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Paloma: Olá! Bem-vindos ao PortuguesePod101.com! I’m Paloma.
Gina: And I’m Gina! This is Upper Beginner Season 2 Lesson 17 - A Difficult Portuguese Math Problem. In this lesson you’ll learn how to use question words to identify problems.
Paloma: The conversation is between a Brazilian and an American, and it takes place late in the evening at home.
Gina: The speakers are friends, so they’ll be using informal Portuguese.
Paloma: In Brazil, be careful when helping someone with homework!
Gina: That’s right! You might think there’s nothing wrong with helping, and there isn’t, but you should be very careful how much help you give.
Paloma: Exactly. Often, when you give someone too much help, they won’t learn and when a test comes around they won’t be able to get a good score. And, in Brazil, test scores are very important.
Gina: Yes they are. Now, this is pretty common sense. Americans do the same thing, and probably most other cultures as well. However, Brazilian culture is often very divided regarding what would be considered copying or plagiarism, and what would be considered original work.
Paloma: Now, don’t think that everyone in Brazil is dishonest, because they’re not. Brazilians, in general, are very honest and would not cheat on homework or on a test. But it’s very difficult to know who would or would not cheat.
Gina: And to avoid participating in something that could be considered dishonest, it’s best to speak in kind of indirect ways like in the dialogue.
Paloma: That’s right! Notice, how he didn’t say “Well, your velocity is the problem. You should do it this way.” This could be considered teaching and certainly would help the person with their homework. However, in this situation the friend would practically give the answer away.
Gina: Instead, he said, “But I think you forgot to do your calculations with the derivatives and not with the gross velocity.”
Paloma: And you can tell by the response of the Brazilian friend that she really didn’t know how to do the problem, and she was hoping that her American friend would help her get the answer, or better, the right steps.
Gina: Because of this, the American knows that he really needs to explain how all of that works instead of just walking through that one problem.
Paloma: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase we’re going to look at is eu acho que which literally translates to “I think that”.
Gina: But it means, “I think”. Now, this is a phrase you probably already know, but we wanted to look at some aspects of this phrase.
Paloma: First, in Portuguese, you have to have the que at the end of this phrase.
Gina: That’s right, even though in English you don’t have it.
Paloma: If you were to say Eu acho ela vai vir para a festa, Brazilians would think you’d said something very strange, even though the English translation sounds perfect. “I think she will come to the party.” The correct way is Eu acho que ela vai vir para a festa
Gina: The other aspect we want to look at is intonation. This phrase has a slight rising intonation pattern.
Paloma: Yes, the word acho is spoken higher or with a little bit more emphasis than the eu or que. So, it would be eu ACHO que.
Gina: And it’s actually difficult for Brazilians to do this in any other way. The intonation is so fixed. There can be one exception, right Paloma?
Paloma: Yes! When you emphasize the word eu, sometimes it’ll have a slightly higher intonation pattern than acho. So there would be a slight pause on eu, followed by acho que. EU acho que.
Gina: Okay so, the other phrase we’re going to look at in this sentence is actually kind of a formula.
Paloma: That’s right. The phrase is não...não, with something in between.
Gina: In English, it would be “no - something - no”. But note that in English, we don’t talk like that.
Paloma: In the dialogue we heard the phrase Eu não lembro mais não.
Gina: “I don’t remember anymore.”
Paloma: This is one of those situations where translating from English to Portuguese requires changing the sentence.
Gina: Let’s explain this a little better; remember that in Portuguese, the word for “no” can be used for emphasis as well as to negate something.
Paloma: In this sentence, even though there are two uses of não, they’re not serving the same purpose. The first one is negating the verb lembro.
Gina: The two words together - the negation and the verb - mean, “don’t remember”.
Paloma: The second não is only serving to emphasize the not remembering.
Gina: To illustrate the emphasis a little more clearly, let’s look at this sentence without the second “no” and its equivalent translation.
Paloma: Okay, so, in that case, the sentence would be Eu não lembro mais.
Gina: “I don't remember anymore.” Notice how the translation is identical to the transition for the other one.
Paloma: But, in Portuguese, there is an extra “não” to emphasize his not remembering. Okay, now onto the grammar.
Paloma: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use question words to identify problems.
Gina: In all languages, questions serve the purpose of helping the asker to acquire more knowledge or information.
Paloma: So, in this lesson we're going to look at several question phrases that you can use to help you identify and get information about different problems that you may have.
Gina: The first thing we’re going to look at is yes-no questions. Now, we talked about this in a previous lesson, so let’s do a quick review. In Portuguese to make a yes-no question you simply take a normal statement and raise the intonation at the end.
Paloma: So, for example, the statement would be Você conhece a minha irmã.
Gina: Which means “you know my sister.” And the question?
Paloma: Just the intonation. Você conhece a minha irmã?
Gina: “Do you know my sister?” Okay now on to question words in present Portuguese, which are specifically used to make or ask questions. Let’s go through them.
Paloma: Good idea. So the first one is por que.
Gina: “Why”
Paloma: onde
Gina: "where"
Paloma: o que
Gina: "what"
Paloma: quando
Gina: "when"
Paloma: quanto
Gina: "how much or how many"
Paloma: quem
Gina: "who"
Paloma: And finally, como.
Gina: "how". Now, you’ve probably heard all of these before, but I don’t think we’ve given a lesson on them.
Paloma: True. So, these phrases are used as question words, usually placed at the beginning of a phrase, just before what you want to ask about.
Gina: That’s right. So, just like you use regular statements for yes-no questions in Portuguese, you also use regular statements for questions that use question words.
Paloma: Exactly. A good example of this would be Você mora em São Paulo.
Gina: “You live in São Paulo.” Paloma, how do you ask the question “Where do you live in São Paulo?”
Paloma: You simply add the question word onde to the beginning of the sentence. Onde você mora em São Paulo?
Gina: The word order stays the same, unlike in English.
Paloma: This makes things much easier. Let’s look at a few more examples. Quando ele vai chegar?
Gina: “When will he arrive?”
Paloma: Another example would be Como eu abro esta gaveta?
Gina: “How do I open this drawer?” There is one important difference between English and Portuguese when using these question words. Often, in English, you don’t need to have the question tone of voice.
Paloma: For example, the first question we talked about was Quando ele vai chegar?
Gina: "When will he arrive?" Notice how the Portuguese has a rising question intonation on the last word, but in English this isn’t always the case.
Paloma: So the tip here is that in Portuguese, no matter what type of question, you always use that questioning intonation.


Gina: And that’s all for the lesson! Make sure to check the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned, and leave us a comment. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Paloma: Até mais!