For my grandson should be correct also, right? As in, a gift for my grandson, a letter or card for my grandson
I can't tell if "for" is completely wrong, but "to" is more appropriate here. "For my grandson" can be interpreted as "in behalf of my grandson" (which in Portuguese would be "pelo meu neto").
You can use "para o meu neto". In BR-PT the article is optional and it doesn't really make a difference if you use it or not, it's completely your choice.
Please can someone explain the difference between "para" and "por"? I'm confused!
I gave a lingot to someone for an explanation about when to use definite articles with adjectives of objects: when the adjective is not a posessive pronoun, it is optional, but when the adjective is a possessive pronoun, it is required. that is what he said (and it was voted up a lot). Here is "meu neto" instead of "o meu neto", and you would think by the rule I just learned, it would have to be "o meu neto".
What is the actual rule for this? Acutall.. wondering if anyone knows of an online official grammar of portuguese where that sort of thing can be looked up.?
The definite article is used before possessive adjectives but it can be omitted when referring to close relatives. It is often omitted in the Brazilian form of Portuguese.
Are words like 'neto' only used in the gender neutral sense when the speaker doesn't know the gender of the person in question? I ask because in English it would be perfectly acceptable to say 'I write a letter to my grandchild' if the grandchild were female, but I assume it would sound strange to refer to a female grandchild as 'meu neto' in Portuguese... or would it?
You're right. When you don't know the gender or want to make a general statement, use "neto", but if you know she is a girl, use "neta".
I tried using "card" instead of letter, which was given wrong. But, card is given as one of the definitions of carta. So, I am assuming that there is a special context for that usage. Can anyone confirm?
Yes, "carta" is used as card when it is related to playing cards. But you write "cartas".
to write a letter for someone, means that person can not write themselves. You can however buy a card for someone, or a gift. Not beeing a native english speaker this is what I understood as grammatically right.
You are correct. When I was a boy, I used to write letters for my grandmother because she was illiterate. After I moved away, I wrote letters to my grandmother, which someone else would read to her.