Portuguese (Beginners)

Key information

Start date: April 2022

Attendance dates:

April 2022: 27
May 2022: 04, 11, 18, 25
June 2022: 01, 08, 15

Time commitment: 12 hours


Distance learning

Contact details:


Our Portuguese (Beginners) evening language classes are open to adult learners, aged 18 and over, and are taught by skilled and experienced tutors.

From October 2021 to June 2022 classes will be taught online via Zoom.

Classes are delivered over three terms and you can join at the beginning of each term:

  • Autumn term (October – December)
  • Winter term (January – March)
  • Spring term (April – June).

The winter and spring terms are a continuation of the autumn term. Please note that If you are a complete beginner, you should not join mid-way through the year, but instead wait and join in the autumn term when the complete beginner courses start. To complete a full level, you need to attend all three consecutive terms.

Nevertheless, you can join the class at the beginning of any term. To ensure that you enrol on the right course if joining us in January or April, please check your language level with our tutors at one of our open evenings.

I liked the online element partly because it allowed me time at home to arrange the evening (no travel), and I was then able to concentrate on the class. Use of the breakout rooms and the electronic white board meant we could all engage with the class – in some ways this was better than a physical class.

Jill Kerr, Portuguese (Beginners)

Course details

Please note, the syllabus may vary according to class progress and availability of materials. Syllabus to be updated.

    Topics include:

    • Greetings and introductions
    • Personal information
    • Nationalities
    • Professions
    • The alphabet
    • Numbers (1-100)
    • Time phrases and telling the time: hours, days of the week, months
    • Colours
    • Family
    • Adjectives
    • Rooms and furniture
    • Classroom and office items
    • Places in the city
    • Daily routine


    • Verbs: ser, estar, ter, poder (be, have, can)
    • Main questions words: quem, como, quanto (who, how, how much)
    • Pronouns – subject, possessive: eu, você, ela (I, you, she); meu, sua, dele (my, your, his)
    • Definite and indefinite articles: o, a (the); um, uma (a)
    • Key prepositions: em, em frente de, atrás (in, in front of, behind)
    • Main linking words: mas, e, então (but, and, then, etc.)
    • There is/there are: haver
    • Present continuous: Eu estou fazendo/Eu estou a fazer (I am doing…)
    • Future going to + infinitive (IR + infinitive): Eu vou viajar (I am going to travel)
    • Masculine and feminine: médico/médica (male doctor/female doctor)
    • Simple present: Eu estudo; você trabalha (I study; you work)
    • Plural (main rules): carro-carros; flor-flores (car-cars; flower-flowers)

    Topics include:

    • Eating and drinking
    • Ordering food
    • Likes and dislikes
    • Leisure activities
    • Describing people
    • Inviting someone to an event
    • Giving instructions
    • Directions
    • Booking a hotel and buying tickets
    • Means of transportation
    • Holidays activities
    • Festive dates and events
    • Going to the doctor
    • Health and illness
    • Parts of the body
    • Physical and character traits
    • Numbers (from 100)


    • Simple present (irregular verbs): Eu leio; você faz (I read; you do/make)
    • Prepositions: a, para, por (to, for, by)
    • Since/for: desde/há
    • Comparative: ela é mais rica do que ele (she is richer than him)
    • Superlative (adjectives with the suffix ‘-íssimo’): você é bonitíssimo (you are very handome)
    • Imperative (giving orders and instructions): abra a porta, por favor! (open the door, please!)
    • erb: ter que (have to)

      Topics include:

      • Expressing opinion
      • Birthday parties and events
      • Christmas and holidays
      • Childhood
      • Important moments in life
      • Looking for a job
      • Pets
      • Shopping for clothes
      • Colours (review) and sizes


      • Past pretérito perfeito: Eu trabalhei (I worked)
      • Object pronouns: me, te, o, a, nos, vos, os, as (me, you, him, us, them)
      • Past pretérito imperfeito: Eu trabalhava (I used to work)
      • Relative pronouns: onde, quem, que (where, who, that)
      • Adverbs ending in mente: naturalmente (naturally)
      • Andar a + infinitive: Eu ando a estudar (I have been studying)
      • Costumar + infinitive: Eu costumo dormir muito (I normally sleep a lot)

      Reading list

      Português em Foco 1 Livro do aluno, A1-A2, Lidel ISBN: 9789897523793.

      We do not recommend you buy the course books before starting the course, in case the tutor changes the course books or you need to transfer to a different level. Our tutor will bring copies for the first class and will let you know which course books to purchase.


      Classes run 7pm – 8:30pm on Wednesday evenings, with eight classes per term.

      Class size

      Approximately 12 students.


      At the end of each term, we will issue you with a certificate of attendance if you have been to a minimum of 75% of your classes.

        Entry requirements

        All applicants should be aged 18 and over.

        TermRequired experience
        AutumnNo prior knowledge is required.
        WinterYou should have a very basic knowledge of Portuguese. You will be expected to have knowledge of the topics and grammar covered in the autumn term of our Portuguese (Beginners) course.
        SpringYou should have a good knowledge of Portuguese. You will be expected to have knowledge of the topics and grammar covered in the autumn and winter terms of our Portuguese (Beginners) course.

        Fees and funding

        Price per person:

        £150 for one term


        £150 for one term

        Current Surrey degree student/staff

        £270 for two terms

        Public (10% discount)

        £255 for two terms

        Current Surrey degree student/staff (15% discount)

        £382 for three terms

        Public (15% discount)

        £360 for three terms

        Current Surrey degree student/staff (20% discount)

        Savings apply when you book multiple terms at the same time.

        Additional costs

        Books: approximately £25 - £40 (for three terms).

        How to apply

        Bookings are made via our online store. We advise early enrolment to secure a place.

        Register your interest

        Terms and conditions

        When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the evening language classes privacy notice


        • This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.