Saying about in Portuguese

about in Portuguese

As usual, there are just too many options! Detesto opções!

~ o Chatão (annoying person)

Trying to say "about" in Portuguese can quickly turn into a grande confusão that has your reaching for your phone. As usual, the problem is the huge number of options. And como sempre (as always) the solution is:

  • Relaxar...
  • Respirar...
  • Vamos brincar com algumas ideias.

So let's talk about the words and expressions that Brazilians use everyday to express about - in all it's flavors.

Words that express about in Portuguese.

about: regarding or, concerning.

Sobre o que você está falando? » What are you talking about?>

You can say switch-up the word order too:
Você está falando sobre o que?
Also, people often replace the sobre with de and turn it into:

De que você está falando? » What are you talking about?

It's like saying: What are you talking of? That's a bit strange sounding in english but hey, we're not in Kansas anymore.
of == about ➜ de == sobre
It's all good.

❤️‍🔥 I like "de que" so much let's hear another example:

De que você está pensando? » What are you thinking about?

Nice.

about: approximately, more or less

Custa mais ou menos cem reais. » It costs about a hundred reals ($R100).

But really, there are lots of ways to express "approximately", right?
To name a few:

mais ou menos (more or less)
Conheço mais ou menos sete pessoas aqui. ➜ I know about 7 people here.
em torno de (on the oder of)
Em torno de cinco decadas até o mundo vai acabar. ➜ About 5 decades until the world ends.
tipo (like)
É tipo mil reais mais barato e funciona ígual de um iphone 20. ➜ It's about a thousand reals cheaper and works the same as an iphone 20. (need that iphone 20!)
aproximadamente (approximately)
Aproximadamente 50% da população não confiam em vacinas hoje em dia. ➜ About 50% of the population don't trust vaccines these days.

You will find that by simply familiarizing yourself, speaking out loud and understanding --> really understanding the grammar of these expressions you will create a place in your head where these will reside and continue to grow. With modest but consistent dedication to practice you'll be pleasantly rewarded and find that some have made it into your internal wiring - as if by osmosis. That's how language works. We are pre-wired for it but it needs to be activated religiously in order to trigger on demand.

More Examples that express "about" in Portuguese.

about: about about

Em média, 20% são bilíngues. » On average about 20% are bilingual.

✘ Of americans... Actually much less than that! If you ask people at a party if they speak another language many will include that 3 semesters of German that they've totally forgotten. 🤭

Sobre o que é tudo isso? » What's all of this about?
Andei pensando em você. » I've been thinking about you.

✘ Did you get that? I hope not. If you did, parabéns, you don't need Semantica any more. This is a very special use of the verb andar. Though used quite frequently, it's just not covered in courses because it's considered too advanced. And it is pretty tough to understand. I wrote a post about it though. It is very cool and you will not fail to impress a Brazilian if you pull it out sometime. 😎

Asking yourself questions almost always leads to something worthwhile. In that rare moment that we're inspired enough to answer one of our own questions, true learning is almost always the result. Why is that I wonder? Maybe it's because when you're truly motivated you are tuned-in and turned-on, receiving and recording. More so than when you're being told something, fed a fact or even, reading a book.

Grammar: de

The meaning of the preposition de changes with context to mean either of, from, by, with or about.

of ➜ É de madeira. (It's made of wood.)

from ➜ De onde você é? (from where are you?)

by ➜ Vamos de carro. (Let's go by car.)

with ➜ Estou de relógio. (I have a watch.)

about ➜ De que você quer falar? (What do you want to talk about?)

When a verb comes right after de, they’re almost always in the infinitive. You would translate them as to talk, to do, to run ETC. OR ⇢ talking, doing, running. ETC.

de brigar ➜ Para de brigar. (Stop fighting.)

de falar ➜ Fico constrangido de falar. (I'm embarrassed to speak.)

de comer ➜ É a hora de comer. (It's time to eat.)

de falar ➜ Para de falar. (Stop talking.)