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Personal and Possessive Pronoun Agreements

In Portuguese, personal pronouns are obligated to a matching noun/object. Every noun is either masculine or feminine, and usually distinguished by the final letter of the term, which can in the majority of circumstances provide you with the gender of that term. Fortunately, few terms divert from this pattern. English pronouns>> he, she and they

There are two types, seu (masculine) and sua (feminine). Generally terms ending with the letter o, are masculine, and those ending in a are feminine. The plural forms are seus and suas, which is equivalent to your in English.

* They all simply mean your, not his, her or their*

Example: Suas praias sao lindas. Your beaches are beautiful.

Notice that praia in the singular (beach) ends in the letter a, and in turn is a feminine object, thus matching with the feminine form of sua, or suas in the plural form.

*This is not to say that the the object is in possession of a man or a woman, as in English - That is his/her pen. This is a possessive pronoun, and the matching of the personal pronoun in Portuguese does not determine the gender of the holder of the object, just that it is being possessed. Examples: seu carro, can either mean that the car (carro) is owned by a man or woman. Sua caneta can also be owned by a man or woman.

The way to distinguish whether or not the possessor of the object is a man or woman with certainty in Portuguese is by using a contraction of the personal pronoun/gender and the prepositional phrase of. This is done as follows: A caneta dele e' azul.

Also note the direct object/noun agreement of - A caneta and O carro (the pen and the car)

This is translated word for word as: The pen of him is blue. In English, we don't phrase our possessive pronoun/object in this fashion, but like: His pen is blue.

If we have a object in possession of a female, then you have: O carro dela e' muito caro. Her car is very expensive.

Plural forms become: A casa deles e' muito linda e luxa - Their house is very beautiful and luxurious.

When one or more men are included in a group of possessors, the corresponding possession takes on the masculine form of deles. Only if the house was possessed by all females, would you use. A casa delas e' muito linda e luxa.

In Portuguese, you have to identify the gender of the person and use the correct possessive pronoun/contraction of    de and ele/ela/eles/elas to specify whether the owner/s of the object/s are male/s or female/s or both.

Personal Pronouns and Matching Gender Specific Nouns







seu livro  seh-oo leev-rro his/her/your/their book sua caneta  soo-ah kah-neh-tah his/her/your/their pen
seu jeito seh-oo jay-toh his/her/your/their way sua mesa soo-ah meh-sah his/her/your/their table
seu dia* seh-oo dgee-ah his/her/your/their day sua bebida soo-ah beh-bee-dah his/her/your/their drink
seu quintal

seh-oo kin-tahl

his/her/your/their yard sua janela soo-ah jah-neh-lah his/her/your/their window
seu clima*

seh-oo klee-mah

his/her/your/their climate

sua lampada soo-ah lahm-pah-dah his/her/your/their lamp

seu problema*

seh-oo proh-bleh-mah

his/her/your/their problem

 sua cadeira soo-ah kah-day-rah

his/her/your/their chair

seus pratos seh-oos prah-tohs his/her/your/their plates suas portas soo-ahs pohr-tahs his/her/your/their doors
seus radios seh-oos hah-dee-ohs his/her/your/their radios suas caixas soo-ahs kai-shas his/her/your/their boxes
seus quadros seh-oos koowah-drohs his/her/your/their pictures suas vozes soo-ahs voy-ces his/her/your/their voices
seus espelhos seh-oos es-pehl-yoos his/her/your/their mirrors suas filhas soo-ahs feel-yoos his/her/your/their girls

* You have 3 examples of commonly used nouns ending in the letter A that don't follow the regular feminine form.

Possession With Contraction of De and Ele/Ela/Eles/Elas

Singular Pronunciation Translation   Plural Pronunciation Translation
o copo dele oo koh-poh deh-lee his cup os copos delas oos coh-pos deh-lahs their cups
o cargo dela oo cahr-goh deh-lah her job os papeis deles oos pah-pay deh-lahs their papers
o fogo dele oo foh-goh deh-lee his fire os tarpetes dele oos tahr-peh-tays deh-lee  his carpets/rugs
o teto deles oo teh-too deh-lees their ceiling as impressoras dela as em-pres-so-rahs deh-lah her printers
o sapato dela oo sah-pah-tohs her shoe os sapatos deles oos sah-pah-tohs deh-lees  their shoes
a barriga dele ah bahr-hee-gah deh-lee his belly os carros dele oos-cahr-hohs deh-lee his cars
a mao* deles ah mah-ow deh-lees their hand as maos* delas as- mah-ows deh-lahs their hands

* Mao is an example of a noun ending in O that doesn't follow the typical masculine form.

Other Contractions in Portuguese  - When the prepositional phrases de and em are used with the definite (a, o, as, os) and indefinite articles (um, uma, uns, umas), you make Portuguese contractions.

de = of/from Pronunciation Translation   em = in/on Pronunciation Translation
do pai doh pahee of/from the father no copo  noh coh-poh  in/on the cup
da familia dah fah-mee-lee-ah of/from the family num carro noom cahr-hoh in/on a car
duma menina doo-mah meh-nee-nah of/from a girl no armario noh ahr-mah-ree-oh in/on the closet
dum homen doom oh-meen of/from a man num site noom sigh-teh in/on a site
dos garotos dohs gah-roh-tohs of/from the guys nos arquivos nos ahr-kee-voos in/on the folders
dos contatos dohs cohn-tah-tohs of/from the contacts num livro

noom leev-roh

in/on a book

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