1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Portuguese
  4. >
  5. "Isto é um berço."

"Isto é um berço."

Translation:This is a crib.

September 7, 2015



like...how and or why does thus use isto instead of este.?


Isto refers to things that you don't know. It appears alone and is generally related to an indefinite noun, which takes an indefinite article (Isto é um berço). Este (and its variations estes, esta, estas) refers to things that you already know, which are usually definite nouns.

  • Este é o berço que eu comprei = This is the crib that I bought.

Este and its variations also work as adjectives, so they can modify nouns, but isto cannot.

  • Este berço é grande = This crib is big.
    Isto berço = incorrect.

Este can also translate this one, that is, it accompanies a noun that is implicit in Portuguese.

  • O seu vestido é bonito, mas este [vestido] não = Your dress is pretty, but this one is not.

Isto can replace whole ideas and works as a noun, for instance:

  • Ela costuma contar piadas e isto é engraçado = She usually tells jokes and this is funny.
    "Isto" refers to "contar piadas". Este é engraçado = incorrect.

The same is valid for the other demonstratives - isso x esse, aquilo x aquele.


So, in other words, I would use "isto" for something I'm presenting to you, and "este" to comment on something we are both paying attention to?


berço = cradle according to MICHAELIS, 1978 Dicionário Practico Inglês-português/ Português Inglês Comp. page 461. crib on page 85 = berço, same dictionary. Both words have many other meanings besides. Could it be that one can be "rocked", and the other i.e. crib, is stationary to the floor? Which word is most suitable for a baby's bed? Thanks. Walt. 05/06/2021

Learn Portuguese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.