Thursday, March 21, 2013

Temporality in Portuguese

I know nothing about it and should really try to learn a bit, but the tenses work very differently in Portuguese and English.

Apparently, if you say I have lost my watch in English you cannot continue to say but I found it again. This is to be contrasted with saying I lost my watch, but I have found it again which is just fine. Now in Portuguese, with literal translations Eu tinha perdido meu relogio  and Eu perdi meu relogio, both can be followed by mas o achei de novo.  And actually the first one seems better. In English the theory is that The perfect  seems to involve some notion of persisting causal consequence, absent from the past tense.

Need to ask my friend Patricia what does she make of this, what is the story that we have in Portuguese...

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