Tá Falado

June 7, 2007

Grammar Lesson 6: The Verb Ficar, Studying in Cafés

Filed under: Grammar — @ 12:15 pm

In this lesson Orlando dreams about being able to use the verb ficar when he is talking in Spanish. Ah, if they just had that verb in Spanish, it would make things a lot easier. Of course, for you Spanish speakers, you now have a chance to add ficar to your Portuguese. Whether it means to become, to be, to stay, to remain, to keep on, or any of the other meanings, you are sure to love this fantastic verb. And whoever said that verbs weren’t fun?

One caution, however, don’t study your verbs in a café, at least not in Brazil. Michelle and Valdo have a hard time getting used to the idea of studying in a café.

PODCAST LINK: Grammar Lesson 6


  1. Thank you for your excellent website!
    I LOVE the music at the beginning. It would also be great to know the opening music information!

    You are doing a wonderful job.
    On my two cents, I LOVE drinking coffee and studying. And in Costa Rica, coffee places are socializing places, to go after work, between classes, before heading home. If I have to get up early the next day, meeting for dinner or at a bar wouldn’t be such a great idea. I suspect a lot of people we see in the coffee places studying alone, are really hoping a friend shows up so they can talk over coffee!

    Comment by Liz Rincon — June 8, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  2. Liz, Ah yes, “falsa baiana” by Joao Gilberto. I also like Paulinho Moska’s version of this song. In fact, that’s one of the great things about Brazilian music. Everyone does their version of a song.
    As to studying in cafes, my guess is that we’ll see more and more of it. I recently noticed in Chile that there were more and more cafes that advertised wifi too.

    Comment by orkelm — June 8, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

  3. Bravo to all doing the podcast. I am learning so much. I took the family to Puerto Rico last week and I noticed my understanding of the language is getting better. I know it is due to your podcast. Thanks.

    Comment by Steve Mayer — June 13, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

  4. Hi Tá Falado team,

    I have been listening to this pod cast for a few months now in preparation for my current trip to Brazil. I didn’t have much time to study before leaving. I was thrilled to find this pod cast to get started with Portuguese in my little free time. Now, in Rio, my grammar is still pretty horrendous. The exciting thing is I can just pronounce my Spanish like Portuguese, and not only do people understand what I am trying to say, but they flatter me about my accent! I’ll catch up with the grammar in good time. I am in Rio until the end of July for a course of Human Rights and Media.

    Thanks so much for making this program!


    Comment by Ida — June 14, 2007 @ 6:46 am

  5. You should have mentioned about “ficar com alguém”

    Comment by josefo_pr — July 15, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

  6. We got to Rio yesterday. This week I did a Ta Falado crash course and while I don’t remember probably 80% of what I learned (I’ll go back and re-listen to them all a few times for that) this lesson in particular really helped! Specifically, we were in the Botanical Gardens while a lady helped our 5 year old son Max feed the monkeys–she kept using the verb “ficar” to tell him to stand still while they took the food from his hand. Thanks to this episode I didn’t search my Spanish vocabulary in vain for the meaning 🙂

    In general, Ta Falado has really helped me feel confident in understanding not only the language, but the culture. We’ve lived in South America for awhile now, but this is our first time in Rio and the people we met today could not have been nicer! What a beautiful city and country.

    Thanks so much! Now…back to the Brazil/Argentina game 🙂

    PS. We have seen several Brazilian women wearing jeans and flip flops 🙂

    Comment by Marcus — July 15, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

  7. Josefo, right, good call – ficar com alguem – to stay with someone. In fact there are a lot of phrases that start with ‘ficar com’ (e.g., ficar com raiva – to get upset).
    Marcus, Nice blog entry thanks. There is no better way to remember vocabulary, than to hear it in context. For the rest of your life you will see Max and the monkeys, in your mind’s eye and you’ll associate that with the verb ‘ficar’.
    BTW, although the blog entries are not tied to dates, Marcus is referring to yesterdays 3-0 victory of Brazil over Argentina in the America’s Cup!!!

    Comment by orkelm — July 16, 2007 @ 8:32 am

  8. “Ficar” é um dos meus verbos favoritos!

