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Gerunds

Parsing this paragraph which has two gerunds in it. Gerunds are rare beasts in european portuguese so I thought I’d try and unpick the grammar a bit for my own benefit.

“A long time ago” began Andreia, causing Marta to sigh with frustration, as she realised that the the revelation would be delayed, “wars between peoples were fought body-to-body, steel against steel, eye to eye. Technology kept evolving and automatic weapons arose, like rifles and wars began to be fought at a distance. “

Fazendo com que:

There are a lot of compound verbs in portuguese, where a standard verb (usually a common one like dar or fazer), gets used with a preposition and takes on a different meaning.. Fazer com que means to provoke or cause something (check this ciberdúvidas article for more background). In this case, it’s in the gerund form, meaning it’s just scene-setting: The dialogue is being described and the author is just letting you know what effect it’s having on the listeners

Foi evoluindo

Using Ir + gerund like this is a way of describing something that keeps/kept happening, continuouly over time. For some reason the main example of this I can think of is a clip of a brazilian dancer in a tik-tok video compilation…. OK, OK, it’s a guilty pleasure. Leve me alone! At about the 4:35 mark, she tells you “abre e cruza e vai acelerando” (Open and close and keep speeding it up)

So “Foi evoluindo” means it kept evolving.

Author:

Just a data nerd

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