"Eles podem sofrer um acidente."

Translation:They can have an accident.

June 6, 2013

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


In English this would usually take the conditional "could"


yes, it is confusing using this tense

[deactivated user]

    "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.



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

    [deactivated user]

      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.)


      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.


      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.)


      Good to know, because I would expect the subjunctive mood here, which would correspond to "could". Still, that English translation should be accepted, because we would never say "He can have an accident." And if DL insists on a literal translation, "suffer" would be a more consistent translation than "have". This kind of thing wouldn't bother me as much if I hadn't paid for DL Premium.


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


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


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


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


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


      They could suffer an accident should also be correct.


      Could "ter" be used here instead of "sofrer"? Or would that sound silly to a native speaker?


      This makes no sense...


      They might have an accident?


      Yes, that sounds natural. Thanks!


      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?


      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.


      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.


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

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