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Word Order in Portuguese Questions

May 28, 2021

Word order is fairly flexible when it comes to Portuguese questions, so let’s review the possibilities. Then we’ll introduce one more option that you haven’t seen yet.

Yes/No Questions Word Order

1. Add a question mark to the end of a statement

Tu estás em Portugal Play normal audio You are in Portugal

Tu estás em Portugal? Play normal audio Are you in Portugal?

2. Add a phrase like “não é?” to the end of a statement

Ela é portuguesa Play normal audio She is Portuguese

Ela é portuguesa, não é? Play normal audio She is Portuguese, isn’t she?, She is Portuguese, right?

Open-Ended Questions Word Order

Up until this point, you’ve mostly seen open-ended questions with this word order:

Using Prepositions in Portuguese Questions

June 24, 2020

We’ll cover prepositions in more detail in later units, but for now, let’s go over a few prepositional phrases that come up frequently within Portuguese questions. You’ll notice that the preposition always comes right before the question word:

Para

Para onde é que vais? Play normal audio Where are you headed to?

Para quem é este bolo? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Who is this cake for?

Por

Using “é que” in European Portuguese Questions

June 24, 2020

You may have come across é que in a variety of Portuguese questions and wondered why these extra words are added. The pair of words is technically optional (the meaning stays the same with or without it), but including é que in Portuguese questions is so common that you should typically default to including it. This would be especially wise for beginners because there are not consistent rules for when it can be left out and excluding it can make certain sentences sound very strange.

Where to add é que

É que appears after the interrogative pronouns and adverbs you learned about earlier in the Question unit. In other words, it comes after the “question words”. For example:

  • O que é que…? Play normal audio What is…?
  • Como é que…? Play normal audio How is…?, What is…?
  • Onde é que…? Play normal audio Where is…?
  • Quando é que…? Play normal audio When is…?

The rest of the question stays the same, continuing in subject, verb, object order, just like in English. É que basically translates to

Asking Questions in Portuguese

June 18, 2020

Yes/No Questions in Portuguese

There are a number of different ways to form questions in Portuguese. We’ll start with those for which the answers are either affirmative or negative. These are the easiest Portuguese questions to ask because very few changes have to be made to turn a statement into a question.

1. Add a question mark to the end of a statement

Tu estás em Portugal Play normal audio You are in Portugal

Tu estás em Portugal? Play normal audio Are you in Portugal?

By adding a ‘?’ to a statement, all we have to do is change the intonation of the sentence and it becomes a “yes or no” question.

2. Add a phrase like “não é?” to the end of a statement

Ela é portuguesa Play normal audio She is Portuguese

Ela é portuguesa, não é? Play normal audio She is Portuguese, isn’t she?, She is Portuguese, right?

This type of question is used when

Interrogative Quantifiers: How Much? How Many?

April 23, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at quantificadores interrogativos paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio interrogative quantifiers. Interrogative quantifiers introduce questions related to quantities. These types of questions are invariably answered using another quantifier. The interrogative quantifiers include:

Quanto? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio How much?(masc.)

Quanta? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio How much?(fem.)

Quantos? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio How many?(masc.)

Quantas? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio How many?(fem.)

How much?

When used to question a quantity, quanto and quanta are the singular form equivalents to “how much” in English. (In an upcoming lesson, you’ll also learn about how quanto functions as a relative quantifier.)

Examples:

Quanto gastaste ontem? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio How much did you spend yesterday?

Interrogative Determiners

April 5, 2019

In this lesson we’ll learn about determinantes interrogativos paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio interrogative determiners

Interrogative determiners are words we use to formulate questions or exclamations. There are only two of them, but they are quite important!

Que

Que is equivalent to the English “what”. Example:

Que livro procuras? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio What book are you looking for?

Qual / Quais

Qual is the singular form equivalent to “which” in English. The same form is used for both masculine and feminine nouns. For example:

Ela visitou qual museu? paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Which museum did she visit?