THIS & THAT – Demonstrative Pronouns


Portuguese gets complicated as soon as you start trying to say this and that. To this day I get these wrong. That's because in Portuguese there are 3 different cases to consider. The subject can be male, female, or unknown. In time this starts to come naturally. Actually, what happens is you start to anticipate the gender of the subject QUICKER, and your sentences become more fluid. This only happens if you practice. The best way to practice is to listen to others speaking and to try and repeat what they've said.

These are called Demonstrative Pronouns.

This man. = Esse homem.
That man. = Aquele homem.

This girl. = Essa mulher.
That girl. = aquela garota.

This I know. = Isso eu sei.
I don't want that = Eu não quero aquilo.


Male subjects

Esse menino está cansado. >> This boy is tired.

Female subjects

Essa caneta é sua? >> Is this pen yours?

Ambiguous subjects

Ohla isso! >> Look at this!
Aquele prédio é o banco. >> That building is the bank.
Aquela menina é muita chata! >> That girl is very uncool!
Aquilo é dificil dizer. >> That's really hard to say.

Now here is where it gets really interesting (and complicated). Portuguese makes it really easy to join together two words such as in that; of this; on that; ETC. You can say for example, Ela trabalha nessa escola aqui. (nessa = em + essa).

And you can do the same with of: em + aquela = naquela (OF THAT)
Or: em + essa = nessa (OF,ABOUT THIS)

Look at these examples:

Desse carro eu não sei nada. >> I don't know anything about this car.
Naquela loja tem leite. >> In that store there's milk.
Eu gosto dessa música! >> I like this music!
Naquele livro tem muita história. >> In that book there are lots of stories.
Eu não gosto disso. >> I don't like this!

*we don't really know what the gender is so we use disso.

Nesse livro eu me perdi. >> I lost myself in this book.
Vamos mergulhar nessa bagunça. >> Let's dive into this mess.
Eu não acredito nisso.>> I dont believe in this.