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October 16, 2019

Interjections are words with an emotive function. They are used to express emotions, sensations, and moods. They can be just simple vowel sounds, like «Ah!» and «Oh!», but most are either a free word or a phrase, in which case, we call them locuções interjetivas.

The same interjeição can have different meanings depending on the context in which it appears, its purpose, and the speaker’s attitude. Even with simple vowel sounds, sometimes changing the tone and extending the sound will give it another meaning.

Ai! Bati com o joelho na mesa.Ah! I hit the table with my knee.

Ai! Já me estou a passar contigo.Ah! You’re getting on my nerves.

Interjections can be used as a standalone reply / affirmation or they can be followed by a sentence.


Irra! Vocês não conseguem mesmo estar calados, pois não?Geez! You really can’t keep quiet, can you?

There’s practically an unlimited number of interjeições, but below you will find the most common grouped by meaning/context.

Obter Residência

September 26, 2019

The process for becoming a resident of Portugal varies depending on which country you are moving from. We’ll provide an overview for EU Citizens and Non-EU Citizens. In both cases, make sure to read through the SEF or Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Foreigners and Borders Service) website to get the most up to date and detailed information about the requirements for your particular circumstances.


When you’re ready to apply for your autorização de residência (non-EU citizens) or your Certificado de Residência Permanente (Permanent Residence Certificate – both EU and non-EU), be sure to make your SEF appointment well in advance as the appointments fill up quickly.


You will need a Número de Identificação Fiscal, also called a Número Contribuinte, which is a Portuguese tax number required for things like buying a home, opening a bank account, receiving benefits, paying taxes, and more. You can apply for this at

Pretérito Imperfeito do Indicativo

September 2, 2019

The Pretérito Imperfeito do Indicativo – for simplicity, we’ll refer to it as Imperfeito in this article – is the Portuguese equivalent to the Past Continuous Tense in English grammar. It is used to describe something that took place in the past that was ongoing or did not have a clear endpoint. It imparts this idea of continuity that the other pretéritos (past tenses) don’t have, which makes it ideal to describe or narrate past events, as well as to describe past habits. 

Fui picado por mosquitos enquanto dormia.I was bitten by mosquitoes while I was sleeping.

Eu comia sopa todos os dias.I used to eat soup every day.

The first sentence mixes the Pretérito Perfeito (“fui picado”) with the Imperfeito (“dormia”). We’ll compare both tenses further below in this article.

The table below shows how to conjugate regular verbs in the Imperfeito:

| | -AR verbs | -ER verbs / -IR verbs |
| —| —-| —–|
| eu | -ava | -ia |
| tu | -avas | -ias |
| você / ele / ela | -ava | -ia |
| nós | -ávamos | -íamos |
| vocês / eles / elas | -avam | -iam |

And now, here are three examples of irregular verbs in the Imperfeito:

Haver Indicating Future Action

August 21, 2019

Finally, Haver can also be used indicate that someone will do something at some point in the future. To use it like this, we conjugate the verb in the Present Indicative tense and add the preposition “de”. Examples:

Hei de visitar a minha avó. I shall visit my grandmother.

Hás de ir a França um dia. You shall go to France one day.

When used in this fashion, Haver is a rather formal way of describing a future action or intention.

Haver can also be used in a similar fashion to make a request. When Haver + de is used to ask for something, it implies “in the future, as soon as you have the time/it is convenient”. Confused? Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Haver to Indicate the Past

August 21, 2019

Another common use of Haver is to indicate that an amount of time has passed before the present moment. It roughly corresponds to the English adverb “ago”, or to other expressions which signal that a certain measure of time has passed.

When used in this way, Haver is only conjugated in the third person singular, “há”. This is known as Haver‘s “impersonal” use: the verb doesn’t have a specific subject, so there are no other conjugations. Let’s have a look at how it works. Examples:

As piscinas fecharam cinco minutos. The pools closed five minutes ago.

Há muito que não comia panquecas assim. I haven’t had pancakes like those in a long time.

Estou à espera do cartão seis meses. I’ve been waiting for that card for six months.

