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I don't think that "he eats what?" is the correct question in English. We cannot translate some words directly from one language into another. We have to remember about some certian rules and in English "Ele come o quê?" "What does he eat?".
Someone from Duolinguo crew should explain us the problem :)
I agree that "What does he eat?" would be the best translation here, but I would argue that "He eats what?" is also correct in English, just less formal and less common. Example: Speaker 1: "He eats unintelligible." Speaker 2: "He eats what?" or Speaker 1: "He eats snake eyeballs." Speaker 2: "He eats what?"
I disagree, as this is only applicable from an English speaker's pov. In many other languages, particularly Latinate ones, question termination is common even outside exclaimations. Regardless, it's a narrow way of thinking to poset that we should only learn one way of doing things.
I agree as well, Lindsey. I'd also add that the syntax is also valid in contexts like pedagogy ("A koala eats what?"), asking for a reminder "(And your father does...what, again?), and even a simple question (Okay, so your sister thinks it's a terrible idea, and your brother thinks what?) and maybe some others.
Dear EVERYBODY . . . It seems to me that the form in Portuguese is: "He's eating THE what?" (FOR SOMETHING HAPPENING NOW IN ENGLISH THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE IN THIS QUESTION BUT THE Present CONTINUOUS; so, When you say "What does he eat," it implies that the sentence is incomplete and the speaker has already heard the missing part or sees it implied . . . Ex: "what does he eat for breakfast?" (stating a habit.) Unless I'm missing something (weigh in dear Polyglots), "Ele come o quê? can refer to the immediate present ("What is he eating?") or to his customary preference ("What does he usually eat?"). The only thing missing here is context! . . . By the way, for present continuous, something happening right now, in English it is perfectly normal to say: "What's he eating?" . . . but not, "What does he eat?" ("What does he eat?" is categorically WRONG anyway, since the sentence is contextually incomplete." However, the writers of this learning tool are only trying to feed us simple structures and improve our vocabulary; therefore, our benefactors are often coming at us from grammatical and syntactical limbo. I feel it shouldn't be given too much importance.
What does he eat and what is he eating are both perfectly acceptable and complete sentences. There meanings are somewhat different. English is a somewhat unique language in that an auxiliary verb is required to ask questions or to negate a sentence except in the case of the verb to be and in some possible constructions with to have, although that is not very common. This is less noticeable since as you mentioned English uses the present progressive where other languages use the present. For verbs that are not generally in the progressive like to think, to want, to feel, etc., as well as routine and general statements which do use the present instead of the present progressive, that auxiliary is to do. While saying I do eat is being a little emphatic, the do is necessary for questions and negatives. Do I eat? I do not eat. So what does he eat is asking about customary behavior. For example I might say John does not eat Italian food. Then someone might well ask What does he eat. What is he eating asks about current action. What does he eat asks about custom or taste. The present in Portuguese covers both situations most of the time with the simple present. Although they do have progressive forms in Spanish and Portuguese, they are used more to emphasize the ongoing nature of a particular action.
I'm not a Portuguese speaker but, from the lessons I've done, Portuguese uses 'the what' i.e. 'o que' when in English we would say 'what' as in 'what are you eating?'. As for the use of the definite article 'o' or 'a' before the possessive such as 'meu' or 'sua', it seems to be variable in Brazilian Portuguese and I've not twigged when to use it but in Portugal it seems to be used always. Hope that helps. A
'He eats what?' is not necessarily colloquial English, but it is an echo question. If 'ele come o que' is an echo question in Portuguese as well, then 'he eats what' should be the primary (or only) correct answer. If, however, there is no more natural way to say 'what does he eat' than 'ele come o que' in Portuguese, then I agree with the other commenters that the acceptable answers should be change. Not being a Portuguese speaker myself (yet), I'm afraid I can't shed any more light on the situation...
Okay I wasn't precise. I know that it's possible to ask "he eats what?" and "what does he eat?" and both forms are correct. I started the discussion because the first impresion while I was doing the exercise I was like: literally i should put " he eats what?" but on the other hand I thought: no it's too coloquial. That's why maybe DuoLingo should improve itself by giving the additional information or even a task for us to decribe in which situation we can use some sentences/questions.
I'm a native English speaker and only a student of Portuguese but, as I understand it, in Brazil you would use estou fazendo ( I think that's called the gerund) to mean you are doing something right now. In European Portuguese you would use estar a + the infinitive e.g. I am dieting = estou a fazer uma dieta. I hope a Portuguese speaker can confirm this.
I have to slightly disagree. In English, the only time I would say "He eats what?" is if he was eating something strange/weird. With the most common use of "He eats what" it is in exclamation for eating something not normal. I do not hear it used other ways even though it is still grammatically correct to do so.
All of these comments (or almost all of them!) point out one of the major problems with Duolingo - the lack of contextualization! The sentences should be in a dialogue (or a monologue!) rather than isolated. Context is essential to meaning! (Even for beginning grammar and vocabulary learning!)
