Ele / Ela

Not sure where to put this, but I've been having problems with it a lot lately. I'll see a sentence and misread "ele" or "ela", then translate the sentence wrong because of it, losing a heart.

If these are considered incorrect, they why is it considered correct if you forget an accent or have a typo? It seems like He/She should be considered a typo as well, since obviously we know what they mean but simply made a mistake.

September 18, 2013


I think they make more of an exception for accents because people will still be able to understand you if you write the wrong one or not use it at all. Whereas, even though I sometimes make that careless mistake as well and accidently type ele instead of ela, it's something that will cause confusion when people read it, (And not the kind where you can look at your keyboard and guess that the person accidently pressed a different letter than they were supposed in the case of accepted typos.) so I guess the program is set up in a way that forces you to get used to it. And you will eventually. :p

I'm not sure if I will be using correct grammar terms, but I will try to explain :) In portuguese words have a gender. Example, "boy" is "meninO" - the word and the thing is male, and "girl" is "meninA" - the word and the thing are female, the two words are almost the same but only the last character defines what you are talking about. There are some words that have a distinct gender of the thing it refers, the word being male and the thing being female. The example menino/menina is useful to understand that they are totally different subjects, and ele/ela also are distinct constructions. I don't see this difference of gender in words in english, but there are some phrases that don't make sense in portuguese only because of the gender in the words. One example is man/boy saying "Muito obrigadA"(female gender word) the same don't happen to a woman, because it is culturally acceptable to woman say "Muito obrigadO"(male gender word) as politeness but in a formal conversation/letter it is expected that she uses the proper mode: "muito obrigadA"(female gender word). I'm not a portuguese teacher so I don't know how to properly explain it, but we are forced to learn this differences and if you are in a portuguese speaking country it is simply culturally absorbed when you learn the language. The teachers and writers expend a lot of time explaining the proper use, so it is not a minor issue, and I believe this is the reason they kept it as error.

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