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As I was reading an article in French I came upon this:

Il vient du royaume désormais disparu de Danafal, un royaume voisin de Liones, et qu'il aurait détruit dans un excès de colère, ce qui serait son « pêché ».¸

I first thought it meant:

He comes from the now disappeared kingdom of Danafal, a neighboring kingdom of Liones,

But when I came across

qu'il aurait détruit dans un excès de colère

I was confused, the "que" doesn't seem to be linked to anything. What does this "que" mean? Here's what I thought:

I thought it meant

That he would have destroyed in a fit of anger, which would be his "sin"

but going back this:

He comes from the now disappeared kingdom of Danafal, a neighboring kingdom of Liones, that he would have destroyed in a fit of anger, which would be his "sin".

doesn't make much sense.

So what does it mean?

  • That use of conditional in French means apparently or allegedly. It is an idiomatic use found in formal writing. – Lambie Jun 26 '16 at 17:16
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Que refers to the kingdom of Danafal.

He comes from the no longer existing kingdom of Danafal, former neighbor of Liones kigdom, that he allegedly destroyed in a fit of anger, which would be his sin.

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    Why would "aurait" translate into allegedly? – Marco Ruben Abuyuan Llanes Jun 26 '16 at 15:49
  • I think your translation was rigth except for "that" which should refer to the kingdom. "a neighboring kingdom of Liones, which he would have destroyed in a fit of anger," – Jylo Jun 26 '16 at 16:08
  • Hmm, I feel (I don't know) that it'd be better if it was "Ce qu'il aurait détruit" – Marco Ruben Abuyuan Llanes Jun 26 '16 at 16:14
  • @MarcoRubenAbuyuanLlanes "Ce que" is used whithout an antecedent in the same sentence, and translates to what in English, not that or which. Here the antecedent of que is le royaume de Danafal. – Eau qui dort Jun 26 '16 at 16:37
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    As for the conditional, it's used when stating an information the speaker knows from a rumour, or from deductive reasoning. The indicative is used for verified facts, or something the speaker has witnessed themselves. Hence the translation into allegedly which similarly marks the information's provenance as hearsay. – Eau qui dort Jun 26 '16 at 16:40

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