Translation:My wife really does not like cats.
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It also accepted what I wrote at first: "My wife really doesn't like cats." (the dislike is strong in that sentence) But this doesn't have the same meaning as "My wife does not really like cats." (the dislike is not very strong in that sentence) Which one is a more accurate translation?
Just to be 100% clear, Paulo, you mean that 'mesmo' expresses a strong feeling, right? So the PT sentence means the wife almost hates cats, right?
- X really doesn't like cats = strong feeling, one could say hate
- X doesn't really lile cats = not extremely fond of cats, but acknowledge their existence and can stand them
You say that 1. is the meaning when using 'mesmo', right? :-)
Like Paulenruque said, esposa can also be translated as "spouse". But as English doesn't have grammatical gender, spouse can be both wife and husband (?). Correct me if i'm wrong.
Neither English nor Portuguese are my native languages. I speak Croatian as first language, and it's about the same as in Portuguese. esposa = supruga (spouse, wife), mulher = žena (woman, wife).
We also have gram. gender, so there is no ambiguity in the translation of "esposa" as it can only mean wife, i.e. "female spouse".
"Mesmo" is a very very versatile word, and indeed very difficult to fully understand.
It can take a lot of meanings, and it's really important to pay attention to "where" it is in the sentence.
The positioning will determine which word it refers to.
- Ele mesmo não gosta de gatos - "mesmo" is relating to "ele", so it's like "even he" or "he himself".
- Ele não gosta mesmo de gatos - "mesmo" is relating to "gosta", so it's intensifying it: "he really dislikes cats". (Same as "não gosta de gatos mesmo")
The second sentence, though, depending on intonation, will become "he doesn't like cats anyway".
- Deixa, eu não queria mesmo = It doesn't matter (let it go), I didn't want it anyway.
There is much more, when it's together with "nem" or "até", it will be "even":
- Nem (mesmo) leite? = Not even milk? (Please don't ask this to vegetarians, it's boring)
- Ele roubou até mesmo a própria família = He stole even his own family
You kinda answered your own question. The sentence ''My wife really does not like cats.'' means that she doesn't like cats, but maybe she likes dogs, birds... So that's different than ''My wife doesn't even like cats''. And by the way, the translation of the second one is ''Minha mulher nem gosta de gatos''.
Actually I'm confused by your comment. I'm not so sure if you were saying that.
If you want to say that, it would be "Minha esposa não gosta nem um pouco de gatos". (Nem um pouco = at all)
So, Duo is telling me the only "acceptable" translation of "mulher" here is "wife". I know in English using "my man" or "my woman" denotes a relationship (perhaps more appropriate in a country and western song, but still) that doesn't necessarily include marriage. Why is it not the same here?
Because "mesmo" is emphasizing the word "gosta", so we have to keep the expression between the verb and the preposition.