Hi guys! I am a beginner in Portugese and I've run into a little bit of confusion. I am trying to figure out when to use tu and when to use você. I would prefer to know the scenario of what you would use if you were in Brazil. I was trying to originally figure out the difference between seu/ sua vs. teu/ tua. Whats I got was that you use seu and its feminine counterpart if you use você and you use teu and its feminine counterpart if you use tu. Is that correct? Thank you so much!

August 27, 2016



I'm not a native speaker so I suggest that you wait for one to confirm what I'm about to write :).

I think 'você' is more popular in Brazil. 'Tu' is used in some regions too. I think mostly in Northern regions. Sometimes 'tu' is combined with the 'você' verb form, e.g., 'Tu escreve'- this, however, is considered substandard and incorrect by some people.

I believe you're right about 'sua/seu' being used with 'você' and 'teu/tua/ being used with tu.

Eu espero que isso ajude você um pouco. :)

Native speaker here. You are absolutely correct. 'Você' is way, way more used instead of 'Tu'. And as you both said, we indeed use 'seu/sua' when doing so. There are places such as in the extreme south or northern regions that use 'tu', but that is a really small fraction when you compare to the country as a whole.

In Portugal, however, they use 'tu' along with the correct verb form.

Muito obrigado ArthurLorentz! :) Eu sempre prefiro que um nativo cofirme o que eu digo :).

The true 2nd-person singular system includes a whole series of words:

tu, te, ti, teu, teus, tua, tuas, contigo

In a region that does not use "tu" it's not absolutely clear whether all the other words are evicted along with it. It seems to me that "te", at least, is in widespread use in non-"tu" regions. Is that correct?

Another "tu" hangover is in the use of the "tu" imperative and both the "tu" and "você" imperatives appear to be common. I'm not so sure about this because for most verbs the "tu" imperative is the same as the "você" present indicative so when someone shouts "Corre!" instead of "Corra!" it could be a generally accepted simplification or a mistake. Any comments?

As it was already countlessly said before, in Brazil the 'tu' in the spoken form is mostly used as a regionalism and very often used wrongly, being conjugated as 'você'. In the written form, it is often used as a way of embellishing the text. The 'tu' in this context gives a whole poetic appeal to the story that would not happen if the author had used the 'você' instead. If you take a look at brazilian novels or the brazilian bible, you'll see they make extensive use of 'tu'.

Bom, o que posso dizer é que o português moderno permite que se escolha livremente entre tratá-lo por tu ou por você. Nas gramáticas tradicionais, são duas formas igualmente corretas para tratar a segunda pessoa do discurso: 1.ª pessoa: quem fala (eu-nós)/ 2.ª pessoa: com quem se fala (tu-vós, você-vocês)/ 3.ª: de quem se fala (ele-eles, ela-elas).

Embora tu e você se refiram à segunda pessoa do discurso, tu pertence à 2.ª e você pertence à 3.ª pessoa gramatical, exigindo as formas verbais e os pronomes respectivos.

Mas o rumo evolutivo da língua aponta a supremacia absoluta do você e a retirada de cena de tu/vós. A conjugação verbal se reduzirá a quatro pessoas: eu, ele, você; nós, eles, vocês.

Na região norte e nordeste aqui no brasil, ainda usa-se e muito ! Espero ter ajudado!!

Sábias palavras. Isso sem contar com o uso crescente do 'a gente' no lugar de 'nós', reduzindo ainda mais a quantidade de formas verbais praticadas pelas pessoas... Mas por vezes acaba facilitando para estrangeiros: tenho professores da faculdade que são estrangeiros e sofrem com o português e para simplificar, simplesmente não utilizam a tradicional primeira pessoa do plural!

Hello, i'm from Brazil. I am beginner in English.

Don't to use Tu when i'm speaking. I prefer to use você. There are some places here that you could hear people say something like: "Tu assistiu aquele filme?" but i think it is inusual. I prefer to say: " Você assistiu aquele filme?" but is the same meaning. And i don't Tua/teu too, i prefer to use Sua/Seu. Like: "Esse carro é seu?", but i could listened "Esse carro é teu?" and will have the same meaning!

That help you?! (I hope yes :D)

Yes, of course! Obrigado!

In Brazil, is você or tu more formal than the other? Or are they on the same level of formality? Thank you so much for this clarification

Hello! Here in Brazil, you could easily just not use 'Tu' at all. I live in the southeast region and we don't need to use it. Some people around here use it with incorrect verb forms. But using it with the correct verb form would pretty much denote that you are either foreign or from very specific regions of the country such as the extreme north or south.

'Tu', used with the correct verb forms, sounds much more formal than 'Você'.

I totally agree with you, Arthur, in Brazil there's no need to use "tu" at all.

I lived in the south (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul) for 6 years and people there used "tu" with incorrect verb forms like "tu vai lá?" or "eu vou quando tu for" all the time. And if someone said "tu vais lá?"or "eu vou quando tu fores" would be kinda weird.

They write correctly but when it comes to oral language they deliberately use "tu"with incorrect verb forms. And I'm talking about anyone — university students, professors, engineers, writers and pretty much every gaúchos I've met. Maybe is their way to make "tu" more informal.

I did keep using "você" when I was there coz it's a matter of habit, it's hard to change (and they had no problem with "você", btw). When I began to change it, we moved to São Paulo, then I had to stop using "tu" again, to avoid that question: "are you from South?". :D Now I only use "você" wherever I go.

P.S: And by the way, Rio Grande do Sul it's a wonderful state. :)

I'm from Minas Gerais and I hope to visit Rio Grande do Sul someday... Towards the south, I've only been to Santa Catarina, but no further, and it was already awesome.

On a curiosity note, by the way, the word 'Você' came from a very formal expression, 'Vossa mercê' (which is somewhat equivalent to 'your grace' or 'your excellency') and got gradually changed into 'Você', a very common way to address people. It is well accepted and we Brazilians aren't -usually- so much into formalities.

Both forms - tu and você - are informal. To speak in a formal, respectful way, it's very common to use o senhor / a senhora / a senhorita. I don't think there's an equivalent expression in english, although as titles, senhor/senhora/senhorita can be translated as mister/mistress/miss. Like miss, senhorita is used with unmarried women. For example:

Informal: Você é bonita or Tu és bonita / You are pretty.

Formal: A senhora/senhorita é bonita / You are pretty.

The closest equivalents in English are "sir", "madam" and "miss". Although it's still possible to hear things like "Hello, sir" or "Goodnight, miss", using them with third person verbs as in "I hope sir is satisfied with our service", "I believe madam has lost an earring in the soup" or "I think miss looks most becoming in that dress" is almost entirely a thing of the past.

Later sir and madam came to my mind.

I live in SC, in the south, at least here we consider "você" more formal than "tu".

I'm not sure about SC, but that often happens when the incorrect verb forms are used. It sounds very informal and is pretty common in Rio de Janeiro: "Tu tá querendo o quê?"

Here in the southeast, 'tu' used along with the correct verb forms is deemed as either exotic, foreign (it will definitely draw attention) or in some cases, sound a bit pedantic.

'Você' around here is widely used, frequently being cut down in spoken language to 'Cê'. "Cê chega que horas?" - which is very informal as well.

I meant "tu" sounds a bit strong, kind of rude.

Maybe this is the anwer you are looking for:

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