Pleonasm is the same as redundancy. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines pleonasm as “the use of more words than those necessary to denote mere sense (as in the man he said)”. Today I will show you a list of common Brazilian Portuguese pleonasms.
Pleonasms are usually considered a bad quality of speech or writing, but they are more common than you may think. For instance, we say things such as “a beginner who has just started”. If the person is a beginner, it mean they have started doing whatever it is recently, right? So in theory you are repeating yourself.
However, as stated in a Wikipedia entry, a “pleonasm sometimes serves the same function as rhetorical repetition—it can be used to reinforce an idea, contention or question, rendering writing clearer and easier to understand.”
And we do that a lot without even noticing. In English, we talk about tuna fish. Well, if it is tuna, it is fish. We have expressions like burning fire. If it is fire, it burns. Therefore, these are pleonasms that are a part of everyday language.
Below is a list of common Brazilian Portuguese pleonasms. They may sound wrong or even unintelligent by themselves, but often times they are sort of invisible and make sense in the context of a conversation.
For instant, if I say, “A beginner Portuguese learner who has just started taking lessons will quickly notice progress”, not everyone will point the finger at a pleonasm.
In addition, pleonasms are very present in poetry. Take this line from the song Soneto de Fidelidade de Vinicius de Moraes:
“E rir meu riso e derramar meu pranto ” = And laugh my laughter and shed my tears.
23 Common Brazilian Portuguese pleonasms
- Cego dos olhos = blind of the eyes
- Maluco da cabeça = cray in the head
- Entrar para dentro = to go in to the inside
- Sair para fora = to go out to the outside
- Subir pra cima = to up upstairs
- Descer pra baixo = to go down downstairs
- Pessoa humana = human person
- Unanimidade de todos = everyone’s unanimity
- Última versão definitiva = final definitive version
- Surpresa inesperada = unexpected surprise
- Encarar de frente = to face facing forward
- Gritar alto = to scream loudly
- Empréstimo temporário = temporary loan
- Abertura inaugural = inaugural opening
- Elo de ligação = connection link
- Verdade verdadeira = truthful truth
- Livre escolha = free choice
- Retornar novamente = to return again
- Expressamente proibido = expressly prohibited
- Multidão de pessoas = crowd of people
- Sintomas indicativos = indicative symptoms
- Fato real = real fact
- Certeza Absoluta = absolute certainty