Qualquer dúvida estou à disposição.

If you’ve ever heard this and wondered what it really means, PARABÉNS – your Portuguese is pretty advanced. Let’s break this expression down. You will hear it in business situations, or whenever someone is trying to help you out. Qualquer dúvida estou à disposição basically means, Feel free to ask any questions or, I’m available…

Read more...

Como você anda? (ANDAR in Portuguese)

Probably one of the most common phrases in Brazilian Portuguese, it means, ‘How have you been?’ But how does this work? ANDAR in Portuguese is one of those verbs that can simplify the language. We all know that Como você está? or, Como você vai? are the proper ways to ask how are you? — CORRETO….

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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?…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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….

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

SE FERRAR in Portuguese

Two people asked about this expression (it’s just a verb) this week so I think it’s time to do a post and explain. Se ferrar (a reflexive verb) translates to: to spike, to savage, to brand (with a hot iron), to bite (savagely!!!) ETC. It’s always some bad, bad situation: SE FERRAR And it’s usually…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

Am I fluent in Portuguese yet?

What is fluency? What does it take to be fluent in Portuguese? When exactly will that happen? Boa pergunta. When I first came here I was obsessed with asking every single foreigner I came across in Brazil: So, how long it did it take you get fluent in Portuguese? Looking back, so many of the…

Read more...