Explaining all the different ways we pose questions is daunting to myself, so I can perfectly empathise with you, the learner.

Still, there’s a few strategies you can use. Shall we?

1. Pronounce the question in a more native way:

Como é que se vai para o aeroporto? - written question

How can I get to the airport? - English translation

[komu EH k se vai para u aehroportu?] - misleading phonetic transcription

[komEHk s vai pOH aehroPORt?] - real life phonetic transcription (not the stressed syllables are capitalised)

2. Add ‘é que’ after the question word. Skip looking up its meaning; there isn’t one. It makes a question more question...

Onde é que está a colher de pau?

(‘Onde está a colher de pau?’ is also ok)

Where is the wooden spoon?

[ondEHk TAH a kulher d PAU?]

3. Focus on the same question word a week and ask away:

Com quem vais à praia?

Who are you going to the beach with?

[kom kem (2 nasal sounds in a row alert! Make the ‘o’ and ‘e’ nasal) vahizAH (the ‘s’ at the end of a word becomes ‘z’ when the following word starts with a vowel) prAHia?]

4. Search the question word you’re focusing on that week on youglish.pt to see real life examples of how it’s used.

Já chega, não é?

If you have enjoyed this quick lesson and would like to learn more Portuguese outside of the box, then please contact Catarina from The Language Unschool - catarina@thelanguageunschool.com