"Nós aprendemos quantos centímetros tem um metro."

Translation:We learn how many centimeters are in one meter.

January 5, 2013

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Kaleiope

It seems that since we have yet to complete lessons on past tense verbs, 'aprendemos' should still translate to "We learn".

February 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/andreaparker

'how many centimetres make a metre' is also acceptable in English

January 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller
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Quantos centímetros fazem um metro.

September 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencesca

I think so too, there are a number of correct answers

February 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/EricMLAnderson

Unfortunately, there's a variety of acceptable English phrasings for this translation. Duolingo should probably just be more flexible in situations like this, as much as possible.

February 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Frencesca

I agree

February 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Oinophilos
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But should not suggest questionable ones, as they do here: "How many centimeters is a meter?"

January 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/emeyr
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Most native English speakers (at least Americans) would say: "How many centimeters are in a meter" just as we say: "It costs a dollar", not one dollar.

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/akki3011

Doulingo, please consider non-native English speakers. It would be great if there is no error when mixing up "much" and "many"....For us Germans this kind of distinctions are hard enough to manage!

June 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Oinophilos
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Hear hear! That goes for all the questionable translations. That's why native speakers weigh in, to keep you from learning bad English.

January 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sfb
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how many centimeters in a meter is also perfectly acceptable English and an accurate translation

February 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kcmurphy
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You´re missing a verb, so I´d have to disagree.

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sfb
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we learned how many centimeters in a meter is acceptable because every native English speaker knows what is meant,i.e. how many centimeter are in a meter. Also the present tense translation of this sentence is awkward at best: we are learning or we learned are both much more common to say rather than we learn how many.......

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kcmurphy
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I'd agree that "how many centimeters in a meter?" is an acceptable question, but "we learn/learned how many centimeters in a meter" does not sound remotely correct.

I also agree that "we learn" is awkward.

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Pips75
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I'm a native English speaker and I would definitely say "how many centimetres in a metre." It's a completely natural utterance. I want my heart back!

July 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/drewarnold72

I can just speak for US English, and in the US, kcmurphy is absolutely correct. "How many centimeters in a meter" only makes sense if it is followed by a question mark, and even then, while it is correct from an every day English perspective, I'm not sure it is grammatically correct either. I'm not sure there is ever a time you can technically drop a verb and the sentence remain gramamaticaly correct. There are many occasions DL shouldn't take a heart, but this isn't one of them.

Kcmurphy is also correct that "we learn" in this context is also awkward. It should be in past or present tense at a minimum.

July 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/emeyr
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Eliding the verb is conversational and informal, but it's unlikely that you'd write it as a sentence. It's like "Want to go?" Everyone would understand, but it isn't a complete sentence.

May 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/benkloester

I disagree. You can say "we learnt how many centimeters in a meter". It sounds a little stilted without the verb but I can definitely imagine saying it, and have heard it before.

If you consider "how many centimeters in a meter" as a noun phrase (with interrogative head) it is also grammatically correct.

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/margaritaguese
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Ok Benko, but do we really wanna teach new learners stilted English, as you refer to it?

As an ESL teacher, it´s hard sometimes to know where to accept answers and where to draw the line. There are sometimes decisions we have to make in order to help our students. I think as a language instruction site, Duolingo would be hindering rather than helping the learners to teach them it´s ok to form a sentence without a verb, even if people may say it in that grammatically incorrect way.

Does that make sense? That´s probably why they made that choice. :)

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/benkloester

Good point margarita, I hadn't thought about it from the point of ESL students. I've more been thinking in terms of anything that is a plausible construction in english should be accepted as a translation. But given the potential to mislead, as you've pointed out, perhaps 'stilted' constructions should be avoided.

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lugosky
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Those are colloquialisms.

February 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AlfSagen
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It is not gramatically acceptable to build a sentence without a verb, even we all do so in colloquial speech. Obviously we have all heard simple street conversations like "Excuse me, sir, where's the bank?" followd by "On the other side of the street." Whereas the last is useful information and perfectly well accepted in the street, it's clearly not a legal sentence (it's missing both the verb and the subjective, which both need to be there). By adding "It is" at the start, it would form a sentence.

March 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/benkloester

Learn is a verb. There is nothing grammatically incorrect here.

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Oinophilos
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Learn is the verb in the main clause. It's the subordinate nominal clause that is missing the verb in the example everyone is citing. Emeyr sums it up, I think We may say it, but we wouldn't write it. I don't think I would even say it without a verb in this sentence. I'd probably opt for "We learned how many centimeters there are in a meter."

