Grammar Tips (#16): Personal pronouns (2): object pronouns (direct / indirect)

The whole range of Portuguese object (clitic) pronouns is as follows:

Subject pronoun Direct object pronoun Indirect object pronoun
Eu me
Tu te
Ele / Você (if male) o (lo, no) lhe
Ela / Você (if female) a (la, na)
Nós nos
Vocês vos
Eles os (los, nos) lhes
Elas as (las, nas)

EP also has the particularity of allowing the merge of these two objects into a single pronoun; to learn more about it, you’ll have to read this whole article – or scroll down until you find it, even though I recommend you read everything that comes before first!

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Grammar Tips (#15): Personal pronouns (1): subject

The whole range of Portuguese subject personal pronouns (that is, that substitute the subject of the sentence) is as follows:

Person and Number Personal pronoun Special cases
1st person singular eu (I)
2nd person singular tu (you, informal)
3rd person singular ele (he) / ela (she) você (you, formal)

Other pronouns of treatment in the singular, like o senhor, a senhora, et. al.

a gente (we, very informal)

1st person plural nós (we)
2nd person plural vós (generally obsolete)
3rd person plural eles (they, masc.)

elas (they, fem.)

vocês (you [pl.], informal)

Other pronouns of treatment in the plural

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Grammar Tips (#14): Gender in tech words and the Internet

English learners of Portuguese or other languages with grammatical genders tend to struggle when trying to associate words with a certain gender; in the field of technology, where new words are created with the flow of tech advances and trends, it may be ever harder to figure these things out unless you’re keeping up with said trends (a good EP dictionary always come in handy).

This post serves mainly as a way for you to get acquainted with some rules that exist regarding the gender of tech products.

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Grammar Tips (#13): Turning English words into Portuguese (4): Spelling changes cheat sheet

In this fourth and final installment of this guide into the connections between some English words (mainly borrowings from Latin and Greek) and their Portuguese counterparts, I’ll use some tables to show the spelling changes between both languages that can be readily be applied when you start thinking in Portuguese (a few of which I’ve already talked about in a previous post about h).

Since I’ve already dealt with Greek and Latin suffixes in the previous article, this post will serve to showcase just letter/digraph relationships in root words or prefixes.

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Grammar Tips (#12): Turning English words into Portuguese (3): Greek and Latin suffixes

Like English, Portuguese inherited several (mainly technical/scientific) words directly from Greek or Latin, which have associated meanings for both their root words and suffixes. This specific post serves as a way to enlight the meanings behind suffixes and to make connections between said suffixes and the gender of the Portuguese words.

The final post in this series of four will bring the information from the three preceding posts into a unified post, mainly through a table with the letter/affix relationships between the two languages.

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Grammar Tips (#10): Turning English words into Portuguese (1): nouns

Learning a language – especially when it comes to vocabulary – is usually a long game: you learn new words and expressions as you move along in your learning journey, but by necessity these have to be doled out so as not to cause your brain to enter critical overload…

But, what if there was a way to magically turn some words from a language to another and establish rules that can be replicated with that set of words to ease your way into that language? As it turns out, that’s a possible route from English to Portuguese, since many English nouns and adjectives borrowed from Latin (via French) have obvious connections to the Portuguese equivalents.

Important note: There are quite a few cases where these rules don’t apply (due to different nouns being used between languages for the same idea, or different endings applying). This series of posts doesn’t deal with those cases, which should be learned separately.

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Grammar Tips (#9): “O valor de parte da fortuna do dono da loja de desportos de inverno de Vila Real de Trás-os-Montes”: untangling nested possessives

Hello, everyone! I’m sorry if you got bamboozled just trying to come to grips with the vocabulary in this freakingly long sentence, but that was part of the point. And in case you didn’t notice, this isn’t even a full sentence in the grammatical sense since it lacks a predicate; in fact, this is just a very long noun filled with nested possessives, that is, nouns that are related to each other by a relationship of ownership, possession, or a partitive quality (being a part of a larger whole).

While English conveniently uses the preposition of or the possessive suffix ‘s to mark them, in Portuguese only de suffices, leaving us with potentially a very long stack of nouns followed by de until oblivion; the extreme example I’ve shown above is obviously rare, but the rules I’ll write below may help you guide yourselves even in the event of having four or five nouns bound together in this weird knot, and hopefully untangle it better.

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Grammar Tips (#8): Collective nouns

Just like English, Portuguese has a series of nouns that are used in the singular but in reference to a group of people, animals or things; Portuguese grammar calls them [os] nomes cole(c)tivos. While you don’t run into a swarm of bees, a herd of cows or a fruit orchard everyday (unless you’re in the agriculture business, that is), getting a list of these nouns is always a good way of learning new vocabulary and making associations between words, which I find the best way to remain engaged in the language you’re learning.

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Ask Luís! (#3): Uses of the gerund in EP

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well!

This time around, I’m answering a question from Michael Tavares all the way from New Zealand (a message to Portugal doesn’t travel farther than that, since NZ is on the opposite side of the world vis-a-vis the Iberian Peninsula). I believe Michael has some Portuguese blood, so this is an extra special assignment! Anyway, here’s the message:

Olá Luís,

Could you please explain the usage of the gerund in EP?

I already know when NOT to use it in EP, I know it is not used in the progressive sense as it is in BP, Estou bebendo/Estou a beber, but I know that it is used in EP at other times.

Please enlighten us all on when it is used in EP.

Muito obrigado,

Michael Tavares na Nova Zelândia.

Hello, Michael! Thank you so much for reading the blog and for this very pertinent question. I’ll try to be as concise as possible with my answer, which will follow after the jump.

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