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 needed.

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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?

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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?

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

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Beginners A2

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.

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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?

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 70/30 ratio.

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 think you'd have trouble coping with a challenging learning environment, consider enrolling for the Clean Slate A0 instead (if available).

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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?

Take this placement test

Any questions?

Inquiry

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

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The Portuguese Verb Fazer

The Portuguese verb Fazer is extensively used in everyday life and means different things depending on the context.

Often, the English equivalent of Fazer is either the verb Make or Do. Here’s an example:

– O que estás a fazer?
– Estou a fazer o jantar.
– What are you doing?
– I’m making dinner.

Here’s what its conjugation looks like in the Present and Past tenses:

PresentPreteriteImperfect
eufaçofizfazia
tufazesfizestefazias
ele, elafazfezfazia
nósfazemosfizemosfaziamos
vocêsfazemfizeramfaziam
else, elasfazemfizeramfaziam
Past participle >feito
Gerund >fazendo

Additionally, Fazer is one of the most idiomatic Portuguese verbs. Here are a few examples of Portuguese idioms with Fazer:

Não fazer ideia

– Quantos somos para jantar?
– Não faço ideia.
No clue

– How many are we for dinner?
– I have no idea.
Tanto faz

– Queres chá ou café?
– Tanto faz.
It doesn’t matter

– Do you want tea or coffee?
– Either is fine
.
Fazer de conta

Eu ontem vi Andreia na rua, mas ela fez de conta que não me viu.
Pretend

I saw Andreia on the street yesterday, but she pretended she didn’t see me.

There’s so much more to it! I invite you to dive into this and other Portuguese verb jewels in my course Portuguese Verb Gems

Conjugation

The Portuguese verb fazer is irregular. Here is what the verb forms look like in the present and past tenses:

PresentPreteriteImperfect
eufaçofizfazia
tufazesfizestefazias
ele, elafazfezfazia
nósfazemosfizemosfaziamos
vocêsfazemfizeramfaziam
else, elasfazemfizeramfaziam
Past participle >feito
Gerund >fazendo

Now that you are familiarized with Fazer’s conjugation, let’s look at its usage. 

Reading tips! The preterite and the imperfect (pretérito perfeito and imperfeito correspondingly) are two aspects of the past tense. Learn more about it: Portuguese Perfect vs. Imperfect Tense: Know When to Use Which.

Usage

Make | do | take

The verb fazer often corresponds to the English verbs make, do, and take.

Make

A sofia estava a fazer o almoço e sujou a camisa com azeite. A camisa dela foi muito cara e é feita num tecido de algodão muito frágil. Foi feita no Japão. Ela quer remover a nódoa mas hesita, está com medo de fazer uma asneira e estragar o tecido Finalmente, decide fazer um telefonema para a sua amiga a fim de se aconselhar.Sofia was making lunch and stained her shirt with cooking oil. Her shirt was very expensive and made of delicate cotton fabric. It was made in Japan. She wants to remove the stain, but she hesitates as she is afraid of making a mistake and damaging the fabric. Finally, she decides to make a phone call to her friend asking for advice. 
Eu andei muito tempo zangado com o meu irmão. No outro dia fizemos as pazes. Também fizemos um acordo: evitar a todo o custo fazer ou dizer alguma coisa que faz o outro ficar triste. E também evitar fazer uma tempestade num copo de água.My brother and I had been cross with each other for a long time. We made peace the other day. We’ve also made a deal: to avoid at all costs saying or doing something that makes the other sad.  And also to avoid making a storm in a glass of water.
O Fernando está a fazer um filme. Hoje está a gravar uma cena de um casal a ter uma rixa no meio da rua. Eles vão fazer uma cena, uma cena dentro da cena! Que trocadilho.Fernando is making a movie. Today he’s shooting a scene in which a couple starts fighting on the street.  They will make a scene, a scene within the scene. What a pun.

Do

– O que estás a fazer
Estou a fazer os trabalhos de casa.
– Já está tudo feito?
– Os de matemática já fiz. Agora vou fazer os de química.
– Muito bem.– Faço o meu melhor.
– What are you doing?
– I am doing my homework.
– Is it all done?
– I did math already. Now I am going to do chemistry.
– Well done.
– I do my best.
As pessoas perguntam-me o que quero fazer da vida. Tudo o que eu quero é encontrar um propósito, e não fazer coisas só por fazer. Vou fazer tudo por tudo para me encontrar. People ask me what I want to do with my life. All I want is to find a purpose, not do things only for the sake of doing them. I will do everything I can to find myself.

Take

The English verb take often corresponds to the Portuguese verb tomar, as in Tomar um duche (take a shower). There are nonetheless a number of situations in which fazer suitably translates the verb take. A few examples:

Fazer uma pausa

Precisas de fazer uma pausa?
Take a break

Do you need to take a break?
Fazer um curso

O Bruno fez um curso de Japonês
Take a course

Bruno took a course in Japanese.
Fazer efeito

Tenta relaxar até o medicamento fazer efeito.
Take effect

Try to relax until the medicine takes effect. 

