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The Pronouns Si & Consigo

May 5, 2020

Grammatically speaking, the pronouns si and consigo belong to the 3rd person subjects: ele(s)/ela(s). This is because they were initially only used as reflexive pronouns*, which are pronouns that refer to the same subject or thing as the verb. For example:

Ele levou a mala consigo Play normal audio He took the suitcase with him

The sentence above is still correct and wouldn’t be confusing because the context makes it clear who consigo refers to. Nowadays, however, it’s more common to see si and consigo used with 2nd person formal subjects. Si and consigo can replace você, as using você in European Portuguese can sometimes be seen as disrespectful or too intense. For example:

Polite Expressions

January 31, 2019

Just like its people, the Portuguese language is very courteous. Below are just some of the many polite phrases used to express basic, everyday courtesy in Portuguese. A little kindness goes a long way, especially when you’re struggling to communicate in a new language! This guide covers the most important phrases, but there are also many others that will help get you started in simple conversations or greet people properly throughout the day.

Please

In Portuguese, please can be por favor paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio please or se faz favor paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio please. They’re both equally correct and used in the same situations.

We Portuguese tend to shorten words whenever we can. So don’t be confused if instead of se faz favor you hear ´faz favor in fast, informal speech.

Thank You

One of the most important polite phrases in Portuguese:

Tu and Você in European Portuguese

May 31, 2017

This guide will cover how to address people formally vs. informally in Portugal, with a special focus on the difference between tu and você in European Portuguese.

Grammatically, it doesn’t take too long to learn the basics. The most challenging aspects for estrangeiros paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio foreigners, however, tend to be those that have to be made on a social level. For example, you must determine not only when it’s best to speak to someone formally, but also choose between the subtle variations of which formal language to use.

Even the natives (like Rui! 🇵🇹) have a hard time dissecting some of these unspoken social rules, but our aim is to make this the definitive European Portuguese resource for informal vs. formal language, and all the grey areas in between!

It’s important to be aware of the difference between tu and você from the beginning, but don’t worry if you don’t have it perfected right away. It goes without saying that it will take many months or even years of experience to get comfortable with all these social subtleties.

The Different Forms of “You”

You don’t have to worry about formality in the 1st person or 3rd person (yay!). But it gets a little trickier in the 2nd person, which has formal and informal variations.

As we mentioned, the two main pronouns used for speaking directly to someone are: tu paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio you (informal) and você paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio you (formal)

Hours and Telling Time

March 26, 2017

Let’s learn how to tell time in Portuguese! While many countries favour the 12-hour clock system, Portugal usually uses the 24-hour clock, especially in more formal contexts.

English Time Portuguese Time In Words
12:00 a.m.
(midnight)
0h00 zero horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
meia-noite paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio midnight
1:00 a.m. 1h00 uma hora paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
2:00 a.m. 2h00 duas horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
3:00 a.m. 3h00 três horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
4:00 a.m. 4h00 quatro horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
5:00 a.m. 5h00 cinco horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
6:00 a.m. 6h00 seis horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
7:00 a.m. 7h00 sete horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
8:00 a.m. 8h00 oito horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
9:00 a.m. 9h00 nove horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
10:00 a.m. 10h00 dez horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
11:00 a.m. 11h00 onze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
12:00 p.m.
(noon)
12h00 doze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
meio-dia paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio noon
1:00 p.m. 13h00 treze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
2:00 p.m. 14h00 catorze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
3:00 p.m. 15h00 quinze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
4:00 p.m. 16h00 dezasseis horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
5:00 p.m. 17h00 dezassete horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
6:00 p.m. 18h00 dezoito horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
7:00 p.m. 19h00 dezanove horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
8:00 p.m. 20h00 vinte horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
9:00 p.m. 21h00 vinte e uma horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
10:00 p.m. 22h00 vinte e duas horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
11:00 p.m. 23h00 vinte e três horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio

How to Tell Time in Portuguese: The Basics

Formal

In formal situations, you should apply the 24-hour clock system, and use the exact minutes shown on the clock, rather than more informal expressions of subdivisions of time (as you will learn about further below).