Acabar de – in Portuguese


I couldn't believe how hard it was to say, "I just got home" or, "They just arrived" -- I tried to use or, somente for just. Then I would say something like, I soon got home or, I now arrived home. Crazy difficult. Then I discovered ACABAR DE.

ACABAR + de + VERB = to have just done something. The second verb is always in the infinitive (unconjugated). Acabar is in the past tense.

Translating the first clip above:

Mom, I just finished waking up.
The just is included because when you use ACABAR + de, you really are saying that you JUST NOW finished doing something. It always takes on this meaning. Always.

I just (now) finished working. » Eu acabei de trabalhar.

acabar de ~ the Magic Formula

We are using plain old ACABAR (to finish, to end) and placing de + any verb in it's infinitive (unconjugated) form after it. Like this:

She just arrived. » Ela acabou de chegar.
He just went out. » Ele acabou de sair.
We just finished coffee. » Acabamos de tomar cafe.

Just as it does with other verbs you've seen. And here.

Start Today.

The first 14 days are free to try.

No commitment. Cancel anytime. Semantica is the entertaining way to learn. 🧑🏼‍🔬

Eu parei de fumar. = I stopped smoking.
Ela melhorou de jogar. = She's going to going to improve playing.
Mãe eu acabei de acordar. = Mom, I finished waking up.

More examples using acabar de

She just spoke with me. » Ela acabou de falar comigo.
This just (now) happened. » Isso acabou de acontecer.
I just cooked. » Eu acabei de cozinhar.

Getting Fancy with ACABAR de

And you can get pretty advanced and say something like,

I had just gotten home when... » Eu tive acabado de chegar em casa quando...
I would always just arrive home when... » Eu sempre acabava de chegar em casa quando...

Very advanced.