1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Portuguese
  4. >
  5. "Começou a seis horas atrás."

"Começou a seis horas atrás."

Translation:It began six hours ago.

February 12, 2013



What does the "a" mean here?


I don't understand why the article "a" is not plural, so why doesn't "começou as seis horas atrás" work?


I think Duo's sentence is just wrong. There should not be neither "a" nor "as". See valdemarvascaino's post above.
Começou seis horas atrás/Começou há seis horas = it started six hours ago.
Começou às seis horas = it started at six


This sentence still hasn't been corrected to one of the correct responses. There are two of them as per mgaristova's post. Should we memorise a nonsensical answer just to get around this question???


My first thought in response to SaamShams is (Paulenrique, Vivsaurus, DanMoller, please correct me!) when you say "as ### horas" you are refering to a specific time, as in, "six o'clock". As to having the article at all, I am a little confused, since in another lesson I think this same sentence was written as "Começou há seis horas", translated exactly the same way - "It started six hours ago." That makes me question mgaristova's comment below about "começar" requiring the "a" afterwards.


This sentence cannot mean it started six hours late then?


Hey bohle! No... it literally means "it started/began six hours behind", meaning "in the past"/"behind (us) now". Sounds weird in English, so please note that this literal example is only being used to illustrate a point, and I am not endorsing its use in everyday speech.

Also, "it started six hours late" would be "começou seis horas atrasado" (or atrasada). I hope it helps! =)


If I'm not mistaken, doesn't "faz seis horas" also mean six hours ago? If it does, does it still make sense in this context?



You are right, colombiano972!

Ou "Começou seis horas atrás."

Ou "Começou há seis horas."

Na sentença do Duolingo, em bom Português, está sobrando um "a".


That is right. To be grammatically correct, you pick or you use atrás.


So what's the best way to say "It began six hours ago"?


I agree partly. Definitely should be 'há' not 'a'. 'há seis horas atrás' might sound a bit redundant but it is still correct, since it spots a point in time.


I wrote "há seis horas atrás" and got it wrong. I couldn't imagine there having to be an "a" (article) there!


How do I know it has to be "it started six hours ago"? I wrote he started ... and got it wrong.


Hi StR.! We'd say "ele começou" in that case. We'd only say começou on its own (which is the conjugation for it/he/she) if we were talking about a show or something else that could be replaced by "it".


Can that also mean "he started six hours ago"?


Yeah, but when translating like this, without context, it's safer to go with "it."


Before this lesson, we learn "atrás" means "after". But here "atrás" means "ago." They are somewhat similar, but different enough to completely change the meaning. So, I ask, can this sentence mean "It began six hours after"?


why not "it started 6 hours earlier"?


If you put the "a" it has to be with an "H". Começou HÁ seis horas atrás. Without the h it is a massive mistake!!

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