If you want to learn Portuguese with Rafa click here to see what I mean

Lately my life has been abnormally busy. With lots of things to do, moving out to another house, lots of creating ideas to manifest, and obviously lots of thinking on ways to make you learn Portuguese faster.

I know, you may have noticed my absence. Lately I've been quiet... but I'll tell you why in a minute...

It's so good to know that the long, cold and lonely winter season is almost over...!!!

It's also so good to notice that as the time changes, the days become longer and you can start spotting more and more beautiful smiles as you walk down the streets...

But, wait a minute!

What does that mean to you?

Well, I guess much more than that spring and summer are just around the corner...

Exactly! With spring comes plenty of people who are fed up and tired of staying indoors.

Many people, including me and probably you as well, are itching to get outside, be social, go out with other people, and yes, many of them will be looking for other people to speak Portuguese and practice their language skills! Many will be willing to exchange Portuguese for English or another language you may speak.

Have you realised the real power of this? Have you realised that you can turn this into a big advantage for you?

Because this is a very special time of the year, and also because the economy is starting to show a little bit of recovering, this is just another time for celebration.

I believe this is time for us to change our mood and feel happier.

But this is the time for changes too!

This is the time for you to review your goals and analyse what you have done so far to achieve them.

In my previous newsletter I shared the following thought with you:

"Spend a good time of today setting a goal for yourself about how you can learn Portuguese quicker. Do the same tomorrow, and the day after. Day after day, and little by little, you'll reach a better level in your Portuguese learning process. Remember, don't waste the day of today, because sooner or later you will run out of time. So, if you haven't started yet, start now!"

Yep! So my question is: What have you done so far?

Have you started using your time in a better and more efficient way towards your goals? What have you done towards your Portuguese proficiency?

Think for a minute and give all the answers to yourself...

Wow! You have done all of that? Ótimo!!!

I've done a lot too!

Let me confess you something.

Many were those days when I felt like doing nothing! Just chill and being lazy! Those days after a weekend specially...

But then I thought of what I had recommended to you on my previous newsletter...

... I thought to myself: Hmmm that wouldn't be fair on them having me saying "faça o que eu digo e não o que eu faço" - "do what I say, and not what I do".

So, I rolled up my sleeves and started working on ways that I could help you learn Portuguese vocabulary in an effortless and easy way.

That, for me, was a big step towards one of the goals I committed myself to reach this year – finding ways to make people learn Portuguese quicker!

So, I had an idea and now I'm developing that idea.

No! I haven't finished it yet. But, I have been working on this idea since January, day and night believe me!

Hey, don't worry! I've had sufficient rest as well. :-) I know people are not machines, but what I want to say is that's why I have been quiet.

Very soon I will be able to reveal to you what I have been developing. Not yet! But I just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking of you and working hard on ways to make you reach proficiency in Portuguese.

Anyway... I think it’s time now to go to the “nitty gritty”. I’m sure this newsletter will, for many of you, be a breakthrough in one more aspect of the Portuguese language.

In this newsletter I'll reply to two emails I have selected among many of those you've been sending me - Obrigado!

So, let’s see the first one:



I really don't know what I can say Rafa. Honestly, I'm just blown away with the information you showed me for free in your website. I know I get nervous talking to Portuguese speakers. Hell, that's why I read your website. Now I control myself, I know better what to say and why I say things in a certain way.

I still have a question though. What's the difference between "Eu vou sempre ao cinema na quarta-feira." and "Eu sempre vou ao cinema na quarta-feira"? They seem to be very similar, but totally different as well...




Oi Julia, thank you for your compliments. That's what I am here for.

Thank you for your amazing question too!

Let's put it this way...

At first glance, you can't notice much difference on these two similar sentences, right? But you feel they are different. You are right. They are.

"Eu vou sempre ao cinema na quarta-feira."


"Eu sempre vou ao cinema na quarta-feira."

Are two completely different sentences.

What I am going to reveal to you here is so important and so often unnoticed that you probably won't believe!

And yes! Once again, these two sentences are completely different. They express two completely different situations and ideas.

The first sentence - "Eu vou sempre ao cinema na quarta-feira." – with the word "sempre" after the verb (vou), shows frequency, and it means "Always" in English. It shows that every time you go to the cinema and the day you always choose to go is a Wednesday. In other words, it implies that the day you go to the cinema is every Wednesday of every week.

The second sentence, however - "Eu sempre vou ao cinema na quarta-feira." – with the word "sempre" before the verb means "in the end...", it shows your confident decision to go to the cinema next Wednesday. This second statement shows that you have been thinking of the different possibilities about when you should go to the cinema - maybe on Monday or perhaps on Wednesday or even Saturday - but you have decided to go on Wednesday.

I believe, the more approximate way you could say this in English would be something like "In the end, I’ve decided to go to the cinema on Wednesday".

