Adverbs of Affirmation and Adverbs of Negation

Adverbs of affirmation (advérbios de afirmação) and adverbs of negation (advérbios de negação) are some of the most essential words in all of the Portuguese language (and, indeed, any language). They are always invariable, so no need to worry about different variations or uses. For English speakers, they are incredibly straightforward to learn and sometimes even to guess.

Affirmation

Adverbs of affirmation are, as the name implies, words which declare that a given statement or fact is true, or “positive”. They include:

Sim

Sim literally just means “yes”. Things don’t get any simpler than this.
Example:
Sim, eu vou contigo. Yes, I’ll come with you.

Realmente

Realmente is the equivalent to “indeed” in English.
Example:
Realmente, este casaco é confortável.Indeed, this jacket is comfortable.

Certamente

Certamente is the Portuguese equivalent to “certainly” or “for sure” in English.
Examples:
Estás a perguntar-me se quero gelado? Certamente! You’re asking me whether I want any ice-cream? For sure!
Esse é certamente um bom motivo. That is certainly a good motive.

Negation

Adverbs of negation, on the other hand, declare that a given statement is false, or “negative”. They include:

Não

The most used adverb (possibly the most used word!) in the entire Portuguese language, it is equivalent to the English “no”.  Example:
Não, não quero esse livro.No, I don’t want that book.

Nem

A bit of an exception to the straightforwardness, nem means “not even”.
Example:
Nem sequer trouxe o meu portátil. I didn’t even bring my laptop.

Nunca

Nunca is the equivalent to “never”.
Example:
Nunca fui ao Algarve. I’ve never been to the Algarve.

Jamais

Jamais is a very emphatic adverb. It’s a more intense version of “never” or, more specifically, “never ever”.
Examples:
Jamais voltarei àquele restaurante! I’ll never, ever return to that restaurant!
 

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