Colloquially, when verb "correr" is used in the present participle ("correndo") it can mean "quickly", "fast", or "without any delay"


  • "Sua fofoqueira! Você foi correndo contar pra ele."
  • "Tive que telefonar correndo para cancelar tudo."
  • "Vou ter que passar correndo na casa do Pedro para deixar os livros."

What grammatical category is "correndo in these examples"? A verb?


O verbo correr quando usado no gerúndio pode ter o significado de "rapidamente", "sem perda de tempo" ou "depressa". ex: "Sua fofoqueira! Você foi correndo contar pra ele", "Tive que telefonar correndo para cancelar tudo", "Vou passar correndo na casa do Pedro para deixar os livros". Nos exemplos acima, qual a categoria gramatical de "correndo"?

  • Parece um caso típico de gerúndio com função adverbial, mas posso estar enganado.
    – Artefacto
    Sep 15 '15 at 23:13
  • In those expressions, "correndo" has the exact same usage as "quickly". So it is an adverb.
    – Mandrill
    Sep 16 '15 at 1:00
  • 3
    A quick note: be warned that English and Portuguese use the terms gerund and present participle differently. What Portuguese call gerúndio is the adverbial use, whereas what English confusingly calls a gerund is a substantive use, and it calls present participle the adverbial and adjectival uses. An English gerund can be a subject, but in Portuguese you need an infinitive for that. See this infopédia article in Portuguese on the gerúndio or the Wikipedia article on Formas nominais do verbo.
    – tchrist
    Sep 16 '15 at 1:45
  • @tchrist Am I wrong in using "present participle" at the top?
    – Centaurus
    Sep 16 '15 at 1:48
  • @Centaurus No, you are not wrong. English is just strange. In "He came in running" or "He is running faster today than ever", English calls running a present participle, but in "Running quickly is the way to win", English traditionally calls the same word a gerund.
    – tchrist
    Sep 16 '15 at 2:43

Mode Adverb

In all three phrases, you're using correndo as a verb modifier, which is the function of an adverb:


Invariable word that functions as a modifier of a verb ("dormir pouco"), an adjective ("muito bom"), another adverb ("deveras astuciosamente"), a phrase ("felizmente ele chegou"), expressing circumstances of time, manner, place, quality, cause, intensity, opposition, affirmation, denial, doubt, approval etc.

In all the three examples, correndo is a synonym for the word depressa (quickly, in english).

  • What do you mean by "substantive"? A noun or a word functioning as a noun?
    – Centaurus
    Sep 15 '15 at 23:58
  • Sorry, wrong word. It is "synonym", not "substantive". Sep 16 '15 at 0:04
  • 1
    You are right that the entire gerund phrase/clause normally acts adverbially. But unlike an adverb yet like most other verb forms, the gerund itself can accept an enclitic object complement (direct or indirect) in Portuguese. For example, “Vimos o homen dando-lhe o livra” or perhaps “Dizendo-nos exatamente o que queria, João pediu a nossa ajuda.” However, when a gerund with a clitic complement is used with a tensed verb, that object may move earlier in the verb phrase to come before that tensed verb, which is called clitic climbing.
    – tchrist
    Sep 16 '15 at 4:44

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