On the first day of the month I posted the picture above on Facebook:
- Já é setembro! Mal dá pra acreditar! = It’s already September! I can hardly believe it!
In today’s Portuguese lesson, I will give you a few more examples using:
- Mal + verb Dar + para
Mal = (1) the opposite of well; (2) evil; (3) illness; (4) damage; harm (5) barely, hardly.
The verb Dar is one you should become very familiar with. Literally it translates as To Give, but what makes it a special verb is that it is used in a number of idiomatic expressions with completely different meanings.
Now let’s see some useful sentences using “Mal dá pra”. Please notice that in the examples below I use “pra” as a short for “para”. This is how we almost always say it in spoken Portuguese in Brazil.
1) Num show:
Joana: Quanta gente! Mal dá pra ver a banda.
At a concert:
Joana: So many people! I can barely see the band.
2) Dois amigos conversando:
Antônio: Paulinha chegou de viagem. Ela estava na festa ontem. Você a viu?
Carlos: Vi, mas mal deu pra falar com ela porque saí cedo da festa.
Antônio: Paulinha is back from her trip. She was at the party yesterday. Did you see her?
Carlos: Yes, but I could barely speak with her because I left the party early.
3) Numa palestra:
Camila: Ele fala muito baixo. Mal dá pra entender o que diz.
At a lecture:
Camila: He speaks too softly. I can barely understand what he says.
4) Falando da vida:
Pedro: As coisas estão muito caras aqui no Brasil. Mal dá pra se viver com o salário mínimo.
Talking about life:
Pedro: Things are very expensive here in Brazil. One can hardly live with the minimum wage.
5) Em casa, depois do trabalho:
Melissa: Tive um dia daqueles! Mal deu tempo pra tomar um café.
Melissa: I had one of those days! I barely had time to have a cup of coffee.
In all the examples above, you can also translate “mal dá/deu para…” as: “it is/was barely possible to…”.
Stay tuned for additional Portuguese lessons with Mal. In my next post I will show you the relationship and the differences between mal, bem, mau, and bom. And in a following lessons I will teach you how to use Mal with other verbs.
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