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Adverbs of Place – Dentro, Fora, Atrás, Defronte, Adiante

March 1, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll be looking at some more adverbs of place. Remember: Unlike other adverbs, adverbs of place only modify verbs.


Dentro is the equivalent to the English “in” or “inside”.


Dentro da caixa está um presente. Inside the box, there’s a present.

Ela está dentro da sala. She’s in the room.


Fora is the equivalent to “outside” in English.


Adverbs of Place – Onde, Longe, Perto, Adiante, Antes, Depois

March 1, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll be looking at adverbs of place (advérbios de lugar). These adverbs tell us where something happens, or where something is, so they’re pretty essential for building up your Portuguese sentences. Most Portuguese adverbs of place are quite straightforward for English speakers.

Placing Adverbs of Place

Portuguese adverbs of place are quite versatile: they can be placed before or after the verb they’re modifying. Unlike other adverbs, adverbs of place don’t modify adjectives or other adverbs; they only modify verbs. Sounds simple, right? Let’s see a few of them in action:


Onde is the equivalent to the English “where”.


Onde está a minha camisola?Where’s my jumper?

Está onde a deixaste. It’s where you left it.


Longe is the equivalent to “far” in English.

Storage, Tools And Cooking

February 28, 2019

Food Storage

There are many different places and containers you can use to store or preserve food. 

  • Food that can be stored at room temperature can be placed in the despensa pantry, in the armário de cozinha kitchen cabinet, or right on the bancada counter or mesa table. Fruit, in particular, can be put in a fruteira fruit holder, which might be a bowl, basket, or a whole multi-tiered stand.

  • Food that needs to be preserved at lower temperatures could be placed in the frigorífico fridge, others in the congelador freezer. Some people might have a arca frigorífica freezer cabinet, which is a bigger freezer, separate from the fridge.

Cooking Tools and Appliances

To prepare food on the kitchen counter or table, we often use a tábua de cortar cutting board.

Food Vocabulary – Main Food Groups

February 27, 2019

Food groups are convenient to help us learn food-related vocabulary in a more organized way.

Dairy Products – Laticínios

Portuguese Term English Translation
o leite (pl. leites) milk
o iogurte (pl. iogurtes) yogurt
o queijo (pl. queijos) cheese
a manteiga (pl. manteigas) butter
o gelado (pl. gelados) ice cream
a nata (pl. natas) cream

Leite, iogurte and queijo are a part of many Portuguese people’s breakfasts and snacks. Queijo, in particular, is very important and there are several tasty varieties. As for leite, there are at least three types:

  • Leite magro Skimmed milk – Very low-fat content

  • Leite meio-gordo Semi-skimmed milk – Medium fat content

  • Leite gordo Whole milk – High-fat content

Describing Food

February 23, 2019

Being the food lovers that we are, we use lots of different expressions in Portuguese to describe the food we eat or how we feel about eating it.

Hunger and Satisfaction

For starters, in Portugal we start thinking about food when we have hunger or when we are with hunger. In Portuguese, this translates to ter fome feeling hungry, or estar com fome being hungry.

If you’re really feeling quite peckish, you can say estou esfomeado I’m famished., or even estou a morrer de fome I’m dying to eat. (we take our hunger very seriously).


Tenho fome. O que há para comer? I’m hungry. What’s there to eat?

Vamos depressa, eu estou a morrer de fome! Let’s go quickly, I’m dying to eat!

Once we’re full, we say Estou cheio I’m full or the more elegant alternatives Estou satisfeito I’m satisfied and the rare Estou saciado I’m satiated.

Portuguese Prepositions – Com

February 23, 2019

One very common Portuguese preposition is com with.

Like all prepositions, it’s an invariable word placed before a noun (or pronoun) to indicate the noun’s relationship to other words.

Com is used to:

  • Indicate people or things that are currently together:

Vamos viajar com os nossos amigos. We will travel with our friends.

A refeição vem com uma bebida. The meal comes with a drink.

  • Say what someone or something has:

É um quadro com flores. It’s a painting with flowers.

  • Say what someone or something uses:

Desenho com este lápis. I draw with this pencil.

  • Describe an emotion or state:

O atleta competiu com confiança. The athlete competed with confidence.

Though com is usually equivalent to the English with, it can sometimes be equivalent to have, particularly when talking about

Adverbs of Degree – Nada, Pouco, Bastante, Muito e Demasiado

February 22, 2019

Adverbs of degree (advérbios de grau), also called adverbs of intensity (advérbios de intensidade), tell us about how intensely something occurs. For the most part, Portuguese adverbs of degree operate just like English adverbs.

Placing Adverbs of Degree

Portuguese adverbs of degree are usually placed before the word they’re modifying if it’s an adjective or adverb, and immediately after the word they’re modifying if it’s a verb.


