Brazilian Portuguese/Chapter 1

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Português Brasileiro

Chapter 1
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Getting Started Chapter 2


Bom dia! - Largo dos Pelourinhos, Salvador, Bahia
Lesson 1 - Bom Dia!
This Lesson's Vocabulary

How to Greet People

How to Introduce Yourself

Definite and Indefinite Articles

This Lesson's Grammar

Gender in Portuguese

The Stative Verb Estar

Dialogue[edit]

Greeting Friends[edit]

João: Bom dia, Maria. Tudo bem?

Maria: Tudo, obrigada. E você?

João: Também estou bem. Obrigado.

Maria: Tchau, João!

Bom dia!


Bom dia - good morning
bom - good
dia - day
Tudo bem? - how are you? (lit. Everything well?)
tudo - everything
bem - well
Obrigado (-a) - Thank you (G1)

(Obrigado: male speech; Obrigada: female speech.)

Também - also, too
estou - conjugation of "estar" (G2)
Tchau - bye!

Introducing Yourself[edit]

João: Olá. Qual é o seu nome?

Maria: Maria. E o seu?

João: Sou João. Tchau, Maria!

Maria: Tchau, João!

Qual é o seu nome? - What is your name?
Qual - which
é - is (you'll see this further in chapter 2)
o - masc. definite article, singular (the) - also deepened in chapter 2
nome - (masc.) name
Seu - Yours (Masc.)
Sou - I am

The question Qual é o seu nome? may also be answered as Meu nome é ... , meaning "My name is..."'.'

Be careful not to mix "seu" and "sou".

Structure: How are you?[edit]

In Portuguese, there are various ways to ask how someone is and various ways to reply. Here are the most commonly used ones:

A: Tudo bem?

A: Tudo bem com você?

A: Como vai?

B: Tudo, obrigado.

B: Tudo, graças a Deus.

B: Estou bem, obrigado.

Keeping in mind that Brazil is traditionally a Roman Catholic country (a little less than 70% of the population by now, though Christianity is still at about 90%), expressions such as graças a Deus (thank God) or fique com Deus (be God with you) are very common.

Pronunciation[edit]

(Don't worry about learning the meaning of these words just yet. You'll learn them later on. Just focus on the pronunciation for now.)

Nasal vowels in Portuguese[edit]

Unlike its close neighbor, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese makes great use of nasal vowels. You probably observed this in the words bom, bem, também, and João. Listen to the nasal vowels and try to imitate the native speaker:

am, an, ã - amplo (ample), fantástico (fantastic), maçã (apple)
em, en - exemplo (example), entrar (to enter)
im, in - íntimo (intimate)
on - onda (wave)
um - um (one)

Be careful, though. If the m or n is followed by another vowel, before stress takes place, the sound is not nasal:

amigo, caneta
eminente, inimigo
imitar, menina (slightly nasalized i)
onífero (slightly nasalized o)
unilateral (slightly nasalized u)

The tilde and ç[edit]

Modern Portuguese has four accents, in order of most common use: the acute (´), the circumflex (^), the tilde (~) and the grave (`). Brazilian Portuguese had a diaeresis (¨) in the past, and all of Portuguese has cê-cedilha (ç), with the same use of that in French, though it is not regarded as an accent anymore). The accents will all be explained as they appear. Let's take a look at the trickiest one for foreigners to pronounce: the tilde. The tilde can only appear in the following combinations: ã, ãe, ães, ão, ãos, ões. They are usually preceded by the c-cedille (ç), or cê-cedilha. The cedille is only found in this form. Examples are maçã, ação, ações. Try to imitate the native speaker (the following words are in the singular and followed by the plural):

maçã, maçãs
cidadão, cidadãos
avião, aviões
mãe, mães

Vocabulary[edit]

Red sunrise.jpg Georges Seurat 031.jpg Night sky.jpg
Bom dia!
Boa tarde!
Boa noite!
Bom dia
used in the mornings, even if the sun is not up yet after waking
Boa tarde
used in the afternoons (literally after noon) until the sun sets
Boa noite
used after sunsets until one goes to sleep


Those time-specific greetings should only be used in those times; for greetings that are not time-specific, use the following:


Olá -a formal hello, usually to someone of a higher rank, an elderly person, or someone to whom you wish to show more respect

Oi - an informal hello, used among children and teenagers, friends, or those substantially younger than you


To dismiss yourself, simply say Tchau or Falou. Despite sounding informal, there is no formal equivalent of it.


