Adverbs of Time: Almost, Always, etc.

Advérbios de tempo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Adverbs of time can tell us when, how often, or for how long an action happens. As with most other Portuguese 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:

  • Quase paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Almost, about (to)
  • Ainda paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Still, yet
  • Enfim paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Finally
  • Agora paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Now
  • Sempre paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Always

Quase

We dealt with quase in the previous lesson, as an adverb of degree, remember? Well, in the context of time, quase expresses the idea that something is about to happen or is almost starting/finishing, so the meaning is just slightly different. Notice how the preposition a paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to is used.
O João está quase a chegar. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio John is about to arrive.
Usually in these contexts you could also replace quase a paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio almost, about to with prestes a paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio almost, about to

Ainda

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

Enfim

Enfim is similar to finally or at last in English. It is often used when you want to sound emphatic.
Enfim, estava a ver que nunca mais chegávamos! paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Finally, I thought we’d never arrive!
Enfim, ele voltou! paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio At last, he’s back!

Agora

Agora is the equivalent of now in English.
Vamos para a aula agora. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio We’re going to class now.
Agora apetece-me uma bebida. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Now I feel like having a drink.

Sempre

Sempre is the equivalent of always in English. Though when combined with que, sometimes the English word whenever is a better translation.
Aqui faz sempre sol. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Here it is always sunny.
Nós dizemos sempre que não paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio We always say no
Vou à praia sempre que posso paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio I go to the beach whenever I can

Comments

  • Are there any guidelines for placing “sempre” before or after the verb, or are both acceptable—or maybe it depends? For example: Ela canta sempre no banho VS Ela sempre canta no banho. Obrigado!

    • Both are acceptable, buuut it depends on the Portuguese variant. In European Portuguese, we prefer to place “sempre” after the verb, while Brazilian Portuguese is the opposite!

    • Good question! It’s just an idiomatic way of phrasing that sentence. More literally it would be something like “I was seeing that never more we arrived”.

    • In the sense of “finally”, they are synonyms, with “enfim” sounding more formal, except in the expression “Até que enfim!” (Finally!), which can be used in a perfectly casual way.

      “Enfim” also has an alternative use as a sort of “Oh well” or “Anyway”.

What Did You Think? Leave Us a Comment Below:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The subject is used only for admin purposes and won't be displayed in your comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.