FAQ Sobre o Português

1. Define Articles

When do I need to use articles in Portuguese?
First of all, it is necessary to know that in Portuguese we have two articles, definite (the) and indefinite (a, an). Nowwe are going to talk about the definite article the.
In English, there aren't feminine or masculine words in general, but in Portuguese we do have them. And we havethe feminine definite article a and the masculine definite article o.

We also have singular and plural forms for them.
In other words:

The =
o ( the - definite masculine, singular)
os (the - definite masculine, plural)
a (the - definite feminine, singular)
as (the - definite feminine, plural)

In Portuguese the names of countries usually require articles in front of them.

O Brasil
A China
O Japao
Os Estados Unidos
A Franca
A Italia
A Franca



Continents, -some states, regions, mountains ranges, oceans, rivers, roads, streets also require articles in front ofthem:

A America do Sul
A America do norte
A Asia
A Bahia
O Norte
No Sudeste
O Atlantico
O rio Amazonas
A Avenida Paulista
A Rua Dona Veridiana
A alameda Franca



On the other hand, no articles are required in front of cities or towns. Of course, there are some exceptions.

Sao Paulo
Belo Horizonte
Nova lorque


O Rio de Janeiro
O Porto
O Cairo

Pay attention:

When we need to use a preposition in a sentence, it is necessary to make a contraction:
Preposition em = in/on/at

em + o = no
em + a = na
em + 05 = nos
em + as = nas


Eu moro no Brasil
Eu moro nos Estados Unidos.
Ele mora na Inglaterra.
Preposition de = of/ from

de + o = do
de+ a = da
de+ os = dos
de+ as = das


Sou do Brasil.
Sou da Italia.
the e do Rio de Janeiro.

The use of articles in Portuguese cannot be compared to their use in English, since they are different structures(?). In English, for example, we never use definite articles before proper nouns, whereas in Portuguese we do. In English we say, “Brazil is a huge country.” , but not, “The Brazil is a huge country.”. But in Portuguese, if we could translate it literally, we would be saying “the Brazil”, not only Brasil.

2. How do Portuguese verbs change?

Portuguese verbs can be divided into two groups: regular and irregular.
The regular ones follow a pattern. The irregular ones have some parts that don't follow a pattern. (see red marks on Verbs table)
Regular verbs can be divided into 3 groups;

1 - 1st conjugation - ending in -an




Eu moro
Eu moro
Voce mora
Ele mora
Ela mora
Nos moramos
Voces moram
Eles moram


Eu falo
Voce fala
Ele fala
Ela fala
Nos falamos
Voces falam
Eles falam

As you can see, they change in the same way. You take out ar ( mor-, fal- and add the appropriate ending (o, a ,amos, am)


Eu falo Portugues.
Eu moro em Paris.
Eu moro no (em + 0) Rio de Janeiro.

3. When do I need to use “ser” or “estar”?

In the begining this may be a problem. In English we have only one verb: to be, but in Portuguese we have 2 different verbs that can be translated like that.
Ser is usually used to indicate something permanent, while estar usually indicates something temporay or current.


Eu sou do Brasil. (permanent)
Ele e japones. (permanent)
As praias brasileiras sao bonitas. (permanent)
Eu estou cansada. (temporary)
Ele esta com fome (temporary)

We use ser to indicate: origin, nationality, profession, occupation, physical qualities and characteristics.


Eu sou do Brasil.
Sou brasileiro.
Sou professor.
Voce e aluno.
Ele e alto.
Ele e loiro e alto.
Ela e bonita. (permanent)

We usually use estar to indicate: location, activity (when you are doing something at that moment), personalstate and when someone looks something (i.e. in a particular way, at that moment).
Eu estou no escritorio.
Eu estou estudando na Brasil.
Ele esta com fome.
cu estou cansada.
Ela está bonita. (She looks pretty)

4. How do we conjugate the verb “to go” “ir”?
Which prepositions do I need to use?

This is an irregular verb, for example: the infinitive is ir, but it changes like this in the present:

Eu vou
Voce vai
Ele vai
Nos vamos
Voces vao
Eles vao
Elas vao

This verb may be followed by three different prepositions, depending on the meaning of the sentence:

Ir para = ir a = go to....

Eu vou para a escola. (I go to school.)
Ele vai para casa. (He goes home.)
Nos vamos para a praia. (We go to the beach.)
Eu you ao supermercado. (I go to the supermarket.)

Ir de = go by...

Eu vou de carro para a escola. (I go to school by car)
Ele vai de onibus. (He goes by bus.)
Ir a = to go on
Eu vou a pe. (I go on foot)

5. Why do I need to use the preposition “de” with the verb “gostar”?

Because this is a rule. We always use gostar de. The verb gostar is always followed by the preposition de, except when you are asking a question with a question word (e.g. Who), in that case, the preposition precedes the question word (e.g. De quem)

Gostar + de + noun
Eu gosto de sorvete.
Eu gosto de pao
Gostar + (de + article)+noun
Eu gostei do (de+o) filme de ontem.
Gosto + de + pronoun
Gosto de voce.
Gostar + (de + pronoun)
Eu gosto dele (de+ele)

6. Do I use the verb “ter” as in English?

Sometimes yes, but sometimes no.

The verb ter means to have, to possess,to own.

The verb ter expresses a sense of possession, but it is not identical to the English verb have in every aspect. The verb ter is never used in Portuguese meaning eat food. If you sayin English, I have sandwiches for lunch., you mean that you eat sandwiches for lunch. If you say in Portuguese Eu tenho sanduiches para o almoco., this means you possess the sandwiches.

We use ter + noun:

Eu tenho um filho.
Eu tenho um carro.
Eu tenho uma reuniao.
Ele tem problemas.
Eu nao tenho tempo.

Attention: We use the verb have to talk about age.

In English we use the verb to be, but in Portuguese, we use the verb to have.


Eu tenho 36 anos.
If you translate it literally, it would be I have 36 years. That is why we often say we cannot translate things iterally all the time.
Verb ter replacing haver (there to be).
In English we say: There is a pen on the table.. whereas in Portuguse it would be: Ha uma caneta sobre a mesa.
or, for example, There are two men at the Coffee Shop.: Ha dois homens na Cafeteria.
Here it is important to notice that in Portuguese we (don't have change the verb haver when it means existir)

Here in Brazil, we don't very often use the corret verb. In other words, we use the verb ter instead of haver. It is not correct, but commom

Tem uma caneta sobre a mesa.
Tem dois homens na cafeteria.