Intermediate B1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the B1 level.

CEFR Scale

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

  • perfeito vs. imperfeito / subjunctive mood intro
  • reading and listening comprehension
  • conversation

*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?

Clean Slate A0

Geared toward Absolute Beginners, this course gives you a solid start and foundation to build upon.

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.

Portuguese short story for beginners - de maos dadas - Portuguesepedia
Easy Reads for Portuguese Lanugage Learners - Entre a Felicidade e a Tristeza - by Portuguesepedia

I will keep you updated on upcoming course seasons

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Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)

Beginners A2

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A2 level.

CEFR Scale

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

  • prepositions
  • past tense: perfeito vs. imperfeito
  • listening comprehension and conversation

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

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A2 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

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

Beginners A1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A1 level.

If you have just started your learning journey, you may find this course too challenging. Consider enrolling for the Clean Slate A0 instead (if available).

CEFR Scale

This is an all-round course, meaning that we’ll work on all aspects of language learning (at the A1 level):

  • pronunciation
  • listening comprehension
  • reading comprehension
  • conversation
  • grammar

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A1 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

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

There are plenty of interesting options for our accommodation. It will most likely be a countryside house near Tavira.

I haven't booked it yet because I want to get a better idea of the group's composition (how many couples/singles) and your preferences before I do so. That will for instance help me understand how big a house we might need.

I look forward to soon talking to you about this and much more. Até breve, p

Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)

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Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)

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Learn Portuguese through Short Stories

Learn Portuguese Idioms to Sound More Natural

Portuguese idioms are at the heart of the colloquial register and everyday life language. What’s special with such idiomatic expressions is that they transcend the literal meanings of their word constituents. 

Unquestionably, becoming fluent in Portuguese entails acknowledging and learning what these expressions actually mean.    

Now, there are hundreds of Portuguese idioms, if not thousands. Here below, I will walk you through a selection of fifty common ones that will sooner or later come your way.

Let’s get started.

Speaking of colloquial Portuguese! Here’s a read for you in case you want to learn some basics of Portuguese strong language. Portuguese Swear Words: An Unashamed Journey through Portuguese Strong Language

