Não te entendes / não te estou a perceber


What is the difference between these two sentences? I understand both can be translated by “I don’t understand you” but I feel like maybe there’s a slight difference :sweat_smile:?
Or can they be used completely interchangeably?

Muito obrigada :pray:

@jenny.d.rampon, “entender” and “perceber” are generally interchangeable verbs. We’re more likely to use them in the past tense for a one-off thing (e.g. someone has just said something you didn’t understand): Não percebi/Não entendi.

For something that you’re continually struggling with (e.g. a concept that you’ve read about over and over again, but still doesn’t click for you), the present tense is used more: Não percebo/Não entendo.

So, when you say “Não te entendo/percebo” in the simple present, there is a risk of it being interpreted as you not understanding the person ever, rather than just in one given moment. The difference between this and the present continuous “Não te estou a perceber/entender” is that the latter helps restrict the timeline to ‘right now’ (as opposed to ‘frequently’ or ‘always’), since we only use this present continuous structure for currently ongoing actions.

Hope this helps :slight_smile: