Portuguese Language Blog

How to use “a gente” in Portuguese Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Grammar


How was your long weekend? Did you have fun?

Let’s kick our week off with a very interesting feature of spoken Portuguese: using “a gente”. “A gente” means “the people”, but it is widely used in spoken Portuguese to replace the pronoun “nós”. It is not considered substandard or impolite and it is found mainly in spoken Portuguese, so you won’t find “a gente” in formal texts or very formal conversations.

The verb form for “A gente” is the 3rd person singular. Check out some example sentences:

We live here.
Nós moramos aqui.
A gente mora aqui.

We’re going to the movies.
Nós vamos ao cinema.
A gente vai ao cinema.

We don’t like to get up early.
Nós não gostamos de levantar cedo.
A gente não gosta de levantar cedo.

We did what we could.
Nós fizemos o que pudemos.
A gente fez o que pôde.

Weren’t we supposed to be there at ten?
Nós não tínhamos que estar lá às dez?
A gente não tinha que estar lá às dez?

We always go there on Sunday.
Nós sempre vamos lá aos domingos.
A gente sempre vai lá aos domingos.

Choosing between nós and a gente depends on the level of formality of the conversation. In any case, it is good to know how a gente is used so you will know when you hear it.

Tenham todos uma ótima e produtiva semana! Have a great and productive week!

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.