Ela and Ele

Every time I do a lesson I keep getting these two mixed up. How do you discern the pronunciation between the two?

April 2, 2014


Ele seems like Aylee. ( - look for Sirasp's pronunciation, thatra's is the second best. The others are TOO european)
Ela sounds like Ellah. ( - look for thatra's pronunciation, Flowerchild's is the second best, the other is European)

I guess you mean you can't hear the difference. There is some advice here:

yes sorry I should have specified

If you mean by pronunciation, ela sounds more like the name "ella", and ele sounds more the the name "ellie", But both with an accent

yes thank you and I should have specified what I meant.

Maybe this can help you: check out how native speakers pronounce it: ela: ele: (European is different).

As well as the other tips here, try the podcast series 'tá falado'

What do you mean by discern? Ela=she, ele=he.

I mean hear the difference not what the meaning of the words are.

I don't think that I completely understand your question, but if you're talking about hearing the difference in fast conversation, I would suggest using context clues in conversation. For example, if you have been talking about João in a situation, it would be weird to think the other person said ela unless João interacted with a girl and she has previously been discussed in conversation. For example, João falava com a Maria todos os dias. Ela gostou realmente dele. Also, I would suggest you look at the adjectives in the sentences. If the adjectives end in -o/-os, the other person is referring to ele. Sorry if I did not understand your question!

Thanks for the advice. My only problem is telling the pronunciation apart not the meanings.

I had two problems with the pronunciation of "ela" and "ele."

  1. Recognizing and using the two different vowel sounds for "e", as others have already explained here. They sound very different!

  2. Using the correct syllable break. I had been incorrectly saying "el.a" and "el.e." I wasn't getting the vowel sounds right, because the "l" was interfering too much with the first "e".

It should be "" and "e.le." I know this sounds trivial, but once you separate the first "e" from the "l," it can make a difference in your pronunciation.

A practice exercise that I found in a book was to start with the second syllable, then do a long chain of them, like this:

For "ela": la.e la.e la.e la.e.........ela" And for "ele" it is "li.e li.e li.e li.e.....ele" (the "li" is pronounced as Portuguese "li," of course).

Yes, I know it looks ridiculous, but doing this really helped me a lot because I finally was able to hear the difference.

That's how they do it in pimsleur, separate words into syllables.

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