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Introduction to Portuguese Basics:
Lesson 10

By Linas

Could you guess the Portuguese word for smart or, hint, inteligent:

Inteligent

Answer: Inteligente
Not correct. Please try again.

Now, the Portuguese word for person is similar as in English except it has a few changes:

Portuguese for person is pessoa.

So, how would you say:

The smart person

Answer: A pessoa inteligente
Not correct. Please try again.

Now, say:

It’s possible that this person is inteligent.

Answer: É possivel que esta pessoa é inteligente.
Not correct. Please try again.

What if you wanted to say "smarter"? That’s very simple - you say more smart (or more inteligent).

The Portuguese word for more is mais.

There is a very famous Portuguese saying mais ou menos which means more or less. You hear it all the time if you listen to Portuguese.

So, how would you say:

More inteligent

Answer: Mais inteligente
Not correct. Please try again.

Now, English only uses more for certain words. You can say more interesting but you can’t say more fast. In Portuguese, you use mais all the time (except maybe 3 words or something).

It is handy to know that the Portuguese word for than is the same as the Portuguese word for that - que.

Say:

This mister is more inteligent than this person.

Answer: Este senhor é mais inteligente que esta pessoa.
Not correct. Please try again.

The Portuguese word for that (as in: that thing) is esse (or, of course, essa if it’s feminine).

So, say:

This word is more interesting than that word.

Answer: Esta palavra é mais interessante que essa palavra.
Not correct. Please try again.

Now, if you remember, the saying was more or less - mais ou menos. Guess how you would say:

Less interesting

Answer: Menos interessante
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This is less interesting.

Answer: Isso é menos interessante.
Not correct. Please try again.

Alright, what if you wanted to say better? You could say mais bom but that’s not how it works (you don’t say more good in English as well). There is a special word for Portuguese in it:

The Portuguese word for better is melhor.

Now, know that:

Portuguese for book is livro.

The word is almost impossible to forget because of the existance of the word library.

So, how would you say:

This book is better.

Answer: Este livro é melhor.
Not correct. Please try again.

This book is better than that book because this book has very interesting words.

Answer: Este livro é melhor que esse livro porque este livro tem palavras muito interessantes.
Not correct. Please try again.

For the fun of it, I’ll tell you the word big and bigger (both of them you already know indirectly).

The Portuguese word for big is grande.

Think of grandeur and you got it. Say:

This book is very big.

Answer: Este livro é muito grande.
Not correct. Please try again.

Now, what do you think bigger would be? Mais grande? It should be that but the Portuguese have another word for it as well:

The Portuguese word for bigger is maior.

You know this word already because the English word mayor is the same word, and, mayor means in fact bigger (a thing to note: that a in Portuguese maior is pronounced differently than in mayor but otherwise the words are the same).

So, how would you say:

This book is bigger than that book.

Answer: Este livro é maior que esse livro.
Not correct. Please try again.

Alright. Last thing for today. What if you wanted to say the most interesting, the smartest, the biggest etc.? Well, you say it by saying the more interesting, the more smart, the better, etc.

So, how would you say:

This person is the most inteligent.

Answer: Esta pessoa é a mais inteligente.
Not correct. Please try again.

If you wanted to say the most interesting book, you would say the book the most interesting:

The most interesting book

Answer: O livro o mais interessante
Not correct. Please try again.

What about the best? Well, it’s simply the more good or, as it works in Portuguese, the better. Say it:

The best

Answer: O melhor
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That book is the biggest but this book is the best.

Answer: Esse livro é o maior mais este livro é o melhor.
Not correct. Please try again.

In conclusion: comparing this is very easy in Portuguese.

And this is the end of the Portuguese course (for now). Hopefully you found it fun and instructive!