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  • Writer's pictureCristina Loureiro

Do you want to master CONTRACTIONS in Portuguese? I have presented them in simple tables for you.

Updated: Jan 5, 2022


Are you a Learner of Portuguese, a Teacher of Portuguese, a Native Speaker, a Lusophile? Enjoy the reading and add your comments below!



The prepositions a, de, em, and por combine with other elements, giving rise to shorter forms or contracted forms.


Contractions are possible with:

o the definite articles o, a, os, as

o the indefinite articles um, uma, uns, umas

o the demonstratives este(s), esta(s), esse(s), essa(s), aquele(s), aquela(s), isto, isso, aquilo

o the indefinite determiner/pronoun outro

o the quantifier algum

o the personal pronouns ele(s) and ela(s)

o the adverbs onde, aqui, and ali



Overview of the contractions


The preposition a can contract with the definite articles, some demonstratives and the adverb onde:

PREPOSITION

+ definite article

o, a, os, as

+ demonstratives

este(s), esta(s), esse(s), essa(s), aquele(s), aquela(s), isto, isso, aquilo

+ adverb

onde

a (possible meaning in English to…)

a + o = ao a + a = à a + os = aos a + as = às (possible meaning in English to the…)

E.g. Vou ao supermercado. I’m going to the supermarket.

Ø contractions with este(s), esta(s), esse(s), essa(s) a + aquele = àquele a + aquela = àquela a + aqueles = àqueles a + aquelas = àquelas a + aquilo = àquilo (possible meaning in English to that…, to those…)

E.g. Vou àquele supermercado. I’m going to that supermarket.

a + onde = aonde (meaning in English where to…)

E.g. Aonde vais? Where are you going to?


The preposition de can contract with the definite and indefinite articles, the demonstratives, the indefinite determiner/pronoun outro, the quantifier algum, the personal pronouns ele(s) and ela(s), and the adverbs onde, aqui, and ali:



PREPOSITION

+ definite article

o, a, os, as

+ indefinite article um, uma, uns, umas

+ demonstratives

este(s), esta(s), esse(s), essa(s), aquele(s), aquela(s), isto, isso, aquilo

de

(possible meaning in English of, from…)

de + o = do

de + a = da

de + os = dos

de + as = das

(possible meaning in English of/ from the…)


E.g. Sou do Algarve. I’m from the Algarve.

de + um = dum

de + uma = duma

de + uns = duns

de + umas = dumas

(possible meaning in English of/from a…, of/ from some…)



E.g. Este é um livro duma jornalista conhecida. This is a book from (by) a known journalist.

de + este = deste

de + esta = desta

de + estes = destes

de + estas = destas

(possible meaning in English of/from this…, of/from these…) (refers to something/someone close to me)


E.g. De qual gostas mais? Gosto deste. Which one do you like most? I like this one. (Note that in Portuguese to like is gostar de. Hence, the contraction de+este).


de + esse = desse

de + essa = dessa

de + esses = desses

de + essas = dessas

(possible meaning in English of/from that…, of/from those…) (refers to something/someone close to you)


E.g. De qual precisas? Preciso dessa. Which one do you need? I need that one. (Note that in Portuguese to need is precisar de. Hence, the contraction de+essa).


de + aquele = daquele

de + aquela = daquela

de + aqueles = daqueles

de + aquelas = daquelas

(possible meaning in English of/from that…, of/from those…) (refers to something/someone far from both speaker and listener)


E.g. Queria, por favor, 500 g daquele queijo ali. Could I have 500g of that cheese over there, please?


de + isto = disto

(possible meaning in English of/from this…)

(refers to something non-specific close to me)


E.g. Não percebo nada disto. I don’t understand any of this.


de + isso = disso

(possible meaning in English of/from that…)

(refers to something non-specific close to you)


E.g. Ela não me disse nada disso. She didn’t tell me any of that.


de + aquilo = daquilo

(possible meaning in English of/from that…) (refers to something non-specific far from both speaker and listener)


E.g. O teu sucesso não depende daquilo. Your success does not depend on that. (Note that in Portuguese to depend on is depender de. Hence, the contraction de+aquilo).


PREPOSITION

+ determiner/pronoun

outro

+ quantifier

algum

+ personal pronouns ele(s) and ela(s)

+ adverbs onde, aqui, and ali

de (possible meaning in English of, from…)

de + outro = doutro de + outra = doutra de + outros = doutros de + outras = doutras (possible meaning in English of/ from other…, of/from another…) E.g. Ela é doutro país. She is from another country.

de + algum = dalgum de + alguma = dalguma de + alguns = dalguns de + algumas = dalgumas (possible meaning in English of/ from some…) E.g. Preciso dalgum dinheiro. I need some money. (Note that in Portuguese to need is precisar de. Hence, the contraction de+algum).

de + ele = dele de + ela = dela de + eles = deles de + elas = delas (possible meaning in English of/from him…, of/from her…, of/from it…, of/from them…) E.g. Gosto muito dela. I like her very much. (Note that in Portuguese to like is gostar de. Hence, the contraction de+ela).

de + onde = donde (meaning in English from where, where from…) E.g. Não sei donde vem esta madeira. I don’t know where this wood comes from. de + aqui = daqui de + aí = daí de + ali = dali (possible meaning in English of/from here…, of/from there…) E.g. A senhora é daqui? Are you from here, Madam?

