Teaching Portuguese

Portuguese Grammar | What’s the difference between sê and seja

Learn the difference between sê and seja when using the imperative in Portuguese.
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If you are struggling between these two words, then I believe you might be looking for the difference between ‘seja’ and ‘sê’ when you are using the imperative tense of the verb ‘ser’ in Portuguese.

Learn Portuguese Grammar What's the difference between sê and seja by up2dateskills

sê /ˈse/

seja /ˈseʒɐ/

sê /ˈse/

‘ is the imperative form of the verb ‘ser’ for the second person singular (‘tu’), i.e. when you are talking to someone you address informally as ‘tu’:

Sê simpático com os teus amigos.

(Be nice to your friends.)

seja /ˈseʒɐ/

The word ‘seja’ has multiple meanings:

(a) ‘seja’ is the imperative form of the verb ‘ser’ for the third person singular (‘ele’, ‘ela’, ‘você’), i.e. when you are talking to someone you address formally as ‘você’, ‘senhor’ ou ‘senhora’:

Seja pontual, Sr. Silva.

(Be punctual, Mr. Silva.)

 

(b) ‘seja’ is the present subjunctive of the verb ‘ser’ for the first person singular (‘eu’) and the third person singular (‘ele’, ‘ela’, ‘você’):

Espero que eu seja mais feliz no próximo ano.

(I hope to be happier in the coming year.)

Espero que ela seja mais feliz no próximo ano.

(I hope she is happier in the coming year.)

 

(c) ‘seja’ is used as an interjection or an exclamation to express permission, authorization, or a wish for something to be the way it is; it is also used to convey a sense of acceptance or resignation, implying a degree of conformism:

A – ‘Não concordo com a decisão, mas precisamos aceitá-la e seguir em frente.‘ [I don’t agree with the decision, but we need to accept it and move on.]

B – ‘Seja.‘ [So be it.]

 

(d) ‘seja …  seja…’ is a correlative conjunction used to introduce alternatives:

Seja no verão seja no inverno, eu gosto de praticar desporto ao ar livre.

(Whether in summer or winter, I enjoy practicing sports outdoors.)

Useful resources for teachers and students

gramatica portuguesa presente do indicativo verbos regulares - feature picture up2dateSKILLS

PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR | Present Simple of Regular Verbs in Portuguese

Worksheet and PowerPoint 📑💻

Print and practice. The answer key in inluded.

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