When the light turns green, the cars can go.

adorobrasil

Senior Member
American English-Midwest
I find myself groping for a word at the oddest times. My son wanted to know why the cars on the street were stopped and I explained that when the light turned green, the cars could go. But the word 'go' makes me wonder. I said...

Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem andar

Does that work?
 
  • Hispanus

    New Member
    Portuguese (European)
    Both are correct.

    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem andar. (like you said)
    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem avançar. (like brainstorming said)

    It would also be acceptable a direct translation:

    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem ir.

    The correct meaning is conveyed in any of those sentences. I would also add a fourth verb, "arrancar" (start off; leave):

    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem arrancar.
     

    anaczz

    Senior Member
    Português (Brasil)
    Both are correct.

    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem andar. :tick:(like you said)
    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem avançar.:tick: (like brainstorming said)

    It would also be acceptable a direct translation:

    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem ir.:tick:

    The correct meaning is conveyed in any of those sentences. I would also add a fourth verb, "arrancar" (start off; leave):
    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem arrancar.
    No Brasil não ficaria claro o uso de "arrancar", que para nós tem o sentido de "pull out".

    Uma forma bem coloquial e que é muito frequente:

    Quando o sinal ficar verde, os carros podem passar.
     

    Soldumapraia

    Member
    American English
    I can see how you´d use fica verde when explaining the process to a child but tell me, is it not common to rather say quando o sinal abre...?
    From my experience of Portuguese in Brazil the light doesn´t turn red or green but rather opens and closes.
    Concordam?
     

    anaczz

    Senior Member
    Português (Brasil)
    Sim, realmente usamos:

    Espere o sinal abrir para atravessar.
    Cuidado, o sinal está fechado!

    Mas, como você mesmo ressaltou, para ensinar a uma criança é interessante destacar a ideia do verde/vermelho.
     

    jpyvr

    Senior Member
    English - Canadian
    Perhaps to aid your son in understanding both how traffic lights work AND how to express their actions in Brazilian Portuguese (he'll need to know both things, presumably) you could say: "Um sinal vermelho é fechado e indica que os carros não devem avançar. Um sinal verde é aberto, e indica que os carros podem avançar."
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top