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Portuguese Verbs with Idiomatic Meanings

Some verbs in Portuguese have idiomatic meanings that are slightly or completely different from their original meaning. Look at the following examples of some of these verbs, and then take a quiz at the end.

Andar  

1- to walk – Nós andamos mais de cinco quilómetros hoje. We walked more than five kilometers today.

2 - to hang out with – Ele só anda com pessoas que gostam de ler. He only hangs out with people who like to read.

3 – to be doing something recently – Eu ando trabalhando demais. I’ve been working too much.

Fazer

1- to do – O que você está fazendo? What are you doing?

2- to make – Eu estou fazendo um bolo. I’m making a cake.

3- to have a birthday / to become older – Quantos anos ele faz hoje? How old is he today?

4- fazer hora - to procrastinate – Você está fazendo hora ao invés de estudar para a prova. You’re procrastinating instead of studying for the test

Ficar

1- to stay, to remain temporarily – Fique aqui enquanto eu pago os cafés. Stay here while I pay for the coffee.

2- to be located – O nosso escritório fica na Avenida Paulista. Our office is on Avenida Paulista.

3- to keep, to take – Eu fico com este livro e você fica com aquele. I’ll take this book and you take that one.

4- to be, to get (followed by an adjective) – Ele sempre fica feliz em me ver. He’s always happy to see me. 

Viver

1- to live – Sapos vivem em lagoas. Frogs live in ponds.

2- to do something continually – Ele vive atravessando no meio da rua. É perigoso. He’s always j-walking. It’s dangerous.

3- to be frequently in the company of / to be at a place frequently– Nos fins de semana, as crianças vivem com os amigosOn weekends the children are always with their friends.


Complete the following sentences with andar, fazer, ficar or viver using the correct conjugation. The answers are below.

1. Ele ________________ atrasado para o trabalho. (He’s always late to work.)

2. Eu geralmente ________________ resfriada no inverno. (I usually get a cold in winter.)

3. Eles ________________ hora antes de limpar a casa. (They procrastinate before cleaning the house.)

4. Nós ________________ tristes quando a festa acaba. (We get sad when the party’s over.)

5. Agora que ela comprou um carro ela ________________ na rua. (Now that she bought a car, she’s always out and about.)

6. Eu ________________ sem energia ultimamente. (Lately, I have no energy.)

7. Agora que ele é diretor, ele só ________________com gente rica. (Now that he’s a director, he only hangs out with rich people.)

Answers: 1. vive; 2. fico; 3. fazem; 4. ficamos; 5. vive; 6. ando; 7.anda; 


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