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Portuguese Adverbs: 100+ Adverbs to Dominate the Language

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When learning a new language, vocabulary can be a problem. But using the different “tools” to form coherent sentences can also be a really difficult feat. Verbs and their multiple forms, adjectives that make the sentences more colorful, and…adverbs.

Portuguese adverbs can give verbs power and intensity. Using them correctly will allow the speaker to communicate complex details, a sense of time, and much more abstract information.

Portuguese is a tough language, no doubt. But with this list of 100+ adverbs, we’ll not only help you learn about adverbs in Portuguese vocabulary, but we’ll also show you how to more clearly express ideas and give descriptions.

student looking focused

After some practice, you’ll be able to naturally incorporate Portuguese adverbs into your conversations and writing. This will help you communicate more easily and even add some style!

Let’s learn about adverbs in Portuguese grammar.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. How to Identify Adverbs in Portuguese
  2. Placement of Portuguese Adverbs in a Sentence
  3. Portuguese Adverbs of Manner
  4. Portuguese Adverbs of Intensity
  5. Portuguese Adverbs of Denial
  6. Portuguese Adverbs of Doubt
  7. Portuguese Adverbs of Time
  8. Portuguese Adverbs of Place
  9. “Useless” Adverbs
  10. The Case of Inho in Portuguese Adverbs
  11. Comparisons and Superlatives
  12. Conclusion

1. How to Identify Adverbs in Portuguese

Hopefully, the sentences we’ll study will give you some insight into Portuguese adverbs. Still, you may notice that this class of words can be very confusing to identify, since they’re somewhat more abstract than adjectives.

Indeed, some adverbs feel like they’re in a grammatical threshold of words. This impression is captured in Brazilian grammarian Evanildo Bechara’s interesting definition of adverbs:

It is the expression that denotes a state (of place, time, mode, intensity, condition etc.) and performs the function of an adverbial adjunctive in the sentence. (…) It constitutes of a word of nominal or pronominal nature (…)

This definition provides a pretty solid base to help you learn about adverbs in Portuguese grammar. It’s interesting because it exposes not only the function of adverbs, but also their “root.”

They “play the part” of pronouns and nouns in a phrase and intensify certain aspects of verbs at the same time.

Man working on the train

A key tip to identify nominal adverbs is that many of them are formed by adjectives + the -mente suffix. The -mente suffix corresponds to the ending “-ly” in some English adverbs, such as “quickly.”

Here are some examples:

  • Rapidamente (rápida + mente): “Fast”
  • Pessimamente (péssima + mente): “Nastily”
  • Otimamente (ótima + mente): “Excellently”

Please note that the nominal adverbs usually carry the feminine form of the adjectives (rápida instead of rápido, for instance). The items above are all adverbs of manner (see more examples of this type below).

On the other hand, pronominal adverbs are harder to detect. They don’t have a “formula.”

A good way to identify them is to know their main functions:

  • Demonstrative: Aqui, acolá, ,
  • Relative: Onde, quando, em que, como
  • Interrogative: Onde? Quando? Como? Por quê?
  • Indefinite: Muito, pouco, que

Let’s look at some more essential information about Portuguese language adverbs before moving on to our list.

2. Placement of Portuguese Adverbs in a Sentence

Top verbs

Portuguese is a quirky language, and rules always have tons of exceptions. To simplify, adverbs modify verbs and are normally positioned after the verbs. For example:

  • Eu gosto de ir naquele restaurante atrás da rua.

“I like to go to that restaurant behind the street.”

  • Talvez eu queira ir naquele restaurante atrás da rua.

“Perhaps I’d like to go to that restaurant behind the street.”

Portuguese adverbs can be placed anywhere in a sentence, as they don’t have a typical position. But it should be noticeable if an adverb doesn’t concord with the verb.

But let’s keep things simple for now, so that you can move forward in learning Portuguese. For now, just keep in mind that you’ll generally find adverbs at the end of a sentence, and that they modify the verb. 

Now, let’s finally take a look at our Portuguese adverbs list with examples!

3. Portuguese Adverbs of Manner

It’s interesting to notice that whereas many adjectives in English can also be used as adverbs (fast, slow, just, ugly, cowardly, late, low), this doesn’t usually happen with Portuguese adverbs of manner. When it does happen, it’s usually in an informal context.

