This basic Portuguese Brazilian language course is in two parts. The first consisting of useful phrases which are learnt without regard to any particular grammatical points.
The second is a series of lessons illustrating some basic grammar. These lessons will be particularly helpful when used in conjunction with a phrasesbook enabling you to construct and modify sentences.
A very basic grammar covering some of the most important points to help you build simple sentences - and modify those from phrase books. The headings are split into lessons, each containing sentences illustrating the point, and all with audio recorded by a native speaker from Brazil.
The simple sentences don't cover or mention exceptions.
Like many European languages, Brazilian Portuguese uses different words for "you", depending on the degree of formality required. In broad terms, tu and você (both meaning singular "you") are used in informal situations, while in formal contexts o senhor, a senhora (masculine singular, feminine singular) are preferred.
In parts of Brazil, você represents an intermediate degree of formality between tu (familiar) and o senhor (very formal). However, você has replaced tu in some parts of Brazil - which according to the
wiki entry is mainly in the southeast of Brazil.
So to sum up, in general terms, tu is used in informal situations, o senhor is very formal and voce is somewhere in the middle. The example sentences use both informal and formal forms.
Portuguese nouns are either masculine or feminine. Words ending in an o are usually masculine and words ending in a are usually feminine. Words ending in ão may be either masculine or feminine, so you must learn the gender
The definite article 'the' and indefinite article 'a' used depends on the gender and number of the noun.
The definite article is either: o (masculine singular), a (feminine singular), os (masculine plural) and as (feminine plural).
The indefinite article 'a' is either um (masculine singular), uma (feminine singular), unos (masculine plural) and umas (feminine plural).
|Uma cidade||Cidade 'city' is feminine and 'a' is uma|
|O hotel||Hotel 'hotel' is masculine and 'the' is o.|
|A chiave||Chiave 'key' is feminine and 'the' is a.|
|Os livros||Livro 'book' is masculine and the masculine plural of 'the' is os.|
|As casas||Casa 'house' is feminine and the feminine plural of 'the' is as.|
Adjectives must be inflected according to the gender and number of the noun referred to. E.g. the o in branco changes to a, as and os to agree with carro (masculine singular), casa (feminine singular), aves (masculine plural) and gatos (feminine plural).
|This nice white car||Este lindo carro branco|
|This nice white house||Esta linda casa branca|
|These nice white birds||Estas lindas aves brancas|
|These nice white cats||Estes lindos gatos brancos|
Generally to make an adjective plural, an s is added to the singular version. So pequeno becomes pequenos and pequena becomes pequenas.
|The houses are small||As casas são pequenas|
|The rooms are small||Os quartos são pequenos|
The normal sentence structure is subject verb object - as in many of the previous examples. These sample sentences also show the use some of the irregular verbs.
A demonstrative is a word like 'this/that/these and those', and is often accompanied by pointing. Again, like adjectives, demonstratives change depending on the noun referred to.
In the singular, 'this' is este (masculine), esta (feminine), and in the plural estes (masculine) and estas (feminine).
Portuguese verbs conjugate depending on the meaning needed.However, unlike the other Romance languages, tu uses the same verb endings as você, meaning there are no second person verbs. This is similar in the plural and in contast to other Romance languages. Tu, você and o senhor all use the 3rd person of the relevant verb.
Infinitives There are three Portuguese conjugations with (infinitive) forms ending in ar, er, and ir.
When the ending (ar, er, or ir) is removed the verb stem remains. Endings are added to the verb stem to change the meaning. The endings vary depending to which of the conjugations the verb belongs. The following examples are in the present tense.
Trabalhar, is an ar verb with a stem of trabalh:
|I work||Eu trabalho|
|He works||Ele trabalhou|
|She works||Ela trabalhou|
|We work||Nós trabalhamos|
|You (plural) work||Vocês trabalham|
|They work (masculine)||Eles trabalham|
|They work (feminine)||Elas trabalham|
The pronouns Eu 'I', Você 'you', Ele 'he', Ela 'she' ... are often omitted if the subject is clear from the context.
Comer, is an er verb:
Partir, is an ir verb:
Many of the most common and useful verbs are irregular.
|To be able||Poder|
There are two verbs meaning 'to be' and these are used in different situations.
In Portuguese prepositions (and demonstratives) are combined with a following article to form contractions. There are numerous contractions, for example:
|de + a||da|
|em + as||nas|
|em + os||nos|
|a + os||aos|
and so on ... Example sentences using contractions.
There are various ways of asking questions. A statement can become a question using a 'question word' such as 'who, where, what'. Statements can also be changed into questions by changing the intonation of the phrase. For example, posso 'I can' with a change in emphasis becomes posso? 'Can I?'.
|Where from?||De onde?|
|To where?||Para onde?|
|At what time?||A que horas?|
Possessive pronouns have masculine, feminine, singular and plural forms and agree with the noun/thing being possessed. The masculine singular form of my is meu and the feminine singular is minha. So 'my address' is meu enderêço as address is masculine, but 'my key' is minha chave as the word for key is feminine.
|my||meu minha meus minhas|
|your||seu sua seus suas|
|our, ours||nosso, nossa, nossos, nossass|
Seu, sua etc. may also mean his, her, their, theirs. To avoid confusion dele 'of him, his', dela 'of her, her', deles 'of them, their (m)' and delas 'theirs (f)' are used when necessary.
Dele and dela are not affected by the thing possessed: a mala dele 'his suitcase' and a malas dele 'his suitcases'.
The definite article as 'the' is often used with these possessives. E.g. As minhas casas 'my houses'.
Portuguese phrases 'Get by' words and phrases.
Some of the example sentences above are from the FSI Brazilian Portuguese language course now in the public domain. It is good but dated and lacking audio, with many of the examples and situations of little relevance.
Learningportuguese.co.uk contains explanations of Portuguese grammar (and more) - http://www.learningportuguese.co.uk
More Brazilian Portuguese phrases can be found : http://wikitravel.org which also contains some (basic) grammatical explanations.
There is also a very much more detailed Wiki entry describing Portuguese grammar.