Portuguese Augmentative

Ejemplo de aumentativo en portugués: Nós assistimos um jogão do Brasil.

‘Sup people? Tranquilão? To understand better what tranquilão means, first we need to know a bit about the Portuguese augmentative. So let’s go!

Talking about the Portuguese Augmentative

Sometimes when we want to say that something is very big , for example, we can change the word to emphasize and create the sense of size. For that, we use transform the word into its Portuguese augmentative form.

To do this it is very common to add the augmentative sufixes on words by using the following sufixes:

Main augmentative sufixes in Portuguese

The most used Portuguese augmentative sufixes are -ão for masculine words and -ona for feminine words. The word amigo(a) (friend), for example, turns into amigona or amigão. And the word menino(a) (boy or girl) changes to meninão or meninona. In Portuguese the words are usually feminine or masculine, so to transform to the augmentative you have to know the gender of word. If you want to learn more about gender in Portuguese, click here.

The Augmentative in Portuguese. The main sufixes are -ão to masculine words and -ona to feminine words. Examples: amigão/amigona and meninão/meninona.

When we use the augmentative, we can mean different things. The augmentative can be used to indicate three things:

Uses of the Augmentative in Portuguese

We can use the Portuguese augmentative when we want to say that something is big, when we want to talk about something in a loving way or just to give emphasis to some word.

The uses of the Portuguese augmentative: We use it to indicate that something is big, to talk about something in a loving way or to give emphasis. Example: o copão de cerveja.

Now that we know all the rules of the Augmentative in Portuguese, let’s see some examples below:

Augmentative for the idea of size

Here we use the augmentative to say that something is big, great.

Ela comprou uma casona.
She bought a huge house.

Vamos fazer um churrascão no Domingo.
We are having a big barbecue on Sunday.

Diogo come um pratão no almoço.
Diogo eats a massive plate for lunch.

Nós usamos uma mesona na reunião.
We use a huge table for the meeting.

Nesta sala tem uma TV grandona.
In this living room there’s a massive TV.

Augmentative with the idea of affection

The augmentative here brings an idea of affection, that we really care about something or somebody.

E aí, meu amigão! Como você está?
So, dear friend! how are you?

Ela é uma amigona minha.
She is a great friend of mine.

Ele é o meu irmãozão.
He is my dear brother.

Ela é uma mãezona. Todos gostam dela.
She is a great mother Everyone likes her.

Augmentative with the idea of emphasis

And here, we use it just to emphasize an important word or idea in the sentence.

Ele assistiu a um filme bonzão ontem.
She watched an awesome movie yesterday.

Eu fiquei um tempão esperando pela minha namorada. Ela sempre se atrasa.
I waited for my girlfriend a long time. She is always late.

Eu moro lonjão da Rio & Learn.
I live very far from Rio & Learn.

The usage of -zão or -zona

We use these suffixes in four special cases: words ending in stressed syllables, words ended in two vowels, words ended in nasal sound and words ended in L and R. We use -zão for masculine words and -zona for feminine words.

Words ending in stressed syllables

When the word ends in a stressed syllable, according to the rule we must use the suffix -zona/-zão.

Mulher Mulherzona
Anel Anelzão
Ca Cafézão
Pezão
Pazona

Carla é muito alta. Ela é literalmente uma mulherzona!
Carla is very tall. She is literally a big woman!

Ele tem um anelzão no dedo.
He has a big ring in his finger.

Eu sempre tenho problemas para comprar sapatos por causa do meu pezão.
I always have problems buying shoes because of my big feet.

Words ending in two vowels

When the word end in a two vowels, we also must use the sufixe -zona/-zão.

Pai Paizão
Céu Ceuzão
Mãe Mãezona
Chapéu Chapeuzão
Televisão Televisãozona

 

Ele faz tudo por seus filhos. Ele é um paizão.
He does everything for his kids. He is a great father.

Hoje o dia está lindo por causa desse ceuzão azul!
Today we have a beautiful day because of this big blue sky!

Minha mãezona sempre está preocupada comigo.
My lovely mother is always worried about me.

Words ending in nasal sound

And when the word ends in a nasal sound, we also have to use use the suffix -zona/-zão.

Bom Bonzão
Caminhão Caminhãozão
Homem Homenzão
Maçã Maçãzona

O jogo de futebol ontem foi bonzão!
The football match yesterday was very good!

Ele comprou um caminhãozão para a sua empresa.
He bought a big truck for his company.

Carlos já é um homenzão e pode resolver seus problemas sozinho.
Carlos is a grown man already and can solve his problems by himself.

Words ending in R and L

We are also going to use the suffix -zona/-zão when the word ends with a R or a L.

Lugar Lugarzão
Sol Solzão
Pastel Pastelzão
Amor Amorzão

Aluguei um lugarzão muito bom para a nossa festa.
I have rented a very nice place for our party.

Você acha que amanhã vai abrir um solzão?
Do you think that tomorrow will be sunny?

Estou louco para comer um pastelzão de queijo com caldo de cana!
I can’t wait to have a big pastel with sugar cane juice!

Attention!! There are also the words ending in -ão are not using augmentative in Portuguese, Let’s see some of them!

Words ending in -ão without being augmentative

Ok, you already know that to change a word into the Portuguese augmentative form sometimes we add the suffix -ão. However that doesn’t mean that all the words ending in -ão are in the augmentative form. Take a look at some words that end in -ão in Portuguese that are not in the augmentative form:

A canção
Song
O coração Heart
O cidadão Citizen
O alemão German
A tensão Tension
A pressão Pressure
A mão Hand
A estação Station
O irmão Brother
O avião Plane

These words already have -ão at the end. But if you want to put them in the augmentative form, you can follow the rules you’ve learnt above and transform them. For example: o avião – o aviaozão, a estação – a estaçãozona…

So? Tranquilão? Now you understand the tranquilão, right?

Now it’s your turn!

To practice what you’ve just learnt, make sentences with the words below using the augmentative form, of course!

Portuguese augmentative exercise. Create sentences with the words below: carro, casa, livro, professor, aluno, rua, moto, escola, caneta.

Check some suggestions of answers at the end of this Dica. If you have any doubts or you created sentences you’d like to check, talk to one of our teachers in an online Portuguese class.

We will see you in the next Dica so we can practice more Portuguese. Don’t forget to visit our Instagram to see what’s going on over here.

Later!
Beijão from Rio de Janeiro!

Ler esta Dica em Português    Leer esta Dica en Español
Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Formation of Diminutives in Portuguese
Nouns in Portuguese
Exercises of Diminutive In Portuguese
Words ending in tion in Portuguese

Answers

  1. Ele tem um carrão.
  2. Ela mora numa casona.
  3. Eu demorei muito pra terminar a leitura, era um livrão.
  4. Este professorzão é demais!
  5. Este alunão é o máximo, ele entende tudo!
  6. Para chegar até aqui passamos por uma ruazona.
  7. Tu viu aquele motão fazendo maior barulho?
  8. Estudei Português numa escolona muito boa, Rio & Learn! Que saudades.
  9. Caramba olha o tamanho desta caneta! É uma canetona gigante.

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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