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  5. "Eu acho que é hora de eu vol…

"Eu acho que é hora de eu voltar ao trabalho."

Translation:I think that it is time I return to work.

September 11, 2013

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davu

I'm not sure the answer "I think that it is time I return to work" is quite correct. Perhaps it is better written as "I think (that) it is time I returned to work" or as "I think (that) it is time for me to return to work" (which matches the use of the Portuguese infinitive).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

I like your last sentence...=)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emeyr

"I think that it is time I return to work" is the subjunctive tense in English. You don't need to put the verb "return" in the past tense. The preceding sentence expresses that idea.

The other option "I think (that) it is time for me to return to work" is, as in Portuguese, a way to avoid the subjunctive. Both are used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emeyr

Thanks for these links, Davu. The subjunctive tense (so discrete and almost hidden from our awareness) is perhaps an area where there is more divergence between British English and American English.

From my understanding, British English is more flexible in its approach to the subjunctive. My British English grammar books allow for "If I was" as the informal use of the subjunctive, but my US books don't.

The "bible" for ESL teachers of Am English is Betty Azar's Understanding and Using English Grammar. She points out the British are more likely to say: "The teacher insists that we SHOULD be on time" while Americans say: "The teacher insists that we BE on time." Azar states that the subjunctive tense is more commonly used in the States than in Britain. I don't know whether you agree with that or not. Times change, and so does language.

Regarding:

a) I think it is time that both of us faced the truth.

b) I think it is time that both of us face the truth.

The fact is that the subjunctive tense can be said to have no present, past or future - neither is it singular nor plural - in the subordinate clause.

It's important that she/you/we/they go to the doctor.

I insisted that he pay the money.

It was necessary that they be told the truth. (told= past participle).

Onto:

It is time (that) we go.

It is time (that) we went.

My understanding (and I have certainly heard it being used) is that this is an exception to the subjunctive to express urgency, anger, frustration by the speaker. It is much like "It's high time ...."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davu

Thank you for taking the time to explain things so carefully. I really hadn't appreciated that the subjunctive was used differently on the other side of the Atlantic. Obviously that explains why you find my second sentence lacking while I find it better than the first. At least we are both happy with the subjunctive-free third version.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emeyr

What was it that Churchill said about our cultures...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/langadic

All of these disputes about conditionals and subjunctives in english go way back. Usage is more flexible than the BBC world service thinks it is. If I remember correctly, there were more tenses in Anglo-saxon, which then all collapsed into the few woulds, weres, shoulds, shalls, and mights in modern english. Does English really have a nice logical subjunctive like the Romance languages?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/langadic

the teacher insists we be on time the teacher insists that we be on time the teacher insists we should be on time the teacher insists that we should be on time the teacher insists that we are on time the teacher insists we are on time

I doubt any of these would turn heads among native speakers. I am sure I have heard them all in conversation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emeyr

Agreed except for:

the teacher insists that we are on time

the teacher insists we are on time

Those two sentences deal with reality - not an unrealized expectation as the sentences in the subjunctive do.

And you are right that language is flexible....but The New Yorker - one of the best written, most influential magazines in the US still has five different editors going through each sentence for both grammatical use or fact checking before an article goes into print. Precise language still matters.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/langadic

actually all of these are fine in english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davu

Yes? I was younger and less wise when I wrote that comment. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/langadic

I used to have abook by Fowler of Modern English Usage fame from 1906 or something called "the King;s English". If I remember correctly there were 6 nearly unreadable pages of dense grammatical argument describing how different shades of subjunctive in english derive from the richer variety in anglo-saxon. Modern discussions tend to elide matters, perhaps in the interests of sanity.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/langadic

actually those two sentences mean that the teacher expects that now and in the future, the pupils will be on time. An unrealized expectation. As for magazine standards, you can find writers all over the web moaning about how those same fact checkers have introduced errors into their articles, the banality of house style etc. Don't all the articles in the new yorker seem a bit samey to you? But the reason I go on about this is I dread some poor ESL guy hearing "you can't do this/ you can't do that" in english, because it says so in Strunk and White or something. It just ain't so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emeyr

We will have to agree to disagree on those two sentences. I don't find New Yorker articles to be "samey" unless you mean that they are carefully written and vetted before publication.

Enjoy subjuntivo in portuguese. It's a lot more complicated than either French or Spanish. Bons estudos!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/melesana

How can we know when it's okay to use achar instead of pensar?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saschambaer

Pensar means "thinking", achar is more "having an opinion".

I think about him: "Eu penso em ela"
I think I should go: "Eu acho que deveria ir"

(may contain mistakes, but the main verbs are correct :P)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

Good! (But "eu penso nela")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/everwik

You can always use "pensar" for both senses. "Achar" is used only when you aren't sure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/defiantoli

eu nao penso que eu entendo. :-P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

Eu acho que eu não entendi* =)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoolFella

Why do we use the infinitive for "voltar" here? Why "Eu acho que é hora de eu VOLTO ao trabalho" is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeFenger

In Spanish there's a similar infinitive construction (creo que es hora de volver al trabajo). However, in Spanish you wouldn't use eu (yo) before the infinitive. You would use the subjunctive (creo que es hora de que yo vuelva al trabajo). Would you also use a subjunctive in Portuguese?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

No, they work differently in this aspect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArturoCort2

Thanks! I was wondering this too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/everwik

Yes. Creio que é hora para que eu volte ao trabalho, but the subjunctive is more used this way: You want I return to work - Você quer que eu volte ao trabalho.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/everwik

It is wrong in this case. The sense here is: "it is time to return" in infinitive. "Eu volto" is "I return" in present and first person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mgaristova

Is it not the personal infinitive?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulRobert6

"Achar" translates just fine as "believe" also.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NormanEdwa

Why is "I believe" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gardenhoser

"Eu" before the infinitive? Really?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulenrique

That's what we call impersonal verbs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdawgman05

when do you use ao instead of para?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fanavdg

Shouldn't you use estar in this case? They don't seem to use estar much in duolingo.

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