Pronouns[edit]

The Portuguese pronouns are as follows:

Brazilian Portuguese Pronouns • Chapter 1
Pronomes Flag of Brazil.svg Subject Pronouns

Eu (I) Nós (We)
Tu (You) Vós (You - plural)
Você (You) Vocês (You - plural)
Ele (He) Eles (They - masculine or mixed)
Ela (She) Elas (They - feminine)

Be careful: Eles can either refer to a group of various masculine nouns or a group of mixed masculine and feminine nouns. Elas can only refer to a purely feminine group.

Exercises[edit]

A. How would you greet someone at the following times of the day?

  1. 7h00
  2. 13h30
  3. 10h45
  4. 12h00
  5. 20h30

B.

  1. How would you greet an executive officer, not considering of the time of day?
  2. How would you greet a friend at any time?
  3. Or a young person?
  4. Or an elderly lady in the afternoon?


C. What pronoun would you use to describe the following groups of people?

Bürkner Brenn dich nicht.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 194-0078-31, Holtwick, Kinderreiche Familie.jpg Xhosa-children.JPG

Grammar[edit]

Gender[edit]

Words in Portuguese are either masculine or feminine. The general rules are presented below, with examples:

Brazilian Portuguese Genders • Chapter 1
Flag of Brazil.svg

Masculine Feminine
"o" ending fato, pato, livro "a" ending janela, geladeira, pera
"ão" ending chão, pão, refrão "ão" or "ã" ending (less) visão, ação, mão, vilã, alemã.
consonant ending lápis, ônibus "dade" or "gem" ending idade, viagem

Adjectives always have to agree with their noun, which is why you see the difference between bom and boa in bom dia, boa noite, and so on.

The one word in Portuguese that changes gender according to the speaker is "thank you". If you're male, say obrigado. If you're female, say obrigada. This rule still applies if you turn down an offer ("No, thanks"): Não, obrigado and Não, obrigada.

Definite and Indefinite Articles[edit]

The following table presents all that you need to know about the Portuguese articles, remembering that "definite" is "the" and "indefinite" is "a/an" in English.

Brazilian Portuguese Articles • Chapter 1
Definite Flag of Brazil.svg Indefinite

Masculine Feminine
def. singular o a
def. plural os as
indef. singular um uma
indef. plural uns umas

Uns and Umas translate as some or a few. Take the following, for example:

o cachorro - the dog
os cachorros - the dogs
um cachorro - a dog
uns cachorros - some dogs
a ideia - the idea
as ideias - the ideas
uma ideia - an idea
umas ideias - some ideas

Estar[edit]

There are two verbs that stand for "to be" in Portuguese: ser and estar. Each one is used in different cases, and they are not interchangeable. Let's take a look at the uses of estar (you will see ser in Chapter 2)

Brazilian Portuguese Usage • Chapter 1
Estar Flag of Brazil.svg To Be (situational)

Location
Feelings
Present Conditions
Present Appearances
Civil Status
Auxiliary in the Present Continuous
Um Cachorro - an example of a masculine noun


Here is its conjugation:

Brazilian Portuguese Verb • Chapter 1
Estar Flag of Brazil.svg To Be (situational)

Eu estou Nós estamos
Tu estás Vós estais
Você está Vocês estão
Ele/Ela está Eles/Elas estão


An example of estar that was used in the dialogue was "estou bem," meaning "I'm well." Note how the verb is being used to express a present condition that at another point may change - "não estou bem" means "I'm not well." Keep in mind that this negation can also be used with other verbs.

