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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

Intermediate-level Portuguese Phrases You Should Know

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The transition from beginner to intermediate level is one of the hardest things when learning a new language. Maybe you’re already comfortable presenting yourself, asking simple questions, and getting directions in Portuguese. Now it’s time to convey more complex ideas, understand conversations with different tenses, and feel at ease speaking the language. This guide to intermediate Portuguese phrases is the perfect tool for getting beyond the beginner level!

This article includes more than 50 intermediate Portuguese phrases for informal and formal conversations. Learning these phrases will ensure you always have ready-to-go sentences to use in various situations—it will also help you see how to create your own phrases using similar structures. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be able to reminisce about the past, explain your choices, make recommendations, and more. We’ve even included sample dialogues to make it easy to understand!

Two Women Sitting on a Sofa Together and Having a Fun Conversation

Interesting conversations, here we go!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Talking About the Past: Experiences and Stories
  2. Talking About the Future: Making Plans
  3. Giving Explanations and Reasons
  4. Making Recommendations and Criticisms
  5. Reacting to Everyday Conversations
  6. Be Polite: Etiquette Phrases
  7. Continue Learning Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. Talking About the Past: Experiences and Stories

As a beginner, you focused a lot on learning the present tense. It really is a great way to get started because it helps you become familiar with many verbs in their simplest form. But to have better conversations in Portuguese, you’ll need to know how to use the past tense. This way, you’ll be able to tell stories, share past experiences, and talk about what you’ve done and felt before. 

The sentences below provide a blueprint to some useful patterns using the past tense. You can always use different nouns and verbs to tell your own anecdotes. 

Passei uma noite muito agradável.
I had a very pleasant evening.
Literally: I spent a very pleasant night.

Me diverti muito com você.
I had a lot of fun with you.

Ontem eu encontrei uma carteira na rua.
Yesterday, I found a wallet in the street.

Aquele foi o pior dia da minha vida.
That was the worst day of my life.

Quando eu era criança, eu não tinha medo de altura.
When I was a kid, I wasn’t afraid of heights.
Literally: When I was a kid, I didn’t have fear of height.

Eu já viajei para o Japão.
I have already traveled to Japan.

Teve uma vez que eu me perdi na floresta.
Once, I got lost in the forest.
Literally: There was one time when I lost myself in the forest.

No ano passado, comecei a aprender a tocar piano.
Last year, I started to learn how to play the piano.
Literally: In the last year, I started to learn to play piano.

Já faço aulas de dança há seis meses.
I’ve been taking dance lessons for six months.
Literally: I already take dance lessons for six months. 

Notice that the sentence in Portuguese uses the verb in the present tense, since the action began in the past but is still ongoing. 

A Woman Reading a Story to Two Toddlers in a Nursery Setting

Um dia, ela entrou na floresta encantada. (“One day, she entered the enchanted forest.”)

    ➜ Do you need a refresher on Portuguese verb conjugations and tenses? Check out this article for a complete guide.

2. Talking About the Future: Making Plans

To make plans, you can either 1) use one of the present tenses with a time-indicating word or 2) use the future tense. 

In this section, we have included phrases for both formal and informal scenarios. The vocabulary is slightly different, as is the way the verbs are used. That happens because, when speaking informally in Brazilian Portuguese, the future tense of the auxiliary verb ir (“to go”) is used with the infinitive form of the main verb. In formal situations, it’s more common to use the verb in the future tense.

For example:

  • Informal: Você vai viajar amanhã? (“Will you travel tomorrow?”)
  • Formal: O senhor viajará amanhã? (“Will you travel tomorrow [sir]?”)

Formal situations

Nós iremos discutir este assunto na reunião desta tarde.
We will discuss this matter in this afternoon’s meeting.

É possível agendar uma consulta para semana que vem?
Is it possible to schedule an appointment for next week?

Podemos marcar uma reunião por Zoom na próxima semana para discutir os detalhes.
We can arrange a meeting by Zoom next week to discuss the details.

Podemos remarcar a apresentação.
We can reschedule the presentation.

O que o senhor / a senhora fará neste final de semana?
What will you do this weekend?
Literally: What will the sir / the lady do on this weekend?

Casual situations

O que você vai fazer neste fim de semana?
What are you going to do this weekend?

Vamos marcar algo!
Let’s schedule / arrange something!

Vamos combinar um jantar?
Let’s arrange a dinner?

Nos vemos no sábado?
See you Saturday?
Literally: See ourselves on Saturday?

Você tem tempo para sair hoje?
Do you have time to go out today?

Que tal pedir uma pizza esta noite?
How about ordering a pizza tonight?
Literally: What about ask a pizza tonight?

Posso levar meu namorado / minha namorada?
Can I take my boyfriend / girlfriend?

Vou deixar para a próxima.
I’ll leave it for next time.
Literally: I’ll leave it for the next.

A Group of Friends Eating Outdoors Together with Drinks

Vamos celebrar esta tarde!(“We will celebrate this afternoon!”)

    ➜ You can review how auxiliary verbs are used (as well as a hundred useful verbs to spice up your intermediate Portuguese phrases) in this complete guide by PortuguesePod101!

3. Giving Explanations and Reasons

Many times, when telling a story or having a conversation, we need to explain the “why” behind our decisions. You can easily do this—and level up your sentences—by using one of the numerous Portuguese conjunctions available to you! 

After all, being able to make our motivations clear is super important in connecting with people. At the same time, learning these intermediate Portuguese phrases and patterns will allow you to understand the reasons and explanations that people give you.

Eu contei a verdade para a professora, porque eu não gosto de mentir.
I told the truth to the teacher because I don’t like to lie.

Nós temos que pensar nos prós e contras.
We have to think about the pros and cons.

Eu vou esperar pelo outro ônibus, então temos tempo para conversar.
I will wait for the other bus, so we have time to talk.

É bom que você não quebre nada, senão terá que pagar.
You better not break anything; otherwise, you’ll have to pay.
Literally: It’s good that you don’t break anything; otherwise, you’ll have to pay. 

Eu acho que você tomou a decisão certa, sabe por quê? Porque você seguiu sua intuição.
I think you made the right decision. Do you know why? Because you followed your intuition.
Literally: I think you took the right decision. Do you know why? Because you followed your intuition.

Como você demorou para chegar, já fiz o jantar.
Since you took so long to arrive, I already made dinner.

Tome cuidado para não cair. 
Be careful not to fall.
Literally: Take care not to fall.

Este filme é o meu preferido! Primeiramente, tem esse ator que é muito bom. Em segundo lugar, a trilha sonora é maravilhosa. E em terceiro lugar, sempre me faz sorrir.
This movie is my favorite! First, there is this actor who is very good. Second, the soundtrack is wonderful. And third, it always makes me smile.
In Portuguese, there is a word for “firstly” (primeiramente) but not for “secondly,” “thirdly,” etc. 

Instead, we use an expression: em segundo lugar (literally “in second place”), em terceiro lugar (literally “in third place”), etc.

You can also use the expression for “firstly” (em primeiro lugar).

A Woman Holding a Bowl of Salad for Her Husband

Você tem que comer salada para manter sua saúde. (“You have to eat salad to maintain your health.”)

    ➜ There are many conjunctions in Portuguese for expressing causality and adding information. Take a look at this handy guide to conjunctions to learn how to use them and polish your intermediate Portuguese phrases.

4. Making Recommendations and Criticisms

Likes and dislikes are common topics of conversation, especially when you first meet someone. People may want to know your favorite book, color, or local restaurant. Maybe you’ll even want to give recommendations or let people know to steer clear of an establishment. 

The following Portuguese phrases for the intermediate level are perfect for these situations. Once again, remember that you can always swap out words when using these sentence patterns in order to make all kinds of recommendations or complaints. 

Este é o meu cabeleireiro preferido.
This is my favorite hairdresser.
Literally: This is my preferred hairdresser.

Esta é a minha praça favorita.
This is my favorite plaza.

To talk about your preferences, use either the adjective favorito (“favorite”) or preferido (“preferred”). Remember that these adjectives have to agree in gender and number with the noun. 

  • O meu livro favorito é Harry Potter e o Prisioneiro de Azkaban. (“My favorite book is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”)
  • A minha sorveteria preferida fechou. (“My favorite ice cream shop closed.”)
  • As minhas atividades favoritas são correr e cozinhar. (“My favorite activities are running and cooking.”)

Você tem que experimentar / provar isto! É a melhor torta que eu já comi!
You have to try it! It’s the best pie I’ve ever had!
Literally: You have to experiment / to taste this! It’s the best pie that I’ve already eaten!

You can use these two verbs interchangeably to talk about trying food. 

Minha família amou este parque de diversões! Com certeza voltaremos.
My family loved this amusement park! We will definitely be back.

Eu não recomendo este dentista. O atendimento deixou muito a desejar.
I do not recommend this dentist. The service was disappointing.
Literally: I do not recommend this dentist. The service left a lot to be desired.

Evite comprar roupa naquela loja: é cara e as roupas não são de qualidade.
Avoid buying clothes in that store: It’s expensive, and the clothes aren’t of (good) quality.

A Woman in a Yellow Shirt Getting Ready for the Movies

Assistir filmes é a minha atividade favorita! (“Watching movies is my favorite activity!”)

    ➜ Being able to talk about your likes and dislikes is an essential skill—it makes for interesting conversations and allows us to actually get to know other people. Be sure to check the resources available on PortuguesePod101.com to master this topic!

5. Reacting to Everyday Conversations

It’s time to see sample dialogues using some of the sentences we’ve covered today, as well as some new phrases. To make things more interesting, each sample dialogue includes a reaction. By learning Portuguese phrases for reacting to statements, you’ll be able to have more natural conversations!

1 – Excitement

A: Eu já viajei para o Japão. (“I have already traveled to Japan.”)
B: Ai, que demais! E você gostou? (“Oh, how awesome! And did you like it?”)

A: Comprei este vestido em promoção. (“I bought this dress on sale.”)
B: Legal! Ele é lindo! (“Cool! It’s pretty.”)

Other expressions you can use to convey excitement:

  • Boa! (“Good one!”)
  • Oba! or Eba! (“Yay!”)
  • Que bom! (“That’s good!”)
  • Demais! (“Awesome!”)

2 – Disbelief and Surprise

A: Eu perdi minha carteira na festa. (“I lost my wallet at the party.”)
B: Sério? Não pode ser! Ela caiu do seu bolso? (“Seriously? It can’t be! Did it fall out of your pocket?”)

A: Ela vai perder o voo, ainda está presa no trânsito. (“She’s going to miss her flight; she’s still stuck in traffic.”)
B: Você só pode estar brincando! (“You have got to be kidding!”)

Other expressions for reacting with surprise or disbelief:

  • É mesmo? (“Really?”)
  • Caramba! (This can be used as “Darn!” but also to express surprise, similar to “Oh my!” or “Wow!”)
  • Nossa Senhora! (Literally, it means “Our Lady,” and it refers to the religious figure Our Lady of Aparecida. Very commonly used as “Oh my!” or “Gee!”)
  • Nossa! (“Oh my!” This is a shortened version of the previous expression.)
  • Meu Deus! (“My God!”)
  • Meu Deus do céu! (“My God in Heaven!”)

3 – Bad News

A: Como você demorou para chegar, já fiz o jantar. (“Since you took so long to arrive, I already made dinner.”) 
B: Desculpa, eu achei que ia chegar mais cedo. (“Sorry, I thought I was going to arrive earlier.”)

A: Minha mãe quebrou a perna. (“My mom broke her leg.”)
B: Ah não, sinto muito! Espero que ela melhore logo. (“Oh no, I’m sorry! I hope she gets better soon.”)

A: Nos vemos no sábado? (“See you Saturday?”)
B: Não posso, tenho que estudar. (“I can’t; I have to study.”)
A: Que pena! Fica para a próxima, então. (“What a pity! Next time, then.”)

4 – That’s Annoying

A: A minha sorveteria preferida fechou. (“My favorite ice cream shop closed.”)
B: Que droga, era a melhor da cidade! (“Shoot, it was the best in town!”)

A: Vamos ter que cancelar a festa porque vai chover o dia todo. (“We’re going to have to cancel the party because it’s going to rain all day.”)
B: Que saco! Já estava animada para ver todo mundo. (“Darn it! I was already excited to see everyone.”)

Que saco! can also be used to indicate that something is boring, as in “How boring!”

6. Be Polite: Etiquette Phrases

Whether you’re in a casual situation with friends or in a formal business setting, polite etiquette phrases can improve the mood. It’s a good idea to learn these sentences so you can use them with coworkers, for example. At the very least, by becoming familiar with them, you’ll understand when people are being polite to you! Below are some basic Portuguese phrases for intermediate learners who want to make a great impression. 

Bom apetite!
Enjoy your meal!
Literally: Good appetite!

Olá, como posso ajudar? 
Hello, how can I help?

Se precisar de ajuda, é só me chamar.
If you need help, just call me.
This phrase has a more informal tone, and you might hear it in department stores, for example.

Estou à sua disposição.
I am at your disposal.
In more formal establishments, the staff will use this phrase instead of the previous one.

Bem-vindos à nossa casa!
Welcome to our home! [plural]

Sinta-se à vontade. 
[Formal]
Fique à vontade. 
[Informal]
Make yourself comfortable.Make yourself comfortable.
Literally: Feel at ease.Literally: Stay at ease.

Sintam-se em casa.
Make yourself at home.
Literally: Feel at home.

Saúde!
Bless you!
Literally: Health!

You can say saúde when someone sneezes. Saúde is also used when making toasts!

Boa viagem!
Enjoy your trip!
Literally: Good travel!

Na expectativa de um contato seu. 
[Formal]
Waiting for your contact.
Literally: In the expectation of your contact.

Aguardo sua resposta. 
[Formal]
Fico no aguardo. 
[Informal]
I look forward to your reply.I look forward to your reply.
Literally: I await your reply.Literally: I stay in wait.

Volte sempre.
Thank you for your business.
Literally: Come back always.

A Businesswoman Extending Her Hand for a Handshake

Being polite in business settings is a key to success.


7. Continue Learning Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

Are you ready to put these handy Portuguese phrases to the test? Start using them in your conversations, and see just how much more you’ll be able to communicate. Remember to not only use the phrases we presented today but make them your own by swapping out nouns and verbs. 

Do you think we missed any useful intermediate Portuguese phrases? Has this article been useful in helping you improve your Portuguese as an intermediate learner? Drop us a comment below to let us know. We’d love to hear from you! 

Before you go, explore some of the amazing free Portuguese resources we have prepared for you, and try out any of the Portuguese vocabulary lists available on PortuguesePod101.com. Go ahead and choose your favorite tools to expand your learning opportunities.

If you want to take your learning experience 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 and reviews 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

The Top 12 Podcasts for Learning Portuguese

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Are you an avid podcast listener? If your answer is a resounding yes, maybe you’re already making the most of this booming form of media to accelerate your language learning. But if you’re not yet listening to podcasts to learn Portuguese, we have news for you! 

With minimal effort, you can start putting your idle hours of commuting to work or doing house chores to great use. Podcasts can provide you with a daily dose of Portuguese learning while making you laugh or expanding your horizons on a variety of topics—and all of that mostly for free.

There are many reasons podcasts are so popular right now, with new ones popping up every day—including in the field of language learning. For one, many people are auditory learners. And even if that’s not the case for you, exposure to dialogue from native speakers is always helpful. 

But with so many Portuguese-language podcasts out there, how can you find the best place to start? In this article, we will help you understand why podcasts can be such a great tool to have in your Portuguese learning arsenal and how to make the most of them. By the time we’re done, you’ll also have an easy-to-access list of twelve Portuguese podcasts to choose from, whatever your current level. 

Grab your phone or your computer, put on some nice earphones, and let’s press play!

A Woman Lying on the Grass with Headphones on and Her Eyes Closed

Active listening is a powerful tool for language learning.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Portuguese
  2. The 12 Best Portuguese Podcasts for All Levels
  3. Tricks and Tips to Help You Learn the Most with Portuguese Podcasts
  4. Learn More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Portuguese

We’ve already talked a big game about podcasts and how useful an addition they’ll be to your Portuguese learning routine. But I’m sure you want to see the receipts, right? Let’s dive into the benefits of listening to podcasts and the advantages of using them to learn Portuguese.

Transform any time into learning time.

We all have those moments when we aren’t really concentrating on what’s going on around us. Those moments might be commutes (during which we just watch people and listen to music) or maybe something mundane like household chores. 

Multitasking is not always the best idea when trying to achieve something, but listening to podcasts is a notable exception. Podcasts allow you to fill those hours of manual or repetitive activities with something fun and useful! 

Think about it: How many hours do you spend every month working out, sitting in traffic, or cleaning the house? If you devote even just a fraction of that time to learning Portuguese with podcasts, you’ll be giving yourself a huge boost.

There is something for everyone.

Podcasts have never been more popular—including in Brazil, Portugal, and other lusophone countries. As a result, there’s an ocean of options to choose from. 

Are you a history buff or a news addict? Maybe you prefer to laugh when listening to podcasts. Or perhaps you’re looking for an educational host who explains grammar and vocabulary. Trust us: There are podcasts available for all tastes, and then some!

In practice, this means that you can make your Portuguese learning experience more enjoyable by finding something you actually like. Once you do, you’ll find yourself looking forward to the next episode and to that next dose of Portuguese.

There are podcasts suited to all levels.

Similarly, you’re sure to find podcasts that fit your Portuguese level. After all, you don’t want to listen to something too easy and end up getting bored with it. It also isn’t a good idea to choose anything too complicated; that will make you want to give up.

Most podcasts are suitable for a range of levels. For example, there are Portuguese podcasts for beginners that will sometimes get into intermediate-level vocabulary. This is great because you won’t be constantly stuck on the same level. Listening to challenging but still understandable episodes is going to take you out of your comfort zone without overwhelming you.

And the best part? You’ll never hit a brick wall! Even when you achieve an advanced level, you can continue using Portuguese podcasts to practice. There are thousands of podcasts targeting native speakers, and you can listen to them to avoid getting rusty.

You can work on many skills at once.

Listening, by itself, won’t make you fluent. But oh boy, it can help on the way there! More specifically, listening to Portuguese podcasts is a way of getting lots of exposure to the language. This, in turn, can help you:

  • Practice your pronunciation by repeating some parts after the hosts
  • Get you familiar with the cadence and speed of the spoken language
  • Expand your vocabulary on particular topics 
  • Learn words used in daily conversation
  • Pick up new slang words or expressions used by locals
  • Prepare to participate in real-life conversations with native speakers by boosting your listening skills

They’re wallet-friendly.

Many podcasts (as well as their respective platforms) are free to access. Most of the time, premium services are offered as well, such as access to transcripts or ad-free episodes. You can decide how much you want to invest in your Portuguese learning—but it’s nice to be able to get started for free!

A Woman Laughing while Listening to a Podcast via Headphones

Laugh and learn with the right podcast for you.

2. The 12 Best Portuguese Podcasts for All Levels

1 – Todo Mundo Pod

This podcast offers two options for listeners. On their website, you can find English episodes with basic Portuguese tips. But if you feel comfortable listening to episodes entirely in Portuguese, then you can dive into Brazilian culture, interesting expressions, and other curiosities. Everything is explained with clear pronunciation that is great for beginners and intermediate learners. 

There are approximately two new free episodes every month—one in English and one in Portuguese—and almost 200 episodes in the archives. 

2 – Practice Portuguese 

This is an ideal European Portuguese podcast for beginners and intermediate learners. Their website includes a lot of resources, including vocabulary lists, explanations of the expressions used, and (for paid members) transcripts. Most of the content features intermediate-level dialogues, but the hosts’ explanations in English make it accessible for beginners. 

Each episode will bring you a dose of European Portuguese pronunciation and vocabulary, as well as some cultural information about Portugal. 

3 – PortuguesePod101

Of course, we couldn’t leave PortuguesePod101 off this list. With audio content spanning all levels, PortuguesePod101 is tailored to Portuguese learners and designed to guide you to fluency. We explore a variety of topics in hundreds of lessons. With us, you’ll learn grammar theory, be exposed to ample vocabulary, and discover information about the Brazilian (or Portuguese) lifestyle with native speakers.

There are also many resources you can explore, from the free vocabulary lists to premium, personalized guidance with a Portuguese-speaking teacher.

4 – Portuguese Lab

Tune in for dialogues and grammar tips in European Portuguese. On their website, it’s possible to filter by level or by type of episode, from lessons on vocabulary and phrases to stories. For beginners, the explanations in English will guide you through the grammar. If you’re at an intermediate or advanced level, you can benefit from the fully-Portuguese lessons. 

Although the episodes are short, the podcast is updated weekly; there are already hundreds of published recordings for you to listen to. 

5 – Brazilianing – Brazilian Portuguese

This is another good option for beginners who are learning Brazilian Portuguese with podcasts, especially those who want to learn more about the country and the culture. Some previously covered topics include travel tips, local festivities, and dining out in Brazil.

The host speaks in clear and slow Portuguese, and she uses English to explain some concepts, making this an ideal podcast for beginners. New episodes drop almost every week, and episode transcripts are available on the website. 

6 – Carioca Connection

Featuring a Brazilian host and an American host, this podcast brings you the perspectives of both a native Portuguese speaker and an (already advanced) Portuguese learner. With an emphasis on pronunciation, the conversations are laid-back and varied. 

As a bonus, this podcast will teach you all about the carioca way of speaking. So if you like the accent from Rio de Janeiro, this is the show for you. 

There are five seasons already available. On their website, you can purchase worksheets with transcripts, grammar and vocabulary notes, and more.

7 – Fala Gringo

Learn about Brazilian culture with Fala Gringo. Each episode covers an interesting topic that you might not hear much about in other podcasts. The host also explains expressions and gives Portuguese tips to help you improve your fluency. 

This podcast doesn’t shy away from heavier topics like xenophobia in Brazil, racism, and what it means to be Brazilian. Since the podcast is entirely in Portuguese, it’s a good option for intermediate and advanced learners who feel comfortable with faster-paced recordings.

There are new episodes of Fala Gringo every month. Some transcripts are available for free, and the most recent ones are available for premium subscribers.

An Assortment of Colored Books Held Together by a Pair of Headphones

Put theory into practice by listening to podcasts in Portuguese.

8 – Speaking Brazilian Podcast

Listen to a native Portuguese speaker at a natural speed with episodes that alternate between a variety of topics and formats: tips and explanations of vocabulary or grammar, cultural topics, and conversations with guests. This is a good Portuguese podcast to try if you want to improve your pronunciation.

New episodes come out every Wednesday. Free and paid resources are available on their website.

9 – Escriba Cafe

Escriba Cafe has been around for a long time, since 2014. This popular Portuguese history podcast tackles global, historical topics. So if you’re interested in learning about world history while practicing Portuguese, this is a great option! The host uses slow, clear pronunciation, and the variety of topics will expose you to a diverse vocabulary. 

New episodes are no longer coming out regularly, but the show is still running. With so many years of activity behind it, there are many hours of content to listen to. 

10 – Não Inviabilize

Não Inviabilize is a recent—but already popular—Brazilian podcast that features real-life stories told by the host. The pronunciation is clear, and the host uses familiar language that includes plenty of slang and local expressions. From love stories to thrilling experiences and embarrassing chronicles, this podcast is sure to put a smile on your face—with a Brazilian Portuguese twist. 

And the best part: There are three new episodes every week!

11 – A Minha Vida Dava um Filme

Advanced European Portuguese learners can tune in each week to hear a variety of conversations about life and movies. With a different guest in each episode, this podcast will expose you to different European Portuguese accents and slang terms. The conversations are colloquial and fast-paced, and this will definitely help you become more comfortable with the natural flow of European Portuguese. 

There are already over a hundred 1-hour-long episodes for you to binge on.

12 – Café da Manhã

Want to have your café da manhã (“breakfast”) with a dose of Portuguese and the daily news? Then this podcast from the newspaper Folha de São Paulo is for you! Every day, listen to 20-30 minutes of a dynamic installment that includes interviews and sound bites. The vocabulary is advanced, and although the pronunciation is mostly clear, the speech is fast-paced. If you’re up for the challenge, it will definitely advance your Portuguese learning!

Two Couples, with the Women Embracing the Men from Behind

After a while, you’ll start feeling like the podcast hosts are your best friends!

3. Tricks and Tips to Help You Learn the Most with Portuguese Podcasts 

If all you do is start listening to podcasts in Portuguese right now, you’ll already be giving yourself an advantage. But there are some things you can do to make the experience even more beneficial. Let’s discuss the top tips for learning Portuguese more effectively with podcasts.

Choose a topic that truly interests you. Don’t make listening to Portuguese podcasts feel like another chore. It should be an interesting activity, a moment you look forward to, and a way to practice the language. So, find podcasts that talk about topics you enjoy—and if some episodes are not your cup of tea, you can always skip them.

Find the right host. Each host has a unique style that makes all the difference. Sometimes you just don’t like their voice, and it might make it really hard to focus on what is being said. Or sometimes their accent is not your favorite. But when you do find the kind of host you like, you’ll pretty quickly start feeling like you made a new friend! 

Choose a good platform. Make the experience as easy as possible for yourself by finding a platform that has many options available. For example, you can find many of the above-listed Portuguese podcasts on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. These platforms allow you to easily go back or forward a few seconds in the audio, which is always a handy feature.

Pick the right Portuguese variety. Look for podcasts made for the dialect of Portuguese you want to learn. After all, there is quite a difference in pronunciation between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese—not to mention the cultural aspects! So if you’re interested in going to Angola or Mozambique, Brazil or Portugal, listen to podcasts made by hosts from that specific place.

Know your level, but also experiment. It’s a good idea to understand what your current level of listening comprehension and vocabulary is beforehand. This will help you find the right podcasts from the start. You don’t want to be overly comfortable and bored, nor frustrated at being completely lost. But after some time, give yourself permission to explore more advanced podcasts or new topics. By trying to comprehend a difficult (but still understandable) episode, you’ll be giving your Portuguese skills a good workout.

Active listening. Since we can listen to podcasts while doing other activities, it’s easy to get distracted and not really pay attention to what’s being said. Instead of letting it play as background noise, make an effort to follow the conversation. For example, if there is a word or expression you don’t recognize, pause and try to infer its meaning from the context. Then, do a quick search to confirm it or understand it better. 

Change the speed as needed. If the host speaks too slowly for you, you can always speed it up and increase the challenge a little. Or if you want to try an episode that’s a bit advanced for you, give it a listen at a slightly slower speed. You might be able to handle it with this simple tweak!

Make it a habit. As with most things, constancy is king here. Get some Portuguese exposure every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes or less. Soon, you’ll find yourself understanding more and more of each episode.

Repeat after the hosts. Podcasts in Portuguese are a perfect tool to practice your pronunciation. If you hear a new word or one that you have been struggling with, listen closely. Pause the audio and try to repeat in the same intonation. Go back a few seconds, listen again, and repeat after the host once more. Do this until you feel confident with your pronunciation. Doing this exercise a few times a day will help improve your speaking skills. 

Read the transcripts. If available, transcripts will come in very handy. You can read along as you listen or just use the transcript to check whether you comprehend everything. It is also a good way to get familiar with grammar structures, as you can take your time to go over the text. Some podcasts (like PortuguesePod101) also provide vocabulary lists with the transcripts, which you can then add to your own vocabulary decks or a notebook.

Engage. Most podcasts have social media profiles or publicly displayed email addresses. That means you can drop the hosts a line to share your thoughts about the podcast or to let them know that they’re helping you. Some bigger podcasts might even have communities on Facebook or Reddit, where you can interact with other listeners.

A Man Typing Something on a Laptop

Podcast hosts love hearing about your experience with their shows, so drop them a line!

4. Learn More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

Have we convinced you to include podcasts in your language learning toolkit? Give it a try and enjoy the results. By following our best practice tips and getting started with the Portuguese podcasts we listed in this article, you will reap the benefits pretty quickly. 

Do you already use podcasts to learn Portuguese? Share some of your favorite ones with us in the comments below!

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

If you want to take your learning experience further, 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

The Top 50 Portuguese Phrases for Beginners

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Learning a language means becoming familiar with a lot of different things: grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation… Each of these elements deserves attention and dedication. But as a beginner, it’s easy to feel stuck. Learning some handy and practical Portuguese phrases for beginners is a way to break through the initial roadblocks. 

This is not to say you should overlook the more methodical, step-by-step study of Portuguese grammar. But pairing it with go-to phrases, expressions, and even slang terms can give you the boost you need in your language learning journey. Remember to also watch videos, listen to music, and tune into Portuguese conversations in order to practice your oral comprehension. Along the way, you’ll definitely encounter some of the beginner phrases from this article!

Today, you’ll learn basic Portuguese phrases you can use in a variety of situations and contexts. For some of the phrases, we have included a literal translation along with the natural translation; this way, you can identify both the practical uses of the phrase and the meaning behind the words. By the time you’re done with this article, you’ll have the tools you need to greet people and introduce yourself, use polite courtesy phrases, dine, shop, and get help from Portuguese speakers.

A Bald Man Wearing a Tie and a Watch Looking Up at Someone

These Portuguese beginner phrases will help you deal with common situations!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Conversation Starters: Greetings and Self-introductions
  2. Being Social: Courtesy Phrases
  3. Spending Money: Dining & Shopping
  4. Don’t Be Shy, and Ask for Help
  5. Continue Learning with PortuguesePod101!

1. Conversation Starters: Greetings and Self-introductions

Picture this: You’ve just arrived in a beautiful city in Brazil. While you wait for your bus, a fellow traveler smiles at you and says Oi! (“Hi!”). Instead of panicking, stay calm and remember these basic introduction phrases! 

Remember that, in most friendly and informal situations, you can start interactions with oi. Olá! (“Hello!”) also works, but it comes across as a bit more formal. 

The following Portuguese beginner phrases will help you continue a quick conversation, present yourself, and say goodbye.

Greetings and Goodbyes

Bom dia!Good morning!
Boa tarde!Good afternoon!
Boa noite!Good evening! / Goodnight!

Oi, tudo bem?Literally: Hi, all well?Hi, how are you?

Olá, como você está?Hello, how are you?
This is a more formal version of Oi, tudo bem?

When greeting, you can always add the name or the title of the person you’re talking to. For example: 

  • Bom dia, Luísa! Tudo bem? (“Good morning, Luísa! How are you?”)
  • Olá professor, como você está? (“Hello, Professor. How are you?”)

Tudo bem, obrigado.
Tudo bem, obrigada.
Literally: 
All well, thank you. (masculine)
All well, thank you. (feminine)
I’m well, thank you. (masculine)
I’m well, thank you. (feminine)

Eu estou bem, obrigado.
Eu estou bem, obrigada.
I’m well, thank you. (masculine)
I’m well, thank you. (feminine)

Até mais tarde.Literally: Until later.See you later.
Até mais.Literally: Until more.See you.
Até logo.Literally: Until soon.See you soon.
Até amanhã.Literally: Until tomorrow.See you tomorrow.


Introductions

Meu nome é [nome].My name is [name].

Eu me chamo [nome].Literally: I am called [name].My name is [name].

Qual é o seu nome?What is your name?

Como você se chama?Literally: How do you call yourself?What is your name?

É um prazer te conhecer.Literally: It’s a pleasure to meet you.Nice to meet you.
In more casual situations, you could simply say prazer (literally “pleasure,” but meaning “nice to meet you”).

Eu tenho [idade] anos.Literally: I have [age] years.I am [age] years old.

Eu sou (“I am”) is a handy, short way of giving some basic information about yourself, such as your name and your nationality.

Eu sou o [nome].
Eu sou a [nome].
I am [name]. (masculine)
I am [name]. (feminine)

Eu sou [nacionalidade].I am [nationality].

Eu sou do Canadá.
Eu sou de Israel.
Eu sou da Austrália.
Eu sou dos Estados Unidos.
I am from Canada.
I am from Israel.
I am from Australia.
I am from the United States.


An Asian Man Waving to Someone and Smiling

Meu nome é Michael. (“My name is Michael.”)

2. Being Social: Courtesy Phrases

There’s a special set of words that children learn early on: the magic words! When learning a foreign language, it’s a good idea to take a child’s approach by also mastering the magic words. You know the ones: thank you, please, excuse me, I’m sorry…

Even if you’re not a fluent Portuguese speaker, knowing how to use these courtesy phrases is important as it will help you come across as more polite. Pair these phrases with a smile, and you can get a long way in Brazil!


Desculpa.Literally: Apologies.I’m sorry.
Variations you can use:
  • Me desculpa. (Literally: “Apologize me.” / Means: “I’m sorry.”)
  • Me desculpe. (Literally: “Apologize me.” / Means: “I’m sorry.”)
  • Mil desculpas! (“A thousand apologies!”)

Perdão.Literally: Forgiveness.Pardon.

Me perdoe.Forgive me.

Sinto muito.Literally: I feel a lot.I’m really sorry.

Com licença.Excuse me.
You can use this expression in two ways: 
  1. To catch someone’s attention before asking a question
    Com licença, pode me dizer que horas são? (“Excuse me, can you tell me what time it is?”)

  2. To ask for some space so you can pass by
    Com licença, posso passar? (“Excuse me, can I pass?”)

Obrigado.
Obrigada.
Thank you. (masculine)
Thank you. (feminine)
If you identify as male, always use the masculine form, regardless of the gender of the person you’re thanking. Same thing for the female form: If you identify as female, always use obrigada.

Muito obrigado.
Muito obrigada.
Thank you very much. (masculine)
Thank you very much. (feminine)

De nada.
Por nada.
Literally: 
Of nothing.
For nothing.
You’re welcome.

Não faz mal.Literally: It doesn’t do harm.It’s alright. / No problem.
Não tem problema.Literally: There isn’t a problem.No problem.

Sem problemas.No problems.
Por favor.Please.

Three Friends Eating at an Outdoor Restaurant Together

Obrigada por me convidar para almoçar! (“Thank you for inviting me for lunch!”)


3. Spending Money: Dining & Shopping

With just a few staple sentences, you can get by in a restaurant or a shop as you buy those basic things you’re sure to need when traveling. In addition to memorizing these Portuguese beginner phrases, try to also sharpen your vocabulary. Doing so will definitely spice up your shopping and dining experiences!

Phrases for Ordering and Paying

Um refrigerante, por favor.A soda, please.

Eu queria uma garrafa de águaLiterally: I wanted a bottle ofI would like a bottle of sparkling
com gás, por favor.sparkling water, please.water, please.

Eu gostaria de uma limonada, por favor.I would like a lemonade, please.
Eu quero uma lembrancinha do Brasil.I want a souvenir from Brazil.
Vocês têm chinelos?Do you have slippers / flip-flops?
Havaianas is the most famous Brazilian flip-flop brand, and the brand name is sometimes used synonymously with the word for “slippers.”
Quanto custa a água de coco?How much is the coconut water?
Fica quanto?How much is it?
Posso pagar com cartão de crédito?
Posso pagar com cartão de débito?
Posso pagar com dinheiro?
Can I pay with a credit card?
Can I pay with a debit card?
Can I pay with cash?
Vou pagar com cartão de crédito.
Vou pagar com cartão de débito.
Vou pagar com dinheiro.
I’ll pay with a credit card.
I’ll pay with a debit card.
I’ll pay with cash.

Dining-specific Phrases

Posso ver o menu?Can I see the menu?

Qual é o prato do dia?Literally: What is the dish of the day?What is today’s special?

Vocês têm prato feito?Literally: Do you have a set dish/meal?
Prato feito, also called PF, is a popular (and often cheap) option in many Brazilian restaurants. It normally consists of rice, beans, french fries, meat, and a lettuce-and-tomato salad.

Restaurante self-servicePay-by-weight restaurant
This is a very common type of restaurant in Brazil. It is similar to a buffet, but instead of being an all-you-can-eat, its dining model requires customers to weigh their serving before eating. 

Restaurante à la carteRestaurant with table service
This is a restaurant with a set menu and table service.

Para aqui ou para levar?
Para aqui ou para viagem?
Literally: 
For here or to go?
For here or to travel?
For here or to go / takeaway?

Para levar.
Para viagem.
Literally: 
To go.
To travel.
To go. / Takeaway.

A conta, por favor.The bill, please.

A Waiter Carrying Three Plates of Food

Restaurante à la carte (“Restaurant with table service”)

4. Don’t Be Shy, and Ask for Help

At one point or another, we all need to ask for help. It happens to everyone, so don’t feel bad about it!

Sometimes, it might be a good idea to let people know that you’re still learning and might not understand everything they say. And in case it’s really necessary, you can always ask English speakers to give you a helping hand.

And of course, don’t forget to learn beginner Portuguese phrases for emergency situations.

Difficulties Understanding Portuguese

Como?Literally: How?Sorry? 
You could say Como? (“Sorry?”) if you didn’t hear or understand what someone just said.

Desculpe, não entendi.I’m sorry; I didn’t understand.
Pode repetir?Can you repeat?
Pode repetir mais devagar, por favor?Can you repeat it more slowly, please?
Eu não falo português muito bem.I don’t speak Portuguese very well.
Estou aprendendo português.I’m learning Portuguese.
Você fala Inglês?Do you speak English?
Não conheço esta palavra.I don’t know this word.

Finding Your Way

Onde é o banheiro?
Onde fica o banheiro?
Literally: 
Where is the bathroom?
Where the bathroom stays?
Where is the bathroom?

Como chego no hospital?
Como chego na academia?
Literally: 
How do I arrive at the hospital?
How do I arrive at the gym?
How can I get to the hospital?
How can I get to the gym?

Você sabe onde fica o restaurante?Do you know where the restaurant is?
Desculpa, você sabe o nome desta rua?Excuse me, do you know the name of this street?

Este ônibus passa no centro?Literally: Does this bus pass downtown?Does this bus stop downtown?


Emergencies

Socorro!Help!
Pode me ajudar, por favor?Can you help me, please?
Eu preciso de um médico.I need a doctor.
Eu preciso de ajuda!I need help!

A Tourist Getting Directions from a Woman at an Info Center

Com licença, onde fica o Jardim Botânico? (“Excuse me, where is the Botanical Garden?”)

5. Continue Learning with PortuguesePod101!

Feeling ready to put these Portuguese beginner phrases to use? We hope so! This article will serve as a helpful cheat sheet for the most common situations you’ll find yourself in, so feel free to come back as many times as you need. 

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Learn Advanced Portuguese Words to Achieve Your Goals

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Learning the Portuguese language requires the application of various study and practice methods. One of the most effective ways to progress in your studies is to memorize key vocabulary words across a wide range of topics. Like in many other spheres of life, those who aim high are most likely to thrive. In that fashion, studying advanced Portuguese words is an active way to keep motivated when learning the language.

The conventional learning process consists of moving linearly from one proficiency level to the next. While this method is conventional for good reasons, this path to knowledge should not stand in the way of curious learners who wish to broaden their horizons. Indeed, even beginners and intermediate learners can benefit and derive enjoyment from studying more advanced Portuguese vocabulary. 

Stretching your knowledge this way will not only help you set higher standards for yourself, but it can also be a playful way to prepare for your intended future uses of the Portuguese language. Why not get a head start in your Brazilian business ventures, academic endeavors, or Portuguese proficiency testing? A little extra effort could be strategic in changing your life!

With the intent of providing a resourceful alternative for curious learners who wish to breathe in the heights of thin air, this article presents advanced Portuguese words and phrases in a variety of categories.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. General Advanced Portuguese Words
  2. Advanced Business Words
  3. Advanced Medical Words
  4. Advanced Legal Words
  5. Sophisticated Words to Level Up Your Writing & Conversations
  6. Conclusion

1. General Advanced Portuguese Words

A Man Studying in a Library

These advanced Portuguese words will enrich your writing in academic contexts!

Let us begin our list of advanced Portuguese words by building a solid foundation. Here, we will cover the crucial verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and linking words that will help you express yourself with greater clarity in many situations. 

1 – Verbs

ArgumentarContra fatos, não há o que argumentar.
“To argue” / “To debate” – “Against facts, there’s no arguing.”

Debater – Ela gosta de debater.
“To debate” – “She likes to debate.”

Compreender – Na vida, há coisas difíceis de compreender.
“To understand” / “To comprehend” – “There are things in life that are difficult to understand.”

Postergar – Ele postergou o almoço o quanto pôde.
“To postpone” – “He postponed the lunch as long as he could.”

Articular – Aprenda a articular estas palavras avançadas em português para obter os melhores efeitos!
“To articulate” – “Learn to articulate these advanced Portuguese words for the best results!”

Perceber – Percebi um ninho de pássaros da minha janela.
“To glimpse” – “I’ve glimpsed a bird’s nest from my window.”

Relatar – Se precisar relatar um problema, fale comigo.
“To report” – “If you need to report a problem, talk to me.”

Congregar – Tentamos congregar toda a comunidade com este evento.
“To congregate” – “We tried to congregate the whole community with this event.”

Interromper – Eles não conseguem deixar de interromper a explicação!
“To interrupt” – “They can’t help interrupting the explanation!”

Prosseguir – Havia algumas dúvidas sobre a melhor maneira de proceder.
“To proceed” – “There were some doubts about the best way to proceed.”

2 – Adjectives

Precedente – O candidato precedente teve bom desempenho…
“Previous” – “The previous candidate had a good performance…”

Consistente – …mas o desempenho da seguinte também foi consistente.
“Consistent” – “…but the latter’s performance was also consistent.”

(In)Conveniente – Esta é uma solução extremamente conveniente!
“(In)Convenient” – “This is an extremely convenient solution!”

Formidável – Seria formidável ter uma lista de palavras avançadas em português para estudar.
“Formidable” / “Terrific” – “It would be formidable to have an advanced Portuguese word list to study.”

Aleatório (m.) / Aleatória (f.) – As cartas estão dispostas em ordem aleatória.
“Random” – “The cards are arranged in a random order.”

Rentável – Aquele era o negócio mais rentável no país na época.
“Profitable” – “That was the most profitable business in the country at the time.”

Astuto (m.) / Astuta (f.) – Minha mãe era uma mulher muito astuta.
“Cunning” / “Astute” – “My mother was a very astute woman.”

Adequado (m.) / Adequada (f.) – Tudo é possível pedindo da maneira adequada.
“Adequate” / “Suitable” – “Everything is possible when you ask for it in a suitable manner.”

Impecável – O serviço de quarto neste hotel é impecável.
“Flawless” – “Room service is flawless at this hotel.”

Razoável – Poucas ofertas têm um preço tão razoável.
“Reasonable” – “Few offers have such a reasonable price.”

Espontâneo (m.) / Espontânea (f.) – A escolha foi totalmente espontânea, mas equivocada.
“Spontaneous” – “The choice was totally spontaneous, yet mistaken.”

Eficaz – Ela é a mais eficaz das três filhas.
“Effective” – “She is the most effective of the three daughters.”

Moderado (m.) / Moderada (f.) – Muita gente subestima o comportamento moderado.
“Moderate” – “Many people underestimate moderate behavior.”

Destemperado (m.) / Destemperada (f.) – Ele não parecia ser um sujeito destemperado antes de beber!
“Untempered” – “He did not look like an untempered bloke before he drank!”

