No Posto dos Correios

At the Post Office

Abel goes to the post office to send a letter to someone in Lisbon. Will he choose regular mail or blue mail?


    • Thanks, Ellen! They most likely won’t speak as slowly in real life unless they’re asked to, but when it comes to working on listening comprehension, this is a good point to start. The more shorties and podcasts you listen to, the more you’ll be challenged with different speech patterns and speeds. And there’s even more practice to be had in the Learning Studio lessons 🙂

  • Hi,
    I know languages do not translate directly. So, Portuguese sometime uses ‘have’ where English uses ‘is/are’. But, I am puzzled about the following translations.

    (1) Abel: Aqui tem 20 euros. Abel: Here’s 20 euros.
    Empregada: Tem aqui o troco. Employee: Here’s the change.
    My question is: should I use ‘tem’ in transactions?

    (2) Empregada: Muito bem, no caso da fatura são 10 euros. Deste modo, são no total 12 euros. Employee: Very well, the invoice is 10 euros. Thus it is a total of 12 euros.
    <I would have translated each of these as : '… they are 10 euros.' and 'They are in total 12 euros'. Is it correct to use 'is' or 'are'?

    • Olá Declan, e feliz ano novo!
      (1) Yes, we typically use the verb “ter” in these cases. You can even use a short and sweet “Aqui tem” (There you go), if appropriate.

      (2) It seems to me that in the Portuguese sentence, the verb is agreeing with the amount of money, while in the English translation, the verb is agreeing with the other nouns in the sentences (‘invoice’ and ‘total’). In any case, what really matters here is the Portuguese sentence 🙂 In Portuguese, if the verb is agreeing with the amount, we use the singular, é, for the number 1 (e.g. “é 1 euro” or “é 1 milhão de euros”) and we use the plural, são, for any other number (e.g. “são 2 euros” or “são 100 euros”). If the verb is agreeing with another noun, then it will depend on how much of that you have. Both possibilities are acceptable; personally, verb agreement with something other than the money (unless the money is the focus point) usually sounds better to me.

  • Hi Joseph,
    Feliz ano novo!
    Many thanks for your response, which as usual is very helpful and clears up these questions for me.
    Best wishes

What did you think? Leave a Comment for Rui & Joel:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.