Lesson nº26 – O que é isto? (What’s this?)

Portuguese lesson nº 26 on Tomorrow Algarve Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TomorrowAlgarve?fref=ts

O que é isto? 

In this lesson we’re going to learn the meaning of the words “Isto” and “Este”. In English both mean “This”, so when do we use “Isto” and when do we use “Este”?

Remember that “Este” can become “Esta”, “Estes” and “Estas” depending on the gender of the following word, if it’s is a noun, or if in a specific context we want to refer to a known object. Confused? Let’s have a look at some examples:

• This room is small. – Este quarto é pequeno.
(masc., sing.)
• This kitchen is small. – Esta cozinha é pequena.
(fem., sing.)
• These rooms are small. – Estes quartos são
pequenos. (masc. plural)
• These kitchens are small. – Estas cozinhas são
pequenas. (fem., plural)

Now imagine you have two shirts, a blue one and a red one. Pointing to the red one, you ask a friend: Do you prefer this one? – Preferes esta? (it’s implicit you’re referring to the word “shirt”/”camisa”, but don’t actually use the word). So, in this case, “este/a” means “this one”.

But when you use “Isto” you need a context because you won’t mention the name of the thing you’re talking about. You can, for instance point to what you want to say or hold it in your hands. Imagine you want to ask your friend if a pen you’ve just found belongs to him.

• Is this yours? (There is no need to use the word “pen”, because you’re probably holding it)

In Portuguese this is:

Isto é teu (or “seu” – formal)?

Or when you ask, ” What’s this?” in Portuguese is “O que é isto?”

Let’s practise!

Complete with Isto / Este / Esta / Estes / Estas:


a) Quero ____________________ bolos.
b) Quero ____________________.
c) Queres ____________________ sopa?
d) Queres ____________________?
e) ____________________ revistas são minhas.
f) ____________________ é do teu pai?

Check your answers next lesson.

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