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Maurice ReevesPennsylvania

332420 XP#119496

Learning Portuguese from English

Level 18 · 12874 XP

Skills: 57+1

Lessons: 206+2

Lexemes: 1849+14

Strength: 30%

Created: 2013-02-26
Last Goal: 2023-09-25
Timezone: UTC-4

Last update: 2024-05-20 11:52:05 GMT+3 (cached)


Portuguese Skills by StrengthCrownsNameOriginal Order

  • ••• 41 Christmas10001 @ 50% 50
  • ••• 50 Flirting10002 100
  • ••• 50 Idioms and Proverbs10003 100

    Hey everybody!!!

    This bonus skill might seem pretty confusing at first. (And it really is :p).

    Why is that?? Well....the translations here are definitely not literal. The main purpose of this lesson is not to teach grammar and normal language translations, but to teach how people commonly say things in everyday life.

    Since we are talking about idioms and proverbs, each language will have their own way of saying things.

    That said, please don't get frustrated if you can't do it right on the first attempts. We hope you have fun!

Cached // 2022-06-010.044

Basics I 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Welcome to the Portuguese course :D

In these basic lessons, you are going to see some words for people, such as man, woman, boy and girl, and also some basic verbs for eating, drinking, etc.

The two first things you will notice is that:

1 - Personal pronouns may be omitted, especially when the verb conjugation is unique for that pronoun.

  • I am a man = (Eu) sou um homem

In the sentence above, "eu" is totally optional. The verb "sou" is unique for the "eu" pronoun, and it already reveals who the subject is. (Later you will learn how to conjugate verbs for each person)

2 - Portuguese nouns have genders, even when they are not human!

Not only people and animals are gendered in Portuguese, but virtually all things are.

For instance, "maçã (apple)" is a feminine word, and "carro (car)" is masculine.


Along with nouns, articles also have genders. They follow the gender of the noun they refer to. The masculine article is "um" and the feminine one is "uma":


  • Um menino = a boy
  • Um carro = a car


  • Uma menina = a girl
  • Uma maçã = an apple

But how can one tell the gender of a word?

Some words tell their gender by their ending. See "menino" and "menina", for instance. They are a type of word that can change its ending based on gender. These will often end in "o" for masculine and "a" for feminine.

There are other typical endings that can show a word's gender, but they are part of further skills :)

And, unfortunately, many words simply don't follow any pattern, and their gender just have to be memorised.

Basics II 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


Just like the indefinite articles, definite ones also follow the gender of the nouns:

  • O livro = The book (masculine)
  • A chave = The key (feminine)

Be careful not to confuse the English "a" for the Portuguese "a":

  • A bola = The ball
  • Uma bola = A ball


Verbs in Portuguese change depending on who is doing the action. This happens in English when, for instance, "to write" gets conjugated as "he writes."

In Portuguese, however, verbs have a different conjugation for each grammatical person.

Here we will focus on the first and third person singular conjugations: "eu" and "ele/ela".

Eng. Person Port. Person Ser Ler Comer (3)
I Eu Sou Leio Como
He / She / It Ele / Ela É Come
You (singular) Você (1) É (2) Come

(1) - "Você" is the singular "you". This pronoun, although referring to the second person, follows third person conjugations. Later we will see the pronoun "tu", which actually follows second person conjugations.

(2) - Don't confuse "é" for "e". The accend makes a difference here - "É" is a verb, "e" means "and".

(3) - In this table, "comer" (to eat) is a regular verb. All regular verbs ending in "er" follow the same pattern for their endings. "Ler" is an example of an irregular verb. It tries to follow the same endings, but with some changes.


Sometimes, the word "it" is just not translated, depending on how concrete it is. In sentences like "it is ...", the best translations usually have nothing translating "it":

  • He is a boy = Ele é um menino
  • It is a boy = _ É um menino

But when "it" is an animal or something relevant, something that actually exists, we still use "ele" or "ela" depending on the noun's gender:

  • I have a car, it is red = Eu tenho um carro, ele é vermelho ("carro" is masculine)
  • He has a house, it is big = Ele tem uma casa, ela é grande ("casa" is feminine)

Can we omit other pronouns?

Yes, we can omit any pronoun in Portuguese. But keep in mind that if the conjugation is not clear, it's better not to omit anything.

For instance, "come" can refer to "ele", "ela", "você" or even be an imperative verb. For that reason, we avoid omitting the pronoun in these cases.

Common Phrases 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Common Phrases!!

One of the most important things about different languages is that they also have different expressions.

You will notice sometimes that "word by word" translations can result in sentences that simply don't make any sense.

Remember: different languages think different!

In this skill, you will find some of those differences.


Just a grammar tip before you start:

Portuguese does not invert word order or add auxiliary verbs for asking questions, just add the question mark and you are ready to go!

  • Você fala português! = You speak Portuguese!
  • Você fala português? = Do you speak Portuguese?

Thanking people:

  • Thank you = obrigado (if you are a man)
  • Thank you = obrigada (if you are a woman)

We don't really translate the "you" in that expression, we see it as a whole thing.

  • You are welcome! = De nada! - This is what you answer when someone thanks you.

Welcoming people:

To welcome people, we use "bem-vindo". As an adjective, it inflects according to gender and number.

Translations of "Welcome!":

Gender Number Imperative "to be" (optional) (1) Welcome
Masculine Singular Seja Bem-vindo
Feminine Singular Seja Bem-vinda
Masculine Plural Sejam Bem-vindos
Feminine Plural Sejam Bem-vindas

(1) Don't worry too much about the imperative conjugations now, there will be lessons for it later :)

  • You are welcome! = Você é bem-vindo(a) - this is the literal translation when you say someone is welcome somewhere. It's not an answer to "thank you".

Food 1 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Plural or singular?

In many cases, English does not allow countable nouns to be in singular form without articles.

That is not the case in Portuguese. Singular countable nouns with no articles in Portuguese will have a general meaning, similar to an English plural or an English singular with an indefinite article, depending on the context.

So, both Portuguese sentences below are just ok:

  • Ele é cozinheiro = He is a cook
  • Ele não come ovo = He does not eat eggs

Their versions with articles or in plural forms are valid as well:

  • Ele é cozinheiro = Ele é um cozinheiro
  • Ele não come ovo = Ele não come ovos

Verb for eating

Aside from idiomatic expressions, the only verb for eating in Portuguese is "comer".

The verb "ter" is translated as "to have", but only in the sense of "possess/own/contain":

  • Nós comemos peixe = We eat fish
  • Nós temos peixe = We have got fish

Verbs for drinking

For drinking, there is the verb "beber".
It's possible in less formal contexts to also use "tomar". But tomar only means "to drink" if used with actual drinks. Sentences without the objects will sound strange with "tomar".

Plurals 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Nouns - Basic rules

Portuguese plurals are similar to English plurals. Add an "s" to the word and follow a few patterns. :)

But there is an important difference: all adjectives, articles, possessives and determiners pointing to the noun must be also changed to plural, according to the noun.

Some patterns:

  • Ending in vowels: add an "s"
    • O menino > Os meninos
    • A menina > As meninas
  • Ending in "r", "s", "z": add "es"
    • A mulher > As mulheres
  • Ending in "M": change to "ns"
    • O homem > Os homens
  • Ending in "L": change to "is" (don't repeat the "i")
    • O animal > Os animais
    • O papel > Os papéis (the papers)
    • O funil > Os funis (the funnels)
    • ("e" and "o" will need an accent if the word doesn't have one already)
  • There are other patterns, but they're not necessary at this point :)

Two advanced examples, one masculine and one feminine, just to illustrate the rules:

  • Os teus livros são vermelhos = Your books are red
  • As tuas maçãs são vermelhas = Your apples are red

Personal pronouns

The plural of the pronouns seen so far are:

Singular Plural
I = Eu We = Nós
He/She/It = Ele/Ela They = Eles/Elas
You = Você You = Vocês

Notice that it's important to distinguish between singular and plural "you" in Portuguese!

Verbs - Conjugations

Different from English, Portuguese not only has different conjugations for "ele/ela", but for each person, singular and plural.

There are three types of regular verbs. They end in either "ar", "er" or "ir", and each type follow a pattern.

Fritar Comer Abrir
Eu Frito Como Abro
Ele/Ela Frita Come Abre
Nós Fritamos Comemos Abrimos
Eles/Elas Fritam Comem Abrem

* - Conjugations for "você" are the same as "ele/ela"
* - Conjugations for "vocês" are the same as "eles/elas"

Some irregular verbs for this skill:

Ser Ler
Eu Sou Leio
Ele/Ela É
Nós Somos Lemos
Eles/Elas São Leem

Tu or Você 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Tu and você, what is the difference?

In Portuguese, there are two very common ways to refer to "you (singular)": tu and você

Both words mean you, but only "tu" is truly a second person pronoun according to grammar. (Você is a treatment pronoun that uses third person conjugations)

Is one more formal than the other?

That will depend a lot on what region we are talking about. Some people see "tu" as an informal thing, others don't.

With time, several regions of Brazil chose "você" as the standard way of saying you. Other regions, however, kept "tu" as the most common form.

Examples of places that use "tu" very often are Portugal, Portuguese speaking countries in Asia and Africa and the south of Brazil.


The verb conjugations for each one are different. While "tu" uses true second person conjugations (the ones you see in tables), "você" uses third person conjugations (the ones for "ele/ela"):

Conjugations andar correr abrir
Tu andas corres abres
Você anda corre abre

In speech, it is very common to see people using "tu" with "você conjugations", but that is not grammatically correct.

Plural second person (obsolete)

Alternatively to "vocês", there is "vós", which is the plural you. But this form is quite obsolete and very rare. You can find it in old books.

If you're curious, its conjugations are:

  • Vós andais, correis, abris (regular conjugations)
  • Vós sois = you are
  • Vós ledes = you read

Informal "we" - A gente 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Although meaning "people" in many cases, the word "gente", when used with the article "a", means "we/us".

  • A gente = we / us

This is a very common way of speaking, so common that it makes the expression "a gente" be avoided when one means "the people".

For "the people", normally "as pessoas" or "o povo" are used.

All conjugations for "a gente" are singular, matching the "ele/ela" conjugations:

  • A gente tem uma casa = We have a house
  • O gato vê a gente = The cat sees us

Adjectives I 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Adjective inflections

As you may have noticed up to now, adjectives in Portuguese must be inflected according to the noun they refer to, even when connected with a linking verb such as "to be".

Adjectives change in gender and number:

  • Carro novo = New car (singular masculine)
  • Carros novos = New cars (plural masculine)
  • A casa é nova = The house is new (singular feminine)
  • As casas são novas = The houses are new (plural feminine)

Some of them, especially those ending in "e" or a consonant in singular form, have their masculine and feminine forms the same:

  • Carro grande, casa grande
  • Carros grandes, casas grandes
  • Homem responsável, mulher responsável
  • Homens responsáveis, mulheres responsáveis

That doesn't mean they ignore the rule that "all should be inflected" though, they just don't have different forms.

Adjective positioning

Should they come before or after the noun?

This question is not so easy to answer. Mostly, adjectives should come after the nouns, but some can only come before nouns, some can only go after nouns, and some can go anywhere, with a slight change in meaning.

Adjectives that can go anywhere

The adjectives that can be placed either before or after the noun can have a slight change in meaning depending on the position.

Adjectives after nouns get a very literal meaning, while adjectives before nouns can get a more sentimental meaning:

  • Um homem grande = A big man (size)
  • Um grande homem = A great man
  • Uma casa velha = An old house (an aged house, probably showing some problems)
  • Uma velha casa = An old house (probably full of stories and feelings, or well known)

This is not a strict rule though, intonation might have an influence too and many adjectives wouldn't be able to show any difference in meaning.

Adjectives that can't change position

There is nothing special about them, but they just don't fit both positions, such as:

  • Cultural - only after
  • Impossível - only after
  • Familiar - only after - Family (adjective)
  • Nacional - only after
  • Industrial - only after
  • Primeiro - only before (except in titles such as "Pedro Primeiro - Pedro the first")

Possessives 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


Portuguese regular possessive adjectives and pronouns are somewhat similar to English, but there are some differences. In Portuguese, they follow a few rules.

English-like rules:

  • Their stem/base form gives information about the possessor (the person/thing who owns it).

  • Adjective possessives usually show up before the noun (while placing them afterwards is not strictly wrong, it’s very rare – usually a style choice in books and poems).


  • The base form needs to be declined according to the gender and number of the noun it’s qualifying. (Just like adjectives and articles)

  • Possessive adjectives and pronouns in Portuguese are exactly the same. There is no extra "s" like in "your x yours"; the –s endings you may encounter are plural markers.

  • The regular possessive adjectives can be preceded by the corresponding definite article ("o meu", "a minha"...), but in Brazilian Portuguese using the article is mostly optional.

These are the regular pronouns and their inflections:

Owner Masc. sing. Fem. sing. Masc. plural Fem. plural
Eu (o) meu (a) minha (os) meus (as) minhas
Tu (o) teu (a) tua (os) teus (as) tuas
Você, Ele/Ela (o) seu (a) sua (os) seus (as) suas
Nós (o) nosso (a) nossa (os) nossos (as) nossas
Vós (o) vosso (a) vossa (os) vossos (as) vossas
Vocês, Eles/Elas (o) seu (a) sua (os) seus (as) suas


  • O meu carro é vermelho = My car is red
  • Minha casa é azul = My house is blue
  • Meus gatos são brancos = My cats are white
  • As minhas meias são pretas = My socks are black

Articles with possessive pronouns

While the possessive adjectives (coming before nouns) can have optional articles, the possessive pronouns (that don't precede nouns) must use the articles consistently.

One way of checking whether the article should be used is inverting the English sentence to the unusual "of him" form.
Then the article should behave in a similar way in both languages. (Please consider that this unusual English form is not commonly accepted as English translations in the system)

  • O cachorro dele quer água = His dog wants water (checking: the dog of him wants water - necessary article)

Sometimes, the article is optional, but meaning is changed:

  • Esses carros são meus = These cars are mine (checking: these cars are cars of mine)

    Result: These cars belong to me

  • Esses carros são os meus = These cars are mine (checking: these cars are the cars of mine)

    Result: These cars are the ones that belong to me

Using the article in these cases talks about "extra specific" things, suggesting there are probably other possibilities.

Prepositions 1 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

The first and more important lesson about prepositions is:

Do not try to understand them alone! They will not make any sense!

Always consider the preceding and the following words!

In this skill you will see two kinds of preposition usage:

  • By themselves, paired with certain words
  • Demanded by the verbs

Preposition "de":

This preposition is very versatile and can be used in a lot of ways. Depending on the following word, it can have some of these most common meanings:

  • Made of:
    • uma mesa de madeira = A wooden table
    • suco de uva = grape juice
  • Of (containing):
    • um copo de água = a glass of water
    • um prato de arroz = a plate of rice
  • From:
    • Eu sou de Portugal = I am from Portugal
    • Leite de vaca = Cow's milk
  • Possession (only for "de vocês"):
    • A casa de vocês é grande = Your house is big

Preposition "com":

This preposition is fairly easy. Most of the times means "with" (meaning: together with, containing, considering, etc.)

