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They Wouldn't Have Given it to Me...

 

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Old February 11, 2017, 02:24 PM
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They Wouldn't Have Given it to Me...

I went to a yard sale looking for a particular object. I found the object but didn’t buy it. A friend asked me why I didn’t buy it and I responded, “They wouldn’t have given it to me for the price I would have offered them.”
After making that statement, I asked myself how I would have said that exact statement in Spanish, and I’m still not sure.

What is the correct way to say “They wouldn’t have given it to me for the price I would have offered them”?

1. No me lo hubieran dado por el precio que les habría ofrecido.
2. No me lo habrían dado por el precio que les habría ofrecido.
3. No me lo hubieran dado por el precio que les hubiera ofrecido.


Option Number 1 is what I probably would have said, but I don’t know if it’s correct and/or why I would have said it that way.

Any response in Spanish or English is appreciated.
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Old February 12, 2017, 09:55 PM
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One of the easiest subjunctive rule in Spanish is that if a conjucated verb follows the conditional in the same sentence, the conjucated verb should be in the past subjunctive. So, you answered your question. I think you could do it these ways too:
No me lo habrían dado por el precio que (yo) les hubiera ofrecido. You can also say no me lo daría por el precio que yo les quisiera pagar (or que yo les ofreciera)
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Old February 13, 2017, 03:06 PM
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Thanks, Poli, for the rule. So keeping that rule in mind, I guess the best way for me to say it would be:

No me lo habrían dado por el precio que les hubiera ofrecido.

Have a good day!
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Old February 16, 2017, 04:14 PM
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For me the preferred here is

"no me lo hubieran dado por el precio que les hubiera/se ofrecido"

because you can use imperfect subjunctive instead of conditional when everything happened in the past.

In this case, this sentence is also "ambiguous enough" because the whole situation is "branched out of reality"

But it's much more "normal" to say

"no me lo hubieran/habrían dado por el precio que había/tenía pensado ofrecerles"
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Old February 16, 2017, 05:05 PM
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Thank you, aleCcowaN, for another rule. I’m weak in grammar, so rules are what I need at this point. You told me which of my options you preferred and why. That really helped.

You indicated "No me lo hubieran dado por el precio que les hubiera/se ofrecido" as a good way to say the above “………because you can use imperfect subjunctive instead of conditional when everything happened in the past.” I have never heard that rule so that really answered my question.

Poli also gave me a useful rule that helped. I will also keep his in mind when dealing with the subjunctive. He indicated: “…….if a conjugated verb follows the conditional in the same sentence, the conjugated verb should be in the past subjunctive.”

Thank you to both of you!

Last edited by Bobbert; February 16, 2017 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Corrected my compliment to Poli.
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Old February 17, 2017, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbert View Post
“………because you can use imperfect subjunctive instead of conditional when everything happened in the past.” I have never heard that rule so that really answered my question.
Just a few comments.

The rule saying "never use hubiera when habría does the job" comes from Central Spain and it was one of the battle horses of RAE before the inception of the newer and more encompassing "Nueva Gramática...".

The rest of the world, including parts of Spain, always uses hubiera for developments in the past. In fact, la regla culta says that it always has to be hubiera and never hubiese, because it comes from an old perfective use in indicative (Sephardi Jews still use it that way). Of course Southern Spaniards would object casting out their precious hubiese, so a camp battle between RAE and "people's" partisans would start in every web forum, and 90% of native Spanish speakers would be treated as ignorants for not admitting hubiese yet using hubiera. You had to have the patience of Job (not my strong suit when a person is obtuse and impervious to the learning process)

Today it's all over. Both groups of Spaniards are blessed to use their local or rationalized styles while most of the Spanish speaking world uses what I explained, without ignoring or fighting the others, as that makes everyone richer.

The only drawback here is that you may have learnt it the ol'e "RAE rules" way which was pretty much "most speakers must **** ***". Foreign non native teachers had been led to believe that using that and other similar ways they were being more educated than the sorry natives. They're now changing ... snail pace.
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