"Eles tocam no elefante."

Translation:They touch the elephant.

August 11, 2013



Would "Eles tocam o elefante" be wrong?

August 11, 2013


Not wrong, but rarely used! (like the elephant was an object)

August 12, 2013


Thanks :)

August 12, 2013


Yeah... this is really getting me confused. What will be the 'literal' (althou wrong) translation for this? "The play on the elephant". I'm trying to look at it from a spanish perspective.

November 12, 2013


Could someone explain me what is the difference between "eles tocam no elefante" and "eles tocam o elefante" ? Obrigado!

December 28, 2013


First of all, we need to know that "no" is a contraction of "em + o" and "na" is a contraction of "em + a". If the noun is masculine you must use "o". Example: o elefante. If the noun is feminine you must use "a". Example: a girafa. The preposition "em" is required by the verb "tocar" in most cases, like: I touch him = Eu toco nele. (em + ele). Nobody says "Eu toco ele". Buy the way, it is very difficult to know which verb requires which preposition. Even natives make confusion and sometimes make mistakes. I found this link of verbs and prepositions: https://www.normaculta.com.br/regencia-verbal/ I hope you enjoy. There are cases where the verb "tocar" does not require the preposition "em". Exemple: "Eu toco piano" means I play the piano, but "Eu toco no piano" means I'm touching the piano, in the object, in the mobile.

December 7, 2018


Remember that the preposition "em" is optional for "tocar" (to touch).

December 7, 2018


They mean the same.

December 28, 2013


I put " they touch on the elephant" how is that wrong?

September 7, 2014


"They touch ON the elephant" means that two people are sitting on top of the elephant and touching each other. It's a quite unlikely, albeit perfectly logic sentence... Also in English there is an expression "to touch on (a topic)" meaning to briefly discuss or mention a topic.

December 8, 2018


Me too. I guess the "on" is not needed in English but it's not incorrect English. Strange.

January 20, 2015


When does 'tocar' get followed by 'em', when it involves touching a person as opposed to an object? And when it's used as the verb 'to play on/in' it follows too right?

February 5, 2014


It's quite optional.
They touch the object = Eles tocam o/no objeto
They touch the kids = Eles tocam as/nas crianças
He plays the guitar = Ele toca a/na guitarra

June 11, 2015


When is tocar "play" vs. "touch"?

May 7, 2014


If it is like the Spanish (it isn't always), "tocar" is play only in when it refers to music, either a musical instrument or a musical composition.

May 23, 2014


The elephant sentence above is an example of "touch," but it can be used to describe "play" in context of an instrument. Ex: "Eu toco a guitarra."

May 13, 2014


So it could be right to translate this sentence to "they play the elephant", if they use it as a drum?

June 9, 2014


Absolutely...or if they have nicknamed one of their instruments "the elephant" it could be be syntactically correct as well.

December 29, 2014


I think it is more English than Portuguese.... isn't it?

May 7, 2014


why 'no' doesn't have any of those translations in the sentence? I translated this 'they play on elephant' xD

October 3, 2013


A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: "We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable". So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said "This being is like a thick snake". For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, "elephant is a wall". Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear. And so these men of Indostan disputed loud and long, each in his own opinion exceeding stiff and strong, though each was partly in the right and all were in the wrong!

June 5, 2017


When tocar means play is em still used? Ex. Eu toco em futebol?

April 4, 2018

  • Tocar = to play an instrument
  • Tocar em = to touch/tap something
  • Jogar = to play sports
April 4, 2018


"Eu toco em futebol" makes no sense. In this case "play" means "jogar". The correct is "Eu jogo futebol. Você joga futebol. Eles jogam futebol.

December 7, 2018


Would "Eles tocam um elefante" be right?

May 14, 2019


That would be "They touch an elephant".

May 14, 2019


I used "They touch the elephant" which seemed more correct, from a Spanish perspective,and taking into account that there's no way you could play an elephant. I don't see why "em" (no) is needed.

May 8, 2015


I don't get it if no means em+o why it only means the in the translation.

September 22, 2016


Still not sure why "Eles tocam o elefante" should be wrong....

August 27, 2017
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