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SÓ, SOMENTE or APENAS? What is the difference?




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What is the difference between the words SÓ, SOMENTE and APENAS?


In short, there is no difference.


When used as adverbs, these three words are synonymous and have exactly the same meaning. But, pay attention! The word SÓ can also have other meanings.


SÓ, SOMENTE and APENAS - Meaning “only/just” or “exclusively":


For example:

  • Hoje eu bebi apenas uma xícara de café. (Today I had only one cup of coffee.)

  • Hoje eu bebi somente uma xícara de café. (Today I had only one cup of coffee.)

  • Hoje eu bebi uma xícara de café. (Today I had only one cup of coffee.)


Another example:

  • Eu visitei a vizinha apenas para dar oi e fiquei apenas cinco minutos. (I visited the neighbor just to say hi and stayed only five minutes.)

  • Eu visitei a vizinha somente para dar oi e fiquei somente cinco minutos. (I visited the neighbor just to say hi and stayed only five minutes.)

  • Eu visitei a vizinha para dar boas-vindas e fiquei cinco minutos. (I visited the neighbor just to say hi and stayed only five minutes.)


The word "SÓ" - Other Meanings:


The word SÓ can also be used as an adjective. In this case, it is synonymous with “sozinho/sozinha”, which means to be without company or lonely.


For example:

  • Eu estou só em casa. ( I'm home alone.)

  • Eu estou sozinha em casa. (I'm home alone.)

  • Pedro está se sentindo só. (Pedro is feeling lonely.)

  • Pedro se sente sozinho. (Pedro is feeling lonely.)

  • Ana e Vitória viajaram sós. (Ana and Vitória traveled alone.)

  • Ana e Vitória viajaram sozinhas. (Ana and Vitória traveled alone.)


The word "SÓ" - Double Meanings:


For example:

Ana viajou para o Brasil. (Ana traveled only/alone to Brazil.)


The two different meanings in this sentence:

  1. Ana traveled only to Brazil and nowhere else

  2. Ana traveled alone.

You can usually tell the meaning from the context, but if you want to make the meaning clear, you can use the words SOMENTE (only) or SOZINHA (alone) instead of SÓ.


SÓ, SOMENTE and APENAS - Different places, different meanings:


For example:

  • As crianças irão ao colégio amanhã. (apenas ao colégio, somente ao colégio). The children will only go to school tomorrow. (only to school)

  • As crianças irão ao colégio amanhã. (apenas amanhã, somente amanhã). The children will go to school only tomorrow. (only tomorrow)


That's it, everybody!


Now it's homework time! Leave a comment below using one of the words you learned in this lesson.


Your teacher,


Virginia.

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