"Como ele é?"

Translation:What's he like?

August 9, 2013

37 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/LidinaraLustri

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?

February 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

And, not less important:

  • "Como ele está" is the only one that means "how is he (doing)? - (is he ok?)"
February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/bbeeco

Another native speaker giving us valuable tips , plus their English is better than ours, rsrsrsrs

March 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/pepe_linguo

This is incorrect, "Como ele e" is "What is he like" not "How is he"

August 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ehowen65

I am agree with you!! that is the best translation

November 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Etudiante33

You mean I am in agreement with you. Both replies should be accepted

February 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

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?)

February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisGull

Kind of unfair, I had no idea you could use 'como' in this way. Naturally I wrote 'What is he?'

November 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Etudiante33

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. .

February 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/_ramblin_man_

Aside from the excellent explanations given here, I thought I'd share what helped me understand.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

February 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Oni

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?

December 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Easy2like

How would you say, "What is he?"

October 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/unomundo

that's what I guessed

October 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/falko.richter

i think it could be : "Como vai ele"

November 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LidinaraLustri

"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?".

February 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/iszobel

I answered "What does he like", which is now obviously wrong. How would you say "What does he like" for my reference?

December 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/tilden86

"Ele gosta de o que?" "O que ele gosta?" I'm not too sure either if someone else knows

January 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

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)
February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/niniecatta

I think it should be put in context for it to be more clear

December 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/miconino

"What does he look like", mostly used in North America is incorrect?

January 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

It's correct too :)

February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Detthyy

Where did the word "like" come from?

March 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RickPotter16

What's...like? >> Como...?

March 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/verinapk

Learning, ! Couldnt figure out the like so I "wtote what is he ?"

April 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JoseVilleg10

In Spanish we have two forms of the verb 'to be', namely 'estar' and ser'. Does PT have one form or two?

June 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisGull

Also two, the same and the same meaning as in Spanish :)

June 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lovemykitty

so, 'como' can mean ' I eat' 'like' or ' what'? this is very confusing. :( Please someone smart explain these to me!

February 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

"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?"

February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

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)
February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kajo76

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 ;-)

September 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

Haha.

"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.

February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kajo76

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!

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

We hope so =)

February 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/caroljune6

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?

August 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

In this case, you "Como ele está?"

August 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MoisesRifane

Por que não aceita "How is he like"? ou "How he is"

November 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jonthedrummer

Because those phrases are meaningless in English.

December 26, 2013
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