    Comment by Lisa Martinez — September 18, 2007 @ 5:06 pm

  9. Fico aprendendo coisas novas desta lengua!! Mas, acho que o uso de “ficar” tão frequentemente pode ficar um pouco ambíguo. Gosto da precisão que vem de usar uma palavra especifica, como em espanhol. Sem embargo, fica mais facil que posso evitar o reflexivo.

    Comment by Justin Hubbard — September 20, 2007 @ 11:55 pm

  10. Fico pensando que o verbo ‘ficar’ pode ser usado para muitas coisas. Gosto do aspecto temporal: ela ficou falando, etc.

    Comment by James Lander — September 21, 2007 @ 7:10 am

  11. É interesante que fizeram uma lição sobre o verbo ‘ficar’ porque foi uma das primieras palavras que ouvi no Brasil. A primiera coisa que me falaram de ‘ficar’ foi que quer dizer beijar mais passar uma noite junto (one night stand). Depois eu ouvi ‘ficar’ em tudo! Quando em Rio eu fale com um homem quem faz camisa para vender aos turista, dei a ideía de fazer uma camizinha que diz “eu ♥ ficar” (como “I ♥ NY”). Falou que faria a camisa para o ano 2007. Então se você viesse ao Brasil e vir essa camisa, lembra que foi minha ideía.

    Comment by Elisa — September 21, 2007 @ 9:18 pm

  12. Todavia nao entendo completamente como funciona o verbo ‘ficar’. Parece que quase cada dia eu descubro uma manera nova de usar a palavra.

    Comment by Chris Morley — October 4, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

  13. Thank you, now I need to go ahead and ficar some beans I have in the oven. Maybe I can fice some rice and fizao a piece of cheese! lol, I am just kidding… I obviously don’t know anything about how to apply it. Thanks for the lesson though,


    Comment by Jenn Weller — October 18, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

  14. Well, saying that “Spanish doesn’t have anything like it” doesn’t quite make justice to it. Don’t forget that we do have an equivalent for the basic meaning of it, which is “quedar(se).” I’ll agree, though, that the Spanish counterpart isn’t quite as useful. Great lesson, though! Fiquei muito contente de ver esse verbo numa lição rsrsrs Até.

    Me quedé boquiabierto=Fiquei surpreso
    Quedó muy bonito=Ficou muito bonito
    Mi casa queda en medio de la ciudad=A minha casa fica em méio da cidade
    Después del accidente me quedé pensando en lo que dijiste=Depois do acidente eu fiquei pensando no que você disse
    Quedó un poco loco después del accidente=Ficou um pouco maluco depois do acidente
    La gente prefiere quedarse en casa=As pessoas prefirem ficar em casa
    Me distraigo un poco=Ficou distraido um pouco
    Me puse muy triste cuando supe=Eu fiquei muito triste quando soube

    Comment by César — December 5, 2007 @ 3:30 pm

  15. I’d also like to recommend a better translation for “É mesmo” (I know). We don’t really say “de acuerdo” or “es lo mismo” in Spanish (two big mistranslations I’ve seen/heard so far), but rather: “Ya sé” (at least in Mexican Spanish), or if it’s a question: “en serio?” (é mesmo?).

    Comment by César — December 5, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

  16. Wow, neat list Cesar, thanks. Cesar shows that all of the same ideas can be expressed without any problem in Spanish. Notice that in order to make the equivalents in Spanish that we need: quedar, quedarse, reflexive verbs (e.g., me puse). That’s where the confusion comes in my case, when I need to go from one verb “ficar” to many in Spanish.
    I also like your translations better than ours, thanks.

    Comment by orkelm — December 5, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

  17. Ficar tambem tem outro significado em portugues, mais ou menos eh igual a “to make out” en ingles.
    Um amigo do Portugal me disse hoje:
    -estou a gostar de conversar consigo.
    -quero gostar de ler o email por isso.

    Nao consigo entender completemente os significados dessas frases.

    Comment by Ebony Jackson — September 12, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  18. Que engraçado é que o verbo “ficar” se pode usar em quase qualquer situação. Eu também gostei a resposta que deu Valdo quando ele disse, “ficar de molho.”

    Comment by Kyle A. — September 13, 2008 @ 10:01 am

  19. Falando de “ficar de molho,” eu não compreendi exatamente o sentido da frase. Pode usar com sentido neutro o positivo como o ingles “to hang out/around?”

