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  5. "Eu costumo tomar café sem aç…

"Eu costumo tomar café sem açúcar."

Translation:I usually drink coffee without sugar.

June 24, 2013

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Here's how it works. "use to" basically means "be accustomed to"

In the present "I use to drink coffee" would mean " I am accustomed to drinking coffee." However, this has been archaic since the 19th century. No one would every say this any more. So the Duolingo translation is wrong and should be removed.

The past "I used to drink coffee" means "I was accustomed to drinking coffee." This is now very common, meaning "I drank coffee at some time in the past, but I don't any more."

So "I used to drink coffee without sugar" would be perfectly good contemporary English, but not a correct translation of this sentence.

The sentence should go "I drink coffee without sugar" "It's my habit to drink coffee without sugar" "I usually drink coffee without sugar" "It is my custom to drink coffee without sugar" "I am accustomed to drinking coffee without sugar"


This example reminds us that take can be used for tomar in the sense of a drink as well (although Duolingo doesn´t accept this yet). You ask someone how they take their coffee and they respond, I normally take my coffee without sugar.


as in 'Englishman in New York' lyrics by Sting ;)


how would you say i used to drink coffee without sugar? eu costumei tomar cafe.....?


As it is an action that used to happen in the past, you say: "Eu costumAVA tomar café sem açúcar"


Would something like "eu tomava café sem açúcar" convey that as well?


yes! that also works!


However, Duolingo accepted "I am used to drinking...", which is definitely not in the past. So I don't think Duo knows what is being said.


Duo knows. It is present. It just doesn't know "use to" is wrong.

I myself used to think (as Duo seems to think) that I could take "used to" from a past tense and change it into present: "use to". (But I was wrong).

If that were possible, the translation would be ok.

  • (past) I used to drink = In the past, my drinking habits were these
  • (wrong but logical present) I use to drink = Today my drinking habits are these.


It also accepts "i usually". This is better than "i use to", which should not be accepted at all.


Is 'Usually I drink coffee without sugar' bad English or just wrong?

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