Uma Carta Enviada Ao Engano

A Letter Sent By Mistake

Mauro is panicking after mistakenly sending a private letter to his mother!


  • Achei que fosse ser algo mais sério
    I thought that achar only took the subjunctive when in the negative.
    So why is achei not followed by a an indicative/conditional ie Achei que era/seria algo mais sério? or perhaps achei que ia ser?

    • Olá, Peter. No, this is also a perfectly fine construction. In fact, any of the options you gave are also fine, so you have plenty of options here and no practical difference between any of them. In terms of meaning, achei que fosse ser = achei que ia ser = achei que seria = achei que era.

  • “Pensei que estava a mandar a carta à minha mulher, mas afinal mandei para a minha mãe.”

    Why is ‘à’ used in the first half of the sentence, while ‘para a’ is used in the second part of the sentence?

    Thanks in advance!

    • In European Portuguese, generally speaking, we tend to prefer “mandar a” when talking about people, and “mandar para” when talking about places (e.g. “mandar à minha mulher” vs. “mandar para Portugal”). But this isn’t always strictly followed and you’ll hear a number of people using them somewhat interchangeably. If it helps, you can imagine that “mandar para a minha mãe” is actually “mandar para a (casa da) minha mãe” 🙂

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