Category Archives: Uncategorized

Storage, Tools And Cooking

February 28, 2019

Food Storage

There are many different places and containers you can use to store or preserve food. 

  • Food that can be stored at room temperature can be placed in the despensa
    , in the armário de cozinha
    kitchen cabinet
    , or right on the bancada
    or mesa
    . Fruit, in particular, can be put in a fruteira
    fruit holder
    , which might be a bowl, basket, or a whole multi-tiered stand.

  • Food that needs to be preserved at lower temperatures could be placed in the frigorífico
    , others in the congelador
    . Some people might have a arca frigorífica
    freezer cabinet
    , which is a bigger freezer, separate from the fridge.

Cooking Tools and Appliances

To prepare food on the kitchen counter or table, we often use a tábua de cortar
cutting board

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Food Vocabulary – Main Food Groups

February 27, 2019

Food groups are convenient to help us learn food-related vocabulary in a more organized way.

Dairy Products – Laticínios

Portuguese TermEnglish Translation
o leite (pl. leites)milk
o iogurte (pl. iogurtes)yogurt
o queijo (pl. queijos)cheese
a manteiga (pl. manteigas)butter
o gelado (pl. gelados)ice cream
a nata (pl. natas)cream

Leite, iogurte and queijo are a part of many Portuguese people’s breakfasts and snacks. Queijo, in particular, is very important and there are several tasty varieties. As for leite, there are at least three types:

  • Leite magro
    Skimmed milk
    – Very low-fat content

  • Leite meio-gordo
    Semi-skimmed milk
    – Medium fat content

  • Leite gordo
    Whole milk
    – High-fat content

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Describing Food

February 23, 2019

Being the food lovers that we are, we use lots of different expressions in Portuguese to describe the food we eat or how we feel about eating it.

Hunger and Satisfaction

For starters, in Portugal we start thinking about food when we have hunger or when we are with hunger. In Portuguese, this translates to ter fome
feeling hungry
, or estar com fome
being hungry
If you’re really feeling quite peckish, you can say estou esfomeado
I’m famished.
, or even estou a morrer de fome
I’m dying to eat.
(we take our hunger very seriously).
Tenho fome. O que há para comer?
I’m hungry. What’s there to eat?

Vamos depressa, eu estou a morrer de fome!
Let’s go quickly, I’m dying to eat!

Once we’re full, we say Estou cheio
I’m full
or the more elegant alternatives Estou satisfeito
I’m satisfied
and the rare Estou saciado
I’m satiated

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Portuguese Prepositions – Com

February 23, 2019

One very common Portuguese preposition is com
Like all prepositions, it’s an invariable word placed before a noun (or pronoun) to indicate the noun’s relationship to other words.

Com is used to:

  • Indicate people or things that are currently together:

Vamos viajar com os nossos amigos.
We will travel with our friends.

A refeição vem com uma bebida.
The meal comes with a drink.

  • Say what someone or something has:

É um quadro com flores.
It’s a painting with flowers.

  • Say what someone or something uses:

Desenho com este lápis.
I draw with this pencil.

  • Describe an emotion or state:

O atleta competiu com confiança.
The athlete competed with confidence.

Though com is usually equivalent to the English with, it can sometimes be equivalent to have, particularly when talking about health and temporary ailments. Examples:
Não posso ir hoje, estou com gripe.
I can’t come today, I have the flu. Literally: “I am with flu.”

Estou com uma enxaqueca.
I have a migraine. Literally: “I am with a migraine.”

Contractions derived from com
Com can also form contractions when combined with some object pronouns:

  • Com + mim
    = comigo
    with me
  • Com + ti
    = contigo
    with you informal
  • Com + si
    = consigo
    with you formal
  • Com + nós = connosco
    with us plural
  • Com + vocês = convosco
    with you plural

Note: In a very formal context consigo might be used with the meaning of with him/her. But Portuguese speakers will most often say com ele
with him
or com ela
with her
, which eliminates any possible confusion. In the plural, this becomes com eles~com elas
with them

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Basic Courtesy Expressions

January 31, 2019

Just like its people, the Portuguese language is very courteous. Below are just some of the ways in which to express basic, everyday courtesy in Portuguese:


In Portuguese, please can be por favor
or se faz favor. They’re both equally correct and used in the same situations. Example:
Poderia trazer-me água, por favor?
Could you bring me some water, please?

We Portuguese tend to shorten words whenever we can. So don’t be confused if instead of se faz favor you hear ´faz favor in fast, informal speech.

Thank You

The Portuguese expression is: Obrigado

It’s said to be a leftover from an expression that went more or less like “I am obliged (obrigado) to return your favor”. In fact, the English expression “much obliged” has the exact same meaning and would be an accurate translation of muito obrigado.
Because you are the one who feels obliged to return the favour, the word obrigado must reflect your own gender, not that of the person you’re talking to. (Even native speakers sometimes mistakenly apply the listener’s gender to the word, perhaps due to not knowing its origin.) So remember: male speakers should always say obrigado and female speakers, obrigada.
Obrigado pela tua ajuda.
Thank you for your help. male speaking

Obrigada pelos presentes.
Thank you for the gifts. female speaking

You’re Welcome

After hearing an obrigado/obrigada, you have a couple of different options for saying “you’re welcome” in Portuguese:

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Forming Negative Phrases – Não, Nada, Nenhum, Ninguém

January 31, 2019

Making negative statements in Portuguese is fairly easy. For the most part, to make a sentence negative, you can just place the word não before the verb, which is the equivalent of both no and not. Examples: Não is also used at the beginning of sentences, when replying to a question: But there are also three […]

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Saying Goodbye in European Portuguese

January 31, 2019

You have many ways of saying goodbye in European Portuguese, depending on who you are talking to and how long it will be until you see them again.

