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Adverbs of Place: Near, Far, etc.

In this lesson, we’ll be looking at advérbios de lugar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio adverbs of place. These adverbs tell us where something happens or where something is, so they’re pretty essential for building up your Portuguese sentences.

Placing Adverbs of Place

Portuguese adverbs of place are quite versatile as they can be placed before or after the verb they’re modifying. Unlike other adverbs, adverbs of place don’t modify adjectives or other adverbs; they only modify verbs. Sounds simple, right? Let’s see a few of them in action:

Onde

Onde paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Where
Onde está a minha camisola? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Where’s my jumper?
Está onde a deixaste. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio It’s where you left it.

Longe

Longe paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Far
A minha casa fica longe da praia. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio My house is far from the beach.
Braga é longe de Lisboa. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Braga is far from Lisbon.

Perto

Perto paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Close, near
Estamos perto. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio We’re close.
Ela disse para a encontrarmos perto do banco. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio She told us to meet her near the bank.

Adiante

Adiante paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Ahead, forward
O castelo fica adiante. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio The castle lies ahead.
Nós já vamos, ele vai adiante. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio We’ll go in a minute, he’ll go ahead (of us) .

Antes*

Antes paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Before, in front
O museu fica logo antes da padaria. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio The museum is just before the bakery.
Ela é a que está antes do João na fotografia. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio She’s the one in front of João in the picture.

Depois*

Depois paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio After
A câmara municipal fica depois do posto de correios. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio The town hall comes after the post office.
*Just like before and after in English, antes and depois do double duty as adverbs of time.

Comments

  • I’m trying not to let my brain explode when you include things like “Ela é a que está antes do João na fotografia” (é a que está!??!) because I have a suspicion you’re trying to familiarise us with that sort of construction by introducing it sneakily now and then! Hopefully you are right and eventually it will seem quite natural…

    • Haha, guilty! We can be sneaky like that… It may help a little bit to break it up like this:

      Ela é – She is
      a que – the one that
      está – is
      antes do João – in front of João
      na fotografia. – in the picture

      • the above is great thanks.
        As for my comprehension, I have grown into translating while reading to a direct English word counterpart. So, to my mind: -She is the that is before of the João in the photo.- Im finding its preferable for me to leave it this way than to rely on the translations too much. I don’t know why? Perhaps this quirk of mine will help me transfer to thinking in Portuguese in the future……

  • Thank you, Molly!

    I suppose it’s like saying “Ela é a PESSOA que está antes do João na fotografia” — only with “pessoa =” taken out. It surprises me, though, because in English you’d have to substitute with another noun like “one” … I’ll get my head around it eventually!!

    • No problem! Yes, or even better, it’s basically like saying “She is the FEMALE that is in front of João”. You could think of the “a” in “a que” as just standing in for a female person/noun. And, if we were talking about a male, it would be “o que” with “o” standing in for a male person/noun.

  • How do you get “We’ll go in a minute, ” out of “Nós já vamos, ele vai adiante”?
    Is it just a colloquial saying?

    • This is a more natural translation, rather than a direct one 🙂 But “Nós já vamos” does mean “We’ll go soon/in a bit/in a minute”. It’s one of the idiomatic uses of the word “já” (which usually just means “already”).

    • No, not really 🙂 They can generally be used as synonyms, as long as you structure the rest of the sentence accordingly.
      For example:
      Se calhar vou à praia. = Talvez vá à praia. (Maybe I’ll go to the beach) -> Note the different verb tenses.

  • Why is it encontrarmos and not encontrarnos? Is is something to do with an “m” after an “r” instead of an “n”?

    • Olá, Patrícia. There is encontrarmos, which is a future subjunctive and personal infinitive verb form, and there’s encontrar-nos, which is the standard infinitive (impersonal) + the clitic pronoun nos (“us”). So, both forms exist, but with different uses 🙂

  • Ok. Are you saying that in the sentence “Ela disse para a encontrarmos perto do banco”, “encontrarmos” is being used in the personal infinitive verb form rather than in the standard infinitive? Could you use either in this sentence? Sorry if I am being thick!

    • Yes, ‘encontrarmos’ is in the personal infinitive here. It is more correct to use the personal infinitive here instead of the impersonal because there are two different subjects: Ela (her) and the implicit nós (we). “Ela disse para (nós) a encontrarmos perto do barco”

  • Now I understand. Thanks. This is an excellent website and I love the fact that we can ask questions when we do not understand something.

  • Thanks! This adverb lesson is definitely going to help me improve a lot!

    One question.. Which I’ve been discussing about with a Portuguese friend of mine. In one of the lessons the words “se calhar” are used. For maybe. So my question is when to use “se calhar” and when to use “talvez”??

    • Olá, Jonathan! Another commenter posted a similar question here, and what I told him was that they can generally be used as synonyms, as long as you structure the rest of the sentence accordingly.
      For example:
      Se calhar vou à praia. = Talvez à praia. (Maybe I’ll go to the beach) -> Note the different verb tenses.

  • Ok thanks a lot for the reply.

    I don’t know exactly how to use this difference though for talvez

    So se calhar seems to have the normal present verb tense here. So talvez is then always used in a different tense? Talvez vou a praia is not correct? How would I apply talvez in different sentences?

    • You’re welcome. Yes, ‘se calhar’ usually asks for the indicative mood (simple present, simple past…), while ‘talvez’ asks for the subjunctive mood`(present subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive – not the future, though). That’s why “Talvez vou à praia” is incorrect – the verb is in the present indicative instead of the present subjunctive.
      – Se calhar, tu sabes isto. [present indicative] = Talvez tu saibas isto. [present subjunctive] (Maybe you know this)
      – Se calhar, ela trabalhava muito. [imperfect indicative] = Talvez ela trabalhasse muito. [imperfect subjunctive] (Maybe she worked a lot)

  • Ok it’s clear thanks!

    It’s also clear that I need more verb mood practice.

    I’ll stick mostly to se calhar to avoid mistakes for now. And throw in a talvez every now and then to try, while I work on the subjunctive mood.

  • Olá!

    About this sentence:

    O museu fica logo antes da padaria.

    couldn’t it mean “the museum is in front of the bakery” as well as “the museum is before the bakery”? (before, in the meaning: on the same side of the street but closer to me)
    Then what would the difference be with “O museu fica logo adiante da padaria.” ?

    I guess I’m a bit confused about adiante / antes because I’m French and both look like the French “devant” or “en face”…

    • Olá, Matthieu! In French, “antes” means “avant”, not “devant”. It can translate as “in front” in English, but more in the context of a line up, not quite something face to face. So, only your second option would apply (The museum is before the bakery – closer to you). “Adiante da padaria” means that the museum is further ahead, after the bakery.

  • Olá Joseph.
    Se calher/ talvez = maybe/ perhaps. With both using the subjunctive after talvez? I tend to use perhaps over maybe in english. Is there a subtle difference in translation to portuguese of the two words?

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