One very common Portuguese preposition is com with
Like all prepositions, it’s an invariable word placed before a noun (or pronoun) to indicate the noun’s relationship to other words.
When to Use “Com”
Just like the English use of “with”, the preposition com is used to…
- Indicate people or things that are together:
- Say what something has or includes:
- Say what someone or something uses to perform an action:
- Describe an emotion or state:
Unique Uses of “Com”
Com is also used in some contexts that are quite different from English, particularly when talking about health and temporary ailments. Instead of saying you have an ailment, in Portuguese you would say you are with an ailment. Examples:
Não posso ir hoje, estou com gripe. I can’t come today, I have the flu. Literally: "I am with flu."
Estou com uma enxaqueca. I have a migraine. Literally: "I am with a migraine."
Estou com fome. I'm hungry. Literally: "I am with hunger"
Contractions Derived From “Com”
- Com + mim me = comigo with me
- Com + ti you informal = contigo with you informal
- Com + si you formal = consigo with you formal
- Com + nós we, us = connosco with us plural
- Com + vocês youplural = convosco with you plural
Note: In a very formal context consigo might also be used to say “with him” or “with her”. More often, however, Portuguese speakers will say com ele with him or com ela with her, which eliminates any possible confusion about who si refers to. In the plural, this becomes com eles~com elas with them.
Let’s look at a few more examples of these contractions:
Eu levo o portátil comigo. I’ll bring the laptop with me.
Vais connosco de autocarro ou com eles de comboio? Are you going with us by bus or with them by train?
Desculpe, posso falar consigo? Excuse me, may I speak with you?
Foi muito divertido sair convosco! It was really fun to go out with you plural!