Portuguese adverbs are words that allow you to say
what you really want to say.

Olá, tudo bem?!

Today we are going to learn the main Portuguese adverbs. If you learn them, your Portuguese will be clearer and impressive!

But you may be wondering what an adverb is. Or perhaps what is the importance of such a word in a Portuguese phrase.

OK, let me explain.

If you don't now what an adverb is, very quickly I can tell you that it is a word which modifies

    1. A verb,

    2. An adjective and sometimes

    3. Another adverb.

To explain the first case, say for instance, you have the phrase

"A Maria lê bem." - "Maria reads well".

The adverb (the word in bold) shows the manner in which Maria's reading is performed. She could read badly, or incorrectly, but the adverb "bem" tells us that the manner she reads is "well" - a good manner.

To explain the second case, for instance , in the examples

"O Manuel é notavelmente inteligente." - "Manuel is remarkably intelligent".

and

"A Sofia é muito bonita." - "Sofia is very beautiful.",

Here, the adverb "notavelmente" modifies the adjective "inteligente", and the other adverb "muito" modifies the adjective "bonita" by expressing the degree of intelligence and beauty, respectively.

Get it? Good!

To give you an example for the last case - when an adverb modifies another adverb - say for instance you have the phrase

"A Catarina fala muito depressa." - "Catarina speaks very quickly."

Here we can see that "muito" and "depressa" are two different adverbs, however "depressa" shows the manner Catarina speaks and "muito" expresses the degree of speed of her speech. She could speak not very quickly or even inadequately quickly, but the adverb tells us that she speaks very quickly.

You see? Easy! Wow, I love this!

In Portuguese, adverbs, are varied in their forms and context to express time, place, mode, quantity, intensity, affirmation, denial, doubt and exclusivity. There are also some "adverbial phrases" or, as the grammar call them, "adverbial locutions", which are no more than adverbs but expressed in more than one word, for instance "de vez em quando" - "now and again"

The following tables will give you the most common adverbs divided by the categories aforementioned, with the equivalent English translation for your guidance. So, let's read them carefully!

    1. Adverbs that indicate TIME:
Portuguese
English
Hoje
Today
Ontem
Yesterday
Amanhã
Tomorrow
Cedo
Early
Tarde
Late
Agora
Now
Nowadays
Now
Already
Já não
Not any more
Então
Then
So
Logo
Shortly
Immediately
Immediately after
Shortly later
Sempre *
Always
All the time
Constantly
Nunca
Never
Ever
Ainda
Still
Yet
Antes
Before
Dantes
Formerly
Those times before
Antigamente
Formerly
Those times before
Primeiro
Firstly
First of all
Enfim
Anyway

* The adverb "sempre" must always follow the verb (e.g. Ela quer sempre bolos" - "She always wants cakes".), because is you place the adverb before the verb (as you do in English), you'll be saying something idiomatically different in Portuguese.

You see, how useful and how important do you think these Portuguese adverbs are for your communication?

Very useful and very important, aren't they?

OK. Let's jump for the next category.

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    2. Adverbs that indicate PLACE:

Portuguese
English
Aqui
Here
There
Then (Brazilian Portuguese)
Alí
Over there
Here
Over there
Perto (de)
Near
Next to
Around the corner
Longe (de)
Far from
Dentro (de)
Inside
Fora (de)
Outside
Adiante (de)
Ahead
Atrás (de)
Behind
At the rear
Detrás (de)
Behind
Acima
Above
Abaixo
Below
Debaixo
Under
Underneath

These are also nice ones, aren't they?

Try to learn these first and then jump to the next ones.

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    3. Adverbs that indicate MODE or MANNER:

Portuguese
English
Bem
Well
Mal
Badly
Melhor
Better
Pior
Worse
Assim
So
This way
Therefore
Depressa
Quicly
Devagar
Slowly
Como
As
Like
The way like
Sobretudo
Above all
Principalmente
Mainly
Facilmente
Easily
Rapidamente
Quickly
Efetivamente
Actually

These ones are very useful ones, don't you think?
Many Portuguese adverbs end in "...mente" - whilst in English end in "...ly", e.g. "fluentemente" - "fluently".

Portuguese adverbs ending in "...mente" are formed from the feminine form of common adjectives, e.g. the adjective "rápido" (quick) in its feminine form is "rárida", so the correspondent Portuguese adverb is "rapidamente" (quickly).

Here is a challenge: How many adverbs ending in "...mente" can you make up from English words?

Have you found some? Write a logical text and use them.

In the meantime, if you are still curious about the next category, read on and let's find together the Portuguese adverbs that indicate quantity or intensity.

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    4. Adverbs that indicate QUANTITY OR INTENSITY:

Portuguese
English
Muito
Very
Much
Too
Too much
Pouco
Little
Mais
More
Plus
Menos
Less
Minus
Tanto
As much
Too much
Tão (de)
So much
Quanto (de)
As much
Quase (de)
Almost
Bastante
A lot
Too much
Enough
Demsiado (de)
Too much

Have you noticed, that in English you need more adverbs than in Portuguese to express yourself? With the same Portuguese adverb you can say things that in English you could not. Interesting hein...

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    5. Adverbs that indicate AFFIRMATION:

Portuguese
English
Sim
Yes
Certamente
Certainly
For sure
Decerto
certainly
Realmente
Really

These Portuguese adverbs are quite easy to guess or even to remember, aren't they?

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    6. Adverbs that indicate DENIAL:

Portuguese
English
Não
No
Don't
Nunca
Never
Ever
Nem
Neither
Nor
Jamais
Never ever

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    7. Adverbs that indicate DOUBT:

Portuguese
English
Talvez
Maybe
Perhaps
May
Se calhar
Maybe
Perhaps
May
Provavelmente
Probably

These are not too many. Actually, when we speak we talk more about real facts than doubting about situations. ;-)

The next category is...

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    8. Adverbs that indicate EXCLUSIVITY:

Portuguese
English
Only
Just
Somente
Only
Just
Unicamente
Only
Just
Apenas
Only
Just
Senão
Otherwise

In this category of Portuguese adverbs we have indeed many ways to say the same thing.

OK. We almost at the end! Ooff! Ok, the last category is...

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    9. ADVERBIAL PHRASES OR LOCUTIONS:


Portuguese
English
Às escuras
In the dark
Às direitas
Right
Well
ÀS vezes
Sometimes
Ao acaso
Randomly
Em breve
Soon
Shorly
Em vão
In vain
À toa
Crazily
Por acaso
By chance
De baixo
Under
De lado
Beside
A sós
Alone
Com efeito
Effectively
De novo
Again
One more time
Em resumo
In conclusion
De vez em quando
From time to time
Now and then
Once in a blue moon
A cada passo
Often
Por alto
Roughly
À vontade
Comfortably
Com certeza
Surely
Certainty
Como deve ser
Properly
De facto (PT)
De fato (BR)
Actually
Actualmente
Nowadays

And this is it. Now you know what you have to do, right?

You got it! You have to write down sentences and stories using these words!

Até amanhã (See you tomorrow).

Rafa :-)

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Here are some pages you may find interesting:

  • The Portuguese alphabet.
  • European Portuguese Pronunciation
  • Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation
  • Portuguese Determinants
  • Portuguese Nouns
  • Portuguese Verbs
  • Free Portuguese Verb Table
  • Portuguese Adjectives
  • Portuguese Prepositions
  • Portuguese Connectors
  • Portuguese Adverbs
  • Portuguese Question Words
  • Portuguese Numbers
  • Portuguese words similar to English
  • Direct and Reported Speech
  • Useful Portuguese Phrases
  • Days Of The Week
  • Phrases to get by - Brazilian Portuguese
  • Brazilian Portuguese phrases for second meeting
  • Some Portuguese Bad Words
  • Difference Between Por and Para in Portuguese
  • Present Subjunctive in Portuguese
  • Personal Infinitive in Portuguese
  • Future Subjunctive in Portuguese

  • Software available to learn both, Brazilian and European Portuguese. Check it out!


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