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A Porta-Bandeira

As escolas de samba desfilam com três ou quatro casais de 
porta-bandeira, mas apenas o primeiro deles é avaliado.

So, there’s usually one couple that is the standout that takes the first position. The movements of the porta-bandeira – always a couple, are always stunning.

Look at how ‘deles’ is used here.

Deles = de + eles == of them

So the sentence is saying ‘…just the first of them (of the couples) is evaluated.’

Let’s see another example of dele :

Você conhece o pai dele?

And with ela it’s de + ela = dela:

Você gosta do cabelo dela?

And the plural them, eles used in our first sentence above. Notice that it’s a man + a woman, You know that this is, by default ‘eles’ (masculino), right?! It would be delas only if we were talking about two or more women! 

  Learn more about the preposition de in Series 1