"Se você tomar este remédio, você se sentirá melhor."

Translation:If you take this medicine, you will feel better.

August 18, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Is tomar correct here? I would understand present tense "toma" or future tense "tomará"


Ok, that could be. It was in the section "future" and I thought it was only about the normal future tense. Didn't even occur to me, that it could be subjunctive. Thanks


Came here for more or less the same question (I expected ‘tomasse’) so thanks for the answer. Am I correct in inferring that ‘tomasse’ should be used for past hypothetical events and ‘tomar’ for future ones?


If it was about past events, the sentence would be "Se você tivesse tomado este remédio, você se sentiria melhor" (you have to use "futuro do pretérito" also called "condicional" in the second part). Colloquially, you can change "futuro do pretérito" for "pretérito imperfeito" (Se você tivesse tomado este remédio, você se sentia melhor). The construction "Se você tomasse o remédio, você se sentiria melhor" means something like "if you had the habit of taking this medicine, you would feel better".


Is this a good translation: "If you took this medicine you would feel better"? If so, then it shows that the past subjunctive is not only used for past hypothetical events but also for imagined future events.


You are right! I made a terrible confusion here. I will edit.


Adriano and Davu, thank you so much for your answers. For maximum clarity, in ‘the past subjunctive is not only used ... but also for imagined future events’ we're talking about the English past, right? In Portuguese you would, I assume, use the the conjuntivo futuro.

My understanding until now, in summary:

  • tivesse tomado + sentiria = past hypothetical event
  • tomasse + sentiria = past hypothetical continuous action
  • tomar + sentirá = future hypothetical event


Niers, Davu's point was about a mistake I made before editing my previous message. Let's wait for him. I think your summary is correct.


Sorry, I can't reply to your message starting "Adriano and Davu" but that's what I'm talking about.

As Adriano says, my comment was directed at a previous version of his reply where he seemed to agree with you that the imperfect subjunctive "tomasse" would only be used for past hypothetical events. In his corrected reply he uses the pluperfect subjunctive "tivesse tomado" instead.

As I understand it, both these sentences can be interpreted as talking about hypothetical/imagined/unreal future events:

  • "Se você tomasse este remédio, você se sentiria melhor"
  • "Se você tomar este remédio, você se sentirá melhor"

The difference is subtle. In a comment attached to this article: http://www.learn-portuguese-with-rafa.com/future-subjunctive.html the author says:

Imperfect Subjunctive shows a more remote possibility - very unlikely to happen, whereas Future Subjunctive expresses a possibility that is quite likely to happen. For instance if you say "Se eu ganhasse a lotaria compraria uma casa grande." you are implying that your hope of winning the lottery is very weak. However, if you say "Se eu ganhar a lotaria eu vou comprar uma casa grande" you are showing that you are very positive and you really believe that one day you will win the lottery and buy a big house. Can you see the subtlety here? ;-)


That's perfect, Davu. In Brazil we say "ganhar na loteria" or "acertar na loteria". It is very difficult to explain the subjunctive meanings in other language... Never realized that! Imagine this sentence "Ah, se eu tivesse uma Ferrari!". How would explain it? Future hypothetical, past hypothetical, a mere desire? Niers, this article in Wikipedia mentions the compound forms before explaining the subjunctive mood. I think it is not incorrect, only incomplete.


Oh, right. The author of that comment, Rafa, is from Portugal so I'm sure that explains the difference between "a loteria" and "na loteria".


Thank you all for all the enlightening answers.


Thanks, that's interesting. I've also read Wikipedia's explanation here:


It, however, doesn't mention the tivesse compound forms, implies that the pretérito imperfeito do conjuntivo is normally used for the past and gives some more reasons to decide when to use the conjuntivo. Of course, it's Wikipedia, so it could be completely wrong.


I'm sure it is not completely wrong. The page you cite includes a link to an article with a comprehensive list of Portuguese tenses: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Portuguese/Contents/Variation_of_the_Portuguese_Verbs
(including the compound forms).

The article points out that most sentences which use the subjunctive are in two parts, the main clause and the subordinate clause and the meaning of the imperfect subjunctive can depend on the clause in which it appears. My comment only talks about using this tense in the "if" clause of a conditional and, possibly mistakenly, I'm really basing my reasoning on how things work in English (and treating the imperfect subjunctive as if it were the simple past).


No, Davu, there is no mistake in your comment. My point is that subjunctive is more complex than we native speakers realize, but we are able to get the meanings naturally by using the tenses and moods in real life, 24/7. The example I gave maybe has an implicit subordinate clause (If I had a Ferrari I would travel a lot/be popular with girls/be rich). I found it difficult to explain the meanings (past, future, hypothetical, imaginative, etc) but that was due to my lack of knowledge (Portuguese and English) and this discussion is most interesting because I'm learning both.


Really why didn't they usw the subjunctive?


They did, at least in the Portuguese sentence.


Yes, as Adriano says, this sentence uses the future subjunctive, which for regular verbs like "tomar" is identical to the personal infinitive (which in turn is identical to the infinitive for "eu/você/ele/ela"). I understand that both the future subjunctive and the personal infinitive are features either not present or not used very often in most other romance languages. The link I gave explains both.


If the medication is a liquid "tomar" could mean drink, however, duolingo did not accept when I wrote Îf you drink this medicine, you will feel better^.


If it is subjunctive why is if you would take... Not accepted


if you take this medicine you will feel yourself better not accepted.... what does seem to be wrong?

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