3 – Adverbs

Definitivamente – Eu recebi os resultados do exame: eu definitivamente tenho uma úlcera.
“Definitely” – “I’ve got the results of the test back: I definitely have an ulcer.”

Brilhantemente – O filme é perfeito porque termina brilhantemente.
“Brilliantly” – “The film is perfect because it ends brilliantly.”

Tranquilamente – Ela almoçava tranquilamente enquanto os cavalos corriam do lado de fora.
“Quietly” – “She ate lunch quietly as the horses ran outside.”

Rápido (rapidamente) – Os carros passam rapidamente na estrada.
“Quickly” – “The cars pass quickly on the road.”

  • Even though rápido means “quick,” the synonymous adverb rapidamente is the “correct” form; rápido is more common in informal language. The feminine form, rápida, is not acceptable for this use.

Literalmente – Literalmente ninguém pensou nisso.
“Literally” – “Literally nobody thought about it.”

Certamente – Você certamente me conhece da televisão.
“Certainly” – “You certainly know me from TV.”

Ainda – Acredite se quiser, a reunião ainda não acabou.
“Yet” – “Believe it or not, the meeting is not over yet.”

4 – Linking Words

Todavia – Fazia frio à noite, todavia não chovia.
“Nevertheless” – “It was a cold night; nevertheless, it was not raining.”

Embora – Embora eu adorasse ficar, preciso sair.
“Although” – “Although I’d love to stay, I need to go.”

Contanto que – Você pode ficar com o doce, contanto que termine o jantar.
“As long as” – “You can have the candy, as long as you finish dinner.”

Portanto – Paramos de ver o filme, portanto não sabemos qual é o final dele.
“Therefore” – “We stopped watching the movie; therefore, we don’t know its ending.”

Consequentemente – Todos pararam de rir, consequentemente tudo ficou em silêncio.
“Consequently” – “Everyone stopped laughing; consequently, everything was quiet.”

No que concerne a – Esta pergunta não faz sentido no que concerne à trama.
“With regard to” – “This question does not make sense with regard to the plot.”

Apesar de – Apesar de estar vestida, ela se sentia nua.
“Even though” – “Even though she was dressed, she felt naked.”

2. Advanced Business Words

A Woman Talking on the Phone Late at Night at the Office

Add these words to your advanced Portuguese vocabulary and boost your business communication skills.

Do you plan to do business or find a job in Brazil? Learning some advanced Portuguese vocabulary words for the business world will be providential in helping you reach better results through strong communication and understanding.

1 – Verbs

Gerenciar – Quem gerencia este establecimento?
“To manage” – “Who runs this establishment?”

Remunerar – Este é um cargo bem-remunerado.
“To compensate” / “To pay” – “This is a well-paid position.”

2 – Nouns

A matriz – Tudo mudou desde o incidente na matriz.
“Head office” – “Everything has changed since the incident at the head office.”

A filial / A sucursal – Instalaram conexão 5G na filial ontem.
“Branch” – “5G connection was installed in the company’s branch yesterday.”

O setor / O departamento – Uma empresa pequena tem poucos setores.
“Department” – “A small company has few departments.”

Recursos humanos – Os profissionais de recursos humanos são muito solicitados.
“Human resources” – “Human resources professionals are in high demand.”

Comercial – O setor comercial recomendou mudanças ao produto.
“Commercial” – “The commercial department recommended changes to the product.”

Jurídico – Ouvi más notícias do setor jurídico.
“Legal” – “I’ve heard bad news from the legal department.”

Operações – A complexidade das operações cresceu em dez anos.
“Operations” – “The complexity of the operations increased in ten years.”

A superintendência – O gerente dela foi à superintendência.
“Superintendence” – “Her manager went to the superintendence.”

Os ativos – Temos planos de liquidar ativos neste ano.
“Assets” – We have plans to liquidate assets this year.

Os passivos – Esta empresa não tem passivos.
“Liability” – “This company has no liabilities.”

A taxa de juros – As taxas de juros parecem estar favoráveis à contabilidade.
“Interest rate” – “The interest rates seem to be favorable to accounting.”

O tributo – É impossível escapar dos tributos!
“Tributes” – “It’s impossible to escape from the tributes!”

Fundos – Temos que desbloquear os fundos.
“Funds” – “We have to release funds.”

A receita – Esta receita toda cobre as dívidas?
“Revenue” – “Does all this revenue cover the debts?”

O lucro – Lucro não é o mesmo que receita.
“Profit” – “Profit is not the same as revenue.”

O prejuízo – Como uma empresa deste tamanho consegue ter prejuízo financeiro?
“Loss” – “How can a company of this size have a financial loss?”

A dívida – Ter uma dívida com o fisco é uma ferida incurável.
“Debt” – “Having a debt with the tax authority is an incurable wound.”

O capital de giro – Capital de giro é fundamental para um negócio.
“Working capital” – “Working capital is fundamental for a business.”

A folha de pagamento – Folha de pagamento é uma lista de empregados que são pagos pela empresa.
“Payroll” – “Payroll is a list of employees who get paid by the company.”

O holerite – Recebemos o holerite com um sorriso no rosto.
“Payslip” – “We’ve received the payslip with a smile on our faces.”

3. Advanced Medical Words

An Optometrist Examining a Woman’s Eyes

Time for a check-up of advanced Portuguese words related to medicine.

1 – Verbs

Esterilizar Os instrumentos foram todos esterilizados.
“To disinfect” / “To sterilize” – “The instruments were all sterilized.”

Anestesiar – Eles querem anestesiar minha avó!
“To anesthetize” / “To sedate” – “They want to sedate my grandmother!”

2 – Nouns

O tratamento – Qual é o tratamento para a minha doença?
“Treatment” – “What is the treatment for my disease?”

A biopsia – O exame envolve a biopsia do tecido.
“Biopsy” – “The test includes a biopsy of the tissue.”

O procedimento – Três médicos participam do procedimento.
“Procedure” – “Three doctors take part in the procedure.”

O médico / A médica residente – A médica residente ficou impressionada com o vocabulário avançado dele em português.
“The resident doctor” – “The resident doctor was impressed by his advanced Portuguese vocabulary.”

  • Residente is traditionally an adjective, but it can also be used as a noun.

A cirurgia – Ninguém faz cirurgias nesta época do ano.
“Surgery” – “Nobody does surgery at this time of year.”

A alergia a medicação – Nunca tive uma alergia grave.
“Allergy to medication” – “I have never had a severe allergy.”

O raio X – Você não tem medo da radiação do raio X?
“X-ray” – “Aren’t you afraid of the X-ray’s radiation?”

A fratura – Esta é uma típica fratura de braço.
“Fracture” – “This is a typical arm fracture.”

A infecção – O hospital controla as infecções com cuidado.
“Infection” – “The hospital carefully controls the infections.”

A inflamação – Esta é minha primeira inflamação no ouvido.
“Inflammation” – “This is my first ear inflammation.”

O sangramento – Estou preocupado com um sangramento no meu nariz.
“Bleeding” – “I’m concerned about a bleeding in my nose.”

A receita médica – Quem consegue ler o que está escrito na receita?
“The receipt” – “Who’s able to read the writing on the receipt?”

O exame de sangue – Doutor, qual é o resultado do exame de sangue?
“Blood test” – “Doctor, what are the blood test results?”

A menstruação – Deixa eu te contar algo sobre menstruação…
“Menstruation” – “Let me tell you something about menstruation…”

Cólica – Ela odeia profundamente as cólicas.
“Cramps” – “She hates cramps profoundly.”

A dor de estômago – A dor de estômago está de matar.
“Stomachache” – “The stomachache is killing me.”

3 – Adjectives 

Benigno – O médico disse que o tumor é benigno.
“Benign” – “The doctor says it is a benign tumor.”

4. Advanced Legal Words

A Gavel in the Foreground and a Judge in the Background

You have the right to learn advanced Portuguese vocabulary words related to the legal system!

Advanced students of Portuguese should also start learning words related to the legal system. A good understanding of this vocabulary can help you follow the news, engage in more complex conversations, and even avoid unfortunate misunderstandings. 

1 – Verbs

Convocar / intimar – Ela convocou a testemunha.
“To summon” – “She summoned the witness.”

2 – Nouns

O escritório – Este escritório é extremamente moderno.
“Office” – “This office is extremely modern.”

Jurídico – Ouvi más notícias do setor jurídico.
“Legal” – “I’ve heard bad news from the legal department.”

A procuração – O contrato pode ser assinado por procuração?
“Proxy” / “Power of attorney” – “Can the contract be signed by proxy?”

O/a representante legal – Sou o representante legal da empresa.
“Legal representative” – “I am the company’s legal representative.”

Os honorários – Ela precisa pagar honorários advocatícios.
“Fee” – “She needs to pay attorney’s fees.”

O histórico criminal – Você não tem histórico criminal?
“Criminal record” – “Don’t you have a criminal record?”

O recurso – Você pode interpor um recurso neste processo?
“Legal appeal” – “Can you file an appeal in this lawsuit?”

A corte de apelação – Muita gente discorda desta decisão da corte de apelação.
“Court of Appeals” – “A lot of people disagree with this decision by the Court of Appeals.”

O juiz / a juíza – O juiz perdeu a cabeça…
“Judge” – “The judge has lost his mind…”

A petição – Uma petição é um documento geralmente cheio de palavras avançadas em português.
“Petition” – “A petition is a document commonly filled with advanced Portuguese words.”

O/a oficial de justiça – Não acredito que fui intimado por um oficial de justiça.
“Bailiff” – “I can’t believe I was summoned by a bailiff.”

O mandado de prisão – Para esta situação, um mandado de prisão é necessário.
“Arrest warrant” – “An arrest warrant is required in this situation.”

O divórcio litigioso – Divórcio litigioso é coisa séria.
“Litigious divorce” – “Litigious divorce is a serious thing.”

O acordo judicial – Sua melhor opção hoje é um acordo judicial.
“Judicial agreement” – “Your best option today is a judicial agreement.”

A indenização – Depois da sentença, vem o pagamento da indenização…
“Indemnity” – “After the sentence comes the indemnity payment…”

O escrivão / A escrivã – Quais são as atribuições de um escrivão?
“Justice clerk” – “What are the assignments of a justice clerk?”

A agressão – Ele foi acusado de agressão.
“Assault” – “He was accused of assault.”

A corrupção – Ela foi presa com acusações de corrupção.
“Corruption” / “Bribery” – “She was arrested with corruption charges.”

A extorsão Ele alega que não sabia que isto era extorsão.
“Extortion” – “He claims he did not know it was extortion.”

A evasão de divisas – Evasão de divisas é um crime federal.
“Foreign exchange evasion” – “Foreign exchange evasion is a federal crime.”

5. Sophisticated Words to Level Up Your Writing & Conversations

Lego Blocks

This advanced Portuguese word list will add some extra color to your communication!

Why fake it ‘til you make it, when you could learn these advanced Portuguese words and phrases to leave a real and lasting impression in more sophisticated contexts? In this section, we have listed the more advanced counterparts (first column) of simpler Portuguese words (second column). We recommend studying these words well and learning how to use them properly when the situation calls for it.

Alternative Verbs

RatificarConfirmarOs prefeitos ratificaram o pacto.
To ratifyTo confirmThe mayors ratified the pact.
RedigirEscreverEstamos redigindo um novo relatório.
To composeTo writeWe are composing a new report.
AdquirirComprarQueremos adquirir estas patentes.
To acquireTo buyWe want to acquire these patents.
RevelarMostrarA Embraer revelou novos modelos de avião.
To unveilTo showEmbraer has unveiled new airplane models.
DeclararDizerEla alegou que não tinha nada a declarar.
To declareTo sayShe claimed she didn’t have anything to declare.

Alternative Adjectives

These adjectives are not the most common advanced Portuguese words, but they might come in handy. 

FundamentalMuito importanteEste é um serviço fundamental.
FundamentalVery importantThis is a fundamental service.
FactualObjetivoPrefiro comentários factuais sobre o assunto.
FactualObjectiveI prefer factual comments on the matter.
EscassoPoucoAs opções de comida aqui são escassas.
ScarceFewThe food options here are scarce.
VantajosoBomSempre procuramos condições vantajosas.
AdvantageousGoodWe always look for advantageous conditions.

Alternative Adverbs

EventualmenteTalvezPodemos seguir seus planos eventualmente.
EventuallyMaybeEventually, we might follow your plans.
Com efeitoRealmenteCom efeito, tudo era verdade.
IndeedReallyIndeed, everything was true.
DoravanteA seguirDoravante te chamarei de “fofinho”!
HenceforthFollowinglyHenceforth, I’ll call you “Fluffy”!
AdicionalmenteAlém dissoAdicionalmente, eu gostaria de falar com a sua mãe.
AdditionallyBesidesAdditionally, I’d like to talk to your mother.

6. Conclusion

We hope you found this list of advanced Portuguese words helpful and that you feel inspired to keep improving your language skills. Did you know any of these words already, or were they all new to you? 

Being introduced to complex vocabulary is only the first step. Directed and consistent study is essential in learning how to correctly use each of the advanced Portuguese words and phrases presented in this guide. You can take an active approach by: 

  • Building your own sentences using some of these advanced Portuguese vocabulary words
  • Using flashcards to gradually absorb their meanings
  • Finding a Portuguese learning program that fits your every need

Striking a balance between individual effort and directed study is essential when it comes to improving your learning potential. 

PortuguesePod101 is a platform packed with free resources designed to teach you Portuguese in an engaging way. Our thematic vocabulary lists will help you understand new words (including their usage and pronunciation), while our vast array of other tools create a flexible yet structured approach to language learning. If you need an extra push, MyTeacher is a Premium PLUS service from PortuguesePod101 that gives you access to 1-on-1 coaching with a private teacher.

Whatever your needs or your current proficiency level, you can count on PortuguesePod101 to help you level up with ease. Not sure where to start? Then we recommend checking out our advanced Portuguese course to get a feel for what we offer.

Try it, and see for yourself—happy learning!

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The Ultimate Guide to Intermediate Portuguese Words

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You have conquered the sometimes scary first steps of learning a new language. Your ears are used to the different rhythms of Portuguese, you can make all of those unique R sounds, and you can even write sentences about familiar topics in the language. Awesome! You’ve now reached the intermediate Portuguese level, and a whole new world is opening up!

