Beginning 44: Here kitty, kitty, kitty

MP3 Audio (Lesson) | MP3 Audio (Dialog)

We know that people love their pets, and we love ours too. But really, if the only thing that people like about you more than their pet is that you don’t shed hair all over, well that’s not much of a complement. Still, it sounds better in Portuguese.

Lesson audio

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Dialog audio

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 A: Miau, miau, miau, miau.
Here kitty kitty, here kitty kitty.
  B: Sinceramente Marilene, você ama aquele gato mais do que eu.
I swear Marilene, you love that cat more than me.
  A: Não é verdade querido. Você não solta pelo e nem tosse bolas de pelo.
Not true dear. You don’t shed hair and don’t cough up fur balls.
  B: Obrigado querida, isso me faz sentir bem melhor
Thanks sweetie, that makes me feel much better.


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  1. DaveZ

    If this works, can I ask why “bolas de pelo” doesn’t agree in number?

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Hi DaveZ, Good question. To answer it, consider the following: “bolas negras” (black balls), “pelo negro” (black hair). Notice that the adjective ‘black’ has to agree in number and gender with the noun it modifies (“negras, negro”). Now consider these two phrases: “livro de meninos” (the boys’ book), “livro de meninas” (the girls’ book). Notice that the preposition “de” is followed by a noun (“menino, menina”).
      So, why doesn’t “bolas de pelo” agree in number? Because we have two nouns (“bolas” and “pelo”) and no adjective. As a further example, I could say something like, “bola de Maria” (Maria’s ball), “bola dos homens” (The men’s ball), “bola do amigo” (The friend’s ball). With the preposition “de” and a noun, agreement is not an issue. Does that help?

      1. DaveZ

        You have no idea. Thank you so much. Love this podcast

  2. Klaus

    Hi Orlando,

    I’ve got a question about the sentence “Você ama aquele gato mais do que eu.”

    When I first heard it, I thought it meant “you love that cat more than I do”. How do I know that the “eu” means “me” in this example?

    1. Klaus

      I talked to some Brazilians, they gave me some more versions of that sentence:

      “Você ama aquela gata mais que a mim”, which means, if I remember correctly, “you love the cat more than (you love) me”

      Same meaning for: “Você ama aquela gata mais do que me ama” (this one is easy for me to understand)

      While your original “Você ama aquela gata mais do que eu” can mean both
      “…more than (you love) me”
      “….more than I do”

      It would be fantastic, if you could elaborate on the grammar behind that a little bit. I’m not a complete beginner anymore, but found that quite challenging.
      Furthermore, why is it “…mais que a mim” rather than “…mais do que a mim”?


      1. Orlando Kelm

        You made my answering the question much easier, thanks Klaus.
        Quick recap of why these sentences are ambiguous. Take a phrase like Você me chama. Notice that we can think of “me” as either a direct object (You call who? You call me) or you can think of it as an indirect object (You are calling to whom? You are calling to me). Either are fine and to be honest, no native speaker is actually aware of this. In the phrase above that has “a mim” it simply one of those where things switch to an indirect object.

        As to comparisons with mais do que vs. mais que, I usually start with “mais do que” whenever I am talking in Portuguese and I use “más que” when I am talking in Spanish. However, I realize that many times Brazilians go simply with “mais que” and they drop the “do”. There is no actual difference in meaning, but the “mais do que” is more the default mode.

    2. Orlando Kelm

      Hey Klaus, sorry for the slow response, I’ve been traveling. As to your question, truth told, the sentence is ambiguous and could technically mean both.