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Lesson Transcript

Paloma: Olá! Bem-vindos ao PortuguesePod101.com! I’m Paloma.
Gina: Gina here! This is Upper Beginner Season 2 Lesson 23 - Having a Portuguese Chat. In this lesson, you’ll learn about using the past tense when asking and answering questions.
Paloma: The conversation is between Marcos and Sara, and it takes place in the evening after work.
Gina: The speakers are friends, so they’ll be using informal Portuguese.
Paloma: If you've ever had a Brazilian come to visit you at your home, you may have asked yourself, "What do I do?"
Gina: We want to talk about this because, luckily, entertaining Brazilian guests is actually much easier than it seems.
Paloma: It’s true! In general, Brazilians visit people because they want to talk to that person. So, the best way to entertain a Brazilian is to talk to them.
Gina: Now, that may seem obvious, but if your friend is Brazilian you’re probably going to be talking a lot, and quite a bit more than you’re used to!
Paloma: That’s right. Often, when people visit one another, they do so with a purpose, right?
Gina: Yes, but for Brazilians it’s just chatting with each other, to see how the other person is doing. They may talk about the football game and about plans for an upcoming vacation or whatever, but what they’re really interested in is you.
Paloma: Another interesting thing is that when visiting in couples, the men and women often split into separate groups to talk or do something.
Gina: We don’t really know why this happens. But it happens all the time. If a husband and wife come over to your house, usually the wife will go talk with the host wife, and the husband will sit and talk to the host husband. They may even leave and go to different rooms and then talk to each other there.
Gina: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Paloma: The first phrase we’re going to look at is peça de teatro, which literally translates to "piece of theater" but it means "a play".
Gina: This can be a very difficult word for foreigners to learn Portuguese.
Paloma: That’s right! In fact, it’s only recently that translators like Google translate have been able to translate this word correctly. So, about five years ago if you typed in “a play” on Google translate, you would get brincar which has no reference at all to the theater.
Gina: Today however at least Google translate has gotten better. But one thing that we wanted to note with this phrase is that sometimes, when the idea of theater is already understood, this phrase can be shortened.
Paloma: That’s right. You can say uma peça instead of the full phrase uma peça de teatro.
Gina: Great! What’s next?
Paloma: Next is me diverti ainda mais. The verb divertir meaning "to have fun". However, the literal translation does not make sense in English.
Gina: No, it doesn’t! So a better translation would be "I had even more fun."
Paloma: This is an interesting instance where the word ainda does not translate as "still" as you would expect.
Gina: In this sentence, it’s translated as “even”. And that’s why this is such a difficult phrase to translate.
Paloma: Okay, and our last word is daí, a contraction of the preposition de and the direction word aí.
Gina: Literally, this word is "of there where you are," or "from there where you are."
Paloma: However, in practical use this phrase is much more like "then" or "after that." So for example, we could say something like Eu fui para o supermercado e daí fui para o cinema.
Gina: "I went to the supermarket and then I went to the movies." Okay, now onto the grammar.
Paloma: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the past tense when asking and answering questions.
Gina: So in this dialogue there are ten verbs that are conjugated into the preterite tense. The preterite tense is sometimes called the simple past tense, and it’s one of the most frequently used tenses in Portuguese.
Paloma: In this dialogue, Marcos uses this preterite tense to create a context. This is very similar to lessons 21 and 22, except that in those lessons they use the present tense to talk about the past. In this dialogue, Marcos and Sara have a past tense context but they also use the preterite past to talk about the past.
Gina: This entire dialogue is another example of how fluid Brazilian Portuguese is. Sometimes you can use the present tense to talk about the past, sometimes you can use the past tense to talk about the past, and in our next lesson we're going to talk about how the future tense can be used in multiple different contexts.
Paloma: But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
Gina: No no, sorry about that. So, in this lesson, the preterite tense is used in all of its conjugations. We even have two irregular verbs in their past tense forms as well.
Paloma: Marcos is the first one to use the preterite tense in his sentence Como foi a semana? This translates to "how was your week?"
Gina: The preterite tense is usually one of the easiest tenses to translate between Portuguese and English because, most of the time, the meanings are identical.
Paloma: That’s right!
Gina: Let’s look at a pattern of questioning and answering that’s used in this dialogue.
Paloma: Okay, this first question that Marcos asks, uses the past tense word foi, or “was”.
Gina: The pattern we want to look at is that Sara in her answer uses the same verb in the same tense. In other words, she uses the same word as well.
Paloma: A few lines down Marcos asks the question Aonde vocês foram?
Gina: Which translates to "Where did you go?"
Palom: Here he uses the past tense word foram, “went”. In her answer, Sara says Fomos à praia. “We went to the beach.”
Gina: This is not the exact same word, but it’s the same root verb conjugated into the same tense.
Paloma: Foram is the third person plural of the preterite tense for the verb ir, and fomos is the first person plural of the preterite tense for the verb ir.
Gina: Do you notice how the same verb that’s used in the question, is used in the answer? This isn’t a rule and there’s even an example in the dialogue of this pattern not being followed.
Palom: But the pattern is very common. And sometimes, when the pattern seems to be broken, it’s actually still being followed.
Gina: That’s true! An example of this is in the question-and-answer exchange in the last two lines of the dialogue.
Paloma: Marcos asks Qual peça vocês assistiram? and Sara answers Os Miseráveis. Here, she doesn’t use the verb assistir in any form or conjugation.
Gina: It is implied even though she doesn't say it out loud.
Paloma: Exactly. The full sentence would be Nós assistimos Os Miseráveis or "we watched Les Miserables".


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