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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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 VERBS ARE KEY to building sentences and, fluency. Verbs are also handled very differently in Portuguese than in English. We use phrasal-verbs extensively: get-over, get-going, get-ahead, get-away and on, and on, and…

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The future with IR

The Present Tense of IR can be used to talk about the future! The fastest and easiest way to start talking about the future is with the verb IR. Forming the future with IR is just a matter of knowing it’s conjugation in the present tense. That sounds confusing. But it’s not a big deal…

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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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The Portuguese Imperative

Use I find the Portuguese Imperative pretty confusing! The Imperative is a mood, not a verb tense, btw. Verb tenses are the individual conjugations within a mood: eu falo, você fala, nós falamos ETC. A mood has tenses. The Portugues Imperative is a MOOD. Mood indicates the attitude of the speaker toward a subject. In…

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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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Portuguese verb DAR – 7 ways to use it

Portuguese verb DAR: um bicho de 7 cabeças. A 7-headed animal. Bicho (slang) = animal. É mesmo. I get daily requests to explain the Portuguese verb DAR is one of those verbs like FICAR or DEIXAR that can change their meaning depending on the context. These verbs were a great pain to learn because I…

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tudo vs. todo

Todo mundo (everyone) gets confused about these. Tudo in Portuguese sounds so much like todo & toda that it’s tough to keep them straight ~ even though these are three of the most-used words in the language. TUDO = all, everything for GENERAL things. TODO & TODA = all, everything for SPECIFIC things (things that…

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ESTAR – the definitive reference

If you’re already pretty comfortable with the differences between ESTAR & SER, then this is for you. It’s incredibly useful to have a one-stop reference for all the different flavors of ESTAR. I always wanted one when I was learning everything but never found anything! ESTAR in all it’s glory *Ordered by importance (use). Complete…

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Você tem certeza?

Are you sure? That’s for sure. You’re right! Isn’t that so? Brazilians are positive people 😉 They will frequently affirm confirm and encourage an idea or thought. And they do so in specific ways. Brazilians use several key phrases but most affirmations are based on just two words: CERTEZA: Você tem certeza? Are you sure?…

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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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Portuguese Articles: the The

The first thing that struck me as wrong with the use of o and a for THE. One letter? I really wanted at least an el or, la. Portuguese Articles (called: definite articles) are actually super-practical. Two immediate and big payoffs: (1) You can use the o and a as it! You can also combine…

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the Preterit Indicative ~ar verbs

The Preterit Indicative is “the simple past tense” Ready to move on the past tenses? Start here, with the Preterit Indicative. I call it the simple past because it’s the clearest, simplest verb tense (*a verb tense describes a time that something happened.) in Portuguese. Hang around here a bit and you will meet the…

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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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gostar

GOSTAR (complete conjugation) is one of those verbs that you will use all the time. Unless you don’t like anything 🙁 But then you will have to say. “Eu não gosto…” because it’s just not cool to use the word hate (ODIAR) except very rarely. Gostar is used differently than most any other verb in…

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Portuguese Contractions

There are 4 important Portuguese contractions that you need to know. 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 that if gender weren’t involved they would be easy to pick up. That said, the contractions used in Portuguese…

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Portuguese possessive pronouns

Mine, Yours, His & Hers The words that we use to convey POSSESSION are pretty simple because all objects are treated as gender-neutral. In Portuguese of course, there are always two options: the masculine and the feminine. These are called possessive pronouns and they are going to test the limits of your patience until you…

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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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