"I thought you were a doctor."
Translation:Eu pensei que você fosse um médico.
Is eu pensei que você fosse médico (sem "um") more appropriate? Had always heard that when describing professions you shouldn't include the indefinite article as we so like to do in English. Or is this indicating that you were 'One' of potentially many?
You are right. It's better to avoid the article in this sentence, but it's not wrong to include it.
I would agree with you considering the context of the sentence. I used pensava. Basically, I thought "all this time" that you were a doctor. I guess achei or pensei would be more like "I thought in that moment (that I met you) that you were a doctor". I guess it doesn't make it clear so Duolingo accepts both answers as correct.
Searched online and saw that fosse comes from "ser" - someone please confirm.
That is so. In fact, "fosse" is both the past subjunctive of the verbs "ser" (to be) and "ir" (to go), they share a few conjugation forms. But in this sentence, it's definitely from the verb "ser".
"Era" and "fosse" can be swapped in this case. I'm glad I was right. But the question still remains... Why can it be "I were" instead of "I was", that doesn't make much sense to me.
The subjunctive in English is quite invisible, but it still exists. In the subjunctive form, "to be" becomes "were":
- If I were you = Se eu fosse você
Normally, many people use "was" instead of "were".
But this specific sentence uses only "were" because it's "you", not "I".