So in European Portuguese the "s" is pronounced like a Z if it's between two vowels. But also in estamos the e sound isn't pronounced, so it sounds more like shtamos.

So when pronouncing Nós estamos, is it pronounced like

  • Nosh shtamos
  • Noz eshtamos
  • Noz shtamos
  • Here's backwards proof for you> When Portuguese speakers or those to whom this has not been pointed out say words in English that begin with an st, they often add an e sound. So, you get "estrange", "estandard" etc. Because Port. has no words that begin with st, only est. You often hear "estrange" and "estandard" in English from them for this reason. So, the issue is not the e. The deal with the s sounds, not the est sounds.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 16:07

3 Answers 3


It's not necessarily true that "the e sound isn't pronounced". It depends on factors such as the speed of speech and formality. It can be pronounced but reduced to /i/ or /ɨ/, in which case a speaker might say /nɔ.ziʃ.tɐ.muʃ/, if speaking slowly and formally, for example.

Otherwise, a speaker would say /nɔʃ.tɐ.muʃ/. If there's a pause between nós and estamos, which there usually wouldn't be, then it'd be /nɔʃ.ʃtɐ.muʃ/.

/s‿ʃ/ is possible, but less frequent, so /nɔs‿ʃtɐ.muʃ/ is possible too. The issue you're concerned about is technically called "consonant sandhi", and there's a brief summary of how it works on Wikipedia.

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    – stafusa
    Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 16:11

It all depends where you are from in Brazil and which words.

I am from the northeast and my whole family is from the northeast, so I pronounce S differently.

But in your examples, the second one "noz eshtamos" remind me a lot people in Rio de Janeiro, because they tend to pronounce S as SH.

But I would say with the "SSSS" sound, (like a snake) not with Z sound or SH sound.

In this vídeo you can have an idea, but even her is pronouncing words ending with S as SH, which is not necessarily wrong or right.

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    Vanny, I believe Luke was talking about European Portuguese.
    – Schilive
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 17:57
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    Hi Vanny, welcome to Portuguese SE! Thanks for contributing! Please notice that, as Schilive already pointed out, the question comes with the português-europeu tag and asks explicitly about the European variant of the language.
    – stafusa
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 20:01
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    Thanks for heads up!!
    – Charlotte
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 18:26

The S has different pronunciations, depending on the word containing it. For example, in casa (house) has an accent for Z, but in castelo has a listenable sound of S. The sound depends from the intonation of the word. I recommend you to learn the International phonetic alphabet (IPA) to better understand how words are pronounced.

  • 2
    Wellington Siqueira, welcome to the site! Luke Xu is asking about the pronunciation change when the two words are spoken consecutively, i.e., how is "nós estamos" pronounced if both words are pronounced together, and not individually. It is not about how /s/ is pronounced in a word, wich means that your answer doesn't answer the question. But thank you anyway! By the way, I remember having already written this, so you may see two of those comments because reasons.
    – Schilive
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 23:14

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