A singular countable noun needs an article, either definite or indefinite, in English.
Word by word is an option here. And Duolingo's version too.
- Ele não usava chapéus
- Ele não usava chapéu
Okay. it's been a while since i posted that question, but I think the reason was that Duolingo didn't accept "he didn't wear hats" as a translation for "ele não usava chapéu". So that should be accepted?
I wrote "he was not wearing a hat." "to be + gerund" in the past tense is usually an acceptable translation of the imperfect tense. Why not in this case? I'm actually seeing a lot of inconsistency in general with which translations Duo Portuguese will accept in the Imperfect lesson.
"Was not using" is accepted in some cases. (It will depend a lot on the context)
Did not wear is accepted in general.
"he came in that day and he did not wear a hat". This is equal to: "he came in that day and he was not wearing a hat". In this context, you can use "was not wearing".
"I used to see him everyday, he did not wear a hat". This is equal to: "I used to see him everyday, he was not used to wear a hat". In this context, you cannot use "was not wearing".
In most cases, English will choose between a singular noun with article or a plural noun:
- He doesn't wear a hat / He doesn't wear hats.
I don't know if there is an explanation, but in cases like these, Portuguese simply uses the singular noun without article.
Then if you want to say that he didn't wear a specific hat (THE hat), do you just add the article?
Normally there is no difference between the usage of articles in English and Portuguese except for:
- English does not use singular countable nouns without an article or some determiner. (Portuguese does, and it gets a general meaning, sometimes article "a" sounds better, other times the English Plural sounds better)
- In English, some singular nouns seem to behave like proper names. They don't use articles. But in Portuguese they should still use them.
- Normally, for plural subjects, Portuguese can use the article and still be general, unless for very very very unespecific sentences. (Some sentences might get more or less specific and some cases would still prefer no article)
Well behaved examples:
- He wears
thehat = Ele usa
ochapéu (yes to your quesiton)
- He wears
ahat = Ele usa
- He wears
s= Ele usa
- He wears hat
s= Ele usa chapéu
Examples of exception 1:
- Ele é homem = He is
- Ele não usa chapéu = He does not wear hat
- Ele gosta de banana = He likes banana
Examples of exception 2:
- Nature is our mother =
Anatureza é nossa mãe
- Winter ir coming =
Oinverno está chegando
Examples of exception 3:
- People like dogs =
Aspessoas gostam de cães
- Men and women are smart =
asmulheres são inteligentes.
Generally, an unmodified direct object in a negative sentence doesn't require an indefinite article.
Ele não usava chapéu.
He doesn't wear a hat.
Eu não posso viajar sem carro.
I can't travel without a car.
DL translation is valid. The imperfect tense in Portuguese has various translations in English, the most common being the simple past which is used to express repeated actions and habits in the past.