Learn Brazilian Portuguese Pronouns And Speak Portuguese Like A Brazilian.

Olá, tudo bem?

Today we are going to learn about some Brazilian Portuguese pronouns, or in other words Direct Object and Indirect Object Pronouns.

What if I told you there are ways for you to make your speech to sound more fluent and appealing, when you speak Portuguese?

What if I told you that those ways are just small two- or three-letter words?

Check out this page to understand the Brazilian Portuguese Pronouns.

You may have already noticed that when Portuguese speakers talk to each other, they use certain words like "a", "lo", "la", "lhe", etc, after of before a certain verb which make their message to be expressed much easier and much quicker?

Those words are what we call Brazilian Portuguese Pronouns, and they exist to replace other words (names or nouns).

If you are mastering your language skills with the tool I have created to learn Portuguese - Rafa's Vocabulary Ticker - you may have come across with expressions like "Prazer em conhecê-lo" for instance.

The word "lo" is a Brazilian Portuguese pronoun that when used, makes your conversation sound more natural and more fluent and, at the same time, breaks the boredom of repetition and redundancy.

Brazilian Portuguese pronouns? What are you talking about Rafa? I can feel you whispering already... ;-)

Relax!

I know, Brazilian Portuguese Pronoun is a "buzz word". You may not like these terms (and I don't feel them very attractive either), but the truth is, if you grasp the concept, you can start using these little words in Portuguese with ease.

For instance when you are introduced to somebody by a friend, you may have learned that you must say "Prazer em conhecê-lo" (if you are talking to a man) or "Prazer em conhecê-la" (if you are talking to a woman) or even "Prazer em conhecê-los" if you are being introduced to a group of people (males and females together) - to just say "Pleased to meet you".

But the question is: What do these "lo", "la", "los" really mean?

And how can I use them?

As I said before, these little words in grammar terms are called "Brazilian Portuguese Pronouns", and a pronoun is no more than a word that REPLACES a noun or a name.

Exactly! When you say in English "Pleased to meet YOU", the word "YOU" is no more than a pronoun that replaces the name of a certain person - be it Peter, Joseph, Rafa, Maria, etc.

There are many types of Brazilian Portuguese pronouns. There are Personal Pronouns, Reflexive Pronouns, Direct Object Pronouns, Indirect Object Pronouns, etc.

Today we are going to concentrate our focus on the latter ones only - the Direct Object Pronouns and Indirect Object Pronouns.

In order for us to use Brazilian Portuguese pronouns properly, we need to take into account three things:

1. What exactly is the Brazilian Portuguese pronoun replacing,

2. Where to place them in a sentence,

3. What modifications (if any) shall the Brazilian Portuguese pronoun and the verb suffer.

On the one hand, Direct Object Pronouns (or in Portuguese "Pronomes de Complemento Direto") are words that allow you to ask a certain verb a couple of questions:

1. O que? (What?) and

2. Quem? (Who?)

On the other hand, Indirect Object Pronouns (or in Portuguese "Pronomes de Complemento Indireto") are words that reply to the question "A QUEM?" or "PARA QUEM" - "TO/FOR WHOM?"

O.K.

Say for instance you want to say in Portuguese "I see Maria twice a week". You would say "Eu vejo a Maria duas vezes por semana". Here, the question you ask is: "WHO do I see twice a week?" - So here you are asking the verb the question "WHO" (to see who? - Maria - is the answer)

When you carry on with your conversation you may say "Sometimes, I see HER three times a week". In this second sentence, you don't need to say "Maria" again, because everybody knows WHO you are talking about, so in Portuguese you say"Às vezes eu A vejo três vezes por semana" or even Às vezes eu vejo ELA três vezes por semana."

You see, here you are replacing the name Maria by the Brazilian Portuguese pronoun "a", which means "her". And "HER" answers the question "WHO?"

If you were talking about an object instead of a person, you'd be asking the question "WHAT?" - What do I see three times a week?

Do you get this? Interesting isn't it?

Anyway, there are only 8 pronouns under this category, and they are:

"ME", which corresponds to "ME" in English,

"TE", which corresponds to an informal "YOU" in English,

"O", which corresponds to "HIM" or "IT" when an object is masculine. In Brazilian Portuguese, sometimes people use also "Ele"

"A", which corresponds to "HER" or "IT" when an object is feminine. Sometimes people use "Ela" instead

"NOS", which corresponds to "US". In Brazilian Portuguese, sometimes people use "A gente".

