How would you say the following sentence in Portuguese?
- Speaking Portuguese is fun.
If you started with: Falando português… Then this lesson is specially for you because in this sentence you actually need to use the infinitive in Portuguese.
This is easy to learn and extremely useful. You will see that you need this piece of grammar very often when you speak Portuguese.
Infinitive in Portuguese / -ING in English
Here is the correct way to say the sentence above:
- Speaking Portuguese is fun. = Falar português é divertido.
Speaking Portuguese is the subject of the sentence above. It is what you are talking about. We use the infinitive in Portuguese in these cases.
But you don’t have worry about identifying the subject of the sentence. Here is a tip: In Portuguese, you use the -ING form, which is -NDO in Portuguese, to indicate an action that is in progress, an action that is being performed.
In the sentence above, no one is speaking Portuguese. There is no action in progress. Therefore I have to use the infinitive in Portuguese, and not the -ING/-NDO form.
The examples below you will show different situations in which we use -ING in English and the infinitive in Portuguese.
Notice that there is no action in the process of being performed in these sentences.
10 Examples Using the Infinitive in Portuguese
Practice is the secret. Below are 10 additional examples that use the infinitive in Portuguese. You can also learn vocabulary from these sentences 😉
1) Cozinhar é uma arte. = Cooking is an art.
2) Comer frutas é bom para a saúde. = Eating fruits is good for your health.
- Check out my free online flashcards with fruits in Portuguese
3) Discutir no trânsito é uma perda de tempo. = Arguing in traffic is a waste of time.
4) Malhar me dá muita energia. = Working out gives me a lot of energy.
- Learn 39 sports in Portuguese
5) Comprar presentes de Natal pode ser estressante. = Buying Christmas gifts can be stressful.
6) Uma das coisas que eu mais gosto de fazer é sair pra dançar. = One of the things I like to do most is going out to dance.
7) Sabe o que me alegra? Brincar com os meus gatos 😊 = Do you know what makes me happy? Playing with my cats 😊
8) Adoro viajar e conhecer lugares novos. = I love traveling and seeing new places.
9) Se ele não responder ao email, tente ligar para ele amanhã. = If he doesn’t respond to the email, try calling him tomorrow.
10) Minhas atividades de lazer favoritas são ler e caminhar em lugares com muito verde. = My favorite leisure activities are reading and walking in places with lots of greenery.
Speaking of reading, it is important to read in your target language, it offers you many benefits. I talk about it and offer links to books in Portuguese in this other blog post.
I also have a blog post and video in which I show you books to learn Portuguese.
Practice what you’ve learned
Here is a practice exercise for you. Translate the sentences below to Portuguese. The answers are at the end of this post. Divirta-se!
- Going to the beach in Brazil is a social experience.
- Reading is a good way to learn vocabulary.
- Learning Portuguese with Street Smart Brazil is awesome.
- Driving in Brazil is not for the faint of heart.
- Making brigadeiros is easy and fun.
- Try talking to your boss about your dilemma.
- In addition to listening to music and watching television, what do you do in your spare time?
- Do you know what helps at these times? Taking with a friend.
- Raising your voice will not solve the problem.
- Having a regular schedule to practice Portuguese daily is important if you want to speak fluently.
Answers to the exercise:
- Ir à praia no Brasil é uma experiência social.
- Ler é uma boa maneira para aprender vocabulário.
- Aprender português com a Street Smart Brazil é show de bola.
- Dirigir no Brasil não é para os fracos de coração.
- Fazer brigadeiros é fácil e divertido.
- Tente falar com seu chefe sobre o seu dilema.
- Além de ouvir música e ver televisão, o que você faz nas horas vagas?
- Sabe o que ajuda nessas horas? Conversar com um amigo.
- Levantar a voz não vai resolver o problema.
- Ter um horário regular para praticar português diariamente é importante se você quer falar fluentemente.
This lesson was originally posted in May 2011. It has been updated to include additional explanations and examples.
Street Smart Brazil offers 1-on-1 Brazilian Portuguese lessons via video meetings. We have been teaching Portuguese online since 2008.
We teach perfect Portuguese for all occasions and have complete programs available for all fluency levels.
Learn what you want. Learn at your pace. Control your schedule.
Ler este artigo é muito importante por qualquer estudante de português!
I have been studying Portuguese for a while now and I have sometimes wondered if the infinitive or the “-ing” form of the verb should be used. Thank you so much for sharing this!
Obrigada pelo comentário! Fico feliz de poder ajudar.
Trabalhar na Street Smart Brazil me faz feliz! = Working at Street Smart Brazil makes me happy!