Learn Brazilian

14 Aug


By Diego


Lit. friend of the jaguar.

  • A supposedly good friend, but actually one who is false and hypocritical.

Que amigo-da-onça que você é!

A fine friend you are!

Amigo-da-oncaHyphenated, compound nouns like amigo-da-onça sometimes form the plural by putting the first word only in the plural. So…

Amigo-da-onça – plural – amigos-da-onça.

Pai-de-santo – Lit. father of saind – or mãe-de-santo – Lit. mother of saint – male and female high priests in Umbanda and Candomblé religions

Plural: pais-de-santo and mãe-de-santo.

The basic rules for the plurals of compound nouns are as follows:

  • Only the first word takes a plural when there is a preposition between the words. For example:
    Pé-de-moleque – Lit. young boy’s foot  – peanut brittle candy.
    Plural: pés-de-moleque – peanut brittle candies.
  • Both words take a plural form when the separete parts are different and can stand alone. For example:
    Segunda-feira – Monday
    Plural: segundas-feiras – Mondays.
  • Only the last word takes a plural form in the following two cases:
    1. When the first word is a verb. For example:
      Beija-flor – hummingbird
      Plural: beija-flores – hummingbirds.
    2. When the first word cannot be changed or when it is a prefix. For example:
      Abaixo-assinado – signed petition
      Plural: abaixo-assinados – signed petitions
      Ex-govrenador – ex-governor
      Plural: ex-governadores – ex-govrenors.

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