"VOS" / "VOCÊS, which corresponds to plural "YOU" (as YOU GUYS),

"OS", which corresponds to a masculine "THEM", be it people or objects. In Brazilian Portuguese, sometimes people use "Eles",

"AS", which also corresponds to a feminine "THEM" in English, be it people or objects. In Brazilian Portuguese, sometimes people use "Elas".

Normally, the Brazilian Portuguese pronoun comes before the verb e.g. Eu como O BOLO todo (I eat all THE CAKE) -> "Eu O como todo or "Eu como ELE todo". (I eat IT all).

However, sometimes you may find the pronoun after the verb separated by a hyphen.

In this case, there are changes that need to be respected, and they are:

1. If the verb you are using ends with the letters S, Z, or R, the last letters of the verb - S, Z or R - fall and you ad an L to the pronouns "o" "a", "os" "as". e.g. "Nós comemoS o bolo todo" (We eat all the cake) -> "Nós comemo-lo todo" (We eat it all).

In this case, we need to pay attention to 3 things:

a) When does a verb end with "S"? - When you use the persons "Nós" in the present tense, for instance. E.g. Nós chamamos o Manuel. -> Nós chamamo-lo.

b) When does a verb end with "Z"? - Only irregular verbs like Trazer, Fazer, end with "Z"in the 3rd person. E.g. "Ele traz o carro hoje."-> Ele trá-lo hoje. In this case, we need to place an accent on the "á" because the original word has its phonetic stress on the last syllable, so we need to keep the stress where it was originally.

c) When does a verb end with "R"? Always when it's in its infinite form e.g. comer, falar, beber, fazer, etc.. A verb will likely be in its infinitive form if this verb uses another verb as auxiliary, e.g. Eu vou COMER um bolo hoje; (I'm going TO EAT a cake today) -> Eu vou COMÊ-LO hoje (I'm going to eat IT today). Verbs in ER normally get a circumflex accent (^) on the last syllable, instead of an acute accent (´) because, as you know, any verb in its original infinitive form must be stressed in the last syllable.

I must say that when you learn Brazilian Portuguese it's always good to know these rules that apply to European Portuguese too, because the Brazilians you deal with might be highly educated and therefore are likely to apply these grammar rules.

The interesting thing of these Brazilian Portuguese pronouns is that you rarely use "o" or "a" as a pronoun. You'd rather use "ele" or "ela". So, as we see, Brazilian Portuguese is very flexible in this respect.

As an example, say for instance you hear the de same sentence as above: "Eu vejo a Maria três vezes por semana" then, as the conversation goes on you might hear someone saying "Eu vejo ELA duas vezes por semana." This is perfectly correct in Brazilian Portuguese, but you may also hear "Eu A vejo duas vezes por semana."

Do you understand?

So, these are all the rules for this kind of Direct Object Pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese. Obviously native speakers follow all these rules without realising, but when we are learning a language I believe we need to know why things are said in a specific way. In any case, in order for you to do some practice, I'm going to ad a few examples and exercises here. The solutions are at the end of this email. So lets go for it, and do them now.

Check these examples out:

1. O empregado de mesa trouxe a conta. (The waiter brought the bill) --> O empregado de mesa a trouxe. (The waiter brought it).

2. Você já fez o jantar? (have you made the dinner?) --> Você já o fez? (have you made it?)

3. Não compre esse casaco (Don't buy that jacket) --> Não o compre (don't buy it).

4. Ele me falou que faria o trabalho. (He told me he would do the job) --> Ele me falou que o faria. (he told me he would do it).

5. Ela precisa de comprar uma casa nova. (She needs to buy a new house) --> Ela precisa de a comprar nova. (She needs to buy it new).

6. Eu quero comprar um carro novo. (I want to buy a new car) --> Eu quero comprá-lo novo. (I want to buy it brand new) - please note that "comprar" is the main verb and it's in its infinitive form.

6. Ele faz o café muito bom. (He makes a very good coffee) --> Ele fá-lo muito bom (He makes it very good).

Now try to do these exercises:

1. Eu vou preparar O JANTAR às sete da noite. -> Eu vou __________ _________ às sete da noite.

2. Não vi os seus óculos. --> Não _______ _______.

3. Eles compraram os bilhetes hoje --> Eles _________ ________ hoje.

4. Vocês convidaram a Maria e o Carlos? --> Vocês ______ ________?

5. Eu fechei as janelas todas --> Eu _________ _________ todas.

6. Ele põe os pratos na mesa. --> Ele ________ _______ na mesa.

7. Ela já leu o jornal? --> Ela já ______ ______?

8. Você quer fazer o exercício? --> Você _________ _______ _______?

9. O José comprou um presente ontem. --> O José _______ ______ ontem.

10. Nós vimos as meninas na festa. Nós ________ ________ na festa.

Did you manage?

