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Prepositions / Preposições
Prepositions are small words that connect two elements in a sentence or phrase. To use prepositions correctly is a hard job but, at the same time, using them incorrectly does not affect the understanding of the sentence. Click the arrow to hear the sound.
These prepositions are used to indicate the final destiny, time and direction. They are also used along with verbs that indicate movement and in some idiomatic expressions. These prepositions form contractions when used with definite articles. Study the chart below.
Examples: A/As and À/ Às – used before feminine words.
• Ela vai à festa. She is going to the party
Examples: Ao/Aos - used before masculine words.
• Eu fui ao cinema. I went to the movie
Sentar à mesa – seat at the table
• Vamos nos sentar à mesa? Let’s sit at the table?
À tarde – in the afternoon.
• Eu estudo português à tarde. – I study Portuguese in the afternoon.
À noite – in the evening / at night
• Eu estudo português à noite. – I study Portuguese in the evening.
A pé – on foot
• Eu fui ao parque a pé. – I went to the park on foot.
A ponto de – be about to
• Eu estou a ponto de deixar meu trabalho. I’m about to leave my job.
This preposition is used to indicate the final destiny, recipient, deadline and to indicate goals.
This preposition is used to indicate the duration of a period, the way used to reach the final destiny, to express gratitude, in passive voice sentences indicating the doer (the active person) of an action and also in some idiomatic expressions.
In some cases por is used with definite articles forming contractions (study the chart below).
Pela / Pelas – used before feminine words.
Pelo / Pelos - used before masculine words.
Some expressions using Por / Pelo/ Pela
• Pelo menos não vai chover amanhã. (at least)
At least it is not going to rain tomorrow.
• Pela primeira vez eu tive boas notas, (for the first time)
For the first time I had good grades.
• Pelo amor de Deus, volte logo. (For God’s sake)
For God’s sake come back soon.
• Por outro lado a cidade tem bons restaurantes. (on the other hand)
On the other hand the city has good restaurants.
• Por suposto vou estar na sua festa de aniversário. (of course)
Of course, I’m going to be at your birthday party.
The preposition “de” is used to indicate possession, origin, and material. It is also used with some verbs such as gostar de (to like), precisar de (to need) and to indicate the kind of transport used to reach a place.
In some cases de is used with definite articles forming contractions (see the chart below). Usually the contractions are used to specify the word the preposition is connected to and also to show the ownership of something.
Da / Das - used before feminine words.
Do / Dos - used before masculine words.