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  5. "Seus sapatos são brancos?"

"Seus sapatos são brancos?"

Translation:Are your shoes white?

January 14, 2013



"Your shoes are white?" is wrong.
Could anyone explain why?


It should've been accepted also.


Exactly how I just tried to answer it, and 3 years later, it's still not accepted this way :(


I agree it should be accepted. Perfectly valid in a context like this: Person A: "I'm wearing white shoes" Person B: "Your shoes are white?"


That is called an echo question and is not how English usually asks a cold question.


An echo question is a type of direct question that repeats part or all of something which someone else has just said. It is also called a parrot question or a "repeat, please" question. An echo question is one type of echo utterance. We do this when we do not fully understand or hear what someone has said. Asking an echo question with rising or fall-rising intonation allows us to clarify what we think we heard.

We cannot wait for someone to say something just right so we can finally ask a question in English that fits this form.


The basic rule for asking questions in English is straightforward: Invert the order of the subject and the first auxiliary verb.

Part of the motive in these question lessons here is to show that the Portuguese is different than the English in how the words are arranged.


Thanks for the detailed answer :) I take your point about the motive of the lessons, but I still feel that if there's a context in which the translation would be accurate, then it should really be accepted. Oh well, it's not worth losing sleep over!


I felt the same as you (along with dozens of others who have commented on the discussions) about the word order of questions when I started here, and I have since come to see the DL light on this subject. :)

One of the main reasons is that this tree is not used by only those with native English but also those who have learned English at least minimally and cannot access learning Portuguese from any other language (when I was in Istanbul I took a Turkish class that had people from all over the world and the class was conducted in English... that was repeated in Portugal with a Portuguese class). But, also native Portuguese speakers take this course as a reverse tree to learn English because they already know Portuguese (usually when they have finished the PT to EN course just like a lot of people take the PT to EN when they finish this tree, to learn more). Teaching (and reinforcing) lazy question form does not serve them (or us really).

Good sleep is necessary for good learning. :)


OK, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

This tree isn't designed to teach people English from Portuguese, and there's a separate tree for that purpose. I don't see the need to try and kill two birds with one stone.

And since this isn't an English course, it's not a case of teaching incorrect English. It's simply a case of accepting all valid alternative translations of the Portuguese, which is something DL generally seems to strive for.

Incidentally, I've found echo questions are accepted elsewhere in this course. For example, "You eat what?" is an accepted translation of "Você come o quê?" and "It rained on Monday?" is accepted for "Choveu na segunda-feira?". I'm just asking for consistency.


I agree. Thank you.


couldn't correct answers also include "Are his shoes white?" and "Are their shoes white?"


Also correct: "Are her shoes white?"


You could say that if the context indicated we were talking about a third person (or people). But, as an isolated sentence, the most probable meaning is "Are your shoes white?".


"Are their shoes white" is valid, surely.


you can also say " his shoes are white?"


I was listening to this sentence (the exercise without any written words) and I didn't put the question mark at the end and I got it wrong. Is there something in this sentence that indicates it is a question and not the statement "Their shoes are white." ? Oops, just realized I spelled branco wrong... why I got it wrong... but still wondering about my question.


A question in Portuguese is often constructed from a statement followed by a question mark. To convey that you're asking a question you should use a rising intonation on the final word. Unfortunately, that important feature is often missing from Duolingo's audio.


Hello! Peço ao Duolingo que considere certas as respostas abaixo.

Significações possíveis em português, em função do possessivo "seus":

Você: Seus sapatos são brancos? Are your shoes white?

Vocês: Seus sapatos são brancos? Are your shoes white?

He, She: Seus sapatos são brancos? Are his/her shoes white?

They: Seus sapatos são brancos? Are their shoes white?


I thought Seus means their?

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