Geared toward Absolute Beginners, this course gives you a solid start and foundation to build upon. The language of instruction is almost entirely in English.
This is an introductory course to the Portuguese language as spoken in Portugal. Throughout the course, we will focus on the Portuguese sound system and basic Portuguese grammar.
You will also learn how to introduce yourself and day-to-day, useful phrases. Finally, we will discuss learning resources and strategies to support your learning journey.
After the course, you will have a basic understanding of European Portuguese pronunciation and grammar. You will also be capable of engaging in simple, short oral interactions. Last but not least, you will be aware of a variety of learning resources and strategies to help you succeed at learning the language.
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This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A2 level. The language of instruction is English/Portuguese, typically in a 35/65 ratio.
Language learners often struggle to discern between the prepositions a and para, especially when both are used as prepositions of movement.
So, what’s the difference between the Portuguese prepositions a and para?
The preposition a suggests a round-trip movement with a relatively short stay at the destination, whereas para often implies a one-way motion and, consequently, a longer stay at the place of arrival.
Here’s a simple example:
(1) Eu vou a Portugal de férias. Fico lá duas semanas. I am going to Portugal for the holidays. I’ll stay there for two weeks.
(2) Eu vou para Portugal. Arranjei lá um emprego. I am going to Portugal. I got a job there.
As you can see above, the first sentence suggests a relatively short stay compared to the second. Also, the first sentence lends itself well to the notion of a 2-way movement, as opposed to the unidirectional motion suggested by the last one.
Now, what constitutes a short or long stay is, of course, relative to the context. Look at this second example:
(1) Eu vou ao restaurante. Estou farto de comer em casa. I am going to the restaurant. I am tired of eating at home.
(2) Eu vou para o restaurante. Hoje, faço o turno das 9h às 15h. I am going to the restaurant. Today, I am doing the 9 a.m. – 3 a.m. shift.
Now we have a different time frame. Still, within this context, you can discern between the shorter stay of the guest in sentence 1 and the longer stay of the cook in sentence 2.
This time-frame nuance is, I believe, what most confuses language learners when it comes to choosing between a and para.
Anyway, there’s much more to each of these two prepositions as they are multifaceted and take on different roles depending on the sentence and context.
If you want to dive deeper into these and other prepositions, I invite you to take a look at my in-depth course on Portuguese prepositions: The Big 5.
Now, these two prepositions are also used beyond denoting movement. In what follows, we’ll look at each preposition in greater detail. Stay tuned.