I'm confused about omitting pronouns

Do I have to omit pronouns or can I just always keep the pronouns? Also, the Duolingo lesson was talking about omitting pronouns when translating things and I am very confused. I'm confused about omitting pronouns all together help.

February 24, 2019


In languages like Portuguese, the grammatical person (I, you, etc.) is clear from the conjugated form of the verb. Therefore, you don't need to include the pronoun to be understood and it's often dropped. Languages that do this are called "pro-drop languages". Now, you can always keep the pronouns if that makes it easier for you, but be aware that this tends to not sound natural. Dropping pronouns is much more common and keeping them where they are not needed sounds like your putting emphasis on the subject. The unmarked translation of "I go" is simply "vou", if you say "eu vou", you'll sound like your saying "I and only I go" (in most situations at least). So it is a good idea to become used to dropping pronouns early in your learning. Duolingo is not at all strict about this and usually accepts translations with and without pronouns (from what I've seen they tend to even unduly prefer not dropping pronouns). If any version is not accepted, check the sentence discussions to see if there's a reason for why your version wasn't accepted, otherwise, report it as a missing translation ("My answer should be accepted").

February 25, 2019

In spoken BrP, unstressed 3rd person object pronouns (= o,a,os,as) are often omitted or they are substituted by (colloquial) subject pronouns. Ex:

We didn't see him at the club.
• Nós não o vimos no clube. (standard Pt)
• Nós não vimos no clube. (spoken BrP)
• Nós não vimos ele no clube. (spoken BrP)

You even see this use in a major Brazilian newspaper when quoting a public figure. Jornal do Brasil:

Se o presidente quisesse Carlos Bolsonaro no Planalto, teria nomeado ele lá', diz Mourão. [Brazil's vice-president].

March 17, 2019

Depending on the country you want to visit will depend on if you should drop pronouns. In Brasil, pronouns are very frequently dropped, except in instances where two pronouns could be confused. Like in ele vs você. In Portugal, pronouns are almost always used by habit. Although they do sometimes get chopped (as in not stressed). For example, the second e in ele will not be said and the word will sound like el.

This is a strange quirk between the dialects. And it's interesting that you can often tell the country a text was written in by whether pronouns are present or not.

March 23, 2019
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