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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Tô chegando in Portuguese

We all have a specific vocabulary stack for setting up and managing our time. Scheduling our lives is a top priority, right? In Portuguese, it’s no different. They have a core of really common verbs & vocab that they use again and again. But there are a few tricks to staying within the standards. Encontros…

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Portuguese prepositions & verbs

The Portuguese Gerund [check]; The Present Indicative [check]; The Subjunctive Mood [almost]; Portuguese Prepositions [check!] You’re on a roll. Portuguese prepositions? No big deal. Then, you run into an everyday sentence like, Eu vou parar de fumar. Sem problema, right? I am going to stop of to smoke. Seems wrong. If you know your gerund…

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Getting mad in Portuguese

Do Brazilians lose their cool? Sure they do. They mostly try to maintain an I’m so relaxed appearance, that often gives way to the I don’t give a damn look. But when they lose it, things can turn ugly quickly. Let’s look at the most common ways Brazilians talk about anger. I’m not going to…

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Vem cá!

I began my quest for fluency using the Pimsleur Portuguese audio program and had committed to memory this useful phrase: » Come here! Not just useful but this was helping me remember how the Imperative Mood works. So why is this post about Vem cá!? Because you will never hear, Venha aqui in Brazil: everyone…

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Deu mole!

Moleza! Deu Mole! If you’re starting to have real conversations with real Brazilians, DEU MOLE! is one of the first girias (slangs) that you will hear. To understand this one let’s look at where it comes from. Maria Mole. *Some people just want to know what this means, but I love to know the origins….

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Portuguese verb HAVER

The Portuguese verb HAVER causes a lot of confusion. If you look at the definition it’s: haver = to be/to have (exist) But listening in on its actual use, you’ll find that it’s used just like the verb, TER. And then there’s the fact that it appears to be yet another verb to express TO…

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Cadê in Portuguese

Is this really Portuguese? Sim, é. You will hear it every day in Brazil. And for some reason, it’s not presented in any of the Brazilian Portuguese grammar books or other learning materials! Probably because it’s relatively recently become part of the common (conversational) vernacular. But it’s omnipresent. In conversational Portuguese, Brazilians will use CADÊ in…

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O que que você fez?

Que-que-que-que-que… That’s the sound of Brazilian Portuguese. Just as we have the word it and that in almost all of our sentences, so Portuguese has que. And sometimes it sounds as if that’s all they’re saying: que que que. Brazilians have the habit of swallowing the words on either side of the que. But the…

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Colocar in Portuguese

On 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 one of the cornerstone verbs to get down as a beginner, and she was…

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