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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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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.

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The Imperative in Portuguese

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*: 

Imperative 1singular, informal (tu), affirmation
Imperative 2 singular, informal (tu), negation
Imperative 3 singular, formal (você)
Imperative 4plural

* There are a few other Imperative forms that I am skipping since these are archaic and seldom used in modern Portuguese. 

Here are a few examples

sempre em frente!
Go straight ahead!

Não digas 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. Read on.

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, as you may know, some of the most frequently used verbs are irregular.

That said, let’s learn the tweaks. 

Reading tips! Learn more about regular conjugation:
Portuguese Regular Verbs in the Present Tense
Portuguese Regular Verbs in the Past Tense

Tu (informal)

In informal contexts, the Imperative form varies depending on if it’s part of an affirmative or negative sentence. 

To find the affirmative and negative variants, and for each conjugation group, we tweak the endings of the first-person Present tense according to the following patterns: 

FIRST-PERSON
Present tense
IMPERATIVE 1
affirmation
IMPERATIVE 2
negation
-ar | andar *andoanda!não andes!
-er | beberbebobebe!não bebas!
-ir | partirpartoparte!não partas!

* These infinite forms are examples of verbs fitting into each conjugation group. All other regular verbs of each group follow the same patterns. 

Você (formal)

In formal contexts, there’s only one Imperative form (regardless of whether the sentence is affirmative or not). 

To find it, and for each conjugation group, we tweak the endings of the first-person Present tense according to the following patterns: 

FIRST-PERSON
Present tense
IMPERATIVE 3
-ar | andarando(não) ande!
-er | beberbebo(não) bebe!
-ir | partirparto(não) parta!

Vocês (plural)

Finally, when we talk to a group of people, we tweak the endings of the first-person Present tense according to the following patterns: 

FIRST-PERSON
Present tense
IMPERATIVE 4
-ar | andarando(não) andem!
-er | beberbebo(não) bebam!
-ir | partirparto(não) partam!

Again, all these tweaks in spelling won’t work with irregular verbs. To deal with that, you’ll have to adopt another strategy (see below) or learn it by heart over time. 

Irregular verbs

Here are the Imperative forms of six widely used irregular verbs*:

IMP 1 IMP 2 IMP 3 IMP 4
sersê!não sejas!(não) seja!(não) sejam!
estarestá!não estejas!(não) esteja!(não) estejam!
dardá!não dês!(não) dê!(não) deem!
irvai!não vás!(não) vá(não) vão
fazerfaz!não faças!(não) faça!(não) façam
vervê!não vejas!(não) veja!(não) vejam!

* Speaking of irregular verbs! Here’s an article with such irregular gems: Portuguese Must-Know Irregular Verbs.

Strategy 2 – Getting to the root

This second path to the Imperative forms implies that, besides the Present tense indicative, you are acquainted with the Present tense Subjunctive*. 

See, the Present tense subjunctive grants you access to the Imperative forms of all verbs, whether or not they are regular.

*Learn more about this tense: Present Subjunctive in Portuguese: How and When to Use It

So, here’s how it all works: 

IMPERATIVE 1IMPERATIVE 2IMPERATIVE 3IMPERATIVE 4
3-person sing. IND. MOOD2-person sing. SUB. MOOD1-person sing.SUB. MOOD2-person plu.SUB. MOOD

Now, let’s see if the scheme shown above holds. We start with the regular verb Beber

BEBER
Present tense
> Indicative> Subjunctive
eubebobeba
tubebesbebas
ele, elabebebeba
nósbebemosbebamos
vocês
eles, elas
bebembebam

As we can see, the suggested Imperative forms of Strategy 2 match those indicated by Strategy 1.

Let’s now try with an irregular verb: 

IR
Present tense
> Indicative> Subjunctive
euvou
tuvaisvás
ele, elavai
nósvamosvamos
vocês
eles, elas
vãovão

Again, if you look up the table of the irregular verbs above, you’ll see that the Imperative forms are the same.

There’s only one exception! And that’s the Imperative 1  of the verb ser – “sê”.  In this case, the third-person indicative mood won’t match it. But that’s about it when it comes to exceptions.

This is it. I hope that these two strategies will somehow help you to cope with this imperative challenge.

Reading tips! Do you want to explore more verb-related topics? Here are a few suggestions for you: 

1. How to Tell “Poder” Apart From “Conseguir” in Portuguese
2. Portuguese Past Participle and Auxiliary Verbs that Go with It
3. Portuguese Reflexive Verbs and Reflexive Pronoun Placement
4. Portuguese Grammar for Beginners

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

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