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What's the difference between "em" and "na".

Hello,everyone.I'm learning portuguese with ROSSETA STONE V 3.0.35.I have some questions to ask you.
1. A garçonete está respondendo a uma pergunda.
I don't know if the sentence is right. I think the "a"should be"à".
2.Esse edifíco fica em Nova Lorque.
Esse edifício fica em Barcelona.
Esse edifício fica na Austrária.
I don't tell the difference between "em" and "na".

Me ajuda,por favor.Obrigado!


For learning: Portuguese
Base language: English
Category: WK087

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    actually, it would be "a garçonete está respondendo à pergunta" or "a garçonete está respondendo a uma pergunta"
    that's because à is the "condensed" [i don't know if that's the right term] form of the preposition "a" with the definite article "a"
    so you only you "à" if the verb you're using needs the preposition a and the article a [the same you use for "a garçonete"]
    as for "em" and "na", fábio explained it right, i'd just like to add something
    some names of countries / cities / places need an article, like: "a austrália", "os estados unidos", "a alemanha", "o brasil"... and some of them don't need an article, like: "londres", "brasília", "portugal"...
    so when you're going to use the preposition "em" you have to think if that place requires the article or not... if it does, you'll either use "no" [em+o] or "na" [em+a].
    and thinking about it this way, the same happens with the preposition "a", it can be either "ao" [a+o] or "à" [a+a]
    some examples:
    fui à austrália -> morei na austrália [article a]
    fui ao rio de janeiro -> morei no rio de janeiro [article o]
    fui aos estados unidos -> morei nos estados unidos [article os]
    fui a nova iorque -> morei em nova iorque [no article]

    Firstly, the right sentence would be: "A garçonete está respondendo à uma pergunta".
    Secondly, it's very difficult to tell the difference between those two. A thing that might help.
    "na" is "em + a". Instead of saying "Esse edifício fica em a Austrália" you should say "Esse edifício fica na Austrália." I don't know if you understood the second one, but don't worry, lot's of brazilian don't know it either.

    oh, and by the way, like fábio said, even most of brazilians don't understand the difference between "à" and "a", i think that's worse than "em" and "na"...
    also, brazilians use "em", "para", "a" in wrong ways too, sometimes. like, instead of saying "vou à sua casa hoje", normally we say "vou na sua casa hoje"
    hard even for native-speakers :3
    Here it is the explanation for your first question.
    Diante de pronomes possessivos femininos [minha(s), tua(s), sua(s), nossa(s), vossa(s)], é facultativo o uso do artigo, então, quando houver a preposição a, será facultativa a ocorrência de crase. Por exemplo: "Referi-me a sua professora" ou "Referi-me à sua professora"; "Referi-me a suas professoras" ou "Referi-me às suas professoras".

    Hi! I'm Portuguese, not Brazilian. I can see that you are learning Brazillian Portuguese.

    Question 1: A garçonete está respondendo a uma pergunTa. - Use "a" if you are employing Continental Portuguese (Portugal) and "à" if you are employing Brazilian Portuguese. Note that "pergunta" is written with an "t", not an "d".

    The following was taken from a Portuguese Grammar from Portugal:

    Preposition "de":
    Expresses:
    a) A place, where from: Venho de Inglaterra.
    b) Origin: Sou de Coimbra.
    c) Provenience: O retrato veio-lhe dos pais.
    d) Mode: Reza de joelhos.
    e) Cause: Ri de contentamento.
    f) Property: A casa de Manuel.
    g) Implement: Surge, armado de lança.
    h) Matter: Relógio de ouro.
    i) Time: Trabalha mais de Inverno.
    j) Opportunity: São horas de deitar.
    l) Content: Um livro de versos.
    m) Quantity: É uma cidade de oitocentos mil habitantes.
    n) Position: Permaneceu de pé.
    o) Change: Convencido de tudo, deixou de falar-lhe.
    p) Quality: Era um homem de carácter.
    q) Age: Rapaz de quinze anos.
    r) Purpose: Casa de jantar.
    s) Shape: Sapatos de bico.
    "de" is also employed to:
    1) Stress the comment: Pobre do homem.
    2) In exclamations: Ai de mim!
    3) In words that, used with the sense of slicing a whole, are employed to designate a whole: Um pedaço de pão (Pão as a whole, pedaço as a piece of the whole); Um dos pianos. (Pianos as a whole set, um dos pianos as a piece of a whole set of pianos)

    Preposition "em":
    Designates the following circumstances:
    a) Time: Lisboa foi conquistada aos mouros por Afonso Henriques em 1147.
    b) Place of: Encontro-me em Paris.
    c) Mode: Pedir em segredo.
    d) End or purpose: Lutar sempre em defesa da pátria.
    e) Condition: Algodão em rama.
    f) Price: Aquela mobília foi avaliada em quinze mil escudos (escudos=Portuguese currency used before the Euro)
    g) Matter: Converter em cinza.

    If you have problems with understanding these examples let me know.
    Also, there is a slight difference between Brazilian Portuguese and Continental Portuguese.

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