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Objective

Clarify how to make the past form of "El hombre se ha come por Godzilla" (The man has been eaten by Godzilla).

Background

As a practice, tried to make the past passive form of "Godzilla ha comido el hombre" (Godzilla has eaten the man/Godzilla ate the man) and made some sentences.

  1. El hombre se hubo absorbido por Godzilla.
  2. El hombre se había comido por Godzilla.
  3. El hombre hubo sido comido por Godzilla.
  4. El hombre había sido comido por Godzilla.
  5. El hombre fue comido por Godzilla.

Google Translate gave translations below, by which it seems to me that the sentences above can be correct.

  1. The man was eaten by Godzilla.
  2. The man was eaten by Godzilla.
  3. The man had been eaten by Godzilla.
  4. The man had been eaten by Godzilla.
  5. The man was eaten by Godzilla.

However a latin friend of mine told me 1 and 3 are definitely wrong and it should be 5, but not sure of why.

Question

Which one(s) of the Spanish sentences above are actually correct and why 1 and 3 are wrong? Is there any other way to describe it?

Research done

http://forums.tomisimo.org/showthread.php?t=15504 says 'hubo' means 'there was' and I doubt 'hubo' is only for 'there was' and cannot be past tense of he/ha/han, but not sure.

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The sentences are: "El hombre ha sido comido por..`" and "Godzilla se ha comido al hombre" –  SysDragon Feb 3 at 12:47
    
Be aware that the passive form is much less usual in Spanish than in English. Option 5 sound less unnatural than the rest, but it still sounds unnatural (though correct). –  Gorpik Feb 4 at 9:32
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

"The man has been eaten by Godzilla" = "El hombre ha sido comido por Godzilla"

1.El hombre se hubo absorbido por Godzilla.(incorrect) (the fixed sentence would be #3, "absorbido" is not a synonym of "comido")

2.El hombre se había comido por Godzilla.(incorrect)(the fixed sentence is actually #4)

3.El hombre hubo sido comido por Godzilla.(correct)

4.El hombre había sido comido por Godzilla.(correct)

5.El hombre fue comido por Godzilla.(correct)

Even thou #3 is correct, it just sounds strange and native Spanish speakers rarely use that type of conjugation. The reason why your friend suggested you to use #5 because from those choices is the one that sounds "more natural", however, to me seems more natural to just use "Godzilla se comió al hombre" or "Godzilla se ha comido al hombre".

Here you have a little guide about this issue:

Pretérito perfecto compuesto

(yo) he sido
(tú) has sido
(él) ha sido
(él) hay sido
(nosotros) hemos sido
(vosotros) habéis sido
(ellos) han sido

Pretérito pluscuamperfecto

(yo) había sido
(tú) habías sido
(él) había sido
(nosotros) habíamos sido
(vosotros) habíais sido
(ellos) habían sido

Pretérito anterior

(yo) hube sido
(tú) hubiste sido
(él) hubo sido
(nosotros) hubimos sido
(vosotros) hubisteis sido
(ellos) hubieron sido

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I agree #3 is gramatically correct, though is not very often to hear that tense on a conversation. It actually sounds a bit too proper for me, something you may found only in literature. –  alonso.torres Feb 5 at 23:40
    
Thank you for the answers. I understand that the Spanish form is active expecting to be specific with who/what has caused the actions/consequences, in this case 'Godzilla'. So in Spanish the structure should be "Godzilla did something against the target/object". It looks now that 'se + verb (3rd person)' can be used when the 'who/what' that caused a consequence is not specific/distinctive such as by weather, general idea. El avión se tardó por la mal tiempo. El máquina se rompió después 10 años. –  user2354 Feb 9 at 0:31
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The literally translation for "The man has been eaten by Godzilla" is "El hombre ha sido comido por Godzilla".

I really don't know why the conjugation is how it is, I mean, I can't explain it, but I can tell you that the translation of "Has been" is "Ha sido"

Also:

  • "I've been" > "He sido"
  • "You've been" > "Has sido"
  • "He/she/it has been" > "Ha sido"
  • "We've been" > "Hemos sido"
  • "They've been" > "Han sido"
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