Being an intermediate learner in a foreign language comes with dores e delícias (“pain and joy”). On the one hand, you have already conquered many of the initial stumbling blocks and you can consume some Brazilian media with ease. But on the other hand, there is a real possibility of getting stuck and reaching a plateau in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and self-expression.

Alongside a good dose of motivation and a smart study program, this article will help you with the common issues that intermediate Portuguese students face. How? It brings together 300+ words that you can add to your vocabulary. If you’re not familiar with some of them or don’t understand how to use them in sentences, this is a good indicator of your next steps! By tackling the different word categories and learning how to use the majority of the words presented, I guarantee you won’t get stuck in the intermediate limbo!

So roll up your sleeves, open your notebook, and warm up your vocal cords. It’s time to get familiar with the most important intermediate Portuguese nouns, verbs, adjectives, numbers, pronouns, and more!

Five Friends Getting Together for Dinner at One of Their Homes

Showcase your intermediate Portuguese skills when chatting with your friends!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Useful Pronouns
  2. Connect the Dots: Conjunctions
  3. Fill in the Blanks: Prepositions
  4. Making Sense of Numbers
  5. Call it by its Name: Nouns
  6. Make it Happen: Verbs
  7. Qualifiers: Adjectives
  8. Modify Verbs: Adverbs
  9. Sound Like a Local
  10. Continue Learning with PortuguesePod101!

1. Useful Pronouns

You’re already familiar with the essential pronouns that accompany or replace nouns. That’s great! Now, let’s go a step further. Here are some more of these handy words to add to your Portuguese arsenal. 

1 – Tonic Pronouns

At an intermediate Portuguese level, you can use tonic pronouns. These pronouns act as a complement to terms, and they need to be preceded by a preposition. The most common prepositions used in these cases are:

  • Por (“For”)
  • Para (“For” / “To”)
  • Até (“Until” / “Up to”)

If you want to, you can jump to the third section of this article to learn more about intermediate-level Portuguese prepositions. 

PersonPortuguese pronounEnglish
1st person sg.mimme
2nd person sg.tiyou
3rd person sg.ele / elahe / she
1st person pl.nóswe
2nd person pl.vósyou (plural)
3rd person pl.eles / elasthey (masculine / feminine)

Examples: 

  • Ela esperou por ti. (“She waited for you.”)
  • Eu vou enviar um e-mail para a professora. (“I will send an email to the [female] teacher.”)
  • Nós fomos até ele. (“We went to him.”)
  • Vocês guardaram bolo para mim? (“Did you [plural] save cake for me?”)

When the preposition is com (“with”), the pronouns change a bit:

PersonPortuguese pronounEnglish
1st person sg.comigowith me
2nd person sg.contigowith you
3rd person sg.com ele / com elawith him / with her
1st person pl.conoscowith us
2nd person pl.convoscowith you (plural)
3rd person pl.com eles / com elaswith them (masculine / feminine)

Examples:

  • Vem dançar comigo! (“Come dance with me!”)
  • Eles não quiseram vir conosco. (“They didn’t want to come with us.”)
  • Nós vamos viajar com eles. (“We will travel with them.”)
  • Quero assistir um filme com você. (“I want to watch a movie with you.”)

Note: Você is an informal Portuguese pronoun and refers to the 2nd person singular, meaning it can be used instead of tu. However, você is a special case and agrees with the 3rd person singular in terms of verb conjugation.

2 – Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are used to identify the owner of a noun. 

Remember that these pronouns should agree with the noun in gender and number. In the table below, they’ll appear in the following order: singular masculine, plural masculine, singular feminine, plural feminine.

PersonPortuguese pronounEnglish
1st person sg.meu, meus, minha, minhasmy
2nd person sg.teu, teus, tua, tuasyour
3rd person sg.seu, seus, sua, suashis / her
1st person pl.nosso, nossos, nossa, nossasour
2nd person pl.vosso, vossos, vossa, vossasyour (plural)
3rd person pl.seu, seus, sua, suastheir

It’s common in Brazil to use the 3rd person singular pronoun with você (“you”).

Examples:

  • Meus livros são novos. (“My books are new.”)
  • Os seus vestidos são lindos. (“Her dresses are beautiful.”)
  • A sua apresentação foi um sucesso! (“Your presentation was a success!”)

/! Brazilians also use the contraction of the preposition and the 3rd person personal pronouns to indicate the owner of a noun.
  • De + ele = dele (“his”)
  • De + eles = deles (“theirs,” masculine)
  • De + ela = dela (“her”)
  • De + elas = delas (“theirs,” feminine)
Example: Os vestidos dela são lindos. (“Her dresses are beautiful.”)

2. Connect the Dots: Conjunctions

As a beginner, you studied the most important simple conjunctions and learned that they are invariable words that connect clauses. 

As an intermediate Portuguese speaker, you can also use conjunctive phrases, which are two or more words that behave as a conjunction.

Não só…mas tambémNot only…but also
Ou…ouEither…or
Nem…nemNeither…nor
Quer…querWhether…or
Quanto mais…maisThe more…the more
Desde queAs long as
A não ser queUnless
Mesmo queEven if / Although
Já queSince
Uma vez queOnce / Since


A Man Falling Asleep while Working at His Computer

Uma vez que eu termine, eu vou dormir. (“Once I finish, I’ll sleep.”)

3. Fill in the Blanks: Prepositions

In order to create more complex sentences, you should also know how to use prepositions. Just like conjunctions, prepositions are invariable words with a connective function. But they go a step beyond, also explaining or completing the meaning of the terms being connected. Becoming familiar with how to use these words is a great way to improve your Portuguese and begin sounding more like a native speaker. 

1 – Essential Prepositions

ATo / On
ApósAfter
AtéUntil / To
ComWith
ContraAgainst
DeFrom / Of
DesdeFrom / Since
EmIn / On / At
EntreBetween
ParaFor / To
PorFor
SemWithout
SobUnder
SobreAbout / On
TrásBehind

2 – Prepositional Phrases

Prepositional phrases are two or more words that, together, act as a preposition. The following are just some of the most common Portuguese prepositional phrases.

Apesar deDespite
De acordo comAccording to
Por causa deBecause of
Por baixo deBelow
Embaixo deUnder / Underneath
Além deBesides / Beyond
Antes deBefore
Em cima deOn top of
Ao lado deNext to / Beside
Em frente aIn front of
Em vez deInstead of
Perto deNear / Close to
Por trás deBehind
Depois deAfter
Antes deBefore / Ahead of

A Little Boy Holding His Dog

O cachorro está perto do menino. (“The dog is close to the boy.”)

4. Making Sense of Numbers

Now that you’re ready to engage in more complex conversations—and even go shopping—in Portuguese, knowing how to deal with bigger numbers is a must! 

Thankfully, numbers in Portuguese follow a standard structure with very few surprises. 

1 – From 11 to 20

11Onze
12Doze
13Treze
14Quatorze
15Quinze
16Dezesseis
17Dezessete
18Dezoito
19Dezenove
20Vinte

If you want to hear how these numbers sound, watch this lesson on PortuguesePod101.com.

2 – Tens

21Vinte e um
22Vinte e dois
23Vinte e três
24Vinte e quatro
25Vinte e cinco
26Vinte e seis
27Vinte e sete
28Vinte e oito
29Vinte e nove

This structure will repeat for the other numbers, up to a hundred.

30Trinta
40Quarenta
50Cinquenta
60Sessenta
70Setenta
80Oitenta
90Noventa
100Cem

3 – Hundreds

100Cem
101Cento e um 
102Cento e dois
103Cento e três
200Duzentos
300Trezentos
400Quatrocentos
500Quinhentos
600Seiscentos
700Setecentos
800Oitocentos
900Novecentos

4 – A Thousand and Over

1,000Mil
2,000Dois mil
10,000Dez mil
100,000Cem mil
110,000Cento e dez mil
1,000,000Um milhão
1,000,000,000Um bilhão
1,000,000,000,000Um trilhão

It’s easy to continue from this point, simply combining the numbers you already know.

Examples:

  • 152 – Cento e cinquenta e dois
  • 3,587 – Três mil quinhentos e oitenta e sete
  • 102,999 – Cento e dois mil novecentos e noventa e nove
  • 2,851,100 Dois milhões oitocentos e cinquenta e um mil e cem

5. Call it by its Name: Nouns

As an intermediate Portuguese learner, it’s normal to feel limited by your vocabulary. But don’t despair! As you advance in your language learning journey, add these nouns to your portfolio of words to strengthen your speaking and reading abilities. 

Since Portuguese nouns have grammatical gender, the following list includes the corresponding indefinite articles. 

1 – Places

Uma lagoaLagoon
Uma cachoeiraWaterfall
Um rioRiver
Uma ilhaIsland
Uma paisagemLandscape 
Scenery
Um espaçoSpace 
Gap
Uma esquinaCorner
Um estadoState
Um continenteContinent

2 – Time

Um amanhecerDawn
Um entardecerEvening 
Sunset
Um anoitecerDusk 
Nightfall
Um séculoCentury
Um trimestreQuarter 
Trimester
Um semestreSemester

3 – People

Uma pessoaPerson
Uma multidãoCrowd
GentePeople
Um bebêBaby
Uma criançaChild
Kid
Um adolescenteTeenager
Um moço, uma moçaYoung man 
Young woman
Um senhor, uma senhoraOld man
Old woman
SobrenomeLast name
Surname
ApelidoNickname

4 – House and Household Items

Um jardimGarden
Um quintalBackyard
Uma varandaBalcony
Um sótãoAttic
Um porãoBasement
Um terraçoTerrace 
Gazebo
Um microondasMicrowave oven
Um fogãoStove 
Cooker
Um fornoOven
Uma geladeiraFridge
Um refrigeradorCooler
Uma lavadora de roupa 
Uma máquina de lavar roupa
Washing machine
Uma piaSink
Um chuveiroShower
Uma banheiraBathtub

5 – Meals and Food

Uma refeiçãoMeal
Uma sobremesaDessert
Um acompanhamentoSide dish
Um vegetalVegetable
Um garfoFork
Uma facaKnife
Uma colherSpoon
Um porcoPork
Um bifeBeef
Um frangoChicken
Um peixeFish
Uma sojaSoy

6 – Body

Uma cinturaWaist
Um tornozeloAnkle
Um calcanharHeel
Um joelhoKnee
Um cotoveloElbow
Um ombroShoulder
Um pulsoWrist
Uma sobrancelhaEyebrow
Um denteTooth

7 – Business and Bureaucracy

Um formulárioForm
Uma taxaFee 
Rate
Um impostoTax
Uma inscriçãoSubscription
Um comprovanteReceipt
Um documentoDocument
Uns dadosData
Um sistemaSystem
Uma certidãoCertificate
Uma licençaLicense
Um clienteClient
Um pagamentoPayment
Uma senhaPassword
Um cartãoCard
Um chequeCheck
Um trocoChange
Uma carteiraWallet
Um pagamentoPayment

8 – Units

Um quilogramaKilogram
Um gramaGram
Uma toneladaTon
Um litroLiter
Um metroMeter

9 – Miscellaneous

Uma fotoPhoto
Um vídeoVideo
Uma câmera
Uma câmera fotográfica
Photo camera
Um filmeMovie
Uma sérieTV show
Uma históriaStory
Uma cançãoSong
Uma lendaLegend
Uma novidadeNews 
Novelty
Uma notíciaNews
Um bilheteNote 
Ticket
Um recadoMessage 
Errand
Um presenteGift
Uma surpresaSurprise
Uma verdadeTruth
Uma mentiraLie
Uma vontadeWill 
Desire
Um desejoDesire
Uma necessidadeNeed
Um sonhoDream
Um pedidoRequest 
Demand

A Group of Friends in a Photo

Uma foto dos amigos (“A photo of the friends”)

6. Make it Happen: Verbs

After mastering the most important auxiliary verbs in Portuguese (in particular, ser, estar, and ir), it’s time to expand your vocabulary with more verbs. They’ll definitely help you understand a greater variety of stories and conversations in Portuguese!


TerminarTo finish
DespistarTo mislead
To sidetrack
AparecerTo appear
To show up
ParecerTo seem
To look like
DisporTo dispose
To afford
EncontrarTo find
AjudarTo help
ReceberTo receive
TaparTo close
To plug
TamparTo cover
LançarTo throw
To launch
NadarTo swim
AfogarTo drown
NavegarTo navigate
To browse
DançarTo dance
AtrairTo attract
NamorarTo date
To flirt
CasarTo marry
TrairTo betray
MudarTo change
To move
TrocarTo exchange
To swap
To change
ViajarTo travel
PassearTo wander
To walk
CorrerTo run
PularTo jump
VoarTo fly
EscalarTo climb
To scale
SubirTo rise
To climb
DescerTo go down
To descend
AbaixarTo lower
LevantarTo rise
To lift
SentarTo sit
TropeçarTo stumble
PreferirTo prefer
To choose
PerceberTo perceive
To realize
ExplicarTo explain
ResponderTo answer
To reply
DeixarTo leave
To allow
UsarTo use
To put on
ArrumarTo arrange
To straighten
LimparTo clean
OrganizarTo organize
BagunçarTo mess up
CozinharTo cook
PrepararTo prepare
To make
CongelarTo freeze
DescongelarTo defrost
To unfreeze
TemperarTo season
QueimarTo burn
AssarTo bake
To roast
LavarTo wash
EntregarTo deliver
To give
DesmaiarTo faint
To pass out
RefazerTo remake
To redo
FacilitarTo facilitate
To ease
ComplicarTo complicate
AceitarTo accept
NegarTo deny
To negate
AtenderTo meet
To serve
To answer
DemorarTo delay
To linger
ReunirTo get together
To gather
To collect
AtrasarTo delay
AdiantarTo anticipate
To advance
DepositarTo deposit
To place
AgirTo act
To behave
ManusearTo handle
ConsertarTo fix
To repair
To mend
QuebrarTo break
To crack
ResolverTo resolve
SolucionarTo solve
To figure out
PesquisarTo search
To research
AssinarTo sign
EmprestarTo lend
To loan
MelhorarTo improve
PiorarTo worsen
PerdoarTo forgive
To pardon

The following verbs are reflexive.

Desculpar-se / Se desculparTo apologize
Queixar-se / Se queixarTo complain
Machucar-se / Se machucarTo get hurt
Maquiar-se / Se maquiarTo put makeup on
Pentear-se / Se pentearTo comb

Several Ballet Dancers Performing

Quem me dera saber dançar balé. (“I wish I knew how to dance ballet.”)

7. Qualifiers: Adjectives

Add details and make your sentences richer by using adjectives. 

