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I was miffed because I've been taught gente was people, but then I thought maybe I'm confusing it with PT-PT where it's the more common form? http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2278656
At first I was going to say that In Portuguese, there is nothing equivalent to "one", but see note at the end.
There are many ways to state impersonal sentences, including:
- Passive voices, normally with "se" (very usual for subject "ones")
- Inversions (when the first option gets weird)
- "Alguém" (good for object "ones")
- "Uma pessoa" (somehow good for everything, but better for objects)
- "As pessoas", not a gente (good for objects with a very general meaning)
- One doesn't learn a language in a week = Não se aprende uma língua em uma semana
- One cannot help getting older = Não se pode evitar de ficar velho
- One must always be careful = É necessário ser sempre cuidadoso (It's necessary to)
- What makes one happy? = O que torna alguém feliz? = O que torna uma pessoa feliz?
- Drinking too much makes one unreliable = Beber demais torna as pessoas não confiáveis
Note: if learning all these is too much, I'd say "uma pessoa" is the closest you can get in all situations:
- Uma pessoa não aprende uma língua em uma semana
- Uma pessoa não pode evitar de ficar velha
- Uma pessoa precisa sempre ser cuidadosa
- O que torna uma pessoa feliz
- Beber demais torna uma pessoa não confiável.
"alguém" sounds weird for me. in german it's normal ("man"), and in english it's also acceptable to use "one". okay, it can be replaced with "people" or "you". example: one puts candles and flowers on a grave. hm, that's fine, but... alguém??? "someone" shows a kind of importance about the subject, but "one" is merely a subject.
Depends on the location, in southern New England they often teach European Portuguese—due to the historical Portuguese population. I don't know what they teach in California where there is also a large historical Portuguese population. Certainly Brazilian Portuguese does seem to be becoming more common.
Major universities teach BrPt because it has been designated a critical language by the US government and is the variant taught to American diplomats. Portugal is a wonderful country (it has benefitted from decades in the EU) but it has less than 11 million people while Brazil has over 207 million and competes economically with the US.
Elite universities employ professors from Brazil, Portugal and Africa, but the emphasis culturally, politically and in terms of language is on Brazil.
Basically "A gente" is a generally more informal/colloquial way of referring to a group of people you're also included in (i.e. a "We").
It's more common in Brazil than in Portugal, though - if you're thinking in BP, you can use "A gente" more freely, while in Portugal you should preferently use "Nós" (especially since "A gente", being very colloquial, is mainly used by teens/young adults in their interactions with each other).
There is another question on duolingo that asks you to translate "a gente" and it will say the correct answer is "the people" ("we" is marked wrong) which is the opposite of every question involving "a gente". Strangely this seems to be the only question where we can not comment. I've been reporting it for a while but i keeps coming up.
Do you remember which sentence it was? Unfortunately we have soooo many reports that we can't simply see them all, no matter how many of them we fix. (That's why some of them takes a year to be found)
If you have complements for "a gente", of if it has no article, it will very likely mean people:
- A gente daquele lugar = The people from that place (may sound offensive)
-Há muita gente aqui (no article) = There is a lot of people here
- Toda a gente precisa de paz = Everyone needs peace (common in Europe, in Brazil we use "todo o mundo")
- Ele viu a gente que morava lá = He saw the people that lived there