Nouns

  1. General Overview
  2. Masculine and Feminine Nouns
  3. Masculine or Feminine Nouns
  4. Nouns used for both male and female persons and animals
  5. Masculine Nouns
  6. Masculine Nouns ending in -á/e/l/m/r
  7. Masculine Nouns of Greek ending in -ma
  8. More masculine Nouns ending in -a
  9. Feminine Nouns
  10. Feminine Nouns ending in -ade/gem/ção/são/ssão/zão
  11. Plural of Nouns
  12. Noun Suffixes
  13. Diminutive
  14. Augmentative

1. General Overview

 

Nouns are words for naming persons, things, places and animals.
In Portuguese, a noun can be either masculine or feminine in gender and singular or plural in number.
It is very important to know the gender, otherwise you will not be able to speak the language correctly. The best way to learn the gender of a noun is to memorize it with its definite article.
In general nouns ending in –
o as in carro (car) or nouns referring to male persons like amig(male friend) or animals like gato (male cat) are masculine, and nouns ending in –as in casa (house) or nouns referring to female persons like amiga (female friend) or animals like gat
(female cat) are feminine.

 

2. Masculine and Feminine Nouns

 

o amigo a amiga the male/female friend
o espanhol a espanhola the Spanish guy/lady
o professor a professora the male/female teacher
o inglês a inglesa the English guy/lady
o alemão a alemã the German guy/lady
o pai a mãe the father/mother

3Masculine or Feminine Nouns

 

o/a colega the male/female colleague
o/a chefe the male/female boss
o/a repórter the male/female reporter

4. Nouns used for both male or female persons and animals

 

a criança the child
cobra the snake

5. Masculine Nouns

 

In general nouns ending in o are masculine, but there are also other endings which indicate a noun is masculine. Even though there are some exceptions, in general most of the words with these endings are masculine.

 

6. Masculine Nouns ending in -á/e/l/r/m

 

o sofá the sofa
o restaurante the restaurant
o hotel the hotel
o bar the bar
o trem the train

7. Masculine Nouns of Greek origin ending in -ma

 

o cinema the cinema
o problema the problem
o programa the program

 

8. More masculine nouns ending in -a

 

o dia the day
o mapa the map
o samba the samba

9Feminine Nouns

 

In general nouns ending in –are feminine, but there are also other endings which indicate a noun is feminine.


10. Feminine Nouns ending in ade/gem/ção/são/ssão/zão

 

a cidade the city
a viagem the trip
a lição the lesson
a mansão the mansion
a confusão the confusion
a sessão the session
a razão the reason

Exception: o coração (heart)
 

11. Plural of Nouns

 

Nouns can be singular or plural. Generally, you just add –s to make the plural form. However, there are also some useful rules which should be followed in order to be structurally accurate.

 

a casa as casas the house/houses
o jardim os jardins the garden/gardens
o hospital os hospitais the hospital/hospitals
ssil os fósseis the fossil/fossils
o barril os barris the barrel/barrels
o mês os meses the month/months
a lição as lições the lesson/lessons
o pão os pães the bread/loaves of bread
o limão os limões the lemon/lemons
a mão as mãos the hand/hands

Exception: o/os pis (pencil), ônibus (bus), etc.

 

12. Noun Suffixes

 

In Portuguese there are suffixes which can change the size of a noun.

 

13. Diminutive 

 

The diminutive is frequently used in Brazil. It is usually used to show a small version of something, but depending on the context, it is also used for emphasizing, expressing affection, irony and even in idiomatic expressions. It is particularly used usually when one talks to small children or refers to their things. 

The most common diminutive suffixes are –inho/inha and –zinho/zinha.

Diminutive suffixes can also be used with adjectives and adverbs. 

 

a mesa a mesinha the small table
o café o cafezinho the small coffee
barato baratinho very cheap
um pouco um pouquinho a little bit

14. Augmentative


The augmentative is less used than the diminutive and very seldom used in the plural form. It is usually used to show a large version of something, but sometimes it can also be used for emphasizing, expressing admiration or scorn.

The most common augmentative suffixes used in colloquial Portuguese are –ão/zão and –ona/zona.

Augmentative suffixes can also be used with adjectives.

 

um carro um carrão a car, a big car
uma mesa uma mesona a table, a big table
grande grandão/grandona big, huge

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