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Talking About the Past with “Haver”

August 21, 2019

The Portuguese often use the verb haver paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to discuss the past, whether it be minutes, hours, days, months, or years.

In these contexts, haver is an impersonal verb, meaning that it doesn’t take a particular subject and is always used in the present tense form of the third-person conjugation: paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio

Normally  means there is or there are. However, when is used before words that express an amount of time, you can think of it more like the word ago (which in English is placed after a time-related phrase) or as standing in for other phrases that indicate a certain amount of time has passed.

The phrase construction is pretty straightforward:

Há + Amount of Time Passed

Comprei esta caneta há uma semana. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio I bought this pen a week ago.

Adverbs of Time: Almost, Always, etc.

February 21, 2019

Advérbios de tempo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Adverbs of time can tell us when, how often, or for how long an action happens. As with most other Portuguese adverbs, adverbs of time are always invariable.

In this lesson we’ll start with some of the most frequent adverbs of time in Portuguese, which are:

  • Quase paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Almost, about (to)
  • Ainda paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Still, yet
  • Enfim paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Finally
  • Agora paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Now
  • Sempre paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Always

Quase

We dealt with quase in the previous lesson, as an adverb of degree, remember? Well, in the context of time, quase expresses the idea that something is about to happen or is almost starting/finishing, so the meaning is just slightly different. Notice how the preposition a paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to is used.

O João está quase a chegar. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio John is about to arrive.

Adverbs of Time

February 20, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll look at more examples of advérbios de tempo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio adverbs of time

Remember: adverbs of time are always invariable, meaning they do not change form to match the gender or number of the word they reference.

Cedo

cedo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio early

Tenho uma consulta de manhã cedo. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio I have an appointment early in the morning.

Chegaste muito cedo. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio You’re very early.

Tarde

tarde paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio late

Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow

March 26, 2017

Here’s how we refer to the present day, the day before, and the next day:

hoje paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio today
ontem paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio yesterday
amanhã paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio tomorrow

Now let’s put them into context:

Hoje é sexta(-feira). paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Today is Friday.
O jogo foi ontem às quatro da tarde (16h00). paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio The game was yesterday at 4 (in the afternoon).
O inverno começa amanhã. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Winter starts tomorrow.

By combining the terms antes paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio before and depois paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio after with ontem and amanhã, you can also form expressions to refer to

Relationships of Time

March 26, 2017

Let’s explore some examples of the most common words used to talk about the order and relationships among different events in time. It’s important to be able to talk about now, later, earlier, before, and after in Portuguese.

Current Time

Agora paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Now is the term we use to refer to the present.

O filme vai começar agora. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio The movie will start now.

Agora está muito frio. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Now it’s very cold.

Past and Future

We use antes paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio before to refer to the past and depois paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio after to refer to the future.

Seasons of the Year

March 26, 2017

The seasons of the year are called as estações do ano paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio the seasons of the year in Portuguese.

Their names have Latin origins, which by now you may have noticed is very common in Portuguese. (Don’t you wish you had paid more attention to Latin in school? 😜 ) Just like English, the seasons of the year are not capitalized in Portuguese.

primavera paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio spring
verão paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio summer
outono paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio autumn
inverno paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio winter

Portuguese Holidays

March 26, 2017

The Portuguese calendar has several holidays and holiday periods throughout the year. Holiday can have two meanings in Portuguese:

  • feriado paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio holiday – A public holiday, or day to celebrate something of specific cultural or religious importance at a local or national level.
  • férias paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio holiday, holidays, vacation – A planned period of time off work or school. Férias are often scheduled around important feriados.

Some of the Main Holidays in Portugal

Date / Time of Year Holiday
1 de janeiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio January 1st Ano Novo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio New Year’s
fevereiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio February Carnaval paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Carnival, Mardi Gras
Friday before Easter Sexta-feira Santa paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Good Friday
março paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio March or abril paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio April Páscoa paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Easter
25 de abril paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio April 25th Dia da Liberdade paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio National Freedom Day
1 de maio paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio May 1st Dia do Trabalhador paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Labor Day
60 days after Easter Corpo de Deus paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Corpus Christi
10 de junho paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio June 10th Dia de Portugal paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Portugal Day
5 de outubro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio October 5th Implantação da República paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Republic Day
1 de novembro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio November 1st Dia de Todos-os-Santos paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio All Saints’ Day
1 de dezembro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio December 1st Restauração da Independência paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Restoration of Independence
25 de dezembro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio December 25th Natal paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Christmas

Date Format

In Portuguese, the structure of dates is dia de mês de ano (day of month of year), and the numbers are typically cardinal, not ordinal. That means that you say um de janeiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio January one instead of primeiro de janeiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio January first. You may have also noticed that the names of the months and days of the week are not capitalized in Portuguese, as they are in English.

