A Super-Avó

The Super Grandma

Dona Ana is always trying to help out Fernando and Sara with their baby Bruno… although sometimes that help comes in the form of a lecture!

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  • Hi!
    What kind of tense is the sentence from Fernando: “Obrigado por vires.” ? When and how do use it?

    • Hi! So, this is the verb “vir” in the personal infinitive form. I’m afraid it’s a bit too complex to explain in a single comment, but it would be a great topic to cover in an upcoming Learning Note, so let me make a mental note to do just that and notify you once it’s available 🙂 Feel free to remind me via our contact page!

  • Please explain in the sentence “Obrigado por vires”, what tense is used with ” vires” ? Infinitivo flexionado or presente conjuntivo of vir.

    • Hi, Zoran. This is the personal infinitive (infinitivo pessoal/flexionado). It looks very similar to the future (not present!) subjunctive of the verb vir, but that would actually be “vieres“, not “vires” 🙂

  • A very useful session illustrating the use of demonstrativos. I do have one minor question, however. Why does Dona Ana switch to the plural by saying “Mas vocês também tem de cuidar de vocês“ when she is solely addressing Fernando? Or is she implying that both Fernando and Sara have to take care of themselves?

    • Thank you for your comment! As you guessed, Dona Ana switches to the plural because even though she’s alone with Fernando (and the baby), she’s referring to both him and Sara 🙂

  • I see that the combination “ter+de” is used (they have to work). I’ve been taught that it’s “ter+que”. Is there any difference?

  • I struggled with the audio in this one. Some sentences were clear enough, but I just couldn’t make sense of a lot of what was being said. Take this section for example:

    Eu e a Sara temos de trabalhar
    e a nossa ama está de férias,
    não pode ficar com o Bruno.

    Looks easy enough, right? This was what I put together after listening to it multiple times at .7x:

    Eu ou e essar a temos de trabalhar.
    E ou não sei um está de férias.
    Não pode ficar de Bruno.

    I knew a lot of this was wrong of course but I was basically writing down the closest phonetic match that I could. Sometimes something clicks when I do this, but often I have no clue. I think the biggest issue is how fast the the characters in these stories speak, particularly compared to the clearly enunciated audio clips in the lessons. I know it’s all a matter of pattern recognition and I just need more exposure to the language. Hopefully a year from now these Shorties won’t be quite so daunting.

    • Yes I think a lot of it does come down to pattern recognition and I think it will get better over time.

      I wonder if it would help to listen through a few times first with the English translation to get the general meaning down. And then a few times with the Portuguese only — just listening and reading the Portuguese simultaneously.

      This should help you start to hear how the written words match to the sounds and prepare your brain for what you will hear. Then when you try to write down what you hear, you will already have a bit of a preview to help your brain start to hear those patterns independently.

  • I was thinking of doing exactly that in the next Shorty, or at least follow along with the Portuguese while listening to the audio. It feels like cheating but I think it will pay off in the long run.

    • I think it will pay off too! It’s only cheating if you’re not challenging yourself at all anymore. 🙂 But this will still be a challenge and a good listening exercise that is like a step in-between the Lessons and the Shorties.

  • Thank you for this dialogue. I always look forward to your dialogues !
    Talking about demonstratives… Why does Dona Ana say: “AQUELAS janelas estao sujas” but “ESTAS cadeiras sao novas”. I’m trying to imagine the scene… Has she approached the chairs and she is very close?

    • That’s great to read, Agnieszka, thank you too 🙂

      Regarding demonstratives, they’re usually chosen based on relative distance between the speaker and whatever they’re talking about. In this case, you can visualize Dona Ana being or coming close to the chairs (using ‘estas’ for them), while pointing to the windows on the other end of the room, far from her (using ‘aquelas’). There’s also ‘essas’, which she could use if she were talking about something far from her, but close to Fernando.

      This Learning Note covers all three demonstratives: Variable Demonstratives: Singular

  • When the grandmother says look at the the arms Olha esses braços / look at those arms . Fernando replies “O que têm estes braços ? ” Literally this translates to “What have these arms” . The translation also says “What´s wrong with these arms.” Can I use this as a general expression when I want to say What´s wrong with something ie O que tem esta maquina hoje ?

    • Yes, you can, we often use it like that 🙂 You can also say, for example, “O que é que se passa com [X]?” (What’s up with [X]?)

  • It is great to know that the vocabulary and the expressions are being expanded even as we work on the shorty. We get so much from the pronounciation. I also discovered that if I hold the cursur over a specific phrase, I can listen to and repeat is over and over. It wakes you realize how talented and expressive the speakers Eliana and Joseph are!

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