How to Sound More Brazilian – Part 2

In this post you’ll learn one thing that Brazilians often add to Portuguese questions that will make you sound more natural and fluent.

You might have noticed already that Brazilians often add é que after the question word in Portuguese questions.

 

Let’s review some common question words:

O que…? (what…?)

O que você vai fazer hoje? / What are you going to do today?

Como…? (How…?)

Como você está? / How are you?

Quando…? (When…?)

Quando você vai visitar o Brasil? / When are you going to Brazil?

Onde…? (Where…?) 

Onde você mora? / Where do you live?

The examples that you can see here above are perfectly fine the way they are, but it’s extremely common for Brazilians to insert é que in Portuguese questions. It doesn’t change the meaning of the question, and it’s used in colloquial speech, not so much in writing.  A literal translation of  é que is is it that. So, for example, in English, in this question

What are you going to do today? it would be something like What is it that you’re going to do today?. Yes, it sounds a bit strange in English but in Portuguese questions, adding adding é que happens a lot.

You don’t have to use it, but it’s important to be aware of it because you will hear Brazilians adding é que after question words in Portuguese questions.

But, of course, if you want to impress your Brazilian friends by sounding more Brazilian, you can start making a conscious effort to add it to your questions.

Before we practice these questions with é que, let’s adjust a few things first in these examples. We saw in last week’s video that Brazilians often shorten the word você to , and that the verb estar, when conjugated is often shortened as well, losing the first syllable.

O que…? (what…?)

O que você vai fazer hoje? / What are you going to do today?

O que vai fazer hoje?

Como…? (How…?)

Como você está? / How are you?

Como está?

Quando…? (When…?)

Quando você vai ao Brasil? / When are you going to Brazil?

Quando vai visitar o Brasil?

Onde…? (Where…?) 

Onde você mora? / Where do you live?

Onde mora?

Let’s also look at the pronunciation of é que.

You need to do a very open [eh] sound for the é (it’s indicated by the accent), and then que is pronounced [ki].

Right, now let’s practice the pronunciation in these Portuguese questions with the inserted é que after the question word:

O que é que vai fazer hoje? / What are you going to do today?

Como é que cê está? / How are you?

Quando é que cê vai visitar o Brasil? / When are you going to Brazil?

Onde é que mora? / Where do you live?

Let me know in the comments: were you aware of the use of é que after question words in Portuguese questions? Is it something you sometimes use when speaking Brazilian Portuguese? If you weren’t aware of it before, do you intent to start using it? 

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