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 parent calling their kid; um amiga chamando um outro amigo: Vem cá!
What I learned with the Pimsleur program was that I should say, Venha aqui!. Why? Well, that's a long story, but essentially it's just that I was learning the formal, grammatically standard form of Portuguese. There's nothing wrong with that BUT, it's not always what the people speak.
Let me show you quickly, how we get from venha aqui to vem para cá.
Starting with the imperative of the verb VIR we have: Venha! You would say come here! like this:
* Need some help with the pronunciation?
But in reality people use the tu form rather than the standard conjugation for many verbs in this mood (tense). The tu form of VIR in the imperative is vem.
So we get:
But Brazilians love to say what is essentially "come over here" instead of "come here". To do that you just say para cá instead of aqui. DO NOT get the idea that you can substitute aqui with para cá! It's just in the context of "over here".
We now have:
Vem para cá!
Brazilians will take this one step further and drop the cá:
TA-DA! You will here Vem aqui and Vem cá equally common. You need to know these. Let's see some of these variations in action: