• Sort By

  • Type

  • Episode Type

  • Topic

  • People

  • Level

How to Use the Verb Andar

August 30, 2021

The simplest translation for the Portuguese verb andar is “to walk”, but the fun doesn’t stop there! Andar can take on many different meanings, depending on the context.

As opposed to caminhar Play normal audio to walk, which is pretty straightforward, andar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio refers more to the general act of moving, acting, or changing places. It can indicate that an action is about to become habitual or express a sense of continuity (e.g. to “go around” doing something).

You may remember this from when we learned about how to form the present continuous / present progressive tense.

The Most Common Meanings of the Verb Andar

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 Use the Verb Ficar

December 4, 2020

The verb ficar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio is a very common, and important, Portuguese verb. Ficar is sort of like a Swiss army knife, as it can take on many meanings… but you also have to careful with it!

In most cases, this verb means to be, to stay, to become, or to keep. It implies that something happened or will happen, or that something changed (and that change can be either permanent or temporary). It can also be used to indicate the placement of objects, cities, buildings and so on (especially unmovable objects), or talk about the location where a certain object is usually stored.

You can explore the different verb conjugations here.

We’ll also discuss the difference between ficar vs. ser vs. estar vs. tornar-se, as these are often difficult for non-native speakers to differentiate.

Most Common Meanings of Ficar

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 paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to like. Let’s start with a simple example:

Eu gosto de café paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio I like coffee

It’s important to remember that the preposition de paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio 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…

Falar, Dizer, and Contar

October 13, 2020

This guide will focus on the differences between the Portuguese verbs falar, dizer, and contar.

The meanings of these words are actually very similar because they all relate to speaking or communicating information. In fact, they’re often considered synonyms and can be used interchangeably in certain contexts. However, it’s important to understand the differences as you work toward making your Portuguese sound more correct and more natural.

If you frequently get confused by these verbs, you’re not alone. They are some of the most commonly confused Portuguese words! This guide will hopefully clarify their differences for you. 

Verb Phrases & Clitic Pronouns

August 25, 2020

In Portuguese, verb phrases are known as locuções verbais. The definition of verb phrases varies in English, but in the Portuguese language, it refers to the use of an auxiliary verb + a main verb. More specifically, the formula “auxiliary verb + the main verb in the infinitive, past participle or gerund”. In such situations, the placement of the clitic pronoun is a bit more lax compared to the rules we’ve discussed in the past.

Let’s take a look at how to place clitic object pronouns when the main verb in is the infinitive or gerund form compared to how to place them when the main verb is in its past participle form.

When the main verb is in the infinitive or gerund

In the first example below, the pronoun comes after the main verb (mostrar) and this would be the most common way to place it. This is because there’s not a so-called “attractive” word that requires you to place it before the verb (such as an adverb or negative word). This usually happens in affirmative sentences.

Future Subjunctive

July 27, 2020

As previously mentioned, the futuro do conjuntivo Play normal audio future subjunctive allows us to talk about the conditions that must be met in order for a potential future action to occur, (i.e. “If this goes well, I will do that” or “When we get home, I will do that”). This tense appears in subordinate adverbial clauses (i.e. clauses which function like an adverb), as well as in relative clauses. It often goes along with the conjunction se paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio if or others such as:

  • assim que paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio as soon as, once
  • sempre que paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio whenever
  • quando paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio when
  • enquanto paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio while, as long as
  • como paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio how
  • o que Play normal audio what

Verb Conjugation

Regular Verbs

With regular verbs, the futuro do conjuntivo is conjugated exactly the same as the

Imperfect Subjunctive

July 27, 2020

Another tense that makes up part of the conjuntivo is the imperfeito do conjuntivo Play normal audio imperfect subjunctive. You learned about the pretérito imperfeito do indicativo, which references past events that were ongoing. In the conjuntivo, however, the imperfect refers to:

  • past or future wishes and desires;
  • something purely hypothetical in the past or future:
    • i.e. imagining “what could have been” or “what could be” if things were or had been different;
  • something that is or was unlikely to take place.

Examples

Present Subjunctive

July 27, 2020

Presente do Conjuntivo

As one of the tenses that makes up part of the conjuntivo (subjunctive) mood, the presente do conjuntivo Play normal audio present subjunctive lets you talk about something that may or may not happen, but that is within the realm of possibility. This includes hopes, fears, doubts, and other hypotheticals. It tends to be paired with the presente do indicativo, such as in clauses beginning with:

  • Espero que… Play normal audio I hope that…
  • É importante que… Play normal audio It’s important that…
  • É bom que… Play normal audio It would be good if…, Literal – It is good that…
  • Receio que… Play normal audio I’m afraid that…
  • Duvido que… Play normal audio I doubt that…
  • Desejo que… Play normal audio I wish that…
  • Quer que eu…? Play normal audio Do you want me to…?

In the next lessons, we’ll focus on the presente do conjuntivo, but you

The Subjunctive Mood in Portuguese (Conjuntivo)

July 27, 2020

Conjuntivo: What is it?

What in English is called the subjunctive mood, in European Portuguese is named modo conjuntivo Play normal audio subjunctive mode. While the indicativo Play normal audio indicative mood refers to actions that are certain or real, the conjuntivo, in contrast, indicates something possible, desired, hypothetical, or even unreal. It conveys the idea of uncertainty, doubt, or hope.

It is often found in sentences that contain the word se paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio if or after a verb + que paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio that, as you will notice in many (but not all) of the examples.

The conjuntivo can appear in

Past Participles & Auxiliary Verbs

April 27, 2020

In this lesson we’re going to tackle past participles in Portuguese, i.e. particípios passados paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio past participles

What is a past participle? A past participle is a verb form that functions similarly to an adjective (e.g. “I am interested in that”), or that goes along with an auxiliary verb to form different verb tenses or use the passive voice (e.g. “The bill has been paid“, “The bill was paid“). Let’s look at a few examples to better understand how to use past participles in Portuguese:

Aquele filme? Já o tinha visto, sim. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio That film? I had already seen it, yes.

Tínhamos escrito ao professor para lhe pedirmos as notas. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio We had written to the professor to ask for our grades.

Notice that, in the two examples above, you needed to use another verb before using the past participles “seen” and “written”.

Double Past Participles

April 26, 2020

In this lesson, we’ll have a look at particípios passados duplos paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio double past participles. ‘Double’ here means that some verbs can take the form of either a regular or an irregular participle, depending on the auxiliary verb being used with them.

Remember those verbs we marked off with an asterisk in the Irregular Participles learning note? They were ganhar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to win, to earn, gastar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to spend, and pagar paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to pay. These are verbs that have double participles. Let’s see them in action:

Ganhar

Eles deviam ter ganhado o campeonato. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio They should have won the championship.

O campeonato foi ganho pela outra equipa. paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio The championship was won by the other team.

Gastar