A Língua Portuguesa

The Portuguese Language


Learn more about the history of the Portuguese language in this Shorty adapted and translated from Lena Strang‘s article in Tomorrow Magazine.

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  • e decretou que fosse conhecida como “Português”, Still trying to get my head around these subjunctive tenses!
    I thought past subjunctive used for improbable/unreal events in past or future, but this actually happened.
    Presumably subjunctive needed after decretou que, but why not say present subjunctive? Decretou que seja conhecida como “Português”??
    If he decreed it, it was going to happen, and it did happen!!
    Thanks for your forbearance on these tricky grammar issues!

    • Olá, Peter. The subjunctive can be used in a number of situations, including this one, especially because the way the sentence is structured asks for it. “Decretou” is also in the past tense, so the imperfect subjunctive “fosse” is fitting 🙂

  • Hi Peter
    You would also use a kind of past tense in English in the same situation “should” not “shall” – I would say, and I believe you are right in saying that it is decretou que that calls for the subjunctive form.

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