It could be either actually. When there is a mixed group or, we do not know the gender, it reverts to the masculine in Portuguese. Eles (they), Netos (grandsons or, grandchildren), Primos (cousins), Irmãos (brothers or, siblings), Filhos (sons or, children), Pais (dads or, parents), Amigos (friends), Sobrinhos (nephews or, nieces & nephews), Tios (uncles, or aunts & uncles), Padrastros (stepdads or, stepparents), Gatos (tomcats or, just cats), etc.
One exception is "grandparents" which uses the feminine version but with a masculine declension. O Avô, A Avó, Os Avós.
So, "os meninos" can be, the boys or, the boys and girls (aka, children, kids).
+write, which can be translated according to Google by:
escrever, redigir, descrever, comunicar por escrito, ser escritor
with a pen escrever, redigir, encurralar, fechar
to indite compor, escrever, redigir
to write down escrever, registrar, depreciar escrevendo, reduzir o capital
to set down escrever, registrar, depositar, reduzir o capital
to spell soletrar, significar, escrever, formar, grafar, enfeitiçar
to put colocar, pôr, apresentar, aplicar, botar, escrever
to create criar, gerar, fazer, produzir, formar, escrever
to produce produzir, apresentar, fabricar, exibir, escrever, mostrar
with words escrever, formular, redigir, frasear, escolher as palavras, exprimir por palavras
for a character caracterizar, escrever, gravar
I've been meaning to answer this for several weeks (but so busy), however, I will repeat an answer I just gave someone else that is really relevant to your question:
This is the way of languages. We are born with all the neuron buds we need to learn any human language, but after the age of about 8, these auxiliary neuron buds start to die off in favor of strengthening the ones we actually use. That's one reason why adults simply cannot hear the tonal differences in the Chinese languages (and why we have accents while speaking in other languages we learn later in life).
So it is that the "m" and the "n" at least at the end of words in Portuguese is different than that of the English versions. It signals a nasal sound and in Brazilian PT especially it makes the classical English "m" sound nearly non-existent to native English speakers, but the Brazilians can keenly hear it because they learned it is that way from an early age (that is just how "m" sounds to them).
M and N
These consonants sound pretty much the same as in English, except when at the end of the word. In fact, the consonant “m” will sound very nasal and like if you actually do not finish it. What I mean is that when reading this letter at the end of a word, try to stop the movement of your lips in the middle, not allowing them to touch each other like they normally would and pushing the sound through your nose instead.
The “n” never appears at the end of a word, but when a word ending in “m” becomes plural, it will change into “ns”, and the sound of the “n” will be nasal as well and very similar to “m” at the end of a word.
Examples: [you can go to the site to hear these but forewarned these are EU PT pronunciations so the "m" is easier to hear than if in Brazilian accent]:
- Homem – /Ó-mem/
- Margem (margin) – /MAR-gem/
- Homens (men) – /Ó-mens/
- Margens (margins) – /MAR-gens/
Some people say the sound of an “m” final, seems to have an “g” or “y” in the mix, sounding like a “ny” or a “ng”. Like this:
- Margem (margin) —> /MAR-geng/
- Homens (men) —> /Ó-mengs/
Well, here's another take:
When a syllable ends with m or n, the consonant is not fully pronounced but merely indicates the nasalization of the vowel which precedes it. At the end of words, it generally produces a nasal diphthong.
And of course, Forvo is always a great resource for training the ear (as examples):
Every language has a past time.
If one was invented with no past, it would use adjectives instead.
But português being a Latin language, it's like Spanish, French, Italian (or Romanian/Esperanto) for the boys wrote is: os meninos escreveram/escribieron/écrivirent/scrissero (scris/skribis).
You can learn or google Esperanto all you want, but it still doesn't make it a Romance language. As an artificially created language it does not belong to any language family. In order for similar languages to be grouped in one language family they must have all evolved from a common ancestral mother-language called a Proto-language. Which in the case of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian and the other lesser-known Romance languages would be Vulgar Latin.
Even as an "artificially" created language the morphology and basis came from somewhere and it turns out that the Romance languages were a major inspiration for Esperanto:
The phonology, grammar, vocabulary, and semantics are based on the Indo-European languages spoken in Europe. The sound inventory is essentially Slavic, as is much of the semantics, whereas the vocabulary derives primarily from the Romance languages, with a lesser contribution from Germanic languages and minor contributions from Slavic languages and Greek.
Esperanto has been described as "a language lexically predominantly Romanic, morphologically intensively agglutinative, and to a certain degree isolating in character".
Portuguese also did not just come from Latin, but via Galega (Galician, which also had inspiration from Germanic tribes, and the Celts, and of course, the Moors, but that's not all).