  1. Bem (“Well”)
  2. Mal (“Badly”)
  3. Assim (“Like this”)
  4. Pior (“Worse”)
  5. Melhor (“Better”)
  6.  Depressa (“Fast”)
  7. Vagarosamente (“Slow”)
  8. À toa (“For nothing”)
  9. Às pressas (“In a hurry”)
  10. À vontade (“Comfortably”)
  11. Rapidamente (“Quickly”)
  12. Calmamente (“Calmly”)
  13. Apenas (“Just”)
  14. Infelizmente (“Unfortunately”)
  15. Realmente (“Indeed”)
  16. Igualmente (“Likewise”)
  17. Enquanto isso (“Meanwhile”)

Here are a couple of example sentences using some of the Portuguese adverbs above:

  • Infelizmente, ela não conseguiu comprar novas calças de veludo.

“Unfortunately, she didn’t manage to buy new velvet trousers.”

  • Seria melhor resolver esta questão calmamente.

“It would be better to calmly solve this question.”

4. Portuguese Adverbs of Intensity

This class of Portuguese adverbs may demand more attention from the learner than others. Adverbs of intensity are likely to combine with other adverbs, since they’re often used for comparative purposes.

woman writing

Also, they present the few cases in which adverbs in European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese differ. Read more about these variations later in this article.

  1. Muito (“Many”)
  2. Pouco (“Little”)
  3. Bastante (“Enough”)
  4. Demais (“Too much”)
  5. Tão (“So”)
  6. Tanto (“So much”)
  7. Com frequência (“Often”)
  8. Ele diz que tem trabalho demais.

“He says he’s been working too much.”

  1. Homero toca violão com frequência.

“Homero often plays the guitar.”

5. Portuguese Adverbs of Denial

Our next set of Portuguese adverbs are those of denial. These are adverbs frequently used when making a negative statement or denying something. 

  1. Não (“No”)
  2. Absolutamente (“Absolutely”)
  3. Nada (“Nothing”)
  4. Tampouco (“Neither”)
  5. Nem (“Nor”)
  6. Nunca (“Never”)
  7. De modo algum (“Not at all”)
  8. De forma alguma (“Not at all”)
  9. Porém (“However”)
  10. Eu nunca voei de asa-delta, porém não descarto possibilidades futuras.

“I have never flown with a hang-glider. However, I don’t rule out future possibilities.”

  1. Não servimos mingau aqui.

“We don’t serve oatmeal here.”

6. Portuguese Adverbs of Doubt

  1. Talvez (“Maybe”)
  2. Possivelmente (“Possibly”)
  3. Provavelmente (“Probably”)
  4. Quiçá (“Perhaps”)
  5. Acaso (“In case of”)
  6. Porventura (“Perhaps”)
  7. Provavelmente o casal saia cedo da festa.

“The couple will probably leave the party early.”

  1. Acaso queiras comprar o disco, posso reservá-lo.

“In case you want to buy the music record, I can save it for you.”

7. Portuguese Adverbs of Time

  1. Agora (“Now”)
  2. Hoje (“Today”)
  3. Ontem (“Yesterday”)
  4. Cedo (“Early”)
  5. Tarde (“Late”)
  6. À tarde (“In the afternoon”)
  7. À noite (“In the night”)
  8. (“Already”)
  9. No dia seguinte (“On the next day”)
  10. Amanhã (“Tomorrow”)
  11.  De manhã (“In the morning”)
  12. Jamais (“Never”)
  13. Nunca (“Never”)
  14. Sempre (“Always”)
  15. Antes (“Before”)
  16. Dantes (“Before”)
  17. Depois (“After”)
  18. Durante (“During”)
  19. Brevemente (“Briefly”)
  20. De repente (“Suddenly”)
  21. De vez em quando (“Once in a while”)
  22. Às vezes (“Sometimes”)
  23. Imediatamente (“Immediately”)
  24. Logo (“Soon”)
  25. Primeiro (“First”)
  26. Outrora (“Once”)
  27. Cedo (“Soon”)
  28. Ainda (“Still”)
  29. Antigamente (“In the old days”)
  30. Doravante (“Hereafter”)
  31. Então (“So”)
  32. Ora (“Well”)
  33. Enfim (“Finally”)
  34. Afinal (“After all”)
  35. Constantemente (“Constantly”)
  36. Primeiramente (“Primarily”)
  37. Provisoriamente (“Provisionally”)
  38. Sucessivamente (“Successively”)
  39. Atualmente (“Currently”)
  40. Finalmente (“Finally”)
  41. Postumamente (“Posthumously”)
  42. Você tem que tomar esta decisão mais cedo ou mais tarde.

“You need to make this decision sooner or later.”

  1. Atualmente tudo anda tão cinza.

“Currently, everything feels so gray.”

