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Lesson Transcript

Oi, meu nome é Paloma. Hi everybody! I’m Paloma.
Welcome to PortuguesePod101.com’s “Português em Três Minutos”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Portuguese.
In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "When" questions in Portuguese.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the interrogative word "Who?"
Imagine you want to ask your friend who the attractive girl just behind him is.
Here, the question you can ask is Quem é essa garota atrás de você?
[slowly] Quem é essa garota atrás de você?
So let’s break down this answer.
First we had...
Quem, which is the basic translation of "Who" in Portuguese.
É which is "is," the 3rd person form of the verb ser, which we have already studied.
Essa garota means "this girl."
And finally atrás de você which is "behind you."
All together, it is Quem é essa garota atrás de você?
“Who is this girl behind you?”
So in Portuguese, "Who" is mainly translated as Quem to ask about someone's identity.
For example, if you want to ask "Who are these people?" You will say Quem são essas pessoas? when talking about a group of unknown people.
As in English, the interrogative word “Who” is in the 1st position here, but it is followed by the verb and then the subject.
Quem only works for people, so you can't use it to ask information about things or places. As an interrogative word, Quem can also be used to ask who did something, for example.
If you are in a museum for instance, you can ask Quem pintou esse quadro? This means "Who painted this painting?"
[slow] Quem pintou esse quadro?
Another interrogative formula with quem that is used a lot is De quem? In this case, the meaning is different as it can be translated to "Whose."
So if you want to ask "Whose pencil is it?" you will have to say De quem é este lápis?
[slow] De quem é este lápis?
If we break down this question, it is...
De quem, which is "whose", then
é which is the verb ser in the 3rd person and present tense indicative
And finally, este lápis, which means "this pencil."
You can also use the word Quem to ask "for whom?" In Portuguese, we use the formula Para quem?
So if you want to know "For whom is this piece of cake?" It will be Para quem é este pedaço de bolo?
[slow] Para quem é este pedaço de bolo?
Now it’s time for Paloma’s Points.
If someone that you didn't expect is knocking at your door in Brazil, the common question you can ask is Quem é? before opening the door.
This literally means "Who is it?".
The answer should be something like É a Paloma., or “It’s Paloma.”
Before ending this lesson, Let’s go back and look at all the ways to translate "What" in Portuguese-
- Quem is the basic "Who" as in Quem é essa garota? “Who is this girl?”
- De quem is insisting on the ownership, it is the equivalent of "Whose", as in "Whose pencil is it?" De quem é este lápis?
- Para quem, which is the direct translation of "For whom?" As in "For whom is this gift?" Para quem é este presente?
In this lesson, we learned how to correctly use the interrogative word for "Who", which is Quem in Portuguese, and also its variations.
Now you can easily know who is who!
Next lesson will be our last of this absolute beginner series.
We will deal with the last but not least common interrogative word Por que. Do you know what it means?
I’ll be waiting for you with the answer in the next Português em Três Minutos.