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Yes, those are the areas I am aware of... as far as I know it is more used the further south you go (Rio Grande do Sul for sure).
I have not noticed people from the interior of SP using "tu", although it can happen anywhere because it is after all also technically correct. I'd say go with "você" for general use with your girlfriend, and "a senhora" or "o senhor" if you want to be very respectful and polite to people older than you (conjugation for those is the same as for "você"). Você is correct anywhere you go in Brazil, so it is always the safest bet. I am from São Paulo (capital), and we pretty much only use "você" (sometimes it ends up sounding like "cê" in speech).
I hope it helps! =)
Not the entire South uses Tu. I'm from Paraná, and here we use Você as standard. In Santa Catarina they use Tu. And Rio Grande do Sul, I think they use Você more, but I could be wrong. Also in the Northeast and North, there are states/regions where they speak Tu, but I don't know where, since I've never been there. :b
I fear that this will take a long time to be finished, paulconsul. But there's one being made and also there are some separated-by-region atlas already done. Here is the list: http://twiki.ufba.br/twiki/bin/view/Alib/AtlasNacionais
Hi, JCMcGee! Whenever the é has the accent, it is pronounced differently.
The é in tu és sounds different compared to the e in "tu comes". The duolingo robot lady does not have this down yet.
Additional hint: if you are using a Mac computer, alt+e then e again to type the letter é. =)
Tu is rarely used in its correct form in Brazil. I only know of the states in the South using it (but você is used everywhere). In Rio it is used incorrectly when speaking informally, meaning it is slang (tu vai, tu anda, tu come, etc.). In São Paulo we don't really use it at all. =)
Correct way is "tu comes". Some Brazilians may say "tu come". Verb conjugation : eu como, tu comes, ele/você come... this can create a lot of discussion because Voce, same thing as Tu, is conjugated not the same way. what you can do is put always in the 2nd person singular : tu comes, tu bebes.
I think it might help (at least it does for me, but that's coming from french) to understand that "você" is originally a contraction of "vossa mercê" ("your mercy" or "your grace").
You can think of it as a similar form as using "your majesty" while addressing a monarch with a lot of deference in english: "your majesty is too kind". Note that while you address the person directly here, you use "is" and not "are" because gramatically it's a 3rd person construction.
você/o senhor/a senhora works similarly in portuguese, even though semantically you address them directly as the 2nd person, grammatically those are 3rd person constructions and expect a 3rd person conjugation for the verb, like ele/ela. So you end up with "você come", very literally "your grace eats".
Now "tu" is the proper grammatical (informal) 2nd person pronoun, like "you" in english (or more accurately old english "thou") or "tu" in french. Therefore the verb is conjugated at the 2nd person and becomes "comes" (in romance languages you tend to end up with ~s endings at the 2nd person in my experience. All the way back to latin really). So "tu comes", "you eat", somewhat similar to old english "thou eatest".