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The Top 40 Advanced Portuguese Phrases You Should Know

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There comes a point in everyone’s language learning experience where they feel stuck. This plateau is especially common for advanced learners. Figuring out where to go next and which skills to improve is not so easy. And at the same time, there are likely some gaps in your knowledge of Portuguese. Maybe some of the phrases used by native Portuguese speakers still confuse you, or you lack the appropriate expressions for use in work settings.

At this point, focusing on advanced Portuguese phrases will help you bridge the gap! Once you learn these phrases, you will have an array of ready-to-use expressions at your disposal. This will allow for fluent communication, whether you’re writing a cover letter or giving a presentation in Portuguese. 

You probably know by now that language, and specifically Portuguese, is not always objective and literal. In many instances, the old adage “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is very true! With the explanations given in this article, you’ll be able to see and understand how this concept applies to advanced Portuguese phrases. 

We’ll end on a fun note by looking at some of the most commonly used idioms in Portuguese. If you translate them word for word, they might not make much sense…but once you understand how they’re used, you’ll be on your way to sounding just like a native speaker!

A Crowd Laughing at a Show They’re Watching

As an advanced Portuguese speaker, you’ll be getting all the jokes!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Sound Smart: Academic Writing and Speeches
  2. Sound Hireable: Resumes and Cover Letters
  3. Sound Efficient: Business and Meetings
  4. Sound Like a Native: Idioms and Proverbs
  5. Continue Studying with PortuguesePod101

1. Sound Smart: Academic Writing and Speeches

If you have been tasked with writing an academic paper or giving a speech, congratulations! That means you are definitely a high-level Portuguese speaker. Still, you might yet lack some advanced Portuguese words and phrases that are essential for structuring your discourse. 

The examples below will help you organize and present your arguments, making them all sound coherent. 

Inicialmente / A princípio 
“Initially” / “At first”
Inicialmente, os dados da pesquisa serão analisados separadamente.
Initially, the survey data will be analyzed separately.”

A princípio, o projeto depende da aprovação do Conselho Administrativo. 
At first, the project will depend on the approval of the Board of Directors.”

Pretende-se estabelecer 
“It is intended to establish”
Neste estudo, pretende-se estabelecer que o consumo excessivo de açúcar é danoso à saúde.
“In this study, it’s intended to establish that the excessive consumption of sugar is damaging to health.”

Embora / Por outro lado / Apesar de 
“Although” / “On the other hand” / “Despite”
Embora amplamente divulgados, os resultados não são claros.
Although widely publicized, the results are not clear.”

Por outro lado, os dados coletados são altamente relevantes. 
On the other hand, the data collected is highly relevant.”

Apesar de todos os esforços, um estudo mais aprofundado é necessário. 
Despite all efforts, further study is needed.”

É importante / É necessário / Convém 
“It’s important” / “It’s necessary” / “It’s worth”
É importante ressaltar que estamos longe deste cenário.
It is important to emphasize that we are far from this scenario.”

É necessário processar o grande volume de informação de forma automática. 
It is necessary to process the large volume of information automatically.”

Convém notar que existem formas alternativas de analisar o problema.
It is worth noting that there are alternative ways to analyze the problem.”

Em termos de 
“In terms of”
Em termos de organização, é possível implementar melhorias de baixo custo.
In terms of organization, it is possible to implement low-cost improvements.”

As evidências sugerem que 
“The evidence suggests that”
As evidências sugerem que o aumento da temperatura global tem acelerado.
The evidence suggests that the rise in global temperature has accelerated.”

Assim / Desta maneira 
“Thus” / “In this way”
Assim, podemos esperar que medidas de contenção sejam tomadas.
Thus, we can expect containment measures to be taken.”

Desta maneira, garantimos a qualidade do ensino.
In this way, we guarantee the quality of education.”

Similarmente 
“Similarly”
Similarmente, o mesmo se aplica dentro da sala de aula.
Similarly, the same applies within the classroom.”

De acordo com 
“According to”
De acordo com o autor, este procedimento apresenta menor risco.
According to the author, this procedure presents less risk.”

Respectivamente  
“Respectively”
Estes valores correspondem ao grupo A e ao grupo B, respectivamente.
“These values correspond to Group A and Group B, respectively.”

Consequentemente 
“Therefore” / “Consequently” / “As a result”
Obtemos um aumento nas vendas de 35% e, consequentemente, podemos continuar a expandir.
“We achieved a sales increase of 35% and, consequently, we can continue to expand.”

Mais além 
“Beyond”
Alguns colaboradores vão mais além do que lhes é pedido.
“Some contributors go beyond what is asked of them.”

Até que ponto 
“How far” / “To what extent”
Até que ponto o uso de animais para estudos científicos é justificado?
To what extent is the use of animals for scientific studies justified?”

