"O telefone não parava de tocar."

Translation:The telephone would not stop ringing.

July 26, 2013

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How would I say in english: "O telefone não pararia de tocar"

Mesmo tendo visto em muitas outras frases, ainda é estranho para mim usar "would" como pretérito.


Both "O telefone não parava de tocar" and "O telefone não pararia de tocar" can be translated using "The telephone would not stop ringing". But context is everything. Compare: "When I was famous, the telephone would not stop ringing" (use "parava") with "If I was/were famous, the telephone would not stop ringing" (use "pararia"). (The choice of "was" or "were" in the second sentence depends on how much you like the English subjunctive, both are correct in British English and just differ in formality.)


Nice explanation Davu, thanks.


"The phone would not stop ringing" is a completely normal phrase in English. As is "the phone never stopped ringing, the phone did not stop ringing".


So, for this lesson on "Verbs: Present Perfect", there have been quite a few translations using "would" (conditional tense; in this case, pararia) rather than "used to" (parava). What am I missing here?


The "would" in translations of the imperfect is talking about a past habit as in "When I was young I would play all day" (note, here "would" can be replaced by "used to"). The conditional "would", on the other hand, is used in a sentence like "If I were young I would play all day".


Picky, but "The telephone did not used to stop ringing" should be accepted, instead of "did not use to stop ringing." If it did stop, we would say in American English that "the telephone used to stop ringing," not "the telephone use to stop ringing." Both are in the past, hence "used" rather than "use."


"Did" is past.

You replace an affirmative "used to" with a negative "did not use to".
A more formal way taking "used" would not use "did": "used not to".


The rules of grammarians do not always coincide with the rules of the English Language. The most usual constructions in English would be "never used to" or "didn't usually". In addition to the conflict of tenses, "didn't use to" is an offence against the English Ear. My advice would be, "don't use didn't use to" and I believe most English speakers don't and didn't, ever.


"Never stopped ringing"? Never conveys repetition in past better than "did not" in English although there is no nunca in PT version...


I put "The telephone did not stop ringing" and got it wrong... I like the above question


This is a good translation (the system accepts it today)


What about: The telephone kept ringing?


I think it should be accepted also.


A suggested correct response is "The telephone didn't stop to ring," which is bad Engish (I've reported it.)


Indeed :)

  • Didn't stop ringing = não parava de tocar
  • Didn't stop to ring = não parava para tocar (it's weird to expect that a phone would stop what it's doing in order to start ringing....)
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