Mistakenly using adjectives instead of adverbs to modify verbs

Olá, I recently read that sometimes native speakers of Portuguese mistakenly use adjectives when they should use adverbs to modify verbs. Did I read that observation here in Practice Portuguese or was it an external source? (There are so many results that show up for “adjective” and “adverb” that it would rather time-consuming to wade through all the results!) Irrespective of the source, it would be greatly appreciated if this question could be answered by a knowledgeable staff person (or other person in the know). Obrigada pela ajuda. Sarah

@sarahannmills Hm, that happens, mostly in informal language. It’s more usual in Brazilian Portuguese than in European Portuguese, though. The most obvious example I can think of in European Portuguese is using rápido instead of rapidamente (and I think this is mentioned in a Learning Note, yes). However, this use has already become normalized and is not considered a mistake.

  • Elas vieram rápido* (*rapidamente) = They came fast
  • O cão corre muito rápido* (*rapidamente) = The dog runs very fast

There are other examples:

  • Esta música bate forte* (*fortemente)
  • Este poema toca fundo* (*profundamente)

Obrigada Joseph,

Would this be another example?

“Ele chegou atrasado.” (em vez do advérbio “tarde”)

I ask because according to Infopedia.pt, “atrasado” is an adjective.


De nada, @sarahannmills. Atrasado is not an example of this, because it’s still being used as an adjective. You’ll notice this by trying to use it with different subjects - just like any other adjective, atrasado ends up changing forms to agree with the subject. That doesn’t happen with adverbs.

  • Ele chegou atrasado.
  • Ela chegou atrasada.
  • Eles chegaram atrasados.
  • Elas chegaram atrasadas.


  • Ele chegou rápido.
  • Ela chegou rápido.
  • Eles chegaram rápido.
  • Elas chegaram rápido.