Introductory words, adverbs of order

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Interphrase communication can be expressed not only by intonation, but also by individual parts of speech, such as introductory words, adverbs, and conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence.

Simply put, these are those words and combinations of words that help us structure the information being transmitted, explain the connection between two parts of a sentence, and make our speech richer and more varied.

As the name suggests, these words allow us to express in a sentence what happened first and what happened next, or to indicate the subjective importance we attach to the content of a sentence, or even to indicate which things should be attended to first and which ones later.


When we talk about order, we mean the distribution of significance between the things, facts, events, thoughts that we are going to list. Although sometimes order is especially important from a technological point of view. In general, there is no need to prove the necessity of the following words and you will see for yourself.

em primeiro/segundo/terceiro lugar (firstly, secondly, thirdly)
primeiramente (first of all, first of all), inicialmente (first)

  • Em primeiro lugar, precisamos analisar os dados antes de tirarmos qualquer conclusão. (First, we need to analyze the data before drawing conclusions.)
  • Primeiramente, devemos entender os requisitos do projeto antes de começarmos a desenvolver. (First of all, we need to understand the requirements of the project before starting development.)
  • Inicialmente, o projeto parecia simples, mas logo surgiram complicações inesperadas. (At first the project seemed simple, but unexpected complications suddenly appeared.)

They are easy to remember because they are words with início (beginning) and primeiro (first). We are one of the first to recognize them, so when we hear adverbs and introductory words for the first time, we guess their meaning.


Next, we can use words that describe the order, the middle position in the list. For example:
depois (after), em/de seguida (then)

  • Analisamos os dados e, depois, tomamos uma decisão com base nos resultados obtidos. (We analyze the data, then make decisions based on the results obtained.)
  • Terminámos o jantar e em seguida fomos assistir a um filme. (We finished dinner and then went to watch a movie.)


In order to summarize our list and move events to the very end, we will use the following words and phrases:

por último (last), por fim (finally), finalmente (in the end), enfim (so), afinal (in the end)

  • Por último, mas não menos importante, gostaria de agradecer a todos pelo apoio. (Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone for their support.)
  • Por fim, chegámos ao nosso destino após uma longa viagem de carro. (Finally, after a long car journey, we arrived at our destination.)
  • Enfim, após muitos altos e baixos, conseguimos atingir os nossos objetivos. (Eventually, after many ups and downs, we managed to achieve our goals.)

The following adverbs of order are interchangeable, that is, any of them can be used in the same sentence without losing the quality of meaning:

concluido (summarizing), para concluir/terminar (summing up), em conclusão (in conclusion)

Concluindo, podemos dizer que todos os esforços resultaram na satisfação do cliente. (In summary, we can say that all efforts resulted in customer satisfaction.)
Para concluir a reunião, gostaria de resumir os pontos principais discutidos. (At the end of the meeting I would like to summarize the main issues discussed.)
Em conclusão, a tecnologia trouxe inúmeros benefícios para a sociedade. (In conclusion, technology has brought countless benefits to society.)

Uncertain position

Here we can include adverbs and phrases that indicate a position whose position is unspecified, as well as those that indicate the connection of one with the other.

por um lado (on the one hand), por outro lado (on the other hand)
Por um lado, ela queria viajar pelo mundo, mas por outro lado, estava preocupada com as finanças.

(On the one hand, she wanted to travel the world, but on the other hand she was worried about finances.)

The connection between two separate facts/events/objects can be expressed using the following words:

no que se refere a (regarding), quanto a (regarding), relativamente a (regarding),
a propósito de (speaking about), sobre esse assunto (on this topic)

Here are a few examples to show how they can be used:

  • No que se refere ao projeto, ainda temos algumas questões a resolver. (We still have some questions regarding the project that need to be resolved.)
  • Quanto ao horário da reunião, podemos marcar para as 10:00 da manhã. (As for the meeting schedule, we can schedule it for 10 am.)
  • Relativamente ao novo regulamento, ainda estamos a guardar mais informações. (Regarding the new regulation, we are still collecting additional information.)
  • A propósito de viagens, gostaria de partilhar uma história engraçada que me aconteceu. (Speaking of travel, I would like to tell you a funny story that happened to me.)

General information

Auxiliary words and phrases of order are epistemic, referring to mental rather than tangible reality.

They can be easily crossed out and the grammatical sentence will not lose or distort its meaning at all.

They can even consist of any part of speech (verb, adjective) or an entire phrase, as you can see above. Moreover, they are not subject to any changes and are always used in their original form.

Also, please note that they are always separated by commas. Some of them are interchangeable.


It is obvious that we can communicate perfectly well without using words and phrases in order.

However, having encountered them in the text, or heard them from others, we need to know for sure that we are not missing some important semantic detail. That’s why we worked on this article, which describes in detail simple things that we don’t even think about.

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