Conectivos e conectores: Aditivas

Words that connect us. In this first of a series of posts we are going to talk about those words & phrases that are always there — holding the sentence together. Tudo bem? In grammar-speak, these are called conjunctions. Do not be afraid. They are your friends. You already use them all-the-time 😉 Aditivas: Indicam…

Read more...

Vamos embora!

Vamos emobra! When Brazilian’s say goodbye. IN ORDER OF USAGE (most common first) — the ways Brazilians say good-bye. (1) Tchau! (2) eu vou embora EMBORA = away. Eu vou embora. = I’m going away (leaving). Most dictionaries list this as: em•bo•ra | {conj.} (apesar de; ainda que; ainda) That’s because this is an expression…

Read more...

Você sabe onde fica?

This was a seriously scary moment moment for me. I could_not mess up my 1st attempt at speaking a complete sentence – to an actual brazilian – that was not, oi tudo bem. in actual Brazil. A failure would bring trauma. It would set me back months if not all the way to zero. 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...

Deixa para lá – in Portuguese

I’ve written about the expression pode deixar and, me deixa em paz ~ me deixa sozinho (leave me in peace ~ leave me alone)… but the one that keeps coming back is: deixa para lá. Por quê? Why does this one generate the most interest? Deixa para lá. Probably because deixar is one powerful verb….

Read more...

English words used in Brazil

This post is making me extremely hungry. Here’s the deal: once you know these you don’t have to bother to learn the Portuguese equivalents. No need to. They are already in use in the common vocabulary here. Just be sure to say these words with your best brazilian accent. We’ve gotten a native to record…

Read more...

Ficar

I’ve posted about FICAR before – Ficar Grammar & Portuguese Verb Ficar. FICAR is a big deal and using it correctly can be powerful. Italians have a big problem with this verb because apparently, it means to fuck in Italian. That’s their problem, not yours. Actually, Brazilians do use FICAR to talk about casual hook-ups…

Read more...

Hurry up in Portuguese

You’ve heard it said: Brazil is a slow-paced world. Everything happens according to some tropical relógio (clock). And that’s true – mais ou menos. But being in a hurry still happens here. There is always more to do than there is time to do it. Even in Brasil. How to say hurry up in Portuguese…

Read more...

Where’s the AT in Portuguese?

at the store in the restaurant on the subway For some reason I just can’t stop thinking about prepositions of place: in, on & at Right in the middle of a hike. In the middle of my friend telling some crazy story about getting arrested on New Year’s eve here (Rio de Janeiro). O quê?…

Read more...

PARECER in Portuguese

How would you say something like, You seem to be doing great or, You look tired -? How about, looking good or, seems like a good option -? I remember always getting stuck when trying to express – to seem, to appear. Then I discovered two things: 1- You don’t have to be so literal…

Read more...

Queria in portuguese

In english we say, I wanted to this and that… all_the_time. To say the same thing in portuguese it’s tempting to say something like, Eu estava querendo x & y…. But this is very clunky, isn’t it? Brazilians will use the imperfect past form of QUERER to express this. Like this: Eu queria fazer uma…

Read more...

Asking Directions in Portuguese

One sure way to quickly improve your Portuguese is to get lost… in Brazil. Even if just for a few hours. All of your speaking inhibitions will immediately disappear and you’ll be compelled to do the single best thing for improving your skills: speak to a real Brazilian! Brazilians are a helpful bunch. I’ve made…

Read more...

Para in Portuguese

PARA can mean either to (some place), or for (in order for). This harmless preposition confuses people all the time because there exist also the preposition a, which also means to. Everyone asks which is correct: Eu vou à praia, or Eu vou para a praia-? Both are correct. Some will say that you should…

Read more...

Hacking Portuguese Participles

Many Portuguese learners get tripped-up with the past tense. But there are some hacks that can get you speaking quickly. One of them is learning to use Portuguese participles. The past participle is just a verb conjugation that describes something that is over and done: written, said, cooked, closed etc. Learning the Portuguese participles is…

Read more...

