mais in Portuguese

Mais (more) finds its way into many expressions, always playing 1 of 2 possible roles. It’s not simply to say most or, more.  It’s always used to (1) compare one thing to another;  or (2) to say simply most or, more. Examples of mais to express most can be found in this other post. Using mais…

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Quem é? & Qual é?

Pay attention to the way that Brazilians use who, and which. They use these two a bit differently than we do. Quem é? Who is it? That’s what you say before opening the door or when a stranger calls on the telephone. But quem also means whom. In Portuguese there is just, quem. ➾ Who’s is…

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Present tense irregular verbs

The Portuguese present indicative (“the present”) gets boring fast. To liven things up a bit, let’s take a look at the most common Present Tense irregular verbs. ☞ Regular present tense verbs are here: ar-verbs, er-verbs, ir-verbs There are some patterns to these irregular conjugations, but not many. I think the best way to learn…

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Portuguese verb TER

Portuguese verb TER is the one you’re going to use more than any other. TER To have. But it can also be used as: is there / are there any. PRONOUNCED: TER: the Present Tense to have ter I have eu t enho you/he/she have(has) você/ele/ela t em Portuguese verb TER is among the Brazilian…

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CONSEGUIR in Portuguese

Are you getting sick of my posts that just deal with a verb? It’s not for lack of other subjects, it’s just that VERBS ARE KEY to building sentences and, fluency. Verbs are also handled very differently in Portuguese than in English. We use phrasal-verbs extensively: get-over, get-going, get-ahead, get-away and on, and on, and…

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Pode deixar

This was going to be an intermediate level post, but this phrase is so popular that it’s important for everyone to know how to use it. Right away! Pode deixar is one of those phrases that finds it’s way into just about every conversation here. Pode deixar: PODER (to be able to,can) + DEIXAR (to…

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The future with IR

The Present Tense of IR can be used to talk about the future! The fastest and easiest way to start talking about the future is with the verb IR. Forming the future with IR is just a matter of knowing its conjugation in the present tense. That sounds confusing. But it’s not a big deal…

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tudo vs. todo

Todo mundo (everyone) gets confused about these. Tudo in Portuguese sounds so much like todo & toda that it’s tough to keep them straight ~ even though these are three of the most-used words in the language. TUDO = all, everything for GENERAL things. TODO & TODA = all, everything for SPECIFIC things (things that…

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Você tem certeza?

Are you sure? That’s for sure. You’re right! Isn’t that so? Brazilians are positive people 😉 They will frequently affirm confirm and encourage an idea or thought. And they do so in specific ways. Brazilians use several key phrases but most affirmations are based on just two words: CERTEZA: Você tem certeza? Are you sure?…

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the Preterit Indicative : irregular verbs

When I last posted about the Preterit Indicative, it was all about regular verbs. Now let’s look at the most common IRREGULARs in this tense. » *regular verbs are here. The “simple past tense” (the Preterit Indicative) is used to talk about action that’s over and done – in the frame of your story: I…

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Portuguese Articles: the The

The first thing that struck me as wrong with the use of o and a for THE. One letter? I really wanted at least an el or, la. Portuguese Articles (called: definite articles) are actually super-practical. Two immediate and big payoffs: (1) You can use the o and a as it! You can also combine…

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the Preterit Indicative ~ar verbs

The Preterit Indicative is “the simple past tense” Ready to move on the past tenses? Start here, with the Preterit Indicative. I call it the simple past because it’s the clearest, simplest verb tense (*a verb tense describes a time that something happened.) in Portuguese. Hang around here a bit and you will meet the…

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gostar

GOSTAR (complete conjugation) is one of those verbs that you will use all the time. Unless you don’t like anything 🙁 But then you will have to say. “Eu não gosto…” because it’s just not cool to use the word hate (ODIAR) except very rarely. Gostar is used differently than most any other verb in…

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Portuguese Contractions

There are 4 important Portuguese contractions that you need to know. This is one of the hardest things for beginners to get the hang of. It took me years to feel confident using contractions. I think that if gender weren’t involved they would be easy to pick up. That said, the contractions used in Portuguese…

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Portuguese possessive pronouns

Mine, Yours, His & Hers The words that we use to convey POSSESSION are pretty simple because all objects are treated as gender-neutral. In Portuguese of course, there are always two options: the masculine and the feminine. These are called possessive pronouns and they are going to test the limits of your patience until you…

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Without in Portuguese

To say “without stopping” it’s just sem – without- plus the verb (almost any verb) in it’s infinitive form. You can use this format to say things like, sem falar, sem pagar, sem pensar, sem perguntar and so on. Very useful. sem falar = without saying sem pagar = without paying sem pensar = without…

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te for você

I think this is the best example. It’s so natural. From the new Novela (o Retorno) The scene: Lucas has to spend the night in Unkle Leo’s room. Leo: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Line-by-line: (1) Eu ensino para você. >> I’ll teach you. (2) Eu vou te ensinar. >> I’m going to teach you….

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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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Portuguese Expressions of Time

These are really useful ways to talk about the timing of things. These are the most common ones but, you can also modify these to say exactly what you want to say without learning anything else! I put most of these on my flashcard stack and memorized them before traveling to Brazil. Test yourself: Study…

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pequeno & grande – menor & maior

Stumbling block #1 for new learners is making sense of how Brazilians say small, smaller, smallest & big, bigger, biggest. (or, large/larger/largest) What’s the big deal? In all Portuguese you express things like short, smart, fat, fast, sexy like this: short = baixo shorter = mais baixo shortest = o mais baixo * And of…

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the Portuguese past tense

In Portuguese, there are several ways to refer to something that happened in the past – each with different shades of meaning. When you choose one Portuguese past tense over another, you’re letting people know more about the story you’re telling. Talking about the past is always an act of story-telling. The Preterit Indicative tense…

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Modern Brazilian introductions

You can score BIG points just being able to meet & greet in Brazil. Before you even know how to say anything else, learn these. Use them to practice your pronunciation – you’ll be using them over and over. For example — Tudo bem is the main thing everyone says when seeing someone you know…

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estar com, estar de

I am with luck. That is literally how you would say “I’m lucky” in Brazilian Portuguese: eu estou com sorte. estar com (beginner) In Brazilian Portuguese it’s important to remember that this special combination of ESTAR + COM is used to say things like: I’m hungry. > Eu estou com fome. I’m thirsty. > Eu…

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to need in Portuguese

You need to learn Portuguese. You have to learn Portuguese. Just as in English, there are two ways to express need in Brazilian Portuguese. Each has its own specific way of being used. (1) precisar PRECISAR = to need. Precisar is a little tricky because you must always put a “de” after it unless it’s…

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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…

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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…

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