Portuguese (Beginners)

Key information

Start date: To be confirmed

This class will not be running this term

Attendance dates:

To be confirmed

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.

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 University's prospective student privacy notice.

        • The course is open to adult learners over 18 years of age.
        • Payment of fees in full is required before attending the course.
        • Discounts are only applied if you book two or three terms for the same class in advance.
        • Your email address will be our primary point of contact during your course and important information will be sent to the email address you provided on your booking form.
        • Refunds cannot be given for classes you are not able to attend (e.g. due to illness or changes in your work or personal circumstances).
        • The availability of classes is subject to demand. If a course has to be cancelled before the start of classes due to low numbers or circumstances beyond our control, you will receive an offer to an alternative course or a full refund.
        • If a class has to be cancelled during the term due to unforeseen circumstances, we will endeavour to reschedule it (where possible). Please note, this might not be on the day or at the time of your usual class.
        • If part of a course has to be cancelled you will receive a proportionate refund.
        • There will be no refund if part of a course has to be cancelled for reasons outside our control (force majeure).
        • Where access to the online delivery of services is not possible as a result of technical failure on your part or the parts of third-parties commissioned by you to provide access to our services, such as your internet service provider, computer equipment etc., we shall not be deemed liable for the loss of any access to our services.

        Cancellation policy

        You will have 14 days, starting with the day after your booking has been received, during which you may cancel and withdraw. You will receive a full refund of course fees paid. To do so, please email eveninglanguagecourses@surrey.ac.uk

        All refund applications must be made 14 days before the start date of the course you booked.

        If you book 14 days or less before the start of the course, no refund will be payable.

        Outside of this cooling off period, the following applies:

        If you enrol in the autumn term for one, two or three terms

        Cancellations received by 30 August 2020 23:59 GMT by email are eligible for a refund but incur an admin fee of £29.50. Beyond this time limit no refunds will be granted.

        If you enrol in the winter term for one or two terms

        Cancellations received by 29 November 2020 23:59 GMT by email are eligible for a refund but incur an admin fee of £29.50. Beyond this time limit no refunds will be granted.

        If you enrol for the spring term

        Cancellations received by 7 March 2021 23:59 GMT by email are eligible for a refund but incur an admin fee of £29.50. Beyond this time limit no refunds will be granted.


        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.