"O sinal ficou verde."

Translation:The traffic light turned green.

August 3, 2013

This discussion is locked.


"ficou" was translated as "stayed" in the clue section. That was very misleading..


Because it does mean "to stay." It also means "to become." Confused?


In the US, the word "traffic" is understood and rarely said. Therefore "the light turned green." is the more common expression, imo.


agreed, light should be suggested


The accepted translation is "The traffic light turned green". How would you say "The traffic light stayed green"? (i.e. it didn't turn red).


the same way, or "o sinal permaceu verde", but that's a bit weird. Probably nobody would use that but "o sinal estava/está verde"


In English you would say the light stayed green, so presumably you mean in Brazilian you wouldn't.


...you could but those damn things never stay green hahaha Like 3 seconds and BOOM red light :/


I'm not a native speaker, but I have been reading Portuguese now for 2 years. I have found that the word ficar has dozens of meanings. For examples: got, as in ficou contento, furioso, cansado...; became, as in ficou evidente; stayed or lodged, as in ficou nos melhores hoteis; kept, as in ficou com muito odio; is located, as in Onde fica o hotel?; remained, as in ficou preso por oito anos; was, as in Pedro ficou muito arrependido; grew, as in ficou rico; stay, as in ficar alerta; to be, as in sua reputação pode ficar manchada por anos. And to all this I now add turn, as in o sinal ficou verde.


All what you enumerate does not show how strange and overloaded "ficar" is. It shows how strange and distributed (or rich) English usage is for expressing a couple of related meanings:

  • to become (to get, to grow, to turn, to be)
  • to stay (to keep, to remain, to be located)

All of the listed meanings could be expressed with a couple of related verbs in other languages, for example in Slavonic languages with stati/stoyati. In Bulgarian actually yet another pair of related verbs could be used: stana/ostana. All verbs I listed are cognates of English "stay" originating from PIE steh₂- / stoh₂-.


Between green and red stays green


"The signal became green" Is this an acceptable translation?


That's the meaning... =)


this is a badly corrected question. Ficar means 'to stay' - implying the light is green and is not changing. The correct answer implies the light has changed to green from another colour. Two distinct scenarios - the question has been reported.


On the contrary. O sinal ficou verde means now it is green, it changed to green.


if that's the case the hints should reflect it. Ficar up 'til now has never been used to mean 'become', can't expect people to pull meaning out of thin air when this programme is supposedly meant to provide you with a decent contextual meaning. Would you accept it can also be translated as 'the signal stayed green'?


Yes, the hints are not useful all the time. For "the signal stayed green" natives usually say "o sinal continuou/permaneceu" verde, to make the distinction.


Are you saying that ficar is a contranym!? (i.e., a word that can be it's own opposite!?) yes... That would be quite frustrating! Ha!


"To become" as it is used here is not really the opposite of "to stay" :-) to be honest it's actually not that far from each other.

When he said I was ugly, I became sad.

When he said I was ugly I "stayed" sad.


why not simply use mudar, modificar, tornar-se, virar instead of the one verb that actually means 'to stay'.


To make it more useful to a day-to-day life!

But I see your frustration...


I would not use "tornar-se" in this case.

[deactivated user]

    It's possible. "Reverso Context"

    E naquele preciso momento, a luz ficou verde, e virei à direita.

    At that precise moment, the light turned green, and I turned right.

    [deactivated user]

      Ficar has many meanings as enumerated in other posts. Stay is one such meaning and is often the translation that non-native speakers attach to "ficar".

      This link is provides other translations of ficar.



      emeyr coloquei Was deu errado....questao de tempo? Duo colocou remained em substituiçao

      [deactivated user]

        O verbo muda de sentido de acordo com o contexto.

        O sinal ficou verde por muito tempo.
        The traffic light was green for a long time. (= duração de temp)

        O sinal ficou verde.
        The traffic light turned green. (= mudança rápida)


        An excellent explanation. Obrigado!


        Qual é a diferença entre sinal e semáforo?


        None. It depends on the region you are, but "sinal" has other meanings as well.


        Thanks. Other meanings? Like "Signal" for example, I assume.


        Yes, "sign" and "signal", for example.


        Why is "The traffic signal turned green." an incorrect answer? We're translating to english right? If traffic light is an acceptable answer, and traffic signal is the same as traffic light, why is traffic signal graded wrong? It seems the more literal translation from my perspective?


        FYI DL, Traffic light and traffic signal should BOTH be accepted since they ARE used interchangeably AND either light or signal are meaningless without the adverb traffic.

        [deactivated user]

          "Traffic light" and "traffic signal" should be accepted, but it's common to use "light" without the adjective "traffic" in AmE.

          https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/52777-when-the-light-turns-green-you-go-when-the-light - Shel Silverstein


          When did ficar become turn

          [deactivated user]

            • He turned green with envy.
            • Ele ficou verde de inveja.

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