Adverbs of Time – Quase, Ainda, Enfim, Agora e Sempre

Adverbs of time (advérbios de tempo) can tell us when, how often, or for how long an action happens. As with most other adverbs, adverbs of time are always invariable.
In this lesson we’ll start with some of the most frequent adverbs of time in Portuguese, which are:


We’ve dealt with quase in the previous lesson, as an adverb of degree, remember? Well, as an adverb of time, quase expresses that something is about to happen or is almost starting/finishing. So the translation may be the same, but the meaning is a little different.
O João está quase a chegar. John is about to arrive.
Usually in these contexts you could also replace quase a with prestes a.


Ainda is the equivalent of “still” or “yet” in English.
Ainda estou à espera da minha mãe. I’m still waiting for my mum.
Ainda não vi esse filme. I haven’t seen that film yet.


Enfim is more or less equivalent of “finally” or “at last” in English. It is often used emphatically.
Enfim, estava a ver que nunca mais chegávamos! Finally, I thought we’d never arrive!
Enfim, ele voltou! At last, he’s back!


Agora is the equivalent of “now” in English.
Vamos para a aula agora. We’re going to class now.
Agora apetece-me uma bebida. Now I feel like having a drink.


Sempre is the equivalent of “always” in English.
Aqui faz sempre sol. Here it is always sunny.

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