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  5. "A saia da menina está compri…

"A saia da menina está comprida."

Translation:The girl's skirt is long.

February 14, 2013



Since my native language is Spanisch, (which I've been teaching in Germany for over 20 years now) I understand well the differences between SER und ESTAR. Yes, I get the meaning, but I would say it is very unusual to use ESTAR here. It's an unlucky example for people still learning the differences between SER & ESTAR, because, without context, even native speakers will first think someone is describing the skirt (a quality) and that's what SER is for. The idea that in this case, it's about a state (something unusual, just this time) isn't clear at all. Perhaps if you add "Hoje," it would be clearer, and those not having the 2 forms of "to be" in their native languages would be less confused.... just an observation.


Isn't the verb 'ser' more appropriate to use in this sentence?


What is the use of comprida instead of longa? Is it only for clothes?


"Comprido" and 'longo" are synonyms, their usages are based on phonetic preferences. Those kind of things are only learned (usually) by listening to a lot of sentences and getting an intuitive understanding of which adjective to use.


And to piggy-back, what is the difference between longe and longa? are they just both adjectives describing different nouns?


"Longe" is an adverb that means "far", it has nothing to do with "longo/a".


I have noticed in the discussions that many are having trouble determining when to use forms of ser or estar, especially with adjectives, so I thought I would add a couple of comments on the matter. Before I do that, I want to make clear that I am not a native speaker of Portuguese, but I know Spanish well (taught all levels in college many years) and I believe Portuguese uses ser and estar pretty much the same as Spanish does. I think trying to adhere too strictly to the notions of "temporary" and "permanent" condition is causing problems for some. There are two points I would like to make: 1. Estar is used to indicate a state or condition (usually temporary, but not always) of a person or thing that is the result of a change or something that happened. Examples: Ele está cansado. / O homem está morto! He got tired; the man died. Why not É morto for the man since this condition seems quite permanent? Well, if you said that it might make me think that you could just step over him and keep on walking. This leads me to the second point I want to make. 2. You use forms of estar with adjectives to remark on states or conditions that merit a comment, that are unexpected, that cause surprise or that represent a change from the norm. Forms of ser express what we think of as the norm. We don't expect to find a dead person lying across the sidewalk, so we react by saying Está morto! It merits a comment; it is a change from what we consider to be the norm. If you want to compliment your girlfriend/boyfriend and said estás muy bonita/o, does that mean it is a change from the norm and you normally look like hell? NO! It means you look special right now. There could be other times when you could be thinking É muito bonita/o, but why didn't she/he comb her/his hair! There is much more to say about these two verbs, but I will stop here.


Why a saia está comprida and o casaco é comprido. Está or é.


I answered "The girl's skirt is long." Where is the extent of the length implied? está or comprida? Or is it understood somehow?

  • A saia da menina é comprida = The girl's skirt is long.
  • A saia da menina está comprida = The girl's skirt is longer than it should be.

The verb "estar" usually express a "changeable" or a temporary state, instead of a state of being. It doesn't express an inherent trait of something, and that's why you say "eu estou triste" / "I'm sad" (at the moment), and not "eu sou triste" / "I'm sad" (sad is a part of my personality).

  • 1147

Erudis, your explanation makes sense, but should that not be explained in the translation when one hovers over the word?


This is a really concise, well-explained answer. It makes sense! Thank you erudis :)


But does that make it "too" long, just because it is "changeable".


I know that in Spanish in phrases where both "ser" and "estar" can be used, when "ser" is used it conveys that the object is always a certain way, and "estar" conveys that it is not as normal.

Can anyone comment on this interpretation in Portuguese?


You're right, "ser" and "estar" in Portuguese mean the same as in Spanish. I just disagree with a small point: "estar" does not necessarily mean abnormal. It just expresses your current state. You can say "Estou bem" (I'm fine), that's as normal as it can be...


I was confusing the word Comprida, thinking that it meant "bought" or "purchased". Because doesn't the word "comprar" mean "to buy"? Maybe I'm confusing it with the Spanish vocabulary.


The word you're looking for is "comprada". "Comprada" is a conjugation of the verb "comprar", meaning buy/purchase. "Comprida" comes from "comprimento", which means length.


That makes sense. I didn't realize the difference.
Muito obrigada djeidot.


I heard "está completa," a few times I have listened to the mans voice. And, as complete and incomplete can also fit into this category, it should fit.

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