    Eu posso dizer “Eu estava ficando de molho com meus amigos…” sem soar estranho?

    Comment by Eric — September 18, 2008 @ 2:41 pm

  20. To add to Ebony’s comment about “ficar” meaning “to make out,” my friend from Curitiba told me that she was having drama with her friend because the “ex-ficante” of her friend tried to kiss her at a party. So an “ex-ficante” is not an ex-boyfriend, exactly, but someone that you made out with at a party one time. We have to say a whole sentence to express that in English.

    Comment by Shannon Zamora — September 18, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

  21. En espa~ol el verbo “tomar” tiene, igual, muchas aplicaciones de expresion.
    Ficam interessantes os verbos que tem muitas definições nas linguas romanticas.

    Comment by Rodolfo Cortinas — September 18, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

  22. Gostei de escutar os diferentes usos da palavra ficar. É verdade que é bastante útil e também gostei da expressão “fora que…” É a primeira vez que escuto essa expressão.

    Comment by Erin Daley — September 18, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

  23. I agree with you Orlando; ficar is the best verb. There is no equivalent in Spanish or in English. A combination of this verb and never using direct object/indirect object pronouns in the spoken language are what makes Portuguese so easy to learn.

    Comment by Golden Dale Oehlke — September 18, 2008 @ 11:24 pm

  24. Fico alegre porque eu posso usar o verbo ficar em lugar de ser e estar. E eu gostei aprender a frase “Ficar de molho”.

    Comment by Eduard Keller — September 18, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

    I love that verb Ficar because it has many uses and sometimes I don’t know what verb to say because in Spanish there are many verbs to use since there is no Ficar verb, so I use the verb ficar and it works all the time for me.Thanks to this pod now I learned how to say a new slang “Ficar de molho” and I will use it from now on. thank you

    Wildren Andrade

    Comment by Wildren Andrade — April 30, 2009 @ 10:55 am

  26. You have convinced me! It is truly the best verb.

    Comment by Marina Potoplyak — July 4, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  27. It’s kind of like “get” in English. In general, I don’t think it’s all that different from “quedar” in Spanish. The only real difference seems to be for “to become” … but quedar works for to be located, to stay/remain, and I would say even for the context of continuing an activity. I am no native Spanish-speaker, but I have (perhaps incorrectly) been known to say things like “me quedo pensando…”

    Comment by Mary Slosar — July 6, 2009 @ 9:53 am

  28. Follow up: Y’all should do a lesson like this on PEGAR! That one’s even more challenging than FICAR — seems to have 100 usages (at least).

    Comment by Mary Slosar — July 6, 2009 @ 10:15 am

  29. In Spanish, quedar is commonly used to say “located in,” like in el banco queda en la esquina, just like in Portuguese. Pues aqui estoy y aqui me quedo…o fico aqui.

    Comment by Carlos Barrera — July 12, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

  30. This is the word that confused many people in class. It’s good to know that it can be used somewhat freely.

    Comment by Kanitra Fletcher — July 23, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

  31. opps Asiago foi Eu Daniel Heron (é meu apilido)
    No Brasil a gente geralmente fica em casa ou na biblioteca estudando.
    Por que não é NA CASA?
    Talvez mencionar a cultura de ficar. Ficando. Isso foi um choque cultral grande pra mim.
    The problem for me is that Brazilians use FICAR so much that I think that I can use it whenever and I end up saying someting that I did not want to communicate.
    EU preciso uma tabela! Ou um ditado!

    Comment by Daniel Heron — February 8, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  32. Ainda “fico” um pouco confundida com o uso de “ficar”. Basicamente eu entendo quando preciso usá-lo, mas em alguns situações não entendo o significado, por exemplo, na frase “ficar de molho”. Pode explicar por favor??

    Comment by Carmen LeVine — February 9, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

  33. Eu gosto do verbo ficar, mas eu também gostaria de um listo dos usos dela. Também não entendo porque se pode falar “fico pensando.” Achava que depois do verbo conjugado, não se pode conjugar o segundo verbo.

    Comment by Jennifer Cheek — February 9, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

  34. Orkelm,

    Eu gostei do expressão “fico de molho” muito porque eu não ouvia isso quando eu estava no Brasil. Mas quando você está tentando para usar o verbo ‘ficar’ para dizer um situação continuado, você precisa usar o conjugação correto de ‘ficar’ e depois um outro verbo com “-indo, -ando, ou –endo”, não é?

