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Lesson Transcript

Paloma: Olá! Bem-vindos ao PortuguesePod101.com! I’m Paloma.
Gina: And I’m Gina! This is Upper Beginner Season 2 Lesson 14 - Moving to a New School in Brazil. In this lesson, you’ll learn about using the plural forms properly in Portuguese.
Paloma: The conversation is between twin sisters and it takes place on the bus, coming home from school.
Gina: Since the speakers are sisters, they’ll be using informal Portuguese.
Gina: So, what do you think about the Brazilian public school system?
Paloma: Well, it’s set up in turmas, which is a group of students that study together. And you’ll stay with the same turma for all of your classes, like math, Portuguese, and science.
Gina: Okay. That doesn’t seem particularly rigid.
Paloma: Oh no, that’s the not-so-rigid part.
Gina: So what is?
Paloma: Well, the public universities are structured by degree. So you apply directly to a program and follow that program from start to finish.
Gina: Oh yeah?
Paloma: Yeah, so if you get into the university under an engineering degree but then realize you want to do Portuguese, for example…
Gina: ...you have to stop and reapply as a Portuguese student, and you start your program over completely?
Paloma: Yep, that’s exactly it.
Gina: Wow. That does seem a bit harsh.
Paloma: If you’re lucky then some of the classes will cross over but usually they don’t.
Gina: I guess you’d better be pretty certain about, everything, before you apply then!
Gina: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What’s first Paloma?
Paloma: The first phrase we’ll look at is dar pra ter.
Gina: The best translation for this would be “possible to have.”
Paloma: But the idea isn’t complicated. In the dialogue, the sister said, Nem dava pra ter uma conversa.
Gina: “You couldn’t even have a conversation.”
Paloma: Another example would be dá pra fazer uma festa dia 25 de outubro…
Gina: “It is possible to have a party on the 25th of October.”
Paloma: But that translation feels very stiff.
Gina: Well, I guess a more accurate feeling for the sentence would be “We could have a party the 25th of October.”
Paloma: Yeah, That’s more like it. Okay, our next phrase is falar mal de.
Gina: This means “to speak bad of” or “to talk badly about” someone.
Paloma: I’ve heard it translated as “to bad-mouth.”
Gina: Yeah, that’s a well understood phrase. And where did we hear this in the dialogue?
Paloma: We heard Sempre tinha alguém falando mal de você pelas costas.
Gina: “There was always someone bad-mouthing you behind your back.” Now, this verb can be conjugated, so be aware that the phrase will change often but the basic structure will remain the same.
Paloma: That’s right. For example it could be Ela falou mal dele.
Gina: “She bad-mouthed him.”
Palom: or Eles sempre falam mal daquelas garotas.
Gina: “They always bad-mouth those girls.”
Paloma: Okay. The last phrase we’ll look at is pelas costas.
Gina: “By the back” or “for the back”.
Paloma: But here, the word pelas is actually a contraction of por and as, which is where we get the literal translation “for the.” But the meaning of por in this case is closer to “around”.
Gina: I see. So, you could better translate this as “around the back.”
Paloma: Right, but that still doesn’t have the right feeling. So, the phrase as costas means “the back”.
Gina: But this is also an example of how Portuguese will use “the” in the same way English uses “your.”
Paloma: Right. So the translation would be something like “around your back”...
Gina: ...and since things around your back are usually behind you, you can say “behind your back.”
Paloma: And “behind your back” is the correct translation and has the proper feeling for the phrase pelas costas.
Gina: And just as a note, the phrase has a strong negative feeling, just like “behind your back.”
Paloma: That’s right. So don’t use this phrase to say that something is behind someone.
Gina: (laughs) That’d be quite confusing!
Palom: In this case, it’s better to say atrás de você, or “behind you”. Okay, now onto the grammar.
Paloma: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the plural forms properly in Portuguese.
Gina: Right. We're going to break down one sentence from the dialogue and look at how the plural interacts with the rest of the sentence. Okay! Let’s get to it! What phrase from the dialogue are we going to use?
Paloma: Vamos ter quase todas as matérias juntas mas todas as outras pessoas vão ser diferentes.
Gina: “We’ll have almost all of our classes together but all of the other people are going to be different.”
Palom: Let’s start with the first half of the sentence, Vamos ter quase todas as matérias juntas.
Gina: “We’ll have almost all of our classes together.”
Paloma: Here, the word vamos is a plural form of the verb ir.
Gina: And just to remind you, that verb means “to go”.
Paloma: The word vamos is used because she is talking about the two of them.
Gina: It’s important to note that the use of the plural here is because there are two of them, not because of some grammatical rule.
Paloma: The word vamos is followed by the infinitive form for ter. This word ter shares the plural with vamos.
Gina: I think I see how it works. What’s next?
Paloma: Next we have the phrase quase todas as matérias.
Gina: It means "almost all our subjects."
Paloma: The only word that is not in plural form is quase.
Gina: Right. It’s an adverb and in Portuguese adverbs don’t have plural form.
Paloma: The rest of the phrase is todas as matérias and all three of these words are plural.
Gina: Simply because the girls are taking more than one subject at school.
Paloma: So just to emphasize this point, you know when to use plurals based on the context and the situation.
Gina: Yes! And if a word in the sentence is plural, it will affect the other words around it.
Paloma: So, because the word matérias is plural, the words todas and as are also plural.
Gina: The next word we run into is “together”.
Paloma: Right, juntas. It’s plural simply because it refers to the two sisters.
Gina: Great! Let’s now see the other half of the sentence.
Paloma: OK! Mas todas as outras pessoas vão ser diferentes.
Gina: “But all of the other people are going to be different.”
Paloma: The conjunction mas means “but”. This word also doesn’t have a plural form.
Gina: Okay so the next part of the sentence translates to “all the other people”.
Paloma: And that is todas as outras pessoas.
Gina: This phrase follows the same pattern as the last phrase.
Paloma: That’s right! Here, todas, as, and outras are all plural because pessoas is plural. Okay, that brings us to our next phrase which is vão ser.
Gina: This means “will be” and this phrase is just like our very first phrase in the sentence.
Paloma: Right, Gina. The word vão is a plural form of the verb ir, “to go”, and it is connected to the verb ser, “to be”.
Gina: Now, what is the last word?
Paloma: It’s diferentes.
Gina: Yes. Something is “different”, but what?
Paloma: That would be pessoas, “people”. So, the word diferentes is being affected by the word pessoas.
Gina: As a reminder of the original sentence, Paloma, can you please repeat it for us?
Paloma: Sure! Vamos ter quase todas as matérias juntas mas todas as outras pessoas vão ser diferentes.
Gina: “We’ll have almost all of our classes together but all of the other people are going to be different.”


Gina: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!
Paloma: Tchau tchau!