Já e Mesmo what do they do?

Seem to have multiple meanings depending on context.

For backgound, I read As Bruxas (em Português) a few months ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was able to understand the basic plot, but now I’m going back and re-reading in (excruciating) detail. The structure of the sentences, use of words/verbs/tenses, etc.

So, Já and Mesmo… ‘Already’ and ‘same’ - kind of. Here are some (abridged) sentences from the book - help me understand the use of já and mesmo.

O médico explico-me que a pneumonia não costuma ser um doença perigosa
O pior passou
Precisava mesmo de ficar boa

I get that:
The doctor explained that pneumonia is not usually a dangerous sickness.
And that the worst has passed.
And that I need to get better.

But the use of já and mesmo confuses me.


For , I’ll refer to other topics about it (one of them is yours, actually :smile:):

As for mesmo, in this context it means really.

  • Precisava mesmo de ficar boa = I really needed to get better.

In other contexts, it can mean same, even or for real.

  • Este é o mesmo carro que eu comprei. = This is the same car that I bought.
  • Eu ainda sou a mesma pessoa. = I am still the same person.
  • Liga-me, mesmo que seja tarde. = Call me, even if it’s late.
  • Mesmo que tu não gostes, tens de comer a sopa. = Even if you don’t like it, you have to eat the soup.
  • Pessoa 1: Eles são loucos! Pessoa 2: Mesmo! = Person 1: They’re crazy! Person 2: For real!

Hoisted by my own petard
That was ages ago :slight_smile: - The internet remembers all…

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Yes, it does! I didn’t know that expression, thanks.

In regards to “mesmo”, if it is used as an adverb then it translate to “really”? Is this used to add emphasis or to make the action seem more important or stronger…if that makes sense? Is it invariable in this instance?

Also, when it is used as an adjective to modify a noun it means “some”? It is variable in this instance?


Yes, one of its main uses is as “really”. It does add emphasis and it is invariable.

  • O livro é mesmo bom. (The book is really good)
  • A casa é mesmo grande. (The house is really big)
  • Isto é mesmo importante. (This is really important)

Not some, but same. Yes, it is variable :slight_smile:

  • Nós gostamos das mesmas coisas. (We like the same things)
  • Eu sou a mesma pessoa. (I am the same person)
  • Eles têm os mesmos professores. (They have the same teachers)