1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Portuguese
  4. >
  5. "Eu pensei que ele me entende…

"Eu pensei que ele me entendesse."

Translation:I thought that he understood me.

January 17, 2015



My answer 'I thought he would understand me' was marked wrong. Who can explain why? Obrigado!


So, it doesn't matter whether one uses "understood" or "understands" in these past subjunctive translations?


The English translation is in the past indicative:
I thought that he understood me.


Actually, I believe it is in the imperfect subjunctive too: http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/English/understand.html


"Think" isn't a trigger verb for the subjunctive in English.

I think that he understands me. (present)
I thought that he understood me. (past)

Both sentences in the indicative mode.


Ah, you are probably right. So, "I think it be mine," would then be incorrect, right?


Yes, it's incorrect.

I think it is mine. (Indicative)


Hello emeyr , does that mean that 'eu pedi que ele me entendeu' never exists in portuguese ? I'm really confused right now. Thanks in advance.


Yes, that is not correct in Portuguese. It would need to be «entendesse»; just because you ask someone to understand does not make it certain that they will


I think that English is more flexible in the number of verb tenses you can use in the subordinate clause of a subjunctive type sentence.

(That's what makes matching DL's translations so hard, English speakers have so many different ways to flip the words and STILL be grammatically correct!)


I do agree with you. Being an Italian, I would have found it easier to use Italian instead of English.Anyway, I like challenges. For an Italian, Portuguese is very easy to learn, not so for an English person. I found Portguese such a beautiful language, one of the best.


How do you say I thought he would understand me then? Would it not involve a subjunctive as well, especially if, in the end, it turned out I was wrong to assume that he would understand me?


So, is it correct translation for this sentence and "I thought that he would understand me", "Eu pensei que ele me entendesse"?


Could you say Eu pensei que ele me tinha entendido?


que ele me tivesse entendido


So there is not any context when you could use tinha instead of tivesse? I apologize, but I'm just having a hard time figuring out when to use the subjunctive after pensar. I want to understand the nuances.


Generally, use the subjunctive after "pensar" in the past tense when what you thought would happen turns out to be incorrect.

Eu pensei que ele me entendesse (mas estava errado.)


So pensar que in past tense + X in subjunctive generally means I know that Y actually happened ? Wow!


Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar (Whitlam):

"Eu pensei que" is followed by the imperfect subjunctive when it turns out that you are mistaken in your assumption."


You should always use the subjunctive after «pensar» because, just because you think something, does not mean it is true. Since it is uncertain whether it is true, the subjunctive is the correct mood. You would use "tinha" in situations where things are certain: "Eu vi que ele tinha um mapa nas mãos." I definitely saw that he had it, so we use the indicative mood "tinha."

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