In this Portuguese lesson I will show you how to say things such as “with me”, “without me”, “for me”, etc. I will show you how to use the personal pronoun Eu after prepositions such as de, para, por, sem, em, com, and entre. You can tell this is going to be a very useful lesson. You will need it if you’d like to say something like “Is this gift for me?” or “You cannot live without me” or “Get away from me!” 😉 If you are wondering if you can’t simply say “para eu” or “sem eu”, the answer is absolutely not.
I will also show you two cases that Brazilians often get wrong. As an added benefit from this lesson, I recommend that you observe what preposition I am using with each verb presented in the examples. Translate to your own language and notice what we say the same way and what we say differently. This is a good way to learn how to correctly match verbs and prepositions.
How to Use Eu after Prepositions
When used after prepositions, eu usually assumes the form of mim. Let’s see some examples:
- Alessandra: Um presente pra mim?
= A gift for me?
Street Smart Portuguese:
Pra is a short form of the preposition para. It is widely used in spoken Brazilian Portuguese and in colloquial written communication such as personal emails. You will also find it in magazine articles, but it is not recommended to use pra in business or academic writing.
- Camila: Vou chegar atrasada. Pode começar a reunião sem mim.
= I will be late. You can start the meeting without me.
Below is the translation from Portuguese to English of the Calvin’s comic strip that is right after it. It offers good examles of sem mim:
Vocês querem um pouco d’água, é? Bem, eu tenho um regador cheinho aqui.
= So you want some water? Well, I have a watering can full of water here.
E sou eu quem decide se vocês recebem água ou não! Eu controlo o seu destino! As suas vidas estão nas minhas mãos!
= And it is me who decides if you get water or not! I control your destiny! Your lives are in my hands!
Sem mim vocês estão mortas! Sem mim vocês não…
= Without me you are dead! Without me you don’t…
Em mim, Por mim, Pra mim
If you like Brazilian country music (música sertaneja), you probably know the song Pense em mim, by Leandro e Leonardo. This song has great examples for our Portuguese lesson:
- Pense em mim = Think about me
- Chore por mim = Cry for me
- Liga pra mim = Call me
I very much recommend learning with songs. It is a fun and easy way to memorize new words, develop your listening kills, and improve your pronunciation. So sing along and have fun. Click here for the video and lyrics of Pense em Mim.
For great tips and strategies to learn language using music and other media resources, check out Susanna Zaraysky’s book Language is Music. It is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese on Amazon.com.
Não gosto quando você passa o dia longe de mim! Quero você sempre aqui pertinho de mim.
= I don’t like when you spend the day away from me! I want you always here very close to me.
Special case: comigo
With the preposition com, use comigo to say “with me”:
- Quer uma carona para a festa do Leonardo? Pode ir comigo, se quiser.
= Do you want a ride to Leonardo’s party? You can go with me, if you’d like to.
- Quer casar comigo?
= Would you like to marry me?
There is a song titled Quer Casar Comigo, by Brazilian sertanejo (country music) duo Bruno e Marrone. Click here for the song’s lyrics and video.
Learn what Brazilians often get wrong: entre mim e você
- Bruna: Vou contar um segredo. Por favor, não conte a niguém. Vamos deixar isso entre mim e você.
= I will tell you a secret. Please don’t tell anyone. Let’s leave this between you and me.
It is very common to see Brazilians saying “entre eu e você”, but now you know it is not the correct way to say it. Here is an additional example:
- André e eu terminamos. Não há mais nada entre mim e ele.
= André and I broke up. There is nothing between him and me anymore.
Get this one right and teach your Brazilian friends
We are going to see a different case now. In all the examples above, the pronoun mim is a complement of the verb. It is not the subject who performs the action. When you are the subject performing the action, you need to use Eu even if it comes after a preposition. This happens often with the preposition para:
- Os carros pararam para eu atravessar a rua.
= The cars stopped for me to cross the street.
In the sentence above, Eu is the subject who performed the action of crossing the street. Therefore we need to use Eu, and not mim.
Use Eu after the preposition para when it is followed by the infinitive of a verb.
Here is another example:
- Joana quer me levar à casa dela para eu conhecer sua família.
= Joana wants to take me to her place for me to meet her family.
Same thing here: I am the person who will perform the action of meeting Joana’s family. Therefore I need to use Eu in the sentence.
Muito obrigada for visiting our website and watching this lesson!
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