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  5. "Ele não consegue comer."

"Ele não consegue comer."

Translation:He cannot eat.

April 13, 2013



He doesn't get to eat? Shouldn't that work as well? The English I see should translate to "Ele não pode comer", no?


No is Poder. It's Conseguir. It is different


Shouldn't "he doesn't manage to eat" work as well?


Is "conseguir" sort of an auxiliary, like "could" in english?


Can is translated most of time like this:

1) poder (permission - posso abrir a porta.? Can i open the door)

2) saber/conseguir (ability - eu sei cozinhar - I can/ am able to / know how to cook)


So poder is closer to 'may' (Remember grade school teachers getting mad when you asked "Can I go to the restroom?" They always corrected you to "May I...")

And conseguir is actually 'can'.


In grammar school our teachers taught us this poem: "May" if you want to, "Can" if you are able; Until you use the right one, You must stay under the table.

Silly, but it gets the point across.


That's really interesting!! :-)


I put "he doesn't manage to eat" (for example, he doesn't manage to eat before going out, because he's in too much of a rush).

How would you say this in Portuguese, if it's not "Ele não consegue comer"?

(Incidentally, I know Google Translate is not always right, but it translates my English sentence as "Ele não consegue comer").


Yes, you can also use "Ele não consegue comer".


Surely the Portuguese for the given translation would be - Ele nao pode comer ? Here 'manage' does work, it gives the impression he is trying. (sorry no accents)


Does it means that he is passively not able to eat, or does it mean that he actively tries to eat but is not successful?


As we have no context, both options are correct.

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