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Your Bite Into Portuguese

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The British tradition of Fish and Chips has an interesting history. It originates from the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish immigrants who arrived in the 16th century. 

Jewish law forbids cooking with fire or electricity on the Sabbath, making food preparation impossible. To get around this, they started frying the fish on Friday night. This way, podiam saboreá-lo em segurança no dia seguinte.

Podiam saboreá-lo em segurança no dia seguinte
They could safely enjoy it the next day
🔊 Native Pronunciation

Podiam They could 

This is the imperfect past of the verb ‘poder’ (can). Although the subject is omitted, we know by the conjugation and the context that it refers to the 3rd person plural (eles).

The imperfect past can be used instead of the conditional. In this context, it means that people had the possibility or permission to do something.

saboreá-lo savour it

Here we have the verb ‘saborear’ (to savour) conjugated in the infinitive. 

The -lo is an alternative spelling of the direct object pronoun ‘o’ (he/it), which refers to the fish. The direct object pronoun -o takes the form -lo when preceded by verb forms ending in -r, -s or -z.

With verbs that end in -ar or -az, an acute accent is added to the last syllable.

  • Faz a cama. (Make the bed.) ➡ Fá-la. (Make it.)

em segurança in safety

In this case, ‘em’ (in) indicates the condition in which the action of savouring takes place. 
‘Segurança’ means safety.

no dia on the day

‘No’ is a contraction of the preposition ‘em’ (on/in/at) with the masculine definite article ‘o’ (the). Followed by ‘dia’ (day) it indicates that the action takes place on a specific day.

seguinte following, next

‘Seguinte’ is an adjective that indicates the next in order or sequence. In this case, it refers to ‘o dia’ (the day) and means the day that comes after the one previously mentioned.

  • Gostaria de marcar uma reunião para o dia seguinte. (I would like to schedule a meeting for the following day.)

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