Abstract In the present study we investigated a corollary of the multicompetence hypothesis as a description of language representation in bilingualism. According to this hypothesis, bilingualism entails a state of linguistic knowledge that does not correspond either to L1 or L2 norms. Previous studies examining online language processing of sentences in Portuguese that simulated argument structures constructions of English have shown a departure from the restrictions of the L1 grammar (Portuguese), which supports the multicompetence hypothesis. The purpose of this study was to explore whether such departure from the L1 would be observed in a psycholinguistic task that taps bilinguals' intentional attention focus on the form of linguistic expressions in their L1, therefore depicting L1 metalinguistic awareness. The results reveal that the bilingualism effects detected during real time sentence processing do not extend to metalinguistic awareness, therefore suggesting that such effects are evanescent, and most likely implicit in nature.