As you probably remember, Portuguese adjectives need to agree with the noun in both gender and number. In the list below (where applicable), we have listed the singular masculine form first, followed by the singular feminine form.

AgradávelNice 
Pleasant
Divertido
Divertida
Fun
Estranho
Estranha
Weird
Educado
Educada
Educated / Polite
Fofo
Fofa
Cute
GentilKind / Nice
Maravilhoso
Maravilhosa
Wonderful
PacientePatient
Simpático
Simpática
Friendly / Likeable / Pleasant
ResponsávelResponsible / Accountable
Vaidoso
Vaidosa
Vain
Sujo
Suja
Dirty
Limpo
Limpa
Clean
Organizado
Organizada
Organized
Arrumado
Arrumada
Tidy
Bagunçado
Bagunçada
Messy
ConfortávelComfortable
Vazio
Vazia
Empty
Cheio
Cheia
Full
Lotado
Lotada
Crowded
Áspero
Áspera
Rough
Duro
Dura
Hard / Tough
Macio
Macia
Soft / Tender
Liso
Lisa
Smooth / Flat
MoleSoft / Limp
Roxo
Roxa
Purple
LilásLight purple
LaranjaOrange
RosaPink
MarromBrown
CinzaGray
Azedo
Azeda
Sour
Amargo
Amarga
Bitter
Queimado
Queimada
Burnt
Assado
Assada
Roasted / Baked
Frito
Frita
Fried
Cozido
Cozida
Cooked / Boiled
CruRaw
Maduro
Madura
Ripe
Ator
Atriz
Actor 
Actress
Cantor
Cantora
Singer
Dançarino
Dançarina
Dancer
Enfermeiro
Enfermeira
Nurse
BabáBabysitter

8. Modify Verbs: Adverbs

There are countless Portuguese adverbs you can use to modify verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions. Since you’ve already mastered the most commonly used adverbs, you can now introduce more complex ones to your sentences. 


1 – Manner

AssimThis way 
Thus
FelizmenteFortunately
InfelizmenteUnfortunately
RapidamenteQuickly
CalmamenteCalmly
IgualmenteEqually
DepressaQuickly
DevagarSlowly
À toaIdly
Às pressasIn a rush
À vontadeAt ease

2 – Time

AgoraNow
AindaStill
À tardeIn the afternoon
À noiteIn the evening
De manhãIn the morning
De repenteSuddenly
ImediatamenteImmediately

3 – Place

AliThere
AcimaAbove
AbaixoBelow
AtrásBehind
À direitaOn the right
À esquerdaOn the left
Em voltaAround

4 – Intensity

BastanteQuite
Enough
DemaisToo much
TãoSo
As
TantoSo much
QuaseAlmost

An Express Train Moving Quickly

O trem se move rapidamente. (“The train moves quickly.”)

9. Sound Like a Local

Now that you’re at an intermediate Portuguese level, it’s a good idea to also learn some local slang terms. Keep in mind that these are all informal words and expressions to be used with friends and close family. Avoid them in job interviews and other formal situations.

While we’re at it, let’s take a look at common Brazilian interjections you can use in daily life. After all, you’re bound to bite your lip or be surprised at some point…and when that happens, there’s nothing better than to express your feelings the Brazilian way! 

1 – Commonly Used Slang Terms

CaraManoMeuVelhoDudeBroMate
Depending on the region of Brazil, different words are used to refer to friends. For example, cara is more common in Rio de Janeiro, while mano can be heard in São Paulo.

Sem graçaBoringPlain

Cara de pauTo have the nerve toBrazen-faced
Ele teve a cara de pau de mentir para mim. (“He had the nerve to lie to me.”)
Ela é uma cara de pau! (“She has nerve!”)

ShowCool

ValeuThanks

GringoForeigner
This one is used to refer to foreigners, especially English speakers or Europeans. Don’t worry—in Portuguese, gringo isn’t pejorative!

GranaMoneyCash

TipoLike
It literally translates to “type,” but it’s used just as “like” in English. It’s the most commonly used Brazilian filler word.

2 – Interjections

Poxa!Gosh! 
Oh no!
Puxa!Gee!
Meu Deus!My God!
Oba!Uhul! 
Yay!
Cuidado!Watch out!
Ei!Hey!
Bravo!Congratulations! 
Well done!
Ai!Ouch!
Droga!Damn!
Nossa! 
Minha nossa!
Oh my!
Eita!Used to express surprise
Uau!Wow!
Ufa!Used to express relief
Credo!Good grief! 
Heavens! 
Good heavens!
Vamos!Let’s go!
Força!Stay strong!
Chega!Enough!
Socorro!Help!

A Woman Getting Money from Her Wallet

Tô cheia de grana. (“I have a lot of money,” informal, female speaker)

10. Continue Learning with PortuguesePod101!

This was quite the list, with more than 300 words that intermediate Portuguese learners should master. The different categories we presented are all important for constructing coherent sentences. With these words, you’ll be able to join conversations online and in person, read and hear a variety of Portuguese content, and continue advancing in your language learning journey!

Remember that you can always come back to this guide to refresh your memory and check how your vocabulary and grammar are moving along. On this note, let us know if you enjoyed this article! Do you think it is a good resource for intermediate learners? Did we miss any word category you would have liked to see here? Feel free to drop us a comment with any questions you might have, and we’ll gladly get back to you. 

And now, it’s time to put it all into practice. To start, you can check out our tips for remembering words better. Or, go ahead and browse through our vocabulary lists and other free resources on PortuguesePod101.com. 

If you want to take your learning experience further, 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.

Happy Portuguese learning!

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Learn the Names of Animals in Portuguese

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Brazil is known for its natural resources and beauty. Animals and plants are something to behold if you’re visiting this country from any part of the world. Even though the Amazon rainforest is the most famous natural landscape in Brazil, the country is home to six more biomes—each with its own species! 

To meet and interact with a whole new world of animals is an amazing experience. One second, we don’t even know a species exists. The next second, there it is: a completely unique being!

Getting to know the names of animals in Portuguese could keep you busy for a long time…but it’s certainly a fun task, especially for animal lovers. 

Our comprehensive list of animal names in Portuguese covers both native fauna and animals common to other parts of the world. Combining animals you’re familiar with and more exotic species is a great way to broaden your knowledge about the numerous manifestations of nature’s wonders.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Domestic Animals
  2. Farm Animals
  3. Wild Animals
  4. Aquatic Animals
  5. Bugs and Insects
  6. Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibians
  7. Animal Body Parts
  8. Animal-Related Idioms and Slang Expressions
  9. Conclusion

1. Domestic Animals

A Little Boy Holding His Puppy

Yes: You will learn the Portuguese word for “puppy” so you can fully enjoy cute memes.

We’ll begin our list with some less exotic animal names in Portuguese—those of housepets! 

There is a growing love for pets in Brazil, with the 2019 National Health Survey indicating that dogs are present in 46.1% of Brazilian homes while cats are present in 19.3%. If we combine these totals, we find that these animals are present in 47.9 million homes. 

This number is astonishing if we keep in mind that the country’s population of children (aged 0 to 12) was only 35.5 million, according to recent statistics.

Before we move on to our list, here’s the Portuguese word for “puppy”: filhote.

Cão
Cachorro (m.)
Cachorra (f.)
“Dog”
Gato (m.)
Gata (f.)
“Cat”
Pássaro“Bird”
Peixe“Fish”
Porquinho-da-índia“Guinea pig”
Coelho (m.)
Coelha (f.)
“Rabbit”
Rato (m.)
Rata (f.)
“Mouse”
Pay attention: Although the name of this animal sounds in Portuguese like “rat,” rato and rata actually mean “mouse.” Use ratazana for “rat.” If referring to mice (plural form of “mouse”), the correct word is camundongos.

Common Pet Birds and Fish

In addition to more traditional pets, many Portuguese households keep birds or fish as pets. The bird species in Brazil really bring a special “sparkle” to the country’s fauna, and we also host a number of interesting fish varieties. Let’s take a look at which ones are most commonly kept as pets in Brazil. 

A- Birds

Canário“Canary”
Papagaio“Parrot”
Calopsita“Cockatiel”
Maritaca“Pionus”

B- Fish

Peixe betta“Betta fish”
Paulistinha“Zebrafish”
Carpa“Carp”
Peixe-palhaço“Clownfish”

2. Farm Animals 

Cows on the Farm

Next stop: the farm!

The raising of livestock is a driving economic activity in Brazil, with cows, chickens, and pigs being the most common farm animals in the country. Portugal’s main livestock product is pig, according to 2018 national statistics, while Angola aims to raise cattle as an economic buffer against the fluctuating oil prices

While you’re likely to encounter a variety of wildlife species from one Portuguese-speaking country to another, our farm animals are largely the same. One interesting exception is the ema: This giant bird is similar to the ostrich, but with feathery, longer wings. It can be found in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina.

Here are the names of common farm animals in Portuguese:

Vaca (f.)“Cow”
Boi“Ox”
Touro“Bull”
Porco (m.)
Porca (f.)
“Pig”
Cavalo (m.)
Égua (f.)
“Horse”
Burro“Donkey”
Peru (m.)
Perua (f.)
“Turkey”
Pato (m.)
Pata (f.)
“Duck”
Bode (m.)
Cabra (f.)
“Goat”
Pro tip: Cabra is not the same as cobra (“snake”). In the Brazilian Northeast, cabra is also a slang term for “bloke” or “guy.” So, pay attention to the context and use this word carefully.
Ovelha“Sheep”
Cordeiro“Lamb”
Ganso (m.)
Gansa (f.)
“Goose”
Ema“American rhea”
Galinha“Hen”
Galo“Rooster”
The national animal of Portugal is the Rooster of Barcelos. This iconic character is at the heart of a folktale, in which it saves a man from being mistakenly sentenced to death in the city of Barcelos. This rooster is depicted in many colorful versions: paintings, drawings, and especially as colorful souvenir statues that tell anyone “I’ve been to Portugal,” at just one glance.

3. Wild Animals 

Animals start getting even more interesting when we leave the farm and go farther out to the countryside—or even into the wild. That’s where the most diverse native Portuguese animals live. 

Due to the large continental size of Brazil, as well as its diversity of climate and land, this country is especially known for its rich selection of fauna. 

Here are the names of some wild animals in the Portuguese language:

Tatu“Armadillo”
Bicho-preguiça“Sloth”
(Literally: “Laziness animal”)
Tamanduá“Anteater”
Quati“Coati”
Paca“Paca”
Macaco (m.)
Macaca (f.)
“Monkey”
Macaco-prego“Capuchin monkey”
Onça“Jaguar”
Veado 
Cervo
“Deer”
Pro tip: The name of this animal sounds in Portuguese like another word. Do not mistake cervo [e] for servo [ɛ]. The first one is “deer,” but the second is “servant”!

4. Aquatic Animals

A Fish in the Water

There are plenty of fish in the sea—and beyond!

Still searching in the wilderness, we find some very fascinating aquatic animals. All Portuguese-speaking countries are closely related to the sea and marine life: Angola, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Portugal are coastal countries. Cape Verde, Eastern Timor, and São Tomé and Príncipe are insular countries with access to oceans containing lots of sealife. And let’s not forget the Amazon River, which is home to many awesome—and many yet undiscovered—freshwater animals.

From aquatic life sanctuaries in Portugal to Brazilian turtle protection programs, and from sunny beaches to rivers and waterfalls, there are many opportunities for tourists to meet beautiful native Portuguese animals that live in or around the water.

Lontra“Otter”
Capivara“Capybara”
Caranguejo“Crab”
Peixe-boi“Manatee”
Lagosta“Lobster”
Tubarão“Shark”
Baleia“Whale”
Polvo“Octopus”
Lula“Squid”
Estrela-do-mar“Starfish”
Água-viva
Medusa
“Jellyfish”
Marisco“Shellfish”
Tartaruga“Turtle”
Golfinho“Dolphin”
Boto“River dolphin”
The river dolphin is the main character of one of the most interesting Brazilian myths, called boto-cor-de-rosa (“the pink river dolphin”). The legend says this Amazonian animal walks the land transformed as a charming gentleman wearing all-white clothing on moonlit nights.

The seducer dolphin-man is said to be the father of all children from unknown fathers, according to this legend of Northern Brazil.

5. Bugs and Insects

Our next set of animal names in Portuguese might make you a bit uncomfortable.

We might not like them, and we might even find them disgusting…but we all share the same planet. Language learners should know at least a few bug and insect names in Portuguese! Here are some common ones you’ll find in Brazil and abroad:

Joaninha“Ladybug”
Besouro“Beetle”
Aranha“Spider”
Escorpião“Scorpion”
Centopeia“Centipede”
Minhoca“Worm”
Barata“Cockroach”
Abelha“Bee”
Vespa“Wasp”
Borboleta“Butterfly”
Mariposa“Moth”
Formiga“Ant”
Grilo“Cricket”
Lesma“Snail”
Carrapato“Tick”
Mosca“Fly”
Mosquito“Mosquito”

6. Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibians

A White Crane

You are now entering the rabbit hole of Portuguese bird names.

Are you ready to learn a few more specific animal names in Portuguese? Brazil is home to a particularly diverse population of birds, reptiles, and amphibians, and knowing their names will make your trip even more memorable.

Even though our list here is quite comprehensive, you could study even more species using Cornell University’s Ornithology database. Their well-designed Merlin app is a practical way to explore and identify many different types of birds worldwide.

Tucano“Tucano”
Arara“Macaw”
Jaburu“Jabiru”
Garça“Great egret”
Falcão“Falcon”
Gavião“Hawk”
Bem-te-vi“Great kiskadee”
Alma de gato“Squirrel-cuckoo”
Andorinha“Swallow”
Pardal“Sparrow”
Pomba“Pigeon”
Coruja“Owl”
Quero-quero (also known as abibe-do-sul in Portugal)“Southern Lapwing”
Pica-pau“Woodpecker”
Jabuti“Tortoise”
Jacaré“Cayman”
Cobra“Snake”
Fun fact: The Brazilian Butantan Institute developed the very first anti-ophidic antidotes in the world. Its Biologic Museum has a collection of some of the most famous and intriguing Brazilian snakes, such as the jararaca, sucurí, surucucú, cascavel (“rattlesnake”), coral, and many more.
Lagarto“Lizard”
There is also a general label for any small lizard in many parts of Brazil: calango.
Sapo 
“Frog” / “Toad”

7. Animal Body Parts

Now that you’ve learned a few common animal names, the next step is to learn the names of their unique body parts. Adding these words to your Portuguese animal vocabulary will help you better describe the animals you encounter during your visit!

