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Definite articles: o – os – a – as

Definite articles.
Definite Articles O Os A As

1. In English the definite article is ‘the’. As Portuguese syntax needs to consider gender and number for all nouns, there are 4 ways to say ‘the’.

  singular plural
masculine o os
feminine a as

2. The following words will reapper in the course. Let’s use them as examples:

(1) Family members:

the son the sons
o filho os filhos

the daughter the daughters
a filha as filhas


(2) ‘Country’ and ‘city’:

the country the countries
o país os países

the city the cities
a cidade as cidades


(3) Personal objects:

the pen the pens
a caneta as canetas

the computer the computers
o computador os computadores


the mobile phone the mobile phones
o telemóvel (EP)
o celular (BP)
os telemóveis (EP)
os celulares (BP)


2. Most good monolingual and bilingual dictionaries inform the gender of every noun. See an example from this dictionary:

Dictionary exampleWould you like to see the above straight from the source? Click here to go to Infopédia dictionary.

By looking at the information above, we know that ‘book’ is a masculine word. Therefore: o livro – os livros (the book – the books).

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Foundations of Portuguese for Global Communication

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