Portuguese language

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JoyBoy
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Portuguese language

Postby JoyBoy » 2012-08-06, 7:39

Hi, I'm from Poland and I've started to learn portuguese and I'm working by myself only by learning words and so on. And here is one question I have to ask. Every words depending on its type (f/m) has prefix (I don't know if prefix is good word) like a/o (for example: "o quarto" or "a casa"). Is this important or can I skip this part? I don't know if knowlegde about using prefixes will be useful in learning some forms of words and something ilke that. I rarely write in english so please, don't be mad.

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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Luís » 2012-08-06, 11:04

They're called articles and yes, they're important in Portuguese (even if they don't exist in Polish).

Chamam-se artigos e sim, são importantes em português (mesmo que em polaco não existam).
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby JoyBoy » 2012-08-06, 12:02

Thanks for your fast reply.

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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Osias » 2012-08-09, 17:16

Wait, wait, you know English and don't know about articles?! o.O

A gente morre e não vê tudo...
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Rivaldo » 2012-08-15, 14:00

The articles are only two articles: o (male), a (female), in singular.

And in the plural: os (male) , as (female).

You need to memorize which substantives are male, and which are female. Besides that, there's no mistery.

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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Partisan » 2012-09-22, 3:03

osias wrote:Wait, wait, you know English and don't know about articles?! o.O

A gente morre e não vê tudo...


But "The" is generic for every noun and adjective.

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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Dormouse559 » 2012-09-22, 3:45

Partisan wrote:
osias wrote:Wait, wait, you know English and don't know about articles?! o.O

A gente morre e não vê tudo...


But "The" is generic for every noun and adjective.
An article is an article is an article. English can't be used fluently without understanding when to use "the" or "a(n)" or nothing at all. Likewise with Portuguese, it just has the added dimensions of gender and fully distinguished number. So I agree with osias, how does JoyBoy know English but not articles?
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Rivaldo » 2012-10-04, 4:15

Why an article couldn't be understood as a prefix?
It's just a kind of prefix that doesn't connect with the word.

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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Dormouse559 » 2012-10-04, 4:45

Articles in languages like English and Portuguese can be called (pro)clitics. They aren't the same as prefixes partly because independent words can separate them from the word they modify. For instance, I can add an adjective between the article and noun in "the man" to get "the great man", but I can't take "prologue" and say "pro great logue".

Likewise in Portuguese, "o homem" > "o grande homem" works, but "prólogo" > "pró grande logo" does not.
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Rivaldo » 2012-10-05, 1:43

For instance, I can add an adjective between the article and noun in "the man" to get "the great man", but I can't take "prologue" and say "pro great logue".

Likewise in Portuguese, "o homem" > "o grande homem" works, but "prólogo" > "pró grande logo" does not.


You can't, but Guimarães Rosa can. :lol:

His "qüilas águas trans" is an example of a similar kind.

Althought I agree that those definitions make sense, and they do a good description of the language in general, there are exceptions. Consequently, the notion of articles as prefixes is uncommon, but is not wrong. The comprehension of the articles in this way can open different perspectives about the language, that are already in the language but the native speakers not always are aware of.

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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Dormouse559 » 2012-10-05, 2:03

Can you cite exceptions in either Portuguese or English that aren't poetic? Would you really split an adjective or noun in two, and then reverse the elements, while speaking with your friends and expect to be understood? The concept of articles as prefixes may not be wrong for languages where articles can't be separated from the noun in any way, but in Portuguese and English they do have a degree of independence from their nouns that can't be found in prefixes.
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby JackFrost » 2012-10-05, 3:18

Dormouse559 wrote:Can you cite exceptions in either Portuguese or English that aren't poetic?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infix#Colloquialisms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tmesis#Oth ... in_English
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Dormouse559 » 2012-10-05, 3:54

JackFrost wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infix#Colloquialisms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tmesis#Oth ... in_English
As for "iz" and "izn", there's a reason the first article is called "Infixes". Because those are infixes. Unless you commonly say "izn" as a standalone word … My point is that full words can only rarely be placed inside other full words. Such is not true for article-noun constructions.

And while it's true that "fucking" and "bloody" can be independent words, not every word in English can be infixed like that. In fact, can you think of many words that can be? Fucking, freaking, bloody. That's it for me. I can't say "abso-good-lutely", but I can say "the good man" any day, and theoretically replace "good" with any adjective in the English language.
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby JackFrost » 2012-10-05, 4:15

I only came across this thread out of curiosity and I saw you wanted some examples that we can split some English words and insert an independent word between the syllables. Those are the ones that I can think of, even if they can only be used in very limited circumstances in order to be still understood.
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Dormouse559 » 2012-10-05, 6:45

I'm sorry, JackFrost, I've been thinking about what I want in the wrong way and shouldn't have asked for exceptions. I don't think that exceptions in this case prove that articles are prefixes instead of clitics. It seems like saying that because the forms of "to be" and "to have" can be contracted with their subjects, all verbs are in fact clitics. So yes, a few cohesive words aren't totally indivisible and a few other words can be tossed inside them, but these examples aren't representative of the general grammar of the language, and don't come close to demonstrating the same flexibility that articles do.
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby JackFrost » 2012-10-05, 8:31

I don't think that exceptions in this case prove that articles are prefixes instead of clitics.

Ok, I wasn't trying to prove that (because I agree with you). Maybe I have misunderstood something, but I was just noting you can split up "prologue" as "profreakinglogue". Sure, you can't use "good" or "great" instead of "freaking". Overall, your point about the articles is well taken.
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Re: Portuguese language

Postby Rivaldo » 2012-10-05, 17:37

For my part, I don't disagree with the descriptive grammar that separate articles of prefixes in portuguese and english, once it has to do with what happens more frequently.

About a person that doesn't know articles and speak english. Of course there is no need of grammar to know a language, that's understood. But besides that, I don't think it would be necessarily a prejudice to think on articles as prefixes. They can, maybe rarely, maybe always - depending of the context - work in the same way, and a person that sees the language differently is able to develop these capacities.

It doesn't need to be a poetical text to operate these "grammar oddities". In certain contexts it can happen, while it's not easy to give examples, of which JackFrost gave nice ones.
In very restricted contexts, where the language can work pretty much like a dialect, the possibilites are huge, much more than in the formal context, of course. Althought their use is rare in the formal context, those "oddities" are capacities of the language, and a non-native speaker might explore them with more ease.


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