which one is the correct translation of this sentence in Portuguese? “Ela subiu a escada correndo para me trazer a carta.” None of them sound good to me. The best structure in the second one, but one should change the verb take for bring. All the other ones sound weird to me, since when we use the verb ‘run’ as gerund as in these sentences, it becomes a noun.

She went running up the stairs to bring me the letter.

She ran up the stairs to take me the letter.

She went up the stairs running to bring me the letter.

She came running up the stairs to bring me the letter.

closed as off-topic by lbf, Lawrence, Hot Licks, Edwin Ashworth, David Jun 10 at 8:21

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    If you are at the top of the stairs then I think the last one is the best. 'Came' implies the movement is in the direction of the speaker/writer. – S Conroy May 30 at 21:48
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because translation questions without a sense of the original are meaningless to those who don’t understand the other language. As a community that focuses on English, we can’t assume that everyone here knows Portuguese. – Lawrence May 30 at 22:48
  • U don't have to know Portuguese to read the sentences below the questions, and that's what really matters. The sentence in Portuguese is there for those who know the language. If you're angry 'cos of that, please.. don't underestimate my doubts and lemme be helped by those who are willing to. – Well Lima Jun 9 at 16:15
  • @Lawrence if you don't know Portuguese it's to your detriment, not to the question's. It's a perfectly good question about English phrase structure and semantics. – jlovegren Jun 9 at 17:10
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    @WellLima I can see no anger on Lawrence's part. These are just the rules of the site. That apply to all questions here, not just yours. The question has to work in English. You are free to supply a Russian translation if you wish. But the question still has to work without it. Right now yours does not. Lawrence didn't just call your attention to the fact, but actually gave you pointers on how to accomplish it. I wouldn't dismiss their advice as harshly, especially not as a newcomer. Thank you. As an aside, there are no gerunds here. A gerund is a participle that works as a noun. – RegDwigнt Jun 9 at 17:22

Romance languages have "motion" verbs like baixar, subir, etc., which primarily describe the direction of motion (up or down), and appear as the inflected verb in numerous idiomatic expressions. Comparable English expressions instead use a motion verb that primarily describes manner of motion as the inflected verb. The directional component, if included, is the adverb up or down. It is a difference in semantics.

So in addition to your example: Ela subiu a escada correndo (literally She ascended the stairs running), which corresponds to "She ran up the stairs." You find numerous others, like in French Montez le blanc d'un oeuf en neige (literally Ascend the white of an egg in snow) corresponding to "Whip an egg white into soft peaks." In both cases the Romance language construction has a direction-of-motion verb as the inflected verb, while the English construction has a manner-of-motion verb as the inflected verb.

  • It's a question a had to answer. I do get it about the movement, and that's why all the options seemed weird to me. – Well Lima Jun 9 at 16:16

The 3rd sentence would not be used by a native speaker English. Not knowing the context, it is possible that a non-native speaker is using the sentence.

The same could be said of the second sentence, simply because of the word "take." A native speaker would use "bring" instead of take. Using "bring" would make this a statement used in an informal or familiar setting. (i.e. two guys having a conversation).

The first and fourth are poetic or formal sentences that we might see in literature.

Hopefully, this distinction is useful to you.

  • Tks a lot! Very useful :) – Well Lima Jun 9 at 16:19

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