tlf: (351) 22 339 4400  |  mail: info@inlinguaporto.com
RU Italiano Espanhol Alemão Francês Inglês Português

Portuguese made easy - personal pronouns

azulejo8.1What you need to know about personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we , you they etc)

 

1) Study (and memorize!) the following tables:

 

Singular

English

Portuguese

I

eu

you (familiar)

tu

you (semiformal)

você

he

ele

she

ela

it*

-

 Because all words in Portuguese are either masculine or feminine there is no specific word for "it". Use "he" or "she" instead.

Plural

English

Portuguese

we

nós

you (more than 1   person)

vocês

they (masculine)*

eles

they (feminine)

elas

 * A group is always referred to as masculine if there is one masculine word present. So even if there is a group with 500 women and just one small boy the group is regarded as masculine!

 

1) Something to remember about personal pronouns

The Portuguese very often don't use them. This is because, unlike Englsh, in Portuguese the actual verb contains the information needed to tell you who is doing what. So in English if you say "speak English" you don't know if it is "I speak English", "you speak English" "we speak English" etc. 
In Portuguese if you say "falo inglês" -  it can only mean "I speak English" . So it is not necessary to say the "I" part.

 

Compare the following:

Nós falamos inglês = We speak English.  

Falamos inglês = We speak English  (here the "nós" is omitted.

 

2) How to say "you"

In English we use "you", very economically, for everyone - whether it is your husband, your child, your boss, a group of friends or a group or strangers we are referring to.

Brazilian Portuguese is pretty similar to English. Brazilians use você (singular) and vocês (plural) for everyone. In European Portuguese the situation is a bit more complex

 1) For family and friends the more familiar form "tu" is used.

 2) The European Portuguese are also very fond of using the name of the person being addressed instead of using "you". (Instead of saying to Alex - "Do you like football?" they'll say to him "Does Alex like football?").

3) In situations where they don't know the name of the person (asking directions, talking to people in a shop etc) they'll say "the Mister" (o senhor) or "the lady" (a senhora) or "the Misters" (os senhores) or "the Ladies" (as senhoras).

So instead of saying to someone in front of you in a supermarket queue "Are you going to be long" the Portuguese would say "Is the lady going to be long".

 

 

 

Return to Grammar page