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Portuguese-English Cognates

August 20, 2021

Learning Portuguese-English cognates is a great way to build vocabulary fast and get a jump-start with the language by building off of what you already know.

Cognates are simply words that are very similar in both languages, usually due to a common root. We talked about them in our guide to European Portuguese Shortcuts, as well as our video about 5000 Words You Already Know.

Below, you can explore some of the typical spelling patterns for English → Portuguese cognates, with examples for each one. Remember that these patterns do not apply every time. They are just a convenient way to help you notice more cognates as you continue to learn European Portuguese! (If you’re feeling bold, you can use these patterns to take a guess if you forget a word mid-conversation… 😉 )

False Cognates

August 9, 2021

False cognates, also known as falsos amigos Play normal audio false friends, are words that look and/or sound similar in two different languages, but that don’t actually have the same meaning. In other words (no pun intended), they “trick” you into thinking they are true cognates.

Let’s start with what’s most important: making sure you don’t run into any doors when you’re in Portugal… 🚪🏃🏽‍♂️

puxar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to pull

empurrar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to push

So you pull the doors marked PUXE Play normal audio and you push the doors marked EMPURRE Play normal audio . Got it? You sure? Good luck!

And while we’re at it…

pular Play normal audio to jump

Now that that’s cleared up, we’ll continue listing more falsos amigos, followed by the word for what you thought it was:

How to Practice Portuguese

July 6, 2021

Before you jump right in, we wanted to give you an overview of how to use our platform to learn 🇵🇹 português paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Portuguese!

You’ll use the menu to navigate to all the different resources. We’ll start by explaining everything under the LEARN section. If you’re too excited to wait, you can scroll to the bottom and click Mark as Complete to skip this… 😉

75 Most Common Portuguese Verbs

December 17, 2020

With so much to learn about the European Portuguese language, it helps to consider what you’ll actually use most frequently. Let’s start off with the top 10 most common Portuguese verbs!

ser paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to be (permanent)

estar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to be (temporary)

ter paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to have

How to Pronounce the Letter X in Portuguese

July 10, 2018

Compared to some other languages, Portuguese pronunciation is relatively consistent, once you learn the rules. A huge exception to this idea lies the letter X, which is one of the most challenging sounds – even for more intermediate learners.

That’s because this letter can be pronounced in several different ways. To get started, let’s see what Sherlock has to say on the topic:

Mystery of the Disappearing Sounds (in European Portuguese!)

October 5, 2016

Have you ever been confused by the way Portuguese natives pronounce their sentences?

Even if you know the individual words, when used together they can sound completely unfamiliar. This is often because some written vowels mysteriously vanish when spoken.

Watch this short video now, because in the next few days we’ll launch a new lesson to help you master vowel pronunciation. You’ll learn why these vowel sounds disappear so you’ll understand European Portuguese better while making your own accent sound more native!

Open & Closed Vowels in European Portuguese

September 18, 2016

Many learners find European Portuguese natives much more difficult to understand than Brazilians – mainly because when spoken, it sounds much more closed.

In some cases, there are even vowel sounds that are barely audible! (Make sure you already saw the Mystery of the Disappearing Sounds as an entertaining 2-minute introduction!)

In this 2nd of our 3 video lessons in this special series, we explore what we consider the most challenging aspect of European Portuguese comprehension: Open, medium and closed vowel sounds.

By mastering this lesson, you’ll not only better understand what European Portuguese natives are saying, but you’ll make your own accent sound a lot more authentic when you’re speaking Portuguese.

Important: We designed this video to be an ultimate resource that you can return to many times, regardless of your current level… so don’t expect to understand and master every single pronunciation rule after just viewing it the first time! Watch it all the way through the first time just to get the general idea, then return to the content in multiple study sessions, pausing and rewinding as necessary.

5000 Portuguese Words You Already Know

September 17, 2016

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can look a Portuguese word you’ve never seen before, but still understand what it means?

Or if you have already had a Portuguese conversation, you may have even successfully guessed a word you had never previously studied, just by changing the ending of an English word.

When words are similar in multiple languages, they’re called cognates. Despite the dry-sounding name, they are very powerful and can be used to add thousands of Portuguese words to your vocabulary.