Tricky Verbs & Words in Portuguese Part 2


The Brazilian Portuguese language post that was here has been made, along with the other similar posts, into content for my new ebooks/PDFs that I’ll be announcing very shortly. Thanks!

– Adam

15 thoughts on “Tricky Verbs & Words in Portuguese Part 2

  1. From user Binho on Orkut, in reference to this post.

    TER and HAVER meaning “TO EXIST” or “TO OCCUR” are impersonal. TEM/HÁ DOIS CARROS. TEVE/HOUVE vários acidentes hoje à tarde.

    Your explanation was too short, I think. You said HAVER can mean TER… But in which situations?! ONLY IF ‘haver’ is an auxiliary verb.. You forgot to mention it. We don’t want to see anyone saying EU HEI DOIS CARROS.. Não dá, né?

    It’s quite simple.
    ‘ter’ means TO POSSESS.. I have a car – Eu tenho um carro.

    HAVER and TER can be used as auxiliary verb in some verb tenses… Both are interchangeable, buuuuuuuuuuuut, HAVER isn’t normally used during a normal speech. You find it only in books, literature or formal speech.

    I had explained him everything.
    Eu tinha/havia lhe explicado tudo.

    TER (not HAVER) is also used in VERB PHRASES like TER QUE meaning HAVE TO.

    I have to do this. – Eu tenho que fazer isso.

    HAVER (not TER) is also used in an old VERB PHRASE:

    Eu hei de vencer na vida = I shall win in life (literally).
    Deus há de me ajudar = God will help me.

  2. From user Binho on Orkut in reference to this post.

    Ele passou duas horas trabalhando. – (Here you are impartial. You are basically saying the information about the time she took up)
    Ele gastou duas horas trabalhando. (Here you are being more partial. Quando se GASTAM duas horas, its because this time could be used on something else…meaning you are implicitly giving your opinion about the time used…o tempo FOI GASTO).
    Ele levou duas horas pra terminar o trabalho.

    (LEVAR TEMPO generally refers to how much its needed…how much time you need)…


    My wife needs two hours to take a shower.
    Minha mulher leva duas horas pra tomar banho. (it takes her two hours…)…

    Eu levo uma hora pra chegar no centro de ônibus.
    It takes me one hour to get downtown by bus.

  3. Hi Adam,

    thanks for posting my comments…

    I would like to add a comment about QUEM DERA.


    Quem dera isso acontecesse/acontecer
    Quem dera eu ganhasse/ganhar na Mega-Sena.

    TOMARA QUE…is also a good expression… TOMARA QUE means “I/WE HOPE”


    Tomara que não chova hoje.
    I hope it won’t rain today.

    Tomara que ele não tenha feito nada de errado.
    I hope he didn’t do anything wrong.

  4. Hey man, up there on “Né isso?”, the most popular expression would be “Não é isso?”, “Né isso” is not very commum, they both mean the same, but for a natural brazilian speaker, Né isso might sound a bit unnconfortable for the ears =)

    • Hi,

      I was using “né isso?” as per the Brazilians living in the US, which I have heard them use enough times to single it out. I realize “não é isso?” is more correct but I think “né isso?” may be replacing it with the high rate that Brazilians say “né?” being taken into consideration. Of course, what works or even what sounds nice for one group of Brazilians, may not sound great to another. No problem in that.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. Hi, I’m a Brazilian living in the US but not as used to the second language as you are. I was reading it and I noticed that maybe you should fix the following explanation:
    “esperto vs inteligente – Esperto means smart, as in slick. Literally it means expert. Inteligente means intelligent.”
    Actually, inteligente also mean smart. I’m not sure if I’m right, but intelligent is more like intelectual. And maybe on the “Qual ‘e?” part, you should add “what’s up?” as a meaning. And you can go further and put “kole?” that is like an internet slang.
    Whatever, very nice job here! Very useful for both English speaker learning Portuguese and Portuguese speaker learning English!
    Congratulations and thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  6. Some suggestion to add in future posts:

    zoar, zombar, gastar – make fun of, joke around…

    ‘e nois – is us (?), it’s we (?) (I alway say that to friends here but I never really know how to explain what it is!)

    (dar) pala – used as “laugh a lot”, maybe same as lol, lmao, lmfao in internet slang. Also used as “problem” with something, say that it’s not working well or as it was supposed to work.

    V’ei, Muleque [muleke, mlk, lek], truta, mano – Depending on the region, all used for buddy, man, dog, bro, etc…

    Aded^e – how some brazilian pronounce “add”; imported from internet (orkut, msn, …)

    Parti, vazei, fui! – g2g, Im leaving

    A gente se ve – See you!

    for sure I have more stuff to suggest and I know that some of those doesn’t have any value, but from now it’s enough that I g2g to bed.

    Good job man

  7. Pingback: Gahetch, quero compartilhar » Blog Archive » Portuguese Learning Online Resources

  8. As for “pode crer”, I have heard in Rio people saying that meaning “it’s true”, like in:
    — Ontem fui a praia e tava muito quente!
    — Pode crer, tava quente mesmo!

  9. Pingback: Tricky Verbs & Words in Portuguese – Pt 2 « Eyes On Portuguese

  10. Hey Adam, I really liked this post. I don’t even know how did I find it, but I think it’s the time I see a foreign explaining Portuguese without doing it wrong. =)

    More info.

    ‘Vai’ can be also used as ‘vamo logo’ or ‘bora’ (vamos embora), both mean ‘come on’.
    ‘Hein’ has so many uses I think you can’t put all of them in one
    ‘Né isso’ can be said as ‘certo’, same meaning
    With ‘Tá bom’ you have to be careful, because its meaning depends on the situation where you’re using it. It could means ‘you got it’,’Okay’, as well as ‘go away’ or ‘I don’t care’


  11. I have written many many idiomatic expression, have all of them saved up, it has taken years and years, and I just love doing it. Both from
    English to Portuguese and vice versa. I have lived in both countries for many years.

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