"Ele suas cartas."

Translation:He reads his letters.

June 7, 2013

50 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/chetinho

Why wouldn't you have "as suas cartas" in this case?

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

We have that too... also correct

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/eldrich93

No difference with only "suas cartas"? When do you most likely add the "as" here? I mean its like saying 'the your letters' which would be redundant as 'your' would already specify which letters. Or ...it is ok to specify more with 'as' to point out wich which of your letters.

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan

I also opened up this discussion wondering what the difference was between "suas cartas" and "as suas cartas." In Italian you always have to put both the article and the possessive adjective. It doesn't get translated as "the your letters." It's just the way it needs to be said in Italian.

September 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/santosh93

When to use "teus" and "saus" ?

June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique
  • Seu/teu = your (masculine singular words)
  • Sua/tua = your (feminine singular words)
  • Seus, suas, teus, tuas are the plural forms.
  • Seu/seus = his
  • Sua/suas = her
  • Teu, tua, teus, tuas are used for "tu"(you)
  • Seu, sua, seus, suas for "você" (you).

The possessives for "você" are used more often.

June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/paddyobrien

I'm confused. If seu/seus = his, why is the answer "ele lê suas cartas" (he reads his letters)?

May 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hsaski

"suas" is used because "cartas" is a feminine word: "as cartas" (the letters). If "jornais" was used instead of 'cartas', then the answer would be "Ele lê SEUS jornais": "os jornais" (the newspapers).

It might be helpful to remember that: - seu(s): is used for masculine words - sua(s): is used for feminine words In both cases you add the "s" if the possessed object is plural.

October 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Neia.Abreu

Ele lê as cartas DELE . = as próprias cartas (own ) I think is BETTER than, Ele lê suas cartas (De quem? Dele ?! ou de outra pessoa? (another person? ) This is very confusing for the Brazilians, it has double meaning.

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mrbennet

The gender matches the object, not the subject. "Cartas" is feminine and plural, so you use the feminine plural "suas" regardless of whether they're his or hers.

August 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/peduzzi

"The possessives for você are used more often." It depends on the region of Brasil. Here, in South (Rio Grande do Sul), we only use "tu / teu / tua". In some other states of South and Northeast people also use "tu" very often. And Portugal, of course.

June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

I know. Just because "você" is used more often over "tu". I know people from the South region are used to saying "tu". In total, "você" os more frequently used.

June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/eldrich93

I thought the possesive modifiers'(seu, teu, sua, tua, and their plurals) genders depend on the word modified...

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan

Yes, the possessive adjectives depend on the object possessed.

September 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/eldrich93

Is there a 'SAUs'?

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hsaski

No. That was probably a typo. I think the person meant "SUAS".

October 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/whitebox

The correct translation says "his letters" but "suas cartas" is "her letters" as in "He reads her letters", right?

August 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

It can be his or her since "suas" matches the noun "cartas" (feminine, plural). But, to avoid misunderstood, you can use "as cartas dele" (his letters) or "as cartas dela" ( her letters).

August 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/reg_ray

Do possessives in Portuguese agree with the noun they modify instead of the subject? That holds true as well for French.

November 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielTietz

Yes.

Ele lê sua carta

Ele lê suAS cartAS

Ele lê seu livro

Ele lê seuS livroS

November 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/santosh93

whats wrong in the translation " he reads your letter" for above Portuguese phrase because 'suas' mean 'his/your'

June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

Yeah, "he reads your letterS" should also be accepted

June 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/clairwhit

It is accepted; that's what I wrote and it was marked correct.

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/clairwhit

How does one tell the meaning between "his" and "yours"?

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hsaski

It's not possible to determine that from the given sentence. That's a typical case of ambiguity.

From the correct grammatical point of view, you would write "Ele lê TUAS cartas" in order to express 'your' letters (2nd person). There is no confusion here.

However when using "SUAS cartas" it opens the possibility that we are referring to "VOCÊ" (informal 'you'), which is a treatment pronoun widely used in Brazil in place of the subject pronoun "TU" (the 2nd person subject pronoun).