Rabo
Cauda
“Tail”
Pelo“Hair”
Dente“Tooth”
Presa“Fang”
Garra“Claw”
Chifre“Horn”
Galhada“Antlers”
Casco“Hoof”
Pena
Pluma
“Feather”
Asa“Wing”
Bico“Beak”
Barbatana“Fin”
Tentáculo“Tentacle”
Juba“Mane”
Tromba“Trunk”
Antena“Antenna”
Pata“Leg”
Pro tip: The word pata does not refer to a human leg (which is called perna). Also, remember that pata is Portuguese for a female duck!
Escama“Scale”

8. Animal-Related Idioms and Slang Expressions

Cinnamon Apple Tea

Behold the most expected guests at teatime: kettle beak and teacup wing.

After this tour de force through the zoo, here’s a final souvenir from this extensive journey of studying animal names in Portuguese: idioms and slang expressions!

These expressions have the same meaning as their English translations:

  •  “Butterflies in the stomach” – Borboletas no estômago
  • “The black sheep of the family” – A ovelha negra da família

Now, these idioms and expressions might sound odd to a tourist in a Portuguese-speaking country:

  •  “The teacup’s wing” – A asa da xícara [de chá]
  • “Kettle’s beak” – Bico da chaleira
  • “He does not resist a skirt’s tail.” – Ele não resiste a um rabo de saia.

The teacup’s handle is sometimes called its “wing,” and the kettle’s spout is called its “beak.”

On the other hand, a “skirt’s tail” is a slang term for “woman” in a flirtatious context. If someone is interested in a woman, they might pay attention to the movement of her skirt (the way a hunter might notice the tail movement of an animal).

  • “Dog’s ears” – Ouvidos caninos

Someone with a sensitive sense of hearing is said to have a dog’s ears.

  • “Jaguar’s friend” – Amigo da onça

A “jaguar’s friend” is someone who is an inconvenience to others, namely a friend who doesn’t act so friendly. This expression was made popular by a 1940s comic strip created by Péricles de Andrade Maranhão in the O Cruzeiro magazine.

  • “I don’t like you because you’re (a) donkey.” – Não gosto de você porque você é burro.

A donkey is a stubborn animal and a synonym for “dumb” in Brazil. In this case, it’s used as an adjective

  •  “Man, we’ve paid the duck…” – Cara, nós pagamos o pato…

As odd as this idiom might sound, “to pay the duck” means to be fooled. A variation of this expression is “to fall like a duck,” used when someone “falls” for a prank or a scam.

  • “He turned into a macaw.” – Ele virou uma arara.
  • “She turned into a beast.” – Ela virou um bicho. / Ela virou uma fera.

These phrases are used to express that someone became very angry over something.

9. Conclusion

You’ve now learned a good variety of animal names in Portuguese, as well as other relevant words and phrases. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to include every animal on this list. But we did our best to include both animals you’ll find in Brazil and those you’re more familiar with from abroad. 

But you don’t have to stop here!

If you can’t get enough of Mother Nature’s children and want to learn even more animal words in Portuguese, create your free lifetime account on PortuguesePod101.com today.

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Never mind old, dusty grammar books or months of repetitive exercises in your language learning app. Get real and start a solid path to knowledge at PortuguesePod101.com!

Before you go, what’s your favorite animal? Do you know its name in Portuguese?

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Learn Portuguese Phone Call Phrases and Talk with Ease

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The biggest challenge for most language learners is actually speaking their target language. In order to have successful interactions with native speakers, one must have a solid working knowledge of the language in question. But luckily, we can also rely on subtle cues from body language, eye movement, and even the context to help us navigate our conversations with others.

That is, unless we’re on a phone call. 

When speaking on the phone, we no longer have this additional input to fall back on. 

If the thought of having a telephone conversation in Portuguese makes you anxious, you’re not alone. This is a common fear among learners of the language! How can you expect to put together a coherent sentence on the phone with a stranger, when it’s hard enough chatting with friends and acquaintances in person? 

But if you know the rules, the game will be much easier to play. If you practice, you may actually end up enjoying the game! 

In this article, we’ll teach you the most useful Portuguese phone call phrases for each stage of a phone conversation. Knowing these phrases will prepare you to greet your interlocutor, introduce yourself, handle both casual and professional calls, deal with connection issues, and much more. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be able to handle any phone call in Portuguese with greater ease and confidence—whether you’re phoning a friend, your boss, or a complete stranger.


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Vocabulary Terms Related to Phone Calls
  2. Picking up the Phone
  3. Introducing Yourself
  4. Stating the Reason for Your Call
  5. Asking to Speak to Someone
  6. Asking Someone to Hold
  7. Leaving a Message
  8. Asking for Clarification
  9. Ending the Phone Call
  10. Samples of Telephone Conversations in Portuguese
  11. Takeaway

1. Vocabulary Terms Related to Phone Calls

An Old Woman Standing in a Crosswalk, Looking Down at Her Phone and Smiling

Let’s get into the basics before we reach out to make a call, right?

Before you jump right into your next phone call, it would be wise to learn some general Portuguese phone call words and phrases. Here are some common terms you should know: 

  • Telefone – “Phone”
  • (Telefone) celular – “Mobile phone”
  • Telefone fixo – “Landline”
  • Bateria – “Battery”
  • Carregador – “Charger”
  • Carregar / Recarregar – “To charge” / “To recharge”
  • Ligação (telefônica) – “Phone call”
  • Número de telefone – “Phone number”
  • Ligar – “To call”
  • Desligar – “To hang up”
  • Ligar de volta / Retornar – “To call back”
  • O telefone está tocando – “The phone is ringing”

You might want to learn some specific vocabulary related to mobile phones in our free vocabulary list Screen Time: Words and Phrases for Using Your Smartphone on PortuguesePod101.com.

Some phone phrases in Portuguese are suitable for both formal and informal contexts. Those that are only suitable in formal contexts are distinguished through the use of formal language. Here are some respectful terms you might use during a formal or professional phone call:

  • Doutor / Doutora – “Doctor” or “Dr.”
  • Senhor “Mr.”
  • Senhorita – “Ms.”
  • Senhora / Dona – “Mrs.” 

2. Picking up the Phone

Of course, your Portuguese phone conversation is going to start with a greeting. There are three common ways to answer the phone in Portuguese:

  • Alô! – “Hello!”
  • Pronto. – “Ready (to talk).”
  • Estou. [Portugal] – “I am (listening).”

The most frequent phone greeting in Portuguese is Alô, though older people tend to answer the phone by saying their name or family name. This goes back to when landline phones were more common and people could not see who was calling or picking up. 

3. Introducing Yourself

The next set of Portuguese telephone phrases you need to learn are those for introducing yourself: 

  • Aqui é o Pedro, sobrinho da Marisa. – “This is Pedro, Marisa’s nephew.”
  • É a Ana. – “It’s Ana.”
  • Quem fala? / Quem está falando? – “Who is speaking?”
  • Sou amigo dele. / Sou amiga dela. – “I am a friend of his.” / “I am a friend of hers.”

Note: Amigo is the singular masculine noun for “friend,” while amiga is the singular feminine form. 

A polite addendum is to ask if the person is busy before moving forward with your call: 

  • Você pode falar agora? – “Did I catch you at a bad time?”
  • Você está ocupado / ocupada? – “Are you busy?”

Note: Ocupado is the singular masculine adjective for “busy,” while ocupada is the singular feminine form.

4. Stating the Reason for Your Call

A Man Sitting on the Couch and Talking on the Phone with a Remote in His Hand

“I’d like to make a dentist appointment.”

Things start to get interesting here—we’re getting somewhere. Here’s an informal Portuguese phone phrase pattern to discuss your reason for calling: 

  • Estou ligando para perguntar sobre a operação. – “I’m calling to ask about the surgery.”
  • Estou ligando para saber das novidades. “I’m calling to check on you.”

Now, here are some formal phrases: 

  • Eu gostaria de marcar uma consulta. – “I’d like to make an appointment.”
  • Eu gostaria de confirmar a presença dela no meu evento. – “I’d like to confirm her presence at my event.”
  • Eu queria fazer uma reserva para três pessoas para hoje à noite. – “I would like to make a reservation for tonight for three people.”
  • Recebi uma ligação deste número e estou retornando a chamada. – “I’ve received a call from this number and am returning the call.”

5. Asking to Speak to Someone

Did you call the right number? Will you be able to reach the right person on this call? 

Here are the most common phone call phrases in Portuguese for asking to speak to someone:

  • Posso falar com a Marisa? – “May I talk to Marisa?”
  • Marisa está? – “Is Marisa there?”
  • É do gabinete da Dra. Márcia? – “Am I talking to Dr. Márcia’s cabinet?”
  • Eu gostaria de falar com o Dr. Stefano, por favor. – “I’d like to talk to Dr. Stefano, please.”

Sometimes we know our reason for calling, but we aren’t sure who we need to talk to. But fear not. It’s simple to inquire about this:

  • Com quem eu posso falar para resolver problemas sobre o meu plano de internet? – “Who can I talk to to solve problems with my internet plan?”

6. Asking Someone to Hold

Perhaps you’re the one receiving a call, and you need to ask the other person to wait while you retrieve information or transfer them to another department. Below are a few Portuguese telephone phrases you can use to ask the caller to wait a moment. 

  • Um minuto, por favor. – “Just a minute, please.”
  • Um instante, por favor. “Just a moment, please.”
  • Poderia aguardar na linha por um segundo? “Could you hold the line for a second?”
  • Vou passar para ele / ela. – “I’ll put him / her on.”
  • Vou lhe transferir para o escritório dele / dela. Não desligue. “Let me transfer you to his / her office. Don’t hang up.”

7. Leaving a Message

A Woman Chatting with Someone on the Phone and Smiling

“No problem, I’ll call later!”

If you’re unable to reach the person you wanted to speak with, you should have the opportunity to leave them a message. Below are a few common phone call phrases in Portuguese that are often used in this type of situation. Keep in mind that these phrases can be used in both formal and informal contexts. 

  • No momento, ele / ela não está. Gostaria de deixar um recado? “(S)he is not here at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?”
  • Ele / ela não está disponível no momento. – “(S)he is not available right now.”
  • Não posso falar agora. Posso te ligar daqui a pouco? “Can’t talk to you now. Can I call you soon?”
  • Posso deixar um recado? – “Can I leave a message?”
  • Você poderia pedir para ele / ela me ligar de volta ainda hoje? – “Would you ask him/her to call me back today?”
  • Eu ligo depois então. – “I’ll call later, then.”

8. Asking for Clarification

Unfortunately, electronic communications are vulnerable to technical problems that can lead to misunderstandings. This is when we need to take a step back and take things slow. Here are several Portuguese phone phrases you can use to let your interlocutor know there are connection issues or to ask for clarification:

  • Desculpe, não consigo te ouvir direito. – “Excuse me, I can’t hear you.”
  • A ligação está ruim. – “The connection is bad.”
  • O sinal (do celular) está péssimo. – “The (cell phone) signal is awful.”
  • Você poderia soletrar seu nome, por favor? – “Could you spell your name, please?”
  • Desculpe, a ligação caiu. “I’m sorry, we got cut off.”
  • Você ligou para o número errado. – “You’ve dialed the wrong number.”
  • Desculpe, foi um engano. – “I’m sorry, I have the wrong number.”
  • A bateria do celular está fraca. – “The cell phone battery is almost dead.”

If your mobile phone just isn’t working at all, maybe you should resolve some issues with your phone plan. In that case, don’t hesitate to check out our vocabulary list Words and Phrases for Talking About Your Phone Plan on PortuguesePod101.com.

9. Ending the Phone Call

It’s been an interesting ride. But all things must come to an end. 

The final set of Portuguese phone call phrases you’ll learn today are those for ending the phone call.

  • Muito obrigado / obrigada pela ajuda. – “Thank you very much for helping.”

Obrigado is used by male speakers to say “thank you” and obrigada is used by female speakers.

  • Está bem. Nos falaremos mais tarde. – “Alright. We’ll speak later.”
  • Até logo! – “Goodbye!”
  • Tchau! – “Bye!”

If you’re ending a formal call, consider using this one: 

  • Obrigado / Obrigada por ligar. Tenha um ótimo dia. – “Thanks for calling. Have a great day.”

10. Samples of Telephone Conversations in Portuguese

You’ve now seen a variety of phone call phrases in the Portuguese language, but do you know how to use them? To make the learning process more organic for you, we’ve included two sample phone dialogues below. The first one is an informal conversation between two friends; the second one is a formal conversation between one of those friends and a restaurant attendant. 

Informal telephone conversation in Portuguese

A Businessman Looking at His Watch while Talking on His Cell Phone

Set up an appointment in two steps: one formal call and one informal call.

Michel calls his friend Rosa to make an invitation for breakfast together on a weekend:

Dona Lara: Alô!Mrs. Lara: Hello!
Michel: Alô! Rosa? Aqui é o Michel, tudo bem?Michel: Hello! Rosa? Michel speaking, how are you?
Dona Lara: Oi, Michel. Aqui é a mãe dela. Só um minuto, já passo pra Rosa.Mrs. Lara: Hi, Michel. This is her mother speaking. Just one minute, I’ll put Rosa on.
Michel: Oi, Dona Lara! Desculpe, não te reconheci. Estou bem, obrigado.Michel: Hello, Mrs. Lara! I’m sorry, I didn’t notice it was you. I’m fine. Thanks.
Rosa: Alô! Michel?Rosa: Hello! Michel?
Michel: Oi, Rosa. Tudo bem?Michel: Hello, Rosa. How are you?
Rosa: Tudo, e aí? Me desculpa, mas acabou a bateria do meu celular.Rosa: I’m fine, how are you? I’m sorry, my phone’s battery is dead.
Michel: Sem problema. Escuta, você tem planos pro fim de semana?Michel: No problem. Listen, do you have plans for the weekend?
Rosa: Não tenho nada marcado ainda. Por quê?Rosa: I don’t have anything scheduled yet. Why?
Michel: Quer tomar um café da manhã no restaurante do clube no domingo?Michel: Would you like to have breakfast in the club’s restaurant on Sunday?
Rosa: Acho a ideia legal, mas domingo eu vou à igreja.Rosa: It’s a nice idea, but I go to church on Sunday.
Michel: E de sábado, você está livre?Michel: What about Saturday? Do you have something on?
Rosa: De sábado está bem. A que horas?Rosa: Saturday’s okay. At what time?
Michel: Legal! É às nove e meia, mas ainda vou ligar lá pra reservar. Depois te ligo pra confirmar, beleza?Michel: Cool! At half past nine, but I still have to call to make reservations. I’ll call you later to confirm, right?
Rosa: Ótimo! Obrigada pelo convite.Rosa: Alright! Thanks for the invitation.
Michel: Por nada! Até mais!Michel: You’re welcome! See you later!
Rosa: Tchau!Rosa: Bye!

