In Brazilian Portuguese, there are two ways of saying where, that is onde and aonde. A lot of foreigners, and even Brazilians, when start to learn Brazilian Portuguese, get confused about the differences between those two words. Today, you will learn once and for all the differences between onde and aonde.
Differences between Onde and Aonde
Both forms are correct ways of saying where in Brazilian Portuguese, but each of them have distinct situations of use. Grammatically speaking, both onde and aonde are adverbs that are put together with a verb and modify it. But what does that mean, after all? Let’s see when to use onde and aonde to better understand the differences between these two adverbs!
Onde is used to indicate a place where something or someone is in/at. This adverb is used with verbs that indicate permanence, and for that, there is no movement. For example:
Do you know where he lives?
The verb morar (to live) indicates permanence, just like the verbs encontrar (to meet), ser (to be) and ficar (to stay).
Aonde is also used to indicate a place, however it should be used with verbs that indicate movement, or direction, and are connected with the preposition “a” (to). For example:
I don’t know where we’re going.
The verb ir (to go) indicates movement and direction, as well as the verbs chegar (to arrive) and voltar (to go back).
Other examples with onde
1. Onde você mora?
Where do you live?
In this phrase, we should use onde because the verb morar (to live) indicates a permanence state.
2. Onde está meu celular?
Where is my phone?
In this case, the verb está (to be) indicates a momentaneous permanence of the cellphone in a specific place, so it is best to use onde than aonde.
3. Onde fica o restaurante?
Where is the restaurant?
Since the restaurant’s location is something permanent as well, we should ask where is it at with onde.
Other examples with aonde
1. Aonde você vai?
Where are you going?
Once this sentence is indicating movement and direction by using the verb ir (to go), it is best to use aonde.
2. Vamos aonde você nos levar.
We’ll go where you take us to.
This phrase is indicating movement and direction as well, by using the verbs ir (to go) and levar (to take to), so we have to use aonde.
3. Você sabe aonde eles foram?
Do you know where they went?
Last but not least, this sentence is also asked with aonde because it uses the verb ir (to go) also indicating movement and direction.
Now that you learned the differences between onde and aonde, do you think you will be able to fulfill the blanks with the correct form of “where” in Brazilian Portuguese? Well, if you don’t try you’ll never know… It’s time to practice!
There are 10 sentences that onde or aonde would fit perfectly, but remember that it is either the first or the second form of where. Try to remember all the differences between onde and aonde you just learned and you are ready to start.
1. _______ você nasceu? Eu nasci no Brasil! (Where were you born? I was born in Brazil!)
2. Eu vou _______ você for! (I’ll go where you go!)
3. No lugar _______ eu moro, todos se conhecem. (In the place where I live, everyone know each other.)
4. _______ quer que eu vá, levo meu celular junto.
5. Eu estava perdido e não sabia _______.
6. _______ fica a cafeteria?
7. _______ você vai depois do trabalho?
8. _______ você trabalha?
9. Eu não sei _______ ela mora.
10. _______ eles vão mais trade?
Answers: 1. Onde; 2. aonde; 3. onde; 4. Aonde; 5. onde; 6. onde; 7. Aonde; 8. Onde; 9. onde; 10. Aonde.
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