The articles

Have you noticed that in Portuguese pretty much everything is masculine or feminine? So, when we speak Portuguese we really have to think if the table is feminine or the pencil is masculine. And the worst part is that, obviously there’s absolutely no logic behind the gender of things.  The only thing we can do is to learn each word and try to remember its gender. But this isn’t all you have to think about when you speak. You also have to think about which article goes with which word. Let’s see how this works:

  • When in English you have “the”, in Portuguese you may have one of four possibilities: “o”, “a”, “os”, “as”.


  • The male cat – O gato (O – masculine singular)
  • The female cat – A gata (A – feminine singular)
  • The male cats – Os gatos (Os – masculine plural)
  • The female cats – As gatas (As – feminine plural)
  • When in English you have “a” / “an” or “some”, in Portuguese you may have one of four possibilities “um”, “uma”, “uns”, “umas”.


  • A male cat – Um gato (Um – masculine singular)
  • A female cat – Uma gata (Uma – feminine singular)
  • Some male cats – Uns gatos (Uns – masculine plural)
  • Some female cats – Umas gatas (Umas – feminine plural)

And, what if we have a group of ten female cats and only one male cat? Should we use the masculine or the feminine? Well, as long as the group has at least one male member, the masculine plural article is used.


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