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Cadê? Posted by on Jul 15, 2008 in Learning

Cadê is probably one of those most useful and most entertaining words to learn in Portuguese, because of its straightforward usage and easy pronunciation. It means “where is…” followed by the object. This can be an actual object or a person. This is a Brazilian expression that emerged from a language evolution from “o que é de…” to “quedê?” to “cadê?” Quedê is still used in some parts of Brazil, but you will most frequently hear cadê.

Cadê meu livro? Where’s my book?

Cadê o seu casaco? Where’s your coat?

ê a tua mãe? Where’s your mom?

ê você? Where are you?

We can also use cadê alone to mean, “Where is it?” We use this if we haven’t understood where the object is, or if we still can’t find the object.

O livro está lá embaixo da mesa. The book is under the table.
Cadê? Where/Where is it?

When referring to a person, though, we can also use the expression onde estar. Estar is the temporary state of to be, and is the standard grammatical form of the question, especially when referring to people.

Onde você está? Where are you?
Estou chegando! I’m almost there!

Onde estão as meninas? Where are the girls?
Estão no quintal. They’re in the backyard.

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  1. Emanuel:

    What do you mean by “the most logical grammatical form of the question”?

  2. Katya Schinke:

    Hi, I just would like to add that “cadê” is a very coloquial expression, used all the time, and that in all your examples, you can substitute it by “onde está…” not only when referring to a person:

    Onde está meu livro?

    Onde está o seu casaco?

    “Onde está” is not coloquial. When writing a formal text, you shall prefer this expression instead of “cadê”.


  3. Bruno:

    Cool! I didn’t know the origin of cadê, I used to think that it had something to do with cá (here) and dê (from dar, to give) but I was completely wrong. Now I know where the word comes from. See? Your blog is not just fot Portuguese learners, but also to Portuguese native speakers!

  4. Paiva:

    Só um adendo ao comentário do Bruno… este blog não é “também” para nativos, mas “apenas” para nativos, hehehehe, vocês já viram algum estrangeiro neste blog interessado em aprender portugues, postando aqui? não né… só nativos querendo dar contribuição, kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, tem um monte de gente ensinando o coitado do Christopher… o foco nem é esse gente… o moço já sabe muito mais que a gente que é nativo, um errinho ou outro não dá nada… beijos…

  5. Susana Carpenter:

    tem muita gente querendo aprender Português. Basta divulgar o blog, que é muito interessante.

    tem ainda outra pronúncia do cadê : quéde 🙂

  6. Joe:

    Thank you, but if you want to be precise, Cadê means “where is” or “where are”