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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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Learn more about the CEFR scale

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).

CEFR Scale

Learn more about the CEFR scale

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.

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.

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.

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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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Portuguese Spelling Reform

In 1990, various Portuguese-speaking countries agreed on a spelling reform to create and maintain a cohesive, international standard across borders.

In Portugal, in particular, the spelling reform came into effect in 2009 followed by a transitional 6-year period where the old and new orthographies were allowed to co-exist.

In Portugal in particular, there is to this date a de facto spelling double standard in Portugal.

This double standard is caused, on one hand, by a widespread lack of awareness of the new spelling rules and, on the other, by the fact that several journalists, authors, and a few publishers simply refuse to follow the new orthography (for reasons that are outside the scope of this post).

To see the same words spelled differently on different sources can be a bit confusing for language learners (for instance, baptismo vs. batismo). The goal of this article is to clarify what has changed since the latest Portuguese spelling reform came into effect.

Let’s get started.

Note! The spelling reform pertains exclusively to orthography, that is, it doesn’t have anything to do with phonology or lexicon. This means that Brazilians, Portuguese, Angolans, and other Portuguese native speakers* keep pronouncing the words as they did before the reform. Also, they keep using their local, culture-specific words and expressions.

*Learn where in the world Portuguese is spoken: Portuguese Speaking Countries and Communities around the World

Silent consonants

Except for the letter h – which in Portuguese is always mute – we no longer write mute consonants such as silent c’s or p’s.

Here’re a few examples:

BeforeAfter
actoato
acçãoação
detectivedetetive
óptimoótimo
baptismobatismo
. . .

But! We keep the c’s and p’s when we pronounce them:

BeforeAfter
facto‘’
pacto‘’
Egípcio‘’
. . .

! A common misunderstanding

I often hear people talking against the spelling reform (and refusing to follow it) based on a widespread misunderstanding: they think that all those p’s and c’s mentioned above are – according to the reform –  gone, even when you are supposed to pronounce them, which is not true as illustrated by the table above. 

There are a few words subjected to alternative spellings. Those are cases where some pronounce the c’s and the p’s while others don’t. Then, either spelling is considered correct:

BeforeAfter
infeccioso‘’ or infecioso
sectorial‘’ or setorial
olfacto‘’ or olfato
. . .

Last but not least, in some words, these c’s and p’s are pronounced in the European standard but not in Brazilian. And vice-versa. 

In these cases, there is a double standard according to each variant of Portuguese:

European standardBrazilian standard
factofato
contactarcontatar
defetivodefectivo
conceçãoconcepção
corrupçãocorrução
receçãorecepção
. . . 

Reading tips! Learn more about how the European and Brazilian standards compare: European vs. Brazilian Portuguese – How Different Are They Really?

Diacritical marks

To accommodate differences in pronunciation between the European and Brazilian standards, some words are subject to different accent marks:

European PortugueseBrazilian Portuguese
académicoacadêmico
cénicocênico
bidébidê
. . .

Further reading tips! The circumflex accent marks a more closed vowel sound. Learn more about Portuguese diacritics here: Portuguese Word Stress and Accent Marks

Before the reform, the 1-person plural in the preterite tense (Pretérito Perfeito) took an accent mark to graphically distinguish it from the present tense (same pronunciation and spelling otherwise)*.

After the reform, it became optional to use the accent mark:

BeforeAfter
Ontem ficámos em casa
Hoje ficamos em casa
Ontem ficámos/ficamos em casa
Hoje ficamos em casa
Ontem cozinhámos bacalhau
Hoje cozinhamos bacalhau
Ontem cozinhámos/cozinhamos bacalhau
Hoje cozinhamos bacalhau
. . .

* Only applies to regular verbs of the -ar conjugation group.

A few verbs of the second and third conjugation groups (-er, -ir) had, before the reform, a circumflex accent mark on the 3-person plural. That’s not the case any longer:

BeforeAfter
crêem (crer)creem
vêem (ver)veem
lêem (ler)leem
. . .

Before the spelling reform, the verb form para (verb Parar, 3-person)  had an acute accent mark to denote a more open vowel sound in comparison to the preposition para

Nowadays the verb form and preposition are homographs (same spelling, different pronunciation):

BeforeAfter
pára (verb from) para (verb from) 
para (preposition)‘’

The diphthong oi no longer takes an accent mark (to denote an open vowel sound) unless it comprises the last syllable:

BeforeAfter
asteróideasteroide
jóiajoia
but
herói‘’
constrói‘’
. . .

