Portuguese for Beginners

The Personal Pronouns

Eu I
Tu / Você You (one person)
Ele / Ela He/She
Nós We
Vós / Vocês You (more than one person)
Eles / Elas They

Notice that there are four different forms equivalent to the English "you". In the singular, 'Tu' is used to address a family member, a friend, or someone younger. 'O senhor' / 'A senhora' is better for those you don't know, especially if you are unfamiliar with the language and customs.

In Brazil, the familiar addressings 'Tu' and 'Vós' are not used, and 'Você' / 'Vocês' are used in all situations. In Portugal, the use of 'Vós' is practically extinct in most of the country, being replaced by 'Vocês', but it's still widely used in northern areas.

"They" is 'Eles' if one is refering to a group of men, and 'Elas' if refering to a group of women. 'Eles' is also used in mixed gender groups.

For further learning try the excellent BBC language course >

List of institions that offer free Portuguese lessons to immigrants >

Your local Townhall may well offer free lessons to 'estrangeiros'. Go and ask, and be persistent!

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