Couldn't it also be "he has leg pains"? Because if the pain is in both of his legs, isn't it technically more than one pain?
You'd never say this in english. I put "he has a pain in his legs" and it was marked wrong.
Of course you would. Nobody has "a pain" in their legs, they may have an ache, a sore, a wound, a sprain or just general malaise. And what they would say to the doctor would be "My leg hurts", or "I have pain in my legs". a pain implies one specific pain, and there are an extremely large number of conditions that can give you general pain in your legs. There is nothing wrong with the sentence, you were marked wrong because you added a word that was not in the original, thus changing the meaning.
And if you genuinely believe that no English speaker in the world would ever say that, then feel free to report it.
Thanks mesmorino. I suspect that you are not a native english speaker based on your reply, but perhaps it is just regional differences.
Yes, people can have "a pain" in their leg, that is a very common way to express it. You are right that there are situations where you would also say "I have pain in my legs", but this is more as an answer to a question like "Where is the pain?" - eg "I have pain in my legs and my feet".
As to your nitpicking about adding an article, the treatment of articles in Portuguese and English differs significantly, and there are many situations where the closest or most natural translation involves adding or removing an article in one of the languages, and where doing so is in fact required so as not to change the meaning. So your point is not particularly apt.
I am a native English speaker. You also misunderstand about adding/removing articles. I am not nitpicking, rather it is why it was marked wrong. The preceding part of the comment is my attempt to explain why Duo would consider it wrong.
In any case, where adding (or omitting, or removing or even replacing) an article would change the meaning of the sentence, Duo will mark it wrong. Where it is required to preserve the meaning or is a natural translation, Duo will mark it correct. It does this for a lot more than just articles as well, and this sentence itself is an example of that -"nas pernas" is "in the legs", but of course, "his legs" is more natural.
The point is apt. Whether you are right or wrong is a separate issue to whether Duo thinks you are right or wrong and if you think Duo is wrong, report it. (That's how it'll get better after all)
I happen to agree with Duo ("I have a pain in my legs" is a lot more specific than "I have pain in my legs") but hey- I'm not the language police or anything.
So eu tenho uma dor na perna is also a construction you'd hear in portuguese, so there are equivalent phrases in each language?
Eu tenho dor na perna - I have pain in my leg (To me this sounds weird, which is why I altered to the more natural-sounding english translation)
Eu tenho uma dor na perna - I have a pain in my leg (I can imagin saying this)
A perna doí - My leg hurts
In Portuguese, the article would make a difference. It would point to a specific pain and, depending on intonation, could also work as an intensifier.
I didn't want to make it more confusing, but there is a difference between "tem" and "está com" too. "Tem" is used best when it's a permanent pain, his legs surely have a long term problem. "Está com" is the current state.
- Ele está com dor nas pernas (his entire legs hurt at this moment, or his legs hurt without being specific)
- Ele está com uma dor nas pernas (it's a specific pain, perhaps something new he never experienced before. Or "he has quite/such a pain in his legs") --- Sorry for not knowing a precise translation for the "intensifying" version....perhaps "quite" is too little while "such" is too much....but I really can't rely entirely on what I understand about "quite" and "such" here...maybe "annoying" would be better.
Dan, thanks that answers my question about both expressions existing. My answer was wrong, as such.
Thanks for the additional info, it really clears this up.
See, in English I would say "I have a pain in my leg" and "I have pain in my leg" in different situations, because the former conveys or implies specificity. I can see why Duo would think it's wrong.
In Portuguese though, well I'm learning too and if Duo thinks "eu tenho uma dor na perna" is wrong I won't argue with it. I'm not a native Portuguese speaker, so I can't accurately assess whether Duo is right or wrong, but I understand how it thinks, and most days I can give it the answer it wants (which is not always the right answer).
I would just bypass the issue with "A perna doi"
'His legs sore' (DUO's translation) is completely wrong. Nobody would ever say that.
I'd simply say "His legs are aching". But it is marked wrong. Should be accepted, don't you think?
All aches are pains, but not all pains are aches. Running may give you aches in your legs, but being stabbed in the leg will not give you an ache. They describe different kinds of hurts (which may also have different causes)
Of course, Mesmorino is right. The thing is "nas pernas" is literally "in the legs" but that's better translated as "in his legs" here. It's common for English speakers to want the possessive word ("his" or "her") to agree with the sex of the possessor rather than the gender of the thing possessed which may have thrown you off momentarily.
Nas pernas is plural so why am I requested to use singular in the translation?
If this was referring to a woman, would I still say it the same way? "Ela tem dor nas pernas."?
Yes. The literal translation is "has pain in the legs" but it makes sense to assume the legs belong to the subject whether that is "Ela/Ele" or even "Você" (with "tem" translated as have instead of has, of course).