Similarly, Haver can be used to ask how long something has been going on for. Examples:

Haver as “To Exist”/”To Have”

August 21, 2019

The first and easiest of Haver’s many uses is “to exist”. That is to say, the verb indicates that something exists somewhere. In English, the verb “to be” would typically be used in these contexts. Examples:

dois cadernos na tua secretária. There are two notebooks on your desk.

uma laranja podre no cesto da fruta. There is a rotten orange in the fruit basket.

cobertores no sótão. There are blankets in the attic.

This use of Haver is very easy to identify since sentences are usually structured as Haver + Object + Location of said object.

Sometimes, the location not mentioned. In this case, Haver sometimes means not only that something exists, but that that thing is for sale or being offered. Examples:

The Verb Haver

August 20, 2019

If you’ve been learning Portuguese for a while, and if you’ve done our unit on ~ER Verbs (if you haven’t, go do it now!), you might’ve noticed a glaring absence: the verb Haver (“to exist”). Along with Ser and Estar, Haver is one of the most essential and versatile Portuguese verbs.

For the purposes of this lesson, let’s look at the two most common tenses of the verb:

INDICATIVE (Indicativo)

Present (Presente) Past Perfect (Pretérito Perfeito)
Eu hei


Tu hás houveste
Ele/Ela houve
Nós havemos houvemos
Vós haveis houvestes
Eles/Elas hão houveram

Applying For A Portuguese NIF Number

August 16, 2019

Portuguese bureaucracy can be very complicated, but applying for a NIF is at least a relatively gentle introduction. If you are going to live and/or work in Portugal, this number will chase you around, as you’ll need it for any kind of contract (opening a bank account, buying or renting a house, utilities, Internet, employment, etc…), so getting it should be very high on your to-do list.

What is a NIF number?

NIF stands for Número de Identificação Fiscal (also called Número de Contribuinte) and it is a 9-digit unique personal identifier for tax purposes. This tax number is necessary for both individual and collective persons/companies, but for companies it is actually called NIPC (Número de Identificação de Pessoa Coletiva – Collective Person ID Number) instead of NIF.

Apart from its identification purposes, the NIF is also a way of fighting tax evasion and fraud. For example, it has become very common for businesses to ask customers if they want to include their NIF on receipts, because it results in deductions on their tax returns and may even grant them big prizes, as receipt numbers are drawn every month in a national fiscal lottery.

Quer contribuinte na fatura? Would you like your tax number on the receipt?

Who can ask for a NIF and where do you get it?

The NIF can be requested by any citizen at any given time, whether or not you’re a national or even a resident. However, if you’re a non-resident and non-EU/EEA citizen, you will need to

How to Become a Freelancer in Portugal and Issue Recibos Verdes

August 16, 2019

Ever heard of Recibos Verdes? The name translates to “green receipts/invoices”. They are well-known to anyone working as a registered freelancer in Portugal and are the means through which you can formally invoice clients and declare your income for tax and social security purposes.

You can register as a freelancer and issue Recibos Verdes online on the Portuguese tax authority’s platform (Portal das Finanças). However, you may need to recruit the help of a knowledgeable Portuguese speaker, because while it contains several help guides in English, the website itself is all in Portuguese and you do need to be careful filling out the registration form.

You can also register in person at any local Serviço de Finanças tax office (locations here) or Loja do Cidadão Citizen Shop (locations here).

Requisites to Register as a Freelancer

This is what you should need in order to abrir uma atividade independente open an independent activity, register as a freelancer:

Infinitivo Impessoal vs Pessoal

August 16, 2019

The Infinitivo is one of the three formas nominais (nominal forms) verbs can have. These nominal forms do not express the verb tense, mode, and person by themselves, as they are dependent on the context in which they appear.

The infinitivo expresses the idea of an action and it could be thought of as the base form of the verb.

There are two types of infinitivo: Impessoal (Impersonal) and Pessoal (Personal). We’ll dive into each type below and explain the differences.

Infinitivo Impessoal

The Infinitivo Impessoal (impersonal infinitive) is invariable, meaning it appears without any conjugation as it doesn’t have a subject.

É obrigatório lavar as mãos. Washing hands is mandatory.

The example above is not referring to anyone specific, just to the general idea of “washing”.

However, the infinitive can also appear as the subject of a sentence itself.

Errar é humano. To err is human.

Amar é viver. To love is to live.

Again here, the verbs refer to the general idea of the action, rather than to a specific person doing the action.

