Translation:I used to go to the theater on Saturdays when I had money.
There's a subtle difference between these two sentences. 'When I had the money' indicates that s/he experienced alternating times of having money, then not. When I had the money, we would [go out for dinner, on a vacation, etc.], but now..." (It could be good, or not).
It could also refer to a specific time...: "When I had the money [in my hands/bank account], I used it for investing [in real estate/my 401K, etc.]. Both examples can have more options.
Whereas, 'When I had money' gives the feeling that the person HAD money, but that that time has passed. When I had money, I was able to do as I pleased (and now I can't).
Both are grammatically correct but they differ in their 'direction'.
Hope that helps to clarify. I cannot see any dates in DL, as I use from my phone (so probably more limited) so I never know if a post is from years ago, or if it's current.
the problem is the disconnect between "was going" (a continuous activity) and the discrete nature of "the saturdays when I had money."
This isn't quite right (though also not very wrong). Better would be, I used to go to the theater on the saturdays when I had money." That sets up the action as repeated but distinct / separable actions.
First, the comments page is not the place to make this kind of suggestion. You should do that through the "Report a problem" button. I imagine you have already tried that and wanted to reiterate/reinforce your suggestion here. That is understandable. I can only counsel patience and hope.
Second, I disagree with you about this translation. As you can doubtless tell, I am also a native speaker of American English. To my ear, "on Saturdays" is more natural in this type of sentence. I understand your point that "on" can be omitted, but I think it sounds less natural that way. I would say that omitting "on" is more common when the adverbial phrase comes at the beginning of the sentence:
- (On) Saturdays, I would take my dog to the beach.
Even then, I would guess that modern speakers tend to include the word "on," especially in conjunction with "used to" in place of "would."
I think that would be for, "I would have gone, if I had had money." When you can replace "had" with "possessed," it's not subjunctive, it's just ownership (in the past.)
that is, you can say, "I would have gone, if I had possessed money." You can't substitute possess for had in both positions: "I would have gone, if I possessed possessed money" is nonsense.
Just a few questions about the 'tips' section:
A. "Ele escrevia livros antes de se mudar".
Is this literally saying "he was writing books before he moved", not "used to"? It takes the same form as the 'was doing' things that came before.
B. "As montanhas estavam brancas, cobertas de neve, e as arvores eram todas verdes, os pássaros cantavam alegremente = The mountains were white, covered in snow, and the trees were all green, the birds sang (were singing) happily".
Why is it "estevam" for the first instance of 'were', but not for the second instance, instead it being "eram"?
C. "Eu andei de bicicleta" is used to mean both:
"I rode a bike" AND "I have ridden a bike"?
"Eu andava de bicicleta" is the one sentence to mean all of:
"I rode bikes", "I was riding a bike" AND "I used to ride a bike"
D. What if "I rode bikes" is not a general thing you did in the past, but something you did at one time? "What did you do yesterday"? I rode bikes.
In that case can both sentences be used to express the same meaning?
A. "Ele escrevia livros antes de se mudar".
It means it was part of his life, a habit.
B. "As montanhas estavam brancas, cobertas de neve, e as arvores eram todas verdes, os pássaros cantavam alegremente." You can also say "As árvores estavam todas verdes", afterall, some tress are not green the whole year.
C. "Eu andei de bicicleta." All translations you proposed are possible for this Portuguese sentence.
D. Is it the same as above?
A. So that's if there's no specific time, otherwise it would be "Ele estava escrevendo livros"?
B. So that was the the reason the two different words were used, because "estavam" is past temporary and "era" is past permanent?
C. How do Brazilians differentiate between the many meanings to take on board the correct one? Is it usually altered by other words in the sentence?
(I had to list them with letters, as when I used numbers, after it posted it displayed "1" for every number I used :/ )
I hope it is not taken wrong, but I wonder if this less compartmentalized attitude towards time that has passed might inform and affect one's sense of history, of holding grudges (or not), and so many other things that seem to vary, culturally. I suppose this is more of an observation than a question, though.
Your translation is reasonable, just not quite as accurate as the one at the top of the page. "I used to go" captures the habitual-action sense of the Portuguese better than "went." And putting "the" before "Saturdays" slightly suggests that you went to the theater on exactly those Saturdays when you had money, as opposed to generally being in the habit of going when you felt that you could afford it.
I agree that it's a reasonable translation, and your answer was very reasonable, too. I am not convinced that "used to go" necessarily captures the habitual action meaning better than the simple past, however. There are many cases where we would use simple past instead of "used to" or "would".
For instance, let's assume in this case that someone is asking a college student who just came home for the summer, "What did you do on your weekends when you were away at school?" The answer "I used to go to the theater" would sound unusual, because for many native speakers, "used to" puts the event farther in the past than is accurate here. Similar examples can be found in other cases where both speakers understand that they are referring to the immediate past.
As for including "the" in "on the Saturdays", I agree that it does focus more on the individual Saturdays rather than on Saturdays in general, but again, that is a valid interpretation. In the context of the example I gave above, "I went to the theater on the Saturdays when I had money" would make a lot of sense if it were followed by something like "And on the Saturdays when I didn't have money, I spent more time studying in the library".
Note: I'm not a native speaker of Portuguese, so it's possible that my understanding of the Portuguese sentence is wrong, and if that's the case, my examples are not relevant.