Elementary 28: What Sports Did You Play?

MP3 Audio (Lesson) | MP3 Audio (Dialog)

Ah yes, the pleasure of sitting by the pool, talking to friends, and watching the kids playing in the water. You used to be the kids, and now look at you, passing on the tradition for another generation. Let’s talk about those good old days in Portuguese.

Lesson audio

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Dialog audio

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 A: Quando você era jovem, que esportes você praticava?
When you were young, what sports did you play?
  B: Bom, eu gostava muito de vôlei, jogava quase que todo dia. E você?
Well, I really liked volleyball, and played almost every day. And you?
  A: Eu gostava mais dos esportes aquáticos como a natação e o mergulho.
I liked more the water sports like swimming and diving.
  B: É, a gente também, sempre ia para a piscina com meus irmãozinhos.
Yes, we also always went to the swimming pool with my little brothers.
  A: E agora somos nós que levamos os filhos para a piscina.
And now we are the ones who bring our children to the swimming pool.
  B: E a gente ainda brinca quando pode, né?
And we still play when we can, right?


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  1. Jim Fuller

    Thanks for the guidance on when to use the past imperfect and when to use the preterit. Knowing that the imperfect is used for background information eliminates many – but not all of – my doubts on this subject. What about an event that happens over a defined – but quite long – period of time? For example: “I lived in Texas from 1991 until 1998.” Am I going to want to use “eu morei” in this situation or should it be “eu morava”?

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Hey Jim,
      With Preterite and Imperfect, the key is usually if the phrase is the action or the background information. If you say simply “I lived in Texas from 91 to 98” then it is the action and “eu morei” is fine. If you are setting the stage for another action, “I lived in Texas from 91 to 98 when I received the money from my father” then “eu morava” would work better. Whenever you use “morava” the listener will be waiting for you to finish your thought, something will feel like it is missing to tell the story.

      1. Jim Fuller

        Muito obrigado pela resposta Professor Orlando!

  2. Otto

    Hi Orlando,

    “Quando você era jovem, que esportes você praticava?”
    Why do we use “que esportes” here and not “qual esportes”?


    1. Orlando Kelm

      Truth told, you could use either here. The basic rule of thumb is that ‘que’ is used with nouns: que dia, que livro, que casa, que homem… And ‘qual’ is used with some form of the verb to be: qual é o dia, qual é o livro, quais são as casas, quais são os homens… This is a pretty good rule of thumb to get you rolling.
      BTW, you will notice that even in English we are quite flexible with what vs. which, e.g., ‘what book do you want? which book do you want?’

      1. Sam

        Thanks for the reply Orlando. I had the same question… now I don’t 🙂