How To Write A Letter In Portuguese – Portuguese orthography is based on the Latin alphabet and uses the acute acct, the circumflex acct, the grave acct, the tilde and the cedilla to denote stress, vowel height, nasalization and other sound changes. The diaeresis was abolished by the last Orthographic Agreement. Treated letters and digraphs are not counted as separate characters for collection purposes.
The spelling of Portuguese is largely phonemic, but some phonemes can be spelled in more than one way. In ambiguous cases, the correct spelling is determined by a combination of etymology with morphology and tradition; so there is not a perfect one-to-one correspondence between sounds and letters or digraphs. Knowing the main inflectional paradigms of Portuguese and being familiar with the orthography of other Western European languages can be helpful.
How To Write A Letter In Portuguese
A complete list of sounds, diphthongs and their main spellings is given at Portuguese Phonology. This article addresses the less trivial details of spelling Portuguese as well as other issues of orthography, such as actuation.
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This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.
Only the most frequent sounds appear below as a list of all cases and exceptions would become cumbersome. Portuguese is a plurictic language, and the pronunciation of some of the letters varies. Apart from those variations, the pronunciation of most consonants is quite simple. Only the consonants r, s, x, z, the digraphs ch, lh, nh, rr and the vowels may require special attention from English speakers.
Although many letters have more than one pronunciation, their phonetic value is often predictable from their position within a word; this is usually the case for the consonants (except x). Since only five letters are available to write the fourteen vowel sounds of Portuguese, vowels have a more complex orthography, but ev th, pronunciation is somewhat predictable. Knowing the main inflectional paradigms of Portuguese can help.
In the following table and in the rest of this article, the phrase “at the d of a syllable” can be understood as “before a consonant, or at the d of a word”. For the letter r, “at the beginning of a syllable (not between vowels)” means “at the beginning of a word or after l, n, s, or a prefix thing in a consonant”. For letters with more than one common pronunciation, their most common phonetic values are given to the left of the semicolon; sounds after that occur only in a limited number of positions within a word. Sounds separated by “~” are allophones or dialectal variants.
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List to the alphabet recited by a native speaker from Brazil. The alphabet is spoken in a Brazilian dialect in which ‘e’ is pronounced /ɛ/
List to the alphabet recited by a native speaker from Portugal. The alphabet is spoken in a European dialect in which ‘g’ is pronounced /ɡe/, ‘r’ is pronounced /ˈɛʁɨ/, ‘w’ is pronounced /ˈdɐbliu/ and ‘y’ is pronounced /ˈipsɨlɔn/
Portuguese uses digraphs, pairs of letters that represent a single sound, different from the sum of their compounds. Digraphs are not included in the alphabet.
The digraphs qu and gu, before e and i, can reproduce both regular or labialized sounds (quebra /ˈkebɾɐ/, cinquta /sĩˈkʷẽtɐ/, guerra /ˈɡɛʁɐ/, sagui /saˈɡʷi/), but they are always before a and obialized quase, quote, guaraná). The trema used to indicate explicitly labialized sounds before e and i (quebra vs. cinqüta), but since its elimination, such words have to be memorized. Pronunciation difference means that some of these words can be spelled differently (quatorze / catorze and quotidiano / cotidiano).
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The digraph ch is pronounced as a glish sh by the overwhelming majority of speakers. The digraphs lh and nh, of Occitan origin, indicate palatal consonants that do not exist in Glish. The digraphs rr and ss are only used between vowels. The pronunciation of the digraph rr varies with dialect (see the note on the phoneme /ʁ/, above
Portuguese uses five diacritics: the cedilla (ç), acute acct (á, é, í, ó, ú), circumflex acct (â, ê, ô), tilde (ã, õ), and grave acct ( à, rarely ò, formerly also è, ì and ù).
The cedilla indicates that ç /s/ is pronounced (from a historical palatalization). According to belief, s is written instead of etymological ç at the beginning of words, as in “São”, the hypocoristic form of the feminine name “Conceição”.
