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Word-Contractions And Prepositions In Brazilian Portuguese

The best place to start when discussing word-contractions in Portuguese is to re-define them first in English. A contraction word is what happens when we join two words together. For example, “is not,” becomes, “isn’t,” “can not,” becomes, “can’t,” and so on.

Portuguese also does this with many words, and we are going to discuss them now. The major difference between Portuguese and English contractions is that Portuguese does not utilize an apostrophe in order to join words together like English does.

Portuguese makes use of prepositions to make contractions.

So, let’s first look at what prepositions exist in Portuguese and then revisit the topic of contractions afterward and see how it all comes together… literally!

Prepositions In EnglishPrepositions In Portuguese
BelowAbaixo
AboveAcima
BeyondAlém
In addition toAlém de
BeforeAntes
Prior toAntes de
BesideAo lado de
DespiteApesar de
AroundAproximadamente
ThatAquele, aquela
ThoseAqueles, aquelas
UntilAté
BehindAtrás
AcrossAtravés de
ThroughAtravés
As well asBem como
WithCom
AsComo
According toConforme
AgainstContra
FromDe
OfDe
InsideDentro
WithinDentro de
AfterDepois
SinceDesde
Due toDevido a
UnlikeDiferente de
Far fromDistante, longe de
DuringDurante
AtEm
InEm
IntoEm
OnEm
On top ofEm cima de
TowardEm direção a
On behalf ofEm nome de
AroundEm torno de
Instead ofEm vez de
AmongEntre
BetweenEntre
ThisEste, esta
TheseEstes, estas
ExceptExceto
Except forExceto
OutFora
OutsideFora de
Outside ofFora de
PlusMais
ButMas
In front ofNa frente de
OppositeOposto
ForPara
ToPara
DownPara baixo
UpPara cima
NearPerto
Near toPerto de
ByPor
PerPor
Because ofPor causa de
NextPróximo
Close toPróximo a
Next toPróximo de
ThanQue
WithoutSem
UnderSob
AboutSobre
OverSobre
As far asTanto quanto


Though there are a great many prepositions in Portuguese, as you can see from the table, we are only going to focus on a few of them when it comes to making contractions.

In order to do this, we use the definite and indefinite articles, “a, o, as, os, um, uma, uns, umas,” certain demonstratives, some specific pronouns and also a few adverbs and combine them with particular prepositions, “em, de, para, por, a,” to create whole new words; contraction words.

Put simply:
Preposition + definite article = Contraction word.
Preposition + indefinite article = Contraction word.
Preposition + demonstrative = Contraction word.
Preposition + pronoun = Contraction word.
Preposition + adverb = Contraction word.


This is best demonstrated with examples:

