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Vowel monophthongs

Hello everyone :) How do I know when to use u ũ o õ i ĩ e ẽ and etc??

Obrigado! :)

June 24, 2013



I've found this website for you: http://www.learn-portuguese-with-rafa.com/portuguese-pronunciation.html

You'll see two texts to read along with the woman. Clearly it's done by a woman from Portugal, so it's quite different from what you'll hear if ever in Brazil... Also,the rules are based on EU-PT,but many of them can be used with BR-PT

1- He explained that "têm" is pronounced like we'd have two "e" (teem). But that doesn't happen with BR-PT.

2- They pronounce "s" at the end of a word like sh. Brazilians usually don't (except for some regions in Brazil,like Riode Janeiro)

3-~ is not an accent,but shows the letter has nasal sound

If you want to compare accents: http://www.learningportuguese.co.uk/audio/compare-accents.html

Further information:




Thanks! those two sites at the end of your comment are really helpfull! =)


Hi =) You don't use "ũ, ĩ, ẽ" in Portuguese. Does exist "ão", e.g.: "Coração" (Heart), "Movimentação" (Movement), as exist "ê", eg.: "Você" (you), "Ocorrência" (ocurrence), "Três" (three), and "õ", e.g.: "Impõe" (imposes), Questões (Questions).

Bons estudos!!!!! (God job!)


Hi! Thanks alot for your answer! So there is no use in ũ, ĩ, ẽ In portuguese at all? ão, ê and õ Are the only vowels we use?

Muito obrigada e tenha um bom dia :)


No, you will never find ũ, ĩ, ẽ in Portuguese (my keyboard can't even create those combinations, I had to copy them from you). Here are the diacriticized letters we have: ãáàâ éê í õóô úü ç

  • ü is being dropped according to the latest ortographic agreement


I was confused when I saw the title of this question. I thought shay217 was asking about the sounds of Portuguese (a monophthong is a sound not a symbol). Although you don't have "ũ", "ĩ", "ẽ" in your written language you do have nasalised vowels other than "ã" and "õ" and these could be represented by "ũ", "ĩ", "ẽ" (or whatever symbols the international phonetic alphabet uses). For example, "em" makes "e" nasal and I could write it "ẽ" (although you need to be a linguist to tell whether that "em" sound is a monophthong or not). So do you find the sounds "ũ", "ĩ" in Portuguese as well? I think yes.


Yes, you're right. We do have nasal a, e, i, o and u.


Hi Noop it was my mistake.. I got confused. I ment what wesleyjefferson answered me..


Ok thats what I ment! So when do I use ãáàâ éê í õóô úü ç ? Can you show me examples for words?

  • ã: amanhã, mãe, chão
  • á: água, jatobá
  • â: âmbito, Ucrânia, ânus
  • à: à -> a (preposition) + a (article); àquele -> a (preposition) + aquele (demonstrative pronoun)
  • é: égua, café, pontapé
  • ê: agência, autêntico, português
  • í: amídala, discípulo, língua
  • õ: ações, limões,
  • ó: forró, móvel, paranóia
  • ô: ônibus, bisavô, platô
  • ú: saúde, pronúncia, útil
  • ü: lingüiça, cagüete, pingüim
  • ç: abraço, calção, diferença


In current Portuguese, due to the Orthographic Agreement rulling since 2009, we must no longer add Umlaut (trema) to words previously written with it. So now, "lingüiça" is spelled "linguiça", "conseqüência" is "consequência", "qüinqüênio" is "quinquênio", etc though their sound remain the same.

Another change brought to Portuguese language through this reform is that diphthongs with open sound (éi, ói) of paroxytone (next-to-last syllables that are stressed) don't carry acute accent anymore; before it was e.g. Paranóia, Estóico, Coréia, Jóia, Asteróide, Geléia, Heróico, Azaléia, Clarabóia, Andróide, Idéia, etc, their correct forms now are Paranoia, Heroico, Azaleia, Androide, Ideia...

Do not confuse this with monosyllables nor oxytone (stress on the last syllable) ending in éi, éu and ói, for them, nothing has changed: Papéis, Girassóis, Léu, Corrói, Tonéis, Herói (s), Troféu, Atóis, Anéis, Dói, Céu, Destróis, Chapéu, etc.

There are some other rules, if someone is interested: http://www.brasil.gov.br/navegue_por/aplicativos/reforma-ortografica


You will never find, in Portuguese, the letter Ç, or Ü in the beginning of a word. Also, the letter À is always a contraction of the preposition A with another word.


It's hard to explain when you should use, and I think this requires a more advanced level of Portuguese. But I will try to describe here the basic.

In Portuguese, a word may be stressed in the last, second last or third last syllable. We say the word is oxítona (oxytone) if it's stressed in the last syllable, paroxítona (paroxytone) if the stress is on the penultimate, or proparoxítona (proparoxytone) if it's on the antepenultimate syllable.

That said, when you read a word without a diacritic on it, it's most probably a paroxytone, because that's the default stress in Portuguese. All the proparoxytones need a diacritic, and the oxytones may receive or not a diacritic.

If there are two words that are written and pronouced the same way, one of the forms will receive a diacritic. We call this a differential accent.

  • pôr (verb); por (preposition)
  • vem (3rd person sing. verb vir); vêm (3rd person plur. verb vir)

If you can read well in Portuguese, maybe this will help you understand a little more: http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acentua%C3%A7%C3%A3o_gr%C3%A1fica


Ok think I understand. Anyway, some one here recommended me about 3 websites about this subject and they seem really helpfull. Muito Obrigada :))

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