Basic Portuguese Pronouns & Gender Rules

Welcome to the Portuguese :D

In these basic lessons, you are going to see some words for people, such as man, woman, boy and girl, and also some basic verbs for eating, drinking, etc.

The two first things you will notice is that:

1 - Personal pronouns may be omitted, especially when the verb conjugation is unique for that pronoun.

I am a man = (Eu) sou um homem

In the sentence above, "eu" is totally optional. The verb "sou" is unique for the "eu" pronoun, and it already reveals who the subject is. (Later you will learn how to conjugate verbs for each person)

2 - Portuguese nouns have genders, even when they are not human!

Not only people and animals are gendered in Portuguese, but virtually all things are.

For instance, "maçã (apple)" is a feminine word, and "carro (car)" is masculine.


Along with nouns, articles also have genders. They follow the gender of the noun they refer to. The masculine article is "um" and the feminine one is "uma":

Um menino = a boy

Um carro = a car

Uma menina = a girl

Uma maçã = an apple

But how can one tell the gender of a word?

Some words tell their gender by their ending. See "menino" and "menina", for instance. They are a type of word that can change its ending based on gender. These will often end in "o" for masculine and "a" for feminine.

There are other typical endings that can show a word's gender, but they are part of further skills :)

And, unfortunately, many words simply don't follow any pattern, and their gender just have to be memorised.
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