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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

Multiplier numbers 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 numbers, known as 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. We’ll explore some of the other quantifiers in the How Much? How Many? unit. But for now, let’s go over the números, which simply 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?

Relative Quantifiers

April 23, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll learn about quantificadores relativos relative quantifiers. Relative quantifiers don’t specify an exact quantity, but instead tell us about how a quantity compares in relation to an unspecified whole. Sound complicated? The examples below will make everything more clear.

Quanto, Quanta, Quantos, Quantas

Quanto and quanta are the singular form equivalents to “as much as” in English.


quanto as much as masc.

Tenho tanto de comer quanto necessito. I have as much to eat as I need.

quanta as much as fem.

Ela aprendeu tanta matéria quanta havia no manual. She learned as much as there was to learn in the textbook.

Quantos and quantas are the plural forms of quanto and quanta, and they’re equivalent to “as many as” in English.


quantos as many as masc.

Vou deitar a mão a tantos bombons quantos conseguir! I’ll have as many chocolates as I can get my hands on!

quantas as many as fem.

Levo tantas maçãs quantas tiveres. I’ll take as many apples as you have.

Determiners vs. Pronouns

April 22, 2019

To master Portuguese, it is essential that we tackle determiners. As you may recall, we have already learned about a few types of determiners in previous units, such as articles, possessives, and demonstratives. So this will be a good opportunity to review, as well as to be introduced to some new types. In this unit, we will focus primarily on:

  • definite articles (such as o and a)
  • indefinite articles (such as um and uma)
  • demonstrative determiners (such as este and estes)
  • indefinite determiners (such as outro and certo)
  • interrogative determiners (such as que and qual)

Before we dive in, let’s quickly review how to differentiate between determiners and pronouns.

Demonstrative Determiners

April 20, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll review a topic we’ve covered before, which is Portuguese demonstrativeseste, esta, esse, essa, aquele, and aquela – as well as their plural forms. In Portuguese, demonstrative determiners indicate where something is in relation to to the speaker and listener in terms of place or time, and must agree in gender and number with the noun they define.

Este(s) & Esta(s)

Este (masculine) and esta (feminine) are the singular form equivalents of “this” in English. These determiners are used to refer to specific things or persons that are close to the speaker. Examples:

Este chocolate é demasiado doce! This chocolate is too sweet!

Esta sanduíche é o meu almoço. This sandwich is my lunch.

Interrogative Determiners

April 5, 2019

In this lesson we’ll learn about determinantes interrogativos interrogative determiners

Interrogative determiners are words we use to formulate questions or exclamations. There are only two of them, but they are quite important!


Que is equivalent to the English “what”. Example:

Que livro procuras? What book are you looking for?

Qual / Quais

Qual is the singular form equivalent to “which” in English. The same form is used for both masculine and feminine nouns. For example:

Ela visitou qual museu? Which museum did she visit?

Indefinite Determiners

April 5, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll have a look at determinantes indefinidos indefinite determiners

Indefinite determiners are words that express an undefined quality about the noun they’re referencing, similar to “other people”, “another beer”, or “certain things” in English. In Portuguese, indefinite determiners always agree in gender and number with the noun.

Other & Another

The singular forms of “other” or “another” are outro othermasc. and outra otherfem.

Dá-me outro destes bolos, por favor. Give me another one of these cakes, please.

Temos de pôr aqui outra mesa. We have to place another table here.

The plural forms are outros othermasc. and outras otherfem.

Clitic Pronouns: Nos & Vos

March 30, 2019

In this lesson we’ll explore the last two clitic object pronouns in Portuguese, nos and vos.

A few quick reminders:

  • No hyphens are required if they’re proclitics (placed before the verb)
  • 2 hyphens are required if they’re mesoclitic (placed between two parts of verb)
  • 1 hyphen is required if they’re enclitics (placed after the verb).
  • With 1st person plural verbs that end in s, such as vamos, the s is dropped before adding the pronoun nos or vos
    • For example: vamos + nos = vamo-nos, as in Vamo-nos embora Let’s get out of here


Nos corresponds to us or to/for us, as it is used for both direct and indirect objects. Examples:

Reflexive Pronouns

March 30, 2019

Portuguese reflexive verbs are formed by adding the reflexive pronouns me, te, se, or nos. When the direct object or indirect object represents the same person or thing as the subject of the verb, it’s expressed by a reflexive pronoun.

