Futuro Próximo e Verbos Reflexivos

Tenho confusão…

How does one conjugate a reflexive verb in the futuro próximo tense?

Non-reflexive: Vou sair com meus amigos
Reflexive: Vou ??dirigir-se?? meus amigos

Using the verb assustar-se (to get scared) as an example, you’d have:

  • Present: Este filme de terror assusta-me. (This horror movie scares me)
  • Future: Este filme de terror vai assustar-me. (This horror movie will scare me)
  • Alternative future: Este filme de terror assustar-me-á. (This horror movie will scare me) - This one is way too formal/fancy; people don’t express the future like this in daily life.

The verb itself returns to its infinitive form. Then, the added pronoun has to change according to the person - me/te/se, etc.

There’s actually a series of Learning Notes on clitic pronouns in Practice Portuguese. If you search for “clitic pronouns”, you can find them all. Here’s one of them:

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Is there a difference in written vs spoken in this respect?

No difference. It’s also reserved for very formal writing :slight_smile:

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Picking this up again and looking at Clitics…

I just finished Os Idiotas, my first read-through for general plot. Great book, and I can see I am going to learn some new vocabulary on my second pass - which is where I study the structure pretty carefully, trying to (a) see how the language is used and hopefully hammer it into my brain, and (b) learn new words.

One thing I came across this AM was a full blown clitic: fá-lo-ão.

I get the fá-lo part, I get the ão part (kind of - see below). What I don’t get is the conjugation of fazer. All the examples (and include the PP write up on clitics) use the infinitive for this. But, here it’s conjugated. Can someone help me understand this? When (if at all) would it be conjugated? Which conjugation, under what circumstances?

Also, how is the verb form at the end handled? is it just the conjugated ending of ir, leaving off the ‘v’ or ‘ir’ stem?

@stephencanthony I’ll explain this step by step for you and everyone else :slight_smile:

So, this is in the simple future tense (future indicative). The third-person plural conjugation of fazer in that tense is farão. We then need to add a direct object pronoun to this: -o.

For the future indicative tense, the grammar rule is that direct object pronouns must be placed mesoclitically, in the middle of the verb (see The Position of Clitics). So we get farão + o = far-o-ão.

Another grammar rule states that when the first part of the verb ends in a consonant, we have to drop the consonant and change the object pronoun from -o to -lo (see Third Person Clitic Pronouns). So, we go from far-o-ão to fa-lo-ão.

The final step is adding an acute accent on the first A, which is stressed. And that’s how we end up with fá-lo-ão. As you see, this all comes from just one word, the future third-person plural conjugation.

Nowadays, this sounds quite formal to us, so we most often express the future using the auxiliary verb ir (see Discussing the Future in Portuguese). If we used it here, instead of farão, we’d have vão fazer. If we added the direct object pronoun, the end result would be vão fazê-lo. So, the verb ir is involved in this simplified future, but is completely absent from fá-lo-ão, which is formed from the standard future. I think this was the source of your confusion!


This is ever so much simpler than the cockamaimie (there’s an english word for you) parsing I was seeing. I now understand what the grammar books I was consulting are telling me. If they could have made it as simple as you did…

Re the formality - my understanding is that this construct is mostly confined to the written language - that it’s not used regularly in the spoken. It’s just that I ran across it in a child’s book. It could be an artifact of the translation. Who knows.

Anyway, many thanks again.

To all: Stay healthy, stay safe. #fiqueemcasa!

We now return to your previously scheduled pandemic, already in progress.

You’re welcome, @stephencanthony! Glad I could decode the cockamaimie parsing for you :smile:

You’re right, you’d see this more in writing. But don’t be surprised; some books for children and teenagers (as well as books not directly meant for them, but of mandatory reading during school years) have surprisingly sophisticated language. It exposes them to the richness of Portuguese language, but also puts many of them off of reading.

Just to be clear - it was my bad parsing you were able to correct - not the language itself. And once you did, the parsing became much, much simpler.

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