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  • Writer's pictureCristina Loureiro

Andar – a verb with a myriad of meanings!

Are you a Learner of Portuguese, a Teacher of Portuguese, a Native Speaker, a Lusophile? Enjoy the reading and add your comments below!

If you have already come across the verb andar you know that it means to walk. But have you found this verb in other sentences and thought “This can’t possibly mean to walk!”

That’s right, andar is a polysemous verb. It has more than one meaning.

1. to walk: Gostas de andar a pé? Do you like walking?

2. to travel by, to drive, to ride (means of transport): andar de carro – to travel by car, andar de comboio – to travel by train, andar de bicicleta – to ride a bicycle, andar de avião – to travel by plane, andar a cavalo – to ride a horse, andar de elevador – to take a lift; andar de carrossel – to ride a merry-go-round; andar de baloiço – to go on the swing

3. to move: Sem reformas, o país não anda para a frente! Without reforms, the country won’t move forward!; O carro não anda. The car won’t start.; O comboio começou a andar. The train started to move.

4. to come (in the imperative form): Anda cá! Come here!; Anda lá! Come on! (used to encourage someone to do something, to hurry or to try harder)

5. to be: Tenho andado doente. I have been ill.; Ela anda muito fugida. She has been very elusive.; Nós temos andado muito atarefados. We have been very busy.

6. to hang around with someone: As pessoas com quem eu costumava andar eram mais velhas do que eu. The people I used to hang around with were older than me.

7. to go out with someone: Há quanto tempo andas com ele? How long have you been going out with him?

8. to go to (school, university, etc): O meu avô andou nesta escola. My grandfather went to this school.; Depois de ter andado na universidade, ela começou a trabalhar em Lisboa. After having gone to university, she started working in Lisbon.

What other examples come to your mind?

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1 comentário

Keith Amery
Keith Amery
15 de jun. de 2022

Thank you Cristina, very clear and helpful to see examples of the different uses

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