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Plurals in Portuguese

October 27, 2018

A challenging part of learning Portuguese is realizing that some words need to be adjusted to agree with the gender and number of the people or objects we are talking about. Right now, we’ll take a look at which types of words change, and which ones stay the same. Invariable and Variable Classes of Words The […]

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Dining Out In Portugal

October 27, 2018

Whether you’re just visiting or planning to live in Portugal, learning some food vocabulary is going to be pretty important! 😆 Let’s start with … Breakfast & Coffee There are and , which are often part of the same establishment, for snacks and light meals. This is where you’ll go for or . Perhaps you’ll […]

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Essential Conjunctions – E, Mas, Ou

October 27, 2018

There are 3 essential conjunctions that you’ll need to start forming more complex sentences: These 3 are called coordinating conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas), because they combine multiple independent phrases into one. You’ll learn more conjunctions later, but for now, we’ll start with these 3 essentials. 1) “E” = “And” The conjunction e is an additive, or copulative, […]

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Bom/Boa/Mau/Má (Good/Bad) vs. Bem/Mal (Well/Badly)

July 26, 2018

These two pairs of words are very similar, but they’re not interchangeable. Adjectives Good and bad are adjectives, which modify nouns (people / places / things). In Portuguese, adjectives must agree with the noun in gender and number: Adverbs Well and badly are adverbs, which modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Adverbs are invariable, so […]

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BONUS: Palavras Japonesas Inspiradas na Língua Portuguesa

July 10, 2018
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After listening to our last podcast on foreign words derived from Portuguese, a Japanese member, Ryoko, came to our rescue with recordings of every Japanese word we mentioned, plus a bunch of new ones for good measure. Join us as we explore surprising similarities between Japanese and Portuguese in this bonus episode! (“Arigato” once again […]

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Present Continuous in Portuguese

June 1, 2018

When we talk about actions that are happening right at the time of speaking, we use the present continuous. To tackle this topic, it’s helpful to first take a look at how it works in English… Here’s how present continuous looks when talking about yourself: I am + verb ending in -ing “I am” comes from […]

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Expressing Quantities – Muito, Pouco, Algum

May 1, 2018

The following three simple words are used to express quantities in Portuguese: When describing items you can count (which usually end in “-s” in English as well as Portuguese), muito, pouco and algum all change according to gender and quantity: With uncountable nouns (such as virtues, qualities, or time, which usually don’t end is “-s” in […]

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First Look at Portuguese Adjectives

May 1, 2018

are words that describe a noun, assigning it a quality, state, appearance, etc.
These are the words that let us distinguish between um bom carro
a good car
and uma carrinha avariada
a broken van

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Dele(s) and Dela(s) vs. Seu(s) and Sua(s)

March 30, 2018

How do we decide when to use dele, dela, deles, delas  vs.  seu, sua, seus, suas? dele, dela, deles, delas – When the subject is ele (him). – When the subject is ela (her). – When the subject is eles (them, a group with at least one male). – When the subject is elas (them, an […]

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Third-Person Possessive Using the Preposition “De”

March 30, 2018

We’ve seen that in Portuguese, the possessive pronouns/determiners for the third person are the following: Subject Possessive Pronoun/Determiner English Equivalent Ele, Ela Seu, Sua, Seus, Suas His, Her/Hers, Your/Yours (formal) Eles, Elas Seu, Sua, Seus, Suas Their, Theirs As you can see, the third person singular – você, ele and ela – and the third […]

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Introduction to Possessives

March 30, 2018

In this unit, we’re going to learn about possessive pronouns and possessive determiners, which both serve the function of expressing possession or ownership of something. In English, we use my, your, his, her, their, and our as possessive determiners and mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, and ours as possessive pronouns. Possessive determiners precede the noun they are […]

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Possessive Pronouns/Determiners – Meu, Teu, Nosso, Vosso

March 10, 2018

Let’s take a closer look at this first group of possessive pronouns and determiners: meu, teu, nosso and vosso, plus their feminine and plural forms. Subject Possessive Pronoun/Determiner English Equivalent Eu Meu, Minha, Meus, Minhas My, Mine Tu Teu, Tua, Teus, Tuas Your, Yours (singular) Nós Nosso, Nossa, Nossos, Nossas Our, Ours Vós, Vocês Vosso, […]

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Ser vs. Estar – Two Ways of Being

March 10, 2018

At this point, you’re probably a bit familiar with the verbs ser
to be permanent state
and estar
to be temporary state
. And yet, sometimes, you might still be getting them mixed up! Worry not: in this unit, you’ll learn exactly how to use one and the other.

A Basic Distinction: Ser vs Estar

The basic distinction between the two is pretty simple at first:

  • Ser is used to describe permanent states or conditions. It refers to an immutable or long-lasting attribute of the person or object we’re describing. Here’s the verb conjugated in the present tense (presente do indicativo):
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Possessive Pronouns/Determiners – Seu, Seus, Sua, Suas

June 18, 2017

There are just a few more pronouns/determiners to learn: Subject Possessive Pronoun/Determiner English Equivalent Ele, Ela, Você Seu, Sua, Seus, Suas His, Her/Hers, Your/Yours (formal) Eles, Elas Seu, Sua, Seus, Suas Their, Theirs See what happens there? The pronouns/determiners for the third-person singular (and formal second-person singular) and the third-person plural are all the same! […]

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How to Address People Formally vs. Informally

May 31, 2017

Grammatically, it doesn’t take too long to learn about the basics of how to address someone formally or informally. But the most challenging aspects for have to do with some of the decisions you’ll need to make on a social level – not only of when it’s best to speak to someone formally, but choosing between […]

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