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[The most common mistakes in Portuguese] – Part II Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Grammar, Learning, Online Learning, Spelling, Vocabulary

[Os erros mais comuns em Português]

Ei, pessoal! Hey, everyone!

Today we see part two of our previous post on how to avoid certain mistakes that are common in the Portuguese language. Bom trabalho!

Meio-dia e meia (certo)/ Meio-dia e meio (errado)

12h30pm reads “meio dia e meia”, not “meio dia e meio” because meia (half) refers to meia hora (half an hour). Hour, in Portuguese, is a feminine word. Therefore, 12h30 is to say, implicitly “meio dia e meia hora” (half a day plus half an hour). The same goes for 12h30am, which is “meia noite e meia”.


With very similar pronunciations and written forms, descrição and discrição have very distinct meanings. Descrição means description and discrição means discretion. So it’s very important not to mix the two! Look:

  • Agradeço pela sua discrição ao lidar com o assunto – I appreciate your discretion when dealing with the issue
  • Os policiais pediram para a vítima uma descrição do assaltante – The cops asked the victim for a description of the robber
  • Pela descrição no site, o hotel parece ser ótimo – By the description on their website, the hotel seems great
  • Marcos não sabe se comportar com discrição, está sempre gritando – Marcos can’t behave with discretion, he’s always shouting


Again, another case of two words that sound exactly the same, but mean different things. Sessão with two ‘s’ is session, and seção with the ‘ç’ is section.

  • Silêncio! A sessão vai começar! – Silence! The session is about to begin
  • O sorvete se encontra na seção de congelados do supermercado – Ice cream is found in the frozen section of the supermarket
  • My dad only reads the sports section in the newspaper – Meu pai só lê a seção de esportes do jornal


Though both aonde and onde mean where in English, aonde suggests that someone is going somewhere and carries the idea of movement and displacement, whereas onde indicates the place where something or someone is and it is related to permanence. See:

  • Você sabe onde estão minhas chaves? – Do you know where my keys are?
  • Aonde você vai a esssa hora? – Where are you going at this hour?
  • A cidade onde ele mora é perigosa – The city where he lives is dangerous
  • Aonde vocês vão depois do trabalho? – Where are you going after work?


There is no distinction beetween them is spoken language, Trás is an adverb of place that means back (and is always preceded by a preposition), while traz is the verb to bring in the third person singular. Take a look:

  • Dinheiro não traz felicidade – Money doesn’t bring happiness
  • Não adianta olhar para trás agora – There is no point in looking back now
  • Crianças tem que viajar no banco de trás – Children must travel on the back seat
  • Meu namorado traz café na cama par mim todas as manhãs – My boyfriend brings me breakfast in bed every morning

É isso! That’s it! Tenham um ótimo fim de semana! Have a great weekend!




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