Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by kynnjo, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    I often see the word "nem" used in ways that I can't quite translate. For example, "não tenho medo nem do perigo". My best translation is strange-sounding: "I don't fear even danger", or more awkwardly, "I have no fear, even of danger". A similar example is "não é preciso nem avião" = "not necessary is even an airplane". Is there a better way to convey the sense of "nem" in these examples than using "even"?


  2. danjr

    danjr Senior Member

    United States
    US English
    I find it can mean both
    -not even
    -as much as
  3. Brass

    Brass Senior Member

    Portuguese (Brazilian)
    "não tenho medo, nem do perigo" could best be translated as "I am afraid of nothing, not even of danger". It is quite generally used as an "inclusive clause".
    Example: "Eu não perderia isto por nada. Nem se minha mãe proibisse". "Nada" is, in itself, a very encompassing word but, trying to stress the expression, I added a "not even clause" with the "Nem se minha mãe proibisse".
    "I wouldn't miss it for the world. Not even if my mother forbade me".
    In the lyrics, it should be read as "não tenho medo (de nada), nem do perigo".

    In your example of ""não é preciso nem avião" it is about the same thing:
    Não é preciso nem avião
    You can read as "não é preciso (nada) nem avião".

    "Porque agora, vou decolar. Because I am going to take off, now.
    Não é preciso nem avião Don't need anything for that, not even an aeroplane,
    Eu vôo mesmo, aqui do chão" I fly right here, on the ground.
  4. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    Those parenthetical additions make all the difference. Now I see.

    Very cool. Thanks!

  5. kynnjo Senior Member

    USA Spanish and English
    I just realized that I could have answered my own question if I had translated to Spanish rather than to English. E.g. an expression like "no hace falta ni avión" is perfectly idiomatic in Spanish. I should have thought of that one before...

  6. reka39 Banned

    Hello! Is it correct to say: 'Esses homens não aceitam nem sugestões nem conselhos'? Or, don't I need to use 'nem' in front of the first noun (that is: Esses homens não aceitam nem sugestões nem conselhos). Thank you.
  7. diego-rj

    diego-rj Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro
    Brazilian Portuguese
    You could omit the first 'nem' and it sounds normal. If you use it, it has emphasis.
  8. reka39 Banned

    ok, obrigada. parece-me que a versão sem o primeiro nem é a mais usada.

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