We’ll look at 5 of the most frequent adverbs of degree, which can be sequenced from the lowest to the highest degree, as such:



Nada translates to “nothing” when it is the object of a sentence: O João não deu nada. John gave nothing.. But as an adverb of degree (when modifying verbs that don’t require an object), nada more closely corresponds to “at all”. You will notice in the examples below that this double negative formulation is allowed (nãonada), whereas in English we would use “notat all”:

Eu não corro nada. I don’t run at all.

Adverbs of Affirmation and Adverbs of Negation

February 21, 2019

Adverbs of affirmation (advérbios de afirmação) and adverbs of negation (advérbios de negação) are some of the most essential words in all of the Portuguese language (and, indeed, any language). They are always invariable, so no need to worry about different variations or uses. For English speakers, they are incredibly straightforward to learn and sometimes even to guess.


Adverbs of affirmation are, as the name implies, words which declare that a given statement or fact is true, or “positive”. They include:


Sim literally just means “yes”. Things don’t get any simpler than this.


Sim, eu vou contigo. Yes, I’ll come with you.


Realmente is the equivalent to “indeed” in English.


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

February 21, 2019

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.


[define O João está quase a chegar./John is about to arrive.]

Adverbs of Degree – Mais, Menos, Tão, Tanto e Quase

February 21, 2019

Let’s look at some more adverbs of degree. Remember: they are always invariable.


Mais is simply the equivalent to the English “more”, or “plus”.


Queres mais pão? Would you like more bread?


Menos is the equivalent to the English “less”, or “minus”.


Adverbs of Time – Cedo, Tarde, Antes, Depois, Ontem, Hoje e Amanhã

February 20, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll look at more adverbs of time (advérbios de tempo). Remember: adverbs of time are always invariable.


Cedo is equivalent to “early”.


Tenho uma consulta de manhã cedo. I have an appointment early in the morning.

Chegaste muito cedo. You’re very early.


Tarde is equivalent to “late”.



February 19, 2019

To have fun with Portuguese, it’s important to master adverbs (advérbios). But what are they? Simply put, adverbs are words which modify other words – verbs, adjectives, and sometimes even other adverbs – and add to their meaning or clarify the circumstances in which they’re being used.


When an adverb modifies a verb, it tells us how the verb is being carried out. Example:

O João canta bem. João sings well.

The adverb “bem/well” tells us that the manner in which João carries out the action (singing) is a good one.


When an adverb modifies an adjective, it modifies how, or to what degree, a certain adjective applies to its object.


A Maria é extremamente talentosa. Maria is extremely talented.

Aonde vs Onde

February 8, 2019


The adverb onde indicates a location.

Onde fica a tua casa? Where is your house?
Onde ouviste isso?Where did you hear that?
Onde can be used to replace expressions such as «em que» and «na/no qual», shown below.
É a gaveta em que estão as chavesIt’s the drawer where the keys are
Lisboa é uma cidade na qual as casas são carasLisbon is a city where the houses are expensive


This adverb is a contraction between the adverb onde and the preposition a. It can be used when

Simple and Compound Adjectives

February 4, 2019

Adjectives are words that describe or qualify nouns. They can be simple (simples) if they’re just one word, or compound (compostos) if formed by two or more elements, usually connected by a hyphen (-).

Simple adjectives (adjetivos simples):

O carro amareloThe yellow car
Um carro bonitoA beautiful car

Compound adjectives (adjetivos compostos):

Camisola rosa-choquebright pink sweatshirt
Homem surdo-mudodeaf mute man

Other examples:

Basic Courtesy Expressions

January 31, 2019

Just like its people, the Portuguese language is very courteous. Below are just some of the ways in which to express basic, everyday courtesy in Portuguese:


In Portuguese, please can be por favor or se faz favor. They’re both equally correct and used in the same situations. Example:

Poderia trazer-me água, por favor? Could you bring me some water, please?

We Portuguese tend to shorten words whenever we can. So don’t be confused if instead of se faz favor you hear ´faz favor in fast, informal speech.

Thank You

The Portuguese expression is: Obrigado Obliged

It’s said to be a leftover from an expression that went more or less like “I am obliged (obrigado) to return your favor”. In fact, the English expression “much obliged” has the exact same meaning and would be an accurate translation of muito obrigado.

Because you are the one who feels obliged to return the favour, the word obrigado must

Forming Negative Phrases – Não, Nada, Nenhum, Ninguém

January 31, 2019

Making negative statements in Portuguese is fairly easy. For the most part, to make a sentence negative, you can just place the word não before the verb, which is the equivalent of both no and not. Examples:

Este carro é rápido.This car is fast.

Este carro não é rápido. This car is not fast.

Não is also used at the beginning of sentences, when replying to a question:

Queres água? Would you like some water?

Não, obrigado. No, thank you.

But there are also three other words that express negation in Portuguese – nada, ninguém, and nenhum/nenhuma. Their use depends on the subject or object of the sentence. And unlike in English, we can use them with the word não, creating a double negative.


Nada is the equivalent of  “nothing”. It is only used for things or abstract concepts, and it is pretty straightforward for English speakers. Example:

The Imperative

January 27, 2019

When someone yells Sai! Leave! or a doctor says Pare de fumar Stop smoking, there’s one thing they’re doing in common: using the imperative mood, or imperativo in Portuguese.

