PORTUGUESE PREPOSITIONS

Prepositions (Preposições) are little words that connect one noun to another in a sentence or phrase. A single-word preposition is a basic preposition like in, on, to, at, about, of, with or around. As in English, all the prepositions come before the noun in Portuguese.
The most commonly prepositions in Portuguese are:

Prepositions of Location

The following prepositions are common in expressing location:
  • à - at
  • A generally carries the meaning to. It means at in certain sentences.
    • Vamos nos  sentar à mesa? - Let’s sit at the table?

  • em - in/on/at
  • This preposition indicates places/locations. When used with definite or indefinite articles, a contraction is formed; these contractions coincide in gender and number with the place they refer to.

Definite Article

Feminine

Masculine

Translation

A

as

o

os

Em +

na

nas

no

nos

on / in / at + the


Indefinite Articles

Feminine

Masculine

Translation

uma

umas

um

uns

Em +

numa

numas

num

nuns

on / in / at + a (or some(plural))


    • Em um restaurante - In a restaurant
    • Estou no Brasil - I am in Brazil
    • O presente está na mesa. - The gift is on the table.
    • Ela mora nos Estados Unidos. - She lives in the United States.

  • ao longo [de] - along
    • Caminho ao longo da avenida. - I walk along the avenue.

  • ao lado [de] - next [to]
    • Estou ao lado da companhia - I am next to the company.

  • em redor [de] - around
    • Estou em redor da companhia - I am around the company.

  • acima [de] / por cima [de] - above
    • Estou acima da companhia - I am above the company

  • perto [de] - near
    • Estou perto da companhia - I am near the company

  • debaixo [de] - under/below
    • Estou debaixo do escrivaninha - I am under the desk.

  • à frente [de] - in front of
    • Estou à frente da companhia - I am in front of the company.

  • dentro [de] - in/inside
    • Estou dentro da companhia - I am in/inside the company.

  • atrás [de] - behind
    • Estou atrás da companhia - I am behind the company.

  • em cima [de] - on top [of]
    • Estou em cima do telhado - I am on top of the roof.

  • em frente [de] - in front [of]
    • Estou em frente da companhia - I am in front of the company.

  • no meio [de] - in the center [of] / in the middle [of]
    • Estou no meio da companhia - I am in the middle of the company.

  • entre - [in] between
    • Estou entre as companhias - I am in between the companies.

  • fora [de] - outside [of]
    • Estou fora da companhia - I am outside the company.

Prepositions of Direction

  • a - to
    • Vou a São Paulo - I go to São Paulo

  • de - from
    • Venho de São Paulo - I come from São Paulo

  • através [de] - through
    • Vou através do parque - I go through the park

  • sobre - over
    • Salto sobre o rio - I jump over the river

  • para - for/to
  • Para frequently indicates an end point, goal, target, comparison or objective of a direction in time or space. Also be aware that, particularly in spoken Brazilian Portuguese, para is frequently shortened to pra or p'ra.
    • Vou para Lisboa - I go to Lisbon

Prepositions of Time

  • antes [de] - before
    • Vi o homem antes de ir ao cinema - I saw the man before going to the cinema
    • Tenho que visitar uma tia antes da festa. - I have to visit a friend before the party.

  • dentro [de] - in
    • Vou ver a competição dentro de alguns minutos - I will see the competitions in a few minutes

  • depois [de] - after
    • Vou ver o filme depois de amanhã - I will see the movie after tomorrow
    • Estarei em casa depois do trabalho. - I'll be home after the work.

  • desde - since
    • Conheço essa mulher desde ontem - I know that woman since yesterday
    • Estou estudando espanhol desde as dez da manhã. - I've been studying Portuguese since ten in the morning.

  • durante - during / for
    • Vi o filme durante cinco minutos - I saw the movie for two minutes

  • entre - between
    • Vou encontrar-me com a mulher entre as onze e as doze - I will meet the woman between 11:00 and 12:00.

  • até - until
    • Viajo para Brasil até amanhã - I will travel to Brazil you until tomorrow
    • Vou estudar espanhol até as três da tarde. - I will study Portuguese until three in the afternoon.

  • em - in + months
    • Eu estarei em férias em Cusco. - I'll be on vacation in Cusco.

  • em - in + year
    • Nasci em 1981. - I was born in 1981.

  • em + day - on the + day + month/ on + month + day
    • Nasci em trinta e um de maio. - I was born on the thirty-first of May. – or - I was born on May thirty-first.

Other prepositions

  • de - from [origin, possession, composition]
    • Este livro vem da América Latina - This book comes from América Latina
    • A Rússia é o maior país do mundo. - Russia is the largest country in the world.
    • É completamente de prata - It's entirely made of silver

  • para - for/in order to [recipient, goal]
    • Este livro é para ti - This book is for you

  • por - for/because of [cause]
  • Por generally indicates an intermediate point of time.
    • Eu morei no Perú por 5 anos. - I lived in Peru for 5 years. 
    • Você faria isso por mim? - Would you do that for me?
    • Obrigado por tudo. - Thanks for everything.

Por sometimes form contractions with definitive articles:

Definite Article

Feminine

Masculine

Translation

A

As

O

Os

por+

pela  

pelas  

pelo  

pelos 

For / by / through + the


    • Dou-te este presente pela tua ajuda. - I give you this gift for you assistance.
    • Estilhaços voaram pelas janelas. - Shards flew through the windows.
    • Enviei o cartão pelo correio. - I sent the card by post.
    • Luis caminhou  pelos  campos. - Luis walked across the fields.

  • com - with
  • This preposition combines with many of the prepositional pronouns.
    • Vou com o meu tio - I go with my uncle.

  • contra - against
    • Sou contra o aborto - I'm against the miscarriage

  • sem - without
    • Vou sem o meu pai - I go without my father

  • sobre - about
    • Falo sobre a história - I speak about the history
  • por causa [de] - because of
  • menos - except, but
  • apesar [de] - despite, in spite of
  • a respeito [de] - regarding, concerning
  • conforme, segundo - according [to]
  • em vez [de] - instead [of]
  • junto [com] - together [with]

The use of the preposition “de”

This preposition is used to specify possession (of), origin (from), location (in, on), and material.
  • Comprei um anel de ouro. - I bought a gold ring.
  • Eles são de México. - They are from Mexico.
In some cases “de” is used with definite articles forming contractions. Generally these contractions are used to show the ownership of something.

Definite Article

Feminine

Masculine

Translation

A

As

O

Os

De+ da   das   do   dos   From / of + the
  • O Brasil é o maior país da América Latina. - Brazil is the largest country in Latin America.
  • Ela não encontrou os agendas das amigas. - She did not find her friends’ notebooks.  
  • Ele gosta dos novos amigos. - He likes the new friends.
  • Eu sou do Perú. - I am from Peru.



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