• Sort By

  • Type

  • Episode Type

  • Topic

  • People

  • Level

Talking About the Future with “Haver”

August 21, 2019

The verb haver can also be used indicate that someone will do something at some point in the future. To use it like this, we conjugate the verb in the Present Indicative tense and add the preposition de. This is a rather formal way of describing a future action or intention.

Hei de visitar a minha avó. I shall visit my grandmother.

Hás de ir a França um dia. You shall go to France one day.

Haver can also be used in a similar fashion to make a request. When haver + de is used to ask for something, it implies “in the future, as soon as you have the time/it is convenient”. Let’s look at a few examples:

Talking About the Past with “Haver”

August 21, 2019

Another common use of haver is to indicate that an amount of time has passed before the present moment.

When used in this way, haver is only conjugated in the third person singular: . This is known as haver‘s impersonal use because the verb doesn’t have a specific subject. Thus, there are no other conjugations. It roughly corresponds to the English adverb ago, or to other expressions which signal that a certain amount of time has passed. Let’s have a look at some examples:

As piscinas fecharam cinco minutos. The pools closed five minutes ago.

Há muito que não comia panquecas assim. I haven’t had pancakes like those in a long time.

Estou à espera do cartão seis meses. I’ve been waiting for that card for six months.

Similarly, haver can be used to ask how long something has been going on for. Examples:

Haver as “To Exist / To Have”

August 21, 2019

The first and easiest of the many meanings of haver is to exist. That is to say, the verb indicates that something “is” or “exists” somewhere. In English, the verb there to be would typically be used in these contexts. When used in this sense, the verb haver is impersonal and has very few usable forms. It can’t be conjugated like other verbs.

dois cadernos na tua secretária. There are two notebooks on your desk.

uma laranja podre no cesto da fruta. There is a rotten orange in the fruit basket.

cobertores no sótão. There are blankets in the attic.

Word Order

This use of haver is very easy to identify since sentences are usually structured as Haver + Object + Location of said object, as in the examples above.

The location is not always mentioned, however. In this context, haver sometimes implies that something is for sale or being offered.

The Verb “Haver”

August 20, 2019

If you’ve been learning Portuguese for a while, and if you’ve done our unit on -ER Verbs (if you haven’t, go do it now!), you may have noticed a glaring absence: the verb haver , one of the most essential Portuguese verbs.

Haver is an odd beast, as we shall see in the next two lessons. The verb haver is mainly used in three different ways: to indicate that something exists, to indicate that something has happened in the past, or to say that something will happen in the future.

When used as a main verb to indicate the existence of something, the verb haver is impersonal and can’t be conjugated!

there is

houvethere was

haviathere was, there used to be

haveráthere will be

But it is often used as an auxiliary verb, in which case it can be conjugated in different tenses and persons. In practice, it is only used in this way in very few tenses.

For the purposes of this lesson, let’s see three of the most common tenses of the verb:

Applying For A Portuguese NIF Number

August 16, 2019

Portuguese bureaucracy can be very complicated, but applying for a NIF is at least a relatively gentle introduction. If you are going to live and/or work in Portugal, this number will chase you around, as you’ll need it for any kind of contract (opening a bank account, buying or renting a house, utilities, Internet, employment, etc.), so getting one should be very high on your to-do list.

What is a NIF number?

NIF stands for Número de Identificação Fiscal Tax Identification Number and it is commonly called Número de Contribuinte Taxpayer Number. It is a 9-digit unique personal identifier used for tax purposes. This tax number is necessary for both individual and collective persons/companies, but for companies it is actually called Número de Identificação de Pessoa Coletiva Collective Person ID Number or NIPC, instead of NIF.

Apart from its identification purposes, the NIF is also a way of fighting tax evasion and fraud. It has become very common for businesses to ask customers if they want to include their NIF on receipts because it results in deductions on their tax returns and may even grant them big prizes, as receipt numbers are drawn every month in a national fiscal lottery.

Quer contribuinte na fatura? Would you like your tax number on the receipt?

Who can ask for a NIF and where do you get it?

