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Consider the following three versions of (part of) Matthew 1:18:

Que siendo Maria su madre desposada con Ioseph, antes que se juntassen, fue hallada estar preñada del Espiritu Sancto. (Reina-Valera 1602)

Que siendo María su madre desposada con José, antes que se juntasen, se halló haber concebido del Espíritu Santo. (Reina-Valera 1909)

Estando desposada María su madre con José, antes que se juntasen, se halló que había concebido del Espíritu Santo. (Reina-Valera 1960)

  1. In R-V 1960, is María the subject of se halló, and se halló active, so that we have something like "Maria discovered that she had conceived from the Holy Spirit"? Or is se halló impersonal, and its subject the phrase que ... Santo, so that we have something like "that she had conceived from the Holy Spirit was discovered".

  2. Could se halló in R-V 1909 be passive, as in "Maria was found to have conceived from the H. S."? Or is is active, as in "Maria found that she had conceived ..."? Is there any difference in meaning between se halló + infinitive as opposed to se halló + que + finite verb?

  3. Is it usual for the subject of a gerund in a subordinate clause (here, Maria as the subject of siendo/estando) to serve as the subject of the verb in the main clause? And does changing the gerund from siendo to estando change the meaning?

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  1. Que siendo Maria su madre desposada con Ioseph, antes que se juntassen, fue hallada estar preñada del Espiritu Sancto. (Reina-Valera 1602)

  2. Que siendo María su madre desposada con José, antes que se juntasen, se halló haber concebido del Espíritu Santo. (Reina-Valera 1909)

  3. Estando desposada María su madre con José, antes que se juntasen, se halló que había concebido del Espíritu Santo. (Reina-Valera 1960)

The form "fue hallada" is passive in (1), while the form "se halló" can be passive or semicopulative/reflexive in (2) and is impersonal in (3). The only one that sounds natural in modern Spanish is (3). Sentence (2) sounds wrong and sentence (1) is more acceptable, but terribly weird.

The form "se halló" is semicopulative when it means "se encontró" to refer to something or somebody that was found to be in a certain way, or in a certain place. It can also be interpreted as reflexive, meaning that something or somebody found itself/themself to be in a certain circumstance. In modern English, this form is incompatible with any infinitive (simple or perfect) and can only work with gerunds or participles (or other non-verbal parts of speech). The form "se encontró" will sound much better:

  1. María se halló / se encontró preñada.

  2. María se halló / se encontró siendo fecundada por el Espíritu Santo.

When impersonal, "se halló" means "it was discovered" and takes a "que"-clause:

  1. Se halló que María estaba preñada.

In (1) and (2) the subject is "María", while (3), being impersonal, is subjectless.

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