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  5. "Eles podem sofrer um acident…

"Eles podem sofrer um acidente."

Translation:They can have an accident.

June 6, 2013

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MRMsys

Well that is one way to "eliminar meus inimigos!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BonecoBiru

In English this would usually take the conditional "could"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yimantuwingyai

yes, it is confusing using this tense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emeyr

"Can" is also used to express a supposition.

Why don't you want your kid to play football? ->> Well, he can hurt. He can get a concussion, and he can end up being permanently disabled.

https://www.englishpage.com/modals/can.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2dwight

Emeyr, in each of your examples, a native american English speaker would most likely choose "could" rather than "can".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emeyr

DL's sentence is correct, "Can" can be used to express a "generalization" as stated in the last section in the above link. (from Boston, Mass and ESL teacher.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2dwight

Yes, of course, it is grammatically correct. It just isn't the most likely way native speakers would choose to speak. Of course, (and I want to be clear, this is intended to be a humorous jibe) amongst we midwesterners, there is a lingering suspicion whether Boston and other Eastern cities still speak American.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emeyr

There is an advantage to having a Boston accent. It is immediately clear who is a Red Sox fan. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcxW91

In all of the examples you give emeyr, "could" sounds natural and "can" sounds awkward to me.

(Also "hurt" can be a transitive verb or a participle- he could hurt himself or he could get hurt, equally common ways of saying the same thing.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r_i_l_e_y

Does this really mean "they can suffer an accident"? or is there an alternative translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

As it shows a possibility, poder would be better translated as "may/might"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ketutsf

Yes, "They could have . . ." "They might have . . ." and "They may have . . ." would all be better translations than "They can have . . ."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KTKee-EnglishEng

Suffer an accident is quite normal in English, I don't know what people are complaining about. http://tinyurl.com/q2839gz


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

I think that they're complaining about ‘can’ here, not about ‘suffer an accident’.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P-ank.tron

I think it's weird that the given answer to "sofrer um acidente" is "have an accident". I think "suffer" is more natural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

They can have an accident if you like, I don't care. Just as long as they're dead when you're done.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony979198

They could suffer an accident should also be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LyricalWordsmith

This makes no sense...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

They might have an accident?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThanKwee

Yes, that sounds natural. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcxW91

Yes but does our green owl friend accept this, or do we lose a heart for speaking our native language in a natural-sounding way?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.P.Niers

Maybe the speaker is worried about them because they've taken up formula one racing as a hobby.

I agree with Paulenrique, ‘podem’ should be translated ‘might’ in this case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisGull

In normal sense this is weird.. Maybe you would hear it in a movie about gangsters plotting an "accident" against someone else.

Or, as pointed out, use a better word.

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