Scheduling appointments and applying for things

For some quick background, I’m an EU citizen whose 90-day period in Portugal is fast approaching and I’m trying to figure out how to schedule an appointment to apply for my residency certificate.

I wrote to the Loja Lisboa asking for clarification:

Queria saber como posso marcar um compromisso para requerer meu Certificado de Registo para cidadão da UE.

I would like to know how I can make an appointment to apply for my registration certificate for citizens of the EU.)

I suppose I really have three questions here (using examples I have encountered myself):

  • What are the most common forms of the verbs to schedule, and which do I use in what situation?

    • marcar
    • agendar
    • planear
    • programar
  • What are the most common forms of the noun appointment, and which do I use in what situation?

    • consulta
    • reunião
    • compromisso
    • encontro
    • marcação
    • agendamento
  • What are the most common forms of the noun to apply, and which do I use in what situation?

    • pedir
    • aplicar
    • solicitar
    • requerer

There are some forms that obviously do not apply (haha :roll_eyes:) to this particular case that I can figure out from Linguee, but there appear to be some subtle differences here that aren’t obvious to me.

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Oh, this is not an easy one, because there are so many different expressions for so many different contexts, hah. This is how I see it:

  • Marcar and agendar are synonyms, but the latter sounds a bit more proper, elegant. You can use them in any situation where you need to schedule or book something. You can also say fazer uma marcação or fazer um agendamento. Actually, this is what I would use in a context such as this one (applying for certificates, visa, etc.).

  • Planear doesn’t quite mean to schedule, but to plan. But sure, you could say something like “Podemos planear isto para amanhã?” and it’ll feel like scheduling. But really, the idea of this verb (and the same more or less applies to programar) is describing the process of planning something as a whole, which goes beyond just scheduling.

  • Consulta -> Mostly for medical appointments.

  • Reunião -> Mostly for formal meetings. But it can also be used for family meetings, school reunions…

  • Compromisso -> Just means commitment. You would say “Tenho muitos compromissos esta manhã” (I have lots of commitments this week), but you wouldn’t schedule a commitment.

  • Encontro -> This is the word we use for dates! :smile: But it can also refer to casual meetups or gatherings, such as a gathering of people with a shared hobby.

  • Marcação, agendamento -> They’re the same to me. Useful when nothing else really fits, such as appointments to take care of paperwork.

Pedir, solicitar and requerer are all pretty much synonyms. Pedir is neutral, while the other two are fancy words. You can pretty much use them interchangeably. They’re no more different than ask and request are. Aplicar is never used in the context of applying for something - it’s a false friend in that case. We only use aplicar when we want to apply something into something else. For example, applying a teaching into your life, or applying a new work method in the office. We also use it in the sense of applying ourselves to complete a certain task or achieve a goal.

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