How to Sound More Brazilian - Part 3 - Using tá

In this post you'll learn how what "tá" means and how to use it in questions and statements.

You probably already know the difference between the verbs ser and estar (if you don't, check out this post), so now we're going to focus on the verb estar, and a specific usage of it: its abbreviated form  meaning OK.

Let's do a quick revision of the verb estar first:

It can be translated as to bewhen we're talking about changing (or likely to change) states or conditions

For example:

- Onde você está? Where are you?

- Estou aqui! I'm here!

We've seen in the first episode of this series, How to Sound More Brazilian, that Brazilians often shorten the verb estar by dropping its first syllable, the 'es' bit, in colloquial speech and in informal writing, so the two examples above would be:

- Onde você tá? Where are you?

- Tô aqui! I'm here!

Now that we've revised the basic meaning of the verb estar, let's look at a very common usage of this verb. Brazilians often use it as a kind of question tag, meaning OK?

The verb estar conjugated in the third person singular is shortened to  and it's normally followed by an adjective, bom or legal, for example:

Tá bom? OK?

Tá legal? OK?

Although the phrases above can be used on their own, they can also be used as question tags, as as a statement of agreement:

- Eu vou pra cama, tá bom? / I'm going to bed, OK?

- Tá bom! / OK!

Another example:

- Eu te ligo mais tarde, tá legal? / I'll call you later, OK?

- Tá legal! OK!

And sometimes, Brazilians will drop the word that follows :

- Eu vou pra cama, tá? / I'm going to bed, OK?

- Tá! OK!

- Eu te ligo mais tarde, tá legal? / I'll call you later, OK?

- Tá legal! OK!

Another common phrase with tá is Então, tá! which means OK, then! or Alright, then!

Muito obrigado, pessoal! Até a próxima!

Categories: Verbs, Vocabulary, How to Say Anything in Brazilian Portuguese, Pronunciation, Expressions, Grammar