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Portuguese grammar
made easy

Check these Portuguese grammar tips and your language learning is going to be easier. Believe me, one step at a time!

Part 1: Understand the 8 Parts of Speech

The Portuguese Grammar is similar to English. Most words you are learning belong to one of eight groups called Parts of Speech. They are nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjuctions or interjections.

Let's have a look at each of them, and see some examples:

I think your new book will contain a lot of important sections of grammar. The way you explain the material is just great. I would like to continue learning Portuguese using your books.

- Antonina Avdeeva, Russia

Part 2: Learn the Basics in Portuguese

Now that you've gone so far, you can relax a little bit...

Thanks for taking the time to make this.

- Brian, USA

Part 3: Master the Confusing Words

Some words in Portuguese have different meanings in different contexts. The more you practice these words, the easier they will become:

  • Step 14 - A Gente x Gente x Agente
  • Step 15 - Bem x Bom 
  • Step 16 - Brincar x Jogar x Tocar
  • Step 17 - Duas x Dois
  • Step 18 - Gostar x Gostaria
  • Step 19 - Ir x Vir
  • Step 20 - Levar x Trazer
  • Step 21 - Mas x Mais
  • Step 22 - Muito x Muitos
  • Step 23 - O Que x Que x Qual
  • Step 24 - Pais x País
  • Step 25 - Pouco x Poucos
  • Step 26 - Precisar x Precisar de ??
  • Step 27 - Saber x Conhecer
  • Step 28 - Saber x Poder x Conseguir
  • Step 29 - Ser x Estar
  • Step 30 - Ter x Ter que


More helpful than high school gym class. Thank you Charlles. With this foundation learning the language is 10X easier. Well done on putting it together.

- Prince, USA

Part 1: Understand the 8 Parts of Speech

Step 1 - What's a Noun?

A noun is a word that names a person, place, thing or idea.

A borboleta é colorida.

Ele comprou uma casa.

The butterfly is colorful.

He bought a house.

In Portuguese, nouns ending in 'o' are usually masculine, and nouns ending in 'a' are usually feminine. Have a look:

A borboleta. A casa. A família. A amiga. A namorada.

The butterfly. The house. The family. The friend. The girlfriend.

O carro. O marido. O espaço. O apartamento. O avião.

The car. The husband. The space. the apartment. The plane.

As this is a basic Program, you are not going to see the exceptions here, ok? Don't worry. You will have plenty of time to learn them on the go...

Step 2 - What's a Pronoun?

A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun.

Maria estuda inglês. Ela fala muito bem.

Marcelo trabalha aqui. Ele é o gerente.

Maria studies English. She speaks very well.

Marcelo works here. He is the manager.

There are different types of pronouns in Portuguese. In order to talk at a basic level, you don't need to learn how to categorize them. You just need to practice until you use them properly. Here they are:

2.1 Personal Pronouns refer to who performs the action:

  • Eu nado de manhã.
  • Você come muito?
  • Ele corre rápido.
  • Ela vem de bicicleta.
  • I swim in the morning.
  • Do you eat a lot?
  • He runs fast.
  • She comes by bycicle.

2.2 Object Pronouns refer to who receives the action:

  • Eu gosto de você.
  • Você gosta de mim?
  • Ela não gosta dele.
  • Ele não gosta dela.
  • I like you.
  • Do you like me?
  • She doesn't like him.
  • He doesn't like her.

* These pronouns usua

2.3 Possessive Adjective are not pronouns. They show who possesses something. They refer to the owner.

  • Minha bicicleta é novinha.
  • Seu carro é moderno.
  • A casa dela é espaçosa.
  • O sorriso dele é bonito.
  • My bike is brand new.
  • Your car is modern.
  • Her house is large.
  • His smile is beautiful.

*In English, these pronouns always come before the noun. In Portuguese, they usually come before the noun, but in the third person (he/his, she/her) they come after the noun:

O namorado dela. A namorada dele. O marido dela. A esposa dele.

2.4 Possessive Pronouns also show who has something, but they refer to a pronoun already mentioned.

  • Sua casa é nova. A minha não.
  • Eu não trouxe minha lanterna. Pega a sua!
  • Você vai chamar seu pai ou o meu?
  • Your house is new. Mine isn't.
  • I haven't brought my flashlight. Bring yours!
  • Are you going to call your father or mine?

2.5 Reflexive Pronouns are used when a person performs and receives the action, or when a person does something without help.

  • Você fala sozinho?
  • Ela sorriu para si mesmo no espelho.
  • Ele foi descuidado e se cortou com a faca.
  • Do you talk to yourself?
  • She smiled at herself in the mirror.
  • He was not careful and he cut himself with a knife.

Step 3 - What's a Verb?

Step 4 - What's an Adjective?

Step 5 - What's an Adverb?

Step 6 - What's a Preposition?

Step 7 - What's a Conjunction?

Step 8 - What's an Interjection?

Part 2: Learn the Basics in Portuguese

Step 9 - How to Use Cognates in Portuguese?

Cognates are similar words between two languages.

9.1 Nouns

animal, hospital, moral

capacidade, eternidade, cidade

nação, emoção, organização

turista, dentista, humorista

feminismo, criticismo, entusiasmo

ciência, paciência, inteligência

cor, ator, favor

missionário, adversário, contrário

animal, hospital, moral

capacity, eternity, city

nation, emotion, organization

turist, dentist, humorist

feminism, criticism, entusiasm

science, pacience, intelligence

color, actor, favor

missionary, adversary, contrary

9.2 Adjectives

real, radical, virtual

excelente, importante, paciente

econômico, metálico, pacífico

lúcido, esplêndido, vívido

automóvel, réptil, projétil

adotivo, criativo, imaginativo

invisível, incrível, acessível

delicioso, famoso, generoso

real, radical, virtual

excellent, important, pacient

economic, metalic, pacific

lucid, esplendid, vivid

automobile, reptile, projectile

adoptive, creative, imaginative

invisible, incredible, accessible

delicious, famous, generous

9.3 Verbs

celebrar, criar, doar

dançar, completar, imaginar

amplificar, qualificar, simplificar

comentar, consultar, reportar

(to) celebrate, create, donate

(to) dance, complete, imagine

(to) amplify, qualify, simplify

(to) comment, consult, report

9.4 Adverbs

usualmente, diariamente, originalmente

usually, daily, originally

By reading aloud these cognates in Portuguese, you will be able to recognize about 3,000 words!

Step 10 - How to Use Articles in Portuguese?

Step 11 - How to Use Numerals in Portuguese?

Step 12 - How to Make Comparisons in Portuguese?

Step 13 - How to Make Phrases in Portuguese?

Step 14 - A Gente x Gente x Agente

Step 15 - Bem x Bom

Step 16 - Brincar x Jogar x Tocar

Step 17 - Duas x Dois

Step 18 - Gostar x Gostaria

Step 19 - Ir x Vir

Step 20 - Levar x Trazer

Step 21 - Mas x Mais

Step 22 - Muito x Muitos

Step 23 - O Que x Que x Qual

Step 24 - Pais x País

Step 25 - Pouco x Poucos

Step 26 - Precisar x Precisar de

Step 27 - Saber x Conhecer

Step 28 - Saber x Conseguir x Poder

Step 29 - Ser x Estar

Step 30 - Ter x Ter que

I hope you may now recognize the Portuguese grammar at a glance!

Charlles Nunes

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Portuguese Grammar in a Nutshell

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