In other words, we use reflexive pronouns when the action is something one does to oneself. In English, this would be words like myself, yourself, himself, ourselves, themselves, etc. For example, in the sentence “She convinced herself”, she is both the subject and the object, so we use herself as the reflexive pronoun.

You’ll notice that Portuguese reflexive pronouns share most of the same pronouns as the Portuguese clitic object pronouns. The only difference is in the 3rd person, both singular and plural: se.

For this learning note, we’re going to focus on the clitic reflexive pronouns, which are unstressed. These are the pronouns that are added to make verbs reflexive. Then in another learning note, we’ll cover si and consigo, which are stressed pronouns and are generally not used to indicate reflexivity.

Reflexive Pronouns in Portuguese

Subject pronouns Reflexive pronouns
Eu me
Tu te
Ele / Ela / Você se
Nós nos
Eles / Elas / Vocês se

When it comes to placing these pronouns within a sentence, you can follow the same rules as the rest of the clitics.

Let’s have a look at each pronoun individually, using one of the simplest Portuguese reflexive verbs, vestir-se to dress oneself

Definite and Indefinite Articles

March 29, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll compare Portuguese definite articles and indefinite articles. Artigos Articles are small words that precede and define a noun. In Portuguese, articles take on different forms to agree in gender and number with the noun they define. In English, we just have the definite article the and the indefinite articles a, an, and some.

Definite Articles

Artigos definidos Definite articles are determiners used to indicate that we are referring to a specific, well-defined thing or person. There are four types, which all correspond to “the” in English. We use o and os for masculine nouns, plus a and as for feminine nouns.

O, Os

The article o the is used for masculine nouns in the singular, while os the is used for masculine nouns in the plural. Examples:

Clitic Pronouns: Me & Te

March 29, 2019

In this lesson we’ll explore the first two clitic object pronouns in Portuguese, me and te.

A few quick reminders:

  • No hyphens are required if they’re proclitics (placed before the verb)
  • 2 hyphens are required if they’re mesoclitic (placed between two parts of verb)
  • 1 hyphen is required if they’re enclitics (placed after the verb)


Me corresponds to me or to/for me in English, as it is used for both direct and indirect objects. Examples:

Ela chamou-me ao gabinete. She called me to the office.

Não me parece boa, esta maçã. This apple doesn’t look good to me.


Te, on the other hand, is used in informal contexts and is equivalent to the English you or to/for you. It is also valid for both direct and indirect objects. Examples:

Merging Clitic Pronouns

March 22, 2019

In Portuguese, when we use a verb that asks for both a direct and indirect object (and the objects are known, i.e. we’re aware of what/who they are), we can create a contraction by combining the third person direct object pronoun with the indirect object pronoun. Sounds complicated, we know.

Let’s see a practical example…

Dei uma prenda à Joana. I gave Joana a gift.

In the sentence above, neither the direct object (uma prenda) nor the indirect object (a Joana) have been replaced by a clitic.

Dei-lhe uma prenda. I gave her a gift.

Now, we’ve replaced the indirect object (a Joana) with the clitic lhe, while the direct object remains in place.

Dei-lha. I gave it to her.

Clitic Pronouns: 3rd Person

March 22, 2019

In this lesson we’ll explore 3rd-person clitic object pronouns in Portuguese. Both the singular and plural forms work in the exact same way. Let’s look at the direct pronouns first, followed by the indirect pronouns.

3rd Person Direct Object Clitic Pronouns

The following clitic pronouns stand in for him, her, it, or them as the direct object. We have the default forms: o/a/os/as, plus two variants:

  • lo/la/los/las (used after a consonant) and
  • no/na/nos/nas (used after a nasal sound)

O/A, Os/As

Third person direct pronouns are replaced by o or a (corresponding to him or her, respectively) in singular form and os or as (standing for them, masculine and feminine) in plural form.


