Determiners – Possessive Determiners 2

Determiners – Possessive Determiners 2

In the previous lesson, we learned about possessive determiners and how to use them. But there was one case that we’re sure left some of you scratching your heads. Let’s have a look at our possessive determiners again:

Person Determiner
Eu o meu/ a minha/ os meus/ as minhas
Tu o teu/ a tua/ os teus/ as tuas
Ele o seu/ a sua/ os seus/ as suas
Ela o seu/ a sua/ os seus/ as suas
Você o seu/ a sua/ os seus/ as suas
Nós o nosso/ a nossa/ os nossos/ as nossas
Vocês o vosso/ a vossa/ os vossos/ as vossas
Eles o seu/ a sua/ os seus/ as suas
Elas o seu/ a sua/ os seus/ as suas

For each person, we can see that there are four different pronouns and determiners, two singular forms and two plural forms. However, the third person singular – você, ele and ela – and the third person plural – eles and elas – share the same exact pronouns, it sometimes gets confusing to know precisely who we’re talking about. Examples:
To make things clearer and avoid confusion, Portuguese came up with four different determiners – dele, dela, deles, delas. Let’s see what they look like:

Person Determiner
Eu o meu/ a minha/ os meus/ as minhas
Tu o teu/ a tua/ os teus/ as tuas
Ele dele
Ela dela
Você o seu/ a sua/ os seus/ as suas
Nós o nosso/ a nossa/ os nossos/ as nossas
Vocês o vosso/ a vossa/ os vossos/ as vossas
Eles deles
Elas delas

Instead of the confusing seu, sua, seus, suas, now there’s a different determiner for each of the third person singular and plural forms. These new determiners are always placed after the noun, and instead of agreeing in gender and number with that noun, they agree with the person that owns the noun.

Dele

Dele is used for the third person singular, referring to a masculine subject. It’s equivalent to “his” in English. Example:
O cão dele é velho. His dog is old.

Dela

Dela is used for the third person singular, referring to a feminine subject. It’s equivalent to “her” in English. Example:
As calças dela são azuis. Her trousers are blue.

Deles

Deles is used for the third person plural, referring to a masculine subject. It’s equivalent to “their” in English. Example:
As notas deles pioraram este semestre. Their grades worsened this semester.

Delas

Delas is used for the third person plural, referring to a feminine subject. It’s equivalent to “their” in English. Example:
Os carros delas são a gasóleo. Their cars run on diesel fuel.
 

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