The NIF can be requested by anyone at any time, whether or not you’re a national or even a resident. However, if you’re a non-resident and non-EU/EEA citizen, you will need to

How to Become a Freelancer in Portugal and Issue Recibos Verdes

August 16, 2019

Ever heard of Recibos Verdes? The name translates to “green receipts/invoices”. They are well-known to anyone working as a registered freelancer in Portugal and are the means through which you can formally invoice clients and declare your income for tax and social security purposes.

You can register as a freelancer and issue Recibos Verdes online on the Portuguese tax authority’s platform (Portal das Finanças). However, you may need to recruit the help of a knowledgeable Portuguese speaker, because while it contains several help guides in English, the website itself is all in Portuguese and you do need to be careful filling out the registration form.

You can also register in person at any local Serviço de Finanças tax office (locations here) or Loja do Cidadão Citizen Shop (locations here).

Registering as a Freelancer

This is what you should need in order to abrir uma atividade independente open an independent activity, register as a freelancer:

Impersonal vs Personal Infinitive

August 16, 2019

The infinitivo infinitive is one of the three formas nominais nominal forms verbs can have. These nominal forms do not express the verb tense, mode, and person by themselves, as they are dependent on the context in which they appear.

The infinitive expresses the idea of an action and it could be thought of as the base form of the verb.

There are two types of infinitives: impessoal impersonal and pessoal personal. We’ll dive into each type below and explain the differences.

Impersonal Infinitive

The infinitivo impessoal impersonal infinitive is invariable, meaning it appears in its full form (without any conjugation) as it doesn’t have a subject.

É obrigatório lavar as mãos. Washing hands is mandatory.

The example above is not referring to anyone specific, just to the general idea of “washing”.

However, the infinitive can also appear as the subject of a sentence itself.

Errar é humano. To err is human.

Amar é viver. To love is to live.

Again, the verbs refer to the general idea of the action, rather than to a specific person doing the action.

Personal Infinitive

The infinitivo pessoal personal infinitive differs because there is a known subject. It is formed by adding the following endings to the impersonal infinitive:

  • -es (tu),
  • -mos (nós),
  • -des (vós), or
  • -em (eles, elas, vocês)

(Because the 2nd person plural vós is rarely used nowadays, we’ll focus our attention on the other three.)

The following table shows how the personal infinitive is conjugated with three different verbs.

When to Use Estar

July 24, 2019

By now, ser to be permanent should be more familiar to you, but what about estar to be temporary? The verb estar is used for non-permanent (i.e. temporary) conditions, traits, or things. Let’s explore many of the common contexts in which you would use estar.


Estou tão triste. I am so sad.


Hoje está calor. It is hot today.

More Uses of Ser

July 24, 2019

Building on what you learned in When to Use Ser, the verb ser to be permanent is also used to talk about:

Time of Day

If you need to tell the time, ser is your go-to verb.

São duas horas. It is two o’clock.

É meia-noite. It is midnight.


When to Use Ser

July 24, 2019

We know, we know… No matter how essential they are, ser to be permanent and estar to be temporary are two difficult verbs. If the simplified distinction in the previous lesson wasn’t enough for you, you’re in luck. In this lesson, we’ll have a more detailed look at how and when to use the verb ser to be permanent , with plenty of examples to help you.


We use ser to introduce ourselves to others.

O meu nome é Daniela. My name is Daniela.

Addresses and Telephone Numbers

O endereço dele é Rua Afonso Henriques, nº 20. His address is Rua Afonso Henriques, no. 20.

O número deles é o 276 123 456. Their number is 276 123 456.

Countries and Nationalities

We use ser to express where we are from.

Irregular -IR Verbs

July 24, 2019

Quick review of regular -IR verb endings

Let’s start out with a regular -IR verb example, just to cleanse your palate 🍷:


to open


Abrir – Indicativo – Presente

A loja abre muito cedo.
The store opens very early.

  • eu abro
  • I open
  • tu abres
  • you open
  • ele / ela abre
  • he / she opens
  • você abre
  • you formal open
  • nós abrimos
  • we open
  • eles / elas abrem
  • they masc. / they fem. open
  • vocês abrem
  • you pl. open


Irregular -IR Verbs

And now, a very common and very irregular example:


to go


Ir – Indicativo – Presente

Nós vamos lá muito.
We go there a lot.

