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Lesson Transcript

Thássia: Ola! Boa noite!
Braden: Braden here! This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 9 - Brazilian Bag Mix-Up. Hello, and welcome to PortuguesePod101.com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Portuguese!
Thássia: I'm Thássia, and thanks for being here with us in this Absolute Beginner Lesson.
Braden: In this lesson, we'll talk about how to use the words dele and dela.
Thássia: This conversation is between Natalie and her two friends, Sara and Alexandre and takes place at a movie theater.
Braden: The speakers are friends; so they will be speaking informally.
Thássia: Let's have a listen.

Lesson conversation

Natalie: Essa pipoca é sua?
Sara: Não. Eu acho que é dele. (aponta para Alexandre)
Natalie: (Pergunta a Alexandre) Essa pipoca é sua?
Alexandre: Não. Eu acho que é dela. (aponta para Sara)
Natalie: É de quem então?
Braden:One time, slowly please.
Natalie:Essa pipoca é sua?
Sara: Não. Eu acho que é dele. (aponta para Alexandre)
Natalie: (Pergunta a Alexandre) Essa pipoca é sua?
Alexandre: Não. Eu acho que é dela. (aponta para Sara)
Natalie: É de quem então?
Braden:One time, natural native speed with translation.
Natalie: Essa pipoca é sua?
Braden: Is that popcorn yours?
Sara: Não. Eu acho que é dele. (aponta para Alexandre)
Braden: No. I think it's his. (points at Alexandre)
Natalie: (Pergunta a Alexandre) Essa pipoca é sua?
Braden: (Asks Alexandre) Is this popcorn yours?
Alexandre: Não. Eu acho que é dela. (aponta para Sara)
Braden: No. I think it's hers. (Points at Sara)
Natalie: É de quem então?
Braden: Whose is it then?
Braden: Natalie seemed pretty confused in that situation.
Thássia: Yeah! I bet she's afraid whose popcorn she got.
Braden: Have you ever been in a situation like that?
Thássia: All the time. Usually at dinner when I'm not sure who is going to sit where.
Braden: Yeah, I run into this sometimes too when I buy presents for friends and I have looked through too much stuff and can't remember who was supposed to get what.
Thássia: Or on the bus, people might have short conversation like this about where they are going to sit.
Braden: So a pretty common phrase set?
Thássia: Yes, very.
Braden: There's also a lot of pointing in these kinds of situations, right?
Thássia: I think there has to be. How else would you resolve it?
Braden: So Sara first pointing to Alexandre, and then Alexandre is pointing to Sara.
Thássia: Right.
Braden: Okay, good. Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Thássia: The first word we shall see is dele [natural native speed]
Braden: Of him, his
Thássia: Dele [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Dele [natural native speed]
Braden: Next we have…
Thássia: Pipoca [natural native speed]
Braden: Popcorn.
Thássia: Pipoca [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Pipoca [natural native speed]
Braden: Next…
Thássia: Dela [natural native speed]
Braden: Of her, her, hers
Thássia: Dela [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Dela [natural native speed]
Braden: Next is…
Thássia: Então [natural native speed]
Braden: Then
Thássia: Então [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Então [natural native speed]
Braden: Last we have…
Thássia: Quem [natural native speed]
Braden: Who, whom
Thássia: Quem [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Quem [natural native speed]
Braden: What are we looking at in this lesson?
Thássia: The Portuguese words "seu" and "sua" to mean "your" and "yours."
Braden: In previous lessons, we learned these words "seu" and "sua," which both mean "your."
Thássia: In the dialogue, we hear the word "sua" used in a slightly different way to mean "yours."
Braden: That's right. In English, "your" and "yours" mean the same thing but they are used in different ways depending on the way you structure your sentence.
Thássia: For example, you can say "This house is yours," but you can't say "This house is your."
Braden: Right. Or, you can also say "This is your house," but you can't say "This is yours house."
Thássia: In Portuguese, it's much simpler as it doesn't make this distinction.
Braden: That's right. You can use either "seu" or "sua" in either situation.
Thássia: You just need to remember to match the gender and use "sua" with feminine words and "seu" with masculine words.
Braden: How long did it take for you to learn the difference between "your" and "yours" when you were studying English?
Thássia: I had been studying English for about three years already, and someone corrected me on it and I didn't know why. So I went to my teacher and he tried to explain it but whatever he said, it didn't make sense to me.
Braden: Then what did you do?
Thássia: I just listened and read a lot. Over time, I figured out how to use it.
Braden: It's a good thing we explained this to our students early so they don't have to wait three years to figure it out on their own. Let's take a look at the grammar point for this lesson.

Lesson focus

Thássia: The focus of this lesson is the words "dele" and "dela."
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase "Eu acho que é dela," which means "I think it's hers."
Thássia: In Portuguese, possession is most often expressed using the word "de." For example, the sentence "A bolsa de Maria" translates to "The bag of Maria."
Braden: That's right. In English it sounds better if we translate it as "Maria's bag," but there is no "-s" in Portuguese. You have to restructure the sentence so that it makes sense.
Thássia: One way that Brazilians have made this a bit easier is by forming contractions with the word "de."
Braden: Exactly. There are quite a few of these contractions but they really do make things much easier.
Thássia: Which is where the words "dele" and "dela" come in. They are contractions of the word "de" with the pronouns "ele" and "ela."
Braden: So instead of saying "de ele," you say…
Thássia: "Dele."
Braden: You know, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "de ele" or "de ela" in a normal conversation.
Thássia: And you probably won't, ever. It sounds very strange.
Braden: So just to recap, the most common way to show possession in Portuguese is to say that something is of someone.
Thássia: Right. For example, "O pai dela" means "The father of her."
Braden: In English, we would say "Her father," putting the "her" before the "father," but in Portuguese you put it after.
Thássia: Right. You know, we should probably do a recap on possessive pronouns.
Braden: You mean the words "mine," "yours," "his," "hers," and "theirs"?
Thássia: Yes.
Braden: You should be careful using complex grammar terms like that or you are going to scare off our students.
Thássia: Sorry! Yes, words like "mine," "yours," "his," "hers," and "theirs" are very easy in Portuguese.
Braden: That's because Portuguese doesn't make a distinction between words like "my" and "mine," or "your" and "yours." There's just one word for my or mine.
Thássia: Well, two actually because of grammatical gender.
Braden: That's true but we'll talk about gender in the next lesson. Could you give us some examples?
Thássia: Sure. An example using the feminine word "sua" would be these two sentences - "A minha família está bem. Como está a sua?"
Brade: Which means "My family is fine. How is yours?"
Thássia: Another example using the masculine word "seu" would be this – "O livro é seu? sim, o livro é meu."
Braden: Which means "Is the book yours? Yes, the book is mine." That just about does it for today. Okay, premium members, use the review track to perfect your pronunciation.
Thássia: Available at PortoguesePod101.com, the review track gives you vocabulary and phrases followed by a short pause, so you can repeat the words aloud.
Braden: Listen and repeat, copying a native speaker is the best way to start sounding like one.
Thássia: Give it a try today.
Braden: See you next time.


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Please to leave a comment.
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Tuesday at 6:30 pm
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How are you doing with the gender differences?

Tuesday at 10:39 pm
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Olá Jaimie,

Thank you very much for your positive feedback! We're glad to hear that!👍

Let us know if you have any questions.



Team PortuguesePod101.com

Saturday at 12:27 am
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Muito obrigada! Essas lições são ótimas!

I already speak Spanish pretty fluently, so I am very familiar with gender differences, but in 6 years of studying I have never had it explained so clearly before. These lessons on gender and plurals are not only helping me learn Portuguese, but are also helping me reinforce what I already know about similar grammar points in Spanish!

Cheers! Jaimie

Wednesday at 8:29 pm
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Olá William,

That's correct! :)

Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.



Team PortuguesePod101.com

Wednesday at 8:02 am
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Oi, boa tarde,

So, with "deles", it can mean their as in (1) all males or (2) a mixture of males and females.

Thursday at 6:25 pm
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Hi Jem,

Thank you for the comment. You can find this lesson by using our iTunes feed.


Could you let us know which feed you're using it, please? Also, if you're premium membership holder, you can make your own feed for a specific series which you can easily find lessons.


If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you.


Team PortuguesePod101.com

Wednesday at 2:47 pm
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It is possible to post this on the podcasts in itunes. I can't seem to find it.

Thursday at 11:08 pm
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Prazer em conhecê-lo Bret!

Que bom que ajudou! – That's so great it helped!:grin:

Obrigada pelo elogio! – Thank you for the compliment!

Thursday at 5:58 am
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Hey Guys - I've been studying Português for almost a year and this is the first time I have heard a proper explanation of the de+ele/a contraction. Very helpful! Thanks and keep up the great work.

Saturday at 10:17 pm
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Ok, thank you - I understand. It's not so complicated. :grin:

Friday at 9:51 am
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Olá Jacek,

Great question!:grin:

That is a sticking point. and I apologize if I didn't explain it well enough in the lesson.:oops: I'll do better next time I revisit the topic.:smile:

The "catch" with using dele, dela, deles, and delas is that they match in gender and number with the subject of the sentence NOT the noun they are modifying. This is sometimes odd because all the other possessives (seu, sua, nosso, meu, etc.) agree in gender and number with the noun they are modifying NOT the subject of the sentence. Grammatically they function in the "opposite" direction. This often works counter intuitively with English speakers.

So for the example, o pai dela - her father = all singular so not much chance for confusion.

But, if you want to say her brothers you have one item that is singular (her) while the other is plural (brothers). Here, 'her' is the subject so the dela stays singular but the 'brothers' is plural so it needs to be 'irmãos.' so, her brothers would be os irmãos dela.

The other examples you gave in your post are correct so I hope my explanation helps solidify what you learned.

And BTW, that's quite a bit more grammar than I usually give at the absolute beginner level but you seem to already have a firm grasp of grammar so I dove right in. Did that make sense?