November 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/millerandy

But is there no distinction between past and present tense?

March 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaleiope

The 'nós' forms generally don't change between past and present tense, for regular verbs anyway. The best way to know which is through the context. (Which in these sentences, is pretty limited...)

March 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/leoroschi
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I've read all the discussion and this is for lazy ppl like me Here's the list with all the possible translations so far...

1 How many centimeters in a meter (colloquial - USA) 2 We learned how many centimeters are in one meter 3 We learned how many centimeters a meter has 4 How many centimeters make a meter 5 We learned how many centimeters there are in a meter

I omitted all the "we learn" present tenses, before reading that sound akward (but still correct). So I will split 5 comments so thumb ups here and thumb ups the sentence you like the most.

July 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/leoroschi
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1 How many centimeters in a meter (colloquial - USA)

July 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/leoroschi
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2 We learned how many centimeters are in one meter

July 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/leoroschi
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3 We learned how many centimeters a meter has

July 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/leoroschi
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4 How many centimeters make a meter

July 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/leoroschi
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5 We learned how many centimeters there are in a meter

July 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/margaritaguese
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The spanglish is ruining my mind! I just put all the correct answer, and at the end METRO. haha

November 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Euterpa
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How do I know when to pronounce 'd' like here in "aprendemos" and when to pronounce it like "dj" as in "cidade"? I thought the rule is that "d" sounds like "dj" when it stands before "e" or "i" but I see there are exceptions.

December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Euterpa
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Ah, I see haha. :D Ok, I found this about pronunciation of d: sounds like [ʤ] before "i" or a final unstressed "e", [d] elsewhere. However, in parts of Santa Catarina and Paraná and the north and north east of Brazil, "d" in the final "-de" is pronounced [d]. In those same regions (except Paraná), "di" is pronounced [di] or [dji]. About what you said for "cidade"...I haven't even noticed that it sounds more like "cidadi". But now when you said it, I hear it... Thank you, again! You helped a lot!

November 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/spektrix
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Euterpa, notice that in "cidade", the "dj" sound you mentioned is in a syllable that is not stressed. Whereas in the word "aprendemos", "de" is the stressed syllable, so we maintain the "d" sound (and not "dj") in "de", closer to what it is in "da".

November 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Euterpa
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That's very helpful, thank you very much! :)

November 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/spektrix
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You're welcome! Despite my lower number here in Duolingo for Brazilian Portuguese, I am a native speaker :D

I was trying to think of random counter examples to see if what I said is a general rule or not, so I thought of the word "democracia" (meaning: "democracy"), where the stress is in "ci" and we still pronounce the first syllable with the "de" sound (not "dj").

I know the phonology here might be a bit tricky, so if I can give you any tip, here it is: try not to worry too much with this kind of pronunciation. If you say "cidade" with the "de" sound, everyone will understand you and it's just a different way of saying it; it's not wrong (some natives might say "cidade", "cidadji" or even "cidadi"... it's all the same word!).

Hope I helped!

November 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Euterpa
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Haha yeah, I realized you're a native speaker because you said "we maintain...". :) Generally, I try not to think to much about "why" when learning languages as I'm aware sometimes it is like it is - without a big reason, and that I just have to remember it. But still, I was wondering if there is any rule behind these pronunciations. I get that the pronunciation varies from region to region in Brazil, but I assumed there is some standard that puts one pronunciation above others. :D But you're right, the most important thing is that people will understand me...no matter which way I choose. :) You did help, obrigada! :)

November 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/spektrix
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I was just including you (with my use of "we [maintain]" ;) hahaha but I guess you're right!)

Well, from what I know, there are many phonological rules behind those phonetic changes, so I guess I could try to explain what I remember might me happening here:

Basically, in cases like this one, for Brazilian Portuguese, I believe we can say that there is a raising of the vowel in a word-final context. So instead of saying something like "cidade", the last vowel, which is not stressed, would sound more like a light "i" in Portuguese (as in ""cidadi""). So, because of that, we have the tendency to change the sound of its previous consonant, making the "d" sound more like the "dj" sound you mentioned. The reason for that is related to articulation in Phonetics and it's something that happens naturally in languages.

However, I wouldn't say there is an etimological rule/ reason for that type of phonetic change in Portuguese. At least, not that I can recall right now...

Hope I answered some of your questions. :)

November 21, 2016
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