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Language awareness Brazil – Portugal: tu – você – senhor – senhora

Using tu, você, senhor and senhora in Portugal and Brazil.
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In this video, we’re going to learn about the main forms of referring to people in European Portuguese.
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Olá! Como estás? Estou bem. E tu?
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Boa tarde, Sr. Mendes. Como está? Bem, muito obrigado. E você?
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É você a jogar
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The words tu and você, both mean you In English, the word you can be used to address any person or a number of people. Whatever the age, social status, etc of that person. In Portuguese, which word for you is used depends on the person being addressed.
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A common misconception is that tu is used for talking to children and você for talking to adults or tu is for friends and você or senhor is for strangers.
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Onde é que o Sr. Arquiteto quer ir almoçar?
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Onde é que tu queres ir almoçar? As we can see, the reality is a bit more complex. As a general rule of thumb, the tu form is more likely to address somebody in the similar social situation.
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Tu queres ir a Roma?
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A Sr.a Engenheira leu o relatório?
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Estou sim? Sr. Enfermeiro?
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Tu estás a gostar da festa?
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So the choice of tu or você senhor senhora has to do with age, but also to do with other things. And age isn’t always the presiding factor.

1. Note:

O Sr. = O senhor (formal way to address a man).

A Sr.a = A senhora (formal way to address a woman).

Portugal 2. Language from the video:

You don’t need to learn all theses sentences now. It is important just to notice how tuvocêsenhorsenhora work in the cultural context of Portugal.

  translation
Olá! Como (tu) estás? Hi. How are you?
Estou bem. E tu? I am well. And you?
Boa tarde, Sr. Mendes. Como está? Good afternoon, Mr. Mendes. How are you?
Bem, muito obrigado. E você? Well, thank you very much. And you?
É você a jogar! It’s your turn to play!
Onde é que o Sr. Arquiteto quer ir almoçar? * Where do you want to go for lunch? *
Onde é que tu queres almoçar? Where do you want to go for lunch?
Tu queres ir a Roma. Do you want to go to Rome?
A Sr.a Engenheira leu o relatório? + Did you read the report? +
Estou sim? Sr. Enfermeiro? Hello. Nurse?
Tu estás a gostar da festa? Are you enjoying the party?

* Sr. Arquiteto = Where does Mr. Architect want to go for lunch? (word-for-word translation). In Portugal, it is common to use one’s job position to address them with a formal register.

+ A Sr.a Engenheira = Did Mrs. Engineer read the report? (word-for-word translation).

We can now use the following as guidance:

tu
(informal)
você
(slightly more formal)
o senhor/a senhora
(formal)

Brazil 3. How do tuvocêsenhorsenhora work in Brazil?

As opposed to Portugal, tu and você are often just a matter of style. Both are informal. However, você is used in most parts of Brazil. The syntax that goes with tu tends to be colloquial in Brazil. These are the reasons why learning Portuguese with a Brazilian focus often omits tu.

Você is widely used in Brazil. It is closer to how ‘you’ is used in English in almost any context.

On the other hand, if you want to address someone in a formal way, in Brazil, just like in Portugal, you can use senhor or senhora, which are conjugated exactly like você (see table below).

Você = you person (informal in Brazil, but slightly more formal than tu in Portugal)

O senhor = you male person (formal)

A senhora = you female person (formal)

Os senhores = you male people (formal)

As senhoras = you female people (formal)

4. This table helps you build questions.

Are you Brazilian?: você é brasileiro?, você é brasileira? Listen to the questions on the table:

Você / O senhor…: Listen

Você / A senhora…: Listen

Vocês / O senhores…: Listen

Vocês / As senhoras…: Listen

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Foundations of Portuguese for Global Communication

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