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Gênero (gender) em Português Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Grammar, Learning, Vocabulary

In Portuguese all the nomes e pronomes (nous and pronouns) have a gender. They are always either feminine or masculine.

Photo by Thomas Rousing

Photo by Thomas Rousing

Even though it might be easy to tell which ones are feminine and which ones are masculine – since femininos usually end in “a” and masculinos in “o” – there are some exceptions which are worth mentioning.

  1. Cores (colors) – some words for cores will have different endings to them dependendo do gênero (depending on the gender), however, some of them will not change:

Exemplo:   Minha blusa é vermelha. – My shirt is red.

Meu carro é vermelho. – My car is red.

In this case the gênero changes for different nouns, since blusa is feminino and carro is masculino. Now take a look at the example below:

Exemplo:   Minha blusa é laranja. – My shirt is orange.

Meu carro é laranja. – My car is orange.

In the example above the word laranja remains the same for both gêneros.

Colours that change with gênero:

  • Vermelho, vermelha – red
  • Amarelo, amarela – yellow
  • Branco, branca – White
  • Preto, preta – black
  • Roxo, roxa – purple

Exceptions:

  • Verde – green
  • Azul – blue
  • Marrom – brown
  • Rosa – pink
  • Laranja – orange
  • Cinza – grey

 

  1. Profissão (profession): some professions will have a feminino and a maculino gender, for example:
  • o advogado/a advogada – lawyer
  • o médico/a médica – doctor
  • o garçom/a garçonete – waiter/waitress
  • o professor/a professora – teacher
  • o governador/a governadora – governor
  • o arquiteto/a arquiteta – architect

Exceptions:

  • o/a presidente – president
  • o/a policial – policeman/woman
  • o/a assistente social – social worker
  • o/a comerciante – merchant
  • o/a gerente – manager
  • o/a repórter – reporter

Most professions, however, will fit into two categories: the ones ending in –eiro/–ário and the ones ending in –ista. The rule is simple, if it ends in –eiro/–ário there will be a difference in gender, but if it ends in –ista the word will remain the same for both gêneros.

Ending in –eiro/–ário

  • o lixeiro/a lixeira – garbage man/woman
  • o carpinteiro/a carpinteira – carpenter
  • o banqueiro/a banqueira – banker
  • o veterinário/a veterinária – veterinarian
  • o porteiro/a porteira – doorman
  • o jardineiro/a jardineira – gardener
  • o bombeiro/a bombeira – fire-fighter
  • o costureiro/a costureira – tailor
  • o cozinheiro/a cozinheira – cook
  • o açougueiro/a açougueira – butcher

Ending in –ista

  • o/a taxista – taxi driver
  • o/a jornalista – journalist
  • o/a neurologista – neurologist
  • o/a pianista – pianist
  • o/a dentista – dentist
  • o/a recepcionista – receptionist
  • o/a cientista – scientist
  • o/a economista – economist
  • o/a estilista – stylist
  • o/a manobrista – valet

 

There are many other words in Potuguês which are exceptions when it comes to gênero and native speakers don’t usually have a problem knowing if they are feminio or masculino. A good tip for learning these words is to make a note every time you hear something that sounds strange to you and reading them from time to time, as well as trying to use them in conversation.

 

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