  • eu vou
  • I go
  • tu vais
  • you go
  • ele / ela vai
  • he / she goes
  • você vai
  • you formal go
  • nós vamos
  • we go
  • eles / elas vão
  • they masc. / they fem. go
  • vocês vão
  • you pl. go


Here’s another irregular (and perhaps less scary) example:

Buying a Home in Portugal

July 17, 2019

In recent years, Portugal has become more popular with foreigners looking to buy a home. Housing prices dropped significantly after an economic downturn, but as the economy recovers, property prices are beginning to rise again, especially in certain areas. Still, interest rates remain low and many are drawn to the climate, quality of life, relatively low cost of living, rich culture, and peaceful atmosphere of Portugal. We’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the home-buying process in Portugal.

Irregular -ER Verbs

July 9, 2019

Quick review of regular -ER verb endings

Let’s start out with a regular verb:


to write


Escrever – Indicativo – Presente

Tu escreves poemas lindos.
You write beautiful poems.

  • eu escrevo
  • I write
  • tu escreves
  • you write
  • ele / ela escreve
  • he / she writes
  • você escreve
  • you formal write
  • nós escrevemos
  • we write
  • eles / elas escrevem
  • they masc. / they fem. write
  • vocês escrevem
  • you pl. write


The verb stem escrev- is combined with the regular -ER present tense endings (-o, –es, –e, –emos, –em).

Irregular -ER Verbs

For an irregular example, let’s have a look at ser to be permanent, which you’ve likely seen by now. This verb is a mess! Not only does it have non-standard endings, but it doesn’t even have a fixed verb stem (that is, the beginning part of the conjugation is different).


to be (permanent condition)


Ser – Indicativo – Presente

Tu és uma boa pessoa.
You’re a good person.

  • eu sou
  • I am
  • tu és
  • you are
  • ele / ela é
  • he / she is
  • você é
  • you formal are
  • nós somos
  • we are
  • eles / elas são
  • they masc. / they fem. are
  • vocês são
  • you pl. are


The next irregular example is

Indefinite Articles in Portuguese

May 8, 2019

How to Say A, An, & Some In Portuguese

We just learned how to say “the car” using definite articles, but what if you want to talk about “a car” in general? This is called an artigo indefinidoindefinite article, because we’re talking about an undefined car, rather than a specific instance of a car.

In English, we use a, an, and the plural form some.

In Portuguese, there are 4 indefinite articles: um a, an uma a, an uns some umas some

Once again, the specific form used depends on the gender and number of the noun:

  • Masculine, singular: um carro a car
  • Feminine, singular: uma mesa a table
  • Masculine, plural: uns carros some cars
  • Feminine, plural: umas mesas some tables

When to use Indefinite Articles

We use indefinite articles when we want to talk about a subject or an object without specifying a particular one. For example:

Collective Numbers

May 8, 2019

Collective numbers are those that even in their singular form indicate a group of beings or things:

Eles são um quarteto famoso They are a famous quartet

They work as a noun and are variable in number:

A médica salvou várias dezenas de pessoas The doctor saved several dozens of people

Fractional Numbers

May 7, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll learn about quantificadores fraccionários fractional numbers, which define exact fractions, or parts, of a given thing. Let’s have a look:

List of Portuguese Fractional Numbers

Fractional numbers 1/2 – 1/10 Fractional numbers 1/11 – 1/19 Fractional numbers 1/20 – 1/1000
  • meio half metade half
  • terço third
  • quarto fourth
  • quinto fifth
  • sexto sixth
  • sétimo seventh
  • oitavo eighth
  • nono ninth
  • décimo tenth
  • onze avos eleventh part undécimo eleventh
  • doze avos twelfthpart duodécimo twelfth
  • treze avos thirteenthpart
  • catorze avos fourteenthpart
  • quinze avos fifteenthpart
  • dezasseis avos sixteenthpart
  • dezassete avos seventeenthpart
  • dezoito avos eighteenthpart
  • dezanove avos nineteenthpart
  • vinte avos twentiethpart vigésimo twentieth
  • trigésimo thirtieth
  • quadragésimo fortieth
  • quinquagésimo fiftieth
  • sexagésimo sixtieth
  • septuagésimo seventieth
  • octogésimo eightieth
  • nonagésimo ninetieth
  • centésimo hundredth
  • milésimo thousandth

