"O petróleo é um importante recurso natural."

Translation:Oil is an important natural resource.

July 15, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Why does "importante" come before "recurso natural". In another sentence I saw the phrase "recurso natural vital", which seems almost identical in meaning.


Linguistics have no specific rules on this. "Importante" can come either before or after the noun, both are correct, not the same for vital, which comes always after the noun. Some adjectives have this flexibility, or also what sounds good or not to our ears.


Let me ask me a question on this. In Spanish there's a slight difference here that I wonder if might apply to Portuguese since both languages are closely related.

When we use the adjective before the noun we use it to state the obvious. On the other hand, when we use it after the noun it might be new information.

For example, if I talk about how important oil is, and everybody knows it, I might say '...importante recurso...' But if suppose this is the first time we've come across oil and nobody knows what this is I'd say '...recurso importante...'

Another example: '...o velho rei disse...' (everybody knows the king's old). '...o rei velho...' (some people might not know the king's old).

So, is there any reputable source where I could find an answer to this kind of questions? In Spanish we have the royal Spanish academy, which is an institution dedicated to regulate the language, is there something similar in Portuguese?


In another sentence the plural "os" article (towards the end of the sentence) was required by DL, where is was fully optional (according to sentence discussion and moderator reply) so I had to report the other sentence today.

As I am doing a skill test-out because of the new A/B PT tree, I tried it this time with my (hopefully to be accepted) answer "The oil is an important natural resource".

Now I am marked again wrong, because the only valid solution is "Oil" and not "The oil".

What is right?


Same question; 'oil' or 'the oil': what is wrong in using the article here?


It should be accepeted in both cases.


In English, oil dues not take a definite article, unless you're emphasizing some kind of specificity, for example "the oil from Texas is different from the oil from Venezuela." However the use of definite articles in Portuguese can feel random to us non native speakers, so sometimes Duo gives us a hint by including it in the English sentence when it wouldn't normally be used. If it's a sentence that gets used to ask the learner to translate in both directions, Duo may be reinforcing less than ideal English. You can report. But it certainly sucks to lose a heart for being correct, especially under the current set up.


I think petrol should also be accepted, no?


I'm not sure -- I assume that by "petrol" you mean what we Yanks would call gasoline, right? As far as I can tell, petróleo does not mean that. According to Google Translate, it does also mean kerosene, which is chemically close to gasoline, but not the same, it's what EN-UK speakers call paraffin (which GT also lists as a translation). If I ask GT what "gasoline" is in PT, it says "gasolina".

(Shame nobody bothered to answer this in the two years since you asked this!)


So inconsistent. Another question had A expansão and The was required or it was marked wrong. Here it is not The oil. What is frustrating for some of us is that these inconsistencies have existed for years.

Learn Portuguese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.