Calendário do Advento em Português #25

Rou rou rou, feliz natal!

Nós finalmente chegamos ao último dia do nosso Calendário do Advento em Português! A palavra de hoje é:

O Natal

oh / nah•ta•oo

A todos os assinantes do Portuguese with Cassia que acompanharam essa pequena série, gostaria de desejar um feliz natal e boas festas!

Apesar de termos terminado, não se esqueça de que todas as semanas temos as Quintas da Leitura, Portuguese Language Expressions e a Palavra do Dia! Se você gostou do nosso Calendário do Advento em Português, inscreva-se na nossa lista de e-mails para receber nossas novas atualizações sobre a língua portuguesa!

Até a próxima!


The differences between ONDE, AONDE and DONDE

That’s a question that tricks everyone (Brazilians included). The word onde means literally “where” and it does not require any preposition before it.

Onde estão minhas chaves?

Where are my keys?

Onde nos encontraremos amanhã?

Where are we meeting tomorrow?


Aonde (a+onde) means “where to” and it has a “sense of movement”. It is used when the verb accepts a preposition. Examples:

Aonde você está indo?

Where are you going (to)?

Aonde ela foi?

Where did she go to?

Therefore, it would be wrong to say “Aonde você mora?” (Where to you live (to)?) or “Aonde ele está escondido?” (Where is he hiding (to)?), because in both of these cases there isn’t a sense of movement or even the need to use a preposition.


The main meaning of donde (de+onde) is “where from”. It is an unusual form, mostly used in Portugal or in old texts. In Brazil, we tend to separate this term into de onde.

Donde chegastes? Da casa de Mateus.

Where did you come from? From Mathew’s.

De onde você veio? Do shopping?

Where did you come from? From the mall?

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Até a próxima!

Days of the week in Portuguese

The days of the week in Portuguese are very different from the English form. That is because the names adopted are not related to the Pagan gods, as it happens in French, Spanish, Italian and English.

As you may see in the list below, in Portuguese there is a strange repetition of the word “feira”, which in Latin means “rest day”. That, however, doesn’t mean that every day is a rest day (I wish…)!

The term “feira” was actually implemented in the year 563 during the week before Easter, when every Christian should rest. Later on, that rule was applied to all of the other weeks of the year.

Now, let’s take a look at the name of the seven days and their pronunciation:

Segunda-feira – /se•goon•dah fay•rah/

Terça-feira – /ter•sah fay•rah/

Quarta-feira – /kwar•tah fay•rah/

Quinta-feira – /keen•tah fay•rah/

Sexta-feira – /says•tah fay•rah/

Sábado – /sah•ba•doo/

Domingo – /do•mean•goo/

When we’re talking about the days of the week in a conversation with someone, we could abbreviate these long forms, removing the term “-feira”, which leaves us with: segunda, terça, quarta, quinta and sexta.

Let’s see a practical example:

O Ano Novo de 2017, celebrado no dia 1º de janeiro, cairá em um domingo. Porém, o Dia de Reis será na sexta.

The New Year of 2017, celebrated on the 1st of January, will be on a Sunday. However, the Three Kings’ Day will fall on a Friday.


We could also abbreviate those written forms to numbers. Yes, I know it seems weird, but if you pay close attention, every day correspond to an ordinal number. For example, segunda reminds us of the number 2, terça is correlated to the number three, ecc. So how’s that abbreviation, you might ask… Well, it’s quite simple:

Segunda – 2ª

Terça – 3ª

Quarta – 4ª

Quinta – 5ª

Sexta – 6ª

Easy, right?

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Vowels in Portuguese

In Portuguese, there are 12 sounds of vowels, a quantity much smaller than in English.

Oral Vowels
a Ɛ e i ɔ o


saco (eu) seco seco mico (eu) soco o soco

o suco

você íris hora boca


The correspondent sounds in English are as it follows:

a – father

Ɛ – America

e – bait

i – bee

ɔ – awesome

o – boat

u – goose

Furthermore, in Portuguese there are five nasal vowels. Do not worry too much if you cannot pronounce them correctly at the first try. It takes a while to learn how to make the sound flow through your nostrils.