Como foi?

Most Portuguese courses start by teaching the future tense (using IR). Como vai? That’s because it’s the simplest thing to learn. But in the real world you want to be able to talk about what happened a few minutes ago; what happened yesterday, and so on. And, this is NO BIG DEAL to do. You…

Read more...

PARA MIM versus PARA EU

My mom still gets mad when I get “I” and “me” mixed up. It still happens too often, giving her joy every time. It’s the same thing in Portuguese. The big confusion is whether to say para mim or, para eu. Fortunately, there is a very simple trick to getting these right. Once you know…

Read more...

The NEW strong US Dollar and Brazil.

*Obviously things have changed since this was posted. The current exchange rate is even better. The latest USD > BRL exchange: What it all means. If you haven’t been following the latest financial news about Brazil, you might be surprised to hear the US Dollar is once again, king of the land here in Brazil….

Read more...

Traveling safely in Brazil

Wallace asks: “Eu gostei muito de esse blog acerca de etiqueta no Brasil! Você pode escrever um blog sobre de como viajar com segurança no Brasil? Por exemplo, como os turistas devem vestir-se, onde não devem ir, e como usar o ônibus e o metrô de uma maneira segura. Eu planejo visitar Rio de Janeiro…

Read more...

Portuguese Sentences: great openers

If you’ve already got some of the basics down and are looking for ways to get into a conversation, I’m going to give you a list of very common Portuguese sentences that you can use as openers. These are all simple, yet powerful and: interesting openers. This list will give you some great openers and…

Read more...

The Present Progressive

Use the Present Progressive it to talk about things that are happening right now! Think of it as progress in the present: working, shopping, talking, studying. The Present Progressive is roughly equivalent to the ing ending in English. It’s easy to learn. There are no irregular verbs in this tense! Even more good news: the…

Read more...

SER and ESTAR

Previously, we looked at how to use the portuguese verb SER. Now let’s look at the differences between SER and ESTAR. Ser Ser is for intrinsic, somewhat permanent characteristics. Meu nome é Raquel. My name is (permanently/always) Raquel. Eu sou brasileira. I am (permanently/always) Brazilian. Ele é casado. He is (somewhat permanently) married. Estar Estar…

Read more...

Etiquette in Brazil

Get comfortable with the double-cheek kiss. Brazilians are much more liberal with body touching and personal space than Americans. This is generally a very cool thing. You will often see even younger boys holding hands as a sign of friendship. Women do the two-kiss greeting. But beware. Don’t automatically go in for the air-kiss on…

Read more...

O que você está fazendo?

Let’s explore the different ways we can talk about what’s going on, what someone is doing, what you do, I do, others do. FAZER Which of course becomes FAZENDO (the gerund) when you want to say DOING. O que você está fazendo? ➜ What are you doing? Now let’s ask someone WHAT THEY DO, for…

Read more...

THIS & THAT – Demonstrative Pronouns

Portuguese gets complicated as soon as you start trying to say this and that. To this day I get these wrong. That’s because in Portuguese there are 3 different cases to consider. The subject can be male, female, or unknown. In time this starts to come naturally. Actually, what happens is you start to anticipate…

Read more...

Bom, Boa, Bem

Why do people sometimes say tudo bem, and other times it’s tudo bom? I used to wonder about that. And it’s really silly because the answer is obvious. Just as we sometimes say in English “I’m well” we also will say “I’m good.” It’s exactly the same with tudo bem / tudo bom. You can…

Read more...

Portuguese Pronunciation

We’re starting to post the first pronunciation videos! The first 10 lessons of A Virada now have the corresponding pronúncia training. They look just great. Luciana and Andre have done an amazing job at showing us the language in all it’s GLORY. This is like watching bees pollenate flowers in super-slow motion. Everything is there…

Read more...