In written form, dates appear

Months of the Year

March 26, 2017

As you saw in previous lessons, the days of the week are very different from other languages. But as luck would have it, the names of os meses do ano paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio the months of the year in Portuguese are quite similar to other languages, since we all use the same Gregorian calendar. All the names share common roots in Roman culture.

janeiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio January
fevereiro paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio February

Hours and Telling Time

March 26, 2017

Let’s learn how to tell time in Portuguese! While many countries favour the 12-hour clock system, Portugal usually uses the 24-hour clock, especially in more formal contexts.

English Time Portuguese Time Portuguese Time in Words
12:00 a.m.

(midnight)

0h00 zero horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio

meia-noite paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio midnight

1:00 a.m. 1h00 uma hora paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
2:00 a.m. 2h00 duas horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
3:00 a.m. 3h00 três horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
4:00 a.m. 4h00 quatro horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
5:00 a.m. 5h00 cinco horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
6:00 a.m. 6h00 seis horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
7:00 a.m. 7h00 sete horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
8:00 a.m. 8h00 oito horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
9:00 a.m. 9h00 nove horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
10:00 a.m. 10h00 dez horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
11:00 a.m. 11h00 onze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
12:00 p.m.

(noon)

12h00 doze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio

meio-dia paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio noon

1:00 p.m. 13h00 treze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
2:00 p.m. 14h00 catorze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
3:00 p.m. 15h00 quinze horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
4:00 p.m. 16h00 dezasseis horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
5:00 p.m. 17h00 dezassete horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
6:00 p.m. 18h00 dezoito horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
7:00 p.m. 19h00 dezanove horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
8:00 p.m. 20h00 vinte horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
9:00 p.m. 21h00 vinte e uma horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
10:00 p.m. 22h00 vinte e duas horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio
11:00 p.m. 23h00 vinte e três horas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio

How to Tell Time in Portuguese: The Basics

Formal

In formal situations, you should apply the 24-hour clock system, and use the exact minutes shown on the clock, rather than more informal expressions of subdivisions of time (as you will learn about further below).

European Portuguese Greetings

March 26, 2017

Let’s start with the basics! One of the simplest Portuguese greetings is Olá! paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Hi! and one of the simplest ways to say goodbye is Tchau! paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Bye! or the slightly more formal Adeus! paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Goodbye!. However, it’s also very common to say hello or goodbye with a more specific greeting based on what time of day it is. So before we cover Portuguese greetings, let’s first learn how we talk about different períodos do dia paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio periods of the day, from sunrise to sunset:

Times of Day

  • a madrugada paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio very early in the morning – from midnight to 6am/dawn
  • a manhã paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio the morning – from about 6am until noon
  • a tarde paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio the afternoon – from noon until about 6pm (or around o pôr-do-sol paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio sunset when it gets dark)
  • a noite paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio the night – from about 6pm to midnight

hours-of-the-day

Although technically the transition from a manhã to a tarde is always at 12:00 noon, the

Days of the Week

March 26, 2017

In Portuguese, the naming of os dias da semana paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio the days of the week does not take inspiration from the planets and gods, as is the case for many other languages. Instead, they are simply numbered.

The origin of the names of the days of the week in Portuguese

The numbering of each weekday in Portuguese might have to do with ancient Easter celebrations, in which people were granted seven days of rest, starting from Sunday. Sunday would then be called, in Latin, feria prima (first free day), while the day after would be feria secunda (second free day) and so on. These Latin roots are evident today in the Portuguese words for the days of the week.

Day in Portuguese Origin
domingo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Sunday Latin: dies Dominicus (day of the Lord)
segunda-feira paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Monday Latin: feria secunda
terça-feira paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Tuesday Latin: feria tertia
quarta-feira paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Wednesday Latin: feria quarta
quinta-feira paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Thursday Latin: feria quinta
sexta-feira paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Friday Latin: feria sexta
sábado paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Saturday Latin: sabbatum

Domingo and sábado didn’t remain numbered. Domingo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Sunday would never be referred to as primeira-feira! But they still mark the