitro". Can you assert that two player have scored the goals? No.

  16. #14
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    Well, certainly you can not say if 2 different players scored the goals just by that sentence, however by saying "hubieran" we understand "the other team players" which is plural.

    Lets say only one player scored both goals (for example Chicharito):
    Si [Chicharito] nos los hubiera marcado de penalti, podríamos echar la culpa al árbitro.

    Now lets say there was only one goal, but we refer to all the players (because of the team work), not only the player who scored:
    Si [los jugadores del ManU] nos lo hubieran marcado de penalti, podríamos echar la culpa al árbitro.

    And now just for completeness sake, only one goal, and we refer to the player who scored:
    Si [Chicharito] nos los hubiera marcado de penalti, podríamos echar la culpa al árbitro.

    So again, I have proved to you that the n in "hubieran" has nothing to do with the number of goals, just with the number of people performing the action. In the case of only one goal, we still can say that THEY scored as a team.

    ------
    Amigo, ya se me agotaron las ideas para explicarte esto, si aún no estas convencido con explicaciones tan detalladas y hasta con colores para que veas a que parte corresponde en la oración, creo que no voy a lograr que lo entiendas. Si así lo dicen en España, está bien, de que se entiende, se entiende, aunque estrictamente hablando es incorrecto gramaticalmente.

    Te propongo ya no seguir arrastrando este tema, además creo que a nadie más en el foro le interesa, y la verdad que es una discusión avanzada para lo que a la mayoría aquí quiere, que es saber que dicen las canciones y una "n" ni les va ni les viene y creo que aprecian mucho que les ayudes con sus traducciones, aunque no sean perfectas. Si te puedo ayudar en algo mándame mail.

    Saludos!
    Last edited by Arturic; 05-26-2011 at 09:43 AM.

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  18. #15
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    I suppose you are right, I´m not good at grammar. Sometimes the plural can have a vague sense, when we don´t want to specify who made the action. Thanks for your explanations.

  19. #16
    Senior Member velvet_sky's Avatar
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    wow that's quite confusing, I would say. Your explanations, Arturic, are really good, but so many ways of expressing a sentace and so many '' lo, nos, les'' etc, that I really get confused on the meaning of the sentance but that's because I am still a beginner in studying Spanish, I guess later on I will be better in understanding and using those. )) However, thank you for your detailed post! ))

    Saludos
    Tose Proeski - The Hardest Thing --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKRrADJ7j3E
    * Agapi mou gurna pisw, Mou Leipeis... :[

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