Verbs for Eating, Drinking, Plural, Singular Basic Rules


Plural or singular?

    In many cases, English does not allow countable nouns to be in singular form without articles.

That is not the case in Portuguese. Singular countable nouns with no articles in Portuguese will have a general meaning, similar to an English plural or an English singular with an indefinite article, depending on the context.

So, both Portuguese sentences below are just ok:

Ele é cozinheiro = He is a cook

Ele não come ovo = He does not eat eggs

Their versions with articles or in plural forms are valid as well:

Ele é cozinheiro = Ele é um cozinheiro

Ele não come ovo = Ele não come ovos


Verb for eating

Aside from idiomatic expressions, the only verb for eating in Portuguese is "comer".

The verb "ter" is translated as "to have", but only in the sense of "possess/own/contain":
Nós comemos peixe = We eat fish

Nós temos peixe = We have got fish.

Verbs for drinking

For drinking, there is the verb "beber".

It's possible in less formal contexts to also use "tomar". But tomar only means "to drink" if used with actual drinks. Sentences without the objects will sound strange with "tomar".


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