to need in Portuguese

precisar to need in Portuguese

You need to learn Portuguese because you have to visit Brazil before you die.

Just as in English, there are two ways to express need. Each has its own specific way of being used.

(1) precisar

PRECISAR = to need.
Precisar is a little tricky because you must always put a "de" after it unless it's followed by a verb. Here it is follwed by another verb:

Preciso comprar protetor solar agora!

The translation is straight-forward:
Preciso = I need
comprar = to buy
protetor solar = sunscreen
agora! = now!

Here it is without the verb following it:

Preciso de protetor solar agora!

The translation reveals the difference:
Preciso = I need
de = of
protetor solar = sunscreen
agora! = now!

In Portuguese when you need something, you need of something: você precisa de alguma coisa. Let's check out two more examples.

Followed by another verb:

Eu preciso falar com ela. > I need to speak with her.


Eu preciso dela. > I need her.

Não preciso me drogar para ser um gênio;
Não preciso ser um gênio para ser humano;
Mas preciso do seu sorriso para ser feliz.

Charles Chaplin

(2) ter + que

TER QUE means to have to. Literally, to have that. QUE of course can have different meanings. It often translates as that, but here it means to. You always need to include the que when saying, to have to.

>> Hey! There's now a separate post showing how to use TER QUE.

Tenho que comprar o protetor solar.

I have to buy sunscreen.

Tenho que ir ao supermercado hoje.

I have to go to the supermarket today.

Once you've got this down you can get pretty fancy with it right away!

Tem que ter um carro para chegar lá.

You have to have a car to get there.

Teria que comprar um carro para chegar até lá.

You would have to buy a car to get there.