Onde in Portuguese: ONDE, AONDE, DE ONDE, PARA ONDE


In English we toss around phrases like nowhere to go, where from?, where to? In Portuguese it's a little different. For the most part, onde does all the heavy lifting. However, it's important to use it with the right prepositions and verbs to get the meaning you want.

Onde in Portuguese is used in several different ways. Often creatively, sometimes confusing.

The best way to know these is by examples.

ONDE in context

Onde é? » Where is it?
Onde fica? » Where is it (located)?
Aonde você vai? » To where are you going? *a + one = aonde (to + where)
Onde você vai? » Where are you going?
Para onde você vai? » Where are you going to?
Por onde você vai? » Where are you going?

*Notice how using por & para are virtually the same thing. The para simply adds the idea of where to.

Para onde você foi? » Where did you go to?
Onde você foi? » Where did you go?
Onde você estava? » Where were you?
Onde você era? » Where did you used to be?

These last few examples are also good for understanding the differences between, SER, ESTAR & IR. These 3 verbs are always closely related.

De onde você é? » Where are you from? *Literally: "Of where you are?" » DE ONDE VOCÊ É?
Ela não tem onde ir. » She has nowhere to go. *Literally: "She doesn't have where to go"

I think this is the strangest one, for sure. But it's lots of fun to use. You can say things like, Se eu tivesse onde ir eu iria agora! (If I were to have somewhere to go I'd go there now!) & Sem onde ir ela dormiu na rua. (Without anywhere to go she slept in the street.)

When you convert sentences into their literal translation in English, it somehow makes it easier to understand as well as remember!

The correct position of ONDE

You can easily flip ONDE to the beginning or to the end of the sentence without changing the meaning!

Para onde ela foi? » Ela foi para onde? » Where did she go to?
De onde ele é? » Ele é de onde? » Where is he from?

ONDE in the Semantica Dialogs

Now you try it!

onde in Portuguese
Portrait Mode only.