How to use the word QUE
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Do you know how to use the word QUE in Portuguese? It's time to learn!
1. The word QUE can be used as a conjunction
What is that? A conjunction is a word that is used to join two sentences together. This is the most common use of the word QUE.
We use this word to indicate many different things, such as consequence, reason, explanation, comparison, among other things.
A) TO INDICATE A CONSEQUENCE:
As notas dos alunos foram tão boas que o professor ficou admirado. (The students' grades were so good that the teacher was amazed.)
B) TO INDICATE A REASON - CAN BE REPLACED BY THE WORD “PORQUE" (BECAUSE):
Não me ligue agora que/porque estou ocupada. (Don't call me now because I'm busy.)
C) TO INDICATE A COMPARISON:
Pedro é muito mais alto que João. (Peter is much taller than John.)
D) TO CONNECT A SENTENCE IN THE INDICATIVE MOOD WITH A SENTENCE IN THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD:
Ana queria que sua amiga viesse visitá-la. (Ana wanted her friend to come visit her.)
2. The word QUE can be used as a relative pronoun
What does that mean? It means that we use the word QUE to refer to a term that has already been mentioned in the sentence.
In this case, the word QUE could be replaced by O QUAL/A QUAL/OS QUAIS/AS QUAIS. However, the use of the word QUE is much more common in colloquial language.
O filme que assistimos ontem foi excelente.(The movie we watched yesterday was excellent.) - informal
O filme a que assistimos ontem foi excelente.(The movie we watched yesterday was excellent.) - a little formal
O filme ao qual assistimos ontem foi excelente. (formal)(The movie we watched yesterday was excellent.) - formal
Estes são os livros que eu mais gosto. (These are my favorite books.) - informal
Estes são os livros de que eu mais gosto.These are my favorite books.) - a little formal
Estes são os livros dos quais mais gosto. (These are my favorite books.) - formal
Ela ainda mora na cidade que nasceu. (She still lives in the city she was born in.) - informal
Ela ainda mora na cidade em que nasceu. (She still lives in the city where she was born.) - a little formal
Ela ainda mora na cidade na qual nasceu. (She still lives in the city in which she was born.) - formal
3. The word QUE can be used as a noun
This usage is not very common, but it does exist.
The noun QUÊ (with a circumflex accent) means something or anything. In this case, the word QUÊ is almost always used with the indefinite article UM, followed by the preposition DE: UM QUÊ DE.
Aquele homem tem um quê de misterioso. (That man has something mysterious about him.)
Minhas sobrinhas têm um quê de princesas. (My nieces have a touch of princesses.)
4. The word QUE can be used as an expletive particle
An expletive particle is a totally expendable term and has no meaning. In this case, the word QUE is completely optional and can be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning:
O que é que você disse? (What did you say?)
O que você disse? (What did you say?)
Há muito tempo que não nos vemos. (We haven't seen each other in a long time.)
Há muito tempo não nos vemos. (We haven't seen each other in a long time.)
5. The word QUE can be used as an interjection
In this case, the word QUE is used to express some kind of emotion, such as admiration, surprise or joy:
Que lindo!(That’s beautiful!)
Que horror! Não diga isso!(That’s horrible! Don’t say that!)
Quê!??? Ele não vem!? Como assim!(What??? He’s not coming!? How come?)
That's it, everybody!
Até a próxima!
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