Direct Object Pronouns in Portuguese!
So I am visiting Brasil to learn Portuguese, and I have troubles in the new language every now and then, but one thing that I can ABSOLUTELY NOT understand is Direct/Indirect Object Pronouns! Could someone who speaks fluent English and Portuguese explain it to me? I would be very thankful!<pre>
Standard Portuguese grammar can look very complicated from a native English speaker's point of view, but luckily for you, there are a lot of simplifications in speech, especially in Brazil (in Portugal it's a very different story):
Each personal pronoun has its own set of clitic pronouns, but only 3rd person pronouns have distinct direct and indirect pronouns: the rest use the same form for both. You might have learned about this list of direct/indirect object pronouns:
Eu - me
Tu - te
Ele/ela/você - o/a (direct), lhe (indirect)
Nós - nos
Vós - vos
Eles/elas/vocês - os/as (direct), lhes (indirect)
There is also the reflexive pronoun se
But the fact is, in Brazilian Portuguese most of these pronouns are not used in informal speech and are replaced by other forms: typically, only 4 of them are commonly used:
me, te, nos and the reflexive se
And even nos is not used that often, as it is often replaced by the phrase 'a gente' informally. So if there are two clitic pronouns you must absolutely know how tvo use before traveling to Brazil, it's me and te (the reflexive pronoun is a bit complicated to use and not used nearly as often as the other two).
So how do you use pronouns in BP ? Well, if it's not eu or você, it's very easy: just grab the pronoun and stick it either before the verb to make a subject, or after the verb to make an object (indirect object are preceded by a preposition, a or para).
In the standard language, the clitic pronouns should be used for object pronouns, but informally they aren't used that often. Clitic pronouns are typically placed right before the verb:
I see him:
Eu o vejo (standard)
Eu vejo ele (spoken)
I give them a car:
Eu lhes dou um carro (standard)
Eu dou um carro para eles (spoken)
Me, te and nos are also placed before the verb, so you can just think of them as 'special' pronouns coming before instead of after the verb. Also, me is the only pronoun of them all that cannot be replaced by a full pronoun: te and nos can be replaced by você and a gente respectively:
I love you:
Eu te amo or Eu amo você
He sees us:
Ele nos vê or Ele vê a gente
Both orders are correct and used with the same meaning, but they may have slight differences in connotation or style.
Note that this is a simplification of how pronouns work in Portuguese: their are more complex aspects to it and pronoun usage can also vary depending on the region, but this should help you get started in speaking and understanding Brazilian Portuguese. Tell me if there is anything unclear.
Thank you so much, this really help! The only question I have is: Is the standard and spoken version of "I see him" the same? For example you could say "Eu o vejo" and "Eu vejo ele" in any setting? And if so, does that mean I can just always use the spoken version and not have to worry about Object Pronouns?
Well, "eu vejo ele" is very informal and would not be used in formal writing: if you use this type of structure in an official speech or a scientific paper, nobody will take you seriously.
Note that although the standard language is basically the same in both Brazil and Portugal, in Portugal "eu vejo ele" is not used at all: it is a brazilian colloquialism which doesn't apply to other lusophone countries.
Nevertheless, this type of construction is very widely used in Brazil and everyone will understand you if you use it and it won't sound off in a casual conversation.
Ohh, so as far as talking, I don't have to worry about it? Cause I'm not really planning on writing essays in Portuguese!
No problem at all in saying "eu vejo ele". We say that more than "eu o vejo". But use this last one when writing an essay.
For example, if you saw someone today. Nobody say "eu o vi hoje", we always say "eu vi ele hoje". (unless you are a very formal person haha)
Thank you so much! All these discussions should answer a lot of my questions!!! Thank you so much!
There is a thread linked called "Imperatives and object pronouns".
Sorry, I haven't read yet most of the grammar FAQ articles in the index summary thread.
"Tips and notes": https://duome.eu/tips/en/pt#Clitic-Pronouns
What do you think? Do they help you?
Hopefully you receive additional help from other more experienced / native Portuguese speakers.
However, I am subscribed to your thread :-)
Yes, I think this will help very much! I never knew about all these pages to learn Portuguese!
MBPG 2nd edition chapter "Advanced Pronoun placement" created by Lusófono: https://www.memrise.com/course/1466595/advanced-pronoun-placement-mbpg-2nd-ed/
I am curious: Does this help you a bit?