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  5. "Nós erramos a receita."

"Nós erramos a receita."

Translation:We get the recipe wrong.

January 18, 2013

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I thought this was meant to be present tense verbs? "We make a mistake with the recipe" was not accepted, and I feel it should have been.


You are right, the "correct" answer given to us is simple past but the original sentence is present simple. There are several sentences in this unit with errors like this. It is incredibly frustrating.


"erramos" is both present and preterite tense of "errar"


I put "We make a mistake on the recipe." and it was accepted. The alternate translation is now in present tense also. "We mess up the recipe."


I wrote '' We make a mistake on the recipe.' and it WAS NOT accepted.


I reported it again! You should too!


I always do. Funnily they use messed up later on.


Others in this comment section seem to think that the past translation is acceptable. Is this so?


Also, the mouseover text indicates that "Made a mistake" or "have made a mistake" are translations, however the conjugation appears to be in the present tense.



This is a common problem with the "nós" versions of regular verbs: the words for the simple present and the simple past are identical. The European variety of Portuguese has distinct words for regular AR verbs, though, and in Portugal "erramos" is present, and "errámos" is past.


Very useful to know the distinction. Thanks.


I hate that the answer in English is 'mess/messed up', is that not just American slang?


Yes, yes it is. It irritates me too. Or should I say 'bugs'?


Hello there :)

"Mess up" is indeed not a very good way of translating "errar", specially in this sentence, where it's quite hard to find an exact translation.

"Mess up" means mostly "bagunçar" (when you create disorder), or some slang expressions not worthy teaching here :p - There is also the "arruinar" translation when it comes to "ruin" something.

"Errar" is a tricky verb, but in general you can say it means "to make mistakes" or "to make a mistake". (Choose between both according to the context you have). If I could suggest an archaic option: "to err" seems to fit it quite well, but not here of course, because "to err" is intransitive.

Then, we have these main cases for "errar":

  • Intransitive: Errar = to make a mistake / to make mistakes / to err
  • Errar o alvo = To miss the target (But never "to miss" in the sense of longing)
  • Errar a resposta = To miss the answer / To pick/give the wrong answer (but not to purposely misguide someone, it's still "to make a mistake")
  • Errar um procedimento = To make a mistake in/while executing a procedure

So, for "errar a receita", you can either have the "procedure" (you added too much salt, you forgot to add the peppermint leaves, etc.), or the "pick" meaning (you chose the wrong recipe).

The best translation now is "we got the recipe wrong".

Can I use "Mistake/Mistook"??

Not really a good option.

Although the following expressions (with noun and adjective) might suggest that, the verb "to mistake" has another meaning:

  • Estar errado = to be mistaken
  • Cometer um erro = to make a mistake

"To mistake something" means mostly "confundir" or "entender errado". It's used when you think about something wrong, when you get the wrong idea.

  • I mistook her meaning = Eu entendi errado o que ela quis dizer
  • Do not mistake a boat for a toast = Não confunda um barco com uma torrada. (No, it's not an expression.... don't know where it came from o.O)


Firstly, you don't need to put 'mess/messed up' for your answer if you are so adverse to "slang" because you can put 'mistake.....' Secondly, where exactly is the distinction between "slang" and "real" language? In this case and many others, the "slang" will become the normal vernacular according to the current zeitgeist. Oh no! I just used a "German" word!!! Are reno and brown gonna get bugged out?!?!?!??!


'Messed up' and 'made a mistake' have completely different connotations.

'Messed up' emphasises a certain level of incompetence, and "made a mistake' implies simply an honest error.

If 'messed up' takes over both positions in English vocabulary then that is the death of language, and therefore ideas. Keep going like that and eventually we will be back to chopping each others heads off.

Though considering the insta-pitchforking blame culture that we seem to be living in these days, perhaps 'made a mistake' it is indeed heading for redundancy.


I understand your point about the different connotations in English. Here, though, it is the meaning of the Portuguese sentence that is more important and I think the verb "errar" allows both interpretations. Looking at this dictionary: http://www.aulete.com.br/errar, the word can mean both (item 1) to make a mistake and (item 3) to do something badly, which are the two meanings you would prefer to keep distinct in English.

The Macmillan dictionary attributes both those meanings to "mess up":
http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/mess-up (item 1).


Never mind, I think you have missed my point. I'm not debating the Portuguese at all, just merely responding to Gernt's point that there is no harm done by the slang term 'Messed up' taking over from 'made a mistake' in English.

I'm positively delighted with Macmillan's definition, messing up would to me be a sub-genre within the mistake making game.


Oh, sorry, I missed that because your comment is attached to the one from bryandahl77 not the one from gernt.

  • 2386

Messed up and made a mistake may be different to you but not to me. In my office, we often apologize by saying "I messed up". Trust me - we're not admitting to being incompetent. Don't give up hope. We can still use awful, terrible, and horrible in their original meanings, just not very often.


Yeah I realise that in the US 'messed up' is substituted, but to an English person you would never use it to describe walking into the wrong toilet for example, or getting someone's name wrong. 'Messed up' might be used if your mistake had real consequences that made a mess of something. Maybe it's just that British culture is focused around attempted avoidance of inevitable and calamitous mistakes, in the same way they say Eskimos have 30 words for snow... Whereas American culture is based on perfection.


totally agree. Messed up is sloppy english.


ruined is the same as messed up


Yes, and an excellent choice for this sentence, except that I think it means we made a mistake in the recipe and ruined the dish. That's two different things.