But always keep in mind that expressions, verbs, etc. may use it in different ways.

Prepositions demanded by verbs

Here, it's important that you don't try to understand the prepositions themselves! Meanings only make sense considering "verb + preposition".

As a hint to understand this easily, compare the English verbs "to hear" and "to listen". For some reason, "to listen" demands a preposition while "to hear" doesn't:

  • listen to something
  • hear __ something

In Portuguese, there are lots of verbs that for some reason demand a specific preposition. You don't need to get stuck in trying to understand "why".

Some examples of verbs demanding "de":

  • "Gostar" (to like):
    • Eu gosto de você = I like you
    • Você gosta de gatos? = Do you like cats?
  • "Precisar" (to need):
    • Nós *precisamos de comida = We need food
    • Você precisa de ajuda? = Do you need help?

Some verbs will have entirely different meanings depending on the preposition:

  • Falar algo = To say something
  • Falar de algo = To speak/talk of/about something
  • Falar com alguém = To speak/talk with/to someone

Preposition Contractions 1 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

So far, you have seen pure prepositions (without articles and not combined with pronouns).

Now, you're going to see the same prepositions combined with other words.

Mandatory contractions

The preposition "de" must be contracted with articles and personal pronouns "ele(s)/ela(s)", generating the following words:


- o a os as
de do da dos das
- ele ela eles elas
de dele dela deles delas

Although mandatory, this does not change the preposition's meaning or usage in any way (please check out the tips for the skill "Preposition 1"). The articles' meanings are also unaffected.

(In advanced usages, if the second word is the subject of a second clause, the words don't contract)


  • Eu gosto de pássaros = I like birds
  • Eu gosto do pássaro = I like the bird
    • Explanation: "gosto de (like)" + "o (the)"

Optional contractions

The articles "um, uma, uns, umas" may be contracted or not. In Brazil, it's considered less formal to use the contraction:

- um uma uns umas
de dum duma duns dumas


  • Preciso de um cachorro = Preciso dum cachorro = I need a dog

Alternatives for possessive pronouns

The preposition "de", as mentioned before, can be use as an indicator of possession. Thus, the words "dele, dela, deles, delas" are very often used instead of the standard possessive pronouns. They work such as "of him, of her, of them", but unlike in English, they're very natural in Portuguese.

Since the pronoun/adjective "seu" (and inflections) is very ambiguous, meaning "your(s), his, her(s), their(s)", using these alternatives is preferred by a lot of people to avoid confusion.

Here, declinations refer only to the owner instead and not according to the noun:

Owner Poss. Owner Poss.
Ele Dele Eles Deles
Ela Dela Elas Delas
- - Vocês De vocês

* - The form "de você" (singular) is not seen as a possessive form!
** - A popular informal one referring to "nós" is "da gente". It's not used in disambiguation, because "nosso(as)" is not ambiguous, but it's common in popular language due to "a gente" meaning "nós".


  • O coelho dela come cenoura = Her rabbit eats carrots
  • As moedas dele estão brilhando = His coins are shining
  • A casa deles é grande = Their house is big
  • Gosto do cachorro de vocês = I like your dog (you plural)
  • Isto vai mudar a vida da gente = This will change our life

Clothing 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Plural or singular??

The noun "roupa" (clothes) in Portuguese can be either countable or uncountable.

You can say "roupa" as "clothes in general" as well as "roupas".
One "roupa" can be the entire set of clothes:

  • Gosto da tua roupa = I like your clothes
  • Gosto das tuas roupas = I like your clothes

But "roupa" is not "cloth", it may be a "piece of clothing".
For "cloth", there is "pano" or "tecido".

Clothes coming in pairs

For clothes that come in pairs, such as shoes, gloves, boots, it's also possible to use the singular form in Portuguese when referring to the pair:

  • Ela gosta do meu sapato novo = She likes my new shoes

Why possessive??

One interesting feature in Portuguese is the possibility of using definite articles (o/a/os/as) instead of possessives when it's obvious who something's owner is:

  • Ele tira os sapatos = He takes his shoes off

This is common with clothes and body parts, and it's also more natural than using actual possessives.

Verbs for clothes

In Portuguese, there are a few different verbs we use for clothes.

  • Usar - This is the main verb for "wearing" clothes.
  • Pôr/Colocar/Botar - These three have the same meaning: "to put" in general cases and "to put on" for clothes
  • Vestir - "Vestir" is flexible and can mean either "to wear" or "to put on". But it's more common as "to put on". --- Notice that "vestir" is an irregular verb for "eu", where it's conjugated as "eu visto".
  • Calçar - This one is exclusive for footwear (socks, shoes, slippers, etc.). It also means either "to put on" or "to wear".
  • Tirar - "Tirar" is the opposite of "botar", it means "to take off". (In other contexts, it can mean "take away, remove", etc.)

So, be careful when you see a sentence with "usar + clothes". Although it might mean "to use", it's much more likely to mean "wear" in English:

  • She is wearing a blue shirt = Ela está usando/vestindo uma camisa azul
  • Put these pants on = Coloque/Vista estas calças

Funny thing about clothes in Portuguese.

  • "Calça", besides being a conjugation of the verb "calçar", also means "trousers/pants".
  • "Bota", besides being a conjugation of "botar", also means "boot".

This leads to a common joke:

  • Por que você calça a bota e bota a calça? = Why do you put on the boot and put on the pants?

....well.... it's only funny in Portuguese, I guess XD.

Food 2 1 · 2018-10-25 ^



There are two Portuguese words for that:

  • Macarrão = Noodles and other kinds of pasta made of long strips
  • Massa = Dough, mass. This applies to more kinds of food, such as gnocchi, pizza and other foods based on wheat flour dough.

Verbs versus nouns

Take care not to confuse some verbs that have their conjugations exactly the same as the nouns:

  • Ele cozinha = He cooks
  • A cozinha = The kitchen
  • Ele cozinha na cozinha = He cooks in the kitchen
  • Eu almoço = I lunch
  • O almoço = (The) lunch

Inconsistent articles?

In English, the words "lunch" and "dinner" are used in a different way compared to other nouns. They are often used without any article or determiner.

In Portuguese, though, they behave as any other countable noun, using the article to be definite:

  • Lunch is ready = O almoço está pronto
  • They eat dinner = Eles comem o jantar

If you don't use the article, the sentences will sound just like these bad English sentences: "I have car", "Boy is here", etc.

Questions 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Questions in Portuguese

In Portuguese, asking questions is quite easy. Simply add a question mark and... that's it! =D

Wait! No change in the word order?

Right! No change in word order!

And no auxiliary verb? (do/does/did...)

Nope! No auxiliary verbs!

Try it:

  • They are here = Eles estão aqui
  • Are they here? = Eles estão aqui? (instead of "estão eles")
  • He likes apples = Ele gosta de maçã
  • Does he like apples? = Ele gosta de maçã? (instead of "gosta ele")
  • She has a cat = Ela tem um gato
  • Does she have a cat? = Ela tem um gato? (instead of "tem ela")

Questions words

There are two question words that might be confusing at first, but they are distinct: "que" and "qual".

Que - as pronoun

For "que", when a standalone pronoun, use "o que".
This one asks for definitions and explanations. It's used when you want to understand what something is, more than simply knowing.

  • O que é isto? = What is this?
  • Não sei o que é. = I don't know what it is.
  • O que você quer? = What do you want?

Qual - as a pronoun

This one is used to ask things that you do understand, but you don't know what/which they are. Sometimes it's "what", sometimes it's "which":

  • Qual é o seu nome? = What is your name?
  • Qual você quer? = Which one do you want?
  • Não sei qual eu quero. = I don't know which one I want.

You don't ask "o que é o seu nome?", that would mean you don't understand what a name is. That would state something near "please explain what your name is".

Both as determiners - (coming before nouns)

In this case, "que" and "qual" are exactly the same, meaning "what" or "which":

  • Que/Qual comida você quer? = What/Which food do you want?

Word order for question words

Question words are usually placed at the beginning of the sentence. But except for the verb "to be", the "subject - verb" order is kept the same as in affirmative sentences:

  • What is that? = O que é aquilo?
  • How many cats does she have? = Quantos gatos ela tem? (instead of "tem ela")
  • How much sugar do you want? = Quanto açúcar você quer? (instead of "quer você")

The three sentences above are also right the other way around, although the first of the following may sound informal:

  • Aquilo é o quê? ("Quê" at the end has "ê")
  • Ela tem quantos gatos?
  • Você quer quanto açúcar?

Prepositions x Word order

In Portuguese, prepositions "cannot" be loose at the end of the sentence like in English. It must always be before what it refers to. So, if you have:

  • Você precisa de quantos sapatos?

When inverting you should have:

  • De quantos sapatos você precisa? (How many shoes do you need?)

But could the word order change?

Most of the times it can. But since the inversion is not standard, it may sound weird. The best thing to do is really to keep the same order as in affirmative sentences.

Colors 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Plural or singular???

As adjectives, colors also change gender and number to follow the nouns they point to.

But some colors have a different behavior.

Standard behavior

Colors that have their own name are used just like any ordinary adjective:

Color Masc. Sing. Fem. Sing. Masc. Pl. Fem. Pl.
Red Vermelho Vermelha Vermelhos Vermelhas
Yellow Amarelo Amarela Amarelos Amarelas
Blue Azul Azul Azuis Azuis
Green Verde Verde Verdes Verdes
Purple Roxo Roxa Roxos Roxas

(1) - Some adjectives, especially the ones ending in "e" have their masculine and feminine versions equal. That is normal and will happen to many other adjectives as well.

Invariant colors

But... colors that got their names from other things don't have plural forms:

  • Gray = Cinza ("cinza" comes from "ash")
  • Orange = Laranja (comes from the fruit)
  • Violet = Violeta (it's the name of a flower)
  • Pink = Rosa ("rosa" comes from "rose")


  • Carro vermelho = Red car
  • Casas amarelas = Yellow houses
  • Carro cinza = Gray car
  • Casas cinza = Gray houses

Moreno and negro

The standard color used for objects and animals is "preto" (black).

  • Um carro preto, um gato preto = A black car, a black cat
  • Uma caneta preta - A black pen

The word "negro" is often used with more abstract things, meaning "dark".

When referring to people's skin color, "negro" is the right choice, although many people prefer the term "afrodescendente" (descendent from Africans).

"Moreno" is only used for people. It may refer sometimes to the hair color, and in other cases to skin color.

  • Black or dark hair is considered "moreno".
  • Skin that is neither white nor black or very dark is also "pele morena"

When you say "ela é morena", you may be talking either about hair or skin, or both.

Numbers 1 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Let's count!

Numbers up to ten

# Spelling
1 Um/uma
2 Dois/duas
3 Três
4 Quatro
5 Cinco
6 Seis
7 Sete
8 Oito
9 Nove
10 Dez

The numbers 1 and 2 have feminine forms if they precede a feminine noun:

  • Um dia e uma noite = One day and one night
  • Dois dias e duas noites = Two days and two nights

Numbers up to nineteen

Up to 15, they have their names based on "#-ze", with some changes in the root.

# Spelling
11 Onze
12 Doze
13 Treze
14 Quatorze / Catorze
15 Quinze

After that, they become "dez(e)-#":

# Spelling
16 Dezesseis
17 Dezessete
18 Dezoito
19 Dezenove

(In Portugal, some of them may have a different spelling: "dezasseis, dezassete, dezanove").

And finally...

20 - Vinte!!!

Congratulations, you have learned how to count up to twenty!

Telling the time

Besides other possibilities, one very common way to tell the time in Portuguese uses just numbers and "e":

  • Onze e quinze = a quarter (fifteen) past eleven
  • Uma e trinta = a half (thirty) past one
  • Nove e quarenta = forty past nine / twenty to ten

The verb must be plural if the number is more than one :)

  • É uma hora = It's one o'clock
  • São duas e dez = It's ten past two

Note that "hour" is a feminine noun in Portuguese, thus "uma" and "duas" are used. But minutes are masculine: "duas e dois = two past two".

Verbs: Present 1 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Present tense: Simple present or "Presente do indicativo"

Let's start looking at the most basic verb tense: the simple present. In Portuguese, this is called "presente do indicativo."

Basically, there are three kinds of verbs in Portuguese:

  • 1st: verbs ending in ar - Ex: ajudar = to help
  • 2nd: verbs ending in er - Ex: beber = to drink
  • 3rd: verbs ending in ir - Ex: abrir = to open

Each of these follow a conjugation pattern. So all the regular verbs just get a consistent ending in each case:

Infinitive: ajudar beber abrir
Eu ajudo bebo abro
Tu ajudas bebes abres
Ele(a) (1) ajuda bebe abre
Nós ajudamos bebemos abrimos
Vós ajudais bebeis abris
Eles(as) (1) ajudam bebem abrem

(1) Remember that "você" and "vocês", although referring to the second person, are third person pronouns.

Você = you (sing.) / Vocês = you (plural)

Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs are those that don't follow the same conjugation pattern. Their conjugations might or not follow a pattern, and each verb must be learned individually in this case.

Some examples: ser (to be), fazer (to do/make), ir (to go), ouvir (to hear/listen) and others.

Prepositions 2 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Once, more, in this skill you will see many kinds of preposition usage, which only make sense when other words are taken into account:

  • Position / Movement
  • Time
  • Demanded by the verbs


  • Por que? = Why?

Position / Movement

  • "Em" - Replaces "in/on/at", without a clear distinction
    • Eu coloco açúcar em um copo = I put sugar in a glass
    • Vejo um prato em uma mesa = I see a plate on a table
    • Em casa = At home (or just "home")
  • "Sobre" - On (top of), or over something
    • Vejo um livro sobre a mesa = I see a book on the table
    • Ele voa sobre a cidade = It flies over the city
  • "A" and "para" - "To" a destination
    • Ele vai ao mercado = He goes to the market
    • Ela vai para o Brazil = She goes to Brazil
    • Vou para casa = I go home
    • (In rare expressions, it can mean "by" or "on")
  • "Por" - Through / Around (without a clear path):
    • Ele passa por um parque = He goes through a park
    • Ele anda pela (por+a) casa = He walks around in the house
  • "Atrás de" - Behind
    • Atrás de você! = Behind you!
  • "Em cima de" - on top of
    • Um gato em cima do muro = A cat on (top of) the wall
  • "Por cima de" - "on top of" or "(moving) over something"


  • "Em", replaces "in, on" in days, months, years and durations
    • Em 5 de abril = On April 5th
    • Em cinco dias = In/Within five days
    • Em fevereiro = In February
    • Em 2012 = In 2012
  • "A", for time measured in hours:
    • Às (a + as) cinco horas = At five o'clock
  • "Atrás" - ago:
    • Dois dias atrás = Two days ago

Prepositions demanded by verbs

Here are several verbs and how their meanings are ruled by prepositions. *

  • Conversar:
    • Conversar com = To speak/talk with/to
  • Olhar:
    • Olhar algo = To look at something / To observe something
    • Olhar para algo = To look at/towards something
  • Tocar:
    • Tocar algo = To touch something (sentimental or rare) / To play some instrument/song
    • Tocar em algo = To touch something (preferred)
  • Falar
    • Falar algo = To say something
    • Falar com alguém = To speak/talk with/to someone
    • Falar de algo = To speak of/about something
  • Pensar and falar:
    • Pensar/Falar sobre algo = To think/speak about something
    • Pensar/Falar em algo = To think/speak of something

This kind of study about verbs and their prepositions is called "regência verbal", and if you already understand some Portuguese, you can search the internet for "regência de (verb)" in order to know how to use it regarding prepositions.

