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Have you ever been in a city you didn’t know at all, desperately searching for something you couldn’t find? I certainly have! I wandered around without knowing where to find a bus ticket, a phone, or even a restroom! But don’t worry—with our Survival Phrases, you’ll always be able to get the information or help in Portugal.
In this lesson, we’ll introduce you to phrases that will help you track down whatever you need.
“Where do I find (blank) ?” in Portuguese is
onde encontro (blank)?
Let’s break it down:
(slow) on-de en-con-tro (blank)?
One more time:
onde encontro (blank)?
The first word, onde, means “where.”
(slow) on-de.
Next we have encontro, a form of the verb translated in English as “to find” or “to encounter”.
(slow) en-con-tro.
Then you add the item or place you are looking for.
Altogether, that’s
(slow) on-de en-con-tro (blank)?
Once more:
onde encontro (blank)?
Let’s look for some things you might need to find when traveling abroad. Imagine you’re walking around in Lisbon and you need a bus ticket. In this case, all you have to do is to add the item you’re searching for after onde encontro.
“Where can I find bus tickets?” in Portuguese is
Onde encontro bilhetes de autocarro?
(slow) Onde encontro bilhetes de autocarro?
Onde encontro bilhetes de autocarro?
What if you are in a supermarket and you can not find water. In that case, ask:
Onde encontro água? “Where do I find the water?”
(slow) on-de en-con-tro á-gua?
Onde encontro água?
With this structure, you find anything you are looking for.
Another phrase that will be helpful for you is:
Onde fica...? This translates to "where stays" but it means “Where is?” Use this phrase when asking how to find a location. Let’s imagine you’re looking for the subway station. “Where is the subway station?” would be Onde fica a estação do metro?
Let’s break it down:
(slow) On-de fica a es-ta-ção do metro?
Again at natural speed:
Onde fica a estação do metro?
The first word is onde,“where”.
The next word, fica, is a form of the verb which means “to be”.
Next we have a estação, meaning “the station”.
(slow) a es-ta-ção.
a estação.
At the end there is do metro, which translated means “of subway”.
(slow) Do me-tro.
Do metro.
The whole phrase is literally translated as
“Where is the subway station?”
Onde fica a estação do metro?
To ask about another thing, just replace estação do metro with the item you are looking for, and people will understand you perfectly. For example let’s ask
“Where is the movie theater?”
Onde fica o cinema?
(slow) On-de fi-ca o ci-ne-ma?
Onde fica o cinema?
O cinema means “the movie theater”.
(slow) o ci-ne-ma.
o cinema
Replace o cinema with any other location and the little question will definitely help you to find what you what.
Lastly, remember that you can add the phrase for “excuse me”, com licença, before the question to make it more polite:
“Excuse me, where is the cinema?”
Com licença, onde fica o cinema?