PLP 004 – Beginners - How to spell words in Portuguese

Topic: Spelling a word and an email address in Portuguese.

Olá everybody!

This beginners episode is an action formula and we will be using the vocabulary learned on the previous episode, with the topic: alphabet.

In this episode you learn how to:

  • Ask how to spell a word.

  • Ask how to write a word.

  • Spell an e-mail address.

Listen to the episode

Portuguese Lab Podcast - European Portuguese - 04 - How to spell.png


We will be learning two questions: how to spell a word and how to write a word.

As an example I will use the word casa - house.

  • Como se soletra CASA?

  • How do you spell CASA?

The answer for this question could be simply:

  • C A S A

For the second example I will use the word livro - book.

  • Como se soletra LIVRO?

  • L I V R O

Let's take a closer look at the question:

  • Como means how.

  • se refers to a non specific subject, like the word one, as in the sentence: How does one spell LIVRO?

  • And soletra is the verb soletrar, to spell, conjugated in the third person singular. The third person is always the conjugation you use for sentences with the non specific subject identified by the word se.

Now let's learn the second question: how do you write that?

I will use the same words as before for the two examples, CASA and LIVRO.

  • Como se escreve LIVRO?

  • Como se escreve CASA?

The difference to the previous question, how do you spell it, is the verb to write, escrever also conjugated in the third person singular: escreve.

Let's try two more examples for each question, and I will give you some time to try to spell the word:

  • Como se soletra ALUNO? (student)

  • Como se soletra PROFESSOR? (teacher)

  • Como se escreve CAMINHO? (path)

  • Como se escreve ESCOLA? (school)

Let's take a quick look on how to spell an email-address.

  • The sign at is called arroba (@)

  • A dash is traço (-)

  • And a dot is ponto (.)

I will spell an e-mail, try to follow.

  • P E D R O traço S I L V A arroba G M A I L ponto C O M

  • pedro dash silva at gmail dot com


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