"Por" versus "Para" in general sentences:

English and Portuguese don't always follow the same rules for these two prepositions, and it's important to know that it will not be always "para=to" and "por=for".

It's better to understand that:

  • "Para" will be used whenever there is a destination, or when someone will receive something, or a purpose:
    • I brought this for you = Eu trouxe isto para você
    • I am going to Portugla = Eu vou para Portugal
    • Comprei farinha para cozinhar = I bought flour to cook
  • "Por" will be used when you do something "on behalf", "because" or "for the sake" of someone/something, or "by some mean"
    • Fiz isto por você = I did this for (because of) you
    • Fiz isto para você = I did this for (giving to) you

Body Parts 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

As it happens many times with clothes, body parts will also dismiss the possessive pronouns very often when its obvious who the owner is.

So, you're going to see things like:

  • Ele vira a cabeça = He turns his head
  • Ela lava as mãos = She washes her hands

Using the possessives is not wrong, and always necessary if the owner is not quite obvious.


Differences in "number" for the word "costas".

The body part "back" in Portuguese is "costas". It is always plural, so:

  • My back = as minhas costas

Preposition Contractions 2 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

As it happens with "de", the following prepositions will also form contractions with articles and pronouns

Mandatory contractions with definite articles

- o a os as
em no na nos nas
a (1) ao à aos às
por pelo pela pelos pelas

(1) - The preposition "a", which has the same spelling and pronunciation as the article "a", is contracted by using the "grave accent". This accent does not change the pronunciation of it, it just indicates that there is the preposition "a" together with an article "a".

Mandatory contractions with "ele(s)/ela(s)"

- ele ela eles elas
em nele nela neles nelas

Prepositions "por" and "a" will not contract here, keeping "por ele" and "a ele".

Optional contractions with "um/uma"

- um uma uns umas
em num numa nuns numas

In Brazil, these contractions are considered somewhat informal.

As with any contraction of preposition, meanings are not changed in any way. The prepositions are still demanded by the verbs or used in specific situations, and the articles are still used when you need things to be definite.

Family 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Nouns that change genders

You are probably getting used to Portuguese genders by now, but here, we will see some interesting distinctions between two kinds of nouns:

  • Those that have the gender of the person/animal they refer to
  • Those that have genders by themselves

Among family nouns, animals and professions, it's very common to find those that change genders according to the person they refer to:

  • Tio / Tia = Uncle / Aunt
  • Filho / Filha = Son / Daughter
  • Avô / Avó = Grandfather / Grandmother
  • Irmão / Irmã = Brother / Sister
  • Gato / Gata = Male cat / Female cat
  • Engenheiro / Engenheira = Male engineer / Female engineer

On the other hand, some of them have always the same gender regardless of the person they refer to:

  • Criança = Child - Always feminine
  • Pessoa = Person - Always feminine

Genders and plurals or general statements

Here we are going to see what to do when we don't know the gender of the people or when there is a group with mixed genders.

Portuguese takes the masculine gender as the standard gender for general cases.
This means that for nouns, adjectives and any other thing that can change genders, one chooses the masculine gender to talk about unknown or mixed genders.

Examples of unknown genders:

  • There is a cat here = Há um gato aqui
  • No one is perfect = Ninguém é perfeito

In these examples, the cat can be either male or female: a strange cat we don't know the gender. And the people we are talking about can be just anyone, men and women.

If we use the feminine genders, both examples get very specific:

  • Há uma gata aqui (you know for sure the cat is a female, there is no other option)
  • Ninguém é perfeita (despite being an awkward sentence, this refers to a group containing only women)

In plurals, the same rule applies. If you have a group with mixed genders, the chosen gender is masculine:

  • (os) Irmãos = (the) Siblings (any gender)
  • (os) Irmãos = (the) Brothers (boys only)
  • (as) Irmãs = (the) Sisters (girls only)
  • .
  • (os) Tios = (the) Uncles and aunts
  • (os) Tios = (the) Uncles
  • (as) Tias = (the) Aunts
  • .
  • (os) Pais = (the) Parents (father and mother)
  • (os) Pais = (the) Fathers (only men)
  • (as) Mães = (the) Mothers (only women)

One particular spelling exception happens with "avós", which seems to be feminine, but is actually masculine (mixed group):

  • Os avós = Grandparents
  • Os avôs = Grandfathers
  • As avós = Grandmothers

Note that the unchangeable nouns keep the same gender in plural:

  • As crianças = The children
  • As pessoas = The people

Household 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


Some interesting words that may be tricky.


In English, "furniture" is uncountable, while in Portuguese, "móvel" is countable, meaning a "piece of furniture". So, very often, the translation of "furniture" will be "móveis" in plural.

Alternatively, the word "mobília" works as a collective, just like "furniture" in English.

Sala x Quarto

Every room in a house is called a "cômodo". But a bedroom is called "quarto", and a living room is called "sala (de estar)".

The words "quarto" and "sala" are not used for other rooms such as a kitchen or a bathroom.

In offices (escritórios), rooms are called "salas".

Parede x Muro

Although meaning "wall", each word refer to a different kind of wall:

  • Parede: walls that belong to a house itself and many kinds of abstract walls
  • Muro: outside walls, such as walls that surround gardens and plots

If a wall is really huge, such as for defending a castle, it may be called "muralha" (an augmentative of "muro").

Ligar x Desligar

For turning appliances on and off, we use "ligar (turn on)" and "desligar (turn off)".

But these words may go further, such as meaning "connect" or "disconnect" a power cord.

And also making telephone calls: "Ligar para alguém = To call someone (over the phone)"

But be careful with "faucets", they will use "abrir/fechar" (open/close) instead, although some cases, especially showers, may still use "ligar/desligar".

Verbs: Infinitive 1 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Infinitive verbs in Portuguese are just the verbs not conjugated.

In Portuguese there is nothing that matches "to" in an infinitive verb.

So both "bare infinitive" and "full infinitive" translate the same:

  • I want to go = Eu quero ir
  • Let's try it = Vamos tentar

Infinitive or gerund?

Although having something called "gerdúndio" with verbs ending in "ndo", which we will see in further skills, Portuguese does not have what English calls a "gerund" (Using a verb ending in "ing" as a noun or noun clause).

Portuguese verbs ending in "ndo" are used only in progressive tenses.

But, if Portuguese doesn't have "gerunds" how are they translated?

Portuguese uses infinitive verbs as translations for the English gerunds.


  • Try to do this = Tente fazer isto
  • Try doing this = Tente fazer isto ("Fazendo" is definitely not possible here)
  • He likes playing with the dog = Ele gosta de brincar com o cão
  • Running is good for your health = Correr é bom para a (sua) saúde

Some prepositions

Here too, prepositions can take particular meanings.

But mostly, they are not related to the infinitive verbs, but demanded by the other verb instead.

When they are related to the infinitive verbs, they can mean:

  • De + infinitive = "from" or "for/meant to"
  • A + infinitive = present participle (more common in European Portuguese) - Ex: fazendo = a fazer
  • Para + infinitive = to / in order to


  • Estou a correr = Estou correndo = I'm running
  • Cansado de correr = Tired from running
  • É de comer? = Is it meant to be eaten?
  • Parei para descansar = I stopped (in order) to rest

Verbs: Phrasal Future Tense 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Future with verb "ir"

In Portuguese, the future tense has two possible ways of conjugating. One uses the verb "ir" in present as an auxiliary verb and the other doesn't.

Normally, but not necessarily, the one with auxiliary verb is closer in meaning to the "going to" future and the other is closer to the "will" future. The simple form is also more formal.

  • Eu comprarei um terno = I will buy a suit
  • Eu vou comprar um terno = I'm going to buy a suit.

But that difference is not very clear in Portuguese, so they are used interchangeably. The simple form is more formal, though.


present ir + infinitive = future

So, for this lesson, all you need to know is how to conjugate the verb "ir" (to go) in present tense. And to get started, you can see "ir" as "be going to" or "will", just like the English verb structure:

Phrasal Future: Ir + infinitive
Eu vou + infinitive
Tu vais + infinitive
Ele(a) / Você vai + infinitive
Nós vamos + infinitive
Vós ides + infinitive
Eles(as) / Vocês vão + infinitive

A special case

What to do when the main verb is "ir"?
Can I use "ele vai ir" (he will go)?

No, in this case, just use "ir" in present (it will serve both as present and future):

  • Ele vai = he will go = he is going to
  • Ele vai = he goes

An informal trend

Many people commonly replace the present conjugation of "ir" with its future conjugation. That is not considered a correct future tense but it's quite accepted.

So when you see "ele irá fazer", it means "ele vai fazer" = he will do (it).

Place adverbs 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Place adverbs and distance rules:

Portuguese has a few more of these adverbs than English. While English considers "near me" and "far from me", Portuguese includes "near you" in its meanings.

There is also a difference about "far" and "not so far".

So here they are:

  • Aqui = Here
  • Aí = There (where the listener is)
  • Ali = There (not so far from us)
  • Lá = There (far from us)

There isn't a clear distinction about what is considered far enough to choose between "ali" and "lá", but this is not a big problem.

Some examples:

  • Eu estou aqui = I am here
  • Você está aí? = Are you there? *
  • Ele não está lá = He is not there

When you're referring to the listener, "aí" is usually the best choice, since it's the place where the listener is.

The verb "haver"

In Portuguese, one way to say "there is" something somewhere is by using the verb "haver".

But different from English, in this meaning "haver" will always be singular:

  • um gato aqui = There is a cat here
  • dois gatos lá = There are two cats there

Informally, we use the verb "ter" without a subject (and also in singular):

  • Tem um gato aqui = There is a cat here
  • Tem dois gatos lá = There are two cats there

This meaning of "ter" will often be the first meaning a person will understand (if the sentence allows that). For that reason, if you intend to say "(do) you have", it's usually better to not omit the subject.

Some additional usages of "aí"

Among the learned adverbs, "aí" is more flexible than the others. It's used in abstract cases, and to mark actions that follow other actions.

Some informal examples:

  • Aí ele pegou o carro e foi embora = Then he took the car and left
  • E aí? = What's up? / What is it going to be?
  • Espere aí! = Wait a second! / Wait there!

To Be: Ser / Estar 2 · 2020-07-31 ^

Two verbs for one?

In Portuguese, the verb "to be" can be either "ser" or "estar", depending on each case and what the sentence means.

Basically, "ser" is for "permanent/ihnerent" things and "estar" is for "current states/locations".

Sometimes both can fit a sentence, sometimes only one of them makes sense.

Here are their present conjugations:

Ser Estar
Eu sou estou
Tu és estás
Ele(a) / Você é está
Nós somos estamos
Vós sois estais
Eles(as) / Vocês são estão


"Ser" and "Estar" can be confusing verbs at first, but they follow some rules.

Here, along with them, we also present you the verb "ficar", which sometimes shares a common meaning with "to be".

So, how do you choose between them?

In general:

  • Ser - to be - permanently/inherently
  • Estar - to be - currently/momentarily
  • Ficar - to stay
  • Ficar + verb gerund - To keep doing the verb's action / To spend the time doing verb

Here are the differences:

For characteristics and qualities

  • Ser - Inherent quality - To be permanently/inherently, or something related to identity/personality
  • Estar - Current state - To be at the moment or in short term
  • Ficar - Change of state - To become/to turn (into)


  • Ela é linda = She is beautiful (always, it's her nature to be beautiful)
  • Ela está linda = She is beautiful (at this moment, with these clothes, with this haircut, she looks beautiful now)
  • Ela fica linda = She becomes beautiful

  • Ela está linda nesse vestido = She is beautiful in this dress

  • Ela fica linda nesse vestido = She becomes beautiful in this dress / This dress makes her beautiful
  • Ela fica linda o ano inteiro = She stays beautiful the entire year (the complements and context make a difference, this one uses the general "stay" meaning)

Identity vs State - Ser vs Estar

Another way of seeing this, specially when referring to people, is the difference between identity/personality and current state.
That explains why, for instance, only "ser" is used for professions. Professions are attached to identity, they're not really seen as a current states, although you can philosophically see it like that.

  • Ele é engenheiro = He is an engineer
  • Ele está engenheiro (very, very, very unusual)
  • Ele é diferente - his personality/body is different from others
  • Ele está diferente - he is currently behaving/looking different - he changed


For places and locations - static objects (which cannot be moved)

  • Ser - Indicates the location of an unmovable thing.
  • Estar - Hardly used, because unmovable objects doesn't have the transitory meaning.
  • Ficar - Indicates the location of an unmovable thing

The choice between "ser" and "ficar" has no rule, and there is no difference.


  • A casa é naquela rua = the house is on that street
  • A casa fica naquela rua = the house is on that street
  • Meu escritório fica no restaurante = My office is in the restaurant. .

For places and locations - movable objects

  • Ser - not used for movable objects
  • Estar - indicates where the object is at this moment
  • Ficar - indicates where the object belongs to/is used to be


  • A chave está na parede da cozinha - The key is (currently hanging) on the kitchen wall
  • A chave fica na parede da cozinha - The key belongs/stays on the kitchen wall / The kitchen wall is where the keys are commonly kept.

Current possessions

An interesting Portuguese feature is the hability to use "estar com" indicating current possessions:

  • Eu estou com as chaves = I have the keys (with me at the moment)

Also, some feelings, sensations, such as hunger and fear, and a few other things are considered things you "have", thus also using "estar com":

  • Eu estou com fome! = I'm hungry!
  • Ela está com medo = She is afraid (at this moment)

Both could use "ter", but that is more suited to steady/permanent things:

  • Ela tem medo de gatos = She is afraid of cats

The same transitory idea applies to "not having something at the moment", using the expression "estar sem":

  • Estou sem dinheiro = I don't have money at the moment
  • Estamos sem fome = We are not hungry

Preposition Contractions 3 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Ready for another round of preposition contractions?

Here, the preposition "de" must form contractions with the previously learned place adverbs:

  • de + aqui = daqui
  • de + ali = dali
  • de + aí = daí

Mostly, they will mean "from here" or "from there", but keep in mind that prepositions might be necessary for other reasons, such as in "eu gosto daqui = I like it here" ("de" required by "gostar").

And also, the preposition "a" will contract with "onde" (where).

  • a + onde = aonde

"Onde" vs "Aonde"

Many people, including native speakers, will confuse these two words, but the trick is simple: remember that "aonde" contains "a", which is a destination preposition (to). This, use "onde" in static sentences, and "aonde" in sentences having something going towards a destination:

  • De onde você é? = Where are you from?
  • Onde ele está? = Where is he/it?
  • Você vai aonde? = Where are you going? (destination)

Some additional usages of "daí"

Since "aí" is a very flexible adverb, the contraction "daí" will also get some special meanings.

