Determiners – Demonstrative Determiners

Determiners – Demonstrative Determiners

In this lesson, we’ll take an in-depth look at a topic we’ve broached before, which is Portuguese demonstratives – este/ esse/ aquele/ esta/ essa/ aquela – as well as their plural forms. In this instance, however, they function as determiners! Demonstrative determiners (determinantes demonstrativos) are words that tell us what something is in relation to to the speaker. In Portuguese, demonstratives agree in gender and number with the noun they’re defining.
Este, Esta and Estes, Estas
Este (masculine) and esta (feminine) are the singular form equivalents to the English “this”. These determiners are used to refer to specific things or persons that are close to the speaker. Examples:
Este chocolate é demasiado doce! This chocolate is too sweet!
Esta sanduíche é o meu almoço. This sandwich is my lunch.
Estes (masculine) and estas (feminine) are the plural forms of este and esta, and correspond to the English “these”. Examples:
Estes sapatos vão bem com o teu fato. These shoes go well with your suit.
Estas caixas vão para o armazém. These boxes go to the warehouse.
Esse, Esses, Essa, Essas
Esse (masculine) and essa (feminine) are the singular form equivalents to the English “that”. These determiners are used to refer to specific things or persons that are a bit distant from the speaker, or close to a listener. Examples:
Esse computador não funciona. That computer doesn’t work.
Essa senhora é a tua bisavó. That lady is your great-grandmother.
Esses (masculine) and essas (feminine) are the plural forms of esse and essa, and they correspond to the English “those”. Examples:
Esses lápis são para meter na mochila. Be sure to pack those pencils.
Essas canetas são azuis? Are those pens blue?
Aquele, Aqueles, Aquela, Aquelas
Aquele (masculine) and aquela (feminine) are also singular form equivalents to the English “that”, but with a difference. These determiners are used to refer to specific things or persons that not only far from the speaker, but far from the listener as well. Examples:
Aquele gorro é teu? Is that cap yours?
Aquela é a chave do sótão. That is the key to the attic.
Aqueles (masculine) and aquelas (feminine) are the plural forms of aquele and aquela. They also correspond to the English “those”, but with the same implied distance between speaker and object. Examples:
Aqueles rapazes estão vestidos de azul. Those boys are dressed in blue.
Aquelas janelas estão tão sujas! Those windows are so dirty!

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