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  5. "Ela esperava, mas ele não vo…

"Ela esperava, mas ele não voltava."

Translation:She waited, but he did not return.

July 18, 2014



Why not "ele não voltou"? Would what I suggest be correct if this was one instance of a man never coming back?

I only say this because eventually she should stop waiting if he continues to not come back haha!


Hard one.....

  • Ela esperava mas ele não voltava

She was expecting, or she used to expect, she kept waiting, and "ele não voltava" stresses the "at every moment" checking over and over if he would come.

  • Ela esperou mas ele não voltou: she has waited, but he hasn't come back.

Now, mixing both tenses in one sentence is kind of unusual.


Ahh interesting. So she IS crazy :) Thanks!


Nope, she was in love, or the guy was her son who went out at night.


Something was going on and some single action happened? Ela esperava quando ele voltou. In English the imperfect very often has the same form as the preterite/aorist etc, but many other languages always make the difference clear (though perhaps not in casual speech).


Ela esperava mas ele não voltou.
• She waited, but he didn't return.
• She was waiting, but he didn't return.

Either translation is valid depending on what you choose to emphasize in the first clause.


"She hoped, but he did not return." is marked wrong. Why?


it's because in this case, "esperava" it's not "hoped", but "waited". For the phrase "Ela esperava, mas ele não voltava." it's more natural suppose that is "waited", at least for me - Brazil


Yes. It's very unlikely to have "hope" as the meaning for this Portuguese sentence.

We'd use "ela tinha esperança" or "ela esperava que ele voltasse".


If it's any use to anyone, "she would wait, but he would not return" was accepted for me. Using 'would' seems to agree with a lot of these DL Past Imperfect sentences.


Yes, this is correct. "She was waiting, but he wouldn't come back" is also a correct answer


This sentence would sound more complete w/an adverb.

She was waiting, but he wouldn't come back [until later].
She was waiting, but he would [never] come back.


Adding these adverbs collapse the Portuguese sentence to another tense:

  • Ela estava esperando, mas ele não voltaria até mais tarde
  • Ela estava esperando, mas ele jamais voltaria.

[deactivated user]

    I put She waited but he never returned which wasn't accepted. In spoken English it means the same as She waited but he did not return (in this context).


    The difference was in the word "never":
    "She waited but he never returned", it can be translated as:
    "Ela esperava, mas ele nunca voltava."
    "Ela esperava, mas ele não voltava." - original

    I guess the difference of both phrases are the same as you said in English form, very subtle, but with the word "never", it's a more emphatic phrase


    I think "never" is just fine, although the translations of imperfects here are all sort of conventions (if that's the word). Like we know that putting "used to" isn't really right, but it signals that the verb is in the imperfect and not some other past tense.


    So, why would "She hoped, but he did not return." be wrong?


    hallo delvi, see my comment to Spacegryphon above in this page


    This translation appears to have (2) instances using the PAST imperfect. So, I thought the translation would be: "She used to wait, but he was not returning". It seems like this translation uses both past PERFECT and past IMPERFECT tenses.


    In DL's English sentence, "return" describes a one-time event.

    She was waiting/waited, but he didn't return.

    The simple past is a versatile tense which describes single, limited events as well as repetitive and habitual actions.



    If you are using "was ___-ing" like this, it means something more like Ela esperou, mais ele não ia voltar.

    Was/were ___-ing could mean ia + infinitivo or it could go with enquanto ... quando.


    I was taught the Imperfect Past had two meanings: "was/ were"" + a gerund, or "used to + infinitive", both giving the sense of a continuation of the action.


    The imperfeito has four translations in English, all of which depend on context: simple past, past progressive, would + base verb, and "used to" + base verb.

    In this sentence, "voltava" is correctly translated as "return", the simple past.


    "She waited, but he wasn't coming back."

    Shouldn't this be accepted?

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