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In Brazil, this sentence can mean both "we count on you" and "we count with you".
Não falhe, estou contando com você - Do not fail, I'm counting on you.
Tem muitos livros, nós contamos com você - There are too many books, we count (them) with you.
São dez pessoas, contando (com is optional here) você - They are ten people, counting with you (incluing you).
I think the idea of this exercise is to teach "I'm counting on you/I count on you" = eu conto com voce. That it also means counting with (including) you is seen as a secondary objective. ymmv.
It's a phrase just like it is in English. Count on someone doesn't make sense literally. Like I'm standing on top of you, counting oranges or something. Contar com is the same in Portuguese, it's an expression that isn't meant literally.
"Count on someone" does make sense. http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/count
count on somebody/something
to trust somebody to do something or to be sure that something will happen
The random and imaginary sentences are so plentiful in Duolingo that I for one fully expected 'we count (cards? sheep?) with you' to be correct even though I'm familiar with the English idiom. Now if all Duolingo's sentences were actually sane, one could always expect a sane translation to be required. Hulk é um pouco de raiva.
I am confused. I am familiar with the phrase "to count on someone", but in my native language (czech) we also frequently use phrase "to count with someone". But it is marked wrong. I wonder if Portuguese does have similar meaning like that in Czech or not.
"To count with someone" means "to know about someone, to know someone is coming along or to know someone is going to do something with the others."
For example an assignment is given to a group of people and no actual names were given, so you don't know, whether you are supposed to work on it or not. When you ask about it you can get the answer "we count with you", like you were part of the group from the beginning. Or you are doing a wedding party for the family and your neice calls if she can come (because her invitation got lost on the way) and you can say "we count with you" because you have invited her and you want her there. You counted the people on the list and she is there, she was counted, so you "count with her", just in other way than sitting at the desk with her and counting toothpicks.
It is very common, therefore hard to explain, because there actually is no direct equivalent of this phrase.
Could this work in Portuguese too or is it just a quirk of Czech?
That's because contar com = count on. Count with doesn't make much sense in English.
To "count on" is a complete phrase meaning "rely" or "depend". The two words cannot be separated if this is the meaning intended. For example: "I count on you to be there on Saturday"; "I count on you to support me."
To "count with" someone means that you are figuring out a quantity (counting) together with the other person. For example: "After the sale, John will count the money with Mary."
Here is a good place to introduce another choice in English:
We look to you, i.e. we expect you to do something, perform some task, or just be plain reliable. This is often given as a translation of Nós olharamos para vocé, and in that context it is WRONG, but here We look to you is an acceptable translation.
- We depend on you
- We are counting on you
- You have our confidence
- Do right by us
- We look to you
- We rely on you
That's 6 possible translations in English.
Because this is a completely normal phrase...at least in American English. It means that "we" expect you to deliver on whatever it is that is being discussed. For example, "We count on you to deliver the best results for the company." Further, I would suggest that using the normal present tense versus the participle also adds emphasis. In other words, "we COUNT on you" is stronger than "we are COUNTING on you." The former implies some experience with the person in question, whereas the latter doesnt necessarily imply the person in question already has proven themselves and is a known quantity. This isn't a rule as much as it is a convention. We also often times say to another "we count on them" as a motivation to get the other person to deliver. Using such a phrase is pretty common in business or sports when the manager/coach is speaking to an employee/player about "getting the job done." Another way to look at this is its a "soft" guilt trip into motivating someone to get the job done, implying if they don't, others who are depending on them will be let down.
P.s., I am sure I described my tenses wrong. In other words, I'm not sure "we are counting on you" is actually the participle in English, but as a native English speaker, my technical knowledge of my language isn't actually that great. I'm am remembering from grade school so much about the technical construction of English by leaning Portuguese as an adult. In short, if I'm wrong in describing my tenses in English, please forgive me.