Por fim / Em conclusão 
“Finally” / “In conclusion”
Por fim, buscamos responder a pergunta central deste simpósio.
Finally, we seek to answer the central question of this symposium.”

Em conclusão, os resultados indicam um aumento do nível de poluição do rio avaliado.
In conclusion, the results indicate an increase in the pollution level of the assessed river.”

A Woman Taking Notes while Studying

Writing your next paper in Portuguese will be much easier if you know these phrases.


2. Sound Hireable: Resumes and Cover Letters

Although writing a resume or cover letter is pretty formulaic, it can be a challenging feat. For one, the phrases are constructed in a more formal way. In addition, knowing specific vocabulary related to your industry is necessary. Finally, there are certain expressions you should be familiar with so that you can leave a good impression and come across as a polite person. 

Of course, that’s not to say you can’t make them your own! Especially in creative fields like marketing or graphic design, you have a lot more freedom in how to craft your resume, cover letter, or portfolio. But understanding the advanced Portuguese phrases below will help you get started. 

Estou entrando em contato para discutir ___.
“I’m contacting you to discuss ___.”

Tenho interesse em saber mais sobre a oportunidade ___.
“I’m interested in learning more about the ___ opportunity.”

Busco a oportunidade de ___. / Estou em busca de ___.
“I am looking for the opportunity to ___.” / “I am looking for ___.”

Procuro uma nova colocação no mercado ___.
“I’m looking for a new placement in the ___ market.”

Buscando novos desafios na minha carreira em ___
“Seeking new challenges in my career in ___”

Com vasta experiência profissional na área de ___
“With extensive professional experience in the area of ___”

Possuo ampla experiência no mercado de ___.
“I have extensive experience in the ___ market.”

Acredito que as minhas experiências poderão contribuir com ___.
“I believe that my experiences can contribute to ___.”

Adoraria ter a oportunidade de conversar mais sobre ___.
“I would be delighted to have the opportunity to talk more about ___.”

Através dos meus estudos em ___, adquiri amplo conhecimento em___. 
“Through my studies in ___, I have gained broad knowledge in ___.”

Me coloco à disposição para ___.
“I am at your disposal to ___.”

Aguardo ansiosamente seu contato.
“I look forward to hearing from you.”


A Coffee Mug that Says I Love My Job

Ready to find the job of your dreams? Start with the perfect resume!

3. Sound Efficient: Business and Meetings

Clear communication is an essential part of doing business. While simply speaking Portuguese in meetings will garner recognition and praise from most Brazilians, you can go beyond that and make them focus on what you say instead of how you say it. The key is to be so comfortable with advanced Portuguese that you won’t have to stop and search for words.

If that sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry. Since you’re reading this article, it’s clear that you already have a pretty good handle on the language. Now, you just need to get to know the business lingo so you can go confidently into your next meeting!

Trabalho em equipe 
“Teamwork”
Este projeto só foi possível graças ao nosso trabalho em equipe.
“This project was only possible thanks to our teamwork.”

Levar ___ nas costas 
“Carry ___ on one’s back” / “Carry ___ on one’s shoulders”
Literally: “To carry the team on the back”
Meu departamento levou esta empresa nas costas no primeiro semestre. 
“My department carried this company on its back in the first semester.”

Tomar responsabilidade 
“To take responsibility”
Uma característica importante de líderes é tomar responsabilidade.
“An important characteristic of leaders is taking responsibility.”

Prazo final / Data de entrega 
“Deadline” / “Delivery date”
Lembre-se de que estamos perto do prazo final: a data de entrega é daqui a uma semana.
“Remember that we are close to the deadline: the delivery date is a week away.”

Gestão de processos 
“Process management”
A gestão de processos é uma parte essencial da estratégia de empresas de sucesso.
Process management is an essential part of successful businesses’ strategy.”

Rotina de trabalho 
“Work routine”
Ao trabalhar de casa, é importante organizar a rotina de trabalho.
“When working from home, it is important to organize your work routine.”

Pesar os prós e contras 
“Weigh the pros and cons”
Precisamos pesar os prós e contras da proposta antes de tomar uma decisão.
“We need to weigh the pros and cons of the proposal before making a decision.”

Cultura organizacional 
“Organizational culture”
Os valores da companhia são a base para a cultura organizacional
“The company’s values are the basis for the organizational culture.”

Missão e visão da empresa 
“Company’s mission and vision”
Eu acredito na missão e visão da empresa, por isso amo trabalhar aqui.
“I believe in the company’s mission and vision; that’s why I love working here.”

Vamos prosseguir de acordo com os planos. 
“We will proceed according to plan.”

Sinto muito pelo mal-entendido.
“Sorry for the misunderstanding.”

