Beginning Brazilian Portuguese

by Rosângela Silva, Ph.D.

Table of Contents


  1. No Aeroporto (At the Airport)
  2. Vamos Para Casa! (Let's Go Home!)
  3. A Familia de Pedrinho (Pedrinho's Family)
  4. Helena, Você Está Cansada? (Helena, Are You Tired?)
  5. A Casa de Pedrinho (Pedrinho's Home)
  6. O Almoço Está Na Mesa! (Lunch is Served!)
  7. No Ônibus (On the Bus)
  8. Fazendo a Matrícula (At the University)
  9. No Barzinho (At the Bar)
  10. Escrevendo Uma Carta (Writing a Letter)
  11. No Banco (At the Bank)
  12. Fazendo Compras (Shopping)
  13. Clubes Sociais e Esportes (Social Clubs and Sports)
  14. Carnaval e Outras Festas (Carnaval and Other Festivals)
  15. No Mercado Público e No Supermercado (In the Open Market and in the Supermarket)
  16. O Fim de Semana Na Praia (The Weekend at the Beach)
  17. Helena Fica Doente (Helena Gets Sick)
  18. Viagem ao Amazonas (Trip to the Amazon)
  19. Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo)
  20. De Volta ao Recife (Returning to Recife)
  21. Os Gestos (Gestures)


