Um Canadiano em Portugal

A Canadian in Portugal

Currently living in Portugal and learning the language, Joel bumps into a helpful local.


  • Is it ok for two strangers who take a liking to each other on meeting, to use the second person informal; like in this situation?
    Is the use of formal third person becoming a thing of the past (to some extent); amongst younger people?

    • Good question, Anton. Up to a certain age – think younger adults, up to their 30s -, when two people of similar age meet, they will most likely address each other informally, unless there is some kind of hierarchical relationship between them: a clerk talking to a customer, a student talking to a tutor or teacher, etc. Older adults generally default to the formal second person. When there is a noticeable age difference, the younger person will usually address the older person formally, but there is no expectation for the older person to do the same. Hope this helps!

  • I think Rui, Joel are just met each other And they are student. And they just want to make friends and have some Conversation As usual When someone is not in their own country, and when you’re in there country and you what to make friends with loco people

  • Hi. Very helpful.
    Please explain to me the difference between saying: Prazer em conhecer-te and Prazer em conhecê-lo? Do they have the same meaning? Are they pertaining to the same person?

    • They both mean pleasure to meet you / nice to meet you, but the one using -te would be more common to hear in a more informal setting or with younger people, and -te could refer to either a male or female. The one with -lo is more formal and would only refer to a male (It would be prazer em conhecê-la if speaking to a woman). You could also just say muito prazer, or simply prazer.

  • Ola Joseph! Could you expand on your answer to Anton with an example that would illustrate a formal exchange? Obrigada!

    • Sure! For example, the whole dialogue in this shorty is informal. I’ll pick some bits of it and change them to formal:
      Tu falas inglês? (informal) -> (Você) Fala inglês? or O senhor fala inglês?
      Como te chamas? (informal) -> Como se chama? (formal)
      Prazer em conhecer-te. (informal) -> Prazer em conhecê-lo. (formal)

      This Learning Note goes into detail on this: How to Address People Formally vs. Informally

What did you think? Leave a Comment for Rui & Joel:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.