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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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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.)

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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).

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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.

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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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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.

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Common Portuguese Filler Words

Everyone should learn Portuguese filler words. Why? Often overlooked, filler expressions play a crucial role in communication – they work as a linguistic glue to articulate ideas while helping us sound more natural. 

In this blog post, I will take you through a few common Portuguese filler expressions (locally known as palavras bengala or bordão) and show you how they are normally used. Read on.

Bom | Bem

Used to introduce a thought or opinion, these fillers are used interchangeably and akin to the English well:

Bom, nunca antes tinha pensado nisso.
Well, I’d never thought of it before.

Bem, está na hora de ir para casa. Até amanhã.
Well, it’s time to go home. See you tomorrow.

Tipo

Tipo is similar to the English expressions like or kind of. It’s most often used when the speaker is searching for the right word or reinforcing an idea:

A viagem foi tipo mal planeada.
The trip was kind of badly planned.

Esta casa é confortável, tipo, mesmo confortável.
This house is comfortable, like, really comfortable.

Então

Akin to so in English, Então has several purposes such as linking ideas or introducing someone’s line or reply. It adds a natural flow to dialogue:

Então, quando é que me vens visitar?
So, when are you coming to see me?

Então, a tua pergunta tem várias respostas.
So, your question has several answers.

Então depois desse episódio, ela nunca mais falou comigo.
So after that episode, she never spoke to me again.

Assim

Assim can be used in several ways, namely, as in this way, like, or just in English.

Assim não é possível falar contigo.
This way I can’t talk to you.

Ela está assim, como é que eu vou dizer… feliz.
She’s like, how can I put this… happy.

Ele desapareceu assim de uma forma inesperada. 
He just disappeared unexpectedly.

É | Pois | Sim | Certo

These three words are used to signal that we are listening and following along with what the other person is saying. We often combine them:

…pois… sim… eu compreendo.
… right… yeah… I understand.

… pois… pois… estou a ver.
… yeah… yeah… I see.

… sim… certo… realmente tens razão.
… yes… right… you’re indeed right.

… é… é… chego amanhã pelas 11.
… yeah… that’s right… I’ll be there tomorrow at 11.

Coisa

We say coisa to refer to things whose names we don’t recall, or to allude to something without really saying what it is,  just like thing in English:

Como é que se chama aquela coisa que me mostraste ontem?
What’s the name of that thing you showed me yesterday?

Trouxe uma coisa comigo que acho que vais gostar.
I’ve brought something with me that I think you’ll like.

Pronto

As a filler, pronto is used to articulate ideas. It can also introduce a line expressing a complaint or dislike, or to appease someone (depending on the tone of voice):

Eu estava a comer e pronto, lá veio o telefonema inesperado.
I was eating and then the unexpected phone call came.

Pronto, lá estás tu outra vez a insistir no mesmo.
There you go again, insisting on the same thing.

Pronto pronto, vamos fazer como tu queres.
Okay okay, let’s do it your way.

Sei lá

 We say Sei lá to express some degree of uncertainty or even to say that we are clueless about something:

Estamos a falar de, sei lá, talvez 2 milhões de euros.
We’re talking about, I don’t know, maybe 2 million euros.

– Quando é que chega a Sara, sabes?
– Sei lá…
– When will Sara arrive, do you know?
– I don’t know…

Tás a ver?

People say Tás a ver?  (short for Estás a ver?) to make sure the listener is following, just like You know? in English:

Isto não é nada fácil, tás a ver?
This isn’t easy, you know?

Pá | Eh pá | Ó pá

is similar to man/dude in English (unpolished, sloppy language style):

Eh pá, este filme foi mesmo mau!
Man, this movie was really bad!

Portanto | Quer dizer | Ou seja | Isto é

These expressions are very similar to one another concerning their purpose: they help articulate different ideas logically, just like I mean or so in English:

Eles não foram sérios, quer dizer, mentiram.
They weren’t serious, I mean, they lied.

Tens de te decidir. Portanto, das duas uma, ou vens comigo ou ficas.
You have to make up your mind. So, either you come with me or you stay.

Ele não avisou que ia chegar atrasado, ou seja, não tem respeito por nós.
He didn’t tell us he was going to be late, which means he has no respect for us.  

Ele não passou no teste, isto é, chumbou de ano.
He didn’t pass the test, in other words, he failed the year.

Before I let you go, here are a few tips on how to become better at learning and using Portuguese filler words.

Immerse in the language 

Watch Portuguese films, listen to podcasts, and engage with native speakers to familiarize yourself with filler expressions.

Listen to how people say it

Tone and intonation play a crucial role when it comes to using filler expressions effectively. So, pay close attention to native speakers and try your best to mimic them.

Put it to use right away

Try to incorporate fillers into your conversations. It may feel a bit unnatural in the beginning but, if you insist, it will eventually become part of your way of speaking.

To sum up, filler expressions add a unique layer of authenticity and help you sound more natural. As language learners, embracing these expressions not only enhances our communication skills but also allows us to connect more deeply with locals. 

So, go ahead, sprinkle your Portuguese with these fillers and watch as your oral interactions come alive with newfound vibrancy. Tás ver? 

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might as well enjoy reading this one: Portuguese Slang Expressions.

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