The Portuguese Imperative

Use I find the Portuguese Imperative pretty confusing! The Imperative is a mood, not a verb tense, btw. Verb tenses are the individual conjugations within a mood: eu falo, você fala, nós falamos ETC. A mood has tenses. The Portugues Imperative is a MOOD. Mood indicates the attitude of the speaker toward a subject. In…

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Portuguese verb DAR – 7 ways to use it

Portuguese verb DAR: um bicho de 7 cabeças. A 7-headed animal. Bicho (slang) = animal. É mesmo. I get daily requests to explain the Portuguese verb DAR is one of those verbs like FICAR or DEIXAR that can change their meaning depending on the context. These verbs were a great pain to learn because I…

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ESTAR – the definitive reference

If you’re already pretty comfortable with the differences between ESTAR & SER, then this is for you. It’s incredibly useful to have a one-stop reference for all the different flavors of ESTAR. I always wanted one when I was learning everything but never found anything! ESTAR in all it’s glory *Ordered by importance (use). Complete…

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the Imperfect Indicative

In Portuguese, there are several ways to refer to something that happened in the past, each with varying shades of meaning. Verb tenses! The Past Imperfect – officially called the Imperfect Indicative (o Pretérito Imperfeito), is used when talking about continuous or ongoing action in the past. Something that used to occur or, would always occur….

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The Portuguese JEITO

What is the Portuguese JEITO? It’s just an expression: JEITO = way, as in: let’s find a way. It’s somewhat notorious because Brazil has been known as the place where anything is possible. This comes mostly from the recent past in which one could for example, buy their way into a green card, bribe someone…

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Imperfect Subjunctive + Conditional

In the previous post we talked about this verb tense — the imperfect subjunctive, as well. So many of you have asked to see even more examples of this super-useful grammar trick so: aqui estão! (here they are!) the Imperfect Subjunctive is insanely great. Even better with the Conditional! And BTW, only language professors need…

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the Portuguese Subjunctive

The subjunctive mood has been known to break students. Every serious Portuguese student runs straight into it. Some get hurt. Some get scared. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Portuguese Subjunctive is actually a rose with thorns. It’s a beautiful part of the language that should be embraced and used with style,…

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Acabar in Portuguese vs. Acabar de

We’ve written about ACABAR de before — because it’s such a useful combination. When you place a de after acabar, it takes on the meaning of, to have just. ACABAR in Portuguese by itself means: to end, to end-up, to finish. Everyone gets these mixed-up (confundida) ~ That DE makes all the difference! Use ACABAR…

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the Imperfect Subjunctive

Using the Imperfect Subjunctive Portuguese uses the Subjunctive mood to indicate something is uncertain to happen or to have occurred. There are 3 different degrees of uncertainty: (1) extremely unlikely, (2) plausible, (3) likely. The Imperfect Subjunctive is used for case (1): actions that are extremely unlikely to happen or to have happened. If I were…

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Other tenses of TER

Ter in the Future Tense The common way is to use the verb ir as a helper verb (the future tense with ir) Eu vou ter mais tempo amanhã. > I’m going to have more time tomorrow. Ele vai ter que correr. > He’s going to have to run. Você vai ter uma namorada nova….

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Advanced forms of TER

Prerequisite Reading: Portuguese verb TER. Superpowers? Sim, TER has superpowers. Though these are considered advanced-level, any ambitious learner can start using them now! Just keep in mind that the conjugation of TER is very irregular. Let’s start with the most used: The Imperative of Ter You will hear these all_the_time: Tenha um bom dia! >…

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parar de & começar a

What’s so special about the verbs PARAR & COMEÇAR? For starters you’ve probably noticed that you always have to treat these verbs a little differently. For example, you can’t say “I stopped eating sugar” like this: eu parei comer açucar (NÃO!) — you need to include a de like this: I stopped eating sugar >…

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Inviting Yourself

How do you say something like, I’d like to go with you sometime or ask, Can we play with you guys? In Portuguese there are several key verbs that make it easy and clear that you’d like to do something – to participate. Portuguese invitational verbs participar: to participate poder: to be able to, can…

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a partir de

There are several verbs that when used in specific ways open the door to new possibilities. Let’s look at the combination, A partir de and how this one can be used. The Portuguese verb PARTIR means: to leave, depart, go away. a partir de When combined like this, partir takes on the meaning: starting from…

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Saying: to run into, to bump into

Why is this so hard to say? to run into, to bump into: Saying it in Portuguese. When you’re in Brazil it’s normal to spend much more time on foot, walking the streets. Even though automobiles inundate life as here, the infrastructure of most cities just can’t handle them and as a result, there are…

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Chegou a hora – in Portuguese

Chegou a hora – in Portuguese means of course: the time has arrived, the time has come, or simply, it’s time. Seems so simple, right. But how would you say something like: “when the time comes to…” or, “please, be on time –? Simple Use: It’s time to work. > Chegou a hora de trabalhar….

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Portuguese ~or verbs

Is there no end to the suffering? It’s not enough that we have to learn to conjugate 3 different verb types (the ar, ei & ir endings). There is yet another group: the Portuguese ~or verbs! Sim, e não. The good news is, there are only a few of these actually used and: their conjugations…

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Dia Internacional do Samba

We all have our own unsolved mysteries about SAMBA, right? Do you really have to go to a samba school to learn samba? Is there some store where you buy those outfits? Can men samba too? Does it mean you’re gay if you do? It’s just like salsa – but with less clothing? It just…

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Bêbado

There’s this perception that Brazilians enjoy a drink. Verdade ou mito? VERDADE. It’s the weather. Imagine if all the skanky bars in your town were open air, tables spilling out onto the sidewalk where you could instantly see smiling people with cold drinks. I bet you’d stop by at least once in a while. That’s…

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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,…

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