There are 2 types of imperatives, the affirmative and the negative, shown below respectively.

Parem de fazer barulho. Stop making noise.

Não parem de correr. Don’t stop running.

Regular Verbs in the Imperative

The imperativo can be thought of as the verb tense used for giving commands or telling someone to do something (or not to do something). These “commands” could take the form of orders, advice, requests, or pleas. Since the speaker is always talking directly to another person (or group of people), the imperative is only used with the following forms:

Plurals in Portuguese

October 27, 2018

A challenging part of learning Portuguese is realizing that some words need to be adjusted to agree with the gender and number of the people or objects we are talking about.

Right now, we’ll take a look at which types of words change, and which ones stay the same.

Invariable and Variable Classes of Words

The invariable classes of words (that don’t change to match gender and quantity) are:

  • Adverbs (advérbios) – They generally modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, clarifying or intensifying their meaning.
  • Prepositions (preposições) – They connect different words in a sentence.
  • Conjunctions (conjunções) – They connect different clauses of a sentence.
  • Interjections (interjections) – Specific words and expressions for an intense expression of emotions.

The variable classes of words (that do change) are:

Dining Out In Portugal

October 27, 2018

Whether you’re just visiting or planning to live in Portugal, learning some food vocabulary is going to be pretty important! 😆

Let’s start with comer fora going out to eat

Breakfast & Coffee

There are cafés cafés, coffee shops and pastelarias bakeries, which are often part of the same establishment, for snacks and light meals. This is where you’ll go for um pequeno-almoço a breakfast or um lanche a snack.

Perhaps you’ll ask for um café a coffee and the world-famous pastel de nata custard tart. Note: A pastel is usually a small tart or cake, which can be sweet, like the pastel de nata, or savoury, like the pastel de bacalhau codfish cake.

Unfortunately for those who like protein-rich breakfasts, it’s less common to find ovos eggs on the traditional Portuguese breakfast menu.

There are many different typical coffee beverages in Portugal. If you just order um café a coffee you will receive an espresso, unless you specify otherwise. Some of the most common options are

Essential Conjunctions – E, Mas, Ou

October 27, 2018

There are 3 essential conjunctions that you’ll need to start forming more complex sentences:

e and

mas but

ou or

These 3 are called coordinating conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas), because they combine multiple independent phrases into one.

You’ll learn more conjunctions later, but for now, we’ll start with these 3 essentials.

1) “E” = “And”

The conjunction e is an additive, or copulative, conjunction. It is used to simply add two ideas together, so it has an additive effect.

Comprei comida e também trouxe bebidas. I bought food and I also brought drinks.

You could also write: Comprei comida. Também trouxe bebidas., but the conjunction helps things flow better.

Just like in English, when combining more than two ideas or pieces of information together, it’s usually better to use commas and only

Bom/Boa/Mau/Má (Good/Bad) vs. Bem/Mal (Well/Badly)

July 26, 2018

These two pairs of words are very similar, but they’re not interchangeable.


Good and bad are adjectives, which modify nouns (people / places / things). In Portuguese, adjectives must agree with the noun in gender and number:

bom good masc. sing. bons good masc. plur.

boa good fem. sing. boas good fem. plur.

mau bad masc. sing. maus bad masc. plur.

bad fem. sing. másbad fem. plur.


Well and badly are adverbs, which modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Adverbs are invariable, so the same words are used regardless of the gender and number of the noun.

bem well

mal badly

Which One Do I Use?

Let’s look at these examples to illustrate the difference between bom/boa (adjective) and bem (adverb).

Five Essential Adverbs of Place – Cá, Aqui, Aí, Ali, Lá

July 6, 2018

Portuguese has several advérbios de lugar adverbs of place to indicate the relative position of a person or object. Five of them are particularly useful to learn: cá, aqui, aí, ali and .

In short, and aqui both mean here. Aí, lá, and ali mean there. Below we’ll explore the finer differences between each of these words.

Using Cá vs. Aqui

For the most part, and aqui can be considered synonyms. They both indicate a position close to the speaker. While aqui is commonly used in both Portugal and Brazil, is, for the most part, specific to European Portuguese. Some people will use them interchangeably, but in theory, is less specific than aqui. Let’s see some examples:

Present Continuous in Portuguese

June 1, 2018

When we talk about actions that are happening right at the time of speaking, we use the present continuous. To tackle this topic, it’s helpful to first take a look at how it works in English…

Here’s how present continuous looks when talking about yourself:

I am + verb ending in -ing

“I am” comes from the verb “to be,” and it’s followed by the gerund form of the main verb (ending with -ing).

The Brazilian form is actually the most similar to English, so hopefully you’ll forgive us for mentioning it first! (We know you’re trying to focus on European and not Brazilian Portuguese, but it’s still useful and interesting to explore these differences sometimes. Plus, this gives you an easy way to spot if