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  5. "She is the worst student."

"She is the worst student."

Translation:Ela é a pior aluna.

March 24, 2013



Doesn't the adjective come before the noun in Portuguese? I tried "Ela é aluna pior" and it marked it wrong. I searched around and there's no mistake in the lesson, but I'm still curious why the adjective-noun order is different here.


Melhor (best) and pior (worst) usually comes before the noun... makes a lot of more sense... for native speakers...


Is there a particular reason? Any sort of rule I can use, or is it just different for those two adjectives?


No. Not a rule, but some expressions, for instance, "grande dia" (big day). In such sentence, if you change the order, you change the meaning.

  • "Ele é um homem grande" = "he is a big/tall man"
  • "Ele é um grande homem" = "he is a great man"
  • "Ele é um garoto pobre" = "he is a poor boy"
  • "Ele é um pobre garoto" = " he is a guy on a pitiful condition, not meaning about money..."

Most of the time, when the adjective comes before the noun, it is more emphatic and may include a metaphoric quality to the noun:

  • "Uma velha amiga" = "a longtime friend"
  • "Uma amiga velha" = "an old friend"


Paulenrique, you are unbeleavable!!! Your explanations are always clear and with a lot of examples. I have no idea how you do it :)


Oh! Thank you so very much! I really appreciate that! It was very kind of you!


Thanks for this. The meaning is exactly the same in French for the examples you've given.


Yeah.... in many ways portuguese is similar to french :) Both of them are latin languages. that makes portuguese easier for you


thanks for point it out


This is a feature that has come down to the Romance languages from Latin. An excellent discussion of the topic can be found here: http://www.ling.upenn.edu/NWAVE32/abs-pdf/callou-adj.pdf


I appreciate your detailed explanation on the general use but in this very case it doesn't appear to apply.

Otherwise, how would you translate 'aluna pior' if not as well as "worst student"? I mean do you also have to turn her into the most terrible one? I do not think so at all and that's why this wording should equally be accepted if not even preferred.


"melhor" and "pior" are commonly placed before nouns. When they are placed after them, they usually mean "better" and "worse".


Ah, best vs better, worst vs. worse. Thanks for demystifying this.


Man! Your explanation was brilliant! I couldn't think of a better way to explain it!


pior it's a particular case, just like melhor


Could I use está instead of é, as her being the worst student is not a permanent position (I hope for her ;)) Está was marked wrong.


In this case, "está" sounds more like a location. So if you used "está" in this sentence, it would sound weird, you know? It would be like she IS AT, and not like she IS.


I also used "está" in hopes it was a temporary state. Why is that wrong?


If I'm not mistaken, there is no way you can use "está" before a comparison. You aways use "é" Example:

"Ela é a minha melhor amiga." (She is my best friend).

Even if she might not be your best friend FOREVER, you still use "é". If in the future, you want to say she WAS your best friend, you would say "Ela ERA (verb "é" in the past) minha melhor amiga."

Was that helpful? :)


So, although we are talking abour HER (female), we should still say O estudante (o=masculine)?


No, you're quite right, «estudante» is a substantivo de dois gêneros and would take an article that reflects the gender of the person being referred to.


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