Personal Pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese I

The category of personal pronouns in Portuguese can work as subject pronouns and object pronouns. An object pronoun can work either as the direct object or as the indirect object. In this post we will see its use more as subject pronoun in the spoken language.

Personal Pronouns

I eu
you você, tu
he, it ele
she, it ela
we nós
you vocês
they
eles (male)
they
elas (female)

E.g. Eu amo você.

I love you.

Nós mudamos para São Paulo ontem.

We moved to São Paulo yesterday.

In everyday language, it is common to use the noun phrase a gente (“the people”) in the place of nós.

“A gente não quer só comida, a gente quer bebida, diversão, balé” – Titãs

“We don`t want just food, we want beverage, leisure, ballet*” – part of the music “Comida” written by the rock band Titãs. * – free translation

The general word for you is você for singular and vocês for plural. Você and vocês are followed by verbs in third person, singular and plural respectively. Você(s) can occupy the object position.

Você é americano?

Are you American?

Vocês fizeram um bom trabalho.

You did a good job.

Gostaria de ver você amanhã na festa.

I`d like to see you tomorrow in the party.

When you are talking to an older stranger or a superior, you should use the respectful o senhor (the gentleman) or a senhora (the lady). These are also the forms used by employees in services to address costumers. They must be followed by a third person verb.

Bom dia senhor, como posso ajudá-lo?

Good morning sir, how can I help you?

Posso falar com a senhora?

Can I talk with you? (a superior, an older persons or someone to whom you show respect)

O senhor pode aguardar na fila, por favor?

Could you stay in the line please?

O senhor and a senhora are appropriate to use in cases where in English you use “sir” and “ma`am”. These titles are also used in plural os senhores and as senhoras in formal circumstances.

Senhoras e senhores, nós estamos aqui para celebrar…

Ladies and gentleman, we are here to celebrate…

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