Portuguese Language Blog

False synonyms in Portuguese Posted by on Apr 19, 2018 in Grammar, Learning, Spelling, Vocabulary

Ei gente! Hey guys! Como estão vocês? How are you doing?

Have you ever found yourself dealing with some words in Portuguese that seemed very similar but was unsure whether they meant the same? Phrases like onde e aonde, em vez de e ao invés de, for instance, are some examples that may cause a little confusion even among native speakers. There are some common misconceptions about how to use them, so it is always necessary to pay a little attention to their differences. But don’t worry! Today we are here to make the necessary distinctions between these false synonyms in Portuguese and help you avoid those little mix ups. Vamos nessa?

onde (em que lugar) x aonde (a que lugar) | where x where to

Both onde and aonde refer to place and can be translated as where, but they should be used in different contexts, because onde is for location and aonde is for movement. See if you can spot the contrast:

  • Preciso olhar no mapa para saber onde estou | I need to check a map to know where I am
  • Aonde você está indo a essa hora? | Where are you going at this hour?
  • Você viu onde coloquei minhas chaves? | Did you see where I put my keys?
  • Aonde nós vamos nas próximas férias? | Where are we going on our next vacation?

todo (qualquer) x todo o (inteiro) | any x the whole

Todo without the article has the sense of every, each or any. If the todo precedes a definite article, then it means the entirety of something:

  • Meu pai faz todo trabalho | My dad does any kind of work
  • Eu comi todo o bolo | I ate the whole cake
  • Eu vou à escola todo dia | I go to school every day
  • Ficamos na escola todo o dia | We stayed in school the whole day

conflito (conflict) x confronto (confrontation)

A conflito is a disagreement and divergence in viewpoints, whereas a confronto is a negative, often violent opposition

  • Houve confronto entre os dois lutadores | There was a confrontation between the two fighters
  • A eleição para presidente gerou um conflito entre os partidos | The election for president generated a conflict between the parties
  • O confronto entre policiais e manifestantes deixou inúmeros feridos | The confrontation between police officers and protesters left a number of injured
  • Conflitos são comuns em reuniões de negócios | Conflicts are common in business meetings

Now it will be easier for you to avoid these little Portuguese conflicts!

Aguardem a parte dois em breve! Hang around for part two coming up!

Tags: , , ,
Keep learning Brazilian Portuguese with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it