4.1.1 Fusion of preposition and article

In order to explain some issues we need more complex sentences and these sentences contain very often grammar problems and structures that had not already been disussed. Everything that has not already discussed will be explained later. Right now for instance there is no need to understand the use of pronouns and the position of pronouns in a sentence, we will discuss that later. Right now we are only discussing the fusion of prepositions and articles. The pronouns are irrelevant right now. In other words: As long as we didn't have explained all the elements we need to form more complex sentences, we work with a didactical motivated word by word translation. The result is not very English, but helpful to understand the Portuguese construction. If we have all the necessary things, we won't do that anymore. Right now we are as well not interested in the different meanings of the prepositions. There is a whole chapter about that.

The prepositions a (to), de (of / from), em (in), por (because) fuse with definite article. (See a complete list below.)

dos = of the / from the
Eu o* recevi dos homens.
I it got from the men.

* o is he / it. A neural pronoun doesn't exist in Portuguese. For a detailed discussion of the pronouns see chapter 6.

There is no difference in the form between article and personal pronoun accusative in Portuguese. Furthermore the articles have to agree in gender and number with the noun they refer to. In other words we have masculine / feminined singular and masculine / feminine plural.

article and pronounarticlepronoun
o (homem) the (man) he
a (a mulher) the (the woman) she
os (homens) the (men) them (feminine plural)
as (as mulheres) the (women) them (masculine plural)

If the preposition a is followed by the definite article / pronoun a / as they fuse to à / às, in other words, there is an acento grave. This phenomenon is called crase. In the table below we have only the definite article. Ao is as well to him, na is as well from her etc.. The table shows all kind of fusions.

a toao to theà to the aos to theàs to the
de of / from do from theda from the dos from thedas from the
em in, inside no in the na in thenos in thenas in the
por because ofpelo because of thepela because of thepelos because of thepelas because of the

correctO pai dá a maça à filha.
=> O pai dá a maça
The father gives the apple
a a
to the

The combination preposition a + article / pronoun occurs very often, because the indirect object is marked with the preposition a that corresponds to the English to.

In the following sentences we have a lot of structures we haven't seen until know, but that is irrelevant.We will discuss these issues later. The didactical motivated word by word translation helps to understand the Portuguese structure more or less and a full understanding is not necessary right now.

na = em + a / do = de + o
Ontemeu estava na festa do Julian.
Yesterday I was in the party of the Julian.
Yesterday I was at Julians party.

da = de + a (sair = to leave) / pela = por +a
Eu sai da loja e andei pela rua calmamente.
I left of the shop and went through the street calmly.
I left the shop and went calmly down the road.

nas = em + as
Projetos urbanos melhoram a vida nas cidades grandes.
Projects urban improve the life in the cities big.
Urban projects improve the life in big cities.

das = de + as / no = em +o
O Dia das Crianças é* comemorado anualmente em 12 de outubro no Brasil.
The day of the children is celebrated yearly in 12 of october in the Brasil.
The day of the children is celebrated every year the 12 october in Brasil.
*Portuguese forms the processual passiv with ser and é is the third person singular of this verb. However this belongs to the many things we don't care about right now. We will discuss that later 17.passiv voice.

nos = em + os
Nos paises desenvolvidos há* mais estudantes.
In the countries developed there are more students.
There are more students in developed countries.

* Actually há steems from habere = haver => to have and is not longuer used in Portuguese nowadays. However it survived as an idiomatic expression há => it has => there is.

contact privacy statement imprint