Best Portuguese Textbooks

I echo stephenanthony in recommending this book. The intro material urges reading it all the way through first, even if there is little understanding. I found this useful as I began my learning process


Hi @allent2000.

I found your comment interesting and it resonantes with my approach to learning Portuguese, particularly when listening to the language.

If I listen to a podcast or watch a television news bulletin and don’t understand it, my reaction is not to give up, believing that it’s too advanced for me. I accept that I don’t understand it… YET… but continue listening because any exposure to the sounds and rhythms of the language is beneficial.

I’m sure that on a subconscious level learning is taking place, even when I don’t seem to be inderstanding anything! :grinning:


My experiences exactly. Hear the sounds/rhythms and just be exposed to it.

Another aspect for me is trying to ignore the urge to translate; “I heard word X and that means Y, so… wait - what are they talking about now?”; and concentrate on a (very) broad content understanding.

If I had to take a test on what I heard, I could tell you what the subject was, and maybe some high level details, but not more than that. But the more I listen, the more details become clear. Slowly, but surely.


Thanks for this! I’m going to be in Europe in July (not Portugal, sadly) and I may try to find some of these while I’m there. It is hard, and expensive, to find them in the US. Thanks for sharing them!

This is a really great book for learning Portuguese:

The co-author, Rafael, also has an excellent online learning resource at – through which I got to find out what he calls “bad words”! ( – you have to obtain a discreet password to access this content, bless!).

Last weekend I bought this at Continente: – one of the best things about it is a verb wheel, which you spin to decline regular and irregular verbs in present, future, past perfect and past imperfect tenses. It’s rather gorgeous and such fun to use.


I had a look at the Aprender Português books on FNAC and I was wondering how people in the UK got around being asked for a NIF at checkout? It’s a mandatory field and unfortunately and I don’t have one.

Honestly I cannot remember what I did. Is it imandatory? If so, can you insert some random digits as a workaround?

Can anyone recommend a Portuguese grammar book. I have been using ‘Essential Portuguese Grammar’ and ‘Gramatica Activa’.
However, I would now like to be able to refer to a more detailed grammar book.
What book do Portuguese native speakers use?

Gordon Davies


I am partial to the Aprender Portugues series. There’s A1-2, B1, and a C series. The A1-2 is pretty good for grammar IMO. There are also a couple of more grammar textbooks One is pre-acordo, the other post. I personally prefer the pre-acordo (look for a picture way back in this thread); just because it does a better job (to my mind) of explaining the grammar.

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Hi Jeremy! It is some time later that I am reading these comments, but I would like to know how you like the practice books: Gramática aplicada + Caderno de Exercícios.

I am currently on a A2/B1 level and I want some more exercises to practice with the verbs and their times. Would you recommend those books? (I will order a level up in my case, so the A2 and B1 Caderno do Excersisios.)

Also, am I able to use the Caderno do Excersisios, without the manual do aluno? I have already other study books.


I was looking for a book that was not a text book, rather a detailed grammar. When I was struggling with French I found the ‘Bled’ and ‘Le Bon Usage’ very useful. Which book do Portuguese people turn to when they want to check a point of grammar?

They don’t :smile:

But here are two reference grammar books (quite advanced), which might be what you’re looking for:

The 'Nova Gramática was exactly what I was looking for. There comes a time when it is best to have grammatical explanations in the language you are learning. The examples are quotes from literary texts - which is an early introduction to more advanced reading.

I should add that I ordered the book from It was delivered here in Ireland within ’ days!

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Ah, great - Glad to hear you’re happy with the book!

I’ve migrated through several different Portuguese grammar books through the different levels:

  • Gramática Ativa 1 Níveis A1/A2/B1 (not shown)
  • Gramática Ativa 2 Níveis B1/B2/C1
  • Passaporte para Português 1 Níveis A1/A2 (with audio files and workbook)
  • Passaporte para Português 2 Nível B1 (with audio files and workbook)
  • Aprender Português 3 Nível B2 (with audio files and workbook)
  • Português Foco 4 Níveis C1/C2 (with audio files and teacher’s manual)

I found the Passaporte para Português books, Gramática Ativa books and the Aprender Português book all valuable and very similar.
I am currently on the Português Foco book and find it heavier on audio (audio files downloadable from a website), which at my point is very much necessary.This was the only one I found that goes up to C2 level. I’m just on the first units which are fairly short.