Pode ser

Pode ser : maybe, could be, possible You hear this quite a lot in Brazil! You’re literally saying: to be able to be. Pode ser! And that seems a bit strange – at first. I’m sure that learning to say “maybe” feels strange to english learners as well. » Maybe. Could be. Possibly. » Maybe…

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antes & depois in Portuguese

I’ve been writing about how de hooks-up with certain verbs to change meaning or say specific things. Coisa linda, não é? Now, let’s look at what de does when coupled with with the words antes & depois. I’m going to avoid the grammar-talk and not even use the word adverb again EXCEPT for this excerpt…

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Portuguese preposition de

The Portuguese preposition de shows up everywhere. As you know, I DISLIKE digging into linguistics unless it’s necessary to move forward / to understand something. *I don’t actually dislike studying the nature, structure, and variation of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics (!!!). It’s that it doesn’t really help you get…

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I can hardly wait.

This always gave me a real hard time. In English it seems so simple to say for example, I can’t wait to see you or, I can hardly wait to see you.. I’d heard people saying, mal posso esperar para… But this didn’t make much sense. I was understanding this as, bad can wait for……

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Lá in Portuguese

Brazilians use the word lá to express much more than just the literal, there, that place over there. Lá in Portuguese is actually used in many different expressions in everyday speech. Later, we’ll look at the other ways (the other words!) also used to say there besides lá! » ali and aí — these ALSO…

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POR vs. PARA in Portuguese

When do you use POR and when is it best to use PARA to say, FOR? You’ll soon learn that Portuguese has different words to express what we would use one word to accomplish. It’s part of what makes the language very precise. English is considered vague by comparison! por vs. para ~ Can’t we…

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the Portuguese infinitive

In English, the infinitive form is just to + the verb: to dance, to kiss, to spend… I’m just going to sit here until this all makes good sense. The Portuguese infinitive is just the verb itself: falar comer dormir There’s no need to add a to. Every verb is born in its infinitive beauty….

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the Present Subjunctive

Using the Present 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 Present Subjunctive is used for case (2): actions that are plausible, yet have not yet occurred. Use this tense to talk…

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When to use the Portuguese Reflexive

You use the Portuguese Reflexive when you want to clear that you’re talking about yourself or, herself, themselves etc. When we say The Portuguese Reflexive, we’re really talking about those pronouns that get added right before a verb. These are called Reflexive Pronouns: Reflexive Pronoun Eu me Eu me levantei. (I got myself up) Você…

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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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por acaso & de propósito

por acaso » by chance Simônimos » inesperadamente, acidentalmente, casualmente, aleatoriamente, arbitrariamente Exemplo: Encontrei meus primos no festival por acaso. Não tínhamos combinado nada. » I met my cousins at the festival by chance. We hadn’t arranged anything. de propósito » on purpose Simônimos » deliberadamente, intencionalmente Exemplo: O propósito da vida é seguir a…

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Qualquer in Portuguese

I’m old enough to remember the lan house. And in Brazil – especially the favelas you can still (it’s 2020) find them! In my early days traveling in Brazil I would always go to the same lan house. I would always go when I knew there would be this one girl working there – but…

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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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Muito or Muita?

Even I struggle to get this straight. The thing that makes this tricky: In Portuguese, we’re constantly reminding you to get your gender straight. And I’m not talking about your sexual preference here não! It’s a constant struggle to keep word gender correct, certo? Muito or Muita? Minha cerveja está gelada. Meu vinho está gelado….

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What kind? in Portuguese.

We Americans are so lazy. We get away with saying so much with so little. I probably use the word, kind a dozen times every day. But in Brazil, there are several more options used to say, What kind? in Portuguese. What kind of cheese do you want? I like all kinds of science fiction…

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perto de

perto de I keep coming back to this subject because so many people ask about it. I’ve posted about Portuguese adverbs of position & place before, but today I just want to review the super-common two: perto de: close to and, longe de: far from It’s obvious why the de is there, right? Brazilians say…

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alguma coisa – something in Portuguese

In English, it’s pretty simple: something or nothing. The Portuguese options are (surprise) numerous and confusing. Let’s break-these-down and make them more user-friendly. You’ve learned alguma coisa, right? And that’s clear: alguma (some) coisa (thing) = something. But you rarely hear Brazilians say that. There are other options they favor – most depend on what…

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primeiro, primeira in Portuguese

Intermediate Think of all the ways we use the word, first. It’s the first building on the right. We wanted to talk to you first. I’m always first in line. I liked the first album better. Primeiro, primeira in Portuguese (first) can take the meaning of before as well as literally: the first. The unusual…

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PODER in Portuguese

Surely one of the most powerful verbs. Nothing happens without it. Why then you ask, does it have to be so tricky? It doesn’t have to be. Let’s de-construct the ways that PODER in Portuguese is really used. **PODER as a noun means: power. We’re talking just about the verb in this post. PODER in…

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TO THINK in Portuguese

It’s confusing to say TO THINK in Portuguese. That’s mostly because there are two verbs for it: PENSAR & ACHAR. Let’s clear up the confusion with examples. ACHAR or PENSAR? :: TO THINK in Portuguese Most books will tell you that it’s Ok to use either. That may be grammatically correct, but it does not…

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