Isn’t this amazing? I think it’s extraordinary!

By just placing the word "sempre" before or after the main verb, you are saying two completely different things in Portuguese!

Now imagine asking questions to your friends using this little language ability...

Imagine you asking your Portuguese speaking fiend or family member something like: "Hey Anna, (in the end) are you coming over this weekend or not?" – in Portuguese you would simply say: "Oh Anna, (você) sempre vem à minha casa no fim de semana?"

Bang! You have passed your message across!

She may reply to you in a very normal way, for instance... "Ainda não sei..." (I’m not sure yet) or "Com certeza que sim!" (Sure I will), but her simple answer will mean a lot to you.

Her simple answer will make you feel satisfaction because you asked her the right question. You got an answer straight away in return, without any further questions from her. This, my friend, is just sooooo rewarding...

You may also want to come to your friend and say: "Anna, in the end, I have decided to buy the red car" (and not the blue one). In Portuguese you'd simply say: "Anna, sempre vou comprar o carro vermelho!"

Bang! Once again!

This is so easy... yet, so important!

Remember that this idea of expressing "In the end..." only works if you place the word "sempre" before the verb.

If you want to express the idea of "always", you should place the word "sempre" after the verb and not before.

Keep on going Julia! You are doing a great job! Parabéns! (Congratulations!)


"Boa noite Rafa!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the amazing info you have on your site! You are giving me lots of inspiration and motivation! With you Portuguese seems to be so easy...

I still find difficult the listening bit but I know I have to train my ears...

By the way, what’s the difference between "muito", "demais" and "demasiado"?

Muito obrigada!



Boa noite Sophie.

You are very welcome! Thank you for asking this amazing question.

Also, if you want to "train" your ear, you can access and watch Portuguese TV here

Basically "Muito", "Demais" and "Demasiado" mean the same in some situations but different things in other situations. It depends on the context.

Well, we know that "muito" means "a lot"– Eu tenho muito dinheiro (I have a lot of money). It also means "much" – Eu não tenho muito dinheiro. (I don’t have much money).

"Muito" also means "very" – A água está muito fria. (The water is very cold).

However, "Muito" also means TOO.

Not "too" meaning "as well" or "also" in English, but "too" meaning "too much" (e.g. A água está muito fria – The water is too cold).

In this last case, you can replace the word "muito" by "demasiado" (A água está demasiado fria - The water is too cold (for your taste, for instance), and you are still saying the same thing.

In Brazilian Portuguese, I notice that people use the word "demais" more often than in other Lusophone countries.

So, say "A água está demasiado fria." and "A água está fria demais" mean exactly the same. And these two sentences, also mean "A água está muito fria". So, these three sentences mean exactly the same!

Just be aware that the word "demais" is placed after the adjective, which in this case is "fria", whereas the other two words- "muito" and "demasiado" are placed before the adjective.

Got it? ;-)

Well. I think this is it for today! Enjoy your learning and the upcoming good weather. You will hear from me soon, with more great news!

Um abraço e até breve.

Rafa x

PS 1: Questions about any topic? Success stories? Please let me know here http://www.learn-portuguese-with-rafa.com/contact-me.html

PS 2: Also, if you were going to tell your friends ONE PIECE OF ADVICE you learned from me which has helped you to speak Portuguese... What would that be? Let me know in your email!

I look forward to receiving your email :-)


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Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Obrigado. :-)

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Thank You For Your Comments On This Site And The Lessons We Have Together:

"Having found Rafa's website by accident I can honestly say it was the best thing to happen to me on my journey to learn Portuguese.

I started learning on January 2012 (using a language programme) but wanted to take some classes to aid my learning. When I looked on the internet there were so many options and I felt overwhelmed but one day whilst randomly looking on different websites I found Rafa's site and thought it was the best site I had come across but when I found out he did lessons in London I was thrilled - I emailed him and he promptly responded and we arranged to meet for a coffee the next day. Rafa was so confident that I would find his lessons successful that he offered me the first lesson for free and he was right!

What makes Rafa such a fantastic teacher is that not only does he explain the concepts and structure of the language in a clear, concise manner, he inspires his students with the confidence to speak and the motivation to want to learn more - I now take lessons twice a week (2 hours each time) and I always look forward to every lesson.

Learning Portuguese can be extremely frustrating at times but Rafa gives you the belief that with his help and hard work you can achieve your goal.

I have been really impressed with my progress since January and to put it into context - on my first lesson my only contact with Portuguese was 8 lessons on a language programme. With Rafa, we started going through the alphabet and pronunciation rules and now, three months later we are talking in Portuguese about holidays, life in London and even the socio-economic fortunes of young people in Brazil!

Rafa has not only been an inspiring teacher but has become a good friend - he's always happy to answer my emails if I have questions and we often go for a coffee or beer after lessons to discuss my progress and other things of interest.

