Posted in English

A Próclise, A Mesóclise e a Ênclise e o Rock ‘n’ Roll

Próclise, Mesóclise and Ênclise are words used in grammar lessons to describe the position of the adverb relative to the verb. In Brasil, Próclise is far more common than either of the other two, but in Portugal it’s the exception rather than the rule, These notes are taken from a Ciberdúvidas post.

Próclise

The pronoun goes before the verb

  1. After certain common adverbs such as bem, mal, ainda, já, talvez, apenas, também, não, sempre, só (according to Wikipedia, “Hoje” is a pronoun that fits this bill too, believe it or not!)
    • Sempre o vejo
    • Ainda me rio quando penso nisso.
    • Hoje me convidarão para a solenidade de posse da nova directoria
  2. After indefinite subjects such as “ambos” or “alguns”
    • Ambos o odeiam
  3. In subordinate clauses
    • Quando a ouvi, não acreditei
  4. In coordinate clauses – basically where you’ve referred to a thing in a sentence already, then you use a conjunction like “and”, “but” or “or” to join to another clause where you refer to it again
    • Ou tens o bolo ou o comes.
  5. Where the subject of the verb goes after the verb it wold be crowded to have the object pronoun there too
    • Isso te digo eu

Mesóclise

The pronoun goes inside the verb like an insane pronoun sandwich, which seems… peculiar…. until you realise that it was originally because the future and conditional tenses were made up of the infinitive and a form of “havere” the version of latin that eventually became the portuguese language. Actually, it’s still peculiar, but knowing the reason behind it is some consolation, I suppose.

  1. Future tense [where none of the próclise conditions apply]
    • Contar-lhe-ia uma história
    • Comê-lo-ei
    • BUT Quando sairmos do UE, não o arrependerá?
  2. Conditional tense
    • Dar-lhe-ia
    • BUT Se encontrasse Boris Johnson, nao lhe falaria

 

Ênclise

The pronoun goes after the verb

  1. Basically
  2. All
  3. Other
  4. Times
Posted in English, Portuguese

Já and Ainda

Another one I get wrong from time to time: Vamos a isso!

Translating from this question on Ciberdúvidas: Somos três alunos estrangeiros a estudar na Univ. do Minho. A pergunta é: qual a diferença na utilização de já e de ainda?

1. “Já” “ainda” are adverbs. I usually think of já as meaning “already” and “ainda” as “still”, but já has quite a few other meanings to do with immediacy, so it can be translated as “still” or “now” in some contexts.

a) When a question contains the word “já” and you want to reply in the affirmative, you always use “já” in the reply. If you want to reply in the negative, use “ainda não”.

“Já leste este romance?” (Have you read this book already?)

  • “Sim, já o li.” (“Yes, I’ve already read it”)
  • “Já, sim.”
  • “Já.”
  • “Não, ainda não o li.” (“No, I still haven’t read it”)
  • “Não, ainda não.”
  • “Ainda não.”

b) Likewise, a question that contains “ainda” is answered with “ainda” if it’s positive or “já não” if not
“Ainda vais sair?” (Are you still going to go out?)

  • “Sim, ainda vou.” (Yes, I’m still going to”)
  • “Sim, vou.”
  • “Não, já não vou.” (No, I’m not going any more)
  • “Não, já não.”
  • “Já não.”

2. In plain speech, “ainda” can have the following meanings
a) up to the current time (english: “still”)
“Ele ainda não voltou.”
“Este velho carro ainda participa em corridas.”

b) up to that time (english: “still” again but about something in the past)
“Quando o filho nasceu, ele ainda morava em Lisboa.”

c) One day in the future
“Tu ainda hás-de ser muito feliz.”

d) Precisely, exactly
“Ainda ontem o vi.”

e) Also, furthermore (cf “ainda por cima”)
“Fui jantar, comi muito bem e ainda me diverti com a conversa do Miguel.”

f) Finally
“Tenho de arrumar a casa, ir às compras e, ainda, fazer o jantar.”

g) At least (surprised me but of course, we use “still” in this way in english too: “A meteior is about to strike the earth… still, mustn’t grumble, at least we won’t have to hear any more about Brexit”)
“Ainda se ele marcasse um golo, o dinheiro era bem gasto, mas assim…”

3. “Já” on the other hand, has the following meanings:

a) Now, at the moment
“O menino já sabe ler.”
“O pai já não tem paciência.”

b) Immediately, without delay
“Vou-me já embora.”
“Faz já isso!”

c) Before now, already
“Ele já tinha comido.”
“Eu já tinha visto este filme.”

d) Previously, before that time
“Eu já sabia que isso ia acontecer.”