Introduction to Conjunctions

Conjunctions (conjunções) are words that connect other words, phrases or sentences to each other.
Unlike adjectives, conjunctions do not change according to a subject’s gender or quantity. They always stay the same.

Simple Conjunctions vs. Conjunction Phrases

Depending on how many words it contains, a conjunction may be:

  • Simple (simples) if it consists of only one word:
    O homem e a mulher estão felizes The man and the woman are happy
    Come mais, se quiseres Eat more, if you want
  • Conjunction phrases (locuções conjuntivas) if they are made up of multiple words. These sentences are sometimes more challenging to construct since they often require the use of the “conjuntivo” verb mood in the second part of the sentence. Example:
    Ele fala como se nada tivesse acontecido. He talks as if nothing had happened

Coordinating vs. Subordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas)

  • Used to link clauses (parts of the sentence) that have equal importance
  • Both parts of the sentence could be separated without changing the meaning.
  • Examples:

Eu vou ao cinema e ela vai ao teatro I go to the cinema and she goes to the theatre.
O limão é azedo, mas eu gosto The lemon is sour, but I like it

Subordinating Conjunctions (conjunções subordinadas)

Read More


  • I love the units, and find the topics are really helpful. This unit information, I found a bit difficult, it might be easier to understand if the words in the sentences were already familiar, such as those covered in the previous units. I would have found this more helpful also, if the information was still in the present tense at this stage.
    Thank you for a great website

    • Thank you for your feedback, Laura 🙂 Good points regarding the familiarity of words and the tenses used. Unfortunately, regarding the latter, it’s not always possible to use simpler tenses or sentence structures. In this case, for example, certain conjuctions force sentences in a certain direction or are most often used in a certain way. We also try to strike a balance between keeping things familiar and offering enough novelty to continue pushing everyone forward. We’ll try to be aware of whether or not that balance is being kept!

  • I like the way you’ve done it. Not only does it make sense, but I think it helps to gradually introduce different verb types before we learn them “properly” — so that they’re not quite so scary when we get to that bit! 🙂

    Thank you for this amazing site, not sure how I’d ever learn European Portuguese without it.

  • “I don’t wait for her” is the independent clause and “she’s always late” is the dependent clause?

  • This whole series on conjunctions is really helpful with good guidance. Mas eu vou usar “mas” quando posivel……!!!!! Estou ociaso.

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