Besides meaning the literal "from there (where you are)", it can also mean "thus/then/so". A very common expression is:

  • E daí? = So what? (What then?)

Demonstratives 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Demonstratives are words that demonstrate something, such as "this" and "that" in English.

As it happens with place adverbs, demonstratives in Portuguese also consider three distances: "near the speaker", "near the listener", "far from both".

Distance rules

Demonstr. Place Description
Isto / Este Aqui This thing here
Isso / Esse That thing near the listener
Aquilo / Aquele Ali / Lá That thing far from us

For abstract things or things for which the location is not clear or doesn't atually exist, usually "isso" is the best choice.

* - In Brazil, the difference between "isto" and "isso" is almost unknown/forgotten. Thus Duolingo will accept replacing "isto" with "isso", and also translating "isso" with "this". But it won't accept translating "that" with "isto", nor "this" with "aquilo".

Indefinite pronouns

The indefinite pronouns are used to represent something. They cannot be used as determiners, and they will mainly be used for things yet to be explained.

They are:

  • Isto = this (thing)
  • Isso = that (thing) (also accepting "this")
  • Aquilo = that (thing)

Definite pronouns/determiners

These are used to "point to something" that is already known or defined. Since they refer to a noun, they have inflections such as an adjective pronoun:

  • Este / Esta / Estes / Estas
  • Esse / Essa / Esses / Essas
  • Aquele / Aquela / Aqueles / Aquelas

Often, when the noun is not present, you can translate these as "this one/these ones" or "that one/those ones".

Definite or Indefinite?

Use the indefinite version when you're going to explain something.

  • This is a dog = Isto é um cão (notice that "um cão" is indefinite too)
  • What is that? = O qué aquilo?
  • Isso não pode ser verdade = That cannot be true

Use the definite version when you're choosing one from a list, of introducing things that don't need to be explained:

  • Quero este = I want this one
  • Este é o Daniel = This (person) is Daniel (notice that Daniel is pretty definite)


  • Isto é interessante = This is interesting
  • Esta/Este é interessante = This one is insteresting
  • Isto é o meu gato = This (thing here) is my cat
  • Este é o meu gato = This (one) is my cat
  • Quem é aquele? = Who is that (man over there)?
  • Quem é aquela? = Who is that (woman over there)?

PS: avoid using "isto/isso/aquilo" for people and animals, it sounds like treating them like objects.

Occupations 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Nouns with two genders

As it happens with nouns for people and animals, professions in Portuguese can also change genders depending on the professional's gender.

But here, it's very common to see nouns that do change genders, but without changing forms.

As well as with the other nouns that change genders, in sentences where genders are unknown or mixed, Portuguese adopts the masculine gender, which will only show in articles, adjectives and other determiners for this case.

Nouns changing forms:

  • Engenheiro / Engenheira = Engineer
  • Arquiteto / Arquiteta = Architect
  • Diretor / Diretora = (school) Principal / Director

Nouns that don't change forms:

  • O artista / A artista = The artist
  • O profissional / A profissional = The professional
  • O gerente / A gerente = The manager


  • Os artistas em geral são mais sentimentais = Artists in general are more sentimental. (Mixed or unknown genders use masculine articles)
  • A gerente quer mais qualidade = The manager (a woman) wants more quality
  • O gerente deu as instruções = The manager (a man) gave the instructions.

Preposition Contractions 4 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Now you understand the demonstratives and prepositions, lets start using them together.

All the demonstratives must contract with "de" and with "em", but this will neither change their meanings nor the prepositions'.

Contractions with "de":

  • De + isto = Disto
  • De + aquelas = Daquelas
  • ... same pattern for all demonstratives

Contractions with "em":

  • Em + isso = Nisso
  • Em + aquele = Naquele
  • .... same patter for all demonstratives

Contractions with "a":

For those starting in "a", there must be a contraction if the preposition "a" is present, using the "grave accent", as it happens with articles:

  • A + aquilo = Àquilo
  • A + aquelas = Àquelas
  • .... same pattern for all inflections of "aquele".

Always remember that there are many ways to use a preposition, and here this is also true. There are verbs such as "gostar (de)", which will demand prepositions that seem pointless and wont be translated:

  • Eu gosto disto (de+isto) = I like this
  • Vou àquele (a+aquele) mercado = I go to that market

Prepositions will always depend on the surrounding words to get a meaning. If you find this skill too confusing, go back and review the other preposition skills for a bit :)

Past - Pretérito Perfeito 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

The past tenses - Pretérito Perfeito

In Portuguese, there are a few different past tenses. In this skill, we will see the "pretérito perfeito".

Although the name translates literally to "past perfect", it's not equivalent to that English tense. There is a different point of view about tense names.

And why do we use the Portuguese name instead of the English name? Because this tense matches more than one in English.

This tense, the "pretérito perfeito", matches mainly the "simple past" and sometimes the "present perfect" when it's about a single action concluded in the past. Later in the tree, we will see more about when the English "present perfect" fits this tense and when it doesn't.

In short, the "pretérito perfeito" doesn't consider "durations" and "continuity" of the past actions.


  • I went to the library = Eu fui para a biblioteca
  • Did you play yesterday? = Você jogou ontem?
  • I have found it! = Eu o encontrei
  • She did not see the man across the street = Ela não viu o homem do outro lado da rua.
  • Have you seen my wallet? = Você viu minha carteira?

Important: Portuguese doesn't add auxiliary verbs such as "did". So the conjugated form is used in questions and negative sentences too.

Here are the regular conjugations for "pretérito perfeito" with the examples "andar" (to walk), "comer" (to eat) and "ouvir" (to hear/listen)

Infinitive: andar comer ouvir*
Eu andei comi ouvi
Tu andaste comeste ouviste
Ele(a) / Você andou comeu ouviu
Nós andamos comemos ouvimos
Vós andastes comestes ouvistes
Eles(as) / Vocês andaram comeram ouviram

* - ouvir is regular in this past tense, but it's irregular for the present "eu ouço".

Conjunctions 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Conjunctions are words that join up parts of a sentence, such as verb clauses.

Words such as "e (and)" and "ou (or)" are very common examples.


Another one among the most common conjunctions is "que". You will see that this word has a lot of different functions in Portuguese.

Besides being a pronoun, like in "o que (what)" and "por que (why)", it can also be a conjunction (that), such as in these sentences:

  • Ele acha que (ele) sabe = He thinks that he knows
  • Eles falam que vai funcionar = They say that it will work.

"Ou" and "nem":

  • "Ou" is equivalent to "or"
  • "Nem" is roughly equivalent to "nor"
    • It may have other funcitons, such as "not even"

But both can be used forming these constructions:

  • Ou isto ou aquilo = Either this or that
  • Nem isto nem aquilo = Neither this nor that

Prepositions 3 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


This preposition has two main meanings:

  • Since a certain point in the past
  • As long as some condition is true

Use "desde que" if the complement is a clause with a verb.

Notice an important difference in verb conjugations when using this:

  • Eu moro aqui desde que nasci = I have lived here since I was born

In Portuguese, use the "present" tense for a duration since some point. This is not possible in English. The Portuguese compound version is also accepted (Eu tenho morado aqui desde ...), but it's less common, and this compound version does not work exactly the same as in English (there will be as kill for it later).


Main meanings:

  • (up) to (some point) - either time or distance
    • Eu vou até o mercado = I go (up) to the market
    • Você tem até três tentativas = You have up to three attempts
  • Until:
    • Ele fica até as seis = He stays until six
  • Even (intensifying):
    • Ate tu, Brutus? = Even you, Brutus?


  • Without

This can be used as a transitory lack of possession, including certain feelings and states, just like with "com":

  • Sem fome = not hungry
  • Estou sem dinheiro = I do not have money (with me now)


This means mainly "despite" or "although", and should be used with "de" and a personal infinitive verb:

  • Apesar de ser tarde, ele fica = Despite it being late, he stays
  • Ele come apesar de não gostar = He eats it although he doesn't like it.

This "de" will often not contract with pronouns, because these pronouns will be the subject of the next clause:

  • Ele come apesar de ele não gostar
    • "ele" is the subject of "gostar"

Dates and Time 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Prepositions for time

Prepositions used for time expressions have different translations from those used for places. Nevertheless, they too follow well behaved rules in most cases.

Periods of the day:

This is one of the few exceptional cases, where both English and Portuguese have their particular usage:

  • In the morning = de manhã
  • At noon = ao meio-dia
  • In the afternoon = à tarde / de tarde
  • At night / In the evening = à noite / de noite
  • Tonight = hoje à noite / esta noite

Numeric dates and named months:

Use "em" without articles.

  • Aconteceu em 5 de abril = It happened on April 5th
  • Ela nasceu em 1977 = She was born in 1977
  • Ele volta em agosto = He returns in August

Numeric dates and months when using the nouns "dia, mês, ano":

Use "em + article". If the unit is "mês", it's necessary to add a "de" after it.

  • O Natal é comemorado no dia 25 de dezembro = Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.
  • As aulas começam no mês de agosto = The classes start in August.
  • Estamos no ano 2015, quase em 2016 = We are in the year 2015, almost in 2016.
  • Foi na primeira semana de janeiro = It was on the first week of January

Week days:

Use "em + article":

  • The show is on Friday = O show é na sexta-feira
  • She travels on Sunday = Ela viaja no domingo

These prepositions can be omitted: "... é sexta-feira", "...viaja domingo".

Repeating week days:

If something happens regularly on certain week days, use the preposition "a" or "em" plus the plural article:

  • Ele joga às/nas quartas-feiras = He plays on Wednesdays
  • Ele não trabalha aos/nos domingos = De does not work on Sundays

Using "a" is more formal and better for written texts.


For terms, the preposition used is also "em", without articles:

  • A encomenda chegará em 10 dias = The order will arrive in 10 days
  • Te vejo em meia hora = I see you in half an hour

Another very common option is "dentro de" (within), which has the same meaning.

Clock time:

Clock times will translate "at" as "a" and an article is needed.

If the following time is feminine, add the article "a" making it "à" (a+a)
If masculine, the article is "o", making it "ao" (a+o).
And if plural, add the respective "s".

  • O filme começa às sete = The movie starts at seven
  • Ela se levanta às oito horas = She gets up at eight o'clock
  • Almoçamos ao meio-dia = We have lunch at noon
  • Lobisomens aparecem à meia-noite = Werewolves appear at midnight

When telling the day period, use "de" before it:

  • Vejo-te às cinco da tarde = See you at five in the afternoon
  • São seis da manhã! = It's six in the morning!

Measurements 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

To be or to have???

When talking about sizes, an interesting difference in how languages view things shows up.

Just like it happens when telling people's ages, when telling things' sizes, Portuguese uses the verb "ter" instead of translating the verb "to be" directly.

So, whenever telling something's measurements, remember that:

  • The bar is fifty centimeters (long) = A barra tem cinquenta centímetros (de comprimento)
  • You must be two meters tall to enter the volleyball team = Você precisa ter dois metros de altura para entrar no time de vôlei.

Notice also the preposition "de" used when telling which dimension you are talking about.

Measurements without verbs

When measurements appear directly attached to something without a verb, similar to an adjective, Portuguese sentences use the form "de + size", working the same way food flavors do:

  • A chocolate cake = Um bolo de chocolate
  • A 100 meters run = Uma corrida de 100 metros
  • They have bought a 20 pound cake!!! = Eles compraram um bolo de 20 libras!!!

PS: Brazil uses mostly the International System of Units, being "kilograms", "kilometers", "meters" and "centimeters" the units Brazilians understand.

Gram or grass??

A fun fact about these two words:

  • A grama (feminine) = The grass
  • O grama (masculine) = The gram

Verbs: Imperative 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

In addition to having tenses showing "when" an action takes place, languages also have moods, that indicate how the verb is being used. Different moods have different meanings.

Imperative is the verb mood for giving orders.

  • Whenever you are telling someone to do something, use the imperative mood. (See? This "use" is in imperative mood)

In Portuguese, moods also change verb conjugations. Just like tenses and other moods, the imperative has its own conjugation forms:

Infinitive: jantar receber partir
Eu -------- -------- --------
Tu janta ....... / não jantes recebe ....... / não recebas parte ....... / não partas
Ele(a) / Você jante receba parta
Nós jantemos recebamos partamos
Vós jantai ........ / não janteis recebei ........ / não recebais parti ........ / não partais
Eles(as) / Vocês jantem recebam partam

(1) - There is no singular first person form (eu), for one cannot give orders to oneself.

(2) - Different from others, imperative has different conjugations for affirmative and negative sentences for "tu" and "vós".

Regarding the second person ("you"), they follow the same idea as other conjugations. You can use either "tu" conjugations (2nd person) or "você" conjugations (3rd person). Depending on where you are, one might sound more formal than the other. In general, "você" conjugations are more formal, but that may vary.

Also, since English has only one form of "you" for both singular and plural, most English imperative sentences could be translated with any of the four conjugation options in Portuguese: "tu/você/vós/vocês". ("Vós" is quite obsolete here too).

Just remember that when you are talking to a single person, you have to use the singular forms (tu/você). And when talking to more than one person, use (vós/vocês).

Ex: Open the door!

  • Abre a porta! (tu)
  • Abra a porta! (você)
  • Abri a porta! (vós)
  • Abram a porta! (vocês)

Comparison 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Comparatives and superlatives


Use the words "mais" (more) and "menos" (less) to form comparisons with adjectives.

Use the conjunction "que" for the word "than":

  • Batatas são mais gostosas que tomates = Potatoes are tastier than tomatoes
  • Este livro é menos interessante que o outro = This book is less interesting than the other one

Use the subject pronouns in comparisons:

  • Ele sabe mais (do) que eu = He knows more than I do

The preposition+article "do" before "que" is optional and has no additional meaning.

Special comparatives:

Certain words will not use "mais" or "menos", but will have a synthetic form:

  • Maior que = Bigger than
  • Menor que = Smaller than *
  • Melhor que = Better than
  • Pior que = Worse than

* - Portugal accepts "mais pequeno"


In Portuguese, all you need for creating superlatives is adding the definite article before it:

  • Ele é o mais inteligente = He is the smartest one
  • Estes são os melhores = These are the best ones

With "mais" or "menos", use the order "article + noun + comparative".

  • Ela é a pessoa mais inteligente que eu conheço = She is the smartest person that I know *
  • Eu quero o carro mais caro da loja = I want the most expensive car in the store

* - Be careful with "que" being not a comparison conjunction, superlatives will not compare two things.