    ➜ Do you need more vocabulary and cultural information for doing business in a Portuguese-speaking country? PortuguesePod101 has a complete guide covering it all!

Four Business Professionals Having a Meeting at Work

The meetings will go a lot smoother if you have the right vocabulary!

4. Sound Like a Native: Idioms and Proverbs

The Portuguese language has countless proverbs, sayings, and idioms. In each lusophone country, you will encounter dozens more that are specific to that place. Before you try getting to know all the quirkiest idioms out there, it’s a good idea to zero in on the most used sayings in Portuguese. You’ll definitely encounter those in conversations with native speakers.

They might not make literal sense, but we bet you’ll see the wisdom in them. And even better, you’ll soon add to your daily vocabulary what are arguably the most advanced phrases in Portuguese! 

Estar com a faca e o queijo na mão 
To have all you need to solve a situation
Literally: “To be with the knife and cheese in hand”
Você está com a faca e o queijo na mão, é hora de agir.
You have all you need to solve this; it’s time to act.”

Fazer uma vaquinha 
To pool money, as in a crowdfunding
Literally: “To make a little cow”
Vamos fazer uma vaquinha para a festa de formatura.
“Let’s pool money for the graduation party.”

A esta altura do campeonato 
At this late stageLiterally:
“At this point in the championship”
A esta altura do campeonato, acho que não podemos fazer mais nada. 
At this point, I don’t think there is anything else we can do.”

Comprar gato por lebre 
To be fooled / To be deceived
Literally: “To buy a cat thinking it was a rabbit”
Quando a encomenda chegou, ele descobriu que tinha comprado gato por lebre!
“When the delivery arrived, he found out he had been deceived.”

Ir para o olho da rua 
To be fired
Literally: “To go to the eye of the street”
Eu não sei como ele ainda não foi para o olho da rua.
“I don’t know how he still hasn’t been fired.”

Não é a minha praia.
It’s not my thing.
Literally: “It’s not my beach.”
Matemática não é a minha praia.
“Math is not my thing.”

Bicho de sete cabeças 
Something very complicated
Literally: “Seven-headed beast”
Dirigir não é nenhum bicho de sete cabeças.
“Driving is not so complicated.”
The origin of this expression is Hydra, the monster from Greek and Roman mythology. Hydra had many heads, with some versions of the story stating that it had seven. Every time one of the heads was chopped off, the Hydra would grow two in its place. Killing it was extremely complicated: um bicho de sete cabeças.

A carapuça serviu. 
To identify with something bad, assuming the guilt
Literally: “The hood fits.”
Ela ficou chateada, mas o que eu posso fazer se a carapuça serviu?
“She was upset, but what can I do if she feels guilty?”
Carapuça is a kind of hood, but the word isn’t really used at all except in this expression.

Quem vê cara, não vê coração.
“To judge a book by its cover”
Literally: “Who sees face doesn’t see heart.”
Ninguém suspeitou dele, realmente quem vê cara não vê coração.
“Nobody suspected him, really judging a book by its cover.”

Falar pelos cotovelos 
To talk a lot
Literally: “Speak through the elbows”
Você já sabe que a minha mãe fala pelos cotovelos.
“You already know my mother talks a lot.”

Estar com a pulga atrás da orelha 
To have a suspicion about something
Literally: “To have a flea behind your ear”
Eu bem que estava com a pulga atrás da orelha, parecia bom demais para ser verdade.
“I was suspicious about it; it sounded too good to be true.”

    ➜ Check out this article containing many more popular Portuguese proverbs to find even more quirky sayings. It’s available for free on PortuguesePod101.com!

A Man Holding a Box of His Work Belongings After Being Fired

Me mandaram para o olho da rua. (“They fired me.”)

5. Continue Studying with PortuguesePod101

Are you ready to go out into the world and put these advanced Portuguese phrases to use? We hope you feel confident in your ability to have all kinds of conversations with Portuguese speakers while having a lot of fun along the way. Try to find situations where you can use the phrases and idioms explained in this article, as that will really help fix them in your memory.

Do you think we missed any important advanced conversational phrases in Portuguese? Or is there something that isn’t clear enough? Let us know in the comments! We are always eager to hear from you.

To take your skills to the next level, continue exploring PortuguesePod101.com! We have lots of free Portuguese resources and vocabulary lists for all situations. Go ahead and choose your favorite tools to expand your learning opportunities and continue growing your advanced Portuguese vocabulary. 

If you want to take your studies further, create your free lifetime account today. Members of PortuguesePod101.com get access to the largest language lesson library in the world, with thousands of real lessons by real teachers. Perfect for anyone who wants to learn from anywhere, feel motivated, and be ready to speak Portuguese with confidence.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese