em casa VS na casa

In this phrase: "á noite fico sempre em casa", why is it "em casa" not "na casa". em+a->na. Isn't it always "na"? :) Thank you.

February 8, 2018


I am not a native speaker, but let me add my two cents: To me it seems how the given example "à noite fico sempre em casa" describes that someone just stays at home every evening and night ("boa tarde" can begin right after lunch until 6 p.m., upon then its substituted by "boa noite"). Hereby, "em casa" does not refer to any specific house, apartment nor address. It expresses rather the circumstance of "to stay at home" as an opposite of "going out" nightly (to bars, baladas, boates, night clubs, whatever). As you stated in the right way, "na casa" consists of the named contraction, it is also widely used and it often comes along with added information, such as "Hoje vou jantar com a família da minha namorda e depois a gente vai ficar na casa dela", which is "I am going to have dinner together with my girlfriend's family, later on we stay at her home (and won't go out). In this sentence, besides the activity it is also explained where someone exactly stays, by "na casa dela".

Péritos e falantes nativos, sou somente um amante do português, por favor me corrijam não for assim como escrevi.

February 8, 2018

Great answer. To simplify I would just say that when we are saying "na casa" we are being super specific about the house we are talking about and everyone knows what house I'm referring to. "Eu vou ficar NA CASA dela" (I'm going to stay at her house). Meanwhile the expression "em casa" could be used for anyone in any circumstance where you are saying that you'd stay at home (in oposite of going out). "Eu vou ficar EM CASA hoje a noite" (I'm going to stay home tonight). You don't need to know what house I'm referring to or where this house is located. We also use "em casa" to any situation that could happen anywhere but is happening at our houses. "Estou com problemas lá EM CASA". (I'm having some problems at home). If we say "Estou com problemas na casa" it would be something very specific like "I'm having some problems IN THIS/THAT house".

February 8, 2018

[deactivated user]

    That's about right Andreas. very good answer.

    Just a small correction:

    *por favor me corrijam (se) não for assim como escrevi.

    The "if" in the sentence was missing.

    February 8, 2018

    Thanks for your correction.

    February 11, 2018

    Thank you. I think i can see the difference now :)

    February 16, 2018

    This is one example when not to use definite article. For more informations, please refer to this page:

    # Em se tratando da palavra “casa”, uma vez representando o próprio domicílio de quem pratica a enunciação, ou seja, de quem fala e/ou escreve:

    Somente hoje ficarei em casa, pois amanhã terei um compromisso.

    February 8, 2018

    Well, if you say "em casa" people will assume it's your own house, your place. While "na casa" indicates a specific house "in THE house", people will mostly think it's not your house

    February 8, 2018

    na usually indicates that your are not in your house but also applies to objects. in short if its mine (em) if isn't mine (na).

    February 15, 2018

    "em casa" means that i stay in my home, when i say "na casa" than i talking about a specific house that it's not my home, it's just another house that i was talking about. i can say "á noite fico sempre na minha casa" too

    June 21, 2018
    Learn Portuguese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.