In this Learning Note, we’ll explore each tonic pronoun and see some examples of how it is used along with different prepositions.
Me and You(Informal)
The tonic pronouns that correspond to eu I, me and tu youinf. are mim and ti . Let’s see how they are used in sentences:
Tens medo de mim? Are you scared of me?
Faço isso por mim I do that for me
Não é bom para ti It's not good for you
Agora vivo mais perto de ti Now I live closer to you
When mim or ti go along with com with, the pronouns become comigo with me and contigo with youinf..
Vem comigo! Come with me!
Estou a conversar contigo I'm talking with you
You always have to use comigo and contigo, as “com mim” and “com ti” are incorrect.
Him, Her, and Them
Unlike eu and tu, which have a different tonic form, with the 3rd person pronouns ele/ela and eles/elas, you simply use the same word along with the preposition. For example:
Eu corri para ela I ran to her
Eu fui com eles à praia I went with them to the beach
Emphasizing the Indirect Object
When preceded by a, these 3rd person pronouns play an important role in clarifying the indirect object of a sentence. This happens when the clitic pronoun lhe is used. For example:
O Pedro não lhe disse nada Pedro didn't say anything to...
Hmm… it’s hard to tell who lhe refers to. Is it another person or is it you(formal)? To make it clear, we can say:
O Pedro não lhe disse nada a ele I didn't say anything to him
Contractions with “De” and “Em”
With the preposition de , the pronouns combine with the preposition to become dele/dela & deles/delas.
A Maria gosta deles Maria likes them
O João duvida dela João doubts her
O Paulo falou dele Paulo talked about him
Similarly, if the preposition em is used, the pronouns become nele/nela & neles/nelas.
Não confias nela? You don't trust her?
What About You(formal)?
Did you notice that we haven’t mentioned você yet? We’ll cover si and consigo, the 3rd person pronouns that correspond to você, in this Learning Note: Si and Consigo
Us and You(Plural)
Just as with ele(s) and ela(s), you can also use nós and vocês as tonic pronouns along with a preposition.
Ele não falou em nós He didn't talk about us
Não significou nada para vocês It didn't mean anything to you
Ele fugiu de nós He ran from us
When it comes to the preposition com, you have two options for vocês which both have the same meaning:
- com vocês with youpl. – Eu dancei com vocês I danced with youpl.
- convosco with youpl. – Eu dancei convosco I danced with you pl.
Combining com with the pronoun nós is a bit more complicated, but in most cases, you’ll use:
You can use com nós, but only if you are also including words such as mesmos same, próprios own, or todos all next to it. For example:
Estamos preocupados com nós próprios We're worried about ourselves
Podem contar com todos nós You can count on all of us
In the previous examples, you learned that some pronouns take on a new form when combined with the preposition com, while others stay the same, as separate words. Let’s take a look at the chart below just to review the tonic pronouns and clear up any lingering confusion: