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New Year’s Eve Traditions in Portugal

December 14, 2016

In Portugal, A noite de Ano Novo New Year’s Eve is full of traditions and superstitions. Just like Christmas, the celebration begins with a family dinner, and even more holiday sweets.

It’s All About o Dinheiro!

Superstition says that you can attract dinheiro money in the new year by eating chocolate.

The Holiday Season in Portugal

December 14, 2016

Celebrating Christmas: Then and Now

Portugal has no official religion, but most of its population is Christian (81% Catholic). However, only about 19% attend mass and take the sacraments regularly. In Portugal, Church and State are formally separate, but the Catholic institution still has a strong influence, especially for the older population.

xmas lisboaLike other parts of the world, holidays like o Natal Christmas have gradually transformed from being purely religious to being more commercialized, cultural holidays, especially for the younger generations. Despite the growing commercialization and consumerism of the holiday, it is still possible to find some old traditions, especially in as aldeias the small towns, villages of Portugal.

In more recent years, the Portuguese have incorporated as árvores do Natal the Christmas trees and Santa Claus imagery in their homes. Parents tell their children that

Explicative Coordinating Conjunctions

December 12, 2016

Explicative coordinating conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas explicativas), link parts of the sentence to indicate a reason or explanation.

The most common are:

como as  (used at the start of sentences)

porque because (used in the middle of sentences)

pois since (used in the middle of sentences)


Conclusive Coordinating Conjunctions

December 12, 2016

Conclusive coordinating conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas conclusivas), as the name implies, express a consequence or conclusion. These are similar to explicative coordinating conjunctions, but they more specifically indicate a cause and effect relationship between parts of the sentence.

The most common simple conjunctions are portanto therefore and então so.


Não quero ir, portanto não vou I don’t want to go, therefore I won’t go

In the right context, pois and logo can also be included in this group (although as standalone words they don’t really have clear English translations).


Disjunctive Coordinating Conjunctions

December 12, 2016

Disjunctive coordinating conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas disjuntivas) express an idea of choice or alternative, i.e. that only one of the parts of the sentence can be true.
The most obvious example is ou or


Eu fico em casa, ou vou à rua I’ll stay at home or I’ll go to the street

Here are some examples of disjunctive conjunction phrases:

Adversative Coordinating Conjunctions

December 12, 2016

Adversative coordinative conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas adversativas) indicate a contrast between parts of the sentence.

The most common ones are mas but and no entanto however


O cão é calmo; no entanto pode morder The dog is calm; however, it may bite

Tu tens sono, mas não podes dormir You are tired but you can’t sleep

Some less common adversative conjunctions are:

  • porém however
  • contudo however
  • todavia however
  • ainda assim even so, still
  • apesar disso despite that, nevertheless


Copulative Coordinating Conjunctions

December 12, 2016

Copulative coordinating conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas copulativas) link parts of the sentence together with a simple additive effect. Here are a few common examples:

e and nem nor

não só… como também not only…but also

tanto…como as well as

Let’s see some examples of how to use these in a sentence:

Introduction to Portuguese Conjunctions

December 8, 2016

Conjunções Conjunctions are words that connect other words, phrases, or sentence clauses to each other. Unlike adjectives, Portuguese conjunctions do not change form according to a subject’s gender or quantity. They always stay the same (i.e. they are invariable).

Simple Conjunctions vs. Conjunction Phrases

Depending on how many words it contains, a conjunction may be:

Regular vs. Irregular Verbs

July 11, 2016

In previous lessons, you learned the verb ser to be – permanent, a common irregular verb. (As if learning 50 conjugations of a verb wasn’t enough, we also have to watch out for the dreaded irregular verbs! 🙈) Why are they called that? Well, they are irregular because they don’t follow the same conjugation patterns as regular verbs. To make sure you’re ready to face more verbs in the coming lessons, let’s look at both regular and irregular verbs in Portuguese.

Hang on to your hats! 🎩👒

Portuguese Verbs and Personal Pronouns

July 11, 2016

Time for some action! We’ve covered some of the basics already, but we won’t get very far without talking about verbos verbs! This article is a brief overview of how verbs work in Portuguese, as well as the personal pronouns associated with each conjugation. Don’t worry too much about the details just yet… everything will become clearer as you progress.

Just like in English, a Portuguese verb expresses an action. For example:

cantar to sing

ser to be

beber to drink

Each verb can appear in many different forms. In fact, each verb has over 50 different conjugations! Luckily, there are rules you will learn to make each conjugation easier to remember, and not all 50 forms are used on a daily basis. Phew! 😅

Types of Verbs

In Portuguese, verbs are generally split into three groups based on the last two letters of the verb’s infinitive form:

Introduction to European Portuguese

July 11, 2016

Countries that Speak Portuguese

Did you know that Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world?

You already know that Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, but there are also many other countries that speak the language.

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_language
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_language

Here’s a list, descending in population: Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Macau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe. More at wikipedia.com.

Portuguese Roots

Have you noticed that you can already recognize some Portuguese words? That’s because, just like English, Portuguese has strong Latin roots.

estação station

delicioso delicious

positivo positive

Portuguese is considered a “Romance” or “Vulgar Latin” language (just like Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian). If you have studied any of these other languages, you will see even more similarities not only in vocabulary, but also grammar structure.

Aside from Latin, Portuguese has also been influenced by other languages like

Definite Articles in Portuguese

July 11, 2016

How to Say “The” in Portuguese

In English, we only have 1 definite article: the, which is used to refer to a specific instance of an object, as opposed to referring to objects more generally using the indefinite articles a or an.

In Portuguese, we have 4 artigos definidos definite articles that serve the same function as the: o the a the os the as the

Why 4 different words with one meaning? In Portuguese, many words take on different forms, depending on the following two properties:

  • Gender: The masculine forms of “the” are o and os. The feminine forms are a and as.
  • Number: A singular object is referred to with o or a, whereas plurals use os or as.

Here are some examples: