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.
Like other Romance languages, Portuguese has an abundance of verb forms. Adding to the pile is the imperative mood.
In Portuguese, just like in English, we use the imperative to give instructions and commands, to urge someone to do something and to give spatial directions, among others.
Depending on (1) whether the tone is casual or formal, (2) you are affirming or negating something, or (3) you are talking to a single person or a group of people, there are 4 different imperative forms to keep track of*:
singular, informal (tu), affirmation
singular, informal (tu), negation
singular, formal (você)
* As a matter of fact, there are a few other imperative forms that I will skip since these are archaic and seldom used in modern Portuguese.
Here’re are a few examples
Vá sempre em frente! Go straight ahead!
Nãodigas isso! Don’t say that!
Faz-me um favor! Do me a favor!
Tragam uma garrafa de vinho. Bring a bottle of wine.
In all likelihood, the challenge for you is not so much knowing when to use the imperative as it is recalling the right imperative form that matches the context (out of the 4 conjugations in the table above).
Keeping track of all these imperatives might be disheartening. But look, we use the imperative all the time and, therefore, it is totally worth it to make an effort to come to grips with it.
In what follows, I will share two alternative strategies that will help you recall the imperative verb form that suits your context.
Strategy 1 – Tweaking the endings of the first-person present-tense
Many beginners fall for this strategy because it’s simple and practical.
You start with the first-person present-simple form of the verb in question and, from there, you tweak its ending to find the imperative form you are looking for. All you need is to learn a few tweaking patterns as shown below. Neat.
But there’s a caveat! It only works for regular verbs.
Granted, most verbs are regular and, therefore, this strategy is still widely applicable and useful. However, and as you may know, some of the most frequently used verbs are irregular.