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  5. "Quantos metros você quer?"

"Quantos metros você quer?"

Translation:How many meters do you want?

December 4, 2013



I got this wrong. I wrote, How many meters would you like? That's how we would say it here. "How many meters do you want?" sounds rude if you are in business in selling something to a customer. So the polite thing to say would be, "How many meters would you like?"


Correct me if I'm wrong, but to use the word "would" implies a conditional statement, which uses a different conjugation, as in "Quantos metros você quereria [I think]?"

Either way, while it's the more polite thing to say, it's not the correct literal translation here.


True.... The matter is one of usage/context vs. literalness.


I was told many times though that quereria is not often used. It is a mouthful. Instead use gostaria, quer, or in some specific cases the past queria.


The polite Portuguese sentence would be:
De quantos metros você (o senhor / a senhora) gostaria? / Você (o senhor / a senhora) gostaria de quantos metros?


I think this goes a little too polite. In English, the polite form is used much more commonly than in Portuguese from what I have seen and is now nearly just another form of common speech in questions.


just report it. Problem of literal translations.


I don't think so. I think that when translating, it is important to match the sentiment. "Would you like" is more polite than the original phrase.

Just as it would be improper to translate a polite portuguese sentence into a casual sentence in english.


But it can also be a polite interrogative sentence depending on the intonation...


I got it right, even though i had to think over it for some time


Other threads have discussed the use of tu vs. você in European Portuguese and in some regions of Brazil, and my understanding is that in EP, people will often use o senhor/a senhora or drop the subject altogether, rather than use você. Following that custom, how would someone ask this question using o senhor or no subject? For example, if I were at a store trying to buy several meters of fabric or kilos of meat, how would the salesperson ask me how much I want?


In Portugal, you can put «o senhor» virtually anywhere. «Quantos metros quer o senhor?» (perhaps the most common way of saying this), «Quantos metros o senhor quer?» (a bit awkward, but still doable), «O senhor quer quantos metros?» (the implication changes with intonation with this one: if you say this with the intonation going down on «quantos» and up on «metros» it is the normal "How many do you want?"; if you say it with the intonation going up steadily through «quantos metros», it comes off as the man asked for a ridiculous amount and you are not sure you heard him correctly.

Then again, there is nothing wrong with using «você» in Portugal either, although you are right that «o senhor/a senhora» or simply «Quantos metros quer?» would probably used more often.


In practice, what I have noticed most in Portugal is simply, "Quantos?"


In Brazil, any time where "o senhor" would be used (not often at all!), it is formal enough to use the whole pronoun from what I've seen. As for storekeepers, etc, just glide through você, like "vcê". Only in really unambiguous and informal situations have i heard it dropped altogether. "Oi, amigo. Quer café?"

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