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How To Say “It’s Said That…” in Portuguese Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Learning

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In Portuguese grammar we have something called “voz passiva sintética” which is the shortest form of the passive voice. In Portuguese this kind of “voice” doesn’t have a subject so we use the main verb + the particle “se”.

Instead of overanalyzing it, let me give you some real examples in Portuguese and in English:

Diz-se que… – It is said that…
Relata-se que… – It is reported that…
Fala-se inglês nos Estados Unidos. – English is spoken in the United States.
Tem-se escrito muito sobre isso. – A lot has been written about this.
Tem-se a impressão de que… – One gets the impression that…
Fica-se com a impressão de que… – One gets the impression that…
Não se sabe ao certo… – One doesn’t know exactly…
Não se sabe ao certo o que aconteceu. – One doesn’t know exactly what happened.
Nunca se sabe o que fazer… – You never know what to do…
A gente nunca sabe o que fazer nessas situações. – You never know what to do in these situations.
Não se pode trabalhar num ambiente desses. – You can’t work in such an environment.
Não se deve acreditar em tudo o que se lê. – You shouldn’t believe everything you read.

When you want to express this idea in the plural you can use “they” or when it is a broader idea, “somebody” or “someone”.

Dizem que… – They say that… / People say that…
Dizem que ela está grávida. – They / People say that she’s pregnant.
Falam inglês também no Canadá. – They speak English also in Canada.
Servem boa comida naquele restaurante. – They serve good food in that restaurant.
Bateram na porta. – Somebody / Someone knocked on the door.
Bateram na porta? – Did somebody (anybody) knock on the door?
Vieram te procurar. – Somebody / Someone came looking for you.
Já vieram entregar o pacote? – Has anybody already come to deliver the package?
Pegaram meu lápis. – Somebody / Someone took my pencil.
Estão tocando a campainha. – Somebody / Someone is ringing the bell.

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.