August 3, 2020

"E" ou "É"

We know that the Portuguese language is far from being one of the most difficult languages to learn, however, it can be a complicated language quite often, when a letter or just a single accent can completely change the meaning of a word or a single letter . This is the case for the terms "E" and "É". People often confuse these two terms and end up not paying attention to accent usage. Since its use can completely change the meaning of a sentence, it is really important to learn how to use it correctly. Let's check out how to use each of these terms.

The difference between "E" and "É" it is found in its pronunciation, in its use and in the acute accent (the acute accent is given to the graphic accent sign with an oblique stroke to the right, as in the letter í of the word oblíquo).

Although both words may seem very similar to those learning Portuguese, the truth is that their difference is noticeable when they are used. First of all, we must clarify that both words exist in Portuguese, but what do they mean and what makes them different?


Well, first of all, the first difference we can notice is the accentuation (in Portuguese this accent signal is called an acute accent). When it comes to pronouncing one or the other, there is also a difference, pay attention not to get confused:

The “E” in Portuguese is pronounced as in the word “Escada” and the É (with accent) is pronounced as in the word “Época”.

When to use E without an accent?

"E" is an additive conjunction, additive conjunctions are words that link two terms or two actions of the same function, establishing an addition relationship between them, in an affirmative concept and forming groups of words, among othe uses. 

Example sentences using the additive conjunction “E”:

Ontem nós fomos ao parque e hoje vamos ir à praia.

Pedro e Paulo são amigos há muitos anos.

Quando eu ficar rico, vou ter uma casa grande e muitos carros.

E também por indicar oposição, por exemplo:

Olhou todos os produtos, e não comprou nada.

It can also express consequence:

Fred não quis me ouvir e se deu mal.


When the two clauses have different subjects, the comma is used before the conjunction "e".

Wrong: O pai demorou para chegar e a filha ficou preocupada.

Correct: O pai demorou para chegar, e a filha ficou preocupada.


When to use the verb“É”?

The word "É" in Portuguese means 'is' in English. This means that this is a verb, “É” comes from the verb "to be" conjugated in the Present for the third singular person.

Check the conjugation of the verb "To be" in the present tense:

Eu sou 

Você é

Ele/Ela é

Nós somos

Vocês são

Eles/Elas são

Note that although you mean 'you' in English, this Portuguese pronoun is conjugated as a third person (he, she).

It is used to describe something or someone, a situation or feeling, among other things. It means the same thing: it happens, it is, it exists, it subsists, it happens.

Usage examples with the verb “É”:

O gato é preto.

Ela não quer comprar este sapato porque é muito caro.

Esta história é verdadeira.

É simples assim:

(E) without accent

(É) with accent

Additive conjunction.

Verb to be conjugated in the present tense

3rd person singular (ele ou ela)



Don't be surprised if when you're talking to a Portuguese speaker you don't use an E accent when you should. Grammatically must have an accent to differentiate one from the other. However, as in Spanish, there are many people who do not use accent signals very often. In Portugal, for example, the additive conjunction “E” will have the sound of “i” as in “Igreja”.

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About the author 

Jaimi Saunders

J’aimi has worked in the education industry for over 20 years, gaining experience in teaching, mentoring, and coaching. As a seasoned educator he is passionate about advancing teaching excellence and student motivation. In addition to working in the education industry, he is also involved in continuing his personal education and improvement. Outside of the office, J’aimi enjoys, antique vehicles, motorcycles, and travelling to new destinations.

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