To ruin and to mess up are really close in meaning, but see the other answer I gave.

These are not really good translations for "errar", but they're a good match for "nós arruinamos a receita".


Why isn't "we mistook the recipe" correct? I know it sounds kind of weird, but I think it's also correct. Thanks for advance if anyone can explain that to me! and definitely tell me if I'm wrong please =)


Perhaps because "mistook" Would be past tense?


It should be accepted. "Mistook" is past tense, but the past tense of "erramos" is "erramos", it is the same word.


I thought the past was "errámos"


Only in European Portuguese, Brazilians don't add an accent.


Then, Duolingo should accept both past and present, not just past.


A very good translatioin that should be accepted is "We botched the recipe." It's much more natural, I think, to rread this sentence as past. Mess up is not so good because it suggest we get grease or chocolate all over the cookbook. But apart from that "we mess up the recipe" would have to have more context because it's is unnatural without a time reference that qualifies the action as habitual and justifies the definite article: "Whenever we try to cook, we screw up the recipe."


Can someone explain the various translations to "err" and the proper way to use it in a sentence? It's very confusing.

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Apparently not me. I tried to be very literal and put "We err on the recipe". Nope. I erred.


Have a lingot for helpfulness.


Is the Portuguese sentence correct? Seems like there's a with or an in missing.


With Latin words: "Errare humanem est, sed in errare perseverare diabolicum." - To err is human but to persist in error is diabolical. :-)


there must be a dozen ways to say this more elegantly in English, meaning basically 'we err on/with the recipe'... we messed up, we goofed, we got it wrong, we really missed the mark. Eles erram esta tradução. I think the issue here is the lesson is for Portuguese from English, not the other way around, we all know what the meaning is, it's about trying to guess the right trans. that will keep your 3 hearts intact...


Why "we mistake the recipe" cannot be accepted? I thought of it as to "get confused and did another recipe"


If you wanted to use mistake as a verb, you would need to say what was mistook for what.


What was mistaken for what*. Although you are half right, the original poster should have said 'we mistook the recipe'.


That would be "We did the wrong recipe"


It's not natural in English to say "I mistake the recipe", we generally say "I made a mistake."


Just to check: "Nós erramos" can be either present or past tense (preterite) can't it?


How come "We make the wrong recipe." is not a valid/logical translation?


That would be "Nós fazemos a receita errada.". But "We got the recipe wrong" would be acceptable.


I like this translation. It's good English and captures the sense.


I wrote "we make the recipe wrong" but was no accepted. It required "got" instead of "make". It's present section isn't it?


Yes.... "to make the recipe wrong" is a good translation for "errar a receita", although having a closest match in "fazer a receita errado". (Errado not being feminine here because it refers to the verb: fazer errado)

If you use "fazer a receita errada", then it turns into "to make the wrong recipe".


"We ruin the recipe" was not accepted. Ruin is more common to say than "spoil".

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True, but where I live, we'd say "screw up" much more often than either of those.


Correct word "mess up" is not for selection


For this interpretation what is the different of 'we got the recipe wrong' and ' we got the wrong recipe' . Duo rejected the second.


The latter is "Nós fizemos a receita errada".


How do we know whether mistake is a plural or not? Sometimes it is and sometimes not even though there isn't an s on the end, such as with erra.


Erramos is the "we" version of the verb. Almost every Portuguese verb for "we" ends in "os", whereas the he/she/it ones end with "a", and "I" ones end with "o".


Can another translation be "We make a mistake with the recipe"?


I know all the responders say you can't, but it is possible in some context. For example "Every time I try to cook, I make a mistake with the recipe."


No, because as soon as your realise you have made a mistake, you would stop. You wouldn't continue. So, the action is actually past simple or present perfect.


The wuestion was about "with" in the sentence, not about tense. BTW in answers "We mess up the recipe (Present Tense)" is also correct.


I know it's an accepted answer, but it's not actually correct. You need to take these courses with a grain of salt. As an English teacher, I suggest this website to all my students to use to practice but never as a primary source of learning. There are many, many errors here to do with expressions, tenses and phrasal verbs that you wouldn't be able to know without a real teacher. It seems like most of these courses are just using Google Translate then relying on users to provide the corrections.


Really? When I make a mistake on my homework, I keep trying. I don't stop. It is perfectly acceptable to say that you "make a mistake on a recipe." When you create a recipe, it is a process that goes on. If I add too many eggs, I can double the recipe. I agree with you that soon after, the mistake was made, but it can be happening right now. Perhaps you would prefer it if I said as I realize while the egg is still falling out of the shell. "Oh, I am making a mistake on the recipe."


You see the difference there - you said 'I am making a mistake', rather than 'I make a mistake'. The tense is different, perfect tense, I think, because there is no correct present tense translation for this sentence.


i agree with you the translations are very annoying and frustrating


One thing is a recipe and another one is prescription. I think you are wrong.


Is that a reply to Libor's much downvoted comment? Both recipe and prescription are the same word in Portuguese, that is "receita": http://dictionary.reverso.net/portuguese-english/receita


I had no idea what the audio was saying!

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It's confusing to me that rr and leading r's are pronounced like an English h or a Spanish j. But I am slowly adapting.


I put 'we ruined the recipe' and got it wrong :/


i thought it is we get a wrong recipe in present tense

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That one form, first person plural, can be the same in past or present. That's not true of all verbs, and sometimes the past form is written with an accent.


I wrote "we erred the recipe." Is this not correct?

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