Mesmo in Portuguese

One of the first things you’ll notice when you come to Brazil is the word mesmo floating around here and there, apparently with no concrete meaning. Well, it’s not one of those words that can mean almost anything depending on the situation – mesmo in Portuguese has just a few common usages. Let’s review: É…

Read more...

Traveling safely in Brazil

Wallace asks: “Eu gostei muito de esse blog acerca de etiqueta no Brasil! Você pode escrever um blog acerca 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 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 we’ll…

Read more...

The Present Progressive (gerund)

Use Use 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 equivalent to the ing ending in English. It’s easy to learn. There is no irregular verb in the present progressive in Portuguese. Furthermore, the conjugations are 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...

Pode deixar

This was going to be an intermediate level post, but this phrase is so ubiquitous that a beginner really needs to know it right away. This 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 leave) It’s the kissing…

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. What are you doing? >> O que você está fazendo? Now let’s ask someone WHAT THEY DO, for…

Read more...

Eu vou (ir conjugation)

One verb. Lots of action. Do not say “ir” when getting food to-go. For that you say “para viagem.” Here are some people actually using the verb IR in different contexts: From the video learning course, INTENSIVO. Notice how saying for example, “eu vou” is essentially the same as “eu estou indo”. When you say…

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...

Common Contractions

As a new learner there are 3 important Portuguese contractions that you need to know. Brazilians use these all time in everyday speech: Em – in, on or at em + o = no em + a = na Of course, there are PLURAL versions also. But let’s keep it simple. You can get by…

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...

antes & depois in Portuguese

Antes de, Depois de In English, we use before & after like this: I’ll do it after eating lunch. After waking up up it’s good to work out. Always close the window before going out. I went to the store before going to work. To say the same things in Portuguese, follow this format: antes…

Read more...

To SER or not to ser.

Beginner One of the biggest deals to learn as a beginner is the difference between SER and ESTAR. Lets forget the differences between the two and just look at ser, and when/how to use it. SER: to be SER is really just to talk about the hard facts. Nothing at all temporal or changing. But…

Read more...

Portuguese adverbs & adjectives

Portuguese Adverbs and Adjectives One quick way to instantly increase your vocabulary is to learn the mente ending. This works for words (adverbs) that in English, end in ly. So for example, quickly, easily, mainly, totally, freely, and so on. All you need to remember is that you take the FEMININE version of the adverb…

Read more...

Precisar + de

The verb Precisar is a lot like gostar in that it gets followed by a “de” — BUT, unlike gostar, not all the time. The de is there because you are literally saying I need of something. Here is the rule: If you’re talking about needing a person, place or thing (ie: a noun), always,…

Read more...