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"Meu" or "O meu"

"My xx" is sometimes translated to "O meu/A minha" and sometimes to "Meu/Minha". When do I need to use the "O"/"A" before the "Meu"/"Minha"?

February 17, 2013



when it is a possessive adjective, you can choose wheter or not to use the article. when it works as a pronoun, you must use the article. examples: my car is better than yours = (o) meu carro é melhor que O seu. on the 2nd example, you have to use the article.


In Portugal the article is always present. So, my train in Brazil is "Meu trem" but in Portugal it's "O meu comboio" (Comboio é a palavra portuguesa para trem)


You can't say "meu trem" in Portuguese, even writers and important people in Brazil get to manage the language properly. "Meu trem" is quite informal, actually.

Meu (without the article) means "mine" NOT "my", so there's a direct translation into English, but "o meu" also works as a pronoun.


This was very helpful


What is a possessive adjective? Thanks


My, your, his, hers, its, our and their are all possessive adjectives.


Yeah. When "seu" is used as a substantive in the second case you have to put the article because it is no longer a pronoun. Hope it helps.


As Pauloenrique said, when it is a possessive, the name follows, so you can ommit, but you must use the article when it's a pronoun (in replacement of a substantive). The brasilians tend to ommit the pronoun. The portuguese use it more. Sometimes it doesn't make much of a difference. For example: pt-br) Deixei meu carro no acostamento pt-pt) Deixei o meu carro na berma It means "I left my car on the hard shoulder" (or "I left my car at the roadside") The use (or not) of the pronouns is perfectly understood by a brasilian or a portuguese (as for the word "acostamento" it is not used in Portugal and people will have difficulty understanding).

But there are some subtle differences (for both versions of portuguese). 1) Ela é minha amiga. 2) Ela é a minha amiga. On the first case it means that "she is a friend". On the second it means that she is a specific friend that you previously talked about. It could also suggest that this woman is the only friend that you have.


Portuguese is spoken in many countries, "Minha amiga" is only heard in Brazil, but it's quite informal. In the end, even writers and important (educated people) say "A minha amiga".


What if I have several cars (in fact, I have none)? Should I use "um meu carro"?


um dos meus carros (in spanish: uno de mis carros)


No. Or you specify the car using "meu" or you generalize it using "um". Don't put them together. It's like felipebadell said: "um dos meus carros" or "um carro meu". Because this way "meu" is not used as a pronoun to specify or generalize, it is actually an adjective.


I’ve been studying for over 5 years now and I don’t understand what you wrote. It’s been very frustrating not being able to understand Portuguese even though I’ve been to Brasil 16 times and study every day with my girlfriend who only speaks Portuguese. It’s like deciphering a secret code. Thanks


Basically, if the possessive is followed by a noun (meu carro, minha amiga), the article can be omitted.


I just wanted to add that in European Portuguese, it will always be "o meu" or "a minha."


Thanks for this. In EP when in doubt, I choose to USE an article. :)


male gender "meu" example: O meu carro, O meu cachorro, O meu pai, O meu irmão, O meu lápis, O meu pente, O meu corpo female gender "minha" example: A minha casa, A minha irmã, A minha mãe, A minha bicicleta, A minha Cadela, A minha caneta, A minha cama


Why is an o or an a used at all? I’ve never used them in the 5 years I’ve been studying because I don’t understand what they are for. Thanks


REFER TO THIS LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/64947


You can omit the "O"/"A" if you are using a noun. For example: O meu nariz. meu nariz.


Wouldn’t you always use a noun after “meu”?

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