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Sarah Al
Portuguese - Seu and Sua - Also the use of Perfect and imperfect past tenses

Hi all

Two questions:


Seu and sua mean your, her, and his in both portugal portuguese and brazilian portuguese. Is that correct?


The usage of perfect past tense and imperfect past tense confuses me a lot. For example,

When to use: Eu estive muito feliz

and: Eu estava muito feliz

Is the usage of these two sentences correct?

Thanks in advance


Apr 15, 2019 7:23 PM
Comments · 12
Yes, you can use "seu/sua" for you/her/him. For example: "she left with her own car" (ela partiu com seu próprio carro). Which is your book? (Qual é o seu livro). "Is this your house? Yes, it is." (Esta é a sua casa? Sim, é". 
In Portuguese, "seu/sua" agrees with the object. For example, if you ask for a man with he has his own key, you'll say: "você está com a sua chave?" Because "sua" agrees with 'key' (famme word in Portuguese).
About the second question
Eu estive muito feliz (estive= perfect past)
Eu estava muito feliz (estava = imperfect past).
eu estive viajando (I've been traveling)
Eu estava viajando quando conheci meu namorado (I was traveling when I met my boyfriend). The second one has a complement. 

I hope it help you. 

April 16, 2019
3) Yes, you can also say in those ways with this correction:

Se voce me pedisses, eu dava para você -> Se você me pedisse, eu dava a você.

You had better avoid the expression "Eu dava para você" because is an idiomatic expression with another meaning...
In general, in spoken language "para" can replace "a".  In standard language, it has got a slightly different meaning: indicating who benefits and not the target of the action.
April 17, 2019
In Portuguese, we can practically omit any pronoun if you can deduce it by the context and it is not our focus. In English, you have more strict rules to be able to do that.

April 17, 2019

Se tu me pedisses, eu dava-te (dar-te-ia).

Pedisses-> Pretérito imperfeito do subjuntivo ->. subjunctive imperfect past
Dava-te -> Pretérito imperfeito -> Imperfect past (not perfect)
Dar-te-ia (Alternative) -> Condicional ou Futuro do Pretérito -> Conditional or Future of the past.

You may not use subjunctive after "se" if you are saying general rules or inquiring and not supposing.
April 17, 2019

"Seu/sua" means "his/her" or "of him/her", but also can be used in Brazil as "teu" (your/yours). BUT it also can be used in Brazil as "tua" (your/yours), actually most of time. Instead of "seu/sua", to refer to the 3rd person, we use "dele/dela". Exemple:

Roubaram seu carro > Roubaram o carro dele (Someone stole his car)
Teu filho é bonito > Seu filho é bonito (Your son is beautiful)


What we call as "pretérito perfeito" is not the same than "past perfect" in English. Ok?
So, BASICALLY, you will use "pretérito perfeito" to talk about one-off situations and "pretérito imperfeito" to talk about something that you USED TO DO in the past or something you did for a while, but you don't do that anymore, like old habits. Exemple:

Ontem eu fiz comida em casa. > verbo "fazer" conjugado no pretérito perfeito
Antigamente, eu fazia comida em casa todos os dias. > verbo "fazer" conjugado no pretérito imperfeito.

About being happy... If you were a happy person, like it was part of your personality, but something very strong like a depression made you become someone else, then you actually should use the verb "SER" in "pretérito imperfeito" meaning "happy is something that I used to be, but I'm not a happy person anymore". But if you mean you were happy for a while, talking about your MOOD not your personality, and for some reason you are not FEELING happy anymore, then you say "eu estava feliz... agora não estou mais" (pretérito imperfeito). If you say "eu estive feliz" (pretérito perfeito) it means you were happy in a very specific moment, which sounds weird... You would have to explain more about it. So it's not about being wrong or not, it's about what you mean. Got it?

And remember: verbo SER is about WHO are you, verbo ESTAR is about HOW are you.

Espero ter te ajudado!

April 17, 2019
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Sarah Al
Language Skills
Arabic, English, French, Portuguese
Learning Language