1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Portuguese
  4. >
  5. "Ela me perguntou como se coz…

"Ela me perguntou como se cozinha peixe."

Translation:She asked me how to cook fish.

February 8, 2014



Can someone please explain to silly me why it is "como se cozinha" and not "como cozinhar"? ._.


Odd as it may seem, the object pronoun "se" can be translated as the impersonal subject "one" here, so I think a more obvious English translation would be "She asked me how one cooks fish".

[Edit: "se" does not mean "one", but translating it as "one" often works in passive constructions like this.]


Now it makes perfect sense to me! Thank you!


"se" does not really mean "one". It is actually a reflexive, meaning "itself". Romance languages (Portuguese, but also French, Spanish) are full of reflexive verb constructions. This one here would translate into something like "how fish cooks itself", which of course is absurd but in this case the reflexive construction is used to make an impersonal sentence, meaning "how one (anyone) cooks fish"


Meus dois centavos para sua discussão:

"She asked me how fish cooks itself" = "Ela me perguntou como peixe se cozinha"

"She asked me how one cooks fish" = "Ela me perguntou como se cozinha peixe"

"She asked me how to cook fish" = "Ela me perguntou como cozinhar peixe"


Cool answer, thanks. Em francés, as duas primeiras frasas serão as mesmas "elle m'a demandé comment le poisson se cuisine".


I agree "se" does not mean "one", but in constructions like this it can often be fairly translated as "one" because, as you point out, the alternatives can sound a bit odd sometimes.


Isn't the "o" necessary between cozinha and peixe?


That would make the translation "... cook the fish".


I thought it was, "She asked me if I like to cook fish".


(Almost) all the right words, just not in the right order. :-) Perhaps that would be: "Ela me perguntou se eu gosto de cozinhar peixe".


Thanks! Perhaps if I read it more carefully I would have caught that. (no pun intended) lol


... como a cozinhar peixe?


You should not add this preposition here, but "como + infinitive"


It is all.... just ... staying to make sense

Learn Portuguese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.