Determiners and Pronouns

Determiners and Pronouns

To master Portuguese, it is essential that we tackle determiners. In this unit, we will be looking at a few types of determiners: definite and indefinite articles, demonstrative determiners, indefinite determiners, and interrogative determiners. As you may recall, we learned about possessive determiners in a previous unit.
Before we delve into the different types of determiners, let’s quickly review how to differentiate between determiners and pronouns.
Determiners (determinantes) are words that are always placed in front of a noun (substantivo) that specify what that noun refers to, or what it’s linked with in a sentence. Pronouns (pronomes), on the other hand, are words that replace the noun altogether.
Examples:
O meu carro é muito rápido! My car is very fast!
O dela também! So is hers!
In the first sentence, “meu” is placed before “carro”, linking both words together and describing how the car is connected to something or someone else. This makes it a determiner. In the second sentence, “dela” replaces the word “carro” completely. This makes it a pronoun.
Here’s a handy rule of thumb: if you think it’s a determiner and it comes before a noun, it’s a determiner. If you think it’s a determiner but there’s no noun, it’s a pronoun. Simple!

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