The nasal sound usually happens when the vowels are followed by M or N. It can also happen when A or O are together with TIL (ã, õ).

Nasal Vowels


~e ~i õ ~u


pente cinco aviões


samba dente vinte conta


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Os Acentos

Na língua portuguesa, existem 4 tipos de acentos gráficos que acompanham as vogais: o acento agudo, o circunflexo, o til e a crase. Caso você tenha dúvidas de como pronunciá-los, acesse o site da Universidade de Minas Gerais para descobrir onde são formados todos os fonemas.

In Portuguese, there are 4 types of diacritical marks that go together with the vowels: the acute accent, the circumflex, the til and the crasis. In case you have doubts about how to pronunciate them, access the University of Minas Gerais website to discover where all of the phonemes are formed.


Acento agudo – marca vogais abertas (mantenha sua boca aberta ou sorria! Para a vogal O, abaixe o maxilar).

Acute accent – it marks open vowels (keep your mouth open or smile! For the O vowel, lower your jaw).


é í ó ú
árvore ímpar óculos



Acento circunflexo – marca vogais fechadas, somente em A, E e O (feche ligeiramente os lábios).

Circumflex accent – it marks closed vowels, used only with A, E and O (slightly close your lips).


ê ô
pâncreas francês


A diferença de acentuação pode ser percebida em palavras simples, como avô e avó.

The difference of accentuation may be perceived in simple words, such as avô (grandpa) and avó (grandma).


Til – marca a nasalização das vogais A e O.

Til – it marks the nasalization of A and O.





Crase – indica a contração da preposição A com o artigo A. Esse acento não modifica a pronúncia da vogal, como o til e o circunflexo.

Crasis – indicates the contraction of the preposition A with the article A (female definite). This diacritical mark does not change the pronunciation of the vowel, like the til and the circumflex do.

Amanhã, irei à casa de minha avó.

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Obrigado or Obrigada?

Are you confused about whether to use obrigado or obrigada?

It is very simple: obrigado is the masculine form of “thank you” and should be used only by men. On the other hand, obrigada is the feminine form used by women.

In speech is very common to hear the abbreviated form: ‘brigada or ‘brigado, which should not be used in writing.

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Até mais!


When to use TUDO and TODO

This is a frequent question that many English and Spanish speakers have. So, here is a brief explanation that I usually tell my students:



It is an invariable form, which means that there is no gender inflection. Therefore,

-TUDA  sf


-TUDOS pm  don’t exist.


TUDO is the antonym of NADA (nothing). You can always substitute one for another. For example:

– Infelizmente, após a enchente, nós perdemos tudo.

– Felizmente, após a enchente, nós não perdemos nada.


These two sentences are completely acceptable. Here is another example:

Tudo deu certo.

Nada deu certo.



On the other hand, TODO is a variable form which has gender and number inflections. Thus,

– TODO sm

– TODOS pm

– TODA sf

– TODAS pf are all acceptable!


Usually, these forms come with an article (not necessarily) and a noun before or after:

– Fernando estuda matemática todo dia. (everyday)


However, if I change the placement of todo, the meaning is completely different:

– Fernando estuda matemática o dia todo. (all day long, 24h)

– Ele comeu todas as dez maçãs que comprei. (every single apple)

– Ele comeu a maçã toda. (the entire apple)


Now, let’s compare both of them. In the sentence bellow, I used all of these terms all together:

– Após a enchente, nós perdemos todos os móveis e todas as fotos. Basicamente, a chuva destruiu a casa toda. Nós perdemos tudo.


Here, TUDO summarizes everything mentioned before.

So, the next time you write everybody, you’ll know that the correct form is “TODO mundo”, because todo comes together with a noun.

I hope this topic was usefull for everybody (todo mundo)!


Até mais,