"We speak with him."

Translation:Nós falamos com ele.

October 3, 2013

This discussion is locked.


In Brazil, can't you say "a gente" for "we", as in "a gente fala com ele."


Yes, I understand its use is more common in Brazil than in Portugal, and is more common in speech than in writing. See also: http://streetsmartbrazil.com/blog/20090808/using-gente-make-your-portuguese-even-smarter-video.


It seems to me that "a gente" is much like the French "on" in usage, which is akin to the English "one" (Ici on parle français = Here one speaks French = We speak French here). The major exception is that in Portuguese and French, "a gente/on" is very much colloquial whereas in English it's considered unnecessarily distant and snobbish.


I wouldn't go quite that far. It all depends on the context and your audience.


Well, that is ignoring the fact that French people, at least young ones, use "on" as the standard way of saying "we".


Perhaps calling it "colloquial" was an understatement. The comparison was with the literal meaning. I did mention how "on" is used as "we".


What did I say that suggested that?


Maybe I just misunderstood your comment, but the impression I got from it was that "on" is used chiefly to mean "one" or the impersonal "we". My experience is that it is additionally and habitually used to mean "we" (as in "you and I"), in preference to "nous". You didn't mention that usage, which I would say is its main one. I haven't been to France for a long time, so I hope someone will correct me if the situation has changed.


'A gente' is commonly used in Brazil, but it is confusing for beginners. It conjugates as a 3rd person singular, when it means 1st person plural.


It's kind of like the "impersonal you" in English. Grammatically it's second person, but semantically it's third person.


Which incidentally translates directly to "a gente" in Portuguese. "You learn something new every day" = "A gente aprenda alguma coisa nova cada dia"


A gente aprende*


I hadn't thought of that connection, but you're right. English used to have 'thee' and 'thou' along with the more formal 'you'. But they died out some 400 years ago, so now we only have 'you' with the same conjugation as 'he/she/it'.


You go. He/she/it goes. I think you mean we have "you" with the same conjugation as "we" and "they".

But we're talking more about what it means idiomatically than how it conjugates grammatically.


Why is "nos conversam com ele" marked wrong?


Ah nevermind, I realized as I posted that "conversam" should be "conversamos". But would "nos conversamos com ele" be correct?


Could I also say, "Falamos com ele?"


Wow, very interesting, thank you. I kind of wish Portuguese would retain the tu and vós forms (from Latin) so it could have a complete conjugation system so it could drop the pronouns :P. But it's its own language, with its own tastes.

The thread also brought up why you're not supposed to say "te amo" but have to either say "amo-te" (why would that be more correct?) or "eu te amo" because te isn't "supposed" to start a sentence...interesting.


I put "he, him, she, her" into Google translate and it gave me "ele, ele, ela, seu". Is this correct?


Well, yes, but it's unfortunate that Google chose to translate "her" as "seu" rather than "ela" (though both are correct). As you'd expect all these words are examples of pronouns (or in the case of "seu" a possessive which can be an adjective or a pronoun). This very detailed Wikipedia article gives an overview:


If that is overkill, try the two links I give in this discussion:



Thank you! So it would be "Nós falamos con ela" (object of preposition) if I wanted to say "We speak with her".


Almost, "con" should be "com".

You are right, in that position "ela" is a prepositional pronoun. In your original question, the translations were:

  • "he" = "ele" (subject pronoun)
  • "him" = "ele" (prepositional pronoun)
  • "she" = "ela" (subject pronoun)
  • "her" = "seu" (possessive inflected for a masculine-singular thing)

A more concise table of pronouns is here:



"Com", yes. I got it confused with Spanish.

Oh, that's a beautiful little table. Thank you so much for your help. So for the prepositional pronouns:

  • Nós falamos com ela - We speak with her.
  • Nós falamos com ele - We speak with him.
  • Eles/Elas falam comigo - They speak with me.
  • Eu falo contigo - I speak with you.

I'm attempting to do an unordered list like you did, but I can't figure out how to do it.

*Edited for formatting as Davu explained below.


That looks right. I explain the trick to get the bullet point list here:



Ah, that's much better. I can't thank you enough for all of your help.


Can i get a reminder for "com"?


What kind of reminder? Usually "com" means "with" if that helps.


whats the difference between com and de. how do you know which one to use?


Generally, "com" is "with" and "de" is "of".


So him and he are both ele?


Apparently so, yes.


if de means with why cant i use it here


Because "de" does not mean "with". It's "of/from".


i said "a gente fala com ele" and i got it wrong... smh


Could "consigo" be used instead of "com ele"?

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