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What are the false diminutives in Portuguese? Posted by on May 31, 2021 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Grammar, Learning, Slang, Vocabulary

Olá, amigos leitores! Hoje bateu um friozinho aqui no Brasil, então a melhor coisa para este tempinho é tomar uma sopinha. If you are a frequent reader of our texts, probably the words “friozinho“, “tempinho” and “sopinha” are not strange to you. They, like many others, are part of Brazilian spoken language. No matter the situation and social position, Brazilians have a strong tendency to speak no diminutivo (in the diminutive form). Usually, the suffix inho/inha or zinho/zinha are added to these words, as we’ve even written before here. However, there are many other words with these “inho/inha” endings that are actually not in the diminutive, and today we are going to list them so you can boost your vocabulary and avoid falling into these language traps. Bora?

Carinho | Affection

Meu gato ama carinho (Photo by Japheth Mast from Pexels)

Although this word may be short for “expensive”, carinho is also the act of caressing or having affection and tenderness for something or someone.

  • Com o isolamento social e a dificuldade em encontrar meus amigos, tenho sentido muita falta de carinho | With the social isolation and the trouble with meeting my friends, I have been feeling the need for affection
  • Olha que gato mais fofo, ele adora receber carinho na cabeça | This cat is the cutest, he loves being petted on the head

Camisinha | Condom

Watch out for this word! Camisinha is the word used to refer to the condom. Don’t mistake it for a camisa pequena (small shirt), unless you want to get weird looks.

  • Durante o Carnaval o Ministério da Saúde costuma fazer muitas campanhas para que as pessoas usem camisinha | During Carnival, the Ministry of Health usually carries out many campaigns for people to use condoms
  • Por acaso você sabe onde ficam as camisinhas na farmácia? Não consegui encontrar | Do you happen to know where the condoms are in the pharmacy? I could not find them

Vocês já viram um cavalo-marinho? (Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina from Pexels)

Marinho | Marine, Sea

To say marinho is to say that something comes from or has characteristics of the sea, such as cavalo-marinho (seahorse) and azul-marinho (navy blue). If you want to use the diminutive for the word “sea”, it will be marzinho.

  • Fernando de Noronha é uma ilha brasileira que abriga uma grande variedade de animais marinhos | Fernando de Noronha is a Brazilian island that is home to a wide variety of sea animals
  • O que você acha dessa camisa azul-marinho? Eu gostei mais dela do que da outra que experimentei | What do you think of this navy blue shirt? I liked it better than the other one I tried

Marinha | Navy

Já Marinha é o nome dado às forças armadas que atuam nos mares.

  • O avô dela foi Almirante da Marinha brasileira | Her grandfather was a Brazilian Navy Admiral
  • Você tem planos para hoje? Queria ir no  desfile da frota naval da Marinha que vai acontecer às 15:00 | Do you have plans for today? I would like to go to the Navy fleet parade that will take place at 15:00

Cominho | Cumin

Qual é o melhor caminho para chegar à praia? (Photo by Tembela Bohle from Pexels)

É assim mesmo o nome deste tempero.

  • Quando for ao supermercado, não se esqueça de comprar cominho | When you go to the supermarket, don’t forget to buy cumin
  • Adoro feijão com uma pitada de cominho, fica uma delícia! | I love beans with a dash of cumin, it’s delicious!

Caminho | Path, Way

É outro nome usado para estrada, via ou mesmo destino.

  • Qual é o melhor caminho para chegar na sua casa? | What is the best way to get to your home?
  • Me perdi durante o caminho, então vou me atrasar um pouco para o nosso encontro | I got lost along the way, so I’ll be a little late for our date.

Can you think of any other words in Portuguese that are false diminutives? Tune in next time for part two! Vejo vocês em breve.

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Comments:

  1. Lachlan:

    Quando meu amigo deu uma carona pra mim, he would ask: do you want a big face?

    Always made me laugh.
    (Long time blog follower, first time poster. Australian married to a Brazilian, learning pork’n’cheese for 20+ years)

    • carol:

      @Lachlan Hahaha that’s hilarious, Lachlan!
      Thanks so much for sharing. The false augmentatives are also a great ideia for a post.
      I’m glad to hear you enjoy our blog, best of luck with your pork’n’cheese 😀


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