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Um Jantar a Dois

A Dinner for Two

Luís and Maria decide to go out for dinner in a fancy restaurant without making a reservation. Learn some useful phrases for ordering food in a restaurant and discover some popular Portuguese dishes.

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  • Nice beginner’s dialogue. A couple of questions: Please explain the use of the word “antes” in this dialogue. It’s used here twice. I know the meaning “before”, but that’s definitely not meaning in these cases. Also, please explain how or when the phrase “pose ser” is used. I see and hear it often, but not necessarily in the sense of “it can/could be.” For instance, I was in a Pingo Doce and when the butcher asked the woman in front of me which type of meat she wanted, she said, “pode ser ….”


    • Hi! “Antes” here is being used in the sense of “instead” or “rather”. It’s an alternative use of the word 🙂 As for “pode ser”, it’s a way of saying “it can be that one” or “that will do” or “yes, sure”. So, you can use it to start a sentence where you then describe exactly what you want or just as a short affirmative response to what someone else has already suggested/proposed.

  • Can someone please explain the use of ‘pretender’ in this context? Also, the use/tense of ‘eu preferia’ e ‘eu queria’ – why it not ‘eu prefero/ eu quero’ since it is in a present moment in time? Obrigadíssima!

    • Olá! The verb ‘pretender’ is just used for extra politeness. The verb generally means “to intend” or “to want”, which fits in this context. The imperfect tense is also used out of courtesy, since it sounds ‘softer’ than the simple present. We do something similar in English when we say “I would like” instead of “I want” 🙂 Here’s a helpful Learning Note on this topic: Past Continuous Tense

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