PODER in Portuguese

PODER in Portuguese Surely one of the most powerful verbs. Nothing happens without it. Why then you ask, does it have to be so tricky? It doesn’t have to be. Let’s de-construct poder by looking at how it’s most commonly used. Standard use in the simple present tense looks like this. Can you go? >>…

Read more...

Você sabe onde fica? – in Portuguese.

Have you decided what will be the first real sentence you try to speak? “Bom dia” and “Tudo bem” don’t count. Something useful. Something that will help you on your travels in Brazil and start a simple conversation. For me it was this: Você sabe onde fica…? Perfect, right? >> “Where is whatever (located)?” This…

Read more...

melhor and melhorar

Most verbs have various related incarnations as nouns, adjectives, adverbs etc. MELHOR and MELHORAR are super-used words/verbs but also causes big confusion – I think just because these are (1) hard to pronounce, and (2) have so many similar sounding variations. Melhor and melhorar can be used in different ways to express: improve, improvement, improving,…

Read more...

TO THINK in Portuguese

It’s confusing to say TO THINK in Portuguese. That’s mostly because there are two verbs for it: PENSAR & ACHAR. Let’s clear up the confusion with examples. ACHAR or PENSAR? :: TO THINK in Portuguese Most books will tell you that it’s Ok to use either. That may be grammatically correct, but it does not…

Read more...

mais in Portuguese

Mais (more) finds it’s way into many expressions, always assuming the role of saying most or, more. Let’s look at one of the most useful ways mais in Portuguese can say things like: prettier, heavier, younger and etc. (ie, as an adjective). Examples of mais to express most can be found in this other post….

Read more...

Portuguese preposition de

The Portuguese preposition de shows up in many different places. Now, readers of this blog know that I HATE to dig into grammar-speak unless it’s really necessary to move you into Portuguese fluency. So, I won’t. But, let me just say that it’s worth being said that a preposition is a word that ties others…

Read more...

tudo vs. todo

Todo mundo: everyone gets confused over these two common words. Actually, they’re called indefinite pronouns. Officially, their job is to “represent either count nouns or noncount nouns”. What?! These are just the words that convey: all, every, entire etc. The confusion stems from the fact that tudo sounds a lot like todo. To keep them…

Read more...

Portuguese verb DAR – 7 ways to use it

We’ve gotten several requests to explain and show how the portuguese verb dar can be used. This is one of those verbs like ficar or, pegar that can change their meaning depending on the context. I remember feeling “deceived” and a bit mad when it dawned on me that people were using verbs that I…

Read more...

de novo – in Portuguese

There are so many different ways to express again/another time that it can get confusing. Let’s focus on the four most common ways that Brazilians say one more time. In order: (1) de novo (2) mais uma vez (3) outra vez (4) novamente Can we just use any of these in all situations? Sim… quase….

Read more...

Portuguese Pronunciation – lh

The LH in the middle of a word is one of the trickiest pronunciations. Really though, it’s not that hard. You just need to remember to half-pronounce the ‘L’. So, it’s not trabayar it’s, trabaLHar. Feel yourself saying the L. But don’t dwell on it. As soon as you feel the L continue right into…

Read more...

Quem é? & Qual é?

It’s often really confusing to understand how Brazilians say who and which. Quem é? Who is it? That’s what you say before opening the door or when a stranger calls on the telephone. Simple. But what about the other ways they use who? Let’s look at some very common examples. É de quem? Who’s it…

Read more...

Não dá. Eu odeio!

Eduardo Não dá, não dá! Não entendo nada! Nem física, nem literatura e nem gramática. Eu odeio química! Química! Por que que eu preciso aprender isso? Ana Calma filho. Sei que não é fácil. Você tem que ter calmo e estudar muito. Não dá. This is a great way to start a sentence. Literally no…

Read more...

Tô chegando in Portuguese

We all have a specific vocabulary stack for setting up and managing our time. Scheduling our lives is a top priority, right? In Portuguese, it’s no different. They have a core of really common verbs & vocab that they use again and again. But there are a few tricks to staying within the standards. Encontros…

Read more...

qualquer in Portuguese

I’m old enough to remember the lan house. And in Brazil – especially the favelas you can still (it’s 2016) find them. In my early days traveling in Brazil I would always go to the same lan house. I would always go when I knew there would be this one girl working there – but…

Read more...

Tomar in Portuguese

The Portuguese verb TOMAR can be confusing. The problems comes from the fact that it can take the meaning of to take or to drink or to consume. In general, Brazilians use tomar when talking about taking something that will become part of their being – that will change them internally. What?! They won’t use…

Read more...

Deixa pra lá – in Portuguese

I’ve written about pode deixar before but everyone keeps asking about the ever-popular expression: deixa pra lá. Why? Because deixar is super-useful. It means of course, to leave, let. And when you use it as deixa pra lá you’re saying: deixa pra lá = nevermind, forget it, let it go. Like I said: VERY USEFUL….

Read more...

Portuguese Reflexive Verbs

Wikipedia defines reflexive verbs like this: A reflexive verb is, loosely, a verb whose direct object is the same as its subject, for example, “I wash myself”. More generally, a reflexive verb has the same semantic agent and patient (typically represented syntactically by the subject and the direct object). For example, the English verb to…

Read more...