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  5. "Ele não usava chapéu."

"Ele não usava chapéu."

Translation:He did not wear a hat.

July 7, 2014



How would you say "he didn't wear hats" (in general)?


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 would think he didn't used to wear hats would be a more accurate translation, same as how you translate I don't eat carrots (eu não como cenoura). I would think he didn't used to wear A hat would be ele não usava UM chapéu.


Should it not be "um chapéu"?


Why is "he did not wear hat" wrong?


A singular countable noun needs an article, either definite or indefinite, in English.


Why is it not 'um chapéu'?


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.


It's acceptable!

usava = estava usando


"Was not using" is accepted in some cases. (It will depend a lot on the context)

Did not wear is accepted in general.

Let's say:

  1. "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".

  2. "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".


Why no article? He did not used to wear a hat.


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.


Yes, so "...hats" in plural should be accepted....


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:

  1. 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)
  2. In English, some singular nouns seem to behave like proper names. They don't use articles. But in Portuguese they should still use them.
  3. 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 the hat = Ele usa o chapéu (yes to your quesiton)
  • He wears a hat = Ele usa um chapeu.
  • He wears the hats = Ele usa os chapéus
  • He wears hats = Ele usa chapéus

Examples of exception 1:

  • Ele é homem = He is a man
  • Ele não usa chapéu = He does not wear hats
  • Ele gosta de banana = He likes bananas

Examples of exception 2:

  • Nature is our mother = A natureza é nossa mãe
  • Winter ir coming = O inverno está chegando

Examples of exception 3:

  • People like dogs = As pessoas gostam de cães
  • Men and women are smart = Os homens e as mulheres são inteligentes.


Hi Danmoller, I'm sorry, I just have a hard time knowing which Portuguese sentences sound better than others since while still learning the language, lol. Idk it well enough to be able to make that distinction.


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.


Why is it wrong to say "he didn't use a hat"?


usava is the imperfect tense ---- thus" used not to"


DL translation is valid. The imperfect tense has various translations in English. The most common is the simple past used to express repeated actions/ habits in the past.


Ele não usou chapéu. Ele não usava chapéu.

Why is here in English the same translation possible? I find it a little bit confusing.


in English you can not say " he didn't used to wear a hat "----very bad English. He used not to wear a hat-good English


I prefer "he never wore a hat", but would that have to be "ele nunca usava chapéu", or would that be completely wrong in Br portuguese?

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