I'm about 4-5 hours trying to figure out this subject, ahaha.

First of all, I want to give you a little context:

I was talking to a native friend, and the following sentence came up:

Brazilians are the most Portuguese speakers. So why does Deepl translate only to Portugal-Portuguese?

According to my friend, this sentence is grammatically wrong, and "[...] just doesn't make sense with the switched order."

For him, the correct order would be something like: "Few Portuguese speakers are Germans.".

Main question: Is there some kind of rule or guideline that could guide me on the ideal order so that sentences don't go in switched order?

  • Your sentence starting: "For him, the correct order" makes no sense since it is followed by only one quoted sentence.
    – PRL75
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 10:33
  • @PRL75 Sorry. I was so sleepy at that time, haaha
    – Xinling
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 14:42
  • I don't understand. How is "Few Portuguese speakers are German" a switched version of "Brazilians are the most Portuguese speakers"? Germans are not Brazilians.
    – gotube
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


The right order is, "Most Portuguese speakers are Brazillian."

You are talking about Portuguese speakers, so this is the subject and you describe a majority of that group as "Brazillian". The order matters. You are giving information about Portuguese speaker, and not about Brazilians.

Your order means "All Brazilians are most Portugese speakers". I don't think that makes sense. Of course, not all Brazillians speak Portuguese (babies, some immigrants, some Native Brazillian Indians etc). Suppose you said "Most Cantonese speakers are Chinese" (true) but "Chinese are most Cantonese speakers." Is that true? I'm not even sure myself, since it is such an odd phrasing. It means that "All Chinese people are Most Cantonese speakers". And that just isn't right.

  • You saved me, James! ahha. How can I know what's is the subject in a sentence? or is it a matter of logic?
    – Xinling
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 14:44
  • I say this because in my Language there's no problem in this both ways.
    – Xinling
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 15:30
  • I think in this case it is logical. You are talking about "Most Portuguese speakers", and not about "All Brazillians".
    – James K
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 15:56
  • Also note that I'm using the adjective "Brazillian" not the noun "Brazillians". Adjectives are not subjects
    – James K
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 15:59
  • 1
    okay, or perhaps "form a majority of"
    – James K
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 6:44

"Brazilians are the most Portuguese speakers." is wrong.

It should be, for example: "Brazilians are the largest group of Portuguese speakers."

Other than that, the sentence order is perfectly correct. The second sentence is clearly asking a question relating to information in the first, so it would be nonsensical to swap them around.

You would need to change it to something like: "why does Deepl translate only to Portuguese-Portuguese since Brazilians are the largest group of Portuguese speakers."

  • Thanks, PRL75! Many thanks.
    – Xinling
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 14:47

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