Introduction to Portuguese: Lesson 3

Portuguese for you is você.

We are risking to get advanced here but você is used to mean you all of the time in Brazilian Portuguese and when you are talking semi-formally in European Portuguese. Don’t worry about it and just use it forever if at doubt.

To make verbs in the infinitive to você form verbs you usually remove the r from the end.

Let’s try this with to speak which is falar. How would you say:

1 translation: You speak Italian.

There is a variation of the word for good (which is bom) and that variation is bem and it means well.

In Portuguese you usually do well something instead of doing something well. Try to say:

2 translation: You speak Portuguese well.

Try this r off rule with precisar de (you need this precisely).

3 translation: You do not need to speak English.

Just like with so becoming sou out of ser, there are exception to this r off rule as well. In fact you already know one of them because:

The Portuguese verb form for you uses the same endings as the form for he, she, it does.

If you want to know more details, this is because você used to mean something like mister so you always say mister is here to mean you are here or mister speaks for you speak and so on.

You already know the word for is is é in Portuguese. Since the two forms are the same, the word for are is the same as that for is. Thus you can say to a woman:

4 translation: You are American.

Portuguese for or is ou.

It is almost the same as in English except you have u in the place of r. This is not hard to remember since o and r are pretty close in the alphabet: m n o p q r s t...

If you want to ask questions you simply say it as a statement and raise your intonation just like you do in English. Ask to a man:

5 translation: Are you American or English?

Let’s look at the word americano for describing a man and americana for describing a woman. The only difference is that you have o for man and a for woman. These letters o and a can also form separate words in Portuguese and they are very important words because they act for two important purposes.

First of all:

The words o for masculine things and a for feminine things are the equivalent of the English word the in Portuguese.

So, talking about the man you would say:

6 translation: The American.

Talking about a woman you would say:

7 translation: The Italian.

That was the first important thing. The second is:

These masculine o and feminine a can also be the word for him or her.

So, just for the sake of illustration, Portuguese for I see is eu vejo. If you wanna say I see him you would say eu vejo o and I see her would be eu vejo a. This can come in handy for you in the future.

Moreover:

The masculine o is also the word for it.

The feminine a can also be used as the word for it when it describes feminine things. Don’t worry about that now, though. Let’s just settle on the default word for it which is o.

Portuguese for to know is saber.

I bet you can get anybody to know anything by using your light saber...

The only difference is that in Portuguese you say sah-ber instead of seiber like you do in English.

Say:

8 translation: You know English.

You can also use the word for it which is as you know o and say:

9 translation: You know it.

If we followed the eu rule, I know should be eu sabo. It’s not. However, this is not a problem since the word for I know is by chance encoded in the English pronounciation for the word saber because it sounds just like the sa part.

Portuguese for I know is sei.

As you think about it, it also sounds like just say. If that helps you better you can think I know what I say instead of sa from saber to remember that I know is sei.

Say:

10 translation: I know it.

If you ask questions, this is what you might hear a lot.

11 translation: I don’t know.

Start getting used to it.

Answers to Lesson 3

1 answer: Você fala italiano.
2 answer: Você fala bem português.
3 answer: Você não precisa de falar inglês.
4 answer: Você é americana.
5 answer: Você é americano ou inglês?
6 answer: O americano.
7 answer: A italiana.
8 answer: Você sabe inglês.
9 answer: Você sabe o.
10 answer: Eu sei o.
11 answer: Eu não sei.