"Ele é um inseto?"

Translation:Is it an insect?

June 22, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Brazilian here.

"Ele é um inseto?" is translated literally to "Is he an insect?". It is quite strange in English, right? But actually this answer is accepted by Duolingo because it follows the lessons you were learning until here.

But the very translated corrected answer is also accepted by Duolingo: "Is it an insect?"

Maybe Duolingo will teach you later but "Ele" (He) and "Ela" (She) can also be used for animals and objects in Portuguese, while in English we use "It". We do this because nouns have genders in Portuguese.

May 13, 2014


I entered Is It an insect and my answer wasn't considered correct. The word It was red and duolingo suggested I use He instead, which is wrong in english. I believe in english we only use He/She with dogs/cats (generally pets). No ?

July 20, 2014


We can use it more generally; it's really up to the speaker. So Duolingo should accept "he". But they should also accept "it"! So report it if this happens again.

July 26, 2014


"it" can be "ele" (he) but "he" cannot be "isto" (it).

April 3, 2016


Not just pets. Remember the Queen Bee? She's always a she. If we know the gender of the animal or insect, we can identify it as such.

from the internet:

"SEX DIFFERENTIATION IN INSECTS: Knowing the sex of your bug can be enormously satisfying. Fortunately there are some families and whole groups of related families of insects in which sex determination is easy..."

May 7, 2015


And,I may say Interesting! IN fact the more colourful/pretty insects/ animals are often-MALE.. I.E. the female species appear boreing/bland, as a survival tool,they don't stand out and therefore survive,and multiply! ISN'T Nature wonderful :)

August 9, 2015


Alas, poor Gregor Samsa...

August 26, 2014


He is an insect?

February 7, 2014


Well there certainly are rumors a-buzzing about his real identity...although I'm não quite sure...

December 27, 2014


I came onto here looking for something funny. I found it. Thank you for making my day.

November 18, 2017


Se eu afirmo ou mesmo pergunto- Ele é um inseto (?) - seria no sentido figurado. Seria uma pessoa que não vale muito, que tem atitudes infames.... Agora, para perguntar se o animal que estou vendo e não conheço seria um inseto, então eu digo: É um inseto? ou Isso é um inseto?

November 23, 2014



April 3, 2016


Quem formulou esta questão foi o Franz Kafka.

June 9, 2015


Is this gramatical structure correct?

June 22, 2013


I'm not quite sure what you mean. Both sentences are fine I think. In Portuguese you can ask questions by making a statement and adding a question mark like "Ele é um inseto?" and in speech this is done with a rising intonation at the end of the sentence.

The English is a literal translation and it sounds a bit unlikely even though it's correct. In Portuguese "ele" can mean "it" too, so another translation is "Is it an insect?", although in that case "É um inseto?" would have been a better way of putting it I would have thought.

June 22, 2013


You are right; I should have been a little more specific about my question I apologyze for that. Anyways you nailed it. My native language is spanish so it sometimes gets a little confusing to me when it comes to grammar. The thing is that sometimes the audio just won´t help at all, like in this case by missing the rising intonation at the end. Thank you!!! Bless!!!

June 23, 2013


"He is an insect?" is marked wrong by Duolingo. Flagged it.

January 13, 2016


Is he an insect? Uma pergunta natural exige a inversão do sujeito e do verbo.

January 13, 2016


We have previously learned that the only difference between "Ele e um inseto" (He is an insect) and "Ele e um inseto?" (Is he an insect?) is the intonation of the pronunciation, i.e. the upward inflection at the end, however listening to this, there is no upward inflection. Is the pronunciation in this case incorrect? Or am I missing something?

May 7, 2015


Try this text-to-speech demo instead: http://www.oddcast.com/home/demos/tts/tts_example.php

Choose "Raquel (Brazilian)" and get her to say the sentence with and without the question mark.

May 7, 2015


It inflects just like english. The audio for portuguese is awful in many ways...

May 28, 2015


why doesnt duolingo accept he is an insect

August 12, 2015


It should, especially if you use the question mark. Report it if DL counts it wrong. again. But in English we normally change the word order to make a question. We put the verb (or part of the very) in front of the subject. So it would "Is he an insect?" (a bit strange in English) or "Is it an insect?" (more common).

October 11, 2015


It is still a problem...

December 31, 2014


Is he an insect? and He is an insect? are both perfectly acceptable and used in english and should be accepted by DL.

September 19, 2017


I put he is a insect and it marked it wrong isnt it the same thing

July 15, 2015


English requires "an" before a word that starts with the sound of a vowel like "insect".

July 15, 2015
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