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Lesson Transcript

Paloma: Oi gente! Meu nome é Paloma.
Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina, and welcome back to PortuguesePod101.com! This is Upper Beginner Season 2 Lesson 4 - Learning a Bit of Brazilian History. In this lesson, you’ll learn more about using comparatives and superlatives when talking about the past.
Paloma: The conversation is between Mônica and Luciana, and it takes place in the afternoon at school.
Gina: The speakers are classmates, so they’ll be using formal Portuguese.
Paloma: So, Brasília is the federal capital of Brazil, just like Washington DC is the capital city of the United States. Brazil’s central government is also located in Brasília.
Gina: And Brasília was a planned city, which means that the placement of every building, every park, and every bridge was laid out on paper before any construction began. This is why the city looks like an airplane when viewed from above.
Paloma: That's right. You have the capitol building where the cockpit of the plane would be, and the ‘first-class’ is where the various ministries or departments of the Brazilian government are located.
Gina: Oh, and the wings are where people and most businesses are located.
Paloma: Yes, and the city was planned and designed by a famous Brazilian architect named Oscar Niemeyer. Brasília was his masterpiece, and it was founded in 1960.
Gina: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first is...
Paloma: Naquela época.
Gina: “in those days” or “back then.” The pronunciation of this phrase is very interesting.
Paloma: I agree. The word naquela has a stress on the “E” and the word época has a special accent mark over the “E”...
Gina: ...which means that the stress falls on that syllable as well.
Paloma: That’s right! So it would be naquela and época.
Gina: But when Brazilians speak quickly, these two words are often pronounced as if they were only one word…
Paloma: ...which would sound like naquelaépoca. Okay, next is Eu tenho.
Gina: Right. “I have one.” This can be a bit of a problem as in English, we often need to specify the number or type of things that we have.
Paloma: So we can’t just say, “I have.” We need to say “I have one”, “I have ten”, or “I have a dog”.
Gina: But in Portuguese, the verbs are “heavy verbs” which means they don’t need to specify the number or object.
Paloma: In the dialogue, Luciana uses the phrase Eu tenho, Mônica.
Gina: Which, literally, translates to “I have, Monica.” but this isn’t exactly what it means. The correct meaning is, “I have one, Monica.” As in “I have a question, Mônica.”
Paloma: Exactly. Everyone got that? And now our last word is pro. Pay attention, because this word will not be found in the dictionary!
Gina: But it is a phrase practically any Brazilian would use and understand.
Paloma: The word pro is a verbal contraction of the two words para and o which can mean “to the” or “for the." Okay, now onto the grammar.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn about using comparatives and superlatives when talking about the past.
Paloma: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase a maior razão.
Gina: Which we translated as “the biggest reason”. As you can see, this phrase contains a superlative. Portuguese uses comparatives and superlatives all the time. Just for a review, a comparative is a word that is used to make a comparison between two things.
Paloma: And a superlative is a word or phrase used to indicate that one thing is superior to all other things of a particular type.
Gina: Examples of comparatives are “bigger” and “more expensive”.
Paloma: ...maior and mais caro.
Gina: And examples of superlatives would be “the biggest” and “the best”.
Paloma: ...o maior and o melhor.
Gina: Now, in the dialogue, these comparatives and superlatives were frequently used in the past tense. And, we did that on purpose.
Paloma: Yes we did, and we’re happy to say that neither comparatives nor superlatives were conjugated or changed into the past tense.
Gina: And they’ll stay the same no matter the tense. Great news for the listeners, don’t you think?
Paloma: Definitely! For example, in the dialogue Luciana says Mas qual era a maior razão?
Gina: “But what was the main reason?”
Paloma: This sentence uses the superlative a maior.
Gina: Another example of using comparatives in the past tense is the sentence...
Paloma: Ele acreditava que tirar as pessoas das cidades do litoral iria trazer mais benefícios a economia brasileira do que deixá-los onde estavam.
Gina: That’s a really long sentence!
Paloma: Haha, it sure is! And what’s the translation, Gina?
Gina: “He believed that removing people from the coastal cities would bring more benefits to the Brazilian economy than leaving them where they were.”
Paloma: So, here the comparison is made using the phrase mais...do que which translates to “more...than”
Gina: You can use this phrase by inserting some sort of adjective between “more” and “than”.
Paloma: Some examples would be, mais feliz do que which translates as "happier than," and mais divertido do que which translates as "more fun than".
Gina: Also, the phrase...
Paloma: ...mais...do que…
Gina: ...is often shortened to just…
Paloma: ...mais...que…
Gina: ...in spoken Portuguese. For example?
Paloma: Ele ganha mais que ela.
Gina: "He makes more than her."
Gina: Attention perfectionists! You’re about to learn how to perfect your pronunciation.
Paloma: Lesson Review Audio Tracks.
Gina: Increase fluency and vocabulary fast with these short, effective audio tracks.
Paloma: Super simple to use. Listen to the Portuguese word or phrase...
Gina: ...then repeat it out loud in a loud clear voice.
Paloma: You’ll speak with confidence knowing that you’re speaking Portuguese like the locals.
Gina: Go to PortuguesePod101.com, and download the Review Audio Tracks right on the lessons page today!


Gina: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Don’t forget to check the lesson notes and leave us a comment. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!
Paloma: Até mais!