Portuguese pronouns

From Academic Kids

The pronouns of the Portuguese language have flexions according to their number and, in case of some third person forms, also according to their gender.


Table of Personal Pronouns

N. Per. Subject Direct Complement Indirect Complement Circumstantial Complement
Without Preposition With Preposition
Sin. eumeme mimmim, migo, eu
tutete titi, tigo, tu
ele, ela, vocêse, o (lo, no), a (la, na)lhe si, ele, elasi, sigo, ele, ela
Plu. nósnosnos nósnós, nosco
vósvosvos vósvós, vosco
eles, elas, vocêsse, os (los, nos), as (las, nas)lhes si, eles, elassi, sigo, eles, elas


Reflexive Forms

Reflexive pronouns are used when one wants to express the action is exercised upon the same person that exercises it or refers to such person. Examples:

  • EP: "Vi-me ao espelho." BP: "Me vi ao espelho."
  • "Não te levas muito a sério."
  • EP: "De repente, vimo-nos perdidos na floresta." BP: "De repente, nos vimos perdidos na floresta."

In the third person, the reflexive pronoun has a form of its own, se - or si / sigo if preceded by a preposition. Examples:

  • EP: "Hoje ele levantou-se cedo." BP: "Hoje ele se levantou cedo."
  • EP: "Eles lavam-se sempre muito bem." BP: "Eles se lavam sempre muito bem."
  • "O gato sabe bem cuidar de si."
  • "Os ladrões levaram consigo tudo o que puderam."

The reflexive pronoun forms, when used in the plural (me and te are therefore excluded), may indicate reciprocity. In those cases, they do not have reflexive character - for instance, "as pessoas cumprimentaram-se" does not mean that each person complimented himself, rather they complimented each other. In some situations, this may create ambiguity; therefore, if one means "they love each other", one might want to say "eles amam-se mutuamente" or "eles amam-se um ao outro" (although "eles amam-se" will probably interpreted this way anyhow); if one means "each one of them loves himself", one should say "eles amam-se a si mesmos" ou "eles amam-se a si próprios". Sometimes, especially in the spoken Portuguese, ele mesmo, ela mesma, com ele mesmo, com eles mesmos, etc. may be used instead of si and consigo. Example: "Eles têm de ter confiança neles (em+eles) mesmos" or "Eles têm de ter confiança em si (mesmos)". Note: If the pronoun nos is placed after a first person plural verbal form (enclitic position) that ends with -s, the s falls. Examples: "Vamo-nos (vamos+nos) embora amanhã" (=We shall leave tomorrow), "Respeitemo-nos mutuamente." (=Let us respect one another).

Si/sigo in EP

In European Portuguese, si and sigo can also be used to refer to the person to whom the message is directed in the formal treatment by "o senhor", etc. or in the treatment by você. They are employed in the same circumstances ti and tigo would be used in the treatment by tu.


  • "Já ninguém se atreve a dizer nada a si." (=No one dare talk to you (singular) anymore.)
  • "Se você não se importar, eu vou consigo" (=I'll go with you, if you don't mind)
  • "Quando estava a passar pela Praça do Chile, lembrei-me de si".
  • Not: "Vocês não sabem o que eu penso de si" (not used for the plural, the correct form is "...eu penso de vocês.").

Direct Object - variants

  • The third person forms o, a, os, and as may present the variants lo, la, los, las, no, na, nos, and nas.
  • Lo, la, los, and las are used after verbal forms ending in -r, -s, and -z, which are assimilated. Examples: sedu-la (seduz+la), fá-lo (faz+lo), di-lo (diz+lo), destrói-los (destróis+los, different from destrói-os, in which the verb is inflected in the Imperative Mode), come-la (comes+la, different from come-a), apanha-las (apanhas+las), amá-lo (amar+lo), fazê-lo (fazer+lo), partire-lo (partires+lo), tem-la (tens+la, notice how the n changes into a m). This also ocurrs when the pronoun is in a mesoclitic position: matá-lo-ás (matarás+lo), fá-lo-ias (farias+lo), i-lo-ias (ir+lo), comê-lo-ias (comer+lo).
  • The pronouns o, etc. present the same forms when they follow the personal pronouns nos and vos or the adverb eis. Examples: comeram-no-lo (comeram+nos+lo), "Não vo-lo (vos+lo) quero dar a entender."
  • The variants no, na, nos and nas are used after a verbal form ending with a nasal diphthong. Examples: comeram-nos (ambiguous, may either mean "they ate us" or "they ate them"), tem-na, põe-no.
  • The third person forms o, a, os, and as (and variants) are not normally used in Brazil; instead, they are omitted, or the subject pronouns are used after the verb.

Prepositioned Direct Object

In some cases, the direct object pronoun may take a preposition before. For this article, it is relevant because the pronouns listed under the column Indirect object with preposition may actually be used as a direct object, with an emphatic purpose after one of the atonic forms having been used. Example: "Nunca to disse a ti porque nunca mereceste a minha confiança", "Sempre te tratei a ti como o tratei a ele", "Eles repreenderam-se a si mesmos" (here need to clear an ambiguity).

Circumstantial Complement

  • The forms mim, ti and si are always preceded by a preposition.
  • The forms migo, tigo, sigo, nosco, and vosco are never isolated and always agglutinated with the preposition com, forming comigo, contigo, consigo, connosco (conosco in BP), and convosco.
  • The forms mim, ti, and si cannot be used when preceded by prepositions denoting exception. This includes: afora, fora, excepto, menos, salvo, and tirante. In those cases, eu, tu, ele, ela, eles and elas are used. Examples:

"Todos foram ao cinema excepto eu/tu." "Ele referiu toda a gente excepto ele mesmo." (not "Ele referiu toda a gente excepto si").

Contracted Forms

me te lhe nos vos lhes
omotolho no-lovo-lolho
amatalha no-lavo-lalha
osmostoslhos no-losvo-loslhos
asmastaslhas no-lasvo-laslhas

Notice how lhes+o is contracted into lho, not lhe-lo or lhos. This occurs because lhe used to be employed indistinctly for the singular and the plural and, while the agglutinated form suffered no alteration, lhe evolved into lhes for the plural number.

These forms are never used in Brazil.

See Also


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