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  5. "Um tio é o irmão do seu pai …

"Um tio é o irmão do seu pai ou da sua mãe."

Translation:An uncle is the brother of your father or your mother.

August 6, 2013



I wrote "An uncle is the brother of one's father or mother," fully expecting that it be wrong, so I could report it. I was happily surprised :)


That would be because seu or sua is the he, she, it possessive article, so it can also possible take on place on the "one's" as you've mentioned.


Yeah, I just didn't expect duo to accept it. As a native German speaker I prefer using 'one' over the impersonal 'you', as it's closer to the German usage (using the pronoun man)


"an uncle is a brother of your father or of your mother" does changing the the, to an A... really make any difference


For this question, yes it does. "A" is the indefinite article, and "the" is the definite article. Portuguese has both, and the Portuguese sentence specifically says "an uncle is the brother of your father or of your mother.

Grammatically, I would prefer "a", but in common usage either would be fine.


Sorry, Mesmorino, but that's applying Portuguese grammar to English. In English we rarely use the definite article for general nouns ("The food is good there," perhaps; but never "The woman is fickle," as commonly in romance languages. More common are (1) Women are interesting, [pl for generalities] or (2) One's uncle is a brother… [indefinite article for a possible, not definite, option]. In point of fact, as several native speakers' responses on this page suggest, the sentence as posited by Duo is not good English, and sounds off-key.


I agree. Like I said, grammatically I would prefer "a", but in general usage either would be fine (for me).

More to the point, the Portuguese sentence specifically says "the", so whether it is wrong or sounds wrong in English is moot. The "correct" Portuguese sentence would have "um irmao", which could then be translated to "a brother"

It's like "dois mais dois é cinco". It's obviously wrong but correcting it to four would give you the wrong translation. It specifically says "two plus two is five"


This may be a dumb question but am I able to omit the article O and A so it says:

Um tio e o irmao de seu pai ou de sua mae?

I read that you don't need the article if the subject is mentioned but is mentioned in something like this:

Voce gosta de meu carro ou seu carro mais? Eu gosto do seu mais (does this sentence make sense with do meaning de + O(for the car)


Due to the multiple meanings of "seu", it is better to include the articles o/a in text, for clarity. That way, when you say something like "um tio é o irmão do seu pai ou sa sua mae" there is no confusion about whether youre saying "an uncle is the brother of his (the uncle's) father", your father, or his (someone else's) father. "Your father" is the correct one, because it is a general sentence, (and an uncle can't be the brother of his own father)

This ambiguity is present mostly in text, because when speaking to people I imagine that from context they would hear the right pronoun to use. It could still happen if you were speaking generally, (like in this example) and someone wasn't sure, but if you start a sentence with você, ele/ela or eles/elas, and the subject is about them, add the article. If you don't, then seu can mean either "your", "his" or "her"

For example, in your sentence "você gosta de meu carro ou seu carro mais", are you saying "do you like my car or your car more" or "do you like my car or his/her car more? From context and when speaking it clear that you're saying your, but of course if you said "o seu", that confusion would not even arise.


Ah alright I kind of get it but still kind of confused as to what O/A is referring to. So in the original sentence, "Um tio e o irmao de seu pai ou da sua mae.", by including O and A in do/da, it makes sure the reader/listener knows that seu/sua is referring to what? Mother/Father?


Not mother and father, but your mother/ father. Or, your anything really, it's for emphasis on whose parent/car/house/etc we're talking about.

I would translate "um tio é o irmão de seu pai ou da sua mãe" as "an uncle is the brother of his father or of your mother". Writing "o/a seu/sua" instead of "seu/sua" is the difference between writing "your" and "his/her"

In English it's easy as we have three different words (your, his, her), but in Portuguese the distinction is enhanced by adding the article.


OH ok so one last reassurance:

if i just write: de seu pai - I am saying his/her father.

while if I write: do seu pai/da sua mae - I am saying your father/mother


Basically, yes, that is generally how it will be read in the absence of other contextual clues and indicators. If you want to make it clear that you're saying "your", then use "o seu/a sua".

If the sentence has context, then it'll be easier to get the right translation. For example in "um tio é o irmão de seu pai ou da sua mãe", I know that an uncle cannot be the brother of his own father, so the correct translation there is "your".

The sentence also starts with "um" (and not "seu tio" or "o tio dela/dele") , so I know that it's not talking about the speaker's uncle, it's talking about an uncle, any uncle so again, even though it says "de seu", I know that it's supposed to say "do seu"


Still, the English makes no sense. An uncle is not the brother of but a brother of: clearly, you could have more than one uncle. I wrote and have reported: an uncle is a brother if your father's or your mother's.


You are wrong, because Duo is not asking you to define what an uncle is, it is asking you to translate the sentence. However right or wrong the Portuguese sentence is is irrelevant and a separate discussion.

If Duo said translate "dois mais dois é cinco", the correct translation is "two plus two is five", because it is not asking you what two plus two is, it is asking you to translate the sentence. It is not the first time duo has asked us to translate nonsense statements, and it will not be the last.


The blending of portuguese... muito loco ...


"An uncle is the brother of your father or of your mother ?" Is a correct answer, but it really doesn't sounds right. Perhaps This or That or The, but An ?


You would say that explaining "what" is an uncle.

An uncle is....blablabla


Maybe it is because you are using the your at the end with the other nouns, but I agree with you, it doesn't sound right... Your uncle is the brother of your mother of your father, sounds more correct in English than an


Is is absolutely required to include the 'da sua' (because the sexes are different)? For example, is "Um tio é o irmão do seu pai ou mãe." also correct? What if there was no change of sex?


You can omit the second preposition. But if you use, it must have the gender of the word it poinst to.

"O carro é do seu avô ou do seu pai?"


In Portuguese (and Spanish, btw) the short prepositions (de, a, em) tend to be repeated as parallels with several objects, rather than one with multiple objects (gender has little to do with it -- it's sylistics)


What about "Um tio é o irmão do seu pai ou a sua mãe" or "Um tio é o irmão do seu pai ou sua mãe"?

I'm just wondering why it is "da sua" instead of "a sua", or even omitting the "a" entirely


Two things I'm sure of:

"irmão do seu pai ou da sua mãe" is the most clear and common. I always use it like this. Since "do seu pai" and "da sua mãe" have the exact same function and relate to the same word. And that relation demands preposition "de". (irmão do seu pai ou irmão da sua mãe)

Using "irmão do seu pai ou a sua mãe" is wrong. And it could suggest "um tio é a sua mãe".

Now, I'm really not sure about the grammar rules for the following:

"irmão do seu pai ou sua mãe", I believe it's right, but I wouldn't bet.

"irmão do seu pai ou mãe".


danmoller, i think it's because parallel constructions are always clearest and strongest. "é do seu pãe ou a sua mãe", by being not parallel suggests (as you noted above) um tio é a sua mãe in contrast to irmão do seu pãe. do seu pai ou sua mãe is colloquial and correct altho de seu pai ou sua mãe is better parallel (but i've never heard it). The last one is weak because seu/sua, like short prepositions, tends always to be used if applicable and not skipped. não é?


This an awkward sentence.

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