Word order/ order of words

Hi All

I was wondering if anyone has any good pointers to articles/ lessons on word order in the context of speech, if it differs but anything in general would help? I have a general grasp of word order depending on context e.g. if statement vs statement-question vs question vs when using adjectives/ adverbs…

However a lot of the time I see sentences that I find confusing and it takes time to work out…any general guidance, rules, common practice etc…


Welcome to Portuguese and Practice Portuguese!
I have been studying this language for nearly a year, and I still feel like I hear and understand your request. I have put a lot of time into study, and I have seen certain patterns emerge, but I believe that time, regular study, and continued variable exposure is the only real antidote.

I also think that a tutor would be a good solution, but it seems there are variations on how people put words together around the country. That is coupled with Brazil who tends to dominate because of the population differences.

At this point, I suggest developing your vocabulary and do the training materials etc.

Olá, @dbuachalla. Unfortunately, you’ve asked the million-dollar question, I think :frowning: Grammatically speaking, Portuguese is flexible in terms of word order (I think adjectives are the most movable class), but I think it’s very difficult to map any patterns, because each sentence is its own little universe and the words themselves can serve different functions from one phrase to another. This means, for example, that in one case, they may move, but in the other, they can’t. Or maybe, grammatically, it’s always fine to move them, but then the meaning changes, or one sounds Brazilian Portuguese and the other European. And so on. I can think of a few examples of all of these.

Are there any specific sentences/words that come to mind? Maybe we could work from those.

Hi Joseph

One example I listened too recently was …

Há já vários dias que estou a tentar falar contigo…

Comparing to english, its back to front… its been several days, I am trying to speak to you… (loosely)

In English it would be “I have been trying to speak to you for several days…”

So its not just a simple grammatical move of adjectives etc. its like swapping two of the sentence clauses around… so I wondered if there were rules for this… or is this just a colloquial example…

I saw this recently: https://bit.ly/31VVxWq

Order of adjectives in English. Makes one wonder…

@dbuachalla, right! But that sentence works both ways: Há já vários dias que estou a tentar falar contigo = Estou a tentar falar contigo há já vários dias. And well, you could also say in English, “I have been trying for several days to speak to you”. I find it honestly difficult to write down a set of clear rules/guidelines for this.

@stephencanthony, I remember talking about it in school :slight_smile:

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