1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Portuguese
  4. >
  5. "Eu pedi que ele voltasse."

"Eu pedi que ele voltasse."

Translation:I asked him to come back.

August 28, 2013



"I asked that he return" is grammatically correct in English...


Both "I asked him to come back" and "I asked him to return" sound natural enough in British English, although I understand the subjunctive "I asked that he return" doesn't sound as stilted in American English.


I think that it sounds a bit stilted and very formal in American English as well.


One would not say in English, "I asked that he CAME back."


But "voltasse" is PAST conjunctive!


That is British English in which the verb is inflected or substituted by "should + base verb".


British is not English?


Yes, British English.

AmE uses the subjunctive form in formal speech. The verb in the subordinate clause is conjugated with the base verb (3rd person singular without "s") regardless of the tense used in the main clause.


English has many dialects, of which, some are North American. British English is a peculiar idea. By definition it would include Doric, Shetlandic, Estuary, M.L.E., Geordie, R.P., Brummie, Scouse, Faroese (at a stretch), and several others. It is both difficult and reductive to generalise across this diversity. In previous centuries there have been (often cruel) attempts to use the education system to impose uniformity on regional and national linguistic identities. In some cases (notably Wales) these have fueled lingering political resentments.


"I requested that he return" should have worked also no?


Why is "I asked if he returned?" incorrect? It makes more sense.


DL's sentence is a demand, not a question.

• I asked that he return. (no "s")
• I asked him to return. (infinitive form)


Subjunctive construction in English: no "s" on 3rd person singular (base verb).

I asked that he return.
Pedi que ele voltasse.

Learn Portuguese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.