1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Portuguese
  4. >
  5. "Eu gosto de biscoito."

"Eu gosto de biscoito."

Translation:I like cookies.

April 12, 2013

62 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

In Portuguese, that is how we say "I like (general) cookies": eu gosto de biscoito. The plural in Portuguese is also accepted: eu gosto de biscoitos.

In English, this sentence can only use the plural. If you say "I like cookie", it will be odd.

Now, if you want to say "I like this cookie" or "the cookie", you would say "Eu gosto deste biscoito" or "do biscoito".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria696768

So Daniel why Duo didn't write biscoitoS? I'm learning Portuguese from Brazil and this way it is so dificult.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria696768

We only use plural unless you want to refer particularly to that kind of biscuits-port-pt


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

Native speakers usually use singular after "gostar de".


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

This word is not pluralized. Eu gosto de biscoitos would make this cookie!


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

Thanks for the clarification! I think duolingo is being a little rough on us, as we haven't learned pluralization yet, at the food stage of the skill tree!


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

Well, it is really singular. But IN ENGLISH "I like cookie" would sound bad. So "I like cookies".


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

As others have mentioned, isn't this just another example of the Brazilian trait of using the singular (without an article) to have a generic plural meaning? In which case there is little need to worry about "I like cookie" sounding bad because the best translation really is "I like cookies" (or "I like biscuits").


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

As a native speaker of English, this is very hard to undo this way of thinking that everything plural must end in "s." He he he! I totally bombed this one. So I will keep this in mind on the next round. Brazilian Portuguese, the plurals do not always have "s" at the end. ^_^


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

I'm sure you realize that's not true - Portuguese uses "s" as a plural marker in much the same way as English does and virtually all Portuguese plurals end in "s". The plural of "biscoito" is "biscoitos" for example. The real difference is that Brazilian Portuguese sometimes uses the singular where the plural would be selected in English.


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

That was what I meant as in, "the plurals do not always have "s" at the end," in my comment. This meant that I should not view Portuguese like I do English. I'm aware that there are some cases where Brazilian Portuguese uses the "s" for plural, but not like English does. English uses the "s" in more cases. I was only stating this difference.


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

Portuguese does use the s for plural words like English does.

There is no such thing as a word with two plural versions (one with S and another without it). The sentence here does use the singular biscoito.


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

I agree it sounds bad in English, but in previous exercises they gave "he likes carrot cake" as the only correct option, so it just doesn't seem consistent.


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

I believe they try to use commonly accepted sentences....not everything in a language is logical (any language).

Edit:
By the way, a lot of food nouns in English can be either countable and uncountable.

The uncountable ones can be used as singular in English, just like sugar and water:

  • He likes sugar
  • He likes water

If you check out cake or carrot in the dictionary, it says "countable" and "uncountable", which allows that usage. (Of course our noun is "cake" and carrot would be an adjective in "carrot cake")

  • I like carrot
  • I like carrots
  • I like cake
  • I like cakes

But cookie is only countable.


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

Exactly, agree totally. There is a lack of consistency throughout this app.


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

I totally agree with you. The previous sentence with 'carrot' should have been 'he likes carrots'.


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

Maybe because: "carrot cake" = a category of cake. "carrots" = all the carrots?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2432

One also says "I like cake." I think it's a matter of English being inconsistent. :-)


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

Well Doulingo corrected my answer: "i like the cookie" and gave me "i like the cookies" i don't understand why that answer was better than mine


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

The best answer is "I like cookies", no doubt.

"Eu gosto de biscoito" is a general sentence.
"Eu gosto do biscoito" = I like the cookie.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/e.cambourn

Well, that is debatable. 'I like cookie' is saying that you like what cookies are made of. I don't know why you'd say "I like cake" and not "I like cakes".


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

You would say "I like cake" when cake is a descriptive term, like I like wine. It would be very rare to say, "I like cakes" unless if you are sitting in front of a tray of petit fours, but then you would probably say "I like little cakes" It is the difference between countable and non-countable nouns in English: wine, fruit, chocolate, coffee, tea are not countable.


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

I agree with Miss Jamie D!


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

I don't get it, MissJamieD, This cookie = Isto biscoito? Eu gosto de boicoitos = I like the biscuits? Or it can't be said in Portuguese?

I think Portuguese use categories, with a singular label, the same way in English you would use "fruit" or "news" or represent the category.


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

'I like biscuit' isn't correct in English, just because it's correct to say 'eu gosto de biscoito' using the singular to mean biscuits in general in Portuguese, it doesn't mean you can translate word for word back into English. It's about communication, just think about what the sentence means and not what each word means.


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

And then get marked wrong for guessing. My crystal ball is in for repairs. Why, when this is the first introduction of the word, wasn't the plural translation offered? "Biscoito" = biscuit/biscuits.


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

People are complaining sometimes Duolingo give non natural sentences, here, they put the most natural sentence in English, and the most natural sentence in Portuguese. It's not DL's fault if the two languages have a different approach about pluralization of categories.


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

They are at fault if they don't give an explanation where the structures do not translate directly, though. And they never do.


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

For grammar tips yes, but for subtle things, the explanations are given on the forum, and sometimes, it's very long!