  2. NO BAR

Learning Goals by Lesson

  1. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: introduce yourself; greet people; excuse yourself; reply to other people's excuses; draw someone's attention; welcome people; give physical description; ask for clarification. PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: gender and number of nouns; definite and indefinite articles; personal pronouns; verb 'to be' (SER); verb 'to go' (IR); expressions: Vamos... (Let's...); adjectives to describe people; prepositions: PARA O(OS), PARA A(AS), NO, NA, NOS, NAS. New verbs: chegar; acenar; lembrar; ter; apertar; beijar. PORTUGUESE PHONETICS: the oral vowel sounds; the consonant "l."
  2. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: express surprise / admiration; ask about pronunciation / spelling / meaning of words in Portuguese; use giria ("um barato"), talk about nationalities; reply to compliments.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: the position of the adjectives; the alphabet; the present tense of regular verbs; the possessives; names of several countries, nationalities and languages; personal pronoun IT; personal pronoun "a gente," tag questions. New verbs: aprender; chegar; entender; escrever; falar; morar; rir.
    PORTUGUESE PHONETICS: the consonant "h"
  3. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: introduce one person to another; show respect by using "seu," "dona," "senhor," "senhora,"; greet people; use giria ("legal"); talk about your family.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: demonstratives; diminutives; object pronouns; new verbs: tocar; abrir; estudar; chamar-se; ouvir; conhecer; ter; professions and suffixes; idiomatic expressions: "de mão cheia."
    PORTUGUESE PHONETICS: the nasal vowels.
  4. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: say how you feel (hungry, sleepy, etc.); to make phone calls; to read telephone numbers; to offer something (e.g., drink) to someone; replying to offers;
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: the numbers 1-10; the 'other' verb to be: "estar," differences between "ser" and "estar," the future tense ("ir" + infinitive); affirmative and negative answers; the object pronouns; false cognates (cup/glass); vocabulary: feelings; vocabulary: telephone; vocabulary: fruits and colors.
  5. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: say you are doing something; say you are going to do something; point out and show things; talk about your house; tell time.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: the present progressive; review of future tense; the various parts of a house; new verbs: bater; arrumar; entrar; poder; descer, ter, lavar, entrar, sair, transportar, trabalhar, tomar, fazer; prepositions (em frente, straight on; à direita, to the right; etc.); prepositions 'para' and 'a'; vocabulary: more colors; preposition "de" plus articles; short forms of the verb 'estar'; verbs 'ser' and 'ficar' to indicate location; vocabulary: breakfast.
  6. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: offer food at the table; reply to offers of food; ask someone to pass you things at the table; attract other people's attention using the verb 'olhar.'
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: Imperative or command forms; the past tense or preterite; new verbs: fazer, olhar, passar, querer; vocabulary: food used in the various meals; other forms to tell the time.
  7. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: deal with Brazilian currency; talk about prices; say goodbye in several ways; catch a bus in Brazil; ask permission to pass through people; talk about means of transportation.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: reflexive rerbs; reflexive pronouns; plural of nouns; Vocabulary: means of transportation, money and prices.
    PHONETICS: the consonants "R" and "RR."
  8. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: ask directions; give directions; address envelopes; write dates;
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: days of the week; school courses; ordinal numbers; last names in Portuguese; addresses; dates; negative words.
    PORTUGUESE PHONETICS: the sounds of the "X."
  9. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: order drinks and appetizers in a bar; talk about things you used to do in the past; pay the bill in a bar; introduce friends to each other.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: the imperfect; more nicknames; vocabulary of drinks and appetizers; more on reflexive verbs; the verb 'gostar de.'
  10. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: write letters and post cards; address an envelope; mail letters; send mail; sing 'Parabéns p'ra você' in Portuguese.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: the past participle; opening and closing words in a letter; vocabulary related to mail.
  11. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO talk about fictitious situations (e.g., 'if I were a millionnaire...'), talk about banking, open a bank account in Brazil, deposit and withdraw money from the bank, and make requests in a more indirect way.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: the conditional tense of verbs; numbers in the hundreds, thousands, millions, billions; adjectives in the diminuitive, and plural forms of words ending in ÃO.
    PORTUGUESE PHONETICS: words ending in -ÃO and their plural forms.
  12. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO buy clothing and shoes, to talk about clothing as well as sizes in Brazil and in the US, to convert Celsius degrees into Farenheit and vice versa; to talk about the weather, the seasons, and the months of the year.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: future tense; words of English and French origin used in Portuguese; vocabulary for clothing, seasons, months of the year, weather, and temperature; verbs pedir x perguntar.
  13. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO talk about social clubs and sports; talk about excercising and healthy habits; talk about "capoeira."
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: verbs saber x poder; expressions of frequency; vocabulary of public signs; vocabulary of sports; adverbs in the diminutive.
  14. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO talk about Brazilian festivals such as 'carnaval,' 'festas juninas,' and 'natal.'
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: the present subjunctive, the passive voice, reflexive verbs/pronouns, transitions and linking expressions.
  15. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO go shopping at the public market, the supermarket, and the bakery; to talk about weights and measurements in Portuguese.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: indefinite pronouns; the use of the letter "K" in Portuguese.
  16. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: talk about driving on the road, take the car to the gas station, use the metrical system for measuring distances, and talk about vacations, beaches, and beach houses.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: Passive voice, compound tenses, prepositions 'before' and 'after,' interrogative words, object pronouns, the verb "haver," comparisons of use of "há" vs. "faz," and of "há" vs. "a," vocabulary of sea animals, and vocabulary of measurements.
  17. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: identify body parts; set up a doctor's appointment; talk about what you are feeling; buy medicine; fill out a doctor's form.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: subjunctive imperfect, verb "ter" and its various uses, uses of "bem x bom" and "mal x mau," vocabulary of body parts, vocabulary of disease symptoms.
  18. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: make hotel reservations; stay in a hotel; talk about the Amazon Rain Forest; talk about many kinds of animals; talk about the major Brazilian northern cities.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: verb 'fazer' and its various uses; the object pronouns; vocabulary of animals.
  19. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: talk about activities in Rio and São Paulo, their inhabitants, and their main attractions; make comparisons between people and things.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: fractions, ordinal and multiplicative numbers; subjunctive future; comparatives; superlatives; impersonal expressions with "se"; more transition and linking words.
    PORTUGUESE PHONETICS: review: "d" and "t."
  20. HOW TO USE PORTUGUESE TO: talk about the Brazilian school year, identify Brazilian newspapers, travel by plane within Brazil.
    PORTUGUESE GRAMMAR: spelling G vs. J; use of "ou... ou" and "nem... nem..."; relative pronouns; use of "muito" vs. "muitos