How to say there is/there are in Brazilian Portuguese

In this post we’ll learn the most common way of saying there is/there are in Brazilian Portuguese.

In Brazilian Portuguese it’s often important to distinguish the difference between formal/informal speech and formal/informal writing. This is particularly true when learning there is/there are in Brazilian Portuguese.

 

  • Using the verb HAVER

One way of saying there is/there are in Brazilian Portuguese is , which is the third person singular of the verb haver, used impersonally:

Examples:

um banco nessa rua?

Is there a bank in this street?

muitos livros nessa biblioteca.

There are many books in this library.

However, the verb haver is almost always only used in more formal speech and writing.

  • Using the verb TER

In everyday speech and informal writing the verb ter is used  when we want to express there is/there are in Brazilian Portuguese. You might have already learned that ter means to have and while that is correct, this verb can also mean there is/are. In this case, we use always use it impersonally and in the singular (conjugated with você/ele/ela): tem  even we are referring to more than one thing (there are). So let’s see these same examples but with the verb ter.

Examples:

 

image of Banco do Brasil in post there is/there are in Brazilian Portuguese for Fun With Brazilian Portuguese website - Fernando Nonohay

 Is there a bank in this street?

 

image of a library in post there is/there are in Brazilian Portuguese for Fun With Brazilian Portuguese website - Fernando Nonohay

There are many books in this library.

 

 If you want to use the negative – there isn’t/aren’t, all you need to do is to add the word não in front of tem.

Examples:

Não tem muitos livros nessa biblioteca.

There aren’t many books in this library.

– Tem um banco nessa rua?

– Is there a bank in this street?

– Não, não tem.

– No, there isn’t.

 

Examples in other tenses:

 

Tinha uma fila enorme no banco!

There was a huge queue in the bank!

 

 Vai ter churrasco no sábado.

There will be a barbecue on Saturday.

 

 Teve um acidente de carro na frente da minha casa ontem.

There was a car accident in front of my house yesterday.

 

So now you know how to say there is/there are in Brazilian Portuguese! Remember: In colloquial, informal conversation always use the verb ter!

Check out these posts to learn about some other important verbs:

SER and ESTAR

4 Meanings of the verb FICAR

Expressions with the verb DAR

 

 

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