While in Portuguese

example of enquanto in portuguese: enquanto eles conversavam, passavam fotos na tv da escola.

Hi guys! Today, we are going to talk about describing two actions that happened at the same time in the imperfect past. To do so, we need to use while in Portuguese! So, let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Structure for While in Portuguese

structure for while in portuguese: while + imperfect past + imperfect past. examples: enquanto eu estava português, eu também ouvia música / enquanto ela corria na rua, o cachorro latia. imperfect past + enquanto + imperfect past. examples: ela assistia televisão enquanto seu marido cozinhava. as crianças brincavam enquanto eu trabalhava.

As we already know how to conjugate the imperfect past from previous posts, today we are only going to discuss specific situations with the word while. There are two different structures. Let’s check out the first one:

Enquanto   +   Action in the Imperfect Past   +   Action in the Imperfect Past

Let’s check out some examples in this form:

Enquanto eu estudava português, eu também ouvia música.
While I studied Portuguese, I also listened to music.

Enquanto ela corria na rua, o cachorro latia.
While she ran in the street, the dog barked.

The other way to use while in Portuguese is as follows:

Action in the Imperfect Past   +   Enquanto   +   Action in the Imperfect Past

Let’s analyze some examples using this form:

Ela assistia televisão enquanto seu marido cozinhava.
She watched tv while her husband cooked.

As crianças brincavam enquanto eu trabalhava.
The children played while I worked.

Notice that both actions are always in the same tense. That means that they happen simultaneously!

Examples with While in Portuguese

To clarify, take a look at the examples below to understand the structure better:

Ontem, enquanto eu estudava, João escutava música.
Yesterday, while I was studying, João was listening to music.

Enquanto eu cozinhava, minha irmã arrumava a casa.
While I was cooking, my sister was cleaning the house.

José fazia o trabalho de casa enquanto você jogava futebol no Flamengo.
José was doing his homework while you were playing soccer in Flamengo.

Enquanto nós andávamos em Botafogo, elas andavam pelo Leblon.
While we were walking in Botafogo, they were walking around Leblon.

Enquanto vocês escutavam MPB (Música Popular Brasileira), elas escutavam samba na Pedra do Sal.
While you were listening MPB (Música Popular Brasileira), they were listening samba at Pedra do Sal.

Enquanto and Em quanto in Portuguese

However, we must pay attention not to confuse the conjunction enquanto with the interrogative word em quanto. They have the same pronunciation in Portuguese, but they are used in totally different ways! Em quanto, two words written separately, is used to ask questions about time or quantity. Check it out:

Em quanto tempo você chega na Rio & Learn?
How long will you take to get to Rio and Learn?

Em quantos meses devo estudar para o CELPE-Bras?
How many months should I study for CELPE-Bras?

Em quantos anos foi construída a ponte Rio-Niterói.
In how many years was the Rio-Niterói bridge built?

Em quantas casas o Papai Noel deixou presentes?
In how many houses did Santa Claus leave gifts?

Em quantos pedaços eu devo dividir o bolo?
In how many pieces should I split the cake?

Now it’s your turn!

Choose either to complete the phrases below with enquanto or em quanto:

___________ tempo você preparou este bolo?
___________ eu escutava música, ela descansava na rede.
Eu estava dormindo, ___________ minha mãe estudava português.
___________ meses você aprendeu português na Rio & Learn?
Muitas coisas estavam acontecendo ___________ eu tentava ler meu livro.
___________ vezes você parcelou o carro?
___________ minutos você consegue fazer todos os exercícios?
___________ eu corria com meu amigo, ele escutava música nos fones de ouvido.
Lívia estava acordando, ___________ João já estava trabalhando.
___________ tempo eu consigo chegar em Copacabana?

Now you know how to use while in Portuguese! By the way, while you are in Rio, post some pictures on Instagram with the #amorioandlearn.

We have a present for the best picture of the week!
See you guys!

Click in the links below to see more related Dicas
Perfect and Imperfect Past in Portuguese
Portuguese Imperfect Past
Portuguese Past Tense Exercises
Deixar de in Portuguese


Em quanto tempo você preparou este bolo?
Enquanto eu escutava música, ela descansava na rede.
Eu estava dormindo, enquanto minha mãe estudava português.
Em quantos meses você aprendeu português na Rio & Learn?
Muitas coisas estavam acontecendo enquanto eu tentava ler meu livro.
Em quantas vezes você parcelou o carro?
Em quantos minutos você consegue fazer todos os exercícios?
Enquanto eu corria com meu amigo, ele escutava música nos fones de ouvido.
Lívia estava acordando, enquanto João já estava trabalhando.
Em quanto tempo eu consigo chegar em Copacabana?

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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