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Portuguese Grammar - Questions

Hi Portuguese learners! 😊
In this lesson, we will talk about questions in Portuguese grammar. Asking questions is an essential part of language learning, as it allows you to start conversations, get to know people, and clarify doubts. By the end of this lesson, you will be able to form questions and understand the differences between asking closed-ended and open-ended questions in Portuguese. Let's get started!

With the completion of this lesson, consider investigating these related pages: Conditional Mood, Adjectives, Give your Opinion & Future Tense.

Question words[edit | edit source]

In Portuguese, we have specific question words (palavras interrogativas) that we use to form questions. Here are the most common ones:

Portuguese Pronunciation English
Quem /'kẽĩ̯/ Who
O que /u 'kɛ/ What (things)
Qual /'kaw/ Which (options)
Quando /'kwɐ̃.du/ When
Onde /'õ.dɨ/ Where
Por que /pɔɾ 'ke/ Why
Como /'komu/ How

Closed-ended questions[edit | edit source]

Closed-ended questions (perguntas fechadas) are questions that require a yes or no answer. They are formed by placing the verb before the subject, and adding the particle "-não" after the verb to indicate a negative question. Let's see some examples:

  • Você gosta de samba? (Do you like samba?)
  • Ela mora aqui? (Does she live here?)
  • Você não vai ao cinema? (Aren't you going to the cinema?)

Notice that in the third example, we added the word "não" after the verb "vai" to create a negative question. This is a common way of expressing negative closed-ended questions in Portuguese.

Open-ended questions[edit | edit source]

Open-ended questions (perguntas abertas) are questions that require a more elaborate answer, and can't be simply answered with a yes or no. They are formed by placing the question word before the verb, which is usually in the infinitive form. Here are some examples:

  • O que você vai fazer hoje? (What are you going to do today?)
  • Como se chama seu cachorro? (What's your dog's name?)
  • Qual é seu prato favorito? (What's your favorite dish?)

Note that in the first example, we used the question word "o que" (what) before the verb "vai fazer" (going to do), while in the second example we used the question word "como" (how) before the verb "se chama" (is called), and in the third example we used "qual" (which) before the verb "é" (is).

It's worth mentioning that sometimes open-ended questions can also be answered with a simple yes or no. However, the answer usually comes with a justification or further explanation, and not just a one-word answer.

Practice[edit | edit source]

Let's practice forming closed-ended and open-ended questions by creating a dialogue:

  • Person 1: Onde você mora? (Where do you live?)
  • Person 2: Eu moro em São Paulo. (I live in São Paulo.)
  • Person 1: Quem é seu cantor preferido? (Who is your favorite singer?)
  • Person 2: Meu cantor preferido é Jorge Ben Jor. (My favorite singer is Jorge Ben Jor.)
  • Person 1: Por que você gosta de estudar português? (Why do you like to study Portuguese?)
  • Person 2: Eu gosto de estudar português porque quero viajar para o Brasil. (I like to study Portuguese because I want to travel to Brazil.)
  • Person 1: Qual é sua cor favorita? (What's your favorite color?)
  • Person 2: Minha cor favorita é azul. (My favorite color is blue.)
  • Person 1: Como você está se sentindo hoje? (How are you feeling today?)
  • Person 2: Estou me sentindo ótimo, obrigado. (I'm feeling great, thank you.)

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

In this lesson, we learned how to form closed-ended and open-ended questions in Portuguese. By using question words and placing the verb before the subject, we can create different types of questions that allow us to communicate effectively and express our doubts and curiosities. To improve your Portuguese find native speakers and ask them any questions! You can also check out the Polyglot Club website for more language learning resources. Don't forget to practice forming questions and try to use them in real conversations. See you next time!

➡ If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section below.
➡ Feel free to edit this wiki page if you think it can be improved. 😎

Sources[edit | edit source]

Congratulations on finishing this lesson! Explore these related pages to keep learning: Similarities between Italian and Portuguese, Similarities between French and Portuguese, Regular Verbs & Prepositions.

Videos[edit | edit source]

How to make questions in European Portuguese? Grammar ...[edit | edit source]

How to Easily Ask Questions in European Portuguese - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Asking questions in Portuguese - The use of "é que" - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Other Lessons[edit | edit source]


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