The only things that upset me, is when they give idiomatism, and as neither English nor Portuguese are my mother tongue, I don't know where's the popular saying and where is the weird DL sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/German375039

From Paris France.........but you can study Portuguese with Doulingo in your on language (if it is French)........your case is the same as mine "trying to learn Portuguese using my second language English"......and my suggestion is if there are some other people going the same way, and it seems to be too challenging, well you could do it with both your native and second language at the same time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mauricio14911

I think "Eu gosto de biscoito" isn''t correct. In spanish, I would say "Me gustan los bizcochos" (plural), portuguese must be similar.


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

No. This concept is approached differently in the two languages. Think of it this way:.

In Spanish: "The cookies please me." Note that the cookies are the subject, so the verb is plural. There is no preposition here, and there is the reflexive pronoun "me".

In Portuguese: "I like cookies". The subject is "I", so the verb is singular. The preposition "de" (or a contraction containing the preposition) is always required. There is no reflexive pronoun here.


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

Yes, why plural?


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

They discussed it on the top of the page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mickey10a

when i put the mouse over the word it translates - "biscuit" so it must be a mistake


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

Please, read the comments above.


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

I like biscuit - my answer. But it's wasn't accepted.


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

I like biscuit, would mean only one biscuit (definite or indefinite), but you would need an article to precise if it's definite ("the") or indefinite ("a") in English. Because "biscuit" is not considered as a category, and is countable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fdm83

why cookies? How do I know?


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

It's the way it is in English.


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

In French there is something similar. In French "le raisin" is singular but it means "the grapes" and it's like how we say "the fruit" in English.

"biscoito" looks singular to me, but in English, people say, "I like cookies" not "I like cookie". Maybe in Portuguese, this is how they say, "I like cookies."


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

It's the opposite, the exception is in English "the fruit" is uncountable, the French "les fruits/le fruit", "les raisins/les raisin" acts as "normal" words.


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

In addition there is localisation (GB). For me the word cookie is not really used. Here one has a biscuit with tea, rather than a cookie. Especially when taking afternoon tea with the Queen hehe


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

Haha! I notice the word is slowly creeping in here; Tesco seem to prefer it for their own-brand biscuits and Maryland Cookies have been on sale here for years.


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

Why plural?!?!?!?!


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

It is a quirk of the language. You may encounter a similar sentence later: "Os meninos querem banana" translated as "The boys want bananas". In the discussion erudis explains the reasoning behind this translation: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1047854


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

if you want it to be plural it should be obvious NO tricks please


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2432

It's not meant to trick you, it's just that different languages have different rules and different idioms. In English, we say "I like things" and in Portuguese, they say "I like thing." You can think of it as in English, we say that we like all instances (plural) of a thing, whereas in Portuguese, they say that they like the single category (singular) of a thing. Similar concepts, different ways of expressing it.


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

It should be singular, not plural


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

I know this discussion is very cluttered now, but try to read the comments from native speakers of Portuguese, like Danmoller, before assuming Duolingo's answer is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danceman64

if the answer is cookies or plural. Biscoito should be spelled in the plural form. Correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2432

No, because the grammar is different in Portuguese than it is in English.

Different languages have different rules and different idioms. In English, we say "I like things" and in Portuguese, they say "I like thing." You can think of it as in English, we say that we like all instances (plural) of a thing, whereas in Portuguese, they say that they like the single category (singular) of a thing. Similar concepts, different ways of expressing it.


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

Right, but whereas we wouldn't say "I like biscuit", it is not an error to say "Eu gosto de biscoitos" in Portuguese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jennycoy1

In the UK we always say 'I like the biscuit' - singular or 'I like biscuits' - plural. 'Cookie' is a US word for biscuit and has slowly crept into the UK language and can be singular or plural exactly like 'biscuit'. I put - 'I like biscuits'. But was told it should be 'I like CRACKERS' - where did that come from?? In the UK 'crackers' have also come from the US but they are STILL a type of biscuit!


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

it is singular-couldn't it be i like the cookie


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

No, because there's no definite article, that's the problem.


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

I'm a native English speaker, and I would suggest that "I like biscuit" (i.e singular) works perfectly well as a translation indicating generality. In the same way one might say 'I like cake/chocolate/fruit/ice cream' using singular versions of the nouns. It might be more common to use the plural for biscuit, but it is definitely not incorrect to use the singular. Can't really comment on the word 'cookie', as I don't use it!


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

No, it doesn't. We would never say 'I like biscuit'. Biscuit is a countable noun. Fruit is normally treated as uncountable and all the others you have listed can be either depending on context, which is why you can't extrapolate 'I like biscuit' from the fact that you can say 'I like chocolate' or 'I like ice cream'.


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

Don't fight the language. You would just sound funny or plain wrong in English if you said, "I like biscuit" unless biscuit is the name of your pet.


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

Your point is well taken. However, if the answer were "wine" or "coffee," or the other suggestions you offered, it would be fine, but, "I like biscuit" or "I like cookie" is not standard in English. The same way one would not say "I like table" or "I like lamp," without an article or a plural form of the noun.

Learn Portuguese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.