Aprendendo português (learning Portuguese)

Dear Editor,

I am all in favour of foreigners learning Portuguese and I like June Lover’s attempts to persuade people that it isn’t too difficult, but I am afraid that she was misinformed when told that there is no equivalent of “ing”. The gerund exists in Portuguese as well as in English although it isn’t as widely used. Thus “ndo” as in “Lendo em vez de ver TV” or “Só vendo para crer” etc. I agree that it isn’t necessary to learn much grammar to be able to communicate simply. What is required is an ample vocabulary.

I can’t accept that it is polite to ask a Portuguese waiter in English for the bill. Far more considerate (surely the essence of good manners) to say “ A conta, por favor “ or “faz favor”  if you prefer it.

Jim Glassbrook, by Email