10.1. relative pronouns in Portuguese

In restrictive relative clauses, that provides some essentials information needed to make the whole sentence understandable, see introduction to this chapter, the relative pronoun "that" can be used in both cases, whether the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause or the object of the relative clause. Therefore in the following sentences we traduce always with that, although the whole picture in English is a little bit more complex. This table is a summary of the English system.

restrictive relative clausespersonsthings
subject in the relative clausewho, thatthat, which
object in the relative clausewhom, thatthat, which
possessive formwhosewhose, of which
nonrestrictive clausepersonsthings
subject in the relative clausewhowhich
object in the relative clausewhomwhich
possessive formwhoseof which, whose

As it is showed by the table, alternatives are possible, however for the sake of simplicity, we translate always with that.
A mulher que cruza a rua. The woman that crosses thestreet.
O homem que cruza a rua. The manthatcrosses the street.
As mulheres que cruzam a rua. Thewomenthat cross the street.
Os homens, que cruzam a rua. Thementhatcrossthestreet.

In the case of a nonrestrictive relative clauses or in the case that a preposition is involved (The friend for whom I did that / The friend who I did that for) the situation is a little bit more complicated. We will discuss that later, see relative pronouns with prepositions.

the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause
Os morangos que ficaram na mesa estragaram-se.
The strawberries that were on the table became rotten.
Os alunos que estudam obtêm bons resultados.
The students that study get good marks.
Os alunos que estavam destraídos não perceberam a matéria.
The students that were distracted not understood the subject matter.
The students that were distracted didn't understand the subject matter.
the relative pronoun is the object of relative clause
A casa que o meu pai pintou está à venda.
The house that the my father painted is for sale
The house painted by my father is for sale.
Ela é a menina que nós ajudamos.
She is the girl that we helped.
O homem que eu vi era jovem.
The man that I saw was young.
Os rapazes que viste são os meus colegas.
The boys that see are the my classmates.
The boys that you see are my classmates.

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