dera-lhe para acontecer isso

English translation: prone to

10:33 Jun 7, 2018
Portuguese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
Portuguese term or phrase: dera-lhe para acontecer isso
Aside from the literary usage of the mais-que-perfeito here, I'm a bit confused by this construction. Does it mean something like "allowed this to happen" or "wanted this to happen?" The context is: "Ela emudeceu. Ultimamente dera-lhe para acontecer isso: sem deixar uma história no ar, no ponto mais interessante, ela se calava." I also wonder about that "sem" since, in this context, it would seem to convey the opposite. Or rather, it's not as notable for someone to fall silent *without* leaving the story hanging. Many thanks for your suggestions!
AJSComm
Local time: 14:52
English translation:prone to
Explanation:
In my opinion, the expression means: "she had a tendency to be subjected to this" (it happened to her, she didn't necessarily do it out of her own will), as opposed to "a tendency to do this". Thus, not "prone to doing", "but prone to 'it'' (however you wish to finish the sentence)

Dicionário Houaiss:

• dar para

2 mostrar tendência para
Ex.: agora deu para ficar deprimida
3 sentir o impulso de; começar a, desatar a
Obs.: nas acp. 2 e 3, funciona como verbo auxiliar

Merriam Webster (example):
he was prone to emotional outbursts under stress

As to "sem", I share your doubt--it makes sense to me the other way around. :)
Selected response from:

Marilia Sette Câmara
Portugal
Local time: 19:52
Grading comment
Thanks so much for this very thorough explanation, the context and definitions were invaluable in understanding this usage!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2(lately,) this had been happening to her
Oliveira Simões
4 +1prone to
Marilia Sette Câmara
4 +1she was prone to doing that
Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
she was prone to doing that


Explanation:
.

Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira
Brazil
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 68

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Claudio Mazotti
34 mins
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41 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
prone to


Explanation:
In my opinion, the expression means: "she had a tendency to be subjected to this" (it happened to her, she didn't necessarily do it out of her own will), as opposed to "a tendency to do this". Thus, not "prone to doing", "but prone to 'it'' (however you wish to finish the sentence)

Dicionário Houaiss:

• dar para

2 mostrar tendência para
Ex.: agora deu para ficar deprimida
3 sentir o impulso de; começar a, desatar a
Obs.: nas acp. 2 e 3, funciona como verbo auxiliar

Merriam Webster (example):
he was prone to emotional outbursts under stress

As to "sem", I share your doubt--it makes sense to me the other way around. :)


    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prone
Marilia Sette Câmara
Portugal
Local time: 19:52
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
Grading comment
Thanks so much for this very thorough explanation, the context and definitions were invaluable in understanding this usage!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Clauwolf
1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

53 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
(lately,) this had been happening to her


Explanation:
I would definitely use a past participle form. That's what "dera" is all about. Given the presence of "lately", I would also use a progressive tense. Hence, the past perfect progressive seems to fit in. The construction is passive in nature: something had happened, or rather, had been happening to her, and not the other way around.

Indeed, the passage seems to be somewhat paradoxical. How could she not leave a story hanging and be silent at the same time? I would clarify this contradiction with the author/ client. Good luck!

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Note added at 57 mins (2018-06-07 11:30:49 GMT)
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Or perhaps: (lately,) she had been inclined to this...

Example sentence(s):
  • Lately this had been happening every Sunday night. Sarah Adam had worked at the Everett Post Office for more than 25 years...
  • Lately this had been happening more and more – not enough people to fill the jobs.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=yagOcXbtWTYC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=%22lately+this+had+been+happening%22&source=bl&ots=DCXMcst9TQ&sig=WHngsU8L7
    https://books.google.com/books?id=_Kg8DAAAQBAJ&pg=PT505&lpg=PT505&dq=%22lately+this+had+been+happening%22&source=bl&ots=DXYfS2LO3O&sig=j_KUA
Oliveira Simões
United States
Local time: 12:52
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 16
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks so much, Oliveira! This explanation was very instructive and gave me much to think through. I only wish Kudoz could let me award points to more than one answerer. In the end, i think I’ll use “prone to” in my translation, but I also appreciate your excellent advice about “sem”!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Katarina Peters
58 mins
  -> Thank you, Katarina.

agree  Mariana Vieira
2 hrs
  -> Thank you, Mariana.
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