With the synthetic ones, place the noun after:

  • Ele é o melhor aluno = He is the best student
  • Ele tem as piores ideias = He has the worst ideas


For intensifying qualities, similarly to "so", "so much" and "so many" in English, use:

  • Tão + adjective / verb / adverb
  • Tanto + noun (since this relates to a noun, it inflects)


  • Está tão quente aqui! = It is so hot here
  • Ela anda tão rápido = She walks so fast
  • Tenho tantas coisas para te dizer = I have so many things to tell you
  • Por que ele bebe tanta água? = Why does it drink so much water? (Uncountable, inflects only gender)

Equal intensity/amount comparison

Use "tão ... quanto" and "tanto(as) quanto":

  • Ele é tão inteligente quanto você = He is as intelligent as you are
  • Ela não tem tantos carros quanto nós = She does not have as many cars as we have

"Como" is accepted instead of "quanto", but it sounds quite awkward.

Adjectives II 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

A few adjective examples that accept only one position:

Before noun After noun
Cultural x
Impossível x
Nacional x
Industrial x
Primeiro x*

* - All numbers and ordinal numbers come before nouns. The only exception appears in titles for people, such as "Pedro Primeiro = Pedro the First".

Adverbs 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.

They are used for adding location, time, intensity, modes and many other things.

Adverbs don't inflect!

Adverbs are not used to change nouns, and because of it, they don't inflect.

It's true they can change inflected adjectives, but even though, they remain uninflected.

Bem and Bom

"Bem" is an adverb, meaning "well" or, if modifying an adjective, "quite".
"Bom" is an adjective, meaning "good":

  • Ele está bem = He is well (ok)
  • Elas estão bem = They are well (ok)
  • Ele é bom = He is good (skilled/kind/etc.)
  • As tortas são boas = The pies are good (tasty)
  • Um carro bem rápido = A quite fast car

Muito and pouco:

When these words are adverbs, they have only this form. In this case, they are translated as "very" and "little", except when before comparatives, when "muito" becomes "much".

  • São aeronaves muito rápidas = They are very fast aircrafts.
  • Esta ação é pouco eficiente = This action is not very efficient (little efficient)
  • Nós somos muito mais inteligentes = We are much more intelligent

Beware not to confuse "pouco" with "um pouco":

  • Pouco = little
  • Um pouco = a little

When they are not adverbs, they define amounts of some noun and have an adjective function:

  • Muitos carros (countable, masc., plural) = Many cars
  • Muita água (uncountable, feminine) = A lot of water
  • Poucas opções (countable, fem., plural) = Few options

Verbs: Continuous 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

In English, gerunds and present participles use the "ing" ending on the verbs.

In Portuguese, the verb ending is "ndo".

Present participle

The present participle is the continuous action of the verb, the continuous tense. In Portuguese, it's called "gerúndio". The translations are mostly straight and clear, using the verb "estar".

  • He is eating = Ele está comendo
  • The teacher is talking = O professor está falando.

Out of curiosity, "estar a + infinitive" is also a form of progressive tense, being more common in European Portuguese.

Beware of the stative verbs!

In English, some verbs are static, meaning they cannot be used in the progressive form. They are verbs such as "like", "believe", "want" and others. But Portuguese doesn't have those kind of verbs, so you will find some sentences whose translations are not so straight:

  • Eu estou gostando disso = I like this (not "I'm liking")
  • Ela está querendo mais = She wants more (not "she is wanting")

Is there a difference in the meaning between "Eu estou gostando" and "Eu gosto"??
Well....a little, when using the progressive form, you really mean you are "enjoying" something that is currently taking place, while the simple present form can be used in general.


Now, Gerunds in English create "nouns" and "noun clauses" using the "ing" verb ending. In Portuguese, a gerund such as this doesn't exist!!! You use the infinitive verb instead:

  • Try reading that book! = Tente ler aquele livro (not lendo)
  • He likes eating = Ele gosta de comer (not comendo)
  • Swimming is fun = Nadar é divertido (not nadando)

Places 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Prepositions for places

The easiest usage of prepositions is when they are about places. In this case, it's often possible to trust dictionary translations for prepositions.

When talking about places, the general rules for prepositions are:

  • Current location = Em (no, na) = In / On / At
  • Origin = De (do, da) = From
  • Destination (quick return) = A (ao, à) = to (1)
  • Destination (permanent stay) = Para = to
  • Motion in or through = Por (pelo, pela) = by, through


  • Estou no trabalho (I'm at work - workplace)
  • Estou no restaurante (I'm at/in the restaurant)
  • O almoço está na mesa (the lunch is on the table)
  • Eu sou do Brasil (I'm from Brazil)
  • Eu vim de lá (I came from there)
  • Estou indo para casa (I'm going home)
  • Vou à escola (I go to school)
  • Passei pelo parque (I went through the park)
  • Ela passou por mim (She passed by/near me)
  • A formiga passeia pela (or na) mesa (The ant walks on the table).

(1) "A" is also used sometimes without "motion to", in expressions like:

  • Está à beira do abismo = He/she is on the edge of abyss
  • Ao lado da mesa = beside the table
  • Ao longo da estrada = Along the road

Notice the positional words complementing the preposition: beira (edge/margin), lado (side), longo (long)

Other more precise prepositions:

  • Sobre = on top of / above
  • Em cima de = on top of
  • Acima de = above
  • Embaixo de = under
  • Abaixo de = below
  • Dentro de = inside
  • Fora de = outside
  • Através de = through

Verbs: Past Imperfect 1 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Pretérito imperfeito

"Imperfect"? What does it mean?

Originally, the term "perfect" was used for "completed" actions, although today some "perfect" tenses don't really follow this strictly.

On the other hand, "imperfect" isn't about "conclusions".

In Portuguese, the imperfect past talks about something that "was true" or "was happening" during a certain time period in the past.

It's great for continuous actions in the past, habits and steady states creating contexts: things that "were being", if you allow us to use a "non-standard" English.
While the "pretérito perfeito" (the one you've studied so far) is great for "changing" something from an unconcluded to a concluded state.

Continuous meanings

In many cases, this tense has a continuous meaning, especially when the "while" idea is present:

  • Eu cozinhava enquanto ela tomava banho = I was cooking while she was showering.
  • Ele comia enquanto esperava o trem = He was eating while he waited (was waiting) for the train

Old habits

Since old habits are things that used to happen, spread along a time period, the "imperfect" tense is also the right form for this:

  • Ele escrevia livros antes de se mudar = He used to write books before he moved
  • Ela tinha muitos gatos na sua primeira casa = She had (used to have) many cats in her first house

But is "used to" really the right translation? Well, it's an adaptation to convey the right meaning, since simple past can often be interpreted differently.

The literal translation of "used to" is "costumava" (and its conjugations for other persons)

  • I used to swim a lot = Eu costumava nadar bastante
  • We used to ride bikes = Nós costumávamos andar de bicicleta

When "used to" is a good option, "would" can also be a good one. But never with a standard conditional meaning.

Setting the scenery in past

Because scenery is something that is just there, not changing anything, not acting nor completing actions, "imperfect past" is also the best choice to describe it. The scenery "was just being" while the story happened.

  • Era um dia frio, a casa estava vazia, mas João sentiu um estranho desejo de se levantar mais cedo = It was a cold day, the house was empty, but João felt a strange will of getting up earlier
  • As montanhas estavam brancas, cobertas de neve, e as arvores eram todas verdes, os pássaros cantavam alegremente = The mountains were white, covered in snow, and the trees were all green, the birds sang (were singing) happily.


  • Eu andei de bicicleta = I rode a bike / I have ridden a bike
  • Eu andava de bicicleta = I rode bikes / I was riding a bike / I used to ride a bike

One interesting rule for simple actions is: if you can use English's present perfect, then also use Portuguese's "pretérito perfeito".


Ininitive: Pegar Mover Cumprir
Eu Pegava Movia Cumpria
Tu Pegavas Movias Cumprias
Ele(a) / Você Pegava Movia Cumpria
Nós Pegávamos Movíamos Cumpríamos
Vós Pegáveis Movíeis Cumpríeis
Eles(as) / Vocês Pegavam Moviam Cumpriam

People 1 · 2018-10-25 ^



  • Pessoa => One person
  • Pessoas => Many people (more than one person)


"Gente" is a collective noun (a singular noun representing many people). It's used when it's about a mass of people, an amount, for instance.

  • Muita gente = Muitas pessoas = A lot of people

Be careful: the expression "a gente" is mainly used to mean "we/us".


"Povo" is also a collective noun, but it refers to "people from somewhere", as the Brazilian People, the Portuguese people. It's more like a political usage.

It can be plural, and in this meaning it will also be pluralized in English:

  • Povos = Peoples (yes, this means many different groups of peoples from many places)

Another possibility is to use "povo" as "common/ordinary people" in contrast with some elite, for instance.

Clitic Pronouns 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Subject and Object pronouns

In Portuguese, pronouns also change for subjects and objects.

So far you are used to the "pronomes do caso reto" (subjective pronouns), they are used for subjects: "Eu, tu/você, ele, nós, vós/vocês, eles"

But when they are objects, they turn into "pronome oblíquo" (objective pronouns). You can compare them like you can compare "he" with "him" and "she" with "her".

  • "He" and "she" are subjective pronouns (pronomes do caso reto) = "ele" and "ela".
  • "Him" and "her" are objective pronouns (pronomes do caso oblíquo) = "o" and "a".

In Portuguese, o, os, as, a, besides being articles, can also be direct object pronouns which are normally used to replace a direct object (a noun, person or thing) in a sentence in order to avoid repetition.

This answers, for instance, why "Eu os ouço" is used instead of "Eu ouço eles". (1 - See note at the end).

Direct and indirect objects

In Portuguese, pronouns also change depending on whether the object is direct or indirect, and when there is a preposition.

Here is a table to make it easier:

Subj. Dir. Obj. Ind. Obj Reflx. With prep.
Eu Me Me Me Mim
Tu Te Te Te Ti
Ele/Ela O/A Lhe Se Si/Ele/Ela
Nós Nos Nos Nos Nós
Vós Vos Vos Vos Vós
Eles/Elas Os/As Lhes Se Si/Eles/Elas

Dir. Obj. - Direct objects are used when the verb doesn't need a preposition. (1)

Ind. Obj. - Indirect objects are used when the verb needs a preposition, but this version of the pronoun removes the preposition (Dê-lhe o carro = Give him the car - See below to understand this completely)

Reflx. - Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject performs an action towards him or herself. (Ele se cortou = He cut himself / Eu me vi no espelho = I saw myself in the mirror / Tu te cortaste = you have cut yourself)

With prep. - These are also indirect objects, but the preposition is needed together with the pronoun. (Dê o carro a mim = Give the car to me). In Brazil, the "si" versions are mostly for reflexive cases with prepositions.

(1): The direct object pronoun is normally not used correctly in spoken form, so you would hear a lot more people saying Eu ouço eles than Eu os ouço. A great number of Brazilian speakers would prefer using "ele/ela/eles/elas" instead.

(advanced) Placement of pronouns - Colocação pronominal

These pronouns can be placed either before or after the verb, or even in the middle!!

There are some rules that determine whether they should be put in one of these positions. In Brazil, though, these rules are rarely mastered by people, some of them might feel unnatural and even some writers disagree of them. In formal academic writings though, they would be required. In Portugal, they follow these rules more strictly than in Brazil. (Duolingo is not strict about these specific rules)

Pronouns before the verb - próclise

Negative words, some adverbs and pronouns attract the clitic pronoun to be placed just after them, before the verb.

When putting the pronouns before the verb, they are written without additional symbols.

  • Ela não me viu = she didn't see me
  • Ninguém o encontrou = nobody found it/him
  • Eu não lhe digo isto = Eu não digo isto a ele/ela = I do not tell this to him/her

A pronoun that does not use a preposition cannot start a sentence according to the formal rules, but even though, in Brazil this is a very common practice.

Pronouns after the verb - ênclise

If no "attracting" word is present, pronouns will go after the verb, attached with hyphens.

  • Dei-lhe as chaves = I gave him/her the keys

If the pronoun is "o, a, os, as", it changes depending on the verb's ending:

  • Pego-o = I take it (normal)
  • Peguei-o = I took it (normal)
  • Pegam-no = They take it (verb ending in "m")
  • Pegá-lo (pegar + o) = To take it (verb ending in "r")
  • Pegamo-lo (pegamos + o) = We take it (verb ending in "s")

When necessary, the accent is added so the verb keep the last syllable stressed after losing the "r":

  • Pegá-lo (to take it)
  • Comê-lo (to eat it)
  • Ouvi-lo (to hear it) - "i" is naturally stressed
  • Pô-lo (to put it)

Pronouns in the middle of the verb - mesóclise

This is very rare today, but in formal rules, if you cannot use "próclise" for verbs in future conjugations, you add the pronoun in the middle of the verb:

  • Ele me achará - Achar-me-á (he will find me)
  • Ele me acharia - Achar-me-ia (he would find me)

Numbers 2 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Tens - from 10 to 100

From 20 to 90, their names are mostly based on "#-enta".

  • Dez, vinte, trinta, quarenta, cinquenta, sessenta, setenta, oitenta, noventa, cem

Hundreds - from 100 to 1000

From 200 to 900, their names are mostly based on "#-centos"

  • Cem, duzentos, trezentos, quatrocentos, quinhentos, seiscentos, setecentos, oitocentos, novecentos, mil

All the hundreds from 200 to 900 have feminine forms: duzentas, trezentas ...

Forming big numbers

In Portuguese, forming big numbers is similar to English, but adding the conjunction "e" between digits and commas after thousands and bigger:

  • Twenty-one = vinte e um/uma
  • Forty-five = quarenta e cinco
  • One hundred and ten (1)(2) = Cento e dez
  • One thousand seven hundred sixty-two (2) = Mil, setecentos e sessenta e dois (masc.) = Mil, setecentas e sessenta e duas (fem.)
  • Three hundred thousand = Trezentos/trezentas mil

(1) "Cento" is used instead of "cem" whenever followed by the rest of the number.
(2) There is no need to translate the "one/a" in "one/a hundred/thousand". The words "cem", "cento" and "mil" stand alone and contain "one" implied.

Ordinal numbers

Orginal numbers are numbers for showing position, rank, etc.

They are always used before the noun. (Except in rare titles such as "Dom Pedro II" (Dom Pedro Segundo)

The suffixes

All the suffixes "st, nd, rd" and "th" are replaced by º or ª, being the first masculine and the second feminine:

  • 1st = 1º / 1ª
  • 12345th = 12345º / 12345ª

When saying or writing ordinal numbers in Portuguese, remember all of them have feminine forms.

From "first" to "tenth"

  • Primeiro, segundo, terceiro, quarto, quinto, sexto, sétimo, oitavo, nono, décimo.

From "twentieth" to "100th"

  • vigésimo, trigésimo, quadragésimo, quinquagésimo, sexagésimo, septuagésimo, octogésimo, nonagésimo, centésimo

Writing long ordinal numbers

This is actually easier than regular numbers, you just add words together:

  • 247th = ducentésimo quadragésimo sétimo (masc.) / ducentésima quadragésima sétima (fem.)

Sizes 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Tamanho x Medida

"Tamanho" is a general word meaning "size".
It can be used either for exact measures or general sizes such as "pequeno (small), médio (mid-size)" and "grande (big)".

Clothes are often labeled with the letters "P, M, G" for their sizes. (PP is smaller than P and GG is bigger than G).

