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False synonyms in Portuguese – Part II Posted by on Apr 24, 2018 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, False Friends, Grammar, Idioms, Learning, Vocabulary

Ei, gente! Como está o dia de vocês? Hey, guys! How is your day going?

On our last post, we went over some phrases that we have to pay close attention to, because they look very similar but are actually false synonyms.  Therefore, their different meanings require them to be used in different situations. Today we are taking a look at the second part of this selection. Estão prontos? Are you ready?

a princípio (at first) x em princípio (in theory)

The distinction is subtle, but A princípio refers to the start of something, the beginning, before something else. Em princípio, in turn, means as a rule, as a matter of principle.

  • O tratamento estava funcionando bem, a princípio, mas o paciente começou a ficar cada vez pior | The treatment was working well, at first, but the patient started getting worse.
  • Em princípio, todos os cidadãos brasileiros têm direitos e deveres iguais | In theory, every Brazilian citizen has equal rights and duties.
  • A princípio, o réu negou tudo, mas depois acabou confessando o crime | At the beginning, the defendant denied everything, but ultimately confessed to the crime.
  • Em princípio, o ideal é usar vegetais frescos na receita | As a rule, the ideal is to use fresh vegetables for this recipe

em vez de (instead of) x ao invés de (as opposed to)

Em vez de means instead of something, that is, it implies replacement. Invés is a synonym for inverse, so ao invés de indicates an opposition.

  • Em vez de irmos à praia nas férias esse ano, porque não conhecermos Buenos Aires? | Instead of going to the beach for our vacation this year, why don’t we go to Buenos Aires?
  • O motorista pegou a esquerda ao invés de ter virado à direita, como deveria | The driver turned left as opposed to turning right, like he should
  • Ao invés de poupar dinheiro, acabei gastando mais esse mês | As opposed to saving money, I ended up spending more this month
  • Você está gripado? Deveria ir ao médico em vez de trabalhar | Are you sick? You should go to the doctor instead of working

de encontro a (against something) x a encontro de (towards something)

De encontro a has the idea of being contrary and shocking against something. While a encontro de actually means to be in agreement, favorable to something.

  • O carro foi de encontro ao poste | The car crashed into the pole
  • Nós fomos ao encontro de nossos amigos no bar | We met our friends at the bar
  • Os ensinamentos da igreja católica vão de encontro a muitos de meus princípios | The catholic church’s teaching go against many of my principles
  • A decisão tomada pelo funcionário foi ao encontro dos valores da empresa | The decision made by the employee are in agreement with the company’s values

Desejo a todos uma excelente semana! I wish you all a great week!

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Comments:

  1. laluzdigital.com/horoscopo/:

    Olá gostaria que visitasse nosso artigo e criasse um conteúdo sobre ele. Adoraria acompanhar. Obrigado

  2. carol:

    Hey, Tristian.
    Let me know what I can help you with.
    Thanks for reading our blog.

    • carol:

      @carol Hey, Nishea. I do know some people, what exactly are you looking for?

  3. carol:

    Olá, Tristian. Creio que não, depende do que “desde que” seria um sinônimo.