Above and below the book sob/sobre

The two words sob and sobre are so close as to be immensely confusing since they are opposite in meaning. How on earth do we hear and speak these clearly? Should we use embaixo or acima to prevent confusion? It is nice to have short words, but these two are horribly close. :face_with_spiral_eyes:

You have to listen carefully for the R in “sobre”, or for its absence in “sob”. Synonyms can of course be used if you need to, but they could sound a bit awkward when these words are used more subjectively. For example, “Estou debaixo de pressão” sounds less natural than “Estou sob pressão”.

Otherwise, feel free. In European Portuguese, we would preferably use “por baixo” or “debaixo”, not “embaixo”. Depending on context, “em cima” or “por cima” may also be preferred over “acima”. “Em cima”/“por cima” suggest proximity, e.g. something right above, even if not in direct contact. “Acima” is more abstract.


Muito bem explicado. Obrigado. Eu vou practicar e ouvir atentamente.

1 Like