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I am a brazilian native, the meaning of the follow senteces is different: 1) When I say "Como ele é?", I want to know about his appearance (if he is tall, short, etc. ) and/or his perssonality (if he is nice, inteligent, smart, etc). I´ve always been taught there were too translations in english for this sentence: How does he look like ( when we want to know about his appearance) and How is he like (when we want to know about his personality), and I think What is he like would have the same meaning of How is like, am I right?
2) When I say "O que ele é?", I want to know what does he do for living (if he is a doctor, lawer, actor, teacher, etc.). I think that it could be translated to "What is he?", could it be?
And, not less important:
- "Como ele está" is the only one that means "how is he (doing)? - (is he ok?)"
Another native speaker giving us valuable tips , plus their English is better than ours, rsrsrsrs
I'm not sure both should be accepted.
If English accepts "how is he" with the same meaning as "what is he like", then, and only then, it's a translation for "como ele é".
But you would never ever in Portuguese ask "como ele é" if you want to know how he is doing.
For that you must ask "como ele está? = how is he (doing)?" (is he ok?)
Kind of unfair, I had no idea you could use 'como' in this way. Naturally I wrote 'What is he?'
I agree with you. I think this component leaves to be desired as far as introduction to conjunctions. That is unfortunate, because those are important. .
Aside from the excellent explanations given here, I thought I'd share what helped me understand.
Como ele e? translated word for word is How he is? You would reply, he is smart, or he is handsome, etc. Although in English you'd ask, what's he like. Do note that in a lot of languages, including Hindi, we sort of ask this question in a less English, more Portuguese way (if that makes sense)
O que ele e? again translated word for word is the what he is? Again you'd reply, he's a doctor, he's a lawyer, he's a random Indian dude on Duolingo, etc.
In English, "What is he/she" does not mean a profession like "O que ele é" It is often used negatively or when surprised.
①. Often concerning fundamental humanity (the "is")
"What IS he? I can't believe he did that! Is he a monster?" "an alien? a machine? an evil villain?"
In a positive way: "She did all that? What is she? Wonder Woman?!"
②. Same as: Ｗho does he think he is?
"What is he? So arrogant!"
Does Portuguese have a similar way of saying these things?
"Como vai ele", we use when we want to know how is he doing, if he is ok or not. About the sentence "What is he?", like antlane said, if you want to know if he is a lawyer, a teacher, a student, a doctor, nobody, etc., you say "O que ele é?".
I answered "What does he like", which is now obviously wrong. How would you say "What does he like" for my reference?
"Ele gosta de o que?" "O que ele gosta?" I'm not too sure either if someone else knows
You must have "de" in both cases. And if you want to use "o" (optional with "de + o que"), you must contract it with "de" :
- De que ele gosta?
- Ele gosta de quê? (At the end of a sentence, "quê" must have an accent)
- Do que ele gosta? (De + o)
- Ele gosta do quê? (De + o)
In Spanish we have two forms of the verb 'to be', namely 'estar' and ser'. Does PT have one form or two?
so, 'como' can mean ' I eat' 'like' or ' what'? this is very confusing. :( Please someone smart explain these to me!
"Como" does not mean "what".
- It means "what like"
- In which way/manner
- Or "how (to)", "how (one does)"
There are a few sentences that are specifically confusing, not exactly because "como" means "what", but simply because both languages decided to use a different thinking logic.
- Como é o seu nome? / Como você se chama? / Qual é o seu nome? = What is your name?
Here, we still carry the "how" idea, although that is not conceivable in English. It works in the sense of "how does one say your name?" / "how should one refer to you?" / "in which way is your name spelled?"
Try to spot easier important elements in the sentence:
- Another verb (here, the verb "é") - Does it make sense to have both verbs? (Let's try: "I eat he is", ouch)
- An object (some food) for the verb "como". Can I really eat him? :o
There are some funny sentences regarding this confusion:
- Como como? = How do I eat?
- Como como como = I eat the way I eat
- E como como!!! = And how do I eat!! (Man, I do eat a lot)
I can so relate to that! I've answered "Does he eat?" Absolutely wrong :-D I seem to have come to a point where it's a lot more difficult to learn than before. The easiest time is over ;-)
"Como" is only "I eat".
For "he eats", it must be "ele come".
Also, try to spot other verbs in the sentence. There is an "é", which makes it very weird to have another verb in the sentence. So this "como" might be something else.
Thanks! Absolutely makes sense :-)
I clearly wrote this posting in the very beginning - today I probably wouldn't make this mistake again...
At the moment I'm pausing (in?) learning Portuguese, but your answers to this thread last week definitely made me miss learning Portuguese very much... Someday I definitely will be back!
So, if I wanted to ask "How is he?" meaning my friend has been sick and I wonder if he is getting better? Which option would I use for this meaning?