    Comment by Lindsey Hernandez — February 9, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

  35. Eu não sabia isso sobre os cafés no Brasil. Como é que não têm qualquer lugar popular para estudar fora de casa; não posso acreditar isso, não. Tem que haver algum tipo de livraria ou parque onde a gente pode-se ficar estudando, lendo, ou qualquer coisa que quiser. Se não, por que é assim? Existe geralmente no Brasil uma aversão cultural de estudar em locais públicos?

    Comment by Will Church — February 9, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

  36. Acho que no espanhol tem casos quando se usa “quedarse” para dizer “he became,” mais un sentido diferente. (Um sentido continuo) Se pode dizer, “se enojo” (Una forma mais temporario) en vez de dizer “se quedo enojado.” (O formo mais continuo.) No Portuguese esiste uma coisa assim com ficar? Parece que a veces “ficar” tem o sentido mais como “all of a sudden he became angry” ou “se enojo.” Comoe se pode usar ficar para dizer “he became angry, but stayed angry?” (No sentido continuo) Existe una distincao ou nao? Talvez eu esteja pensando demais. Nao sei se voce entende do que eu falo.

    Comment by Preston Achilike — February 9, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

  37. Ficar + com somente dizer um acão que acontece para alguem? Fique come medo = I was afraid

    Comment by Swetha Nulu — February 10, 2010 @ 12:46 am

  38. No.Ficar in “Fique com medo” cannot be “Eu estava com medo( I was afraid)”. The former is a imperative form (stay afraid). The latter is a affirmative of first person (I).
    But you can write Fique com medo or esteja com medo, that is true in affirmative mode as well. Esteja com medo is a form not much used today, but Eu estava com medo can be used without problem.
    I am Br

    Comment by Lucas David — December 7, 2011 @ 5:28 am

  39. Obrigado. Sou dessas pesõas que istao gustando dos podcasts. Acho interesante e importante de mais, voce explicar os significados tuddos do verbo ‘ficar’. O seu acervo e mesmo pra a humanidade.

    Comment by Gabriel Muñoz Barrett — March 13, 2013 @ 11:54 am

  40. Obrigado Gabriel, e fica ouvido e você vai ficar feliz com o jeito que todo fica!!!!!

    Comment by orkelm — March 15, 2013 @ 7:04 am

  41. Yes, the verb ficar is a very popular verb with Brazilians. I am finding this out (Eu fico sabendo isso), lol.

    Comment by Daniel — October 16, 2013 @ 4:45 am

  42. Hello all!

    I think I might have a verb that is close to ‘ficar’ from what I understood from it. I have heard it in conversation, usually between Colombians (Also, very informal, so it might not be correctly conjugated)also not as good as ‘quedarse’ from César who suggested it above
    The verb is ‘mantener’ for example:

    Orlando mantiene hablando
    Ella me cae mal porque mantiene llorando
    Mantengo pensando…
    mantengo en casa…
    mantengo distraído
    manténte atento!
    manténte aquí!
    mantienes pobre si te quedas en el café… etc etc

    Close enough?

    Great show! I love it!
    I like Jose Luis’s translations but I feel they are very “textbook Spanish” sounds very formal, It is not really used much in conversation
    No wonder Jose Luis is always defending our beautiful language, it’s made to sound so formal and complicated. It’s really not. we can also be short and concise like Brazilians 🙂
    Chamo, I’m with you!!! jaja

    Besos, Lorena (Ecuador)

    Comment by Lorena — March 12, 2015 @ 3:25 pm

  43. Thanks Lorena, You know, I just got back from a trip to Colombia, and it was fantastic. Next time I throw out a bunch of “mantener” to see how it goes!

    Comment by orkelm — May 5, 2015 @ 8:11 am

  44. It’s great to go back and look at these comments (new and old) and be reminded of the linguistic complexities in and between contexts. Eu adoro!

    Comment by Preston Achilike — May 7, 2015 @ 12:16 am

  45. Oi Preston, faz tempo, não é? I know. Visiting these lessons is like meeting with an old friend!

    Comment by orkelm — May 7, 2015 @ 10:01 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Brazilpod  |  2023-06-01, 05:58:54 PM