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  5. "She is the worst student."

"She is the worst student."

Translation:Ela é a pior aluna.

March 24, 2013

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/srshti

Doesn't the adjective come before the noun in Portuguese? I tried "Ela é aluna pior" and it marked it wrong. I searched around and there's no mistake in the lesson, but I'm still curious why the adjective-noun order is different here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

Melhor (best) and pior (worst) usually comes before the noun... makes a lot of more sense... for native speakers...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/srshti

Is there a particular reason? Any sort of rule I can use, or is it just different for those two adjectives?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

No. Not a rule, but some expressions, for instance, "grande dia" (big day). In such sentence, if you change the order, you change the meaning.

  • "Ele é um homem grande" = "he is a big/tall man"
  • "Ele é um grande homem" = "he is a great man"
  • "Ele é um garoto pobre" = "he is a poor boy"
  • "Ele é um pobre garoto" = " he is a guy on a pitiful condition, not meaning about money..."

Most of the time, when the adjective comes before the noun, it is more emphatic and may include a metaphoric quality to the noun:

  • "Uma velha amiga" = "a longtime friend"
  • "Uma amiga velha" = "an old friend"

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hriskakisk

Paulenrique, you are unbeleavable!!! Your explanations are always clear and with a lot of examples. I have no idea how you do it :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

Oh! Thank you so very much! I really appreciate that! It was very kind of you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gregkaleka

Thanks for this. The meaning is exactly the same in French for the examples you've given.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

Yeah.... in many ways portuguese is similar to french :) Both of them are latin languages. that makes portuguese easier for you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackie-da-China

thanks for point it out


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobKaucher

This is a feature that has come down to the Romance languages from Latin. An excellent discussion of the topic can be found here: http://www.ling.upenn.edu/NWAVE32/abs-pdf/callou-adj.pdf


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tobibeer

I appreciate your detailed explanation on the general use but in this very case it doesn't appear to apply.

Otherwise, how would you translate 'aluna pior' if not as well as "worst student"? I mean do you also have to turn her into the most terrible one? I do not think so at all and that's why this wording should equally be accepted if not even preferred.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

"melhor" and "pior" are commonly placed before nouns. When they are placed after them, they usually mean "better" and "worse".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tobibeer

Ah, best vs better, worst vs. worse. Thanks for demystifying this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joaopsousa

pior it's a particular case, just like melhor


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Werner912974

Could I use está instead of é, as her being the worst student is not a permanent position (I hope for her ;)) Está was marked wrong.

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