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Lesson Transcript

Paloma: Olá! Eu sou a Paloma!
Gina: Gina here! Welcome back to PortuguesePod101.com. This is Upper Beginner Season 2 Lesson 11 - Are You Experiencing Some Problems in Brazil? In this lesson you’ll learn how to use articles to talk about probability in Portuguese. Paloma: This conversation is between Rogério and Adriana, and it takes place after a meeting in the early afternoon. Gina: Rafael is the chairman of the committee, so the speakers will be using formal Portuguese.:
Paloma: As we mentioned in lesson eight, when you speak to people who are older than you, we usually use the terms o senhor and a senhora, or their plural forms os senhores and as senhoras when you’re speaking to a group.
Gina: That's right. Two other words that are used to show respect are roughly translated as "Mr." and "Mrs." but are more terms of respect than exact titles.
Paloma: And in Portuguese, those would be Seu for men and Dona for women. You use them in the same situations and with the same people you would use the phrases o senhor and a senhora.
Gina: But remember these two new words can only be used before the person’s name. You may sometimes even use them in the same sentence. Let’s hear an example. Paloma: Seu Pedro? O senhor vai sair conosco? Which translates to "Mr. Pedro? Will you be leaving with us?"
Gina: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What’ve we got first?
Paloma: The first phrase we’re going to look at is O que houve?
Gina: ...which means "what happened." This phrase is a very intelligent one.
Paloma: In fact, most phrases that use the verb haver like this one tend to sound intelligent and polished.
Gina: This could be because it’s an irregular verb and has a fairly difficult conjugation pattern. We're not sure.
Paloma: (laughs) But beyond that, the word is not used very often, which makes it seem even more noticeable.
Gina: In any case, the question is very polite and kind. You can use it when you want to show that you’re concerned about someone or something.
Paloma: OK, next is não vai poder vir. It has many verbs!
Gina: It’s a mouthful alright! But the meaning is "will not be able to come."
Paloma: This is an instance where we have three verbs - ir, poder, and vir - linked together in a kind of verbal string.
Gina: That's right. Now, the only verb that is conjugated is the first one...
Paloma: ...which is vai. The rest are kept in their infinitive forms. Okay, finally, our last phrase is algum problema..
Gina: ...which is "some problem" or "any problem".
Paloma: Note that the word problema, although ending with "a", is a masculine word, which doesn’t mean it’s used only by men, but grammatically it has masculine gender.
Gina: That’s right. In other words if you were to say it as a feminine word…
Paloma: ...alguma problema…
Gina: ...that would be grammatically incorrect. Okay, now onto the grammar.
Paloma: In this lesson, you’ll learn about using uns and umas to talk about probability in Portuguese.
Gina: Okay so, in Portuguese, there are four related words that have a lot more than four meanings.
Paloma: That's right. Those four words are um, uma, uns, and umas.
Gina: Probably the most common use of these words is as indefinite articles, which are words like "a" and "an" in English.
Paloma: Right. An example of these words being used as indefinite articles would be Eu quero ganhar uma viagem para um hotel cinco estrelas.
Gina: "I want to win a trip to a 5-star hotel." Next, we’re going to look at the Portuguese plural for "a."
Paloma: Yes, the words um and uma can also change to their respective plurals, uns and umas.
Gina: These plural articles are more equivalent to the word "some." : Paloma: Right. An example of this would be Eles compraram umas casas.
Gina: "They purchased some houses." or "They purchased a few houses." Wouldn't that be nice. Just walk up and purchase some houses.
Paloma: Dream of a lifetime for me. (laughs) Okay, lastly, we’ll look at using uns and umas as "about" or "around".
Gina: In the dialogue, the word uns was used twice with the meaning "about." Could you give us an example?
Paloma: Sure! Eu recebi um telefonema da senhora Fernandes faz uns 15 minutos.
Gina: "I received a phone call from Mrs. Fernandes about fifteen minutes ago."
Paloma: Now, notice how both meanings of um are used in the same sentence. At the end of the sentence, uns 15 minutos…
Gina: ...literally "some 15 minutes", is how we sometimes speak in English, as in "The person just bought some 50 houses."
Paloma: This isn’t a common way to speak, nor a common purchase for most people! But it is the meaning of uns and umas.
Gina: And it’s grammatically correct in Portuguese
Paloma: That's right. The only difference is that in Portuguese, this usage is much more common.


Gina: Great, that’s all for this lesson! Remember to check the lesson notes, and leave us a comment if you have any questions. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time. Paloma: Tchau tchau! Gina: Bye!