Portuguese Adverbs

12 de November de 2013

What’s up people? All good? Well, in today’s Dica we will talk about the use of Portuguese Adverbs.

What are Portuguese adverbs?

To begin with we need to understand what adverbs in Portuguese are. An adverb is an invariable word that accompanies the verb, adjective or other adverb, changing its meaning. A invariable word is a word that only has one form, that is: the word doesn’t change because it doesn’t have gender (masculine or feminine) nor number (singular or plural). Take a look at some examples:

Eu acordei cedo.
I woke up early.

If we only say Eu acordei (I woke up) the meaning of the sentence is complete, but we don’t have any more information about this situation. When we add the adverb cedo (early) we add to the sentence information about the time that I woke up. So, we can see that the word cedo changes the meaning of the verb acordar (to wake up) .

Now, let’s look at another example to understand when the adverb changes the meaning of an adjective.

Eu estou muito feliz.
I am very happy.

In this example the adverb muito (very) intensifies the meaning of the adjective feliz (happy) that comes after it. So I’m not just happy, I’m veeery happy.

And now let’s see what happen when an adverb modifies the meaning of another adverb. Let’s combine the two examples that we saw above.

Eu acordei muito cedo.
I woke up very early.

In this case, the adverb very changes the meaning of the adverb early. That is, it is used to intensify the time that is described in this situation. Muito is an adverb of intensity and cedo is an adverb of time. Ok?

Adverbs are mainly used in the first case, to give a specific quality to verbs. We classify the adverbs in time/frequency, place, manner, intensity/quantity, denial, affirmation and doubt. Let’s see some of these adverbs in Portuguese.

Portuguese Adverbs of time/frequency

These adverbs add the information of time or frequency to another word.

Ontem Yesterday
Hoje Today
Amanhã Tomorrow
Sempre Always
Nunca Never
Antigamente In the past
Às vezes Sometimes
 De vez em quando  Occasionally
 Com frequência Frequently 


Examples with adverbs of time/frequency

Eu sempre corro na praia.
I always run on the beach.

Ela fumava muito antigamente.
He smoked a lot in the past.

Vocês chegaram no Rio de Janeiro ontem?
Did you arrive in Rio de Janeiro yesterday?

Às vezes eu visito meus amigos.
Sometimes i visit my friends.

Com frequência eu faço aulas de Português. 
I have Portuguese classes frequently .

You can learn more adverbs like this in our Dica about adverbs of frequency.

Adverbs of place

The adverbs of place add the information of where something happens to the sentence, that is, they help us identify the place or space of an action.

Aqui Here
There (far)
Embaixo Under
Longe Far from
Ali There (close)
There (with you)


Examples with adverbs of place

Meu telefone celular estava embaixo da cama.
My cell phone was under the bed.

Como é a Praia de Ipanema? Eu nunca fui .
How’s Ipanema Beach. I have never been there.

O professor Diogo mora muito longe da Rio & Learn.
Teacher Diogo lives very far from the school.

Posso ir aí?
Can I go there?

You can see more adverbs by clicking on the Dica for adverbs of place.

Portuguese Adverbs of manner

Manner adverbs indicate how or the way something happened.

Bem Well
Mal Bad, badly
Naturalmente Naturally
Rapidamente Quickly
Facilmente Easily
Dificilmente Difficultly
 Vagarosamente Slowly 
 Alegremente Happily 
 Brilhantemente Brilliantly 
 Calmamente Quietly  / Calmly
Habilmente Skillfully
Ansiosamente Eagerly


Examples with adverbs of manner

A cantora Adriana Calcanhoto canta bem.
The singer Adriana Calcanhoto sings well.

Ela canta mal.
She sings badly.

Os motoristas no Rio de Janeiro dirigem rápido.
Drivers in Rio de Janeiro drive fast.

Eu nunca fico nervoso em público. Consigo falar naturalmente.
I never get nervous in public. I can speak naturally.

Eu consigo compreender Português facilmente.
I can understand Portuguese easily.

Eu gosto de organizar minhas coisas calmamente.
I like to organize my things calmly.

It’s really common that adverbs of manner end in -mente. You can learn more adverbs ending in -mente with us.

Adverbs of intensity/quantity

These Portuguese adverbs can change their meaning according to the context. Adverbs of intensity accompany an adjective, and adverbs of quantity accompany a noun, they add intensity or quantity to the sentence.

Muito, muitos Very, much, many
Demais Too much
Bastante A lot of
Mais More
Menos Less
 Tão As 
 Tanto So 
Mal/Quase Hardly / Scarcely


Examples with adverbs of intensity

Não gosto dessa mulher. Ela fala demais.
I don’t like this woman. She talks too much.

O filme Central do Brasil é muito bom.
The movie Central do Brasil is very good.

O livro do Paulo Coelho é bastante interessante.
Paulo Coelho’s book is very interesting.

Vocês têm mais trabalho para fazer essa semana?
Do you have more work to do this week?

