Tip 47. Boost your Portuguese vocabulary with -ção, -dade and -mente

The great thing about speaking languages with the same Latin roots (like Spanish, Portuguese and, yes, even English) is that there are lots of words with the same roots and meaning. You just have to get the endings right.  Granted, it doesn’t always work, and there are exceptions. But learn the right endings and you can pretty much add to your vocabulary by leaps and bounds. Three of the most important endings in Portuguese are -ção, -dade and -mente. The tables below show you the five most frequent words in Portuguese that end in -ção, -dade and -mente.

-tion -ción -ção
English Spanish Portuguese
relation relación relação
action acción ação
situation situación situação
information información informação
condition condición condição
-ity -dad -dade
English Spanish Portuguese
city ciudad cidade
truth / veracity verdad verdade
activity actividad atividade
society sociedad sociedade
university universidad universidade
-ly -mente -mente
English Spanish Portuguese
principally / mainly principalmente principalmente
currently (not actually) actualmente atualmente
only solamente somente
generally generalmente geralmente
really realmente realmente

English: Currently, there is a lot of construction all over the city.
Spanish: Actualmente, hay muchas obras en toda la ciudad.
Portuguese: Atualmente, tem obras na cidade toda.