4.2.1 Fusion of undefinite article and preposition

The plural form of the undefinite article in english is some and has therefore nothing to do with a. (a man => some men). In Portuguese the plural form of the undefinite article is based on the singular form of the undefinite article. (um => uns, uma => umas). The singular form as well as the plural form are used if the noun is unknown (A man crosses the street = Someone unkwown crosses the street => The man crosses the street => A specific man crosses the street) or if the amount of elements are unknown (Some men crosses the street = More than one unknown men crosses the street).

a man a woman
some men some women

The undefinite article has to agree in gender and number with the noun it refers to.

feminine, singularuma flor (flower) cadeira (chair) canção (song)
maskuline, singular um garfo (fork) prato (plate) coração (heart)
feminine, pluralumas flores (flowers) cadeiras chairs) canções (songs)
maskuline, pluraluns* garfos (forks pratos (plates corações (hearts)

*note: The plural form of um is uns. Actually any singular noun ending in um forms the plural with uns.

The undefinite articles fuse only, in opposite to the definite articles / personal pronouns, see 4.1.1, with the preposition de and em.



Estou* à esperar umas pessoas.
I am to wait some persons.
I am waiting for some persons.

* * estar a esperar is a variation of the construction in Brasilian Portuguese of estar + gerundio what corresponds to the English construction to be + gerund. We don't care about that right now. We have a detailed look on the gerundio at 18.1.2 estar + gerundio.

A presença duma*mulher numa taberna era inaceitável.
The presence of a woman in a taverne was inacceptable.

* In this case the duma (de + uma) is not a preposition, but a genitive, but the logic is the same. De fuses with the indefinite article. As a genitive de corresponds to of.

Gostaria dumas dicas.
Would like of some tips.
I would like to get some tips.

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