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15:46 Mar 31, 2008
Portuguese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Other / general
Portuguese term or phrase: elementos
Can this mean "individuals" as in "people"?

Summary of answers provided
4 +1yes - but not recommended
Paul Dixon
3ElementsDr Dema

Discussion entries: 2



11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5

Traduzindo ao pé da letra seria "elements"

Dr Dema
Local time: 14:58
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
yes - but not recommended

Yes. "elementos" can mean "individuals" or "people" but in Brazilian Portuguese (don't know about PT-PT) it often has a negative ring to it. We often hear "mau elemento" but rarely (if ever) "bom elemento" - and often the word is used alone in negative contexts, as in "Ele foi assaltado por cinco elementos". I can't imagine someone saying "Ele foi salvo por cinco elementos" - in this case I feel "pessoas" would definitely be better.

In the case at hand, my choice would be "integrantes". "Membros" also possible but not advised - the word could have a double meaning.

(I was surprised to see that in Google "bom elemento" has more reference than "mau elemento" - most of them refer to a song by this name, composed by Noel Rosa. This goes to prove that the number of Google hits is *not* the best way to judge suitability of answers!)

Paul Dixon
Local time: 14:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 52

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Fernando Okabe Biazibeti
555 days
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5

This is what we (native speakers) would say - members of a team, members of a sales force, etc.

Local time: 19:58
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 16
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