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Pretérito imperfeito do conjuntivo vs Presente do conjuntivo

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by GLang, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. GLang New Member

    London
    English - England
    óla todo,

    I'm struggling to identify the distinction between using the pret. imperf. do conj. and the presente do conj. in phrases such as:

    "Tenho um teste hoje!"
    "Oxalá corra bem!"

    and
    "A Ana quer fazer dieta, mas acha que vai ser difícil habituar-se a comer menos"
    "Oxalá ele não gostasse tanto de comer."

    I understand "Oxala" is a "Let's hope" type of phrase but can't quite understand why, for example, the second phrase would not use the presente do conjuntivo.

    Is it a case of implying more doubt into the second phrase because the act of Ana dieting is further away than the test?

    Couldn't find this type of question in the forums so it'll hopefully be useful for other portuguese learners as the subjunctive use in Portuguese can be a bit tricky sometimes.

    Thank you in advance for any help.

    Greg
     
  2. anaczz

    anaczz Senior Member

    À beira do Oceano Atlântico
    Português (Brasil)
    "Oxalá corra bem" The test will happen soon, it's real.

    "Oxalá ela não gostasse tanto de comer."
    Do not like eating is not a possibility, she likes it too much, it would be nice if she didn't.
    I also think "oxalá" is not a good word for this phrase. It would be better: "Seria bom se ela não gostasse de comer tanto" or even "Quisera Deus ela não gostasse de comer tanto"
     
  3. GLang New Member

    London
    English - England
    Ah brilliant! Cheers for the quick response, anaczz.
     
  4. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Perhaps the second sentence could be closer to the English: I wish/If only she didn't like eating so much.
     
  5. anaczz

    anaczz Senior Member

    À beira do Oceano Atlântico
    Português (Brasil)
    That is it!
     
  6. Carfer

    Carfer Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Anaczz is right about about the unsuitability of 'oxalá' in this particular sentence. 'Oxalá' expresses a wish for something that we would like to happen, a desire or hope concerning the future. Therefore you can say 'Oxalá ela não coma aquele gelado', because she didn't eat it yet, but you cannot say 'Oxalá ela não gostasse tanto de comer', because she is already eating, it's an actual fact.
     

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