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  5. "Eu sorrio sempre que a vejo."

"Eu sorrio sempre que a vejo."

Translation:I always smile when I see her.

March 8, 2013

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Why is this not: Eu sorrio sempre quando a vejo.


It is also correct, but we normally use "que"


It's a short word and it is clear that it refers to a time relation. I'm native btw


Maybe because "sempre que" is a fixed adverbial expression meaning "whenever": http://www.linguee.pt/portugues-ingles/traducao/sempre+que.html. I'm not a native.



Well found, MelancholicChen! I remember being puzzled by this one (although not enough to do some research!). Also in my dictionary, I now see como sempre → "as usual" and a comida/hora de sempre → "the usual food/time"


I'm not sure where "her" is denoted in this sentence.


"A" in this sentence means ela. So, it is "eu sorrio sempre que vejo ela", but gramatically it's correct to say as duolingo quoted, a vejo.


Could that not also mean "it"? I said "he always smiles when he sees it" and that was marked wrong.


We generally use the object pronouns "o" and "a" for people, but they can refer to objects. We generally prefer using demonstrative to refer to objects like "isso" "aquilo". Also, the verb smile induces you to think about a person. I should also add that we use ele and ela to refer to animals


‘Ela’ becomes ‘a’ when it is the object of a verb.

For more forms of the pronouns, see here: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/408966


That's true, but,"ela" itself can also function as the direct object of a verb, as in Paulenrique's example above: "sempre que vejo ela."

I just wanted to clarify.


Huh? Isn't Paulenrique saying that ‘ela’ is not correct here?


no, but the opposite.



I don't know of any web sources that discuss this, but I've got a couple of text books that do. My understanding is that in writing and formal speech, the oblique form "a" is used as the direct object. In normal spoken language, "ela" is used as the direct object.

From "Modern Portuguese - A Reference Grammar" (Mário A Perini, Yale University Press, 2002), page 392:

29.4 Object Pronouns in the Spoken Language: A Summary

-Third, "ele" (he), "ela" (she), "eles" (they, masc.) and "elas" (they, fem.) are used as objects, so that "o", "a", "os", "as" have entirely dropped from current use, except in a very few fixed expressions. Thus, one says

Encontrei ela no supermercado. I met her at the supermarket.

Acho que vou convidar eles também. I think I am going to invite them too.

The use of object pronouns described above is universal and not, as is sometimes said, restricted to so-called substandard or uncultured language. No Brazilian, of any social class, region, or degree of education, routinely says a sentence like "eu a vi" (I saw her), although they will employ it in writing.

From "Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar" (John Whitlam, Routledge, 2011), page 59:

7.3.3 Using third person pronouns in the spoken language

In the spoken language, the stressed forms of the third person pronouns (ele, ela, eles, elas) are not only used as subject pronouns and after prepositions as in the written language, they are also used as object pronouns, being placed after the verb in the noun-object position (like você(s) see 7.2.1 (ii)):

Eu vejo ela todo dia. I see her every day.


as I mentioned earlier, A means ELA here, but the correct is to use it the way Duo has proposed: a vejo.


Okay, so ‘ela’ is allowed here. When do you use ‘a’ en when do you use ‘ela’? The references that I could find say that you have to use ‘a’ when it is the direct object. Could you point to a reference on the web that says when to use ‘ela’?



I asked my Portuguese friend at the Ravioli shop about this. She says that where she's from, they say "Eu vi a ela."

I'm not sure what's going on there; it looks like the preposition "a" is being used as some kind of direct object marker.

When I asked her about "Eu a vi", she scrunched up her nose, shook her head and said "No!"


ASHER: the 'a' (before the 'ela') you spoke of is reminiscent of the Spanish 'personal a' used before the direct object with some verbs! (Although I couldn't say for sure whether the two were actually connected)


@asherbennaphtali: That's probably because in EP pronouns are supposed to be glued to the end (or even inside) of the inflected verb. Putting it in front would sound just plain wrong.

But note that this doesn't apply to subordinate clauses, so ‘que a vejo’ would be okay.


Asherbennaphtali: That's extremely helpful, thanks. Does the use of ‘ele’ and ‘ela’ as objects also happen in European Portuguese, or is it restricted to Brazilian Portuguese?


Hey G.P.Niers:

I'm not sure about how they say in Portugal. There's a Portuguese woman who works at the Italian ravioli shop down the street - I'll ask her next time I pass by.


this link is down can you re-post


Sure, but not right now, I have stuff to do. I'll see if I can do something about this in the next few days.


DL should at least give "when" as one of the meanings for "que" if it is to be used that way in the sentence.


Yeah, when did "que" become "when"


"Que" can be used in every situation, though "quando" (=when) is used specifically when referring time. It's very common to use "que" instead of "quando" in sentences like this, informally.


But we can say "A primavera é a estação em que as flores desabrocham"


It can also mean "in which" which is another way of saying "when." This is very helpful!


I wrote, "I smile everytime I see you." Why isn't this correct if the person to whom you are speaking is female?


I think you're right about "a" as "you" - at least in the formal register of the language.

Is "everytime" a real word? Maybe Duolingo wants "every time."


Duolingo is accepting but remarking "everytime" as a typo.
It is in the list of "English disputed terms" of Wiktionary and is said to be an alternative spelling.


Can this not be "I smile every time I see it" if the "it" referred to a feminine object?


yes, for instance, if it refers to a female dog.


Thanks! Does it work the same for all objects that take a feminine pronoun though, like "a lâmpada, a calça, a faca," etc?


Well....it works....but I hardly smile when I see a lamp :p


Unless it's the father's lamp from "A Christmas Story". :)


"'FRAH gee leh!' Must be Italian!"


Can this sentence be used when talking to the person and about the person? Or there's a distinction there?


Yes, you can use it meaning "você" to a girl/woman. (Although people would usually say "...que vejo você")


How do you say'when I see it ' ?


Quando o/a vejo; Quando vejo isto/isso.


I got the "her" part, but can't "que" be translated as "that", i.e. "I always smile that (because) I see her"?


In an on-line dictionary it says that "sempre que" is "whenever". Knowing this as a phrase helps me understand the sentence and not to single out the "que" to analyse with the limited exposure to it previously.


My grammar that is for European Portuguise says this is the right way of saying "her".


Can I just say this is the cutest phrase Ive learned how to say on duolingo :)


I'm sure all are glad you said that. Smiling is a powerful action. É maravilhoso pensar de pessoas que motiva-lo a sorrir! :)

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