The preposition em can contract with the definite and indefinite articles, the demonstratives, the indefinite determiner/pronoun outro, the quantifier algum, and the personal pronouns ele(s) and ela(s):



PREPOSITION

+ definite article

o, a, os, as

+ indefinite article um, uma, uns, umas

+ demonstratives

este(s), esta(s), esse(s), essa(s), aquele(s), aquela(s), isto, isso, aquilo

em

(possible meaning in English in, on, at…)

em + o = no

em + a = na

em + os = nos

em + as = nas

(possible meaning in English in/on/at the…)




E.g. Ele está no Reino Unido a trabalhar. He is working in the UK.


em + um = num

em + uma = numa

em + uns = nuns

em + umas = numas

(possible meaning in English in/on/at a…)



E.g. Estou metida numa alhada! I am in a pickle!

em + este = neste

em + esta = nesta

em + estes = nestes

em + estas = nestas

(possible meaning in English in/on/at this…, in/on/at these…) (refers to something/someone close to me)


E.g. Pus alguns coentros neste molho. I put some coriander in this sauce.


em + esse = nesse

em + essa = nessa

em + esses = nesses

em + essas = nessas

(possible meaning in English in/on/at that…, in/on/at those…) (refers to something/someone close to you)


E.g. Quantos bolsos tens nesse casaco? How many pockets do you have in that jacket?



em + aquele = naquele

em + aquela = naquela

em + aqueles = naqueles

em + aquelas = naquelas

(possible meaning in English in/on/at that…, in/on/at those…) (refers to something/someone far from both speaker and listener)


E.g. Acreditas naqueles disparates? Do you believe in that nonsense? (Note that in Portuguese to believe in is acreditar em. Hence, the contraction em+aqueles).


em + isto = nisto

(possible meaning in English in/on/at this…) (refers to something non-specific close to me)


E.g. Não consinto nisto. I don’t allow this. (Note that in Portuguese to allow, to agree to something is consentir em. Hence, the contraction em+isto).


em + isso = nisso

(possible meaning in English in/on/at that…) (refers to something non-specific close to you)


E.g. Não vou interferir nisso. I’m not going to interfere in that. (Note that in Portuguese to interfere in is interferir em. Hence, the contraction em+isso).


em + aquilo = naquilo

(possible meaning in English in/on/at that…) (refers to something non-specific far from both speaker and listener)


E.g. Pensei naquilo a noite toda. I thought about that the whole night.

(Note that in Portuguese to think about is pensar em. Hence, the contraction em+aquilo).


PREPOSITION

+ determiner/pronoun

outro

+ quantifier

algum

+ personal pronouns ele(s) and ela(s)

em

(possible meaning in English in, on, at…)

em + outro = noutro

em + outra = noutra

em + outros = noutros

em + outras = noutras

(possible meaning in English in/on/at other…, in/on/at another)



E.g. Podes telefonar noutra altura? Can you call another time?

em + algum = nalgum

em + alguma = nalguma

em + alguns = nalguns

em + algumas = nalgumas

(possible meaning in English in/on/at a/some…)


E.g. Devo ter deixado a chave nalgum bolso, mas não me lembro. I must have left the key in a pocket, but I don’t remember.

em + ele = nele

em + ela = nela

em + eles = neles

em + elas = nelas

(possible meaning in English in/on him…, in/on/at her…, i in/on/at it…in/on/at them…)


E.g. Não acredito nela. I don’t believe in her. (Note that in Portuguese to believe in is acreditar em. Hence, the contraction em+ela).

The preposition por contracts with the definite articles.



PREPOSITION

+ definite article

o, a, os, as

por

(possible meaning in English for/by…)

por + o = pelo

por + a = pela

por + os = pelos

por + as = pelas

(possible meaning in English for/by the…)


E.g. Este autocarro passa pelo centro da cidade? Does this bus pass by the town centre?


Useful to know:

1. The prepositions de and em do NOT contract if they are followed by an infinitive phrase. E.g. Tudo corrreu bem, apesar de ela estar nervosa. Everything went well, in spite of her being nervous.; O Pedro ofendeu a chefe e esta pensou em o despedir. Pedro offended his boss and she thought about firing him.

2. The contractions of de and em with the indefinite articles um, uma, uns, umas are optional. Whilst the forms num, numa, nuns, numas are generally preferred, in formal registers they tend to be avoided. The forms dum, duma, duns, dumas are more often than not avoided, although it is not at all incorrect to use them.

3. The contractions of de and em with outro and algum are also optional. They can be avoided for stylistic reasons, i.e., the contraction is regarded as less formal.



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