To Play

As with any language pair, there is not always a literal translation for every word of Portuguese into English. Very often, context needs to be taken into consideration when making a translation. Some words in English, for example, can have three different possible Portuguese translations.

Let’s put it into perspective. The English word ‘play’ in English is well understood and can be used in the following context:
I play football.
I play the violin.
I play in the afternoon.
However, if I were to translate those same sentences into Portuguese, I would have to give a different translation for the word ‘play’ in each of the above sentences.
Here is how it would go:
Eu jogo futeball.
Eu tocar a violina.
Eu brincar na tarde.
What really is the difference? When the word ‘play’ is supposed to used in a game of action, the verb ‘jogar’ is used. Examples:
Eu jogo futeball.
Eu jogo xadrez.
Eu jogo volley.
When the word ‘play’ is supposed to denote production of sound from some instrument, the word ‘tocar’ is used.  Examples:
Eu tocar violao.
Eu tocar violina.
When the word ‘play’ is supposed to mean ‘enjoy yourself in fun activities’, the verb ‘brincar’ is used. Examples:
Eu brinco na tarde.
Eu brinco na praia.
Eu brinco na estrada.
Have fun and happy playing!

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