Gender for Brand Names?

Hi all, I wonder if anyone can help me with this, please?

What are the rules for deciding the gender of brand-named products?

I seem to encounter this a lot in cafes when ordering drinks. Are Coca Cola and Sumol both feminine because they are “bebidas”? Or is the gender determined by general spelling rules, e.g. uma Coca Cola but um Sumol?

Similarly with cars. Are they all masculine from “carro”, or is it um Nissan but uma Kia?

Hope this makes sense!
Thank you :grinning:


Hey Jeremy, welcome. Great question, but no clear answer! It’s a combination of all those factors, I’d say:

  • Sometimes, it’s the spelling that pushes us in a certain direction: we say uma Coca Cola, but um Sumol; uma Fanta, but um Compal. And yet, these are all bebidas (drinks), which is a feminine noun.

  • Other times, the implied word is the dominant factor. Among other things, this does apply to vehicles. However, each type of vehicle has its own gender! Carros (cars) and camiões (trucks) are masculine, but motas (motorcycles) and carrinhas (vans) are feminine, for example. So, depending on the context, you might say both “um (carro) Honda” and “uma (mota) Honda”. Similarly, you might say “vou ao (website) Google”, and then later talk about “a (empresa - company) Google”.

  • Other times, it’s just not very clear. For example, most people I know (myself included) say “a Netflix”, but “o Spotify”.


Ai, que engraçado e confusão!? Já tenho dor de cabeça mesmo. :flushed:


A dor de cabeça não me surpreende, hah!

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This trips me up all the time too! We should almost have a section in the Learning Studio just for drilling the genders of some of the most common brands, since it definitely slows me down when I have to try to figure out which article to use for a brand name. Thanks for sharing those tips, @Joseph.

When a brand contains an English word, do you think that when speaking Portuguese, it is more likely to take on the gender of its translation? Or am I reaching too much?

eg. o Facebook (livro), o Instagram (o telegrama?), a Apple (a maçã), a Amazon (a Amazônia)



Nah, I think it’s not that deep. Most Instagram users won’t even know what a telegram is :sweat_smile:


Olá Joseph e muito obrigado pela tua resposta detalhada.
Much to ponder and learn from here. I guess a lot just comes down to experience.



I wish it was that simple, Joel! LOL

If it was easy it would be no fun!

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Hi Jeremy

I cheat and add in ‘uma lata de’ or uma garrafa de’ - it seems to work OK. As for car makes I asked my Portuguese friend and she says they’re feminine because the words ‘a marca’ is implied. But I have no idea if this is strictly correct. It’s like ‘o rádio’ for the actual item but ‘a rádio Ourique’ because the word estação is implied.

I hope this is helpful

Sue :smiley:


Hi Sue,

I love your idea of adding ‘uma lata de’ or ‘uma garrafa de’. That solves the problem, thank you! :grinning:


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