By Teacher Claudia
Part 1 – Mesmo”

Dear readers, in Portuguese, as in many other languages, there are some special, unique words which may have several meanings, depending on the context they are used.

Mesmo is such an example. Today we’ll take a look at it, but be aware, because you might discover something else, as language is indeed a living thing!

Activity 1

Read parts of two songs by Lulu Santos.

“Certas Coisas”
Não existiria som se não
Houvesse o silncio.
Não haveria luz se não
Fosse a escuridão.
A vida mesmo assim:
Dia e noite,
Não e sim.

(Certain Things
There wouldn’t be sound if
there weren’t silence.
There wouldn’t be light if
there weren’t darkness.
Life is like that;
Day and night,
No and yes.)

A gente exige respeito
E mesmo consideraão
A gente não tem compaixão
Se contenta com a razão
Nem com a gente mesmo
A gente não tem compaixão

We demand respect
And even consideration
We don’t have compassion
We’re satisfied with reason
We have no compassion
With our own self)

Activity 2

Identify and understand mesmo’s meanings.
In the first song mesmo means like, similar to, as; A vida mesmo assim.
In the second mesmo means even; E mesmo consideraão.

Activity 3

Learn other sentences where mesmo can be used.
isso mesmo! (That’s it!)
mesmo? (Is it true? / Really?)
Por isso mesmo. (Exactly because of that.)

Activity 4

There’s another situation which we speak mesmo, when we mean by oneself, on their own effort.
Eu mesma fiz aqueles Lemmingtons para voc. (I myself made those Lemmingtons for you.)
Eu lembro de voc mesmo cantando “No aphrodisiac” para mim. (I recall you yourself singing No aphrodisiac to me.)

Activity 5

See if you can understand the meanings of mesmo in “Iluminados” by Ivan Lins.
Dear student, do try first, please. Only after read the translation!

“O amor tem feito coisas
Que at mesmo Deus duvida
J curou desenganados
J fechou tanta ferida.
O amor junta os pedaos
Quando um coraão se quebra
Mesmo que seja de ao
Mesmo que seja de pedra.”

(Love’s done things
That even God doubts
It’s cured the dying
It’s closed so many wounds.
Love brings the pieces together
When a heart’s broken
Even if it’s made of steel
Even if it’s made of stone)

See you next class!

Teacher Cludia

Teacher Claudia is available for private classes in São Paulo. She can be contacted at

To read previous articles by Teacher Claudia click below:

Portuguese Tip: Interjections and ExpressionsA Brazilian Holiday: October 12th
Portuguese Tip: Sounds
Portuguese Tip: Verb Tenses
Portuguese Tip: The Mystery of Seu, Sua
Portuguese Tip: Interjections and Expressions
Portuguese Tips: Plurals – Part 2
A Brazilian custom: Kissing the Cheek
Portuguese Tips: Regular Verbs – Simple Past
Portuguese Tips: Plurals – Part 1
Portuguese Tips: Regular Verbs – Simple Present
Portuguese Tips
Portuguese Tips: Adverbs in Portuguese
Portuguese Tips: Comparative and Superlative
Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes

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