Posted in English

Grammar Police

I spotted this on twitter and was pleased to find that I understood what he was annoyed about

The headline writer has got in a mix-up between two tenses. He could have gone with the imperative “habituemo-nos” (let’s get used to wearing masks) or made a pronoun sandwich with the future tense “habituar-nos-emos” (we will get used to wearing masks) but he’s instead tried to put the pronoun in the end of the future tense and people are riled up.

Regular readers and grammar nerds might remember the terms for these positions. When the pronoun goes on the end of the verb it’s caller “ênclise” and when it goes in the middle, its called “mesóclise”. The missing third term is próclise, where the pronoun goes before the noun. The rules are set out here if you want some good, solid grammar broccoli for the day.

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.


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


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



The pronoun goes after the verb

  1. Basically
  2. All
  3. Other
  4. Times