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  5. "Ele dormia no chão."

"Ele dormia no chão."

Translation:He used to sleep on the floor.

February 18, 2014



why is he slept on the ground not acceptable?


Ele dormiu no chão.


'He slept on the floor' is now accepted as a correct translation to this sentence. (05/10/2016)


Would "Ele dormava no chão" mean the same thing? I was under the impression that "dormia" meant something like "if he did not have a bed, he WOULD SLEEP on the floor." And dormava (if this is even a word) means more of the meaning given above. Ex: "Before we had a bed, he USED TO SLEEP on the floor."


There's no "dormava" - most of the time, for verbs ending in ir (and er) they are conjugated with ia at the end, rather than ava (which is usually for verbs ending in ar). So, for example: dormir = ele dormia, comer = ele comia, andar = ele andava.

He would sleep would be Ele dormiria.

It may be confusing because the ending is "ia" for both. The difference is that for the conditional, the "ia" is appended to the end of the verb (like the "ing" in English), and for the past the ending is changed - the conditional "ia" replaces the verb ending:
Dormir - Dormia - Dormiria

Hope that clarifies things a little! I recommend always using a verb table - not even we know all these forms by heart hahahahah C:


So if it hasnt happened yet, but talking about if it did use "dormia" and talking about something that used to happen use "dormiria"?


It's actually backwards:

  • He used to sleep (slept) until late, but now he can't = Ele dormia até tarde, mas agora não pode.
  • He would sleep more if he could = Ele dormiria (iria dormir) mais se pudesse.



All these translations are viable, depending on context.

Ele dormia no chão:

He "used to sleep" on the floor [but now he sleeps in a bed.]
He "slept" on the floor when he lived with us last summer.
He "would sleep" on the floor when it was hot in the days before air conditioning.
He "was sleeping" on the floor when I arrived home last evening.


Do all the past sentences in Portuguese convey the meaning of "did it, but not anymore" (hence, the use of "used to" in translation)? I think not, but if someone shed some light on the matter, I'd be glad to read him/her.


The "imperfeito" tense is the most used past tense in Portuguese and translates to the "simple past" and the "past continuous" as well as with the modals "would" and "used to". Each translation depends on context.

DL's software overuses the "used to" construction which, as you have written, often implies a past discontinued habit. You'll see the "imperfeito" used as a narrative tense almost all the time in Portuguese whereas English often prefers the simple past.


why is it not correct to translate this into ´she was sleeping on the floor?.

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