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podría haberlo hecho

From:caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...>
Date:Friday, February 13, 2009, 13:26
--- In, René Uittenbogaard <ruittenb@...>
> > During my Spanish lesson, my spanish teacher explained to me that > instead of the spanish sentence: > > Habría podido hacerlo > Ik zou het hebben kunnen(*) doen > I would have been able to do it > > he would normally say: > > Podría haberlo hecho > Ik zou het kunnen hebben gedaan > I would be able to have done it (?) > > but even though we recognized the grammatical difference, we were > not able to distill the difference in meaning. > > Is there any? If so, what is it? > Are the english translations accurate enough? > Is there a difference in usage of both spanish sentences?
The second sounds wrong to me. Why would I speak of my present ability to perform an action in the past? It seems to me that the "pastness" is in the ability and not in the doing. I think many today would say, "I used to be able to do it." Charlie