Romanian Certain Conditional Past Tenses I Have Questions!

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Sunday 24th of July 2005 07:38:46 AM
certain conditional past tenses: cineva imi poate spune diferente dintr-o expresiile astea?
can anyone tell me the differences between these expressions?

ar fi trebuit sa fi spus
ar fi trebuit sa spun
mi-ar fi trebuit sa spun

stiu ca sunt timpuri diferite, dar mai sunt neclar de diferente. daca oricine imi poate da o explicatie foarte clar sau o traducere, lasa-ma sa stiu te rog.

I know they are different tenses, but I'm still unclear of the differences. If anyone can give me a real clear explanation or a translation, please let me know :)

Tuesday 02nd of August 2005 01:59:18 AM
Hi Jeremy

It looks that my answer comes a little late, still I hope it proves somewhat useful.

As you very well noticed, two different tenses are used there: in the first phrase "să fi spus" is the past subjunctive of the verb "a spune" - "to say",while in the second "să spun" is the present (simple) subjunctive.
Regarding the differences, it is actually a question of observing (or not) a rule of grammar. This states that the past subjuctive is to be used after a past-conditional construction (like "ar fi trebuit"). However, this rule becomes increasingly obsolete, as the present subjunctive tends to be used instead of the past subjunctive in both spoken and written language, except very formal or literary one. (The same phenomenon happens in French with the imperfect subjunctive).
The point to remember is that both forms express the same thing, namely a wish in the past and they translate like "I should have told".

The third phrase sounds a little awkward to me; could it have been "n-ar fi trebuit" ("nu ar fi trebuit") instead of "mi-ar fi trebuit"?

Also, if I may make a couple of alterations to your post:

Īmi poate spune cineva diferenţele dintre expresiile astea?
Ştiu că sunt timpuri diferite, dar īncă īmi sunt neclare diferenţele. Dacă cineva īmi poate da o explicaţie foarte clară sau o traducere, vă rog să īmi spuneţi.

Hope I made some sense here :)

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