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:
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 despensapantry, in the armário de cozinhakitchen cabinet, or right on the bancadacounter or mesatable. Fruit, in particular, can be put in a fruteirafruit 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 frigoríficofridge, others in the congeladorfreezer. Some people might have a arca frigoríficafreezer 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 cortarcutting board.
Food groups are convenient to help us learn food-related vocabulary in a more organized way.
Dairy Products – Laticínios
o leite(pl. leites)
o iogurte(pl. iogurtes)
o queijo(pl. queijos)
a manteiga(pl. manteigas)
o gelado(pl. gelados)
a nata(pl. natas)
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 magroSkimmed milk – Very low-fat content
Leite meio-gordoSemi-skimmed milk – Medium fat content
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 – Pouco – Bastante – Muito – Demasiado
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 (não…nada), whereas in English we would use “not…at all”:
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 (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.]
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.
Examples: 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
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
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.
The Portuguese expression is: ObrigadoObliged
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
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, andnenhum/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:
When someone yells Sai!Leave! or a doctor says Pare de fumarStop 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:
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 foragoing out to eat…
Breakfast & Coffee
There are caféscafés, coffee shops and pastelariasbakeries, which are often part of the same establishment, for snacks and light meals. This is where you’ll go for um pequeno-almoçoa breakfast or um lanchea snack.
Perhaps you’ll ask for um caféa coffee and the world-famous pastel de natacustard 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 bacalhaucodfish cake.
Unfortunately for those who like protein-rich breakfasts, it’s less common to find ovoseggs on the traditional Portuguese breakfast menu.
There are many different typical coffee beverages in Portugal. If you just order um caféa coffee you will receive an espresso, unless you specify otherwise. Some of the most common options are
Portuguese has several advérbios de lugaradverbs 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 lá.
In short, cá 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, cá 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, cá is, for the most part, specific to European Portuguese. Some people will use them interchangeably, but in theory, cá is less specific than aqui. Let’s see some examples:
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