Articles in Portuguese – Artigos

Differently from English, the articles in Portuguese change according to the genre and the number of the nouns and adjectives. There are two types of articles: definidos (definite) and indefinidos (indefinite). In this post, I’m gonna explain which they are and how to use them.

ARTIGO DEFINIDO (DEFINITE ARTICLE)

In English, there is the word THE, which is used in all cases where a definite article is used. In Portuguese, however, there are four definite articles: O, A, OS, AS. The use of each one is specific:

  • O: male singular;
  • A: female singular;
  • OS: male plural;
  • AS: female plural;

Every  noun in Portuguese has a gender, even if it’s an object or a feeling. There is no specific rule to determine which nouns are “male” and which ones are “female”. Let’s see some examples:

  • cadeira (chair): female;
  • celular (mobile phone): male;
  • mesa (table): female;
  • carro (car): male;
  • microondas (microwave): male;
  • dia (day): male;
  • manhã (morning): female;
  • muro (wall): male;
  • água (water): female;
  • amizade (friendship): female;
  • lápis (pencil): male;

So, in the “male” words, we use O before them, and before “female” words, we use A. So, we say A cadeira, O dia, A manhã, O lápis and so on.

articles in Portuguese

In the plural, we add an S both in the end of the article and in the end of the noun (except for the ones that already end in S). So in the plural we have AS cadeiras, OS dias, AS manhãs, OS lápis, etc.

INDEFINITE ARTICLES (ARTIGOS INDEFINIDOS)

Like in definite articles, there are also four indefinite articles, which are:

  • UM: male singular;
  • UMA: female singular;
  • UNS: male plural;
  • UMAS: female plural;

The singular forms (um/umas) are the equivalent to the a/an articles. However, it doesn’t depend on the sound of the beginning of the next word, but on the gender of the next word. So we say uma cadeira and umas cadeiras, as well as um carro e uns carros.

The plural forms (uns/umas) are the equivalent of some. Ex: umas coisas = some things.

In future posts, I will publish how to make the plural in Portuguese and also a list of some common “male” and “female” words, so you will be able to know when to use each article. This is also important to know which prounouns you use in some cases, but this will be discussed in another post.

I hope you have enjoyed this content. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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