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"Eu pensei que você fosse um médico."

Translation:I thought you were a doctor.

April 23, 2013



wouldn't the most accurate translation for "i thought you were a doctor" be "eu pensei que voce era um médico"? Wouldn't "fosse" be more like "i thought you would be a doctor"? I've seen this in other sentences too, as well as using words with -sse when the termination -ria sounds more obvious...


Both are correct, in my opinion. Well, it all depends on the context, which is always absent in these sentences. I think if the person is talking about the remote past, than he would more likely use "era". Also, "fosse" sounds more formal to me.


"era" is spoken language; 'que você ...' is a subordinated sentence, it requires a subjunctive verb. Eu pensei que você viesse ( I thought that you would come***) , in spoken language - Eu pensei que você vinha. I thought you would be a doctor = Eu pensei que você seria um médico ( que você se tornaria um médico)


Eu pensei que você viesse. = I thought that you would come [but you didn't].


editei E. (***) thanks


How do you say, "I thought that you WOULD BE a doctor." (Describing to a person your guess about what job you thought the person would grow up to be.)

'Eu pensei que você SERIA um médico'

Is that correct?


antlane just answered my question above:

"I thought you would be a doctor = Eu pensei que você seria um médico ( que você se tornaria um médico)"



Does this imply that the person is in fact not a doctor?


He may not be a doctor. The use of the Portuguese subjunctive can imply that what you thought to be true at the time was mistaken.


I'm slowly becoming frustrated with past tense conjugations: foi is both went (to go) and were (to be) and I don't get why fosse is also were.


I thought indefinite articles were not used with "ser" when describing someone's profession.

So why doesn't the Portuguese say "... que você fosse médico"?


What's the difference between using foi and fosse here?


I would like to know that too!!


I think fosse is maybe the subjunctive tense but we haven't covered that yet so not sure why it's here! So 'foi um medico' would be 'you were (definitely) a doctor', whereas 'pensei que fosse um medico' would be 'i thought you were (maybe) a doctor (but I wasn't sure)'. Not sure if that is the case or not though as basing this purely on spanish and french- maybe a native speaker would be able to clear it up for us?


That is right. FOI is the simple past, FOSSE is the subjunctive.

  • He was = Ele foi
  • If he were = Se ele fosse

Whenever you have "que" or "se" (and "quando", if you're talking about the future), you use the subjunctive, which comprises three different tenses, according to these prepositions.


Tiago, just a point of English... one would not say "he were" one would say "he was" "if he were" is correct, but not "he were." :)


One would use "were" indeed in "if clauses" for English also has the subjunctive mood:


You are right. I saw this sentence in the Past Subjunctive skill.


The accents are too small for me to see so i can only make slow progress with them


I'm brazilian, why do we use were instead of was in this one?


"I thought you were a doctor" is indicative in the simple past.
Although the Portuguese requires the subjunctive in a counterfactual sentence after "pensar" in the past tense, that is not the case in English.

• I thought you were a doctor.
• I thought he was a doctor.
• They thought we were doctors.
• He thought they were doctors.

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