Infinitivo Pessoal

The Infinitivo Pessoal (personal infinitive) differs because there is a known subject. It is formed by adding the terminations -es (tu) , -mos (nós), -des (vós) and -em (eles, elas, vocês) to the Infinitivo Impessoal. (Because the 2nd person plural vós is rarely used nowadays, we’ll focus our attention on the other three.)

The following table shows how the Infinitivo Pessoal is conjugated with three different verbs.

Ser vs. Estar – How to Use Estar

July 24, 2019

By now, “Ser” should be more familiar to you. But what about  estar to be non-permanent state? Let’s have a closer look at some of the contexts in which you use the verb “Estar”.

For Emotions

What are you feeling? “Estar” is used to convey feelings. Example:

Estou tão triste. I am so sad.

For Weather

“Estar” is often used for weather. Example:

Hoje está calor. It is hot today.

Ser vs. Estar – How to Use Ser 1

July 24, 2019

We know, we know: no matter how essential they are, Ser and Estar are two difficult verbs. If the simplified distinction in the previous lesson wasn’t enough for you, you’re in luck. In this lesson, we’ll have a more detailed look at how to use the verb ser to be permanent state , with plenty of examples to help you. So, what is “ser” used for? Well…

For Names

“Ser” is most often used in presenting ourselves to others. Example:

O meu nome é Daniela. My name is Daniela.

For Addresses and Telephone Numbers

“Ser” is a very handy verb when you need to tell someone your personal details. Examples:

O endereço dele é Rua Afonso Henriques, nº 20. His address is Rua Afonso Henriques, no. 20.

O número deles é o 276 123 456. Their number is 276 123 456.

For Countries and Nationalities

“Ser” is needed when expressing someone’s nationality. Examples:

Irregular Verbs -IR

July 24, 2019

Let’s start out with a regular verb example, just to clean your palate 🍷:


to open


Abrir – Indicativo – Presente

A loja abre muito cedo.
The store opens very early.

  • eu abro
  • I open
  • tu abres
  • you open
  • ele / ela abre
  • he / she opens
  • você abre
  • you formal open
  • nós abrimos
  • we open
  • eles / elas abrem
  • they masc. / they fem. open
  • vocês abrem
  • you pl. open


And now, a very common and very irregular example:


to go


Ir – Indicativo – Presente

Nós vamos lá muito.
We go there a lot.

  • eu vou
  • I go
  • tu vais
  • you go
  • ele / ela vai
  • he / she goes
  • você vai
  • you formal go
  • nós vamos
  • we go
  • eles / elas vão
  • they masc. / they fem. go
  • vocês vão
  • you pl. go


Here’s another irregular (and perhaps less scary) example:

Buying a Home in Portugal

July 17, 2019

In recent years, Portugal has become more popular with foreigners looking to buy a home. Housing prices dropped significantly after an economic downturn, but as the economy recovers, property prices are beginning to rise again, especially in certain areas. Still, interest rates remain low and many are drawn to the climate, quality of life, relatively low cost of living, rich culture, and peaceful atmosphere of Portugal. We’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the home-buying process in Portugal.

Irregular Verbs -ER

July 9, 2019

Let’s start out with a regular verb:


to write


Escrever – Indicativo – Presente

Tu escreves poemas lindos.
You write beautiful poems.

  • eu escrevo
  • I write
  • tu escreves
  • you write
  • ele / ela escreve
  • he / she writes
  • você escreve
  • you formal write
  • nós escrevemos
  • we write
  • eles / elas escrevem
  • they masc. / they fem. write
  • vocês escrevem
  • you pl. write


The verb stem escrev- is combined with the regular -ER present tense endings (-o, –es, –e, –emos, –em).

For an irregular example, let’s have a look at  “ser”, which you’ve likely seen by now. This verb is a mess! Not only does it have non-standard endings, but it doesn’t even have a fixed verb stem (that is, the beginning part of the conjugation is different).


to be (permanent condition)


Ser – Indicativo – Presente

Tu és uma boa pessoa.
You’re a good person.

