Beginning 35: Where Are My Keys?

MP3 Audio (Lesson) | MP3 Audio (Dialog)

If most of us had a dime for every time we misplace our keys, we would all be able to finance our next trip to Brazil. And yet, misplacing keys and being to ask about them in Portuguese are two different things. By the end of this lesson, you will at least know how to ask about them, even if you still have a habit of losing them.

Lesson audio

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Dialog audio

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 A: Cadê as chaves?
Where are my keys?
  B: Na estante, lá em baixo daqueles livros.
One the bookshelf, underneath those books.
  A: E a carteira, não tô vendo ela?
And my wallet, I can’t see it.
  B: Você deixou em cima da mesa na cozinha.
You left it on top of the kitchen table.


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  1. Jessica

    What’s the difference between “na” and “em”? How to use them ?

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Ah yes, those pesky contractions: no, na, nos, nas. Na is a contraction for “in the”: em + a = na. We see this in na casa = in the house, na cozinha = in the kitchen. Notice similarly with masculine word: em + o = no, as in no livro = in the book, no carro = in the car. And we see the same pattern with plural nouns em + os = nos, em + as = nas: nas casas – in the houses, nas cozinhas – in the kitchens, nos livros – in the books, nos carros – in the cars.

  2. Samantha Zhang

    Oi professor Orlando, tenho duas perguntas…

    1. “E a carteira, não tô vendo ela?” In the audio I did not hear ela. Does that mean it can be omitted in this context?

    2. “Você deixou em cima da mesa na cozinha.” Is the word ela omitted between deixou and em?


    1. Orlando Kelm

      It’s always fun to hear Brazilians when they talk in English. They say things like “I like.” or “I buy.” The word “it” just drops out because it is optional in Portuguese.

  3. Shengyu Wang

    I have a question about the sentence. “E a carteira, não tô vendo ela?”

    I understand that “tô” is short for estou, but why is it spelled with a hat, instead of “tou”? Is this a common spelling used in the written language? Thanks! I really enjoyed all the podcasts.

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Hi Shengyu, nice question, and super relevant. OK, the hat shaped accent mark (ô) is used in Portuguese to indicate a closed sound: avô, vovô. The ô sound is very similar to other words that are spelled with “ou” (estou, sou, vou). It is for this reason that in slang and informal speech, we frequently see “estou” shortened to “tou” or “tô”. Excellent observation Shengyu.