PrepositionArticleContraction wordEnglish Translation
Em +o =NoIn the/on the (masculine singular)
Em +a =NaIn the/on the (feminine singular)
Em +os =NosIn the/on the (masculine plural)
Em +as =NasIn the/on the (Feminine plural)
Em +um =NumIn a/on a (masculine singular)
Em +uma =NumaIn a/on a (feminine singular)
Em +uns =NunsIn some/on some (masculine plural)
Em +umas =numasIn some/on some (feminine plural)
PrepositionArticleContraction wordEnglish Translation
De +o =DoOf the/from the (masculine singular)
De +a =DaOf the/from the (feminine singular)
De +os =DosOf the/from the (masculine plural)
De +As =DasOf the/from the (feminine plural)
PrepositionArticleContraction wordEnglish Translation
Para +o =ProTo the/For the (masculine singular)
Para +a =PraTo the/For the (feminine singular)
Para +os =ProsTo the/For the (masculine plural)
Para +As =PrasTo the/For the (feminine plural)
PrepositionArticleContraction wordEnglish Translation
Por +o =PeloFor/Around/Through/By the (Masculine singular)
Por +a =PelaFor/Around/Through/By the (feminine singular)
Por +os =PelosFor/Around/Through/By the (Masculine plural)
Por +As =PelasFor/Around/Through/By the (feminine plural)
PrepositionArticleContraction wordEnglish Translation
A +o =AoTo the (Masculine singular)
A +a =ÀTo the (feminine singular)
A +os =AosTo the (Masculine plural)
A +As =ÀsTo the (feminine  plural)
PrepositionDemonstrativeContraction wordEnglish Translation
De +este =DesteOf this/from this (Masculine singular)
De +esta =DestaOf this/from this (feminine singular)
De +esse =DesseOf that/from that (Masculine singular)
De +essa =DessaOf that/from that (feminine singular)
De +estes =DestesOf this/from this (Masculine plural)
De +estas =DestasOf this/from this
(feminine plural)
De +esses =DessesOf that/from that (Masculine plural)
De +essas =DessasOf that/from that
(feminine plural)
De +aqueleDaqueleOf that/from that (Masculine singular)
De +aquelaDaquelaOf that/from that
(feminine singular)
De +aquelesDaquelesOf those/from those (masculine plural)
De +aquelasDaquelasOf those/from those (feminine plural)
De +aquiloDaquiloOf it/from it (neutral gender)
De +istoDistoOf it/from it (neutral gender)
De +issoDissoOf that/from that (neutral gender)
PrepositionDemonstrativeContraction wordEnglish Translation
Em +este =NesteIn this (Masculine singular)
Em +esta =NestaIn this (feminine singular)
Em +esse =NesseIn that (Masculine singular)
Em +essa =NessaIn that (feminine singular)
Em +estes =NestesIn these (Masculine plural)
Em +estas =NestasIn these (feminine plural)
Em +esses =NessesIn those (Masculine plural)
Em +essas =NessasIn those (feminine plural)
Em +aquele =NaqueleIn that (Masculine singular)
Em +aquela =NaquelaIn that (feminine singular)
Em +aqueles =NaquelesIn those (masculine plural)
Em +aquelas =NaquelasIn those (feminine plural)
Em +aquilo =NaquiloIn it (neutral gender)
Em +isto =NistoIn this (neutral gender)
Em +isso =NissoIn that (neutral gender)
PrepositionPronounContraction wordEnglish Translation
Em +ele =NeleIn him/In it (masculine singular)
Em +ela =NelaIn her/In it (feminine singular)
Em +eles =NelesIn them (masculine plural)
Em +elas=NelasIn them (feminine plural)
Com +mimComigoWith me (neutral gender)
Com +tiContigoWith you (neutral gender)
Com +siConsigoWith them (neutral gender)
Com +nósConnoscoWith us (neutral gender)
PrepositionAdverbContraction wordEnglish Translation
De + aqui =DaquiOf here/From here
De + aí =DaíOf there/ from there
De + ali =DaliOf there/ from there
De +ondeDondeOf where/ from where
A +ondeAondeTo where


There is plenty more to be said about contractions when we get into verb conjugations. But for now, all I ask is that you look over these tables again. Really study them with attention and take the time to notice the congruencies among each contraction. You will start to see after a bit that it is only natural that these contractions should exist. At least for the vast majority of them.

For example, if you were to say, out loud, “his horse is thirsty,” in Portuguese which is, “o cavalo dele está com sede,” and you did not say, “dele,” but rather left it as, “de ele,” you would have an awkward space in between the words; “de – ele.” It is more natural to let the words flow together to become one resounding word, “dele.”

Which, as I’m sure you know, is why contractions developed in the first place, speech.

Keep this in mind as you study the tables and I promise it will all start to make sense as you go along.

There are a couple more things I want to share with you before we conclude this article. All over Brazil you will hear a particular expression all the time. Brazilians will throw the word, “né,” on the end of a ton of their sentences. Or sometimes just use it all by itself.

So, what does it mean?

Well, “né,” is a contraction for the two words, “não,” and, “é.”
If we were to translate it literally, it would mean, “No it is.”
But that’s not coherent.
It’s, essentially the English equivalent of saying, “right?” or, “isn’t it?”

For example, a Brazilian might say to you, “que lindo dia, né?” Which means, “what a beautiful day, right?” or, “what a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

You will hear this word, “né,” over and over again, so tuck this lesson in a safe place in your mind for now. It will be useful to you sooner than you think.

Another expression you will hear constantly is, “ah tá.”

This is the Brazilian way of saying things like, “oh I see,” “ah, got it,” or, “ok, sure.”

Pretty much any time that someone explains something to you, you can respond with, “ah tá.” This is a very colloquial way of saying, “I understand.”

Obviously, “ah tá,” is not a contraction word, just a little tip I think is very useful to know!

If you would like to continue learning at an accelerated pace,
then click here to get my eBook course for under $10 bucks.


It is the best way for anyone who is learning Brazilian Portuguese
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I am sure you will find something interesting.

Until next time,

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