Geared toward Absolute Beginners, this course gives you a solid start and foundation to build upon.
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.
Besides progressive tenses, there are several situations in which we often use the Portuguese gerund, namely, to replace coordinating and subordinating conjunctions (be it single-word conjunctions or conjunctional phrases).
Accordingly, the Portuguese gerund is used to express and articulate relationships of cause-effect, gradualness, simultaneity, and sequencing.
This might sound too abstract to you, am I right?
Fear not. In fact, having a good command of English, you will find these uses of the Portuguese gerund quite intuitive.
As you will soon see, whenever we use the Portuguese gerund, there is an analogous use of the present participle in English (the –ing form of the verb) – this stable link between the two languages makes it easier to assimilate the use of the Portuguese gerund.
Now, let’s move on to look at concrete examples so that it all becomes more tangible.
We often use the gerund to express two sequenced actions, one unfolding immediately after the other.
Take the following sentence:
Ele entrou no quarto efechou a porta. He came into the room and closed the door.
Now, let’s use the gerund to express the same:
Ele entrou no quarto fechando a porta. He came into the room closing the door.
Here’s another example:
Ela pegou num livro esentou-se no sofá para o ler. She picked up a book and sat on the sofa to read it.
With the gerund:
Ela pegou num livro sentando-se* no sofá para o ler. She picked up a book sitting on the sofa to read it.
We also use the gerund to alternate between scenes. An example:
Os morcegos estão ativos durante a noiteedormem durante o dia. Bats are active during the night and sleep during the day.
And now with the gerund:
Os morcegos estão ativos durante a noite dormindo durante o dia. Bats are active during the night (while) sleeping during the day.
At times, we use the compound gerund – the auxiliary verb ter (Portuguese equivalent to have) conjugated in the gerund and followed by the past participle of the main verb.
Let’s look at the following sentence:
Ela terminou todas as tarefas efoi para casa. She completed all her tasks and went home.
Now using the compound gerund:
Tendo terminado todas as tarefas, ela foi para casa. Having completed all her tasks, she went home.
Note that the use of the compound gerund fits into a more formal register and thus is rarely used in spoken language.
The gerund is often used to introduce a cause in sentences denoting a cause-effect relationship. Take the following sentence:
A Elvira é muito culta e por issoé uma tutora muito competente. Elvira is very well versed and she is, therefore, a very competent tutor.
Now using the gerund:
Sendo muito culta, a Elvira é uma tutora muito competente. Being very well versed, Elvira is a very competent tutor.
Here’re more examples with the gerund the being used to express the cause, or explain why somebody does something:
Quandoviu que não chovia saiu de casa. When he realized it was not raining, he went outside.
(with gerund) Vendo que não chovia, saiu de casa. Realizing it was not raining, he left home.
Uma vez que não estava de acordo com os outros membros, ela deixou a equipa. Since she wouldn’t agree with the other members, she left the team.
(with gerund) Nãoestando de acordo com os outros membros ela deixou o grupo. Not agreeing with the other members, she left the group.
Sometimes we also use the compound gerund to denote a cause-effect relationship:
Ele foi dar um girodepoisde comer o almoço. He went for a walk after eating lunch.
(compound gerund) Tendo já comido o almoço, ele foi dar um giro. Having already eaten lunch, he went for a walk.
Again, the use of the compound gerund belongs to a more formal register.
Simultaneous actions (EP ≠ BP)
We often use the gerund in Brazilian Portuguese to express two actions unfolding at the same time. In the European standard, however, we use the infinitive form preceded by the preposition a (just like in the progressive tenses above).
Take for instance the following sentence:
O José jantou ao mesmo tempo que viu a sua telenovela preferida. José ate dinner at the same time he watched his favorite soap opera.
And here’s a more concise way to imply simultaneity:
(EP) O José jantou a ver a sua telenovela preferida. (BP) O José jantou vendo a sua telenovela preferida. José ate dinner (while) watching his favorite soap opera.
Here are a couple more examples:
(EP) Um homem saiu de casa a gritar. (BP) Um homem saiu de casa gritando. A man ran out of his house screaming.
(EP) A Sónia magoou-se na perna a jogar futebol. (BP) A Sónia magoou-se na perna jogando futebol. Sónia hurt her leg while playing football.
We often use gerunds to intensify the notion of continuity and gradualness. In that case, the gerund of the main verb is preceded by the auxiliary verb ir.
Take this sentence:
Os preços sobem todos os anos. Prices go up every year.
Here’s the verb ir + gerund version (emphasizing gradualness):
Os preços vãosubindo a cada ano. Prices are going up year after year.
Here’s another example:
A saúde dele ficou mais debilitada à medida que envelheceu. His health got weaker as he got older.
(with verb ir + gerund) A saúde dele foificando mais debilitada à medida que foienvelhecendo. His health started getting weaker as he started getting older.