Você sabe onde fica? – in Portuguese.

Have you decided what will be the first real sentence you try to speak? “Bom dia” and “Tudo bem” don’t count. Something useful. Something that will help you on your travels in Brazil and start a simple conversation. For me it was this: Você sabe onde fica…? Perfect, right? >> “Where is whatever (located)?” This…

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mais in Portuguese

Mais (more) finds it’s way into many expressions, always assuming the role of saying most or, more. Let’s look at one of the most useful ways mais in Portuguese can say things like: prettier, heavier, younger and etc. (ie, as an adjective). Examples of mais to express most can be found in this other post….

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Portuguese preposition de

The Portuguese preposition de shows up in many different places. As you know — I HATE to dig into grammar-speak unless it’s really necessary to move you into Portuguese fluency. So, I won’t. But, let me just say that it’s worth being said that a preposition is a word that ties others together. Each language…

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tudo vs. todo

Todo mundo: everyone gets confused over these two common words. Actually, they’re called indefinite pronouns. Officially, their job is to “represent either count nouns or noncount nouns”. What?! These are just the words that convey: all, every, entire etc. The confusion stems from the fact that tudo sounds a lot like todo. To keep them…

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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….

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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…

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Quem é? & Qual é?

It’s often really confusing to understand how Brazilians say who and which. Quem é? Who is it? That’s what you say before opening the door or when a stranger calls on the telephone. Simple. But what about the other ways they use who? Let’s look at some very common examples. É de quem? Who’s it…

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Tomar in Portuguese

The Portuguese verb TOMAR can be confusing. The problems comes from the fact that it can take the meaning of to take or to drink or to consume. In general, Brazilians use tomar when talking about taking something that will become part of their being – that will change them internally. What?! They won’t use…

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Deixa pra lá – in Portuguese

I’ve written about pode deixar before but everyone keeps asking about the ever-popular expression: deixa pra lá. Why? Because deixar is super-useful. It means of course, to leave, let. And when you use it as deixa pra lá you’re saying: deixa pra lá = nevermind, forget it, let it go. Like I said: VERY USEFUL….

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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…

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Ficar

I’ve posted about FICAR before – FICAR for intermediates and about SER & FICAR and Saying FICAR de Olho. FICAR is a big deal. It’s one of the few verbs that can really up your game. Italians have a big problem with this verb because apparently it means to fuck in italian. That’s their problem,…

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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…

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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?…

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Vem cá!

I was practicing with the Pimsleur Portuguese’s audio program and had just learned about the imperative mood. That’s the tense (mood) you use when giving a command — or really any time that an exclamation point would be involved. Then I landed in Rio. Almost right away I could here people saying, vem cá. A…

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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 the VERB IS KEY to building sentences and, fluency. Verbs are also handled very differently in Portuguese. We use phrasal-verbs extensively: get-over, get-going, get-ahead, get-away and on, and on, and on. It’s…

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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…

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Queria in portuguese

In english we say, I was wanting 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…

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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…

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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…

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