Translation:Months passed and they took new paths.
Meaning: Months have passed and now they decided to take different directions for their lives...
the english translation provided sounds like something one would say when talking about students taking new college courses. Could the portuguese phrase also have the same meaning?
I think "The months passed and they took new ways." should be an acceptable equivalent of the official answer, "Months passed and they took new paths."
How important is the word 'se' in this sentence? It seems to pop up occasionally in sentences and I'm not quite sure I fully understand it's meaning or importance for being there. I assume it's a reflexive for passaram, as in (the months) passed-themselves?
It can hold a lot of functions, just don't freak out! Look this article: " http://www.mundoeducacao.com/gramatica/as-funcoes-morfossintaticas-particula-se.htm " It talks about its most usages, on this particulary case, I think it applies the case "h". I'll translate it in case you dont understand: "Highlight pronoun: It goes with the verbs of movement or with the ones that express the action of one's own body. (ir-se, chegar-se, rir-se, sorrir-se, etc.)
Exemples: -Passaram-se poucos minutos da sua partida. -Foi-se o tempo em que não preocupávamos com nossos filhos.