Beginning 04: Where Are The Kid’s Clothes?

MP3 Audio (Lesson) | MP3 Audio (Dialog)

Modern shopping malls in Brazil are called, shopping. Be careful however, because it is easy to get lost in the maze of floors and corridors. In today’s lesson, learn how to follow the instructions to get to the children’s clothing section on the fourth floor.

Lesson audio

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Dialog audio

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 A: Com licença, onde ficam as roupas de criança?
Excuse me, where are children’s clothes?
  B: No quarto andar.
On the fourth floor.
  A: E como que eu chego até lá?
And how do I get there?
  B: O elevador está ali, ô.
The elevator is right over there.


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  1. Bret Kauffmann

    Oi Orlando e Andrea!

    Just one question about this dialogue – shouldn’t it be: “O elevador é ali”?

    I’m confused about why you used está in this sentence since the elevator as being a part of the building is a fixed thing that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
    So if you wanted to you could also use ‘fica’ here once again indicating a fixed location.

    I also want to say thanks so much for starting Lingadagente!
    I’ve used some of the other lesson-tools (i.e.: Ta Falado, etc.) that you’ve produced in the past but the production value and UX on is superior to those. Presumably because those were produced some time ago. But this one is so helpful.

    As someone who’s right on the cusp of becoming an advanced speaker (and hopefully fluent) Línguadagente is proving to be a an invaluable resource.
    I’m looking forward to more intermediate lessons!

    Thank you both again!


    Bret Kauffmann

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Hi Bret,
      Super question… You are correct, the general rule is that “estar” is used for the location of people and things and “ser” is used for the location of immovable objects: María está na escola, O banco é na esquina. It is also true that every time “ser” is used for the location of immovable objects, the verb “ficar” can be substituted as well: O banco fica na esquina.

      Given that rule, your question is why we didn’t say, “O elevador é alí.”?

      And the answer is that rather than think of this as a hard and fast rule, think of this as a “rule of thumb” That is, there is a tendency to use “ser” with immovable objects, but in these instances ser, estar, and ficar can all be used. As language learners we like our rules to be hard and fast, and 100% applicable, when in reality often times rules of thumb just give us general tendencies. If I were to think of an English language equivalent, perhaps it would be the dual pronunciation of the word “either.” There is really no one correct way to pronounce it. The same with “é ali” and “está ali”.

      Hope that helps,

  2. Anon

    My brazilian friend was horrified when he heard me saying “ali, ô”. He said “ô” is more than a colloquial emphasis, he basically said it’s only used by poor people. Is this true?

    1. Orlando Kelm

      I agree that it is for colloquial emphasis, and more common in casual speech. However, I believe you will find that everyone says it quite a bit, and I wouldn’t limit it to “poor people” My recommendation would be to not use it in more formal settings, but in everyday hanging out, no problem.

  3. H.O.KING

    Hi Orlando,

    I have 2 questions about this dialog:

    1. Are “E como eu chego até lá?” and “E como que eu chego até lá?” exactly interchangeable in meaning when speaking colloquially ?

    2. In a formal situation this should be “E como que chege até lá?” i.e. the present subjunctive would be triggered ?

    Thanks, fabulous podcast !

    Thanks !

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Excellent questions.
      1. Que and é que. In everyday speech, Brazilians almost always add the “é que” to their sentences. So, instead of just “como ele fala?” Brazilians say, “como é que ele fala” Instead of “como ele come?” Brazilians say, “como é que ele come?” Instead of “o que ele quer?” they say “o que é que ele quer?” This is more common in oral speech, and speech that is less formal. Sometimes the “é que” gets reduced to just “que”, and in fact Brazilians make a long string of “que que que que” and I love that sound, “que que que que quer? All this to say, “e como eu chego até lá” or “e como é que eu chego até lá” or “como que eu chego até lá” are all interchangeable.
      2. As to the subjunctive, no this sentence does not become subjunctive in more formal situations. Perhaps the easiest way to think of this is that subjunctive mood gives a sentence a hypothetical feel, rather than a statement of fact. Notice that this is unrelated to formality of speech. So, “Marta chega às oito horas” is a statement of fact, that Marta arrives at 8 o’clock. But “Espero que Marta chegue às oito horas” Now we are hoping that she’ll arrive at 8:00, we have entered a more hypothetical world. So, think of subjunctive as a hypothetical mood, rather than an issue of formality.

      1. Amy

        Obrigada Orlando! I learnt a lot in this answer!

  4. Arthur

    Oi Orlando,

    Shouldn’t the final word of the dialog be spelled “ó” rather than “ô”?

    The vowel sure sounds open to me.

    1. Orlando Kelm

      You are probably correct. It’s like asking how to spell “oh, ohh, ump, eh, yep, yippie, hahahah” etc.

  5. Stephan Gabrielson

    These are great lessons, and I also love that the man in the picture at the top of this page is holding a Corinthians shirt. Vai Timão!

    1. Orlando Kelm

      It’s always nice to see when listeners recognize the finer things in life! Salve Corinthians! Orlando

  6. Rossy

    What is the meaning of ô?

    O elevador está ali, ô.

    1. Orlando Kelm

      Excellent question, “ô” in Portuguese is kind of like saying “hey!!!!” It is frequently used as a vocative, which is a fancy word to say calling attention to someone or something. You’ll hear it a lot with people’s name, as in “Ô Rossy, what are you doing?”