Introduction to Portuguese: Lesson 2

The Portuguese word for to speak is falar.

How would you say:

?To speak Portuguese|Falar português

Portuguese for I is eu.

If you want to make falar which is to speak into I speak, you remove the last two letters (ar in this case) and replace it with o.


?I speak Portuguese.|Eu falo português.


Portuguese for but is mas.

?I don’t speak Portuguese but I speak English.|Eu não falo português mas eu falo inglês.

Here is another infinitive.

To want in Portuguese is querer.

It ends with er and not ar in this case but no worries - you still do the same thing to make it into I want. Try saying:

?I want to speak Portuguese.|Eu quero falar português.

Here is another one that is a little bit more important:

To need in Portuguese is precisar de.

Think of I need precisely this to remember that precisar de means to need. In Portuguese, you don’t simply say to need but you say to need of (and de means of). For example, if you want to say I need to speak you say I need of speak in Portuguese. You could think of it as having a need of instead of needing to remember that you say de with precisar. Have some practice

?I need to speak Portuguese.|Eu preciso de falar português.


Portuguese for to be is ser.

If you applied this rule that we have learnt to make it into I am, you would remove the last two letters and add o to get so and that’s somewhat what it sounds but so was a bit too short a word for Portuguese so they made it into sou to mean am. How would you say:

?I am Portuguese.|Eu sou português.

You only say português if you are a man. If you are a woman, you need to make sure that the adjective ends with a. So, in this case you simply add a and it becomes portuguesa.

Imagine that you are an English lady. Say:

?I am English.|Eu sou inglesa.

Finally, some Portuguese names for nationalities are almost the same as in English except they have an extra o in the end for man or an extra a for woman (because adjectives describing women need to end with a).

Examples of such nationalities are American or Italian. Guess them (for men):



Say as a man:

?I am American.|Eu sou americano.

And as a woman:

?I am Italian.|Eu sou italiana.

That’s right.

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