pois não

PortugueseEdit

EtymologyEdit

From pois (so, then) + não (not). Probably originally intended as: "so ... not ...?", implying either "so, how could I not serve you?" or "so, how could I not do what you asked?", depending on the context.

Compare Spanish ¿cómo no? (how not?) and Hungarian hogyne (sure, of course, literally how not).

PhraseEdit

pois não?

  1. (Brazil, formal) Can I help you? (used when attending customers)

pois não

  1. (Brazil, formal) yes; of course (used to confirm a request)
    “Eu gostaria de uma salada.” — “Pois não, senhor.”
    “I would like a salad.” — “Yes, sir.”

Usage notesEdit

Don't confuse with pois sim (used as a sarcastic agreement of something that is obviously to be disagreed: yeah, right!, yeah, sure!).