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  • Writer's pictureVirginia Langhammer


Updated: Feb 6

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Do you know how to use the words TODO (every/all) and CADA (each)?

In general, the word TODO is used to generalize. It means ANY. On the other hand, the word CADA is used to indicate a difference or a particularity. For example:

Todo dia, eu estudo português. (Every day, I study Portuguese.)

When I say that “todo dia, eu estudo português" (every day, I study Portuguese), I mean that any day I study Portuguese. I’m generalizing. Every day, I do this same thing. I study Portuguese every day.

I can't say, “cada dia, eu estudo português" (each day, I study Portuguese).” This sentence, in Brazil, sounds a little strange. We wouldn’t use the word CADA (each) in this context. If you want to say that you do the same thing every day, you should use the phrase "todo dia" or "todos os dias" (both mean "every day"). Let's look at another example:

Eu estudo todos os dias e, cada dia, eu estudo um assunto diferente. (I study every day and, each day, I study a different topic.)

When I say that "cada dia, eu estudo um assunto diferente" (each day, I study a different topic), I’m indicating that one day is different from the other.

So, remember: if you want to say that you do something every day, any day, Monday to Sunday, you must use the phrase "todo dia" or "todos os dias." Don’t say "cada dia" (each day). The same goes for talking about what you do every week, every month, or every year.

TODO = Every / All / Any

The word TODO is variable, that is, it can vary in gender and number. This word can be used in at least 4 different contexts:

1. The adjective TODO means “all of” or entire.

For example:

- Maria limpou toda a casa. (Maria cleaned the entire house.)

- Todos os amigos dela estavam na festa. (All her friends were at the party.)

2. The adverb TODO means completely or entirely.

For example:

- Maria acordou toda feliz hoje. (Maria woke up all happy today.)

- João saiu do trabalho todo animado. (João left the job all excited.)

3. The noun TODO means “all of something”.

For example:

- Precisamos pensar no problema como um todo. (We need to think about the problem as a whole.)

4. The indefinite pronoun TODO means anything, anyone. It’s used to generalize.

For example:

- Todo mundo gosta de música brasileira. (Everyone likes Brazilian music.)

- Todo brasileiro gosta de feijoada. (Every Brazilian likes feijoada.)

CADA = each

The word CADA is invariable, that is, there are no feminine, masculine, or plural forms. This word can also be used in many different contexts. Let's see a list of the most common uses:

1. CADA UM (each one) means any person, anything, or each person, each thing individually.

For example:

- Eu guardei os livros, cada um em seu lugar. (I stored the books, each one in its place.)

- Eu pedi uma pizza para cada um dos convidados. (I ordered one pizza for each one of the guests.)

- Quando saímos da festa, cada um foi para sua casa. (When we left the party, each one went to their own home.)

2. CADA VEZ (each time/ one at a time) means always, at all times, or it indicates a progression.

For example:

- As pessoas usam cada vez menos dinheiro e mais cartão de crédito. (People use less and less money and more credit cards.)

- Podem entrar, um de cada vez. (You can come in, one at a time.)

3. CADA DIA (each day) indicates that one day is different from the other or a progression.

For example:

- Cada dia, Maria usa um vestido diferente. (Each day, Maria wears a different dress.)

- Cada dia que passa, eu fico mais velha. (Each day that passes, I get older.)

4. We also use the expression CADA to indicate something out of the ordinary.

For example:

- Ela me disse cada coisa! (She told me such crazy things!)

- Em minha última viagem, eu vi cada lugar lindo! (On my last trip, I saw such beautiful places!)

So, to summarize: if you want to say, "every day", "everyone", "everything", in general, use the word TODO and its variations. Use the word CADA to talk about a particular element in a group or in the sentences CADA UM (each one) and CADA VEZ (each time, one at a time).

That's it, everybody! I hope this lesson has helped you to understand a little better how to use the words TODO and CADA.

Até a próxima!

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