"Em circunstância alguma ele pode saber da minha existência."

Translation:Under no circumstances can he know about my existence.

March 22, 2013

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/vivisaurus
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Correct me if I'm wrong, please, but my English translation of this sentence was "under no circumstance can he know of my existence." (which was not accepted). The recommended translation "under no circumstance he can know of my existence" seems awkward to me.

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Davu
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I definitely prefer your sentence. Even better in my opinion is to start the sentence with "Under no circumstances" simply because this is an English idiom.

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vivisaurus
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Thanks! I thought of adding the s, but knowing how these translations tend to work, I automatically translated to singular (higher chance of acceptance, I guess). But I didn't want to write an incorrect sentence.

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sharkbbb
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Davu, can you please explain why do we need subject/verb inversion here, as this is not a question?

  • under no circumstance(s) he can know of my existence
  • under no circumstance(s) can he know of my existence
July 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sharkbbb
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Under no circumstances have I met this rule before ;) Thank you Davu

P.S. A good article about different types of inversion in English: http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/inversion.html

July 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SeaOfSand

Agreed. I'm not even sure "under no circumstance he can know of my existence" is correct English. I reported it.

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vivisaurus
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Thank you! I did too, but I wanted to be sure. I hope they will take the suggestion into consideration (and remove the incorrect one).

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SirCumference

I did the same, vivi. Reported +1

September 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Oinophilos
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You are absolutely right. Their sentence is wrong and should be reported.

January 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pagina85

You're right, that is incorrect English. Better yet it should be "under no circumstances may he know about/of my existence." I've reported it.

April 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rmacheshire

At the moment (20 Aug 2013) duo is offering 2 alternative English translations "In any case, he can know of my existence." and "He cannot know of my existence under any circumstance." Having read the above comments, I think the 2nd translation is OK, though not elegant, but the 1st is just wrong. It is a literal word for word translation which I think conveys an entirely incorrect meaning.

August 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AlfSagen
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Completely agree -- you cannot teach a language and tell your students a sentence can either mean something or else quite the opposite...

April 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/devonreed
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Another one with a really awkward translation.

March 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Davu
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I was surprised by the form of this sentence until I remembered a little factoid I stored away a while ago. To say "something" you use "alguma coisa" but to say "nothing" you use "coisa alguma". The same thing goes on here but applied to the word "circunstância".

June 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jonathan.j5

Excellent factoid, well done sir.

July 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SeaOfSand

Superness! I'll write that down as yet another quirk :D

July 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LyricalWordsmith

I usually print screen most of the comments on DuoL, people give out great tips and examples.

February 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaTeuli

Thank you, Davu. That may have answered a question I submitted.

February 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexTheTutor

Isn't "In SOME circumstances he can know of my existence" correct? Wouldn't you want to replace "alguma" with "qualquer" if you wanted to express the idea that this person can know of my existence? And, even if you write "any", then that implies that there does not exist a time such that he does not know of my existence. So, the verb "pode" seems inappropriate. So, wouldn't "Em qualquer circunstância ele sabe da minha existência." be a better Portuguese sentence?

May 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller
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See Davu's comment above, it's perfectly right.

To have the meaning you propose, you would write "Em algumas circunstâncias" (plural algumas before the noun)


  • Em circunstância alguma ele pode = he never can / he cannot under any circumstances
  • Em algumas circunstâncias ele pode = in some circumstances he can
  • Em qualquer circunstância/quaisquer circunstâncias ele pode = he always can, he can in any circumstances.
February 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/r_i_l_e_y

Google translates this as "In no circumstance can he know of my existence" which is a much more likely sentence in English. So is this a strange translation?

June 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/peduzzi
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Google's translation seem really better. Duo's translation to English is "blindly" literal, and so, confused. The meaning of the sentence is some like "He can not know about my existence", in the sense that is bad for the subject that "he" knows his/her existence.

June 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ramzesdidi
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what about 'em nenhuma circunstancia..'. Would it be correct?

May 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesCollis

"under no circumstances can he know of my existence" now accepted. Failed unit first time, really appreciated discussion, enough stuck for 3 mins to remember above :-)

November 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mishagl

Davu - this is a really helpful comment. Thank you - just the sort of thing I wanted to learn using this programme.

February 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Krystyon

So confused. Where is the word 'não'...

Maybe I'm just tired...

February 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AlfSagen
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It's not there; See Davu's expalantion at the top of this comments page!

  • alguma coisa = something
  • coisa alguma = nothing
  • Em circunstância alguma = under no circumstances (in no circumstance)
  • Em alguma circunstância = under some circumstances
  • Em qualquer circunstância = under any circumstances

:-)

April 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TTCostaDC

That's so odd to me (native English speaker). I would have looked for "nenhuma", too. You learn something every day...

August 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Oinophilos
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Think of it like "aucun" in French?

February 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller
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Only when it's after the noun.

When before, it will not negate.

January 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gardenhoser
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So "alguma" is the negator?

June 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mishagl

Yes, in combination with its positioning after the noun it is qualifying.

June 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/duoitaliano

So how would you say the opposite in Portuguese?

Under no circumstances can he know about my existence = Em circunstância alguma ele pode saber da minha existência

Under ANY circumstances HE CAN know about my existence = ___?

January 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique
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= em qualquer circunstância ele pode saber de minha existência.

January 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoMind1720

I read "alguma" circunstância not "nenhuma" ...how does it mean "No circumstances"?? :o

October 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique
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If "algum/alguma" is placed after the noun, it means "no".

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoMind1720

Oh wow, I'd definitely never guess it! :• Thanks a lot! Well, looks like i misunderstood many sentences using this tricky thing...

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/argovela
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October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoMind1720

Yeah, thank you too! But just to be sure, "jeito algum" should mean "no way".. do i make it "some way" if i say "algum jeito"? If not, then how? :/

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/argovela
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Exactly. Algum jeito. :-)

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoMind1720

Ah, thank you!^^ And.. is there a difference between saying "jeito algum" and "jeito nenhum" or they're like synonyms?

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/argovela
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With the disclaimer that I'm not a native speaker, I've always read that when algum is placed after the noun, the construction is semantically equivalent to using nenhum.

https://ciberduvidas.iscte-iul.pt/consultorio/perguntas/nenhumalgum/3415

October 22, 2018
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