Which of these two are the correct translation of the sentence "He could have seen me"?

  1. Er könnte mich gesehen haben.
  2. Er hätte mich gesehen können.

I have seen both forms and am a little confused. If both are correct please tell me where to use which one if there's a preference.

Best, Hooman


1 Answer 1


He could have seen me.

translates to:

Er hätte mich sehen können.

Your use of conditional /"Konjunktiv" in you second suggestion was good, but you need the infinitive here ( no "ge-").

Your first suggestion

Er könnte mich gesehen haben.

Would translate back as

He might have seen me.

  • Hello Stephie, Thanks for correcting me on (2), and for your helpful reply. I got my answer, however it raises more questions for me :D How would then these two sentences be different? 1. Er müsste mich gesehen haben. 2. Er Hätte mich sehen müssen. Best,
    – Hooman
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 5:37
  • Did you check the two related questions @Loong posted below your original question?
    – Stephie
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 7:04
  • Yes Stephie. They both gave the same answer as you did.
    – Hooman
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 19:36
  • Then you were able to answer your second question yourself? If not, please ask questions only in the questions section, unless it's a request for clarification.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 19:38
  • My second question remains unresolved. I will ask it in the questions section.
    – Hooman
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 21:12

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