The acute acct and the circumflex acct indicate that a vowel is stressed and the quality of the accented vowel and, more precisely, its height: á, é, and ó are low vowels (except in nasal vowels); â, ê and ô are high vowels. They also distinguish some homographs: por “through” with pôr “to put”, pode “[he/she/it] can” with pôde “[he/she/it] could”.
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The tilde marks nasal vowels before glides as in cêbra and nação, at the d of words, before final -s, and in some compounds: romãzeira “pomegranate tree”, from romã “pomegranate”, and vãmte “in vain”, from vã “in vain “. It usually coincides with the stressed vowel, unless there is an acute or circumflex acct elsewhere in the word or if the word is compound: orgão “organ”, irmã + -zinha (“sister” + diminutive suffix) = irmãzinha “small sister”. The form õ is only used in the plural of nouns thing in -ão (nação → nações) and in the second person singular and third person forms of the verb pôr in the perst tse (pões, põe, põem).
The grave bag indicates the contraction of two consecutive vowels in adjectives (crasis), usually the preposition a and an article or a demonstrative pronoun: a + aquela = àquela “at that”, a + a = à “at the”. It can also be used to indicate time: “às 4 horas” = “at 4 o’clock”. This does not indicate stress.
Sometimes à and ò are used in other contraction forms, e.g.: cò(s) and cà(s) (from the comparative conjunction ‘as’ and definite articles o and a).
(Although these examples are rare and are sometimes called non-standard or dialectal, as well as co(s) and coa/ca(s) from ‘with’ + definite articles). Other examples of its use are: prà, pràs (from para+a/as) and prò, pròs (from para+o/os).
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According to the orthographic rules of 1990 (adopted only in Portugal, Brazil and Cape Verde in 2009), these forms must be spelled without the grave law.
Some grammarians also used to call unstressed [ɛ] and [ɔ] as è and ò respectively. This actuation is not provided by the current orthographic standards.
Until the spelling reforms of 1971 (Brazil) and 1973 (Portugal), the grave account was also used to record accounts in words with so-called irregular stress after some changes. For example, in adverbs formed with -mte affix, as well as in some other cases of indicating slightly modified or still unaffected vowels (mostly due to affixal word formation), all the vowels can take the grave sign, e.g.: provàvelmte, gèricamte , analìticamte, pròpriamte, ùnicamte. The main pattern is to change the acute acct sign, if it appears graphically in any part of the word before the attachment to the grave one, eg: in ultimate syllable: notável › notàvelmte; in final syllable: jacaré › jacarèzinho, and so on. The circumflex acct marker has not changed: simultâneo/a › simultâneamte.
The graphemes â, ê, ô and é typically represent oral vowels, but before m or n followed by another consonant (or word final -m in the case of ê and é), the repeated vowels are nasal. Elsewhere, nasal vowels are indicated with a tilde (ã, õ).
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The letters with diaeresis are practically out of use these days. Until 2009, they were still used in Brazilian Portuguese in the combinations güe/qüe and güi/qüi (European Portuguese used the grave count in this case between 1911 and 1945, which was abolished). In old orthography they were also used as in Glish, French and Dutch to separate diphthongs (e.g.: Raïnha, Luïsa,
Saüde and so on). The other way to separate diphthongs and non-hiatic vowel combinations is to use acute (as in modern saúde) or circumflex (as in old-style Corôa).
Below are the general rules for using the acute acct and the circumflex in Portuguese. Primary stress can fall on any of the three last syllables of a word. A word is called oxytone if it is stressed on its last syllable, paroxytone if stress falls on the syllable before the last (the pult), and proparoxytone if stress falls on the third syllable of the d (the antepult). Most multisyllabic words are stressed on the lectern.
All words emphasized on the antepult take a tick. Words with two or more syllables, stressed on their last syllable, are not processed if they have anything other than -a(s), -e(s), -o(s), -am, -em, -s; except to indicate hiatus as in açaí. With these things, paroxytonic words must be adapted to distinguish them from oxytonic words, as in amável, lápis, organo.
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Monosyllables are typically not modified, but those whose final vowel is a, e, or o, possibly followed by final -s, -m, or -ns, may require an account sign.
Actuation rules of Portuguese are somewhat different with regard to syllable than
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