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Comprido, Longo, and Curto

March 12, 2019

When it comes to qualifying something according to length, you might come across these three adjectives:
longo, comprido e curto long, long and short
You can see that longo and comprido both mean long, but they tend to be used in different contexts. Let’s take a closer look at each of the three adjectives below.

Longo

Due to the similarity to the English word long, you might be tempted to always use this one, so you have to be careful. We mainly use longo long when qualifying distances or periods of time.

Não faço planos a longo-prazo I don’t make long-term plans
Foi uma longa reunião It was a lengthy meeting
A distância é longa até Madrid It’s a long distance to Madrid

An exception would be when talking about sentences/texts: Eu escrevo textos longos I write long texts

Degrees of Adjectives

March 8, 2019

In Portuguese, adjectives change form depending on the gender and number of the noun. Similarly to English, they can also be expressed in different : Positive Degree This is the basic form of each adjective. We use it to qualify a noun without making any comparisons. Comparative Degree You use the comparative degree to… you […]

Talking About Food

February 23, 2019

Portugal is a country of food lovers, so we use a lot of different expressions to describe the food we eat and how we feel about eating it. The 2 ways to say “I’m hungry” in Portuguese are:

Estou com fome I’m hungry

Tenho fome I’m hungry

Hunger and Satisfaction

I’m Hungry!

For starters, instead of saying I am hungry, in Portugal we start thinking about food when we have hunger or when we are with hunger. In Portuguese, this translates to:

  • ter fome feeling hungry
  • or estar com fome being hungry

If you’re really feeling quite peckish, you can say:

  • Estou esfomeado I’m famished
  • or even Estou a morrer de fome I’m dying to eat

We take our hunger very seriously…

Tenho fome. O que há para comer? I’m hungry. What’s there to eat?

Vamos depressa, eu estou a morrer de fome! Let’s go quickly, I’m dying to eat!

I’m Full!

Once we’re full, we say:

  • Estou cheio I’m full
  • or the more elegant alternative Estou satisfeito I’m satisfied
  • or the rare Estou saciado I’m satiated

Simple and Compound Adjectives

February 4, 2019

Adjectives are words that describe or qualify nouns. They can be adjetivos simples simple adjectives if they’re just one word, or adjetivos compostos compound adjectives if formed by two or more elements, usually (but not always) connected by a hyphen (-).

Simple Adjectives

O carro vermelho The red car
Um carro bonito A beautiful car

Compound Adjectives

Camisola rosa-choque Bright pink sweatshirt
Homem surdo-mudo Deaf-mute man

More compound adjectives:

Good/Bad vs. Well/Badly

July 26, 2018

What’s the difference between mau and mal? What about bom and bem? These pairs of words are very similar in meaning, but they’re not interchangeable. It comes down to understanding the difference between adjectives and adverbs and how they are used in Portuguese.

Adjectives

Good and bad are adjectives, which modify nouns (people / places / things). In Portuguese, adjectives must agree with the noun in gender and number:

bom good masc. sing. bons good masc. plur.

boa good fem. sing. boas good fem. plur.

mau bad masc. sing. maus bad masc. plur.

bad fem. sing. más bad fem. plur.

Adverbs

Well and badly are adverbs, which modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Adverbs are invariable, so the same words are used regardless of the gender and number of the noun.

bem well

mal badly, poorly

Which One Do I Use?

Bom / Boa vs. Bem

Let’s look at these examples to illustrate the difference between bom/boa (adjectives) and bem (adverb).

Introduction to Portuguese Adjectives

May 1, 2018

Adjetivos Adjectives are words that describe a noun, assigning it a quality, state, appearance, or other property. Adverbs are also used to describe, but instead of nouns, they modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. In Portuguese, using adjectives requires that you consider the gender and number of the word being modified, as well as the word order of the sentence.

Many different types of words can fall into the category of adjectives, including colours, shapes, materials, and nationalities. They are the words that let us distinguish between concepts like:

Introduction to Adjectives

April 28, 2017

Adjetivos Adjectives are words that describe the attributes of a person or object (noun), including color, size, shape, relative age, and more.

Adjectives need to agree in gender and number with the noun they describe:

O carro é caro The car is expensive

A televisão é cara The television is expensive

Os carros são caros The cars are expensive