More essential verbs

8. Portuguese Adverbs of Place

  1. Aqui (“Here”)
  2. Ali (“There”)
  3. Abaixo (“Below”)
  4. Acima (“Above”)
  5. (“Over there”)
  6. Acolá (“There”)
  7. Perto (“Near”)
  8. Longe (“Far”)
  9. Atrás (“Behind”)
  10. (“There”)
  11. (“Here”)
  12. Dentro (“Inside”)
  13. Fora (“Outside”)
  14. Além (“Beyond”)
  15. Adiante (“Forward”)
  16. Distante (“Distant”)
  17. Em cima (“On”)
  18. Acima (“Above”)
  19. Ao lado (“Beside that”)
  20. À direita (“To the right”)
  21. À esquerda (“To the left”)
  22. Em algum lugar (“Somewhere”)
  • Em algum lugar perto daqui há uma área para piqueniques.

“Somewhere nearby, there’s an area for picnics.”

  • Odeio quando falam para eu “pensar fora da caixa.”

“I hate it when they tell me to ‘think outside the box.’”

9. “Useless” Adverbs

There are cases in which it’s more difficult to learn about adverbs in Portuguese grammar intuitively. This is the case with adverbs used as an expressive particle.

This type of particle is an adverb that doesn’t have a real semantic value—it just emphasizes the tone of a piece of information within a phrase. This effect sometimes gets lost in translation:

1) Eu não sei!

2) Eu sei !

Sentence 1 literally means “I don’t know.”

Sentence 2, though, has no literal translation. A quick analysis might confuse a foreign speaker, because usually works as an adverb of place. Additionally, the sentence holds no explicit adverb of denial or any sign of denial whatsoever. A literal translation of the sentence would result in “I know there!”

The true translation would have to employ some analogic resource to recreate the expressive particle. Something along the lines of “I have no clue!” or “The heck I know!”

Here are other useful examples to learn about adverbs in Portuguese sentences. The expressive adverb is in bold. They’re followed by their literal and “correct” translations:

  • Vejam que coisa! 
    • : typically equivalent to “only”

Bad translation: “Look only what thing!”

Note: que coisa is also an idiomatic expression in Portuguese.

Good translation: “Well, look at that!”

  • Oh! Que saudade que eu tenho! 
    • que: sometimes equivalent to “which” or “how”

Bad translation: “Oh! How I long which I have!”

Good translation: “Oh! How I long for that/him/her!”

10. The Case of Inho in Portuguese Adverbs

Another tip that will help you avoid a lot of suffering is to learn how to use the -inho suffix.

This diminutive form is largely used in Portuguese-speaking countries in informal contexts, and its meaning may vary.

man writing in a journal

When used with adjectives, the meaning of this diminutive will be easier to figure out, even if it may sound absurd—as in the case of azulzinho (“little blue”).

In the case of adverbs, the oddness of inho can escalate and achieve bizarre levels of confusion. Consider the following sentence:

  • Ela saiu agorinha.

Literally, “She went out little now.”

What you need to know is that when added to adverbs, inho will work as a superlative in the phrase. So, Ela saiu agorinha corresponds roughly to “She went out right now.” Here’s another opportunity to learn about adverbs in Portuguese sentences—this time, with the use of inho

  • É bom andar devagarinho.

“To walk really slow is a good thing.” or “It is a good thing to take it easy.”

  • Ele acordava cedinho e só voltava à noitinha.

“He’d wake up very early and would only come back late in the night.”

There’s also a classic use of inho in European Portuguese adverbs:

  • Obrigadinho!

“Thank you very much!”

11. Comparisons and Superlatives

Now that we’ve gone through the inho effect, let’s move on.

Adverbs can “change” adjectives sometimes. This is the case with absolute analytic superlatives and relative superlatives.

Absolute analytic superlatives are formed by placing adverbs of intensity (muito, bastante, pouco) before the adjective to intensify its idea.

Example:

“The food is very hot.”

The relative superlative combines a defined noun, an adverb, and an adjective to highlight a quality of someone or something at its highest level. 

For instance:

  • Este carro é o mais feio que eu já vi

“This car is the ugliest I’ve ever seen.”

In the latter type of superlative, there’s a noticeable difference between the adverbs in European Portuguese and the Brazilian Portuguese adverbs. The forms “the biggest” and “the smallest” follow the rule for this superlative in Portugal, while they’re irregular in Brazil.

  • Portugal: O mais grande 
  • Brazil: O maior
  • Portugal: O mais pequeno 
  • Brazil: O menor

12. Conclusion

This collection of words and tips of various types will hopefully be useful to you while you learn about adverbs in Portuguese. But this is just a glimpse of a huge amount of material available online.

PortuguesePod101 offers many resources for students to learn about adverbs in Portuguese sentences, and much more, in a simple and fun way! Remember to continue practicing and studying all the material you can; it will pay off.

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about using Portuguese adverbs now. Are there any adverbs in Portuguese you still want to know? We look forward to hearing from you!

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