"Medida" is attached to numbers, exact measurements:

  • Tirar medidas = To take measurements

Largo x Amplo x Grande

In Portuguese, these words are used differently:


"Largo" is a false cognate, and it is not a synonym of big.
"Largo" is related to "largura" (width), so it's mostly "wide".


"Amplo" is used mostly for "rooms", "spaces" and "ranges", when it can mean "wide", but not as an actual width measurement.


"Grande" means "big" or "large" in the most common senses.

Justo x Apertado

Sometimes both seem to mean the same (tight), but mostly they mean:

  • Justo - Firm, tight, the exact size, with no clearance
  • Apertado - Uncomfortably tight, too tight.

It's true their meanings can overlap a little, but "justo" is not used often for things that have a negative connotation.

For machine parts, though, "apertado" and "justo" would mean the same.

Determiners 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Algum, Nenhum or Qualquer??

There's an interesting distinction about the usage of these words between English and Portuguese.

For instance, one cannot say that "algum" is always "some" or that "qualquer" is always "any". In fact they can be just the other way around.

So, how to distinguish them?

The key is in whether the sentence is negative, affirmative or a question! So, in a simple table, it works like this:

Word Affirmatives Questions Negatives
Algum Some Any -
Nenhum No / None No / Not any No / Not any
Qualquer Any Just any Just any

And here go the deails:

Affirmative sentences

Here are what you will probably see as a standard meaning for these words:

  • Algum (affirmative) = some
  • Nenhum (affirmative) = no/none
  • Qualquer (affirmative) = any

It might seem weird to say that a sentence with "nenhum" is affirmative, since nenhum itself is a negative word. But since Portuguese often uses double negation with "nenhum", we are putting the ones that are not double negation here.


  • Está faltando alguma coisa aqui = Something is missing here
  • Alguns gatos entraram na casa = Some cats entered the house
  • Nenhum cachorro me mordeu = No dog bit me
  • Nenhuma daquelas mulheres é fraca = None of those women is weak
  • Qualquer carro é bom, desde que funcione = Any car is good, as long as it works
  • Dê-me qualquer um destes = Give me any one of these


But now things change a little. You will notice that in questions they become:

  • Algum = any
  • Nenhum = not + any / no
  • Qualquer = just any / any

Wait, all of them mean any in questions? Yes, but:

  • Algum is used for standard questions
  • Nenhum is used as "any" in negative questions
  • Qualquer is not often used in questions, but can replace "algum" or keep its standard affirmative meaning.

See the examples:

  • Você tem algum conselho para mim? = Do you have any advice for me?
  • Você ouviu alguma coisa? = Did you hear anything?

Rarely, the examples above could use "qualquer", but it might seem unusual.

In plural form, "alguns/algumas" can mean "some" too:

  • Você tem algumas moedas? = Do you have some coins?

For nenhum, in English you have the choice to choose where you are going to put the negation:

  • Por que nãonenhuma mensagem? = Why aren't there any messages? (negation in verb)
  • Por que não há nenhuma mensagem? = Why are there no messages? (negation in noun)
  • Ele não tem nenhuma moeda? = Doesn't he have any coins?
  • Ele não tem nenhuma moeda? = Does he have no coins?

And "qualquer" with its standard meaning:

  • Qualquer um serve?? = Does just any one fit? (Among all the possibilities, all of them are good)

Negative sentences

  • Algum (not used or rarely used in negative sentences)
  • Nenhum = not + any / no
  • Qualquer = just any / any

Again, for nenhum, you can choose where to put the negation:

  • Não tem nenhum problema = There is no problem = There aren't any problems.

And "qualquer" can less often replace "nenhum", or keep its standard affirmative meaning.

  • Eu não quero qualquer professor = I don't want just any teacher (I want a good teacher)
  • Não tem qualquer problema = There aren't any problems

So, whenever possible, "qualquer" will retain it's "just any" meaning. In order to avoid doubt, prefer "nenhum" when you mean "no".

Verbs: Participle 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Past participle

In Portuguese, when one talks about "participle", it means mostly "past participle", since the idea of "present participle" is not that famous (other names are used for "present participles" in Portuguese).

Past participles are used mainly for three things:

  • Creating adjectives out of verbs
  • Creating sentences in passive voice
  • Creating compound tenses

In this skill, we are going to see the first two cases.

In both of them, the participle must be inflected regarding genders and number. (That is not true for compound tenses though)


Not all past participles suit adjective usages, but when they do, it's as simple as using any other adjective:

  • Ela está cansada = She is tired
  • Ela ficou cansada = She got tired
  • O carro está parado = The car is stopped
  • Ele está abatido = He is downcast
  • As portas estão abertas = The doors are open ("aberto" is an irregular past participle)

Passive voice:

Passive voices in Portuguese are pretty much like English passive voices:

  • Just use the verb "ser (to be)" + "past participle"

But remember: only "ser" can be used for passive voices.
Using "estar" + "past participle" will end up creating an adjective telling one's current state. So:

  • Passive voice: Ser + participle
  • Inherent/Permanent quality: Ser + adjective/participle (this is rare with participles)
  • Current state: Estar + adjective/participle

Passive voice examples:

  • As portas são abertas toda manhã = The doors are opened every morning.
  • O dinheiro foi roubado = The money was stolen
  • Isto será feito amanhã = This will be done tomorrow


Regular past participle conjugations follow this pattern:

Verb Past participle
Combinar Combinado
Entender Entendido
Repetir Repetido

All of them will accept the inflections "o/a/os/as".

Irregular verbs

Some verbs follow irregular patterns, such as:

  • Fazer - Feito (done/made)
  • Ver - Visto (seen)

Some have both forms:

  • Pagar - Pago / Pagado (paid)
  • Pegar - Pego / Pegado (gotten/caught/taken)
  • Ganhar - Ganho / Ganhado (won/earned)
  • Acender - Aceso / Acendido (lightened/turned on the light)

When they have both forms, the regular form is used for compound tenses and the irregular forms are the ones inflected and used as adjectives and in passive voices. (This last rule has exceptions where the irregular form is the most popular in every case)

Prepositions 4 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Some objective pronouns in Portuguese are different when they're following a preposition:

For any preposition except "com" (examples using "para"):

  • me becomes para mim
  • te becomes para ti
  • se becomes para si (The "si" form is often reflexive. In Brazil, it's hardly ever used in another way)

These use the same form as the subject pronoun:

  • para você
  • para ele/ela
  • para nós
  • para vós / para vocês
  • para eles/elas

For the preposition "com", some contractions are demanded:

  • (com+mim) comigo
  • (com+ti) contigo
  • (com+nós) conosco
  • (com+vós) convosco

Mim não conjuga verbo ("Mim" does not conjugate verbs)

This is a common sentence used to teach children not to use "mim" if it is supposed to be the subject of a following clause:

  • Dê o livro para mim (Give me the book)
  • Dê o livro para eu ler (Give me the book for me to read)

In the second sentence, "eu" should be used instead of "mim", although following "para", because it's the subject of the clause "eu ler".

Pronouns 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Ninguém, alguém, nenhum, algum.

These are very similar to the determiners seen before.

Word Affirmative Question Negative
Alguém Somebody Anybody -
Ninguém Nobody Not anybody Nobody / Not anybody
Algum Some Any -
Nenhum None Not any None / Not any

They're also often used in double negations:

  • Não conheço ninguém = I don't know anyone

Todo(s) x Tudo

The word "tudo" means "everything". It's a genderless pronoun that doesn't take articles and never works as a determiner.

The word "todo" can be either a determiner or a pronoun, but it refers to a noun and must inflect.

A few patterns are important:

  • Todo carro = Every car
  • Todo o carro = The entire car = O carro todo
  • Todos os carros = Every car
  • (cannot use "todos carros" meaning "every car")

The noun "o todo" means "the whole", "the entire thing".

Relative pronouns

These kinds of pronouns refer to something previously stated and start a new clause. "Que" is the most common one:

  • O homem que eu vi = The man that I saw
  • O homem do qual eu falo = The man of which I talk about (here "de = about")
  • A menina cujo cabelo é dourado = The girl whose hair is golden

Past - Pretérito Perfeito 2 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Conjugatoins for the irregular verbs:

* - The conjugations for "pôr" includes all derivations, such as "supor", "impor", "repor", "compor", etc.

Infinitive estar __pôr
Eu estive __pus
Tu estiveste __puseste
Ele esteve __pôs
Nós estivemos __pusemos
Vós estivestes __pusestes
Eles estiveram __puseram
Infinitive ir vir
Eu fui vim
Tu foste vieste
Ele foi veio
Nós fomos viemos
Vós fostes viestes
Eles foram vieram

Pretérito Perfeito Composto 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Pretérito Perfeito Composto

Here is a tricky verb tense.

This tense will resemble a lot the English present perfect, because it also uses the present tense of the verb "to have" plus the past participle of the main verb.

In Portuguese, however, this structure has another name and another meaning!

It's called "pretérito perfeito composto" (translated literally as: compound preterite perfect).

Although using the analogous structure "present ter" + "past participle" of the main verb, its meaning is not the same.

Whenever you see this construction, remember it talks about a recent repetition, things have been repeating *lately. So, in general translations are like:

  • Ele tem feito os exercícios regularmente = He has been doing his exercises regularly
  • Meu computador tem feito barulhos estranhos = My computer has been making strange noises (lately).
  • Ela tem comprado coisas diferentes = She has been buying different things (lately)


With this tense, the adverb "sempre" changes its translations.

Since it's about repetition, it becomes "every time":

  • Ele tem feito sempre a mesma coisa = He has been doing the same thing every time.

So, the first question you might be asking yourself is...."how do I translate the English present perfect to Portuguese then"?

Normally, when it's a simple concluded action, you do it with the "pretérito perfeito":

  • I have done my job = Eu fiz o meu trabalho
  • She has found her way home = Ela encontrou o caminho para casa.

But when it's about something that is true "since" a certain point in the past, then you just use the present tense:

  • I have lived here since I was a kid = Eu moro aqui desde quando eu era uma criança
  • She has not drunk since the accident = Ela não bebe desde o acidente.

And finally, the verb "to be" and some of the so called "stative verbs" behave differently.

They can in many cases be translated word by word:

  • I have been tired = Eu tenho estado cansado (this is a state that has been repeating lately).
  • She has been happy = Ela tem estado feliz.

One possible explanation for that is that you cannot write things like "have been being".

So, how to understand all that simply?

Just remember: Portuguese "ter + past.participle" always means a "recent repetition". So, if the English sentence means that, you can translate it with the Portuguese "pretérito perfeito composto".

If the English sentence cannot or does not mean a recent repetition, then the Portuguese tense must be changed to fit the true meaning.

Countries 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


In Portuguese, there are many adjectives for nationalities.

As adjectives, they do decline normally regarding gender and numbers:

  • Um homem francês = A French man
  • Homens franceses = French men
  • Uma mulher francesa = a French woman
  • Mulheres francesas = French women

Notice that Portuguese does not use capital letters for these, only for country names:

  • O Brasil é dos brasileiros = Brazil belongs to (the) Brazilians. (1)

Nouns x Adjectives:

Virtually all of these adjectives can be used as nouns without any change! Just remember these nouns, just like professions, should be inflected as well:

  • Um alemão = A German man
  • Uma alemã = A German woman
  • Os alemães = The German people/men (1)
  • As alemãs = The German women

Even when the English language can use uninflected adjectives referring to plural things, Portuguese will keep the inflections:

  • The French like good food = Os franceses gostam de comida boa
  • The rich eat expensive food = Os ricos comem comida cara

(1) As usual, the masculine plural form is used for general statements and mixed gender groups.

Cities, Countries, Continents and Articles

In English, most country names use no article, with a few exceptions like "the United States of America" (Os Estados Unidos da América). The same is true for cities and continents.

But in Portuguese, they do! And mostly, the articles are mandatory.

Just like the other nouns, each country has its own gender, and some reject the article. Unfortunately, there is no clear rule for that, except when its name contains an ordinary noun as the main part of it, the article will follow that noun:

  • O Reino Unido - The United Kingdom
  • Os Estados Unidos da América (EUA) - The United States of America (USA)

Countries with masculine articles:

  • O Brasil -- Ele está no Brasil = He is in Brazil
  • O Canadá -- Ele foi ao Canadá = He's been to Canadá
  • O México -- Ela gosta do México = She likes Mexico
  • O Paraguai - Paraguay
  • O Uruguai - Uruguay
  • O Peru - Peru
  • ...

Countries with feminine articles:

  • A Alemanha -- A Alemanha é grande = Germany is big
  • A Argentina -- Ela mora na Argentina = She lives in Argentina
  • A França -- France (1)
  • A Itália -- Italy (1)
  • A Espanha -- Spain (1)
  • A Inglaterra -- England (1)
  • ...

(1) In European Portuguese, these can be used without articles when after a preposition.

Countries that use no article:

  • Portugal -- Ele foi a Portugal -- Portugal é bonito.


All continents are feminine and require the article:

  • A América (... Central/do Norte/do Sul)
  • A Europa
  • A África
  • A Ásia
  • A Oceania
  • A Antártida


Most cities use no articles:

  • Berlim -- Berlin (sometimes feminine)
  • Londres -- London
  • Lisboa -- Lisbon
  • São Paulo
  • Brasília
  • Salvador
  • ...

But there are a few that use it:

  • O Rio de Janeiro (but not all cities containing "Rio" in their names will use it)

Education 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Nouns in context - Brazil


"Série" is used in schools meaning "grade/year" in English.

  • Literal meaning = series
  • In educational context = grade / year

It's used only for elementary and middle school grades, which are called "ensino fundamental" in Brazil, having eight to nine grades.

  • He is in the first grade = Ele está na primeira série
  • A third grade student = Um aluno da terceira série


"Ano" is also used as "grade", mainly in reference to high school grades or years in college.

  • Literal meaning = year
  • In educational context = grade / year

High school in Brazil is called "ensino médio", having three grades.

Ano and série may be used interchangeably depending on where people live. To avoid confusion, people might use more complete sentences:

  • Um aluno do primeiro ano do ensino médio = A student from the first grade of the high school


Nowadays, "grau" is not used in standard Brazilian education anymore. But before changes, "graus" were used referring to major education levels:

  • "Primeiro grau" became "ensino fundamental" = elementary and middle school
  • "Segundo grau" became "ensino médio" = high school
  • "Terceiro grau" became "ensino superior" = college / university

  • Literal meaning: degree (measure unit and abstract intensity, but not an educational degree)


"Diploma" is a document stating your educational level. In English it translates as "degree".

  • A Mathematics degree = Um diploma de Matemática

Teste / Prova:

Both "teste" and "prova" are "exams". Some schools may use "teste" for intermediate exams and "prova" for final exams.

  • Literal meaning: teste = test
  • Literal meaning: prova = proof
  • Educational meaning: teste/prova = exam


  • Bimestre = a period of two months
  • Trimestre = a period of three months
  • Semestre = a period of six months

Verbs: Pluperfect 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


"Pluperfect" (literally "more than perfect") is a verb tense that works exactly like the English tense "past perfect".

In Portuguese it is called Pretérito mais-que-perfeito.

Here, we are going to see the Pretérito mais-que-perfeito composto, meaning it's a compound tense (having an auxiliary verb).

The compound version of the tense is the most popular version and its structure and meaning are identical to that of English. (Except that adverbs don't go in between the verbs).

The auxiliary verb used is "ter" in "imperfect past":

  • She had already gone = Ela já tinha ido
  • You had found a treasure = Você tinha encontrado um tesouro.

Optionally, some people prefer using the verb "haver", there is no difference in meaning, and it might sound more formal:

  • As pessoas não haviam chegado = The people had not arrived

Conjugation table for "ter" and "haver":

Pretérito Imperfeito Ter Haver
Eu Tinha Havia
Tu Tinhas Havias
Ele(a) / Você Tinha Havia
Nós Tínhamos Havíamos
Vós Tínheis Havíeis
Eles(as) / Vocês Tinham Haviam

* - Notice that conjugations for "eu, ele, ela" and "você" are the same! For that reason, it's highly recommended that the personal pronoun be explicit, even for the "eu" case, unless context is very clear! Otherwise, one would not know who is doing the action due to so many possibilities.

(Advanced) Pretérito mais-que-perfeito

For those who like advanced knowledge, let's talk about the simple version of this tense. This is getting almost forgotten in Portuguese, but it can still be seen in some books. (These conjugations are not the scope of this unit)

Infinitive: Andar Correr Sorrir
Eu Andara Correra Sorrira
Tu Andaras Correras Sorriras
Ele(a) / Você Andara Correra Sorrira
Nós Andáramos Corrêramos Sorríramos
Vós Andáreis Corrêreis Sorríreis
Eles(as) / Vocês Andaram Correram Sorriram

* - Here you can see that for the third person plural this tense matches the "pretérito perfeito". For this reason you might see some additional accepted translations that will be exclusive for this case.

** - Notice also that this is different from future conjugations:

  • Future "tu" and "ele" have accents on the last syllable (ex: ,"tu andarás", "ele correrá").
  • Future "vós" don't have accents (ex: "vós andareis")
  • Remember the accents change the stressed syllable, so these tenses are easily recognized in speech.

Travel and Transport 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Taking a __:

In Portuguese, the most common verb for "taking a bus" and other means of transport is "pegar". Less often the verb "tomar" is possible:

  • Vou pegar um taxi = I will take a taxi
  • Você vai pegar qual ônibus? = Which bus will you take?

Going by __:

If you're going somewhere "by bus" or another mean, you are going "de ônibus":

  • Vamos de ônibus ou de avião? = Are we going by bus or by plane?
  • Estou de carro hoje = I've got my/a car today /// I'm riding my/a car today

"Andar de __":

The verb "andar" can be associated with this expression adding the idea of "riding", "going by", etc.

  • Ele gosta de andar de bicicleta = He likes to ride bicycles
  • Você já andou de avião? = Have you ever flown in an airplane?
  • Quer andar de carro comigo? = Do you want to go for a ride (by car) with me?

The exception, when you have no vehicle, is "a pé".

  • Vou a pé = I'm going by foot
  • Andar a pé = To walk by foot

The verb "andar" itself, if not associated with anything, will mostly mean to walk (although having the possibility of more abstract meanings), so "andar" and "andar a pé" means basically the same.

  • Vou andando = I'll go walking

Directions 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

A few nouns


Besides meaning "direction", it is also very often used in expressions indicating "towards" a certain direction:

  • Ele voa em direção à luz = It flies towards the light

Valid expressions are "em direção a" or "na direção de". Mixing them is not valid.

With possessives: "em/na minha direção" or "na direção dele".

Direita x Direito:

When they are nouns, one is about directions, the other is about law:

  • Vire à direita? = Turn right
  • Você tem o direito de receber duas recompensas = You have the right to receive two rewards

Remember that "direita/direito" can also be adjectives, in which case they will inflect normally:

  • O lado direito = The right side


Although being used for directions, it is more commonly used for "guidance/instructions".

You can ask someone for guidance with this word:

  • Preciso de uma orientação = I need some guidance.

Tráfico x Tráfego:

A very tempting false friend for "traffic" is the word "tráfico", which actually means "trafficking".

  • Tráfico = Trafficking
  • Tráfego / Trânsito = Traffic

Feelings 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Feelings you "have"

In Portuguese, some feelings are expressed differently from English.

While English uses "I am ..." and other forms, Portuguese uses some form of possessive sentence.

  • Eu estou com medo = I am afraid
  • Ela está com dor = She is in pain / He feels pain
  • Estou com vontade de andar = I feel like walking = I want to walk
  • Ela tem pena de mim = She pities me = She feels sorry for me
  • Tenho certeza! = I'm sure!

Except for "certeza", all of them can also accept "sentir":

  • Eu sinto medo / Estou sentindo medo
  • Ela sente dor / Ela está sentindo dor
  • Sinto vontade de andar
  • Ela sente pena de mim / Ela está sentindo pena de mim

Hints: - It's natural to use "estar com" as a form of temporary possession in Portuguese. It can be used even with concrete objects: "Estou com seu carro = I have your car (currently, your car is under my possession).

The verb "sentir"

In Portuguese, the verb "sentir" also works a little differently, being a reflexive verb when you feel somehow.

Normally, it takes a direct object just like in English:

  • I feel the wind = Eu sinto o vento
  • She feels something weird = Ela sente algo estranho

But if you feel somehow, you must use the reflexive form of it:

  • I feel weird = Sinto-me estranho
  • She feels happy = Ela sente-se feliz

Verbs: Future 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

So far you've seen the phrasal future with "ir + infinitive".

Now we are going to see the true future conjugations of the verbs, which are more formal and preferred in written texts.

Both versions fit either "will + verb" and "be going to + verb".

Infinitive: Falar Ver Subir
Eu Falarei Verei Subirei
Tu Falarás Verás Subirás
Ele(a) / Você Falará Verá Subirá
Nós Falaremos Veremos Subiremos
Vós Falareis Vereis Subireis
Eles(as) / Vocês Falarão Verão Subirão


  • Ele virá amanhã? = Will he come tomorrow?
  • Tentarei fazer isto = I will try to do this

Sports 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


Jogar x Brincar x Tocar

There is a very confusing verb for English speakers when learning Portuguese, and this verb is "to play".

In Portuguese, there are three distinct verbs that translate "to play", each one with its own meaning:

  • Jogar = To play a game
  • Brincar = (simply) to play / have fun / make jokes, etc.
  • Tocar = To play a song or an instrument

Notice that "jogar" and "tocar" have objects, such as "jogar futebol (play soccer)" and "tocar piano (play the piano)". But "brincar" is intransitive.

Ganhar x Vencer

Both verbs are used for "winning", but notice that you can "win a contest" or "win a prize", there are different meanings.

  • Vencer = To win a contest/competition
  • Ganhar = Either to win a prize or a competition

So, you can:

  • Ganhar o jogo = Vencer o jogo = To win the game/match
  • Ganhar um prêmio = To win/earn a prize

"Ganhar" is also used for earning money and receiving things:

  • Ele ganha um presente = He receives a gift
  • Ele ganha dez mil por mês = He earns ten thousand a month


The verb dar is very versatile, and sometimes it's used for simply "doing" or "performing" something.

  • Ela dá um sorriso = She smiles
  • Ele deu uma olhada no problema = He took a look at the problem

In sports, one can:

  • Dar um salto (= saltar) = To jump
  • Dar um soco (= socar) = To punch
  • Dar um chute (= chutar) = To kick

Future Subjunctive 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Welcome to the subjunctive mood!! :D

Although English has almost completely forgotten the subjunctive moods, they're quite alive and well in Portuguese. Please don't get scared about them :)

The subjunctive mood is used in cases talking about uncertain events, and sometimes because of a specific grammar construction that requires it.

The future subjunctive talks about events we think may happen in the future, mostly as a trigger to something, forming conditional sentences.

It's used mainly with "quando", "se" and "depois que".

  • Quando ele chegar, terá uma surpresa = When he arrives (in the future), he will have a surprise
  • Se chover, eu não vou ao cinema = If it rains (in the future), I will not go to the movies.
  • Só verei TV depois que ela for embora = I will only watch TV after she goes away.

Regular conjugations

You may be wondering: It really looks like the infinitive, right? Well, in fact the regular conjugations are identical to the personal infinitive verbs.

Infinitive: ajudar beber abrir
Se eu ajudar beber abrir
Se tu ajudares beberes abrires
Se ele(a) / você ajudar beber abrir
Se nós ajudarmos bebermos abrirmos
Se vós ajudardes beberdes abrirdes
Se eles(as) / vocês ajudarem beberem abrirem

Irregular conjugations

Well, it couldn't be that easy...
Here are some of the main irregular verbs (they are not equal to their personal infinitive forms):

Infinitive: ser estar querer fazer
Se eu for estiver quiser fizer
Se tu fores estiveres quiseres fizeres
Se ele(a) / você for estiver quiser fizer
Se nós formos estivermos quisermos fizermos
Se vós fordes estiverdes quiserdes fizerdes
Se eles(as) / vocês forem estiverem quiserem fizerem

* - The verb "ter" is conjugated exactly like the verb "estar", just without the starting "es".

Verbs: Future Perfect 2 · 2019-06-04 ^

Futuro do presente composto

In Portuguese, the equivalent tense to "Future Perfect" is called "Futuro do presente composto" (literally "compound future of the present").

This tense is used to say that something will have been or will have happened.

The construction is similar to English, taking future "ter" (will have) and the past participle of the main verb:

  • When we finish the course, we will have learned a lot.
  • Quando terminarmos o curso, nós teremos aprendido muito.

So, all you have to do is to understand "ter" future conjugations and pay attention to some irregular past participle endings:

Infinitive: falar ler agir
Eu terei falado terei lido terei agido
Tu terás falado terás lido terás agido
Ele(a) / Você terá falado terá lido terá agido
Nós teremos falado teremos lido teremos agido
Vós tereis falado tereis lido tereis agido
Eles(as) / Vocês terão falado terão lido terão agido

Can one use the phrasal future? (Ex: vai ter + past part.)

In speech, it's common, but many people might consider it wrong in writing. Also, grammar books usually don't even mention this possibility

Medical 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

"Doer" or "machucar"?

The English verb "to hurt" can have two distinct meanings in Portuguese:

  • Something hurts another - Machucar
  • Something is in pain - Doer


  • Minhas pernas doem = My legs hurt
  • Meus sapatos machucam meus dedos dos pés = My shoes hurt my toes

Discarding the possessive adjectives??

An interesting feature in Portuguese is the fact that one can choose to simply not use the possessive adjective if it's obvious something belongs to someone. One uses the definite article instead.

The most common case where it happens is about body parts:

  • He hurt his finger = Ele machucou o dedo
  • She turned her head to look = Ela virou a cabeça para olhar
  • We can move our feet = Nos podemos mexer os pés

But remember: only when it's obvious (something in the sentence states who the owner is). The following sentences would keep the possessive:

  • My head hurts = Minha cabeça dói
  • His arm is strong = O braço dele é forte

Verbs: Subjunctive Present 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

The Subjunctive mood


In Portuguese, there is a mood dedicated to uncertain statements. This mood often confuses English speakers because English barely has this feature.

Even though, English contains subjunctive moods, but they are often ignored or have the same form as the indicative mood.

It's more common to see subjunctive in past in English, especially in "if" sentences:

  • If I were you... (this differs from the indicative "was", but other verbs would seem just like the simple past)

Here, we are going to see the present subjunctive, which can be found in sentences such as:

  • I suggest that he go = Eu sugiro que ele vá

The present subjunctive

Portuguese uses the present subjunctive in much more cases than English.

Typical usages of the subjunctive come after certain verbs that express a "possible" result, but not necessarily certain, and also after some conditional keywords.
Mostly, if other keywords are not present, the present subjunctive conjugations will come after "que". You will also notice that conjugation tables for this tense shows conjugations preceded by "que".

Some verbs asking for the subjunctive

Examples of verbs expressing "hope/doubt"

  • Espero que você esteja bem = I hope you are fine
  • Duvido que seja verdade = I doubt it's true
  • Não creio que seja possível = I don't believe/think it's possible
  • Acredito que as coisas vão melhorar = I believe things will get better
  • Ela deseja que tudo acabe bem = She hopes everything ends well.

Sometimes, the subjunctive mood is also used for commands/suggestions when these commands are given through another verb. In some of these cases, English behaves the same way:

  • Queremos que ela fique por mais tempo = We want her to stay for longer
  • Ordeno que os prisioneiros sejam libertados = I command that the prisoners be freed
  • Eles pedem que tiremos os sapatos antes de entrar = They ask that we take off our shoes before entering
  • Sugiro que eles esperem a tempestade passar = I suggest that they wait for the storm to pass
  • Eu insisto que você prove um pedaço do bolo = I insist that you try a piece of the cake

Because of this, and also because conjugations are the same, many people confuse subjunctive and imperative moods.

Keywords asking for the subjunctive

In many cases, these keywords are either conditional keywords or words that state something that has effect onto the present, or that talks about an expected result:

  • Caso seja verdade, então devemos nos preocupar = In case it's true, then we should worry
  • Embora sejamos grandes, não podemos alcançar o céu = Although we are big, we can't reach the sky
  • Farei isto, mesmo que ele não concorde = I'll do this, even if he doesn't agree.
  • Ainda que eu queira, não posso = Even if I want to, I can't.
  • Acharei você, nem que eu precise ir até o fim do mundo = I'll find you, even if I need to go to the ends of the earth
  • Tome o remédio para que melhore = Take your medicine so that you get better
  • Faça tudo de modo que não deixe nenhum vestígio = Do everything in a way that doesn't leave any trace.

Present subjunctive conjugations

Regular conjugations

Infinitive: Amar Comer Abrir
que eu ame coma abra
que tu ames comas abras
que ele ame coma abra
que nós amemos comamos abramos
que vós ameis comais abrais
que eles amem comam abram

Irregular "ser", "estar" and "ver"

Infinitive: Ser Estar Ver
que eu seja esteja veja
que tu sejas estejas vejas
que ele seja esteja veja
que nós sejamos estejamos vejamos
que vós sejais estejais vejais
que eles sejam estejam vejam

As you may have noticed or read, all these conjugations are identical to the negative imperative conjugations. Nevertheless, that does not mean they are the same thing. Imperative mood is used when giving orders, while the subjunctive is required in certain expressions or by certain desire verbs.

Arts 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Pintura x Quadro

The words may overlap their meanings, but:

  • Pintura = painting
  • Foto / Fotografia = Photograph
  • Quadro = A square frame for paintings or pictures.

When the paintings and photos are hanging on the wall, people will mostly refer to them as "quadros".

Also, when talking about paintings from famours painters, "quadro" will be the choice.


Again, the English verb "to play" may cause some confusion. Remember:

  • Tocar = to play an instrument
  • Jogar = to play a game
  • Brincar = (simply) to play / have fun / make jokes

Verbs: Continuous 2 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Stative verbs

Portuguese doesn't have stative verbs. That means that virtually any verb can be used in the continuous forms.

For that reason, some of the translations may not be as straightforward as we expect:

  • Estou me lembrando de você = I remember you (I'm starting to remember you)
  • O que você está querendo com isso? = What do you want (to achieve) with that?
  • Estou adorando! = I love it!

Abstract Objects IV 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Por cause de

A common expression meaning "because of":

  • Tudo isto está acontecendo por causa do novo sistema = All of this is happening because of the new system
  • Estamos aqui por sua causa = We are here because of you

Verbs: Conditional 1 · 2019-02-20 ^

Futuro do pretérito

This lesson is about a particular tense, known in Portuguese as "Futuro do Pretérito" (future of the past).

It gives the verb a meaning that is in most cases equal to that of the auxiliary verb "would". So it's used in conditionals.

The regular conjugations are quite easy, for they don't change the infinitive part of the verb, they only add an extra ending.

Here they go:

Navegar Saber Partir
Eu navegaria saberia partiria
Tu navegarias saberias partirias
Ele(a) / Você navegaria saberia partiria
Nós navegaríamos saberíamos partiríamos
Vós navegaríeis saberíeis partiríeis
Eles(as) / Vocês navegariam saberiam partiriam
  • Navegar = to sail
  • Saber = to know / to know how to
  • Partir = to depart / to leave

Verbs: Conditional Perfect 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

This conditional form uses "ter" in "Futuro do pretérito" tense + the main verb in past participle.

It's for things that "would have been":

  • Ele teria chegado atrasado = He would have arrived late
  • I would have found you = Eu teria te encontrado

Also, this conjugation is often used for a specific kind of conditional, which works like the English counterpart. In the "if" clause, the subjunctive tense is used:

Lang. If clause Main (would have) clause
(en) If + Had + Past Participle Would have + Past Participle
(pt) Se + Ter (Past Subjunctive) + Past participle Ter (Future of the Past) + Past Participle


  • If I had gone to bed early, I would have caught the train
  • Se eu tivesse ido para a cama cedo, eu teria pego o trem

* - Optionally, it's possible to use "haver" instead of "ter".

An informal option:

There is also the possibility of an informal version using imperfect past, but it may not work if the phrase doesn't contain both clauses:

  • Se eu tivesse ido para a cama cedo, eu tinha pego o trem

If the sentence is just a plain sentence without the "if clause", listeners will probably assume the standard imperfect past meaning.

Conjugations for "Ter" and "Haver"

In this skill, there are very little examples using the past subjunctive. These will appear later in the past subjunctive skill. Nevertheless, you can see some conjugations below.

Ter / Haver Fut. do Pretérito Pret. Subj.
Eu Teria / Havia Tivesse / Houvesse
Tu Terias / Havias Tivesses / Houvesses
Ele(a) / Você Teria / Havia Tivesse / Houvesse
Nós Teríamos / Havíamos Tivéssemos / Houvéssemos
Vós Teríeis / Havíeis Tivésseis / Houvésseis
Eles(as) / Vocês Teriam / Haviam Tivessem / Houvessem

Verbs: Modal 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Modal verbs in Portuguese work just as they do in English.

They take the conjugations and come before an infinitive verb. The only difference is that they have several conjugations in Portuguese, just like any other verb.

Conjugations in Portuguese should follow their normal meanings, such as:

  • Pretérito perfeito: final result in past
  • Pretérito imperfeito: ongoing action in a time room in past
  • Futuro do pretérito: hypothetical/conditional actions

Some modal verbs


"Poder" can often be translated as "can", but it can also mean "to be able to" and "to have permission to", thus being sometimes "can/could", sometimes "may/might" and "be able to".

  • Só ele pode fazer isto = Only he can do this
  • Posso ir ao banheiro? = May I go to the bathroom?
  • O carro poderia ser vermelho = The car could be red
  • Isso pode funcionar = That might work
  • Eu tentei, mas não pude encontrar = I tried, but I wasn't able to find it
  • Eu poderia comer mais, mas não quero = I could eat more, but I don't want to
  • Ele não podia dormir porque tinha medo do escuro = He couldn't sleep because he was afraid of the dark


"Dever" can have many shades of meaning, from an obligation to a probability, thus matching "must", "should", "shall", "need to", depending on context.

  • Devemos nos reportar ao chefe = We must report ourselves to the boss
  • Isso deve funcionar = This should/must work
  • Tudo deveria ser diferente = Everything should be different
  • O cliente deve pagar até o primeiro dia de Janeiro = The client shall/must pay until the first day of January.

* - When not a modal verb, "dever" means "to owe".


"Precisar" means "to need" or "to have to".

  • Preciso ir = I have to go

Verbs: Subjunctive Past 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

The Past Subjunctive

The past subjunctive talks about actions in the past that are uncertain and also about hypothetical things in general.

In English, you can find past subjunctive in "if clauses":

  • If I were you, I would stay here = Se eu fosse você, eu ficaria aqui

The conditions for using the past subjunctive are very similar to those for using the present subjunctive. There is just a difference in tenses.

But here, a very important case comes into play: the conditionals!

Conditionals with "if"

One of the most important usages of the past subjunctive is for creating conditionals. You will notice also that the "if" keyword (se) is present in conjugation tables.

  • Se eu fosse rico, compraria um barco = If I were rich, I'd buy a boat
  • Nós iríamos à praia se não estivesse chovendo = We would go to the beach if it weren't raining
  • Se eles gostassem de biscoitos, eu lhes daria uma caixa = If they liked cookies, I'd give them a box

Optionally, there is the informal possibility of using the imperfect past in the main clause:

  • Se eu fosse rico, comprava um barco

Some verbs asking for the subjunctive

Examples of verbs expressing "hope/doubt" in past:

  • Eu esperava que você voltasse = I was expecting you to come back
  • Duvido que fosse verdade = I doubt it was true
  • Não creio que fosse possível = I don't believe/think it was possible
  • Eu não acreditava que fosse possível = I didn't believe it was possible
  • Eu acreditava que as coisas fossem melhorar = I believed things were going to get better
  • Ela desejava que tudo acabasse bem = She was hoping everything would end well

Verbs giving orders:

  • Ordenei que os prisioneiros fossem libertados = I commanded that the prisoners be freed
  • Eles pediram que tirássemos os sapatos antes de entrar = They asked us to take off our shoes before entering
  • Sugeri que eles esperassem a tempestade passar = I suggested that they wait for the storm to pass
  • Ela insistiu que eu provasse um pedaço do bolo = She insisted that I try a piece of the cake

Keywords asking for the subjunctive

Here too, some keywords will ask for the past subjunctive just like they do in present tense. But now, a very important keyword comes into play: "if"; allowing us to create the most common conditionals. (Note that "if" is present in the conjugation tables for past subjunctive)

  • Caso fosse verdade, então deveríamos nos preocupar = If it were true, then we should worry
  • Embora fôssemos grandes, não podíamos alcançar o céu = Although we were big, we couldn't reach the sky
  • Eu faria isto, mesmo que ele não concordasse = I'd do this, even if he didn't agree
  • Ainda que eu quisesse, não poderia = Even if I wanted to, I couldn't
  • Eu acharia você, nem que eu precisasse dar a volta ao mundo = I would find you, even if I needed to circle the world around.
  • Ele tomou o remédio para que melhorasse = He took the medicine in order to get better
  • Ela fez tudo de modo que não deixasse vestígios = She did everything in a way that didn't leave traces

Past subjunctive conjugations

In this table there are three regular conjugations (ar, er, ir) and the verbs "ser" and "estar":

Infinitive: Amar Comer Abrir
se eu amasse comesse abrisse
se tu amasses comesses abrisses
se ele amasse comesse abrisse
se nós amássemos comêssemos abríssemos
se vós amásseis comêsseis abrísseis
se eles amassem comessem abrissem

Some irregular verbs

Infinitive: Ser Estar
se eu fosse estivesse
se tu fosses estivesses
se ele fosse estivesse
se nós fôssemos estivéssemos
se vós fôsseis estivésseis
se eles fossem estivessem

* - The conjugations for "ir" are exactly the same as "ser" in this tense.

Infinitive: Ter Haver
se eu tivesse houvesse
se tu tivesses houvesses
se ele tivesse houvesse
se nós tivéssemos houvéssemos
se vós tivésseis houvésseis
se eles tivessem houvessem

Verbs: Past Imperfect 2 2 · 2019-10-30 ^

Pretérito imperfeito

"Imperfect"? What does it mean?

Originally, the term "perfect" was used for "completed" actions, although today some "perfect" tenses don't really follow this strictly.

On the other hand, "imperfect" isn't about "conclusions".

In Portuguese, the imperfect past talks about something that "was true" or "was happening" during a certain time period in the past.

It's great for continuous actions in the past, habits and steady states creating contexts: things that "were being", if you allow us to use a "non-standard" English.
While the "pretérito perfeito" (the one you've studied so far) is great for "changing" something from an unconcluded to a concluded state.

Continuous meanings

In many cases, this tense has a continuous meaning, especially when the "while" idea is present:

  • Eu cozinhava enquanto ela tomava banho = I was cooking while she was showering.
  • Ele comia enquanto esperava o trem = He was eating while he waited (was waiting) for the train

Old habits

Since old habits are things that used to happen, spread along a time period, the "imperfect" tense is also the right form for this:

  • Ele escrevia livros antes de se mudar = He used to write books before he moved
  • Ela tinha muitos gatos na sua primeira casa = She had (used to have) many cats in her first house

But is "used to" really the right translation? Well, it's an adaptation to convey the right meaning, since simple past can often be interpreted differently.

The literal translation of "used to" is "costumava" (and its conjugations for other persons)

  • I used to swim a lot = Eu costumava nadar bastante
  • We used to ride bikes = Nós costumávamos andar de bicicleta

When "used to" is a good option, "would" can also be a good one. But never with a standard conditional meaning.

Setting the scenery in past

Because scenery is something that is just there, not changing anything, not acting nor completing actions, "imperfect past" is also the best choice to describe it. The scenery "was just being" while the story happened.

  • Era um dia frio, a casa estava vazia, mas João sentiu um estranho desejo de se levantar mais cedo = It was a cold day, the house was empty, but João felt a strange will of getting up earlier
  • As montanhas estavam brancas, cobertas de neve, e as arvores eram todas verdes, os pássaros cantavam alegremente = The mountains were white, covered in snow, and the trees were all green, the birds sang (were singing) happily.


  • Eu andei de bicicleta = I rode a bike / I have ridden a bike
  • Eu andava de bicicleta = I rode bikes / I was riding a bike / I used to ride a bike

One interesting rule for simple actions is: if you can use English's present perfect, then also use Portuguese's "pretérito perfeito".


Infinitive: Pegar Mover Cumprir
Eu Pegava Movia Cumpria
Tu Pegavas Movias Cumprias
Ele(a) / Você Pegava Movia Cumpria
Nós Pegávamos Movíamos Cumpríamos
Vós Pegáveis Movíeis Cumpríeis
Eles(as) / Vocês Pegavam Moviam Cumpriam

Verbs: Subjunctive Pluperfect 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Pretérito mais-que-perfeito do subjuntivo

Following rules similar to the other subjunctive mood tenses, here comes the "pretérito mais-que-perfeito", which is for things that happened before another event in the past. (Or, in the subjunctive case, had the possibility of happening, or was a hypothetical occurrence, etc.)

This tense is formed with the past subjunctive of "ter" plus the main verb in past participle. In many cases, this will match the English form "had happened". (Optionally, "haver" can be used instead)

Conditionals with "if"

The conditionals with this tense can have two types of main clauses:

  • The ones that would have happened in the past, using "teria(...) + past participle"
  • The ones that would apply generally and to the present, using "futuro do pretérito".


  • Se eu tivesse chegado mais cedo, ela não teria ficado brava = If I had arrived earlier, she would not have gotten upset
  • Nós teríamos ido à praia se não tivesse chovido naquele dia = We would have gone to the beach if it had not rained that day
  • Se eles tivessem comprado nossos biscoitos, hoje estaríamos ricos = If they had bought our cookies, today we would be rich

Here, all examples talk about hypothetical situations in the past. The first two, talks about the hypothetical results in the past while the third one talks about the hypothetical result in present.

As the other "futuro do pretérito" conditionals, there is also the informal possibility of using the imperfect past in the main clause:

  • Se eu tivesse chegado mais cedo, ela não tinha ficado brava

Some verbs asking for the subjunctive

Examples of verbs expressing "hope/doubt/belief" in past:

  • Eu achei que você tivesse voltado = I thought you had come back.
  • Duvidei que ela tivesse ficado = I doubted that she had stayed
  • Ele queria que o Brasil tivesse sido campeão = He wishes Brazil had been the champion

* - The use of "queria" is very common meaning "would like" or "wish", although it literally means "wanted".

Keywords asking for the subjunctive

Here too, some keywords will ask for the past subjunctive just like they do in present tense. But now, a very important keyword comes into play: "if"; allowing us to create the most common conditionals. (Note that "if" is present in the conjugation tables for past subjunctive)

  • Caso isto tivesse acontecido, teríamos mudado nossos planos = In case this had happened, we would have changed our plans
  • Embora tivéssemos sido grandes, não pudemos alcançar o céu = Although we had been big, we were not able to reach the sky
  • Eu teria feito isto, mesmo que ele não tivesse concordado = I would have done this, even if he had not agreed
  • Ainda que eu tivesse voltado, meu coração teria ficado = Even if I had returned, my heart would have stayed
  • Eu teria achado você, nem que eu tivesse precisado ir até o fim do mundo = I would have found you, even if I had needed to go to the ends of the earth
  • Era para ter sido feito de modo que não tivesse deixado nenhum vestígio = It should have been done in a way that hadn't left any trace

Past subjunctive conjugations for ter and haver

Infinitive: Ter Haver
se eu tivesse houvesse
se tu tivesses houvesses
se ele(a) / você tivesse houvesse
se nós tivéssemos houvéssemos
se vós tivésseis houvésseis
se eles(as) / vocês tivessem houvessem

Business 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

A few words


"Interesse" is a false friend in a business/economic context.

In Portuguese, this word is not used as an amount of money one pays as interest. It means only "something one is interested in".

For money interests, the word used is "juros", used almost always in plural:

  • O banco cobra juros pelos empréstimos = The bank charges interests for the loans.


"Fábrica" is another false friend. In Portuguese, it means "factory" (a place that produces goods).

For "fabric (material)", use "tecido" instead.

  • Este tecido é macio = This fabric is soft
  • A fábrica produz gases tóxicos = The factory produces toxic gasses.
  • Uma fábrica de tecidos = A fabric factory

Idioms and Proverbs 1 · 2021-09-24 ^

Hey everybody!!!

This bonus skill might seem pretty confusing at first. (And it really is :p).

Why is that?? Well....the translations here are definitely not literal. The main purpose of this lesson is not to teach grammar and normal language translations, but to teach how people commonly say things in everyday life.

Since we are talking about idioms and proverbs, each language will have their own way of saying things.

That said, please don't get frustrated if you can't do it right on the first attempts. We hope you have fun!

75 skills with tips and notes