Why does the 'o' have to be there? Is that just how it is in the language? Would it be completely wrong to say 'Qual é seu sobrenome'?
I think that you can say it without the o, but it might be more proper with. The o is there to emphasis the masculine seu
No, 'o' in 'o seu' always refers to the noun, here 'nome'. It does not depend on who you ask at all.
Cultural note In Brazil and Portugal, the surname has very little importance. People are known by their first and middle names. Most people have four names, a first name, a middle name, a surname inherited from their father and one from their mother. And the first and middle names are the ones people refer to you as. E.g. Cristiano Ronaldo's full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, and Ronaldo is his middle name.
technically I would say it is not, but I think the best translation is "what." "Which" implies the person asking the question is giving you options to choose from.
I didnt understand your question. But if you tried "o que é o seu nome?" it sounds something like "what your name is?", not as Yoda speaking but more like a child who dont know what your name mean. I dont know how to explain why, but that's it.
I meant it like this- "Seu sobrenome é o que?" But I think this follows the same rule as 'nome', which is mostly used with 'qual'.
What does sobre mean? I know what nome means and i know that sobremesa is dessert right? Is sobre related to sabir? Just trying to dissect the word. It helps me.
The English word "surname" comes from the French word "sur" (above/over) + "name". The Portuguese translation of "sur" is "sobre", hence "sobrenome".
Ex; (sobre) Em cima, em cima de, na parte superior de, por cima de: Sobre a mesa havia alguns objetos. Numa posição superior e distante: Aviões voavam sobre a cidade. Acima de, numa situação dominante ou influente: sobre a superfície. Ao encontro de, contra:
Seems easy to confuse who is being asked about if seu applies to your/his/hers . Could I say "Qual é o sobrenome dele?" for clarity?