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  5. "Eu tenho aberto as janelas s…

"Eu tenho aberto as janelas sempre que eu posso."

Translation:I have been opening the windows whenever I can.

September 15, 2013

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Ok, "I have opened the windows always that I can" is just bad English, lol. C'mon DUOLINGO! I trusted you!!! :-p


They changed it now...


Still not correct imho: I have been opening the windows whenever I COULD. Though not literal translation, I believe the English should have the last word in the past, becaus I have been opening - in the past up until now.


Since we are using the present perfect progressive, "can" makes more sense as the activity is ongoing.

I had been opening the windows whenever I could.

I have been opening the windows whenever I can.


There's a problem here nonetheless, as the present perfect continuous is being used in the first clause, and that implies continuation, whereas the second clause's "whenever I can" implies there are singular points in time and no continuation.

"I've been opening the windows for a long time" would definitely be a correct way to use this.

Another would be:

"I've opened the windows whenever I've been able to (do so)'.

It's just an awkward sentence and I don't have the skill in Portuguese to conclude whether or not it's also got issues in that language.


"Whenever I can" means "each and every time", not "a singular point of time".


I’m embarrassed whenever I think about it.
I try to let the kids out to play whenever possible.



The dictionary defines it as "every or any time", which means every (singular) time or any (singular) time. It regards non-specific singular points in time, it doesn't regard continuation.

That's why it's better to say "I've been opening windows whenever I've been able to" or "I've been opening the windows all my life".

'I've been opening the windows every time I can' doesn't sound right at all, and that's what 'whenever' accounts for.

  • 1269

Why we have here "present perfect progressive"? Whenever, always, often etc ... do not imply "present simple" ? Here there is no action started in the past and continues until the moment of speaking.


There is an action: "the window is being opened as often as I can [manage it.]" (passive voice). The present perfect progressive form can imply an unfinished activity. This link is helpful:


  • 1269

We often use adverbs of frequency like sometimes, always and never with the present simple:


Does it mean that here "whenever" is not adverb of frequency ?

Summarizing, could you please advise if the sentence " I open the windows whenever I can " is incorrect?

We should not translate one language to another directly. For me English meaning is some habbit, what I do every single day.


KemotS: "I open the window whenever I can" is a "statement of fact". It isn't focused on the moment.

"Whenever" is a conjunction that connects 2 clauses.


English speakers should be given a lot more leeway in terms of our own grammer and for non-literal translations that serve the same purpose. I think that 'COULD' is probably what most people would use in this context to be honest...


I would say whenever I can


I completely agree. I had been opening the windows whenever I could or I have been opening the windows whenever I can. They are the only sentences that sound correct to my British ears.


Agreed, and btw the originally reported error is still not really fixed; When I attempted using "when", I was still corrected to "that". (Today is 6 June 2014)


What is wrong with "as often as I can?"


To be honest, that is probably the best translation.

Let them know.


The only thing that's wrong (in my opinion) is when this is combined with "I had been..." I think there is to be a match between the verb tenses used in the sentence; Either it is "I have been opening the windows whenever/as often as I can" or it is "I had been opening the windows whenever/as often as I could". This is a discussion going on elsewhere -- Duo has a general problem matching the verb tenses across the different parts of sentences.


January 2018 - now accepted


This sentence upsets my fifty years of English practice as a learner speaker. How can I refer to the past and then continue with 'whenever I can? For me the English sentence is absolutely wrong. What about the Portuguese one? Native speakers to the front!


DL's sentence uses the "present perfect progressive" tense to refer to a situation that started in the past and continues until the moment of speaking.



Is it actually usual to use the present tense ("sempre que eu posso") in a sentence starting with pretérito perfeito composto in Portuguese? And is it also possible to use one of the past tenses ("sempre que eu podia/pude")? And, if yes, what's most common in formal as well as in informal contexts? Thanks in advance for clarifying! :)


The translation depends on context.

Eu tenho aberto as janelas sempre que puder/posso.
I have been opening the windows as often as I can.

Eu estava abrindo as janelas sempre que podia.
I was opening the windows as often as I could.


Accurate, but we can't use "puder" there.


That makes sense. Thanks.


This makes no sense whatsoever. I concur. It aught to be ‘could’ as it’s in the past tense.


Could eu tenho aberto as janelas also mean I have the windows open ?


I think it would be translated as "As janelas estão abertas".


Why isn't "whenever I could" accepted? Since we're talking about the past I thought it would've been acceptable.


The present perfect continuous can describe (1) an action that started in the past and continues until now or (2) an activity that stopped a very short time ago - with the results still in evidence. This tense has an element of ambiguity.


Could this not also be translated as "I have opened the windows whenever I could"?


The "pretérito perfeito composto" translates to the "present perfect progressive". (The "simple present perfect" has several translations in Portuguese based on context.)


Thank you very much for your feedback. I discovered very quickly how Duolingo wants me to treat the "pretérito perfeito composto" because it would not allow me another approach... Overall, I think that this particular Duolingo course is one of the most difficult with respect to the complexity of sentences. I know both languages well enough that I normally can pass the unit test without or very few errors, but this one is quite a challenge.


I once came across a BrP site that described the grammar associated with subjunctive tenses as "caótico."


I think "I have been opening the windows every time that I can" should be accepted, as the Pretérito Perfeito Composto lesson tips explicitly say "sempre" is translated as "every time" in this tense.

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