Portuguese :Pronouns

Pronouns in Portuguese Official forms:

  • eu – I
  • tu – you (singular, very informal) This is used only in Portugal; Thou was once used as the informal you in English (found in Medieval and Renaissance English and earlier translations of the Bible)
  • você = you (singular, informal) This form is used in Brazil.
  • ele – he or it (For people and objects of the male gender)
  • ela – she or it (For people and objects of the female gender)
  • nós – we
  • Vós – you (singular and plural, very formal) *
  • eles – they (For male people and objects or both genders)
  • elas – they (For female people and objects)
* – Nowadays, This form is only used in northern Portugal and by intellectuals. When used, it can also be intended as a 3rd person of singular formal form. Colloquial forms:
  • Você – you (singular, formal), it was Vossa Mercê (Your
  • A gente – we (singular, informal) (Just in Brazil) 2
  • Vocês – you (plural) *2
  • O senhor – he/sir (male, singular, formal) *3
  • A senhora – she/madam (female, singular, formal) *3
  • Os senhores – they (males, formal)
  • As senhoras – they (females, formal)
*2 – In colloquial language, most Portuguese speakers use the forms você and vocês instead of tu and vós. *3 – These expressions can also be honorific forms for important or unfamiliar people. Example: O senhor João (…) -> Mr John (…) As you can see, there is sometimes more than one pronoun in Portuguese for the equivalent English word. The reason for this is to show both the gender and the level of formality that you wish to use to address the other person.   Subject Pronouns___
Singular Portuguese
Singular English
eu (m & f)
tu (m & f)limited use in Brazil
thou (you)
ele (m)
ela (f)
você (m & f)
o senhor (formal-m)
a senhora (formal-f)
a senhorita (formal-f—”Miss”)
Plural Portuguese
Plural English
nós (m & f)
vós (m & f)limited use in Brazil
ye (you)
eles (m)
elas (f)
vocês (m & f)
os senhores (formal-m)
as senhoras (formal-f)
as senhoritas (formal-f—”Misses”)
Direct & Indirect Object Pronouns      can all refer to either people or things. Portuguese Lessons
Direct Object
Indirect Object 
English Portuguese English Portuguese
me (m/f) me (to) me (m/f) me
you (familiar-m/f) te (to) you (m/f) te
him/it (m) you (polite-m) o (to) him/it (m) (to) you (polite-m) lhe
her/it (f) you (polite-f) a (to) her/it (f) (to) you (polite-f) lhe
you (polite-m) o senhor (to) you (polite-m) ao senhor
you (polite-f) a senhora (to) you (polite-f) à senhora
you (familiar-m/f) você (to) you (familiar m/f) a você
us (m/f) nós/nos (to) us (m/f) nós/nos
you (formal familiar) vós/vos (Portugal) (to) you (formal familiar) vós/vos (Portugal)
them (m) os (to) them (m/f) lhes
you (polite-m) os senhores (to) you (polite-m) os senhores
you (polite-f) as senhoras (to) you (polite-f) às senhores
you  (familiar m/f) vocês (to) you (familiar m/f) a vocês
Using Este, Esse and Aquele as Pronouns   When used as a pronoun without an accompanying noun: este = this/this one esse = that/that one (close proximity) aquele = that/that one (over there) The pronouns: isto = this/this thing isso = that/that thing (close proximity) aquilo = that/that thing (over there) = that/that thing are used when referring to facts, ideas or vaguely identified objects. They are never used to identify individual people or groups of people.

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