Using the word mesmo in Portuguese – Learning Portuguese with podcasts
Hello there and welcome to our Portuguese Basic Tips called using the word mesmo in Portuguese
Well, on today’s podcast, I am going to explain to you how to use the word mesmo in Portuguese. This is something that many people may have difficulties to understand, including Brazilians.
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The big problem in this case is that we could use the word “mesmo” in many ways. Therefore we may see some misunderstandings with the term. But we particularly have one situation that caused the major problem.
Don’t use “o mesmo” as a Portuguese personal pronoun
There is this advice in front of all elevators in Brazil:
“Antes de entrar no elevador verifique se o mesmo encontra-se parado neste andar”
I could translate that as “before entering the elevator, make sure it is standing on this floor”. But, if I had to literally translate it, it would be more or less alike “before entering the elevator, verify if ‘the same’ is standing on this floor”.
Yeah! Exactly! People use the word “o mesmo” as a pronoun here. But this is not a correct sentence! In fact, we should say “antes de entar no elevador verifique se ‘ele’ se encontra parado neste andar”.
It is very common to hear Brazilian cops saying things like that:
- Encontramos a vítima parada e a mesma não quis prestar queixa.
- We found the victim standing still and the same did not want to complain.
That’s wrong again! They should say “encontramos a vítima parada e ela não quis prestar queixa”.
To sum up, if you can substitute the term “o mesmo” for “ele” or “ela”, always choose the second option – always choose the pronoun.
Using “mesmo” as reinforcement
Note, that in those cases below, we can use the term “mesmo” as reinforcement in a sentence.
- Ela mesma fez isso (She did it herself)
- Ele mesmo fez isso (He did it himself)
- Eles mesmos fizeram isso (They did it themselves)
- Elas mesmas fizeram isso (They did it themselves)
In Portuguese we can also use the expressions “mesmo” or “mesmo que”, meaning “although” and “even”.
– Mesmo triste, ela continuou trabalhando (Although she was sad, she kept working).
– Mesmo que você tente muito, sera difícil (Even if you try it hard, it will be difficult)
Using “mesmo” as a Portuguese adverb
And last but not least, we use “mesmo” as an adverb, meaning “really”.
Note that in this case, the word will never be modified.
– Ele tentou mesmo terminar o trabalho (He really tried to finish the job)
– Eles tentaram mesmo terminar o trabalho (They really tried to finish the job)
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That’s enough for today.
See you nexto time.