Hyphenation

The hyphen drops

We no longer use a hyphen in compound words with prefixes such as anti-, re-,  co-, extra-, intra-, pro-, multi-, pluri-, contra-, among others:

BeforeAfter
co-dependentecodependente
re-equilíbrioreequilíbrio
contra-indicaçãocontraindicação
neo-impressionismoneoimpresionismo
auto-avaliaçãoautoavaliação
geo-estratégicogeoestratégico
multi-colormulticolor
pluri-anualplurianual
. . .

Also, we don’t use the hyphen in compound words in which the prefix ends in a vowel and the remainder starts with r or s

However, we do have to duplicate the s and r so that the spelling agrees with Portuguese spelling-pronunciation patterns*. 

BeforeAfter
contra-regracontrarregra
anti-semitaantissemita
auto-rádioautorrádio
. . .

* Learn more about Portuguese spelling pronunciation patterns here: European Portuguese Pronunciation – Complete Guide to Portuguese Phonology and Spelling-Sound Patterns

We don’t hyphenate compound words with the prefix mal- unless the suffix starts with a vowel or h :

BeforeAfter
mal-falantemalfalante
mal-criadomalcriado
but
mal-amado‘’
mal-estar‘’
mal-humorado‘’
. . .

We no longer use a hyphen between Haver’s verb forms and de:

BeforeAfter
hei-de ir ao Japãohei de ir ao Japão
hás-de me entenderhás de me entender
. . .

Reading tips! Haver is a high-frequency verb. Learn more about it: The Portuguese Verb “Haver” and All the Things You Say with It.

The hyphen is kept

For the most part, we keep hyphenating some compound words to be consistent with the language’s spelling-pronunciation patterns.

Except for prefixes re– and co-, we hyphenate compound nouns in which the prefix ends in a vowel and the suffix starts with the same vowel:

BeforeAfter
contraataque‘’
microondas‘’
autoobservação‘’
. . . but
cooperaçãocooperação
coordenaçãocoordenação
reescreverreescrever
. . .

Also, we use the hyphen in compound words with prefixes ending with an –r – such as hiper-, inter-, or super- – and suffixes starting with the same letter:

BeforeAfter
hiperresistente‘’
superreacionário‘’
. . .

We hyphenate compound words denoting plants and animals:

BeforeAfter
couve-flor‘’
erva-doce‘’
bicho-da-seda‘’
. . .

We hyphenate compound words with prefixes ending in –m (nasal sound) such as bem-, além-, aquém-, and recém- 

BeforeAfter
bem-vindo‘’
além-mar‘’
recém-nascido‘’
sem-abrigo‘’
. . .

We hyphenate compound words that take the prefixes ex-, vice-, pré-, pós- och pró-:

BeforeAfter
ex-marido‘’
vice-presidente‘’
pré-história‘’
pró-democracia‘’
pós-parto‘’
. . .

Lower- or uppercase?

According to the spelling reform, weekdays, months, and seasons are no longer capitalized:

BeforeAfter
Terça-feiraterça-feira
Marçomarço
Primaveraprimavera
. . .

Concerning titles and headings, only the first word is capitalized:

BeforeAfter
O Crime do Padre AmaroO crime do padre Amaro
Crime e CastigoCrime e castigo
E Tudo o Vento LevouE tudo o vento levou
. . .

Moreover, forms of address are no longer capitalized:

BeforeAfter
Senhor Doutor

Sr. Dr. 
senhor doutor
sr. dr.
Senhora Engengeira 
Sra. Eng.
senhora engengeira 
sra. eng.
Excelentíssimo  Senhor
Exmo. Sr.
excelentíssimo senhor
exmo. sr.
. . .

You get to choose whether or not you capitalize religious scriptures, saints and other sacred figures, subjects of knowledge, monuments, streets, and public places:

BeforeAfter
Nossa Senhora‘’ or nossa senhora 
Bíblia‘’ or bíblia
Igreja da Misericórdia‘’ or igreja da misericórdia
Matemática‘’ or matemática
Avenida da Liberdade ‘’ or avenida da liberdade 
. . .

Stay tuned for upcoming Courses, Stories, and other Novelties.

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