Esse homem é muito inteligente.
This man is very intelligent.

Eu mal me lembro de regar as plantas.
I scarcely remember to water the plants.

Ele é tão bonito…
He is so handsome…

Adverbs of denial

These adverbs are used to deny something or give negative information about it.

Não No, don’t
Nunca Never
De jeito nenhum No way
De forma alguma It’s not possible
Tampouco Neither
 Jamais  Never
 Nem  Nor
 De modo algum Not at all 

You can learn more about these adverbs in our Dica about adverbs of denial.

Examples with adverbs of denial

Eu não moro no Rio de Janeiro.
I don’t live in Rio de Janeiro.

Ela nunca vai à praia durante a semana.
She never goes to the beach during the week.

De jeito nenhum que vamos trabalhar hoje!
There is no way for us to work today!

Eu jamais voltarei a falar com eles.
I’ll never talk to them again.

They don’t like caipirinha nor samba.
Eles não gostam de caipirinha nem samba.

Adverbs of affirmation

These type of adverbs are used to add a sense of affirmation to a sentence.

Sim Yes
Certamente Certainly 
Absolutamente Absolutely
Sem dúvida No doubt
Realmente Really
 Positivamente  Positively
 Na verdade  In fact
De fato Indeed
Exatamente Exactly
Com certeza For sure


Examples with adverbs of affirmation

Eles certamente vão visitar o Brasil.
They will certainly visit Brazil.

Sem dúvida que o Rio de Janeiro é a melhor cidade do Brazil!
No doubt Rio de Janeiro is the best city in Brazil.

Sim! Eu estou amando aprender português.
Yes! I love learning Portuguese.

Nós vamos nos ver de novo com certeza.
We we’ll see each other again for sure.

Isto é exatamente o que eu penso.
That’s exactly what I think.

Adverbs of doubt

The adverbs of doubt bring the sense of doubt to a sentence.

Talvez Maybe
Provavelmente Probably
Possivelmente Possibly
Caso In case of
Supostamente Supposedly
Aparentemente Apparently
Acaso Chance
Quiçá Perhaps


Examples with adverbs of doubt

Em caso de dúvidas, pode me enviar uma mensagem.
In case of doubts, you can send me a message.

Provavelmente eu não venho amanhã.
I probably won’t come tomorrow.

Talvez precisemos estudar mais.
Maybe we need to study more.

Aparentemente eles não querem falar com a gente.
 they don’t want to talk to us.

Quiçá nos encontramos mais tarde.
Perhaps we’ll meet later.

In English we have a lot of adverbs that end the same way: with -ly. In Portuguese we also have something like this. A lot of adverbs in Portuguese end with the terminations -mente, as you can see here. So here’s a trick, if you want to say an adverb that ends in -ly in English, but you don’t know the word in Portuguese, try to translate the adjective and then add -mente at the end. For example: Happy – happily, you can say feliz and then add -mente turning it into felizmente. If you want to learn more about adverbs ending in -mente in Portuguese, check out this Dica.

Now it’s your turn!

Now it’s time to practice! Read all the sentences and choose an adverb according to what information needs to be added to the sentence (you’ll find this information between parenthesis).

  1. Eu gosto de acordar ________. (Tempo)
  2. Eles ________ foram ao Egito. (Negação)
  3. Maria ________ vai à feira. (Frequência)
  4. Eu moro ________. (Lugar)
  5. Neymar joga futebol muito ________. (Modo)
  6. Hoje está quente ________. (Intensidade)
  7. ________ vou te visitar ano que vem. (Afirmação)
  8. ________ ele não chegue a tempo. (Dúvida)
  9. ________ eu vou te emprestar dinheiro. (Negação)
  10. A criança pediu ________ comida! (Quantidade)

That’s all! Now, you know how to use all types of Portuguese adverbs.
We’ll meet again in our next Dica!

We hope you can come to Rio de Janeiro soon, and once you are here, feel free to stop by our school. If you can’t come here, take an online class with us to learn a lot more! 

See you then!

Ler esta Dica em Português          Leer esta Dica en Español
Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Adverbs of place in Portuguese
Frequency adverbs in Portuguese
Adverbs ending in Mente in Portuguese
Difference between bom and bem in Portuguese


  1. Eu gosto de acordar cedo/tarde. (Tempo)
  2. Eles nunca/jamais/não foram ao Egito. (Negação)
  3. Maria sempre vai à feira. (Frequência)
  4. Eu moro ali/aqui/lá. (Lugar)
  5. Neymar joga futebol muito bem/mal. (Modo)
  6. Hoje está quente demais. (Intensidade)
  7. Com certeza/ Sem dúvidas vou te visitar ano que vem. (Afirmação)
  8. Talvez ele não chegue a tempo. (Dúvida)
  9. De jeito nenhum/De forma alguma eu vou te emprestar dinheiro. (Negação)
  10. A criança pediu mais/menos comida! (Quantidade)