In English, we have by, from, for, to, etc., and in Portuguese, we have por, de, para, a, etc.
Prepositions can be tricky because you often can’t translate them literally. Each one can correspond to multiple possible words in English, and vice versa. For example, de could translate to of, by, from, about, or even to nothing, depending on the context.
There are some general patterns, but usually, you’ll need to consider the construction and meaning of the entire phrase, rather than just that one word. It takes time, but with lots of listening practice and exposure to Portuguese, prepositions will start to become second nature.
Ready to test yourself? Try filling in the missing prepositions in the sentences below.
Eu gosto ___ café - I like coffee
A salada é ___ ele - The salad is for him
Ela vai ___ festa - She goes to the party
Ela vai ___ aí - She goes through there
Eu estou ___ férias - I’m on vacation (holiday)
Sou ___ Portugal - I’m from Portugal
___ onde vais? - Where are you going?
Eu falo ___ ti - I talk about you
Eu espero ___ ti - I’ll wait for you
Preciso ___ dinheiro - I need money
Vou viajar ___ comboio - I’ll travel by train
A criança apontou ___ cima - The child pointed up
Isto sabe ___ morango - This tastes like strawberry
Obrigada ___ presente - Thank you for the gift
To check your answers, hear the audio, and learn more, visit PracticePortuguese.com/AnswerKey
Do you know your Portuguese prepositions?
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