How come the English present perfect is used to translate the Portuguese simple past tense? Doesn't Portuguese have the present perfect as well?
Yes, we do. Most of time we use simple past to refer to the present perfect or past perfect.... informally, in conversation...
Sometimes I think DuoLingo should be a little less strict. I cannot count the number of times I nearly finished 20 plus questions ONLY to miss the last because of an article (especially LONG sentences that I got 90% correct, but missed one space). Like, for example, this one. I know my answer is wrong, but, gosh, it's "wrong" by ONE SPACE: "nos nunca esti vemos aqui"
Well they have dropped the '3 hearts' rule and seem a bit kinder over some errors like 'typos' and spelling mistakes. To get around perhaps different question setter's use of 'esse' and 'este' one moderator even suggested entering 'thit' as the answer would be accepted (albeit as a spelling error) for 'that' or 'this'!
“We were never here“ and "we never were here" are accepted. They seem equivalent...
I'm a native English speaker, and this is immaterial in whether the answer should be accepted. It was also cited above that it was accepted, which I commented to correct that it's not.
so it would then be "nos estivemos nunca aqui", right? (I can't figure out how to do accents with my keyboard)
Os advérbios de negação: não, nunca, jamais" precede the verb.
Nós nunca estivemos aqui.
my request was connected to the earlier part of the dialogue (with the other folks), asking for confirmation that "nos estivemos nunca aqui" meant "we were never here" (by moving the adverb)
On the accent problem, all computers that I have used had a 'character map' somewhere (e.g. Windows is in Accessories) that will input the character you pick. If you have a word processor program, this will definitely have accented characters that you can copy and paste. Hope this helps!
"We were never there" is also correct.
Edit: I have since learned (after months !) that the English present perfect tense (an action accomplished in the past at an unspecified time) translates to pretérito perfeito (simple past) in portuguese.
I'm trying to understand the -ive class of verbs...it seems to me that (in the case of estive) that eu estive almost = tenho estado (mas não agora). "eu nunca estive" would then mean I've never been, but am now. As opposed to tenho estado which would have implied that the speaker still had not been there? I have some more questions but I only want to ask them once I get this cleared up.
Again, DL's software has not been helpful in formulating this example by using "here" rather than the more logical "there".
Nós nunca estivemos lá = We have never been there.
Based on Whitlam's Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar, "estivemos" is acceptable because the "preterit refers to events that have occurred over a period of time including the present." (Pg 448)
If, however, you use a time expression like "lately", "recently", "these last years", then you use the perfect tense: "tenho estado": "Eu não tenho estado lá nos últimos anos/recentemente."
2019-05-30 I sort of agree with this: it would be easier to understand using "there" (lá). This sentence makes me think of Men In Black, where they might say, "We were never here," and then flashy-thing you.