What are the Portuguese Personal Pronouns?
Are you ready to learn more Portuguese? Then you‘ve certainly come to the right place! What could be better than learning from us – a specialized Portuguese language school? Hold on a second – why are those words in bold? Oh, right! That’s because in today’s Dica we’ll be talking about Portuguese personal pronouns. That begs the question: how would you say these personal pronouns in Portuguese? Let’s find out!
Portuguese Subject Pronouns
First things first, we have to start with the subject pronouns. They’re the first set of Portuguese personal pronouns anyone learns. You could say they’re the most important, too – especially considering Brazilians are too lazy to remember to use the other types of personal pronouns in Portuguese. We use these in place of nouns – usually proper nouns like the name of a person, although ele/ela can be used to talk about objects as well. Listen to one of our native Portuguese teachers pronouncing them:
There’s also a surprise subject pronoun we didn’t include here: tu. It’s not often used in Rio de Janeiro, though you can certainly hear it if you venture to the south of Brazil. You can learn more about tu and how it is used in this Dica. Let’s see some examples using subject personal pronouns in Portuguese:
Examples of Portuguese Subject Pronouns
Olá, José. Onde você estuda?
Hi José. Where do you study?
Meu nome é Pablo. Eu sou de Campo Grande.
My name is Pablo. I am from Campo Grande.
Você sabe onde o Mark estuda? Ele estuda português na Rio & Learn.
Do you know where Mark studies? He studies Português at Rio & Learn.
Lorena e eu moramos em Copacabana. Nós dividimos um apartamento.
Lorena and I live in Copacabana. We share an apartment.
Paulo e João, onde vocês moram?
Paulo and João, where do you live?
Marcos, Luana e Laura não têm planos para o fim de semana. Eles vão ficar em casa.
Marcos, Luana and Laura don’t have plans for the weekend. They will stay home.
Onde os estudantes estão? Eles estão na escola de samba.
Where are the students? They are at the samba school.
Reflexive Personal Pronouns in Portuguese
Thankfully for us, there aren’t many reflexive pronouns that we need to worry about in Portuguese. But what are they exactly? Reflexive pronouns are simply pronouns we use to indicate that you did an action to yourself. Easy enough, right? In general, this means we’ll be needing a reflexive verb to help us out as well. Take a look at the reflexive pronouns in Portuguese:
|se (singular)||yourself / himself / herself|
|nos||ourselves / each other|
|se (plural)||yourselves / themselves / each other|
Here goes a little tip: putting the reflexive pronouns after the verb makes you sound formal and, honestly, a bit weird. Put it before the verb! If you want to know more about reflexive pronouns in Portuguese, you can read this Dica.
Examples of Reflexive Pronouns
Meu namorado nunca se penteia.
My boyfriend never combs his hair.
Eu me machuquei quando eu caí naquela pedra ali.
I hurt myself when I fell on that rock over there.
Nós nos esquecemos de fazer o dever de casa.
We forgot to do the homework.
Eles se conheceram no curso de português.
They met each other in a Portuguese course.
These ones are easy! And we even saw an example of one at the beginning! Prepositional pronouns are the Portuguese personal pronouns that we use in combination with prepositions. In fact, a lot of them stay the same and don’t vary from their subject pronoun form at all. Others, however, will vary when faced with the preposition com (with). Check it out:
|regular||with the preposition com||translations|
|mim||comigo||me / with me|
|você / tu / ti||consigo / contigo||you / with you|
|ele / ela||com ele / ela||(with) him / her|
|nós / a gente||conosco / com a gente||us / with us|
|vocês||com vocês||(with) you|
|eles / elas||com eles / elas||(with) them|
Apart from the first person singular (eu, mim), all other prepositional pronouns are the same as the subject pronouns. There are some contractions you should be mindful of, though! You can find them here in the section about prepositional pronouns.
Examples of Prepositional Personal Pronouns in Portuguese
Eu não sei se confio nela.
I don’t know if I trust her.
Vem conosco para a festa! Vai ser muito divertido!
Come with us to the party! It’ll be so much fun!
Ouvi dizer que o Miguel gosta de ti.
I heard that Miguel likes you.
Direct Object Pronouns
Their name may sound complicated, but let me tell you: direct object pronouns in Portuguese are quite simple. They are used to replace the object in a sentence. To be more precise, they replace the direct object – objects that require no preposition to link them to the verb. These are the direct object pronouns:
|o, a, lo, la, te||you|
|o, a, lo, la||him / her / it|
|nos, a gente||us|
|os, as, los, las||you|
|os, as, los, las||them|
Brazilians rarely use object pronouns when speaking. Those are usually reserved for formal writing – and let’s keep the formal in mind, shall we? That means that usually you won’t hear nor see much about these direct object pronouns with the exception of me and te. You can read more about them here.
Well, what do you use instead, then? Can you really just forget all about grammar? Kind of. Despite it being technically incorrect, most Brazilians would opt to use the subject personal pronouns in Portuguese.
Examples of Direct Object Pronouns
Eu te vi ontem na praia.
I saw you on the beach yesterday.
Eles me convidaram para uma festa.
They invited me to a party.
Ele a conheceu na RioLIVE! e agora são super amigos.
He met her at a RioLIVE! activity and now they’re great friends.
Indirect Object Pronouns
If you understood the direct object pronouns, these new pronouns will be no surprise. The only difference between them is that these replace indirect objects. In other words, indirect object pronouns replace any object in a sentence that needs a preposition to link it to the verb.
|me = para mim||me = to/for me|
|lhe = te = para você||you = to/for you|
|lhe = para ele/para ela||him/her = to/for him/her|
|nos = para nós||us = to/for us|
|lhes = para vocês||you = to/for you|
|lhes = para eles/para elas||them = to/for them|
As you can see, they overlap with prepositional pronouns, which by the way, you can even use instead of indirect object pronouns. You’ll sound more natural, actually! This is because, once again, Brazilians just don’t use indirect object pronouns when speaking. So you’ll only see them in formal writing. Most of the time, you’ll be facing prepositional pronouns instead.
Examples with Indirect Object Pronouns
Meu tio lhe deu uma boneca de presente de natal.
My uncle gave you/him/her a doll as a Christmas gift.
Vocês nunca me fazem favores. Só eu que lhes ajudo!
You never do me any favors. I’m the only one who helps you.
That’s it everyone. We have just learned all we can about Portuguese personal pronouns.
See you all in the next Dica!