Multiplier Numbers

May 7, 2019

Multipliers define multiples of a given thing or person. Let’s have a look at a few:

  • duplo double
  • dobro double, twice
  • triplo triple
  • quádruplo quadruple
  • quíntuplo quintuple
  • sêxtuplo sextuple
  • sétuplo septuple

Multipliers are always preceded by the definite article o, and they’re paired with the preposition de (or its prepositional contractions).

Tenho agora o dobro da tua idade. I am now twice your age.

Montemor tem agora o quádruplo dos habitantes. Montemor now has four times as many inhabitants.

Ordinal Numbers

May 7, 2019

Ordinal numbers tell us the order people, animals, or things take in a specific series:

A mulher foi a primeira a chegar The woman was the first to arrive.

They are variable, meaning they must match the subject in gender and number:

O homem foi o primeiro a chegar The man was the first to arrive

Cardinal Numbers

May 7, 2019

What are cardinal numbers?

Cardinal numbers are basically regular ol’ numbers. They simply indicate the number of people, animals, or things.

Eu tenho três irmãos I have three brothers

Ela tem dez pássaros She has ten birds

Vocês compram vinte laranjas You buy twenty oranges

They are invariable, except…

The majority of cardinal numbers are invariable, meaning they only have one form. There are a few important exceptions, however: um one, dois two and the centenas hundreds, starting at 200, do change form depending on the gender of the noun. For example:

Introduction to Numbers in Portuguese

May 3, 2019

In this unit, we’ll learn about Portuguese números numbers or numerais numerals.

Números are just one type of quantificadores quantifiers, but they are so important that we thought they deserved their own unit. (All the other types of quantifiers will be explained in a later unit.) Números tell us the specific, numeric amount of a particular something.

The 5 Types of Numbers:

Existential Quantifiers

May 2, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll learn about quantificadores existenciais existential quantifiers. Existential quantifiers provide information about quantity without specifying an exact quantity or amount. In English, we would use words like many, few, some, so much, another, several, and plenty. Let’s take a look at how to express these concepts in Portuguese.

Muito, Muita, Muitos, Muitas

Muito and muita are the singular form equivalents to many, very, much, or a lot. Examples:

muito very, a lot masc.

Tenho muito medo! I’m very afraid!

muita very, a lot fem.

Isto ainda é muita coisa para levar. This is still a lot to carry.

Universal Quantifiers

May 1, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll learn about quantificadores universais universal quantifiers. Universal quantifiers are quantifiers that apply to every element of a given group. In English, this would include words like all, none, any, both, and every. Let’s learn about each of the words used to express these concepts in Portuguese.

Todo, Toda, Todos, Todas

Todo and toda are the singular form equivalents to all, whole, every, or entire in English.

todo all, entire masculine

Limpei este quarto todo. I cleaned this entire room.

toda all, entire feminine

Passei a manhã toda a estudar. I spent the whole morning studying.

Todos and todas are the plural forms of todo and toda.

Interrogative Quantifiers

April 23, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at the last subset of quantifiers: quantificadores interrogativos interrogative quantifiers. Interrogative quantifiers introduce questions related to quantities. These types of questions are invariably answered using another quantifier. The interrogative quantifiers include:

Quanto? How much?masc.

Quanta? How much?fem.

Quantos? How many?masc.

Quantas? How many?fem.

How much?

Remember quanto and quanta from the previous lesson? As a relative quantifier, we used these words in the context of “as much as”, but as an interrogative quantifier, they have a slightly different meaning. When used to question a quantity, quanto and quanta are the singular form equivalents to “how much” in English.


Quanto gastaste ontem? How much did you spend yesterday?