How to ask a question

Today we are going to have a close look at the words we use to ask questions.  Apart from the question words we are going to learn today, you have to be aware that in Portuguese we can use the expression “é que” after the question word, but notice that “é que” doesn’t really mean anything, we just use it because it sounds more as a question and usually people prefer to say it.

Question words in Portuguese:

  • Como (é que)…? – “como” means “how”, but it’s also what we use to ask someone’s name, like in “Como se chama?”, which is literally “how do you call yourself?”;
  • Quem (é que)…? – “quem” means “who”. Don’t forget you shouldn’t pronounce the “m” at the end of the word; the “m” is there to tell you that you must nasalize the vowel;
  • Com quem (é que)…? –“com quem” means “with whom”, remember to nasalise the “o” in “com”;
  • Onde (é que)…? – “onde” means “where”, another nasal syllable in “onde”;
  • De onde (é que)…? – “de onde” means” where from”, like in “where are you from”, in Portuguese “De onde (é que) é?”;
  • Qual (é que)…? – “qual” can be “what” or “which”. Don’t forget you should read the “u” in “qual”;
  • Quais (é que)…? – “quais” is the plural of “qual”. It means the same that “qual” (“what” or “which”) but we use it when we’re talking about something plural, for instances “quais (é que) são as suas cores preferidas?” (what are your favourite colours?)
  • Quantos (é que)…? – “quantos” means “how many”, don’t forget to read the “u” in “quantos”. If you want to ask about someone’s age in Portuguese, you say “Quantos anos (é que) tem?”, literally “How many years do you have?”, but obviously, is the Portuguese translation to “How old are you?”.
  • Porque (é que)…? – “Porque” means “why”. In this one, we don’t read the “u”.
%d bloggers like this: