Brazilian Portuguese/Lesson 3

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In this lesson, you will learn:

  • How to describe yourself
  • How to conjugate verbs in the present tense
  • Common adjectives

Describing yourself[edit | edit source]

Everyone is familiar with myspace. It's pretty much your own space on the web to fill in information about you. Who you are, where you live, what you like, etc. The Brazilian equivalent of myspace is Orkut. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to write about yourself in Portuguese? Well, by the end of this lesson, you may just be able to (and make a lot of new Brazilian friends to practice your Portuguese with in Orkut ^^).

First, let's talk about your outward appearance and personal information. What color is your hair? What is your nationality? What is your profession? To describe all of these you would use the verb 'ser.'

So here are some words that you might use:

cabelo hair

louro(a) blond

morena brunette

vermelho(a) red

preto black

alto(a) tall

baixo short

jovem young

velho(a) old

nacionalidade nationality

americano(a) American

brasileiro(a) Brazilian

canadense Canadian

Português(esa) Portuguese

profissão profession

professor(a) teacher/professor

doutor doctor

advogado, jurisconsulto lawyer

caminhoneiro truck driver

estudante/aluno(a) student

Asking for/Giving Names[edit | edit source]

There are two different ways in Portuguese to ask someone or tell someone their/your name. In English, we just say "My name is..." but in Portuguese you can not only say that but also "I am called..."

Here's how to ask for/give names.

  1. Ask: Como se chama? = lit. how are you called?

Answer: Me chamo... = I am called...

  1. Ask: Qual é o seu nome?

Answer: Meu nome é...

By now, you should be able to fill in these blanks:

 Oi! Meu nome é ____________.  Eu sou _(nationality)_. Eu sou um(a) __(profession)__.

Note: In Portuguese it is not necessary to use the indefinite article 'um(a)' for professions. Ex. Sou professor(a).

Grammar: Conjugating present tense -AR verbs[edit | edit source]

In Portuguese there are three types of infinitive verb endings: -AR verbs, -ER verbs and -IR verbs. the way you conjugate them is that you drop the infinitive ending and add the conjugated ending according to the subject pronoun used. Here's a table to conjugate -AR verbs, followed by an example.

Subject Ending
I -o
You -a
He -a
She -a
We -amos
They -am

An example of -ar conjugation:

  • Falar is a regular -ar verb in the infinitive form. We want to conjugate it so that it means, "I speak" instead of "to speak."
  • Drop the -ar ending, leaving just fal-
  • Add the -o ending and you get falo which now translates to "I speak" or "I am speaking."
English Portugues
I speak Eu falo
You speak Você fala
He speaks Ele fala
She speaks Ela fala
We speak Nos falamos
They speak Eles falam

Here are some more of the countless -AR verbs that this conjugation applies to...

ajudar (to help), comprar (to buy), descansar (to rest), estudar (to study), jogar (to play a sport), tocar (to play an instrument), tomar (to take/drink), trabalhar (to work), viajar (to travel)

Eu te ajudo = I help you

Ele compra umas laranjas = He buys some oranges

Ela joga o futebol = She plays football

Nos tomamos cerveja = We drink beer

Eles trabalham em Londres = They work in London