Continuing a thread started last Wednesday with vosso and on Sunday with A Portuguesa (the Portuguese national anthem), today’s Wordof the Week will showcase another interesting and relevant EP-specific word, this time returning to Portuguese grammar.
This time, we’re talking about [o] (modo) conjuntivo, the EP word for the subjunctive (mood). As you’re probably aware by now, Portuguese has three distinct grammatical moods which clarify the intent of a given verb form: the indicative – [o] indicativo (expressing fact), the imperative – [o] imperativo (expressing a command) and the subjunctive – [o] conjuntivo (expressing a hope, a wish, a desire, a doubt, or a possibility, in relative clauses and if clauses). In Brazilian Portuguese, the word for subjunctive is [o] (modo) subjuntivo, similar to the term used in English, French, Spanish, German and other languages.
Click on the link below for a general explanation of the subjunctive and some tricks to figure out their tense endings, which doubles as aGrammar Tips lesson!
Last Saturday (June 10th) we celebrated a national annual holiday in Portugal – it’s a very special day since it commemorates the death of Luís de Camões, one of Portugal’s greatest poets and writer of the sixteenth century national epic poem Os Lusíadas (published in 1572), about the role of the Portuguese during the Discoveries (Os Descobrimentos) enmeshed with stories of Portuguese history up until that point. Students in the 9th and 12th grades/forms (ages 14-15 and 17-18, respectively) are obliged to read and study the test for their Portuguese language curricula, which makes it a very important and respected book.
Another important symbol of Portugal as an independent country is its national anthem – [o] hino nacional – ours is called A Portuguesa; the title is feminine because it’s implied that we’re talking about a song¹, since the word for song is feminine (a canção), therefore we get A [canção] portuguesa.
Today’s Word of the week is a possessive pronoun: our plural your; despite using vocês as a personal pronoun, European Portuguese uses vosso/vossa/vossos/vossas (which originates from vós), as a possessive!
This means that if something is owned by a plural you, you’ll probably call it by this pronoun:
O carro é vosso. The car is yours (addressing more than one person as the owners).