'Qual' is 'which' and 'o que' is 'what.' Just as in English, you use 'qual' if your have a limited set of options (Which of these three choices would you like for dinner?) and 'que' for something more open ended (What would you like to eat?). However, I've noticed that in Portuguese, and also Spanish, there is a tendency to use 'which' more often than we would in English. For example, in English we would say 'What's your favorite animal?' but in Portuguese, you'd say 'Qual é seu animal preferido?' There are also tricky ones - they say 'Qual é o seu nome?' (What is your name?), which doesn't really seem to be referring to a limited set of things (unless you think about names as being a relatively limited set, which I guess you could). I would recommend, by default, using 'qual' for 'which' and 'o que' for 'what,' but also to pay close attention to popular phrases to try to get a sense for when the usage is contradictory to usage in English. (Another thing to mention is that 'que' alone and not in a question often means 'that.')
'Quê' is 'what' and is pronounced closer to 'kay.' 'Que' (without the hat) is pronounced 'that' and is pronounced like 'key.' The hat is a pronunciation thing - When words end in E, usually they would be pronounced like 'ee.' But when you add the little hat, it makes it sound closer to 'ay.' The hat thing represents a 'closed' sound, but most of us don't know intuitively what that means. By contrast, the symbol ´ represents an 'open' sound. On the letter E, ê sounds like 'ay' and é sounds like 'eh.' On an O, ô sounds like 'oh' and and ó sounds like 'ah' or 'aw.'
True! In that case I think it's used just to differentiate between the spelling of the plural and singular conjugations - or maybe historically, they did sound different at one time. The reason it doesn't change the sound is because the E in 'tem' already sounds like 'ay' (or a nasalized version of it). Adding the hat (têm) would generally change the sound to 'ay,' but here, it already sounds like that. In general, for the letter E, you should remember that at the end of a word, it sounds like 'ee,' and in the middle it is usually more like 'ay' or 'eh.' Sometimes accent marks will be added if it has an atypical pronunciation (for example, 'quê'), or if an odd syllable is stressed. You are right though - 'têm' doesn't really fit one of those cases.
This is a common problem for Portuguese learners. Qual = Which, que = what. However, Portuguese often uses 'qual' in places where English would use 'what' instead of 'which'. For example, In English we say, "What is your occupation?" But Portuguese says "Qual e a sua ocupac,a~o?" The person is expected to give an answer from a limited number of options; there are only so many occupations to choose from, so that's why it is "Qual/Which (one)" instead of "Que/What" (which could be anything). I am not a native speaker, so I am trying to memorize the categories, like occupations, where Portuguese uses Qual instead of Que.
Both "What does he eat?" and "He eats what?" mean the same thing, it's just paraphrased. He doesn't have to be eating something strange at all to have the second phrase used although it is a typical question for a situation like so. It can also be used if you misheard what he eats and when asking your voice should rise at the end for both situations. Example: S1: He only eats apple sauce for snacks. S2: He eats what?(rise) S1: Apple sauce
If your going to ask "He eats what?" ( not that you misheard or you're suprised but simply just want to know) when starting a convo, you'd drop your voice at the end. Example: S2: He eats what? S1: He eats apple sauce.
Despite DL's sentence including "what" in the sentence, it isn't a true information question because you aren't asking for information that you don't know. You are simply expressing surprise or asking for confirmation of what you have just heard. In this case, the voice naturally rises at the end the sentence.
English does not always use the auxiliary verb to ask questions. For example: "Who killed Roger Rabbit?" The issue is whether the answer to the question is the subject or object of the response. When the answer to the question is the subject of the response, there is no need for the auxiliary verb, but when the answer is the object of the response, the auxiliary verb is necessary. For example, the quick response to "Who punched Tom?" might be "Jim," while the full response would be "Jim punched Tom." Jim is the subject of the response so the question does not need the auxiliary verb. On the other hand, if the question is "Who did Jim punch?" the quick response would be "Tom," while the full response would be "Jim punched Tom." Since Tom is the object of the response, the auxiliary verb is necessary. Therefore, when the answer to the question is the subject of the response, there is no need for the auxiliary verb, but when the answer is the object of the response, the auxiliary verb is necessary. This mostly happens with the question "Who," since that is the interrogative that most frequently asks about the subject, but there are examples with other interrogatives as well, such as "What motivates you?" or "How much candy makes you sick?"
Let's imagine a situation: You are talking with your friend when he suddenly noticed a man in the corner of the restaurant and says: ,,Wow, he's eating rice with lemon!" when suddenly a big track drove by when he said it, you didn't catch the word and you ask: ,,He's eating WHAT?". I think this is what authors thought.
The circumflex over the "quê" is there to indicate that it is the final word in the sentence. If the circumflex weren't there, the sentence could be translated as a normal question; however, the "circumflexed quê" can't be ignored. It represents an exclamation of surprise. He eats what!?
I will bow to your superior Portuguese skills. But just to clarify you are telling me that the circumflex on the quê is actually not just indicates surprise or that it is the last word in the sentence but implies current progressive action in stead of custom? For example if I said to a friend "I eat the worms in the apples" or I eat the paint peeling from the wall or any other strange general statement, 99% of the people I know would respond "You eat what?! If the given sentence is not the translation of their exclamation of surprise (and disgust) at what I have just stated as a general statement (as opposed to being in the process of eating it at the time), how would I express that?
Good question. changing the word order changes the meaning. Sometimes it is slight, as in "O que ele come?" vs. "Ele come o que?". Other times there is a serious difference in meaning. "O que come ele" sounds like you are asking "What is eating her?" as in, "She is being eaten by a lion."