Verb to be – part 4 of 4

Take a few minutes to read the first three parts of this lesson here, here and here in case you haven’t yet.

We talked about how to use verb ‘estar’ to say emotions and conditions, also current activities and locations; and how to use verb ‘ser’ to describe things and talk about nationalities. At this moment, you are ready to be introduced to other interrogative words and use verb ‘ser’ and all its potential


What and which are equivalent to ‘o que’ and ‘qual’ (almost always) respectively.

O que

  • Comes before a noun or a verb
  • Can NOT be used referring to people, only things
  • Wide or infinite options

O que é isso?
What is that?

O que são aquelas coisas amarelas?
What are those yellow things?

O que você está comendo?
What are you eating?

O que você quer?
What do you want?


  • Many times accompanies the verb ‘ser’
  • Can be used referring to people or things
  • Supposes a selection, choose an option among others
  • Can be followed by ‘dos’ (of the), ‘das’ (of the), ‘destes’ (of these), ‘destas’ (of these), ‘daqueles’ (of those), ‘daquelas’ (of those).

Qual é o seu nome?
What is your name?

Qual é o nome daquele filme?
What is the title of that movie?

Qual é a sua idade?
What is your age?

Qual das crianças é o seu filho?
Which of the children is your son?
*Alternative: Qual criança é o seu filho? Which child is your son?

Qual destas camisas é a mais bonita?
Which of these shirts is the most beautiful?
*Alternative: Qual camisa é a mais bonita? Which shirt is the most beautiful?

‘Qual’ can also be plural and the answer will be in the plural as well:

Quais dos países europeus são os seus favoritos?
Which of the european countries are you favorite?
*Alternative: Quais países europeus são os seus favoritos? Which european country is your favorite?

Quais daquelas bolsas são suas?
Which of those bags are yours?
*Alternative: Quais bolsas são suas? Which bags are yours?


Asking for someone’s identity:
[quem]>>[é]>>[noun + complement]

Quem é você?
Who are you?

Quem são aqueles homens?
Who are those men?

Quem são estas pessoas?
Who are these people?

Asking for the subject of a verb:
[quem]>>[verb]>>[noun + complement]

Quem está em casa?
Who is home?

Quem está comendo na cozinha?
Who is eating in the kitchen?

Quem cozinha tão bem assim?
Who cooks so well like this?

NOTE: I am avoiding verbs not discussed in these verb to be lessons, but is perfectly possible and correct to use this structures with different verbs and tenses. For example, ‘Quem fez essa comida deliciosa?‘, which means ‘Who cooked this delicious food?’.

Asking for the ownership
[de quem]>>[ser]>>[noun]

De quem é este carro?
Whose car is this?

De quem é a culpa?
Whose fault is it?


[quantos]>>[noun]>>[verb]>>[complement is optional]

Quantos morangos?
How many strawberries?

Quantos alunos são meninas?
How many students are girls?

Quantos países são maiores que o Brasil?
How many countries are bigger than Brazil?

Quantas dessas histórias são verdadeiras?
How many of these stories are true?

Quantas destas frutas podemos levar?
How many of these fruits can we take?

NOTE: Besides ‘Qual é a sua idade?’, it’s possible to ask someone’s age saying ‘Quantos anos você tem’, that literally means ‘How many years do you have?’.


Asking for price:

Quanto é um quilo de arroz?
How much is one kilo of rice?
*Alternative: Quanto custa um quilo de arroz? How much does one kilo of rice cost?


Quanto pessimismo!
So much pessimism!

Quanta comida!
So much food!

Asking for quantity of uncountable things:

Quanto trabalho será necessário?
How much more work will be necessary?

Quantas tortas estão prontas?
How many pies are ready?


Let’s talk about time. The logic here is very similar to English.

> Learn the numbers here <

Verb ‘ser’ agree in number with the hour digit
1:00 É uma hora. It’s one o’clock.
3:00 São três horas. It’s three o’clock.

Periods of day
06:00 São seis horas da manhã. It’s six in the morning.
16:00 São doze horas da tarde. (É meio-dia) It’s twelve in the afternoon. (It’s midday.)
19:00 São sete horas da noite. It’s seven in the night.
12:00 São doze horas da noite. (É meia-noite) It’s twelve in the night. (It’s midnight.)
01:00 É uma hora da manhã. It’s one in the morning.

São seis horas e dez minutos. It’s six hours and ten minutes.
São seis e dez. It’s six ten.
São seis horas e quinze minutos. It’s six hours and fifteen minutes.
São seis e quinze. It’s six fifteen.
São seis horas e trinta minutos. It’s six hours and thirty minutes.
São seis e meia. It’s six thirty.
São seis horas e quarenta e cinco minutos. Its six hours and forty-five minutes.
São quinze para as sete. It’s fifteen to seven.


Hope you learned a lot and keep coming back for more!
See you.





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