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"A mulher quer os móveis limpos."

Translation:The woman wants the furniture clean.

January 4, 2013

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My thought was this meant "The woman wants the clean furniture," which is a little different than "the woman wants the furniture (to be) clean." How would you make that distinction in Portuguese?


Limpos in this case refer to the past participle form of the verb limpar (to clean), so it means "to be cleaned". Limpos is not the correct conjugation, it should be limpados, but nobody ever uses that form for this verb.

It can be confusing, because it could be interpreted both ways, but it's more commonly understood as a verb than an adjective in this case.


Similar to English "clean" rather than "cleaned" in this construction, then.


would it not be "a mulher quer que os moveis sejan limpos"? (she wants that the furniture be clean)


That's the meaning, but in a shorter sentence.

The Portuguese sentence can really have both meanings:

  • Wants the furniture clean (sounds more likely)
  • Wants the clean furniture


Agreed and good question


why 'os móveis' is furniture, singular?


That's just how it is. It's an uncountable noun, so it's used with a plural meaning, and if you want to say "um móvel" (singular) you have to say "a piece of furniture".


Just a note - uncountable nouns in English are treated as singular nouns (not with plural meaning), even if we may think of some them as being made up of multiple parts. (Not all of them necessarily convey a plural meaning - take "liquid" for example.) As such, they take singular verbs. So you'd have "the furniture is clean" but "the pieces of furniture are clean."


muito obrigado, meu amigo, boa noite


Agree. How "os" is refering to single ?


It is not. It is plural. The single is móvel, plural is móveis. The strange thing here is that in English it is singular.


It's countable in Portuguese, but uncountable in English. That happens sometimes.

It's way more natural to just say "furniture" (an uncountable noun) than to say "pieces of furniture" only to make it a countable translation.


"Furnishings" takes the plural construction.


I think the OP's question was referring to "furniture" being uncountable in English, not in Portuguese.


Why doesnt "The woman wants the furniture cleaned" work? granted its a slightly different sentence but thatd be an accurate translation.


Because cleaned is past, in this case limpos is adjective


It should be "cleaned", she wants them to be cleaned



A lingot for you. "The woman wants the furniture [to be] cleaned." "To be" is implied. Erudis (above) explained that "limpados" is correct (= past participle).


Agree with poster at the bottom. The woman wants the furniture cleaned. That is not past tense...she wants it done NOW.


To understand "móveis" and the countability concepts explained here, I found it also helped me to recall that the concept of "movables" (furniture or, more broadly, personal property) applies in other Romance languages, and in contradistinction to "immovables" (land, real property). Collins Spanish Dictionary tells me to say "los muebles del comedor son muy antiguos" for "the dining room furniture is very old" but "este es un mueble muy valioso" for "this is a very valuable piece of furniture."


To leave the confusing furniture out of it, how would you make the distinction between 1. I want the clean dog, and 2. I want the dog clean?


you enter the store and there are two dogs, a clean one and a dirty one. You say: I want the clean dog. Or: you enter the store with a dirty dog. You say: I want the dog cleaned. Thank you.


Yeah, so how do you distinguish those two meanings in Portuguese? Eu quero o cachorro limpo? Does that sentence have both meanings?


• I want the dog to be cleaned by 2 o'clock.
• I want the dog clean by 2 o'clock.

The first sentence refers to the action, the second to the result.


Your example explains it best, the context is important


Woman wants the furniture clean is a condition of furniture. Woman wants furniture clean is a characteristic of furniture


Mistake: Woman wants clean furniture is a characteristic of furniture. Thanks!


Erudis (acima) explica corretamente o sentido da frase. Pode-se usar "cleaned" como o particípio passado, descrevendo uma ação.


Isn't it ok with other adjectives as well?

  • I want it ready for tomorrow


What is missing in DL's sentence:

"The woman wants the furniture (to be) cleaned.

You could also use "clean", and not define the process of cleaning, just emphasizing the end result.

Your example is different because, while we can restate the sentence like this: "I want it (to be) ready", we wouldn't use "readied".


So "to be clean" is also ok, not as in a passive voice, but as in a state.


As you know, ready is a verb meaning to make ready and its past participle is readied.

I just wanted to point out to Daniel that it's not wrong to say "I want it readied for tomorrow", it just sounds very stiff and formal.


Replying to your most recent post, yes. "To be clean" is how she wants the furniture to be - not using the passive action.


Would "the woman wants clean furniture" work?


Here, the sentence is about specific furniture.


Why is "The woman wants the clean furniture" unacceptable?


It should also be accepted...


Well it wasn't....


A frase certa:

The woman wanted the furniture (to be) cleaned.
Erudis (acima) explicou.


But, as we have no context, "The woman wants the clean furniture" is also right =)


Hi Paulo:

As an uncountable noun, "furniture" takes a definite article only when you want to differentiate it from other items.

The woman wants "the" clean furniture [that was delivered yesterday.]

The woman wants clean furniture. (Correct)

The woman wants the clean furniture...as opposed to what other furniture? (It's an incomplete sentence.)


Yes, reading the Portuguese sentence, I would obviously think of "The woman wants the furniture clean", but as here we never have context and we should always think about all possible translations, I thought "The woman wants the clean furniture" should also be accepted (referring to specific furniture in a context)


'The wife wants the furniture clean' was not accepted. It should be, because it is a sentence that a person could say.


"The woman wants clean furnishings" must also be correct.

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