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 be so literal when…

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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: “is it Eu vou à praia, or Eu vou para a praia?” Both are correct. Some will say that you should use…

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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…

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The Present Progressive : examples

The Portuguese Present Progressive is one of the first conjugations you will learn, but many students are afraid to actually use it. I was too, until I could really hear/see someone using them! The clip below is an excerpt from a longer dialog that’s full of examples of verbs in this tense. The Present Progressive…

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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…

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Portuguese Contractions

We’ve written about common Portuguese contractions before, but in this post I want to give some more examples using just em + o/a and the contractions of em + um/uma. 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…

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Colocar in Portuguese

By about my second trip down here to Rio de janeiro, I realized that it might actually be a good idea to learn some Portuguese. My temporary girlfriend at the moment was sure she could get me up to speed. COLOCAR is a one of the cornerstone verbs to get down as a beginner, and…

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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…

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Eu gosto de você.

GOSTAR is one of the verbs that you will use all the time. And there is something different about it in that it is always (always) followed by a de. Think of it like this: When you like something or someone, you like of them or it. You like (of) fresh bread, for example. Você…

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