  • eu sou
  • I am
  • tu és
  • you are
  • ele / ela é
  • he / she is
  • você é
  • you formal are
  • nós somos
  • we are
  • eles / elas são
  • they masc. / they fem. are
  • vocês são
  • you pl. are


The next irregular example is

Regular Verbs in the Present Tense: IR Verbs

June 3, 2019

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 3rd and final group:

IR Verb Endings

The -IR verb conjugations are very similar to the -ER verbs, except for one little difference… can you spot it? 🤔

Masculine vs. Feminine & Indefinite Articles + Plurals

May 8, 2019

Indefinite Articles – How to Say “a / an / some” In Portuguese

We just learned how to say “the car”, but what if you want to talk about “a car” in general? This is called an indefinite article (artigo indefinido), because we’re talking about an undefined car, rather than a specific instance of a car. In English, we use “a”, “an”, and the plural form “some”.


In Portuguese, there are 4 indefinite articles: um, umauns, umas. Once again, it depends on the gender and plurality:

  • Masculine, singular: um carro

    a car
  • Feminine, singular: uma mesa a table
  • Masculine, plural: uns carros some cars
  • Feminine, plural: umas mesas some tables

When to use Indefinite Articles

We use artigos indefinidos when we want to talk about a subject or an object without specifying it.

Numbers – Collective Numerals

May 8, 2019

Collective numbers are the ones that even in their singular form indicate a group of beings or things:

Eles são um quarteto famoso They are a famous quartet

They work as a noun and are variable in number:

A médica salvou várias dezenas de pessoas The doctor saved several dozens of people

Numbers – Fractional Numerals

May 7, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll learn about fractional numerals. Fractional numerals (quantificadores fraccionários) define exact fractions, or parts, of a given thing. Let’s have a look at them.

Quantificador fraccionário Fractional numeral Quantificador fraccionário Fractional numeral
meio/metade half dezasseis avos sixteenth (part)
terço third dezassete avos seventeenth (part)
quarto fourth dezoito avos eighteenth (part)
quinto fifth dezanove avos nineteenth (part)
sexto sixth vinte avos/vigésimo twentieth (part)
sétimo seventh trigésimo thirtieth (part)
oitavo eighth quadragésimo fourtieth (part)
nono ninth quinquagésimo fiftieth (part)
décimo tenth sexagésimo sixtieth (part)
onze avos/undécimo eleventh (part) septuagésimo seventieth (part)
doze avos/duodécimo twelfth (part) octogésimo eightieth (part)
treze avos thirteenth (part) nonagésimo ninetieth (part)
quatorze avos fourteenth (part) centésimo hundredth (part)
quinze avos fifteenth (part) milésimo thousandth (part)

Fractionals, just like multipliers, are paired with the preposition “de” or its prepositional contraction.

Numbers – Multiplier Numerals

May 7, 2019

Multipliers define multiples of a given thing or person. Let’s have a look at a few.

Quantificador Multiplicativo Multiplier
duplo/dobro twice/double/duplicate
triplo/tríplice thrice/triple/triplicate
quádruplo quadruple
quíntuplo quintuple
sêxtuplo sextuple, hextuple
sétuplo septuple, heptuple

Multipliers are always preceded by the definite article “o”, and they’re paired with the preposition “de” or its prepositional contractions.


Tenho agora o dobro da tua idade. I am now twice your age.

Montemor tem agora o quádruplo dos habitantes. Montemor now has four times as many inhabitants.

Numbers – Ordinal Numerals

May 7, 2019

Ordinal numbers tell us the order people, animals, or things take in a specific series:

A mulher foi a primeira a chegar The woman was the first to arrive.

They are variable in gender and number:

O homem foi o primeiro a chegar The man was the first to arrive

Numbers – Cardinal Numerals

May 7, 2019

What do they do?

Cardinal numbers simply indicate the number of people, animals, or things.

Eu tenho três irmãos I have three brothers

Ela tem dez pássaros She has ten birds

Vocês compram vinte laranjas You buy twenty oranges

They are invariable, except…

The majority of cardinal numbers are invariable, however, um

, dois

and the centenas hundreds, starting at 200, do depend on the gender of the noun.


May 3, 2019

In the next 3 units, we’ll learn about Portuguese números numbers or numerais numerals.

Números are just one type of quantificadores quantifiers, but they are so important that we thought they deserved their own unit. (All the other types of quantificadores will be explained in a later unit.) Números tell us the specific, numeric amount of a particular something.