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  5. "Eles conversam."

"Eles conversam."

Translation:They talk.

April 24, 2013


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Note that 'They converse' is also correct.


what is the difference between fala and conversa?


conversar is necessarily a two (or more) part talking. One says some, the other(s) say something back and so on. Falar (speak), dizer (say, tell) don't require that.


Both mean the same. Conversar comes from "conversation". Conversar may mean a talk that lasts longer. Falar also means tell and say.


Most of the time, it will be this way:
to speak = falar
to say = dizer
to tell = contar
to talk = conversar


I think better translation of conversa is "to chat" ... it's something two subjects do together.


Conversar can be "to chat", but chat is more informal, and Portuguese has "bater papo" which is more informal too. I believe that fits best.


falar - speak Eu falo inglês [ I SPEAK ENGLISH]

conversar - talk Eu converso com meu amigo [i talk with my friend]

dizer - say eu disse isso [i said this]


why is they discuss not right?


Why is "they speak" not acceptable as an answer?


I think duo uses that as "eles falam"


More like they have a conversation?



  • eles conversam muito = they spend a long time talking.
  • eles não conversam muito = they don't have much contact.


There is no "têm" in the second sentence? Eles não têm converdam muito.. ?


It would be "Eles não têm conversado muito". (they haven't been talking to each other so much.)


Why is "they are having a conversation" is not right? Doesn't it mean the same?


Como eu vou disso que duas pessoas estão caminhando?

Should I use -mos or -ando?


As in English, in Present Continuous, the first verb change.

  • Eu estou caminhando (I am walking)

  • Ele/ela/você está caminhando (He/she is walking - You are walking)

  • Nós estamos caminhando (We are walking)

  • Eles/elas/vocês estão caminhando (They are walking - You are walking)


Why is they have a conversation is not correct?


Because the Portuguese equivalent of "have" (têm) is not in the phrase, and "conversation" is a noun, not a verb like "converse" is. Present tense is simply, "They converse" (they talk).


"They have a conversation." would be the another way to say that, right?


"They have a conversation." would be the another way to say that, right?

Actually no. In your sentence, have is the verb and conversation is now a noun. They converse or they talk is much more in line with the Portuguese here (no objects nor articles).


Should "they make talk" be wrong?


They make conversation could work in English generally as a sentence:


But again, that sentence changes the verb from talk to make (which is fazer in Portuguese) and turns talk (now conversation) into a noun.




Hello, Owl. The Portuguese present indicative includes/embraces the gerund, so, "They are talking" is one of the two spot-on translations, but, as is often the case in many exercises, you still are not accepting the gerund. Why?


For present continuous in English we use a "present participle" which is formed by adding the suffix "-ing" to the "bare infinitive":


A "gerund" in English is actually a noun masquerading as a verb.


So, something such as, "Talking is not always wise" or, "I do the washing in the kitchen" are examples of English gerunds.


Meanwhile, in Brazilian Portuguese the present continuous is often represented by the "gerúndio" which is rarely used in European Portuguese (the sort of PT that is also used in Asia and Africa).

So, "gerund" and "gerúndio" are false friends.

Anyway, see my answer to Langenth to see why the present participle/gerúndio is not the same as present tense.


Is They are speaking actually wrong or should I report it for counting it as wrong?


No. "They converse/talk" does not mean it is happening now like, "they are conversing/talking" conveys:


For instance:

  • Q: "What happens when your mother visits your teachers?"
  • A: "They converse/talk" [about my schoolwork]

The better PT translation for the Continuous Present is:

  • Eles/elas estão conversando (BR PT)
  • Eles/elas estão a conversar (EU PT)

And (almost forgot), "speak" when used without the reflexive "to each other" would just mean they utter words but not necessarily have a conversation. "Falar" is the better verb for "speak".

  • I speak English
  • Eu falo Português


Okay, I agree on the second part, but the Present Simple in Romance languages could also refer to the Present Continuous in English, it has always been the way on Duo. I think because as you said in another comment, the Present Continuous is not so common.


That is indeed the case in e.g. French, but not generally true for all Romance languages. In Portuguese, there is a clear distinction between those two tenses, and none of them is uncommon.

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