Idioms & set phrases 

There is no shortage of Portuguese expressions and set phrases with fazer. Here are a few examples:

Fazer ideia

– Quantos somos para jantar?
– Não faço ideia.
To have an idea/clue

– How many are we for dinner?
– I have no idea.
Faz favor

– Faz favor, aqui tem o seu café.
There you go

– There you go, your coffee is here.
Se faz favor

– Traga a conta, se faz favor.
Please

– Bring the bill, please.
Tanto faz

– Queres chá ou café?
– Tanto faz.
It doesn’t matter / whatever

– Do you want tea or coffee?
– Whatever.
Fazer parte

Eles fazem parte do nosso grupo de amigos próximos.
Be included

They are part of our group of close friends.
Fazer perguntas

Ela gosta de fazer perguntas sobre a minha vida privada.
Ask questions

She likes to ask questions about my private life.
Fazer o papel

O Manuel gosta de fazer o papel de vítima.
Play (a role)

Manuel Machado likes to play victim.
Fazer de conta

Eu ontem vi Andreia na rua, mas ela fez de conta que não me viu.
Pretend, feign

I saw Andreia on the street yesterday, but she feigned she didn’t see me.
Fazer bem/mal à saúde

Fazer desporto regularmente faz bem à saúde.
Be good/bad for health

Practicing sports regularly is healthy.
Fazer anos

O João Pedro fez 45 anos no mês passado.

Este ano, A Gabriela e o Joel fazem 25 anos de casados.
To turn … years (birthday/anniversary) 

João Pedro turned 45 years old last month.


This year, Gabriela and Joel will be celebrating their 25th anniversary of being married.
Fazer festinhas

Posso fazer festinhas ao vosso cão?
Pet

May I pet your dog?
Fazer praia

Este ano ainda não fiz praia nenhuma.
Spend time at the beach

I still haven’t been to the beach this year.
Fazer confusão

Ele fez confusão e bateu na porta errada.
Get confused (mix things up)

He got confused and he knocked on the wrong door.
Fazer uma festa

A Mariana diz que quer fazer uma festa de arromba quando fizer 50 anos.
Throw a party

Mariana says that she wants to throw a big party when she turns 50.
Fazer o almoço

Liguei à Carolina mas ela não atendeu. Estava ocupada a fazer o almoço.
Prepare/make lunch (or any other meal)

I called Carolina but she didn’t answer. She was busy preparing lunch.
Fazer uma casa

A Márcia fez uma casa no Algarve.
Build a house

Márcia built a house in the Algarve region. 
Fazer uma refeição

Nós fazemos três refeições ao dia: pequeno-almoço, almoço e jantar. 
Have a meal

We have three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Fazer as vezes

Ela tinha um gato que morreu há mais de um ano. Ela sentiu tanto a falta dele que agora arranjou um cão para lhe fazer as vezes. 
Replace

She had a cat that died over one year ago. She missed him so much that now she bought a dog one to replace him.
Fazer uma visita

Amanhã vou fazer uma visita à minha prima.
Pay a visit

Tomorrow I will call in on my cousin to see her.
Fazer compras

O Paulo está sempre a fazer compras. Deve ter muito dinheiro.
Go shopping

Paulo is always shopping. He must be rich.
Fazer caso

– Papá, eles estão a gozar comigo.
– Não faças caso.
Pay attention

– Daddy, they are making fun of me!
– Just ignore them.
Fazer a barba

Eu faço a barba dia sim dia não.
Shave

I shave every other day.
Fazer por

Vou fazer por chegar a tempo à reunião.
Try

I will try to come on time for the meeting.
Fazer tempo

– O que estás a fazer aí sentado?– Nada, estou só a fazer tempo. 
Marking time

What are you doing sitting there?– Nothing. I am just marking time.
Fazer as malas

Eu estava tão cansado dele que decidi fazer as malas e ir-me embora.
Pack

I was so tired of her that I decided to pack and leave.
Fazer com que

Fiz com que ele se arrependesse do que me disse.
Make/have someone do something

I had him regretting what he said to me.
Fazer concorrência

Esta indústria é um sonho. Há poucas empresas a fazer concorrência.
Compete

This industry is like a dream. There are few companies competing.

Pronominal usage

There are times where we conjugate fazer reflexively or with an object pronoun.

Tips! To learn more about Portuguese object and reflexive pronouns read the following articles:

Portuguese Object Pronouns: What Are They for and Where to Place Them
Portuguese Reflexive Verbs and Reflexive Pronoun Placement

A few examples:

Fazer-se de …

Ontem fizeste-te de burro. Hoje fazes-te de esquecido. E amanhã? Vais fazer-te de esperto?
Play/pretend

Yesterday you played dumb. Today you play forgetful. What about tomorrow? Are you going to play smartass? 
Fazer confusão a alguém

Vocês eram um casal exemplar e divorciaram-se? Faz-me confusão.
Difficult to understand

You were such an exemplary couple and yet you got divorced? I can’t wrap my head around it.
Fazer-se alguém

Ela fez-se uma mulher de sucesso.
Becoming ‘someone’ by own merit

She made herself a successful woman
Fazer-se a alguém

A Julia passou a noite inteira a fazer-se ao Gustavo.
Hit on someone

Julia spent all night hitting on Gustavo.
Fazer-se (transformar-se)

O edifício ardeu durante 4 horas e fez-se em cinzas.
Become

The building burned for 4 hours down to ashes.
Estar feito

Ele está feito.
Be screwed

It’s over for him.
Estar feito com alguém

Eles estão feitos (um com o outro).
To collude with someonee

They colluded (it’s rigged).

Time & weather

The verb haver* is often used in temporal expressions, specifically, the verb form . Sometimes, however, you may also hear people using fazer instead:

muito tempo que não te via.
fazia muito tempo que não te via.
Long time no see.

Vivo em Lisboa cinco anos.
Vivo em Lisboa faz cinco anos.
I’ve been living in Lisbon for five years.

Also, you can use fazer when talking about the weather as an alternative to estar:

Hoje está muito calor.
Hoje faz muito calor.
Today is really hot.

Ontem esteve muito vento.
Ontem fez muito vento.
It was very windy yesterday.

* Learn more about the Portuguese verb haver: The Portuguese Verb “Haver” and All the Things You Say with It.

Perfect vs. Imperfect

Break Free from the Tyranny of the Present Tense

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Portuguese Bad Words

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