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How to Talk About Likes and Dislikes in Portuguese

November 9, 2020

I like…

The most important verb to learn when talking about likes and dislikes in Portuguese is gostar

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to like
. Let’s start with a simple example:

Eu gosto de café

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I like coffee

It’s important to remember that the preposition de

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of, from, by
goes along with the verb gostar. Adding de may seem strange at first to English speakers because we don’t use a preposition in this context. If it helps you remember to add de, you could also think of it as “I’m fond of“.

So to form this sentence, I just conjugated the verb gostar…

The Pronouns Si & Consigo

May 5, 2020

Grammatically speaking, the pronouns si and consigo belong to the 3rd person subjects: ele(s)/ela(s). This is because they were initially only used as reflexive pronouns*, which are pronouns that refer to the same subject or thing as the verb. For example:

Ele levou a mala consigo




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He took the suitcase with him

The sentence above is still correct and wouldn’t be confusing because the context makes it clear who consigo refers to. Nowadays, however, it’s more common to see si and consigo used with 2nd person formal subjects. Si and consigo can replace você, as using você in European Portuguese can sometimes be seen as disrespectful or too intense. For example:

Using Tonic Pronouns with Prepositions

May 5, 2020

In this Learning Note, we’ll explore each tonic pronoun and see some examples of how it is used along with different prepositions.

Me and You(Informal)

The tonic pronouns that correspond to eu

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I, me
and tu

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you(inf.)
are mim

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and ti

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. Let’s see how they are used in sentences:

Tens medo de mim?




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Are you scared of me?

Faço isso por mim




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I do that for me

Não é bom para ti




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It’s not good for you

Agora vivo mais perto de ti

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Now I live closer to you

When mim or ti go along with com

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with
, the pronouns become comigo

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with me
and contigo

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with you(inf.)
.

Introduction to Tonic Pronouns

May 5, 2020

Personal pronouns can be classified according to how they are used within a sentence. There are clitic pronouns (pronomes clíticos

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), which are unstressed, and tonic pronouns (pronomes tónicos




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), which are stressed. This learning note will serve as an introduction to tonic pronouns in Portuguese, however, let’s first see an overview of all the personal pronouns in order to compare them.

Subject Pronouns Clitic Object Pronouns Tonic Pronouns Tonic Pronouns + “Com
eu me mim

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comigo

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with me
tu te ti

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contigo

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with you (informal)
ele/ela lhe, se ele

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ela

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si

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com ele

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with him

com ela

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with her

consigo

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with him, with her, with you (formal)

nós nos nós

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connosco

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with us
vocês* vos vocês

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convosco

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with you (plural)
eles/elas lhes, se eles

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elas

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com eles




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with them (masc.)

com elas




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with them (fem.)

consigo

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with them

Simple Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases

March 8, 2019

So far, you’ve learned what prepositions are and you’ve been introduced to quite a few of them.

Similar to English, there are dozens of prepositions in Portuguese grammar. There are simple prepositions (single words, some of which form contractions with pronouns and articles) and there are prepositional phrases. For example:

  • Simple preposition (de): Eu gosto de jogar futebol

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    I like to play soccer
  • Prepositional phrase (perto de): Eu jogo futebol perto de minha casa.

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    I play soccer near my house.

Let’s look at some of the most common examples of each type.

The Preposition “Com”

February 23, 2019

One very common Portuguese preposition is com

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with

Like all prepositions, it’s an invariable word placed before a noun (or pronoun) to indicate the noun’s relationship to other words.

When to Use “Com”

Just like the English use of “with”, the preposition com is used to…

  • Indicate people or things that are together:

Vamos viajar com os nossos amigos.

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We will travel with our friends.

A refeição vem com uma bebida.

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The meal comes with a drink.

  • Say what something has or includes:

É um quadro com flores.

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It’s a painting with flowers.

  • Say what someone or something uses to perform an action:

Desenho com este lápis.

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I draw with this pencil.

  • Describe an emotion or state:

O atleta competiu com confiança.

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The athlete competed with confidence.

Unique Uses of “Com”

Com is also used in some contexts that are quite different from English, particularly when talking about

Combining "A" With Demonstratives

February 27, 2017

As previously mentioned, the preposition a

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to, at
can be combined with the articles o, a, os, and as to become ao, à, aos, and às.

As far as demonstratives are concerned, a can only form contractions with aquele(s), aquela(s), and aquilo.

A + Variable Demonstratives

  • a + aquele = àquele

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  • a + aqueles = àqueles

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  • a + aquela = àquela




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  • a + aquelas = àquelas

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The Preposition "A"

February 27, 2017

A is a very important and versatile Portuguese preposition. It can correspond to many different English words, depending on the context. For example:

Vou a Espanha no próximo ano

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I will go to Spain in the next year

Ela foi para lá a

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She went there on foot

Isto sabe a morango

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This tastes like strawberry

A… or A?

It’s easy to mistake the preposition a with the definite article a. They both look the same, but they serve different functions in the sentence. As you hear or read a Portuguese sentence, think about whether “a” would make more sense as:

Combining "Em" with Demonstratives

February 27, 2017

The preposition em

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in
can be combined with variable and invariable demonstratives to form a number of very useful contractions.

Remember that all the same rules for demonstratives remain valid when they appear in the following contractions.

Em + Variable Demonstratives

Relative Position Demonstrative Contraction
Near the speaker: este

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this

esta

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this

estes

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these

estas

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these

neste

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nesta

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nestes

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nestas

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Near the listener: esse

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that

essa

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that

esses

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those

essas

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those

nesse

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nessa

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nesses

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nessas

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Away from both: aquele

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that

aquela

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that

aqueles

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those

aquelas

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those

naquele

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naquela

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naqueles

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naquelas

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These contractions can be used to indicate positions, movement or time, to identify something more clearly, and

Combining "De" with Demonstratives

February 27, 2017

You learned in The Preposition “De” (from the first Prepositions unit) that de has several different meanings and can be joined together (contracted) with:

  • articles (do, da, dos, das), and
  • pronouns (dele, dela, deles, delas)

De + Variable Demonstratives

Another very common combination is with demonstratives. Let’s look at the contractions formed by combining de

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from, of
with variable demonstratives:

Relative Position Demonstrative Contraction
Near the speaker: este

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this

esta

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this

estes

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these

estas

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these

deste

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desta

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destes

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destas

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Near the listener: esse

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that

essa

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that

esses

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those

essas

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those

desse

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dessa

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desses

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dessas

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Away from both: aquele

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that

aquela

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that

aqueles

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those

aquelas

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those

daquele

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daquela

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daqueles

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daquelas

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As you can see, they are all formed by simply adding a “d” to the beginning of the demonstrative. These contractions can express possession, origin, direction, and more. Here are some examples:

Digging Deeper into Prepositions

February 27, 2017

You have learned that prepositions are usually small, but important, words that usually come before a noun to show how it relates to other elements in the sentence.

An important part of mastering European Portuguese is not only learning the meaning of each of these prepositions, but also the nuances of when each one should be used.

Prepositions can be used to establish a time or a location…

Vou partir antes do amanhecer.

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I will leave before dawn.

A carta está sob o livro.

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The letter is under the book.

To describe movement…

Vou viajar de Boston para Lisboa.

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I will travel from Boston to Lisbon.

To express a purpose…

Estes sapatos são para dançar.

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These shoes are for dancing.

…and more!

The same preposition can often have a completely different meaning depending on

The Preposition "Em"

January 21, 2017

In

The preposition em

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in, on, at, about
is usually a bit easier to understand compared to others. Although there are multiple uses, em most commonly refers to being “in” something, either physically or conceptually:

Estamos em Setembro

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We are in September

Ela está em Lisboa

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She is in Lisbon

Ela divide o quarto em dois

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She divides the room in two

Estar em dúvida

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To be in doubt

Ele está em boa condição física.

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He is in good physical condition.

Ela está em choque

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She is in shock

Other Meanings

Em can also have other meanings, such as about, on, and at.

The Prepositions “Por” and “Para”

January 21, 2017

This difference between por and para in Portuguese is a topic that is tricky for English speakers. Although both of these words can translate to “for”, you have to choose the correct one depending on the situation.

Para

Para

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can mean for, to, in order to, or towards.

To refer to a destination or result, you would always choose para instead of por.

Nós vamos para casa

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We go home

Eu vou para Portugal

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I go to Portugal

A salada é para ele, o peixe é para mim

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The salad is for him, the fish is for me

A criança apontou para cima

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The child pointed up

Por

The Preposition "De"

January 21, 2017

De

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 is one of the first Portuguese prepositions you should learn because it’s extremely common and used in a variety of different situations. De can correspond to many different English translations, depending on the context. Let’s explore some of its many uses:

About

falar de

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to talk about

Eu falo de ti

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I talk about you

By

ir de

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to go by

Eu vou de carro

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I go by car

Vou viajar de comboio.

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I will travel by train.

On

Prepositions in Portuguese

January 21, 2017

What is a Preposition?

In this Learning Note, we’ll learn about Portuguese prepositions, but first let’s review: what exactly is a preposition? Preposições

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Prepositions
are short words that usually occur before a noun (or pronoun). They show how the noun relates to another element in the sentence in terms of time, location, movement, or other parameters.

For example, the English prepositions in, at, on, and through could be used to create prepositional phrases such as in the morning, at the park, on the table, and through the rain.

To get us started, here are a few examples of Portuguese prepositions that translate somewhat easily into English:

Ir de carro

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To go by car

Sou de Lisboa

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I am from Lisbon

Eu espero por ti

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I wait for you

Eu vou para Portugal

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I go to Portugal

You may have noticed that the first two examples use the same word in different ways: de

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by, from

Translating a preposition is often not very straightforward. There are many situations like this, in which a Portuguese preposition corresponds to multiple possibilities in English, or vice-versa.

Sometimes you’ll even come across Portuguese phrases that use a preposition, while the corresponding English translation does not. For example: