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"Ele pediu que eu desculpasse você."

Translation:He asked that I forgive you.

July 13, 2013



He asked me to forgive you


Is it correct that we use the past subjunctive "desculpasse" when "forgive" is present tense? Is the sentence "Ele pediu que eu ti desculpe" valid and if so how is the meaning different?


The imperfect subjunctive is dependent on the verb in the main clause being in the past tense. You can say: "Ele pede que eu desculpe voce" -> "He asks that I forgive you."


yes, you're right


So you are saying that the use of the conditional verb or a 'que' or 'se' requires that we use the imperfect subjunctive in the action verb, but the change of the verb from present to imperfect subjunctive is not the cause of the the sentence being something that may or may not have happened?



Usually the change of tense in the main clause impacts the verb in the subordinate clause.

Ele pede que eu desculpe você is not more or less uncertain than is Ele pediu que eu desculpasse você.

The use of the present subjunctive is more direct and is considered less polite than the imperfect subjunctive. Some examples provided by a Brazilian on Duolingo (in quotations):

"Quero que largue esse celular! (Direct order from an angry mother.)

Queria que largasse esse celular. (A request, not a demand, from the mother).

Further explanation from this user:

"Ele pediu que eu desculpe você - um pedido feito com convicção. "Pediu" está no passado, pois o pedido foi feito ontem. "Desculpe" está no presente pois a situação é agora.

Ele pediu que eu desculpasse você. - um pedido que vai depender de minha boa vontade. "Desculpasse", apesar de imperfeito, tem valor de presente. Mas pode também ter valor de passado, se a desculpa já foi dada e estou apenas justificando por que desculpei."

  • 164


In English, tenses should match such as in:

  • He said he would help = Ele disse que ajudaria
  • He says he will help = Ele diz que ajurará

In Portuguese, though, one can use the following:

  • Ele disse que ajudará

He said that in the past, but the time when he is supposed to help is yet to come.

Does this match:

  • He has said he is going to help?
  • He has said he will help?


Thank you. That is a big help to someone that hasn't seen the Imperfect Subjunctive tense and the on-line sites didn't explain nearly as well as you did!

  • 164

Sounds legit :)


The "que" in the sentence you submitted turns the sentence into subjuntive. Then, you'd better say "Ele pediu para eu te desculpar". So, using "forgave" in the English sentence works right!

  • 164

Forgive is in the "Subjunctive mood" in English. It does not change when used in the form "that one + verb".

In Portuguese, it changes though, following the main verb.


I thought that both "forgive" and "apologize" were virtually the same. My translation (incorrect per DL) was: "He asked for me to apologize to you".

  • 164
  • You forgive someone. (Someone made something bad, and you suffered)
  • You apologize to someone (You did something bad, and someone suffered)

  • I forgive you = Eu te perdoo = Eu te desculpo (Perdoar is used for bigger things)

  • I apologize to you = Eu me desculpo / Eu te peço desculpas


Does "pedir desculpas" mean the same as "desculpar"?

How can we say "Eu quero te pedir desculpas" with "desculpar"? Is "Eu quero te desculpo" correct?


"Desculpar" is when you forgive someone. "Pedir desculpa" is to ask for forgiveness.


bad English----- he asked me to forgive him--correct English


The verb "ask" has two forms in standard English, the subjunctive mood and the indicative mood with an infinitive clause.

• He asked that I forgive you. (subjunctive - formal)
• He asked me to forgive you. (indicative)

It parallels Portuguese: "pedir" also uses both forms.

• Ele pediu que eu desculpasse você.
• Ele pediu para eu desculpar você.



I wrote: 'He asked that I apologize to you" Checking the suggestions etc... I don't see why this wasn't accepted? Any thoughts please?


He asked me to forgive you, apologize means " desculpar com ___" forgive "desculpar"

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