"Eu nunca ouvi ele falar inglês."

Translation:I have never heard him speak English.

September 17, 2013

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Why is the verb falar in the infinitive? Could you say: Eu nunca ouvi ele FALA inglês.


Isn't it just the same reason that "speak" is in the bare infinitive in the English sentence? If you conjugated "speak" for "he" as you've done in the Portuguese sentence you would get "speaks" which obviously doesn't fit.


Yes! For non-natives speakers of the language, infinitive is simply "to+verb", so it may confuse people when the see "let me go", "help me understand" and so..


No, you can't. It's just an example of a different structure to make up a sentence. It happens to any language. Hard at first, but we get used to it :)


Can you explain this structure in a little more detail please? I don't follow. Why is "falar" not conjugated with "ele" to "fala" in this case?


Because "ele" is not praticing the action, but "eu". (But you can also use "falando").


is "him speak" (him speaking) not an action?


This is what we call "impersonal infinitive".


"Him speak" isn't correct English, if the guy speaking is the subject of the sentence. Those words would only be found together in a more complex sentence, like, "I hear him speak."

Sometimes it's easier to understand the use of the infinitive in a first person sentence. " I am going to cook," not " I going I cook." "I plan to go on vacation." Not "I plan I go on vacation."

Same thing here.

[deactivated user]

    This sentence in formal BrP: "Eu nunca o ouvi falar inglês."


    Might this be an example of the infinitivo pessoal? If it weren't "him" but "you" that I heard speak, would it be "Eu nunca ouvi te falares inglês"?


    Eu nunca te ouvi falar inglês.


    if you write Eu nunca te ouvi falar inglês, you must write Eu nunca o ouvi falar inglês (formal portuguese). If you write Eu nunca ouvi ele falar inglês, you can write Eu nunca ouvi tu falar (falares) inglês. ( popular).


    No, "te" is also right. "O" is used for "você" (man) or "ele".


    assim: se a frase Eu nunca ouvi ELE falar inglês, como está nesse exercício, estivesse certa, o certo seria Eu nunca ouvi TU falares inglês. Por coerência: ele e tu são pronomes sujeito.


    I never have heard him speak english! Marked incorrect :( reported!

    [deactivated user]

      Adverbs of frequency are placed after the auxiliary verb and before the main verb: "I have never heard him speak English."

      ngrams: Corpus of English



      The form "I never have heard him speak English" is used in a circumstance where, for example:

      1. you previously assumed that a guy could speak English...
      2. someone else expresses doubt about whether the guy can speak English...
      3. you suddenly realize with surprise that you have not, in fact, ever heard him speak English...
      4. for extra emphasis on the fact that you're rethinking your assumption, you say, Hm, actually, i never have heard him speak English." [Said with emphasis on "have."]

      Using the two forms interchangeably, instead of for this limited purpose, is one of those subtle marks of not being a native English speaker.

      [deactivated user]

        Right. When an adverb is not in its usual location, that can signal a change in emphasis. You can also place "never" at the beginning of a sentence for the same effect. Never have I heard him speak English.

        Given that many Brazilians do this tree for additional practice to learn English, I prefer to give simple explications and basic grammar rules.

        [deactivated user]

          Just to clarify, are the following sentences correct:

          • Eu nunca ouvi ele falar inglês. = Eu nunca o ouvi falar inglês. = I never heard him speak English.
          • Eu nunca ouvi você falar inglês. = Eu nunca te ouvi falar inglês. = I've never heard you speak English.
          • Eu nunca ouvi-o falar inglês. (eu-pt) = I never heard him speak English.
          • Eu nunca ouvi-te falar inglês. (eu-pt) = I've never heard you speak English.

          [deactivated user]

            Eu nunca ouvi ele falar inglês (colloquial and very common in spoken BrP)
            Eu nunca ouvi-o falar inglês. (incorrect: "nunca" attracts the "o" next to it)
            Eu nunca ouvi-te falar inglês. (incorrect because of "nunca": Eu nunca te ouvi...)

            See first example - valid for EuP and BrP: https://www.portugues.com.br/gramatica/colocacao-pronominal-.html

            [deactivated user]

              I keep forgetting about "as palavras atrativas" and how they affect the positioning of pronouns. The content of the link you provided was of considerable help in furthering my understanding of "Próclise".

              Here is another link I discovered in the process of doing research:

              Obrigado ! =)


              another (cult) - Eu nunca o ouvi a falar em inglês.(Port) Eu nunca o ouvi falando em inglês.(Br)


              Is "Eu nunca tenho ovido ele falar inglês" the same?


              I spoke with a Portuguese native speaker from Brazil and "Eu nunca ouvi ELE falar inglês" is gramatically incorrect. The correct way to say is "Eu nunca O ouvi falar inglês". The "o" here comes before the verb and implies that we are talking about him.


              Grammatically incorrect maybe yes, but in Brazilian Portuguese people don't like to use "o" and "a" for "him" and "her" in spoken language. Instead they often just omit the pronoun or they use the nominative pronouns "ele" and "ela" after the inflected verb.

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