Preposition + country

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by FloMar, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. FloMar Senior Member

    English - England
    I'd like to know whether in Brazilian Portuguese you say: em Cabo Verde or no Cabo Verde and the same with Guine-Bissau, Mozambique etc. I know that in the former colonies excluding Brazil, European Portuguese refers to these former colonies use em alone rather than em + definite article
  2. guihenning

    guihenning Senior Member

    Zurique, Helvécia
    Português do Brasil
    Em Cabo Verde
    Em Moçambique
    em/na Guiné Bissau (that depends on the speaker. I guess the 'norm' is to exclude the article).
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
  3. Carfer

    Carfer Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Portuguese - Portugal
    In European Portuguese the definite article is omitted from the names of all of the former Portuguese colonies except... Guiné-Bissau that is always 'a Guiné-Bissau' and 'Índia' which is always 'a Índia'. I wouldn't dare put forward a rule for the use of definite articles with country names because it would be full of exceptions, but the explanation for the case o 'Guiné-Bissau' might be this: colonies, Portuguese or otherwise, that have the name or were part of large regions that preexisted and were known to the Portuguese before they became formally states or colonies or with which the Portuguese were already having trade, like 'a Guiné', 'a Índia', 'a China', 'a Costa do Marfim', 'a Costa da Mina', ' o Congo', 'a América', 'o Brasil', 'a Etiópia/Abissínia' all have definite articles in their names. That is the case of all the 'Guiné' named African countries. 'Angola' and 'Mozambique' don't but then Angola was part of the Congo kingdom and Mozambique was specifically the name of the island, the name as applied to that part of the African mainland being quite recent. Besides, both countries were for the most part of the centuries-long Portuguese rule mere outposts for the slave trade to Brazil (especially Angola).
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
  4. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil

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