Tu vs Você

I know in Portugal they use tu but is it also common in Brazil to use tu? Is there a difference between tu and você, does one mean you (formal)?



October 12, 2018


In Brazil você and tu are basically synonyms: their usage depends on the speaker's preference. Many people use tu informally but it's almost always with the 3rd person singular conjugation of você: tu tem, tu é... (it's not accepted on Duolingo because it's nonstandard but it's common in spoken Brazilian Portuguese). Overall 'você' is more common than 'tu', but the object form of 'te' is used everywhere, even among people who don't say 'tu'.

In Portugual, tu is informal and takes 2nd person singular endings (tu és, tu tens...), and você is formal.

Hi izzy! I am a native Brazilian and I'm learning English!

The most formal way for everyone to address someone is "vós," but that is EXTREMELY RARE to use. Nobody says that.

Usually "você" is a bit more formal, but can also be used in everyday conversations.

And it depends on the region, I live in the south of Brazil, and here our custom is to speak "tu".

That is, you can use the two THAT WILL BE RIGHT! They are BASICALLY THE SAME THING.

I am a native speaker from Brazil and I advise you to always speak "você" here in my country. It won't sound that formal as it is very common. "Tu" is only used in some regions of Brazil and most of the time it's used wrongly. I can't speak for Portugal but Brazilians most of the times only use "você". If you want to sound more polite/formal you can replace "você" for "o/a senhor/a". Same conjugation of verbs as "você. Good luck learning Portuguese :D #bestwishes

Curiosity: in theory "tu" is informal and "você" should be more formal. Actually "você" is a smaller version of the word "vosmecê", which is the smaller version of the original pronoun "vossa mercê". You can see why people preferred to reduce the word over the course of history hahaha

Gostei da curiosidade, não sabia disso! Interesting ;)

Ok, in my opinion, as a native, there is no real difference. Almost everyone from the south of Brazil (Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande de Sul) use "tu", but the rest of the country use "você" instead. But relax, it's no big deal, no one will look at you strange if you say one or the other, no matter the place.

Actually, they use você in most of Paraná but we use tu in Rio de Janeiro, the Baixada Santista, the Northeast and much of the Amazon.

People use você in all of Brazil.

Tu is a matter of taste and regionality.

It is conjugated like in European Portuguese in eastern Santa Catarina and along the border with Uruguay.

At least for a few of our tenses, it is conjugated as 2nd person in Northeastern Brazil, but in an innovative way. "Tu visse?" instead of "tu viste?", "tu fizesse?" instead of "tu fizeste?". Basically, they always lenite the /t/, just like isto is always pronounced isso (to the point in which we can't tell the words apart in Brazilian Portuguese; we are barely able to tell mau and mal apart by thinking of how sentences work out with their antonyms bom and bem, it is quite absurd). I don't think they say "tu vais", coda |S| is also lenited, they say "tu vai", but it's "tu visse" instead of "tu viu", so actually they are still using the underlying innovative 2nd person even when it looks like the 3rd person.

It is conjugated like você in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in the state of Pará (as far as I know...?), in the city of Porto Alegre and most of Rio Grande do Sul, in western Santa Catarina, and in the Baixada Santista (the region around Santos in the coast of the state of São Paulo).

So there you have your answer, Izzy – no-one knows, but everyone has a strong opinion. Best idea, then, is to keep your ears open!

Importantly, when lusophones hear you speaking portuguese, they realise that you didn't learn it in school, and that you learned it out of interest in them and their country and culture. They will be courteous and helpful.

Interchangeable, just like tu and vous in French. Tu is more informal, você is formal.

Only in European Portuguese. In Brazil it's the difference between you all, y'all, you guys and youse, except for the singular. A matter of taste and regionality. Tu is colloquial because it is usually conjugated "improperly", but it does not add or take away respect, because você also does not. When we need to address someone respectfully, we use "o senhor" or "a senhora", as if it was the pronoun você.

Actually "você" is not really used in European Portuguese (which also covers PT in Asia & Africa). It is considered a crude treatment so is avoided but even then it is not the formal but rather the same degree of respect as tu but with distance.

Deference is shown by addressing people in the 3rd Person with their name (would Sarah like more coffee?), title/profession (ie: professor/a), or as o senhor/a senhora (though many will call to a female of any age as, a menina). Less and less people in Portugal want to be addressed by the formal but it is a good place to start with people you do not know (você though is not).

Tu and vous are certainly not interchangeable in french! You would never use tu when speaking to an adult you didn't know unless you absolutely knew the effect it would create.

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