According to my portuguese grammar book, the imperfect tense in portuguese is very frequently used especially in the spoken language, to replace the conditional tense, ie it can be translated "would....". For example "ela disse que vinha a uma "= "she said she would come at one oclock" . (Excuse the missing accent in the portuguese, I can,t figure out how to insert them on my tablet. Fortunately DL is very forgiving.
The sentence as it is written in English is odd, without further context it doesn't sound right. The colleague didn't arrive works better for me.
Os colegas não chegavam a tempo. = The imperfect describes a repeated action over the past without a definite delination of start or finish.
• The colleagues didn't arrive on time.
• The colleagues didn't use to arrive on time.
• The colleagues weren't arriving on time when I worked there.
Would is used when looking back in time to express a repeated action. It is usually introduced by an adverbial clause to emphasize a more distant past.
When I was a girl, I would ride my bike to school until the weather got very cold.
why is "colleagues" the only accepted translation in this context for "colegas"? When I'm in Portugal with family and friends, we also use it for "roommate" or "friend" or other meanings, depending on the context. I've always thought of it as a much wider and more flexible word than the english "colleague" but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something before I reported it...
(My answer translated the sentence as "The friends did not arrive," by the way)
In this sentence, come or arrive would make very little difference. But normally, arrive expresses a focus on reaching a destination (in this case here where the speaker is) whereas come doesn't. It can be used whenever somebody moves from A to B, no matter if they are just leaving, on their way or arriving.
Your question has got me interested in a challenge that I wasn't even aware of. Looking up 'to come' in a Portuguese dictionary, all I get is 'vir', which translates as 'to go'. So maybe the real question is, what's the difference between 'to go' and 'to come'.
Portuguese uses the same word for both but there's a difference in English and it is described here:
You go (away from the speaker or the person being spoken to) but you come towards them.
'To arrive' is not really a synonym of either, but rather what happens at the end of any journey... it's the 'opposite' of 'to depart'. Think of arrivals and departures at the airport...
I agree with Ketutsf, "to go" in Portuguese is "ir", however....
What confuses me is some sentences like this one (from the link that bradsytone have posted):
- "May I come to your party, too?"
Which, for me, would be translated to:
- "Eu posso ir a sua festa também?"
So, in this example, "come" becomes "ir". If the party is hosted by the listener, the movement couldn't be "toward the speaker". I wonder if that happens because the sentence is a question.
What do you guys think?
I forgot to say that I don't agree with that "level part" in any way.
I seems it has a difference between the two languages.
Hoje eu irei à sua festa e semana que vem você virá à minha (festa).
Hoje nós iremos à festa dela e semana que vem ela virá à nossa (festa).
(For me, it depends on the person who speaks or does the action)
English (feel free to correct me):
Today I am coming to your party and next week you are coming to mine.
Today we are going to her party and next week she is coming to ours.
Thanks for helping me
How stupid of me... I guess level 23 doesn't mean I can't make a beginner's mistake! Back to your question about go and come: if I say: May I come to your party, too?, I am moving in the direction of the person being spoken to. That's why I'd use come not go. If it was not a question, I can still say: I am coming to your party, too. I will be going to where the person being spoken to will be at that time. I am going to the party, too doesn't necessarily imply that the person being spoken to will be there. Is it different in Portuguese, I wonder?