If you are serious about learning Portuguese I could not recommend Rafa highly enough - he will be the difference between you giving up when the success you want is just around the corner.

Jamie." - London . U.K.


"Hi Rafa

This site is just amazing - I really enjoy having the resource available to learn Portuguese - and have learnt so much from it already.Please keep adding more!

Nina." - South Africa


"A great Portuguese teacher!

Rafa speaks excellent English, and as a result is able to explain subtleties that other teachers can't.

He can speak Portuguese clearly for the beginner or with the slang and difficult pronunciation that everyday Portuguese so often use. This is a great help.

The use of Skype to conduct a lesson at a distance is great. It works absolutely fine.

His site has lots of goodies and is very useful. That, combined with Rafa himself as a teacher over Skype is an excellent way to learn the language."

Dale - Netherlands.


"Dear Rafa,

Just wanted to thank you that you took your time and build this page. In my opinion is the best page for learning Portuguese, I just love your way of teaching! I've already taken lessons in my country but now everything seems much, much easier!

Muito obrigada :)

Ana." - Slovenia


"I contracted the services of Mr Rafael Tavares this summer to help me in the preparation of a series of lectures I will be giving in Mozambique. Mr Tavares managed to impart to me an incredibly clear insight to the fundamentals of Portuguese grammar and construction, which has boosted my ability and confidence enormously."

Dr. Boomer - London, England

"Ola Rafa!

Just want to say that I have found your site on learning Portuguese absolutely great! I am planning to come over to Portugal early next year to live and try to find work. Like you say it takes time to learn a language and that is true, but I do feel much more confident learning Portuguese from your site than any book, class or tapes etc... Thanks for the great site!

Cheers from Melbourne Australia.

Richard" - Australia


"It's just great to learn with Rafa. His enthusiasm, dedication and humour are really inspiring and encouraging. A student could not ask for a better Portuguese teacher."

Jessica - Canada


"Hi Rafa

Congratulations on your site, which I have just found. I began Portuguese just a few weeks ago at weekly evening class and, despite being a pretty good Spanish speaker, am finding Portuguese pronunciation hard going. Your section on this topic, plus the free lesson at front of site, are a definite help to learn Portuguese.Muito obrigado!"

Harry" - UK


"I would have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in recommending in the highest possible terms Mr Tavares to anyone wishing to learn or improve their Portuguese."

John - L.A., USA


"Olá! Eu queria escrever só porque gosto muito do seu site! Eu amo o português!! Eu gosto do que você escreve sobre o medo e a mente quando aprendemos línguas.

Eu gosto de ler coisas sobre como aprender Português na internet. Eu aprendi Português enquanto morei no Rio de Janeiro por 6 meses e falando só com os Brasileiros. Ajudou também ter um namorado brasileiro. Estou aprendendo ainda, todo dia, mas tenho confiança em enfrentar qualquer Brasileiro para dar uma idéa! Hoje em dia tem tantos métodos de estudar. Eu vejo vídeos no youtube - entrevistas, programas de televisão, músicas - e ler os commentarios - isso é muito bom para aprender as gírias! É bom também memorizar as letras das musicas....

Boa sorte! Gostei do seu site!

Stephanie" - USA


"I have been deeply impressed by Rafa's structured way of teaching and his ability to identify the really key aspects for his students, thus enabling me to advance very rapidly without spending time on less important or extraneous topics."

Diane - NY, USA


"Bom dia, Rafa :)

I like your page and it is very useful for me when I learn Portuguese since I get a lot of information which is easy to understand. Thank you so much for your effort.

Donata" - Lithuania


"Olá Rafa!

O meu nome é Jakub. Eu só queria dizer que eu estou feliz de encontrar o seu site. Acho que ele é muito bom e útil! Eu tento aprender a língua Portuguesa porque tenho muitos amigos Angolanos na minha cidade - Cracovia.
And something I'm not yet able to express in Portuguese... I very much like your way of sharing knowledge and your sense of humour. Muito obrigado!

Jakub" - Poland


"Hi Rafa,

Your site is a really useful resource, and I found your comparison of the personal infinitive/future subjunctive very interesting – I happened upon it precisely when I was struggling to grasp the concept, thinking I may be the only one with this problem!

Alex" - UK


"Hi Rafa

This is a great site! I'm a British ex-pat and I have been living in Portugal for 15 months now, but I am still struggling with the language. I've spent a lot of money on books, CDs and language lessons.
I like the idea of practising my pronunciation by reading out the text but I think the text you have chosen is far too difficult. In my opinion, an easier text with more commonly used words would be more useful and make beginners feel less overwhelmed!
Many thanks again, it's a great site!

Jennifer" - Portugal


"Olá Rafa

I love the website!!! I can see that a lot of long nights and a lot of thinking went into this site.

Cenk." - England

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