Great!

Let's carry on.


The other type of Brazilian Portuguese pronouns are Indirect Object Pronouns or in Portuguese "Pronomes de Complemento Indireto" which allow you to ask a certain verb only two questions:

A quem? / Para quem? - (To whom?) - Please note that if it is not possible to ask the verb the full question "TO WHOM", but only "Whom", the following pronouns DO NOT apply. The ones that apply are the ones above - Direct Object pronoun.

O.K.,

Under this category, there are the following Brazilian Portuguese Pronouns:

"ME" or "PARA MIM, which corresponds to "TO ME" in English,

"TE or "PARA TI", which corresponds to an informal "TO YOU" in English,

"LHE" or PARA ELE", which corresponds to "TO HIM" or "TO IT" when an object is masculine.

"LHE" or "PARA ELA", which corresponds to "TO HER" or "TO IT" when an object is feminine.

"NOS" or "PARA A GENTE", which corresponds to "TO US".

"PARA VOCÊS, which corresponds to the plural "TO YOU" (as TO YOU GUYS),

"LHES" or "PARA ELES", which corresponds to a masculine "TO THEM", be it people or objects.

"LHES" or "PARA ELAS", which also corresponds to a feminine "TO THEM" in English, be it people or objects.

These pronouns, obey the same rules as the Direct object ones above, in terms of where they are placed in a sentence - BEFORE THE VERB.

Do you understand these too?

The good thing about these Indirect Object Brazilian Portuguese Pronouns is that regardless if they are before or after the verb, you don't need to cut any letters to the verb.

The more erudite a text is or the more educated a person is, it seems that the more likely it is that you'll find these grammar rules applied.

As before, let me give you a couple of examples first and then a few exercises for you to practice.

Exemplos:

1. Eu comprei um lápis ao Paulo --> Eu lhe comprei um lápis or Eu comprei um lápis para ele

2.Ela mandou um postal para mim --> Ela me mandou um postal - She sent me a post card

Exercícios:

1. Quem disse isso ao Manuel e à Sofia? --> Quem ____________________ isso?

2. Ela trouxe esse livro para nós. --> Ela ____________________ esse livro.

3. Eles já entregaram a carta para a Maria? --> Eles já ________________________ a carta ______________?

4. Nós demos um bonito presente de Natal ao José. --> Nós __________________ um bonito presente de Natal.

5. A Maria ligou para você hoje às 3 horas. A Maria ___________________ hoje às 3 horas.

Well, I think you understand this by now.


Soluções da primeira parte:

1. Eu o vou preparar or Eu vou preparar ele.

2. Não os vi / não vi eles.

3. Eles os compraram / Eles compraram eles.

4. Vocês os convidaram / Vocês convidaram eles.

5. Eu as fechei / Eu fechei elas.

6. Ele os põe / Ele põe eles na mesa.

7. Ela já o leu / Ela já leu ele.

8. Você o quer fazer.

9. O comprou ontem / Comprou ele ontem.

10. Nós as vimos / Nós vimos elas.

Soluções da segunda parte:

1. Quem lhes disse isso? / Quem disse isso para eles?

2. Ela nos trouxe esse livro.

3. Eles já lhe entregaram a carta / Eles já entregaram a carta para ela (BR)

4. Nós demos para ele.

5. A Maria lhe ligou / A Maria ligou para você (BR)

And that's it. I hope this page will help you improve your understanding of the Brazilian Portuguese pronouns.

Remember, Brazilian Portuguese pronouns are important for you to master your speaking and/or reading skills in Portuguese.

Ultimately if you use Brazilian Portuguese pronouns well, you will be much closer from speaking like a native Brazilian.

Até mais,

Rafael Tavares x

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Here are some pages you may find interesting:

  • The Portuguese alphabet.
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  • Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation
  • Portuguese Determinants
  • Portuguese Nouns
  • Portuguese Verbs
  • Free Portuguese Verb Table
  • Portuguese Adjectives
  • Portuguese Prepositions
  • Portuguese Connectors
  • Portuguese Adverbs
  • Portuguese Question Words
  • Portuguese Numbers
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  • Direct and Reported Speech
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  • Some Portuguese Bad Words
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  • Present Subjunctive in Portuguese
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  • Software available to learn both, Brazilian and European Portuguese. Check it out!


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