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Intermediate B1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the B1 level. The language of instruction is Portuguese. I will speak in English only if need be.

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Learn more about the CEFR scale

My suggestion for these two weeks is to focus on*:

  • Conversation
  • Listening comprehension
  • Reading comprehension
  • Compound tenses (Ter auxiliary) / Personal Infinitive / Imperative Mood / Present Subjunctive
  • Prepositional usage

*There's always room to adjust the course according to the group's preferences:

After this course, you'll have come closer to the B1 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A2 or B1 course?

Take this placement test

Any questions?

Inquiry

Beginners A2

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A2 level. The language of instruction is English/Portuguese typically in a 30/70 ratio. (I always speak with you in Portuguese as much as possible.)

CEFR Scale

Learn more about the CEFR scale

My suggestion for these two weeks is to focus on:

  • Listening comprehension
  • Oral interaction
  • Past tense (Perfeito vs. Imperfeito)
  • Prepositional usage
  • Any other aspects according to your preferences as a group

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A2 level and gained the tools to take it further all by yourself.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A2 or B1 course?

Take this placement test

Any questions?

Inquiry

Beginners A1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A1 level. The language of instruction is English/Portuguese typically in a 60/40 ratio. (I always speak with you in Portuguese as much as possible.)

If you've just started your learning journey, it may be that you will find this course a bit challenging. Nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to take it easy, consider enrolling for the Clean Slate A0 instead (if available).

CEFR Scale

Learn more about the CEFR scale

This is an all-round course, which means that we’ll work on all aspects of language learning according to the A1 level*:

  • Pronunciation
  • Listening comprehension
  • Reading comprehension
  • Conversation
  • Grammar

* There's always room to adjust the course according to your preferences as a group.

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A1 level and gained the tools to take it further all by yourself.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A1 or A2 course?

Take this placement test

Any questions?

Inquiry

Clean Slate A0

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.

CEFR Scale

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.

Any questions?

Inquiry

New dates covering the period Mar–Jun will soon be announced. Fill up this form and I will keep you posted.

Online Intensive Courses Upcoming
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Can't you attend any courses this season? Fill up this form and I will keep you posted on upcoming Intensive Courses.

In-person Intensive Courses Upcoming
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Surprise surprise!

Do you know what constipado means in Portuguese? Probably not what you are thinking...

Get a list of 50+ English-Portuguese False Friends and be surprised.

False Friends
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Poder vs. Conseguir in Portuguese – Tease Them Apart

Portuguese language learners often struggle to discern between Poder and Conseguir. Not least native English speakers or anyone using English as a reference since “Can” encompasses both.

So, how do we know when to use Poder and Conseguir?

Poder and Conseguir are used to express that something can or can’t happen. Thus, the concept of Possibility is central to either. However, while Poder relates to the mere possibility of something taking place, Conseguir implies some sort of challenge and the ability to overcome it.

For the most part, the context makes it clear whether we should use Poder or Conseguir. There are, nonetheless, a few situations where these verbs are used interchangeably.

I invite you to dive into the usage of these and other high-frequency verbs in my course series Portuguese Verb Gems

Idiomatically Rich Verbs
Verb Gems

When to use poder

Let’s take a brief look at what the irregular* verb poder looks like when conjugated in the present and past simple tenses  

Present simplePreterite
Pretérito perfeito
Imperfect
Pretérito imperfeito
Eupossopudepodia
Tupodespudestepodias
Ele, elapodepodepodia
Nóspodemospudemospodíamos
Vocêspodempuderampodiam
Eles, elaspodempuderampodiam
past participlepodido
present participle
gerúndio
podendo

* Like poder, there are a few other irregular ones among the most frequently used verbs overall. Here’s a reading that will most likely add to your fluency: Portuguese Must-Know Irregular Verbs.

Possibility

We use poder to say that something may or may not happen, or that something is possible or not:

Eles podem chegar a qualquer momento.
They could come anytime soon.

As previsões do tempo para amanhã são  incertas, pode chover.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is uncertain, it could rain.

Não pode ser verdade. Ele está a mentir.
It can’t be true. He’s lying.

Permission

We also use poder to make it clear that something is either allowed or forbidden:

Podemos estacionar o carro aqui.
We can park the car here.

Não podes fumar dentro do restaurante!
You can’t smoke inside the restaurant!

Suggestion

We use poder to suggest things to do in the immediate future. In that case, we often use the imperfect tense: 

Podíamos ir ao cinema mais logo, o que achas?
We could go to the cinema later on, what do you think?

When to use conseguir

Here’s the regular * verb conseguir conjugated in the present and past simple tenses:

Present simplePreterite
Pretérito perfeito
Imperfect
Pretérito imperfeito
Euconsigoconseguiconseguia
Tuconseguesconseguisteconseguias
Ele, elaconsegueconseguiuconseguia
Nósconseguimosconseguimosconseguimos
Vocêsconseguemconseguiramconseguiam
Eles, elasconseguemconseguiramconseguiam
past participleconseguido
present participle
gerúndio
conseguindo

* Conseguir belongs to the 3-group of regular verbs whose infinitive form ends in –ir.
And btw, read the following article in case you’re not sure about when to use the perfect or imperfect past tense: Portuguese Perfect vs. Imperfect Tense: Know When to Use Which.

Conditional possibility

We also use the verb conseguir to express that something is possible or not possible. 

However, conseguir presupposes that someone must overcome a challenge of some sort to fulfill a certain possibility. In other words, something might happen only if someone has the ability to make it happen.

In English, whenever it sounds right to either say be able to or manage to as an alternative to can, chances are that we want to say conseguir in Portuguese. 

Here’re a few examples:

Ele tem só 10 meses e já consegue andar!
He’s only 10 months old and he’s already able to walk!

Não consegui passar no exame.
I didn’t manage to pass the exam.

A Isabel tem 65 anos e ainda consegue fazer a espargata.
Isabel is 65 and she’s still able to perform the splits.

Conseguir vs. poder

Now, let me illustrate how conseguir and poder can mean different things when used in the same context: 

Eu consigo suster a respiração por mais de 3 minutos. Não acreditam? Posso fazer isso agora se vocês quiserem.
I can hold my breath for more than 3 minutes. Don’t you believe it? I can do it now if you wish.

A Sara já consegue executar 25 sonatas de Chopin e está pronta para dar concertos. Agora já podemos assistir a um concerto dela.
Sara can already play 25 sonatas by Chopin and she’s ready to perform. We can finally go to one of her concerts. 

As you see in the examples above, conseguir directly refers to the skill or the ability to perform something, whereas poder refers to the possibility enabled by that same ability – something can happen (poder) only because someone makes it possible (conseguir).

When it is practically the same

In some contexts, the difference between using poder or conseguir is subtle or even not perceived at all in practice. 

One such context is when someone asks someone else if they can do or help with something: 

Podes dar-me uma mão?
Consegues dar-me uma mão?
Can you give me a hand?

Podes vir cá hoje?
Consegues vir cá hoje?
Can you come by today?

Hoje posso chegar a casa mais cedo para te ajudar a fazer o jantar.
Hoje consigo chegar a casa mais cedo para te ajudar a fazer o jantar. 
Today I can come home earlier to help you out with dinner.

Reading suggestions! Here’re a few other readings concerning Portuguese verbs that might interest you:

1. Portuguese Reflexive Verbs and Reflexive Pronoun Placement
2. Portuguese Modal Verbs Equivalent to Must, May, Could, Should, and the Like
3. The Portuguese Verb “Dar”: Usage and Idiomatic Expressions

Stay tuned for upcoming courses, reads, and other novelties.

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