Elementary 26: Turn Right At The Third Door

MP3 Audio (Lesson) | MP3 Audio (Dialog)

Let’s hope that section18 row 25 has good seats for whatever performance Daniela in our dialog is attending. And let’s also hope that they can follow the instructions to find those seats. In today’s lesson we learn the Portuguese phrases that you’ll need to get from one place to another.

Lesson audio

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Dialog audio

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 A: Com licença, como se chega a sessão 18, fila 25?
Excuse me, how do you get to section 18, row 25?
  B: A sessão 18, vai em frente e vira à direita, na terceira porta.
Section 18, go straight and turn right at the third door.
  A: Tá, aquela porta vermelha ao lado das bebidas?
OK, that red door next to the drinks?
  B: É, essa mesmo.
Yes, that’s it.
  A: Obrigada, é permitido entrar com essas garrafas?
Thanks, can you go in with these bottles?
  B: Sim senhora, não tem problema, pode entrar.
Yes ma’am, no problem, you can go in.


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  1. Thad Kawecki

    Prof Kelm,
    The commentary on the dialogue suggests that the passive voice is not common in everyday conversation. Is this true, and could you expand on this a bit, please?

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Sure, in our dialog we heard “é permitido…?” (Is it permitted to enter…). However, notice that in English we can get by with lots of passive voice (Portuguese was spoken, the sandwiches were eaten, the doors were opened, the car was stolen, the friends were taken…). Brazilians seem to prefer less passive voice, (eles falaram português, eles comeram o sanduiche, eles abriram as portas, o cara roubou o carro, eles levaram os amigos).
      Even in our dialog, a phrase like “é permitido entrar com bebidas” could just as easily have been said with the active voice, something like, “Dá pra entrar aqui com bebidas?” Basically I suggest, when in doubt, go with the active voice and whatever you come up with will sound better than if you had formed the sentence with the passive voice. Hope that helps, Orlando

      1. Thad Kawecki

        Thanks for the clarification.

        1. Bern Hyland

          I think the context here also contributes to why passive is being used. Daniela is trying to verify whether a rule is in effect in the theater. The rule she’s wondering about is the theater’s policy re: bottles: “Bottles are permitted in the theater,” or “Bottles are not permitted in the theater.” So it makes sense for her when asking about the rule to use the rule’s own passive voice construction.

          1. Orlando Kelm

            If it helps, another way to get a sense of when to avoid the passive voice is when in English we express the agent, for example, “the books were sold by the salesman.” It seems to me that it’s those kind of sentences where the passive voice is avoided in Portuguese. Notice that in the dialog, “é permitido entrar…” doesn’t actually express the agent. Another general rule of thumb is that Portuguese is a bit more like English (in permitting passive voice) than Spanish (where it is used even less).

            1. Bern Hyland

              Yes, that makes sense. Absence of a subject/agent = more likely to use the passive voice (or possibly the reflexive, depending on the situation, as in “Aqui se vendem livros.”)