1Até dar com um pau
A lot
Ele trabalha até dar com um pau.
He works a lot.
2Encher chouriços
Doing nothing
Passei o dia a encher chouriços.
I spent the day doing nothing
3Meter o pé na argola
Screw up
Meteste outra vez o pé na argola?
Did you screw up again?
4Deixar-se de cantigas
Cut to the chase
Deixa-te de cantigas. O que queres?
Cut it to the chase. What do you want?
5Águas de bacalhau
Unresolved, no progress
Ficou tudo em águas de bacalhau!
Everything remains like before.
6Chutar para canto
Chuta isso para canto!
Just ignore it!
7Passar das marcas
Go too far
Desta vez ela passou das marcas.
This time around she went too far. 
8Ficar em pulgas
Getting excited
Ele ficou em pulgas com as notícias.
He got excited with the news.
9Ter lata
To have the nerve
É preciso ter lata!
You’ve got some nerve!
10Sem papas na língua
Eu não tenho papas na língua.
I speak my mind. 
Não confio em ti. Tu és um troca-tintas.
I don’t trust you. You’re not reliable.
12Ir aos arames
Become irascible
Ela vai aos arames por tudo e por nada.
He gets cross for no reason.
13Pelo sim pelo não
Just in case
Leva o guarda-chuva pelo sim pelo não.
Take the umbrella just in case.
14Não bater certo
When something doesn’t add up
Esta história está mal contada. Algo não bate certo.
This story stinks. Something is wrong.
15Meter uma cunha
Put in a word
Não me podes ajudar e meter-me uma cunha?
Can’t you help me and put in a word for me?
16Que remédio!
There’s no other way!
Estava a ficar tão pesado que tive que mudar os meus hábitos alimentares. Que remédio!
I was getting so overweight that I had to change the way I ate. What else could I do?
17Às três pancadas
Carelessly, sloppy
Ele fez o trabalho às três pancadas.
He did a sloppy job.
18Vai não vai
State of irresolution, stand-still
Isto é um vai não vai! Alguém para tomar uma decisão?
We’ve gotten stuck here! Can someone do something?
19A torto e a direito
Left and right
Ele endividou-se a torto e a direito. Agora está em apuros.
He borrowed money left and right. Now he’s in trouble.
20Não aquece nem arrefece
Isso não me aquece nem me arrefece.
I couldn’t care less about it.
21Deixar-se de coisas
Stop the excuses
Deixa-te de coisas e faz mas é lá isso.
Stop coming up with excuses and just get on with it.
22Por um triz
That close
Foi por um triz que não fui atropelado por um carro.
I was very close to getting run over by a car.
23Sem mais nem menos
Out of the blue
Ele começou a chorar assim sem mais nem menos.
He started crying without any apparent reason.
24Dar com os pés
Dump/reject someone.
Ela deu-me com os pés e eu tive que o aceitar e seguir em frente.
She dumped me and I had to accept it and move on.
25Ter pinta
Be stylish
Aquele gajo tem muita pinta.
That guy is really stylish.
26Por tudo e por nada
For no reason
Ela irrita-se por tudo e por nada.
She gets easily annoyed.
27Favas contadas
Sure thing
Isso são favas contadas.
You can count on that.
Difficult situation
Meti-me num bico-de-obra.
I got into trouble.
29Sem espinhas
Easy, without any major obstacles
Ganhamos o jogo – 4-0. Sem espinhas!
We won the match – 4-0. It was a piece of cake.
30Ter dor de cotovelo
To be jealous
Tu tens é dor de cotovelo.
You’re just jealous, that’s all.
31Em cheio
Spot on
Acertei em cheio, não foi?
I just nailed it, didn’t I?
32Sem pés nem cabeça
O que dizes não tem pés nem cabeça.
You just talk nonsense.
33Dar a mão à palmatória
Tenho que dar a mão à palmatória. Tu tinhas razão.
I have to admit. You were right.
34Dar um jeito
Help, give a hand
Será que me podes dar um jeito?
Could you help me here, please?
35Que seca!
So boring!
Ontem fui ao cinema, que seca de filme!
Yesterday I went to the cinema. The movie was rather boring.
36Ser pão-pão, queijo-queijo
Be plain-spoken
Com ele é pão-pão, queijo-queijo.
He doesn’t beat around the bush.
37Agora é que são elas
Ultimate reckoning
Foste apanhado em flagrante. Agora é que são elas!
You were caught in the act. I guess this is it.
38Dê por onde der
Whatever it takes
Vou terminar este projeto, dê por onde der.
One way or the other, I’ll finish this project.
39Pano para mangas
Este assunto dá pano para mangas.
I could go on forever and talk your ear off.
40Paninhos quentes
Tiptoeing around someone 
Escusas de vir agora com paninhos quentes!
Don’t come now tiptoeing around me. 
41Aqui há gato!
There’s something fishy!
Aqui há gato, Joana.
There’s something very wrong here, Joana.
42Nem mas nem meio mas!
No buts
Já te disse, não há mas nem meio mas!
I told you, there’re no buts!
43Passar a pente fino
Ele passou o meu quarto a pente fino à procura de vestígios.
He went through my room with a fine-tooth comb looking for traces.
44Dar à sola
Run away
Ele teve de dar à sola antes que fosse tarde.
He had to run away before it was too late.
45De mão beijada
For free, effortless
Tu tiveste tudo de mão beijada.
You’ve got everything handed to you. 
46De mãos a abanar
Não posso voltar de mãos a abanar.
I cannot come back empty-handed.
47Estar à rasca
Be in trouble/afflicted
Estou à rasca.
I am in trouble.
48Mandar bocas
Take a potshot
Porque é que estás sempre a mandar-lhe bocas?
Why are you continually taking potshots at him? 
49Ao sabor da maré
Taking it easy, going with the flow
Ele é uma pessoa calma. Faz as coisas ao sabor da maré.
He’s a calm person. He goes with the flow.
50Era só o que faltava
That’s all I needed (ironic)
Tu outra vez? Era só o que me faltava.
You again? You’re the last person I wanted to see.

Related reads. Both verbs fazer and dar are multi-faceted and often used in colloquial expressions. Here’re a couple of reads for you:

The Portuguese Verb “Fazer” and All the Things You Say with It 
The Portuguese Verb “Dar”: Usage and Idiomatic Expressions

Perfect vs. Imperfect

Break Free from the Tyranny of the Present Tense

Portuguese Bad Words

Master Portuguese Strong Language and Swear Like a Native.

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Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)