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Different forms of you

When do you use Tu and Vocé when addressing you

For learning: Portuguese
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    In Brazil, it is more common to use você instead of tu. Even in the regions of Brazil where people still use tu, very few people conjugate the verbs properly (in the second person). Many just use the pronoun tu, but conjugate the verb in the third person. So, if I were you I would use você always that I wanted to say you. Você sounds normal anywhere in Brazil, while tu may sound weird in some parts of the country.


    Hy Byron, please find below an explanation from a European perspective.

    In Portugal, the use of tu/você varies between regions and according to the age/generation of the speakers.

    The traditional rule was that "tu" was meant to be used when addressing:

    1) People with whom you are intimate, such as spouses, siblings and friends.
    2) People younger than you, especially children. Children are almost always adressed as "tu", and they treat each other by "tu", as do teenagers.
    3) People who are your "hierarchical inferiors" (this use of "tu" may be seen as rude in some contexts, though).

    However, times change. The rules above are not followed as rigidly today as they used to, and the social conventions that govern the use of "tu" are very much in flux in Portugal. There is some variation between regions, and a great deal of variation according to the age/generation and social status of the speakers.

    "Você" is an even more complicated case. It started out as a polite form of address, but with time it devalued in Portugal, though not as much as it did in Brazil. Today, it tends to be reserved for addressing social equals with whom you are not intimate or people whom you don't know very well but don't feel compelled to address too formally. For this reason, some Portuguese people find "você" slightly impolite, and avoid it. However, other people don't seem to give "você" that negative conotation. Context is everything, here! To complicate things further, friends and workmates from older generations will often treat each other by "você" rather than "tu".


    When do you use Tu and Você when addressing you

    So in Portugal usually we don't use the word "tu" or "Você" in almost of cases because we do the verbal conjugation so stay implicit...

    Exemple with "VOCÊ":

    "Quer vir ao cinema connosco?"
    "Prefere almoçar peixe ou carne?"
    "Vai de férias hoje ou amanhã"?

    Exemples with "TU":

    "Queres vir ao cinema connosco?"
    "Preferes almoçar peixe ou carne?"
    "Vais de férias hoje ou amanhã?"

    We use Você with persons more old, teachers, boss, people unknow, sometimes with family, in some cases, coworkers...

    We use TU with persons like: friends, people from same age, sometimes the family, classmatters, some cases with coworkers...

    It's offensive say to a teacher "Você pode repetir se faz favor?! Dizem logo que tem nome... ou seja devemos de dizer "Professora pode repetir se faz favor?!

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