Definite Article with Minha

I have been doing the lessons on possessives. One of the phrases In Lesson 8 is ‘Elas são minhas filhas’. Why is it not ‘Elas são as minhas filhas’? I had thought you always used the definite article before meu and minha. What are the exceptions?

@pauladwg, it’s possible to write both “são minhas filhas” and “são as minhas filhas”. However, each of them has a different level of emphasis to it.

  • With “são minhas filhas”, you’re simply saying that these people are children of yours, with no special emphasis. It’s possible, for example, that you have more children aside from the ones you’re talking about at the moment.
  • With “são as minhas filhas”, you’re really stressing that these are your kids. Maybe you’ve talked about them before and you finally have a chance to introduce them, or maybe there are more children around and you want to clearly identify which ones are yours. With this one, you may also be implying that these are all the children you have.

So, the choice between one and the other depends on context and speaker intention. The most general option, as shown in the exercise, would be “são minhas filhas”.


Obrigada Joseph. That helps a lot.

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