In the Portuguese grammar, whenever you use a treatment pronoun you are suppose to conjugate the verb using the 3rd person.

That's the reason we have the ambiguity.

For example, the sentence "Ele lê suas cartas" can mean: 1. He reads your letters. (because the speaker might be referring to the 2nd person of the conversation as "VOCÊ" rather than "TU", which enforces the usage of "SUAS")

  1. He reads his letters. (the speaker is talking about the 3rd person possessed letters, hence "SUAS" is properly used)

Usually the best way to solve this problem is to be more specific like: "Ele lê suas PRÓPRIAS cartas" (He reads his own letters) In this case, there is no doubt that the letters belong to the subject of the sentence.

(sorry it became long - it's a very interesting question that I think deserves a detailed explanation)

October 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jerry54683

If this is indeed correct, thank you so much for clearly explaining this rule! I have been stuck on this teu/tua and seu/sua distinction for days.

October 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sheribaby51

Why would "He reads his cards" not be accepted?

October 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/peduzzi

It is a bit more unlikely, but it should be accepted, since we don't have any context. I thought of Magic/RPG cards :]

October 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/rebelplutarch

Because cartas is more used for letter instead of cards. When you say cartas it will probably be a letter, unless given the proper context.

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JiUm

So if a question comes up asking for English to Portuguese translation of a possessive example e.g "your dog", would it be correct to say either "teu cachorro" or "seu cachorro", given you can't differentiate "you" in English like you can in Portuguese (você vs tu)?

August 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielTietz

Yes!

Tu lavas teu cachorro? Você lava seu cachorro?

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/luke_shears

Does suas not mean sus (their) like in Spanish?

October 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielTietz

Ele lê minhas cartas (my)

Ele lê as cartas dele (his)

Ele lê suas cartas (your, singular or plural. You can use it for 'their' or 'his', but isn't recommended)

Ele lê as cartas deles (their)

October 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Pedrido1210

What's wrong with 'He read your letters'?

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hsaski

That should be "He reads your letters".

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/garysferrao

is "suas cartas" = "her letters"? or = "«plural her» letters"?

why should it be "his/«plural his»" when it's a feminine "suas"?

January 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mrbennet

The possessive pronoun "suas" matches the gender and number of the thing possessed ("cartas", so feminine plural), not the possessor (so we don't know whether they're male or female).

Portuguese also has possessive pronouns that match the possessor, so you could say "Ele lê as cartas dela" if you wanted to make it clear that the letters were hers and not his.

January 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/garysferrao

"ele lê as suas cartas" was marked wrong. :'( Makes me wonder 'quando e como' to use the 'the'.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hsaski

I would think that is wrong too. The "his letters" in the sentence says that the letters belong to the subject ("He"). From Portuguese grammar perspective, by adding the definite article "as" to "suas cartas" you would be saying that the letters belong to the listener. So, the English translation for "Ele lê as suas cartas" would become "He reads your letters".

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/garysferrao

Thank you. Apparently, @Paulenrique said it was correct 2 years ago in response to @chetinho.

February 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

Yes, it is also correct. But we use "seu/sua" specially for "your", so it is easy to get the wrong meaning without further context. To avoid this, you can use "Ele lê as cartas dele" (dele = his).

February 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/wontwothree

I put " He reads your letters" and it was correct. It also said that the other translation is "He reads his letters". Is this a mistake? I got confused lol please help me understand this.

August 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

Actually, seu/sua/seus/suas = his, her, its, your. (you get it by the context).

dele = his

dela = her

August 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3

"suas" can refer either to the person(s) who now possesses the letters or to the person(s) who sent them?

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NigelSande2

Why not as suas cartas?

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

It's also right.

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelWar251504

Why is 'He reads your letters.' not acceptable?

January 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ElectroToxicity

In Portuguese, how can you tell when someone says "Her" and/or "Him"?

May 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

You can use "dele" and "dela" to avoid ambiguity.

May 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/01taylop

On the "Type what you hear", I have played it 100 times, but I can only hear "Ele lê as suas cartas" and not "Ele lê suas cartas".

June 4, 2019
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