"Ela é engenheira militar."

Translation:She is a military engineer.

October 23, 2013

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Why no "uma"?


But in Portuguese there isn't any um/uma before the professions, right?


Formally no, but i see all these examples using it. Is it colloquial?


It's optional.

It's more common to not use it, though. A profession is like an adjective in our minds in such sentences.


You should only use the indefinite article when you're singling someone out of a pool of professionals in a given area, usually with the purpose of making a personal characterization about this individual:

  • Ela é uma engenheira militar de sucesso. She's a successful military engineer.
  • Ela é uma má professora. She's a bad teacher.
  • Ele é um trabalhador competente. He's a competent worker.
  • Ele é um político sem escrúpulos. He's an unscrupulous politician.


Very interesting. An observation one could make here is the adjective present in all your examples qualifying the noun of profession. I'm curious why militar didn't work on its own and would have thought "Ela é uma engenheira militar" highlighted the fact that she is not just an engineer but one that works in the military, even though "Ela é engenheira militar" works just fine. Is this one of those differences between EP and BP? Thanks!


I almost put "a" yes this needs fixing


Would you care to explain in more detail the issues you had with this sentence? We always ask your users to try to be as explicit as possible in their queries to make sure we understand what issues you may be having and how to fix them. Thank you in advance.


Sure, I translated the sentence"Ela é engenheira militar." To the literal " She is military engineer" I was going to put "She is A military engineer" but in fear of getting it wrong I left the "a" out and I got it wrong. I think if it wanted the article "a" it should have been left in "uma" inthe original sentence


Well, the shortest answer is no - you're required to use the article in English at all times, but we don't use the article in Portuguese when you're introducing your profession; basically that means that the proper equivalent of "Ela é engenheira" is "She is an engineer" and will always be so - that's just how each language works.

P.S. You can compare this situation with the examples I gave above where um/uma are actually employed with professions in Portuguese.

Good luck with your studies :)

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