Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mas, Más, Mais . . . Oh Man

After a previous analysis of the dysfunctional Porque family it is time to move on to our next aula de português (Portuguese lesson: feel free to be impressed). Anyway our focus now is set upon yet another troublesome set of palavras (words, dorkus): yes, I am referring to the moron trio that is mas, más, and mais. As was the case with my Porque post I will concentrate on everyday, normal usage of the material at hand. If you are prone to displays of affectation; or just a wierdo whose life and thus context when employing this vocabulary often derails towards the exclamatory "mais mais maiiis!" ("more, more, mooore!") end of the spectrum then please shoot yourself perv look elsewhere.
The material is substantial so let's get started.

First on our study list - and I use said term loosely - is mas.
I like to refer to this word are Mr. Emphatic-Conjunction.
This because mas can denote emphasis, as in " Estou cansado, mas muito cansado" - where mas emphasizes the state of being tired, "I am tired, (very) very tired".
Then there is mas when used as the conjunction "But". Here we see our hero in this scenario - "Posso ir, mas só se você for também" - which translates to "I could go; but only if you come as well".

Now on to más.
This word will convey a negative aspect to what it describes (yep: más is an adjective).
Ele, e seus amigos, são más influências. (He and his friends are a bad influence).

We end our adventure with mais - please contain your enthusiasm.
This is the adverbial show off of the gang: mais, which means "more",
Eu tenho mais do que você (I have more than you).
A minha lasanha é mais saborosa do que a sua (My lasanha is tastier than yours).

So there you have it. These are the mas, más, mais that you will most frequently run into, if you are normal. For further torture click on this link, which I found randomly. Thank you author of "this link that I found randomly".


  1. And my problem is that in BH they pronounce "mas" and "mais" the same.

    1. Unfortunately this is the case most everywhere in Brazil: mas, mais recognition is burdensome since they sound very, very similar - eles soam muito, mas muito parecidos (hey, look at me using the Mr. Emphatic Mas in that last phrase. God I'm hot). Anyway I digress. So how to counter this? I don't know any method other than mastering vocabulary, and using context to discern which one of the two is being employed.
      So now you're thinking "mas que desgraça", and I agree with you.

  2. Yup. A sentence with this word (in all meanings) could be the theme of my next nightmare.

    However, it's fairly easy to differentiate the usage when context clues are given.


    1. Context.
      For Mas:
      I would like to go out with you; mas you´re a dumbass.
      For Mais:
      Give me mais um drink bartender, I was just shot down hard

    2. Sounds like you know my life story

  3. In French, "mais" means "but". I would like to go out with you, mais you're a dumbass.

  4. I was going to say as well - in Rio they pronounce mas and mais the same and I get especially mixed up when I am writing (in my head Im' saying mais but I'm actually saying mas - the only place i've heard it pronounced clearly different is in SP!