Now, you may be wondering how come the second person in Brazilian Portuguese (but not in European Portuguese) is conjugated just like the third person. That's because você evolved from the now-archaic Vossa mercê, meaning "your mercy", as a polite form of "you". In Portugal, você is only used in extremely formal situations, while in Brazil it is used both formally and informally.

An interesting aspect of the verb estar is the fact that is developing into another verb - tar - in colloquial speech. Many teachers of Portuguese even consider that in the future tar will be the accepted form of the verb and estar will be considered archaic. It's relatively simple; the "es-" in the beginning of the verb is removed from all the conjugations (eu estou - eu tou; você/ele está - você/ele tá, etc.).

Exercises[edit]

A. Determine the gender of the following words (M - masculine, F - feminine). Mark it with its definite and indefinite articles.

  1. um cachorro (dog)
  2. uma cabeça (head)
  3. uma festa (party)
  4. um capítulo (chapter)
  5. uma coisa (thing)
  6. uma ideia (idea)
  7. um pão (bread)
  8. uma flor (flower - be careful; this one's irregular)

B. In which of the following cases would you use estar during translation?

  1. She is married.
  2. He's in Rio de Janeiro this week.
  3. My friend is a doctor.
  4. His wife is a nurse.
  5. They are both working at the hospital.
  6. They are at the hospital now.
  7. The house is so messy now!

Culture[edit]

Brigadeiro2.jpg

Whenever you go to a Brazilian party, you're sure to find brigadeiros, small balls of fudge placed on a little paper holder. This dessert is extremely popular throughout the whole country. Here's a brigadeiro recipe - we'll be referring back to it in chapter 17.

Portuguese in Daily Life: Should someone offer you a brigadeiro, what would you say to accept the offer (be sure to change it depending on your gender)? How would you decline the offer?

Review[edit]

This is what you learned today:

Chapter 1

How to Greet People

How to Introduce Yourself

Saying how you're doing

How Gender works in Portuguese

The Definite and Indefinite Articles

The Uses of the Verb Estar

Answers to the exercises[edit]

Vocabulary[edit]

A. How would you greet someone at the following times of the day?

  1. 7h00 - Bom Dia
  2. 13h30 - Boa Tarde
  3. 10h45 - Bom Dia
  4. 12h00 - Bom Dia or Boa Tarde
  5. 20h30 - Boa Noite

B.

  1. How would you greet an executive officer, regardless of the time of day? Olá
  2. How would you greet a friend at any time? Oi
  3. Or a young person? Oi
  4. Or an elderly lady in the afternoon? Boa tarde


C. What pronoun would you use to describe the following groups of people?

Bürkner Brenn dich nicht.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 194-0078-31, Holtwick, Kinderreiche Familie.jpg Xhosa-children.JPG
Elas Eles Eles

Grammar[edit]

A. Determine the gender of the following words (M - masculine, F - feminine):

  1. o/um cachorro (dog) - M
  2. a/uma cabeça (head) - F
  3. a/uma festa (party) - F
  4. o/um capítulo (chapter) - M
  5. a/uma coisa (thing) - F
  6. a/uma ideia (idea) - F
  7. o/um pão (bread) - M
  8. a/uma flor (flower - be careful; this one's irregular) - F

B. In which of the following cases would you use estar during translation?

  1. She is married.
  2. He's in Rio de Janeiro this week.
  3. My friend is a doctor.
  4. His wife is a nurse.
  5. They are both working at the hospital.
  6. They are at the hospital now.
  7. The house is so messy now!

1, 2, 5, 6, 7

Culture[edit]

If you are male, you'd answer obrigado. If you're female, you'd answer obrigada. To turn down the offer, prefix the answer with não: não, obrigado or não, obrigada.


« Brazilian Portuguese
Português Brasileiro

Chapter 1
»
Getting Started Chapter 2