Portuguese Basics: Lesson 1

The Portuguese word for is is é.

Because of that accent, it is pronounced like é in fiancé (duh).

The Portuguese word for good is bom.

The om sound is supposed to be nasal so you should say it through your nose. There are a few nasal sounds like this in Portuguese but they are not so difficult to get. You just pronounce the o normally and eat the m. Just try to say the m very quickly and it should come out nasal.

To say it is good, you just skip it and say is good. How do you say that?

?It is good|É bom

The Portuguese word for much is muito.

Looks similar, doesn’t it? Here is another one that looks similar:

The word for time is tempo.

This one has the same root as words like temporal.

Look, just like in bom, in this case em is also a nasal sound (om and em always are). So, it too is supposed to be pronounced through your nose. Don’t worry about that too much, though. Let’s get back to the lesson.

We need one more component to make this more fun.

The word for to have is ter.

Once again, e is pronounced like é because it is stressed (and it is such a short word so they had to stress the e because there was nothing else to stress – otherwise they tend to stress the syllable before the last). Anyway.

You now have all the necessary knowledge to make a full-blown sentence. Just think it out and write it.

?It is good to have much time.|É bom ter muito tempo.

The Portuguese word for not is não.

The ã has this ~ sign on the top and that means the sound is a nasal a sound so it is supposed to be said through your nose again. That was just to let you know. In speech it comes out like this almost automatically so don’t worry about it.

If you want to say that something is not you just put not in front of is. How do you say:

?It is not good.|Não é bom.


?It is not good not to have time.|Não é bom não ter tempo.

Try adding much as well:

?It is not good not to have much time.|Não é bom não ter muito tempo.

Truth is, the Portuguese don’t have a word for very. Now, what do you think they say to say very?

They just say much. If something is very good then it’s simply much good for the Portuguese. How do you write that:

?Very good.|Muito bom.

?It is not very good.|Não é muito bom.

See how easy it is? Do this last one and we’ll be done for the first lesson.

?It is not very good not to have much time.|Não é muito bom não ter muito tempo.

Imagine, you can already say phrases like that and it was only the first lesson.

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