Clitic Pronouns: Direct & Indirect Objects

March 22, 2019

Pronomes clíticos Clitic pronouns are one of the trickiest subjects to learn and master in Portuguese. But don’t despair — we’re here to help! Throughout these lessons you’ll learn how to use clitic object pronouns correctly, but first you should understand more about the difference between direct and indirect objects.

The objects of a sentence can be represented in various ways, the most common being nouns and pronouns. Some verbs don’t need objects for the sentence to make sense, while others demand them. These are called transitive verbs.

For example, take the English phrase “She wants”. That sounds incomplete, right? In English, want is a transitive verb, so you need more information. What does she want? “She wants that car.” Now it’s a complete sentence, with “that car” as the direct object.

Direct Objects

A complemento direto direct object answers the questions what? or who?, and therefore shows a direct connection with the main verb, complementing it.

Let’s look at a few examples in Portuguese:

Introduction to Clitic Object Pronouns

March 21, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll have a look at all the pronomes clíticos clitic pronouns, otherwise known as direct and indirect object pronouns, in Portuguese. (Later on, we’ll deal with reflexive pronouns separately.) Clitic pronouns are basically unstressed morphemes (sort of like mini-words) that go along with a verb to show to whom or to what the action refers. They take the place of the people or objects represented by the direct and indirect objects.

Chart of Clitic Object Pronouns in Portuguese

Subject Pronoun Direct Object Pronoun Indirect Object Pronoun
Eu me
Tu te
Ele, Você (male) o (lo, no) lhe
Ela, Você (female) a (la, na)
Nós nos
Vocês vos
Eles os (los, nos) lhes
Elas as (las, nas)

We can see in the table that the pronouns o, a, os and as are only used in place of direct objects. The opposite goes for lhe/lhes, as these are only used to represent an indirect object. Me, te, nos, and vos can be used for both.

Position of Clitic Object Pronouns

Before we continue to study clitic object pronouns in Portuguese, we should learn about where these pronouns can be placed in relation to the verb.

There are three possible positions for clitics:

Comprido, Longo, and Curto

March 12, 2019

Comprido vs Longo in Portuguese

When it comes to qualifying something according to length, you might come across these three Portuguese adjectives:
longo, comprido e curto long, long, and short
When comparing comprido vs longo, you’ll notice that they both mean long, but they tend to be used in different contexts. Let’s take a closer look at each of the three adjectives below.


Due to the similarity to the English word long, you might be tempted to always use this one, so you have to be careful. We mainly use longo long when qualifying distances or periods of time.

Não faço planos a longo-prazo I don’t make long-term plans
Foi uma longa reunião It was a long meeting
A distância é longa até Madrid It’s a long distance to Madrid

An exception would be when talking about sentences/texts: Eu escrevo textos longos I write lengthy texts

Adverbs of Manner: Well, Poorly, etc.

March 11, 2019

Advérbios de modo Adverbs of manner, sometimes called adverbs of mode, tell us how an action happened or the way in which it was carried out. Easy, right?

Adverbs of manner can sometimes be mistaken for adjectives, but one thing that distinguishing an adverb of manner (or any adverb) is that they are always invariable. In other respects, Portuguese adverbs of manner are used quite similarly to their English counterparts, so you’ll have little trouble learning them.

In this lesson we’ll start with some of the most frequent adverbs of manner in Portuguese, which are:

  • bem well
  • melhor better
  • mal badly, poorly
  • pior worse
  • através through


Bem is the equivalent of well in English. Example:

A lareira funciona bem? Does the fireplace work well?

Muito bem, essa camisola está bem lavada. Well done, that jumper is well-washed.

Degrees of Adjectives

March 8, 2019

In Portuguese, adjectives change form depending on the gender and number of the noun. Similarly to English, they can also be expressed in different : Positive Degree This is the basic form of each adjective. We use it to qualify a noun without making any comparisons. Comparative Degree You use the comparative degree to… you […]