Portuguese Grammar/Grammar overview

Portuguese grammar is similar to the grammar of other Romance languages (or even English) and like them there is a strong latin structure that is always being reconstructed. The learner shall find archaic constructions being replaced by modern ones, mostly in colloquial language but even in formal and standard languages.

Firstly, we shall see that Portuguese has a flexible Subject-Verb-Object order, just like in English and there is no case declensation. Adjectives are generally placed after the noun. In some cases, there are some subtle differences in placing them after or before the noun, like in French.

The noun has singular and plural forms, but it is interesting to note that, unlike in English, the adjectives also are declinated. There are just two genders: masculine and feminine. The latin neuter gender was absorbed by the masculine one.

Portuguese verbs are slightly complicated, with lots of tenses and moods. There are also some tenses which are equivalent: like eu fizera and eu tinha feito (I had done).

Some peculiarities are remarkable. The Personal Infinitive verb conjugation is found in few languages, such as Gallician or Hungarian. Portuguese has also developed the Subjunctive mood in such way doesn't found in other Romance languages and is used even in familiar language. Although, the most special feature of this language is the nasals. The nasal vowels - very abundant - has developed in the same way as in French. But the nasal diphtongues found in no language but Portuguese, probably . Although these diphtongues - ão, õe - are difficult for foreigners to pronounce, there is usually no confusion if they are mispronouced.

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Last modified on 12 August 2009, at 11:57