Let’s explore some examples of the most common words used to talk about the order and relationships among different events in time. It’s important to be able to talk about now, later, earlier, before, and after in Portuguese.
AgoraNow is the term we use to refer to the present.
O filme vai começar agora.The movie will start now.
Agora está muito frio.Now it's very cold.
Past and Future
We use antesbefore to refer to the past and depoisafter to refer to the future.Vou sair antes das 10h.I will leave before 10am.
A loja está fechada depois das 21h.The store is closed after 9pm.
Antes and depois are particularly useful when we’re trying to order several events by time.
Escovo os dentes depois de jantar e antes de ir dormir.I brush my teeth after having dinner and before going to sleep.
We can also use mais cedoearlier and mais tardelater , literally translating to “more early” and “more late”.
Amanhã eu venho mais cedoTomorrow I will come earlier
Nós vamos encontrar-nos mais tardeWe're going to meet later
Next or Last
To talk about something that just passed, we use passadopast, last , as in na semana passadalast week. (Notice how the ending changes to match the female gender of a semana.)
To talk about something coming up, we use próximonext , as in na próxima semananext week.
You may also remember this word from the phrase Até à próxima!Until next time!, See you next time!
A While Ago or In A While
Let’s discuss some important phrasing to talk about past and future time, i.e. things that happened a certain amount of time ago, or that will happen in a certain amount of time.
We’ll cover this in more detail later in the current unit, but you can use há, from the verb haver, to talk about something happening a certain amount of time ago or the period of time for which something has been happening. Há means there is / there exists, so you are talking about the time that exists between now and the past event.
- O aniversário dela foi há uma semanaHer birthday was a week ago
- As piscinas fecharam há cinco minutosThe pools closed five minutes ago
- Estou em Portugal há mais de 5 anosI've been in Portugal for more than 5 years
- Há muito tempo que nós vivemos aquiWe've been living here for a long time
You can use daqui a, which literally translates to “from now to”, to talk about something happening in a certain amount of time. In other words, it’s telling you the amount of time that will pass from now until that future event.
- O autocarro vai chegar daqui a doze minutosThe bus is going to arrive in twelve minutes
- A data limite de entrega é daqui a uma semanaThe deadline for submission is one week from today
- O vencedor vai ser anunciado daqui a poucoThe winner will be announced in a moment – i.e. in a small amount of time