Learning Notes

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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The Imperative

January 27, 2019

When someone yells or a doctor says , there’s one thing they’re doing in common: using the imperative mood, or imperativo in Portuguese. Structure and function of the Imperativo The imperativo can be used to give orders, advice, make requests or even pleas. It’s expressed in the present tense but the action is yet to […]

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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 coordinative 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” – Essential Additive Conjunction The conjunction e is used to […]

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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. The first group are adjectives, which modify nouns, (people / places / things): On the other hand,  and are usually used as adverbs. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives as well as other adverbs. Notice how bom (adjective) modifies telemóvel (noun), while bem (adverb) modifies funciona (verb). Here, boa […]

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Five Essential Adverbs of Place – Cá, Aqui, Aí, Ali, Lá

July 6, 2018

Portuguese has several to indicate the relative position of a person or object. Five of them are particularly useful to learn: cá, aqui, aí, ali and lá. In short, cá and aqui both mean here. Aí, lá and ali mean there. Below we’ll explore the finer differences between each of these words: Using Cá vs. Aqui For […]

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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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Regular Verbs in the Simple Past: ER/IR Verbs

May 16, 2018

Regular verbs in the -ER group include escrever
to write
and correr
to run
. Here’s how they’d each be conjugated in the Pretérito Perfeito
simple past
:

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Regular Verbs in the Simple Past: AR Verbs

May 16, 2018

The English simple past (eg. “I went…”) corresponds to the Portuguese Pretérito Perfeito.
As with the present tense, conjugating regular Portuguese verbs in this tense is easier once you learn the patterns for each verb group.
Examples of the regular verbs in this -AR group are falar
to speak
, gostar
to like
and andar
to walk
.

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Discussing the Future in Portuguese

May 15, 2018

Below are the three main methods to talk about a future fact or inevitability:

Using IR

Just like in English, Portuguese uses the verb ir
to go
, followed by a verb in its infinitive form, to discuss the future.
Aside from very formal or literary contexts, this method is the most common. It’s also probably the easiest, because as long as you can conjugate “ir” in the present tense, you just need to know the next verb’s infinitive form, (“correr” and “chegar” in the examples below).

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The Verb “Pôr” – In a Group of It’s Own?

May 1, 2018

You might be surprised to learn that all verbs ending in -OR are actually part of the same group as verbs that end in –ER. 🤔 More on that in a moment, but first let’s look at the present tense conjugations, which are irregular:

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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” […]

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Regular Verbs in the Present Tense: ER/IR Verbs

May 1, 2018

As mentioned, verbs are split into three groups: Group 1: verbs ending in -AR Group 2: verbs ending in -ER Group 3: verbs ending in -IR Now we’ll deal with the 2nd and 3rd groups, as their conjugations are quite similar. ER Verb Endings The -ER verbs include , and . These are examples of […]

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Regular Verbs in the Present Tense: AR Verbs

May 1, 2018

In Portuguese, verbs are split into three groups: Group 1: verbs ending in -AR Group 2: verbs ending in -ER Group 3: verbs ending in -IR In this article, we’ll cover the first group. Common verbs ending in -AR include , and . When the conjugation is regular, the endings of conjugated -AR verbs follow […]

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First Look at Portuguese Adjectives

May 1, 2018

Adjetivos
Adjectives
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 the possessive pronouns/determiners (dele, dela, deles and delas) vs. using possessive pronouns (seu, sua, seus or suas)? – 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 […]

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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 Because the exact same pronouns are used for several different subjects, that can create some ambiguity. To […]

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Introduction to Possessive Pronouns

March 30, 2018

In this unit, we’re going to learn about possessive pronouns. Possessive pronouns (pronomes possessivos), such as mine, yours and his/hers, are how we express possession or ownership of something. Let’s see a few examples: You can see that we convey ownership without telling exactly what that ownership is about. Pronouns and Determiners When these words fully […]

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

March 10, 2018

The first group of possessive pronouns and determiners we’ll look at are the pronouns/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, Vossa, […]

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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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Common Household Items

August 14, 2017

The average home is full of all kinds of objects, pieces of furniture and appliances. In this unit, we’ll explore the most common objects you’ll find in each room of your house. The Living Room – Sala de Estar This is the room where you’ll likely spend lots of time relaxing with your family and friends. You may […]

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Types of Houses and Rooms

July 11, 2017

How would you describe the place where you live in Portuguese? To start with, you could start describe the type of home you live in. Types of Housing When looking for a place to live, the two main choices are  and – A private bedroom for yourself in a house shared with other people. – A complete, unshared home, but in shared […]

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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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