Formal telephone conversation in Portuguese

The two friends have set the time and place. Now Michel calls the restaurant to reserve a table.

Atendente: Restaurante do Clube Gaivota, Regiane, boa tarde.Attendant: Clube Gaivota’s Restaurant. Here’s Regiane, good afternoon.
Michel: Boa tarde, Regiane. Meu nome é Michel e eu gostaria de fazer uma reserva de mesa para o sábado.Michel: Good afternoon, Regiane. My name is Michel and I’d like to make a reservation for a table for Saturday.
Atendente: Senhor? Attendant: Sir?
Michel: Alô! Você está me ouvindo?Michel: Hello! Are you listening?
Atendente: Desculpe, a ligação está ruim. Mas eu consigo te ouvir agora.Attendant: I’m sorry, the connection is bad. But I can hear you now.
Michel: Certo. Gostaria de reservar uma mesa para dois no café da manhã de sábado.Michel: Right. I’d like to make a reservation for two on Saturday for breakfast.
Atendente: Está bem. O café começa às sete e meia. A reserva é para que horas?Attendant: Okay. Breakfast starts at half past seven. What is the time of the reservation?
Michel: Às nove e meia.Michel: Half past nine o’clock.
Atendente: Certo, temos uma mesa disponível para este horário. A reserva é em nome de quem?Attendant: Right. We have a table available for this time. Who’s making the reservation?
Michel: Michel.Michel: Michel.
Atendente: Está bem, senhor Michel. A reserva foi feita: mesa para dois no sábado, às nove horas e trinta minutos.Attendant: Alright, Mr. Michel. The reservation is complete: table for two on Saturday at half past nine o’clock.
Michel: Perfeito! Muito obrigado. Tchau, tchau.Michel: Perfect! Thank you very much. Bye, bye.
Atendente: Até mais.Attendant: See you later.

11. Takeaway

The aim of this guide was to familiarize you with the most essential Portuguese phrases for a phone call. Once you have these down, you’ll feel more comfortable with both the relevant vocabulary and the more specific phrases for personal and business purposes. 

Are there any phone call phrases or situations we didn’t include that you’d like to learn? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get back to you! 

This is a great step toward improving your language skills. But if you want to go deeper, you’ll have to use more precise and powerful learning tools.

PortuguesePod101 offers a comprehensive teaching program that combines multimedia resources, short vocabulary lists, and detailed lessons for learners at every level. 

You can learn even faster using our MyTeacher service. This gives you 1-on-1 interaction with a personal tutor who can help boost your performance while delivering solid results. 

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Basic Portuguese Words for Beginners

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Are you learning Portuguese but feel that you’re missing the words you need to start participating in conversations? Studying a new language comes with its challenges, and one could easily become intimidated by the sheer number of words that exist. 

Luckily, most Portuguese speakers get by on a daily basis with just around 1000 words. No need to devour a whole dictionary to start speaking the language; all you need to get started are some basic Portuguese words for beginners. 

With only a few weeks of practice, you’ll have become familiar with around 200 words—enough to be considered a functional beginner. By the time you reach 1000, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true conversationalist!

Let’s start today by going over those first couple hundred beginner Portuguese words. These will serve as a solid foundation that will help you engage in conversations, understand dialogues, and even deal with some day-to-day situations.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Handy Pronouns
  2. Counting: Numbers
  3. The Name of Things: Nouns
  4. Talk About Actions: Verbs
  5. Add Details: Adjectives
  6. Make Connections: Conjunctions
  7. Add More Information: Adverbs
  8. Even More Words: Brazilian Culture
  9. Final Thoughts

1. Handy Pronouns

Pronouns are, without a doubt, some of the first words you’ll encounter in Portuguese. And for a good reason: Whenever we’re talking about people, personal pronouns are the first to pop up. 

There are several types of pronouns, and each type serves a different function within a sentence. For now, let’s just focus on the most common ones. 

1 – Personal Subject Pronouns

Talking about someone? Then personal subject pronouns are your best friend. They substitute the subject of a sentence:

  • A professora chegou atrasada. (“The professor [feminine] arrived late.”) 
  • Ela chegou atrasada. (“She arrived late.”) 

PersonPortuguese pronounEnglish
1st person sg.euI
2nd person sg.tu / vocêyou 
3rd person sg.ele / elahe / she
1st person pl.nóswe
2nd person pl.vós / vocêsyou
3rd person pl.eles / elasthey (masculine / feminine)

There are a few things we should point out about those pronouns.

  1. In many parts of Brazil, você is used as the second person singular (instead of tu), in informal situations. In formal situations, you can use:
  • O senhor (“the sir”): O senhor deseja um café? (“Fancy a coffee, sir?”)
  • A senhora (“the madam”): A senhora precisa de algo? (“Need anything, madam?”)

These three forms of address (você, o senhor, a senhora) all use third person singular conjugations. You can find out more in this article.

  1. To refer to the first person plural, many Brazilian speakers use a gente, with the verbs conjugated in the second person singular.
  • Nós vamos comer pizza. (“We will eat pizza.”)
  • A gente vai comer pizza. (“We will eat pizza.”)

  1. Vós is rarely used in Brazilian Portuguese, being considered extremely formal. To refer to the second person plural, you can use:
  • Vocês [informal]: Vocês sabem que horas são? (“Do you know what time it is?”)
  • Os senhores [formal]: Os senhores podem aguardar aqui. (“You can wait here.”)
    • Masculine form, used for a group of only men or men and women
  • As senhoras [formal]: As senhoras já podem entrar. (“You can already come in.”)
    • Feminine form, used for a group of only women

2 – Reflexive Pronouns

In Portuguese, some verbs are reflexive. They indicate an action done by the subject to themselves. When using these verbs, an extra pronoun (called an object pronoun), is required. 

PersonPortuguese pronounUse it withEnglish
1st person sg.meeu (“I”)Eu me visto. (“I get dressed.”)
Ela me acordou. (“She woke me up.”)
2nd person sg.tetu (“you”)(Tu) te lembras dele? (“You remember him?”)
3rd person sg.seele / ela (“he” / “she”)
você (“you”)
a gente (“we”)
Ele se vestiu. (“He got dressed.”)
Você já se arrumou? (“Did you get ready?”)
A gente se sentiu mal. (“We felt ill.”)
1st person pl.nosnós (“we”)Nós nos assustamos. (“We got scared.”)
2nd person pl.vosvós (“you”)Vós vos sentis bem? (“Do you feel well?”)
3rd person pl.seeles / elas (“they” masculine / feminine)
vocês (“you”)
Eles se perderam. (“They got lost.”)
Vocês se penteiam? (“Did you brush your hair?” plural)

There are several rules involved regarding the correct position of the reflexive pronoun in Portuguese (before or after the verb). For informal conversational purposes, most Brazilian Portuguese speakers place the reflexive pronoun before the verb. 

3 – Demonstrative Pronouns

You can use demonstrative pronouns to talk about the objects around you.

Isto (“This”) and its variations

When talking about something close to you (the speaker), you can use:

  • Isto (“This”)
    • Isto é lindo! (“This is beautiful!”)
  • Este / Esta (“This”) – masculine and feminine form in the singular
    • Esta cadeira é pequena demais. (“This chair is too small.”)  
  • Estes / Estas (“These”) – masculine and feminine form in the plural
    • Estas panelas estão sujas. (“These pans are dirty.”) 

Isto is not commonly used in spoken, casual Portuguese. A more popular option is isso:

Isso (“That”) and its variations

When talking about something close to the other person (the listener), use:

  • Isso (“That”)
    • Isso é pesado? (“Is that heavy?”)
  • Esse / Essa (“That”) – masculine and feminine form in the singular
    • Essa camisa é a sua cara! (“That shirt is so you!”)
  • Esses / Essas – masculine and feminine form in the plural
    • Vocês podem usar esses lençóis. (“You can use those bedsheets.”)

Even though isso means “that,” it’s very common for Portuguese speakers to use it to mean “this” as well. So in casual situations, you can use isso to talk about objects that are close to the speaker or the listener. 

Aquilo (“That”) and its variations

This one is used when talking about something that is far from both you and the other party, whether physically or in terms of time.

  • Aquilo (“That”)
    • Eu quero aquilo! (“I want that!”)
  • Aquele / Aquela (“That”) – masculine and feminine form in the singular
    • Aquele quadro é muito caro. (“That painting is very expensive.”)
  • Aqueles / Aquelas (“Those”) – masculine and feminine form in the plural
    • Aqueles shows foram inesquecíveis. (“Those concerts were unforgettable.”)

4 – Interrogative Pronouns

Use these pronouns to ask questions:

  • Quem? (“Who?”)
    Quem chegou? (“Who arrived?”)
  • O que? (“What?”)
    O que você quer comer? (“What do you want to eat?”)
  • Qual? (“Which?”)
    Qual bolo você prefere? (“Which cake do you prefer?”)
    Quais são os livros que posso doar? (“Which are the books that I can give away?”)
  • Quanto? (“How much?” / “How many?”)
    Quantos anos você têm? (“How old are you?”)
    Quantas caixas você quer? (“How many boxes do you want?”)
    Quanto custa essa casa? (“How much is this house?”)

Notice that quem and que are invariable pronouns: they never change. Qual and quanto are variable pronouns, which means they change depending on the gender and number of what they’re referring to.

5 – Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are great for talking about unspecified things—people, places, objects, you name it! Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Tudo (“Everything”)
  • Todo / Toda (“All” masculine and feminine singular)
  • Todos / Todas (“All” / “Everyone” masculine and feminine plural)
  • Nada (“Nothing”)
  • Nenhum / Nenhuma (“None” masculine and feminine)
  • Algo (“Something”)
  • Algum / Alguma (“Some” / “Few” masculine and feminine singular)
  • Alguns / Algumas (“Some” / “Few” masculine and feminine plural)
  • Ninguém (“Nobody”)
  • Alguém (“Somebody”) 
  • Vários / Várias (“Several” masculine and feminine)
  • Muito / Muita (“A lot of” masculine and feminine)
  • Muitos / Muitas (“Many” masculine and feminine)
  • Pouco / Pouca (“Little” masculine and feminine)
  • Poucos / Poucas (“Few” masculine and feminine)

A Doctor Pointing to Something on a Clipboard a Nurse Is Holding

Ele é médico e ela é enfermeira. (“He is a doctor and she is a nurse.”)

2. Counting: Numbers

As a beginner in Portuguese, you’ll need to know at least a few numbers to get by in certain situations. If you learn how to count from 0 to 10, you’ll have it covered!

0Zero
1Um
2Dois
3Três
4Quatro
5Cinco
6Seis
7Sete
8Oito
9Nove
10Dez

Someone Punching a Passcode into Their Cellphone

What numbers will you use in your passcode?

3. The Name of Things: Nouns

Once you have the pronouns and numbers down, you should focus on memorizing as many basic nouns as possible. The words below will serve as a useful addition to your Portuguese beginner vocabulary; they’ll allow you to start forming sentences and you can even use them alone to get an urgent point across! 

1 – A Reminder: Articles

The first thing you need to remember about Portuguese nouns is that they have a gender and a number. For example, a noun could be masculine plural or feminine singular. 

A noun’s gender and number will affect which articles you need to use with it (and it will also affect adjectives, as we’ll see later).

Feminine Singular Nouns

Example: Cadeira (“Chair”) 

Use the following articles:

  • Definite article a: a cadeira (“the chair”) 
  • Indefinite article uma: uma cadeira (“a chair”)

Feminine Plural Nouns

Example: Cadeiras (“Chairs”) 

Use the following articles:

  • Definite article as: as cadeiras (“the chairs”) 
  • Indefinite article umas: umas cadeiras (“some chairs”)

Masculine Singular Nouns

Example: Livro (“Book”) 

Use the following articles:

  • Definite article o: o livro (“the book”) 
  • Indefinite article um: um livro (“a book”)

Masculine Plural Nouns

Example: Livros (“Books”) 

Use the following articles:

  • Definite article os: os livros (“the books”) 
  • Indefinite article uns: uns livros (“some books”)

To make it easier for you to remember the gender of nouns in the future, the following list will include the indefinite articles alongside the nouns. 

2 – Time

Uma horaHour
Um minutoMinute
Um diaDay
Um mêsMonth
Um anoYear
Uma manhãMorning
Uma tardeAfternoon
Uma noiteNight / Evening
Uma segunda-feiraMonday
Uma terça-feiraTuesday
Uma quarta-feiraWednesday
Uma quinta-feiraThursday
Uma sexta-feiraFriday
Um sábadoSaturday
Um domingoSunday

3 – People

Uma mãeMother
Um paiFather
MamãeMom
PapaiDad
Uma mulherWoman
Um homemMan
Uma esposaWife
Um maridoHusband
Um irmãoBrother
Uma irmãSister
Uma famíliaFamily
Uma namoradaGirlfriend
Um namoradoBoyfriend
Um filhoSon
Uma filhaDaughter
Um amigo
Uma amiga
Friend (masculine)
Friend (feminine)
Um estudante
Uma estudante
Student (masculine)
Student (feminine)
Um vendedor
Uma vendedora
Salesman
Saleswoman
Um professor
Uma professora
Professor / Teacher (masculine)
Professor / Teacher (feminine)
Um médico
Uma médica
Medical doctor (masculine)
Medical doctor (feminine)

4 – Places

Um mundoWorld
Um paísCountry
Uma cidadeCity
Um bairroNeighborhood
Um endereçoAddress
Uma ruaStreet
Uma avenidaAvenue
Uma estradaRoad
Um lugarPlace
Uma praiaBeach
Uma florestaForest
Uma montanhaMountain
Uma lojaShop
Um hospitalHospital
Um supermercadoSupermarket
Uma escolaSchool

5 – Transportation

Um carroCar
Um ônibusBus
Um tremTrain
Um aviãoPlane
Um táxiTaxi / Cab
Uma bicicletaBicycle

6 – Home

Uma casaHouse
Uma portaDoor
Uma janelaWindow
Uma cozinhaKitchen
Um quartoBedroom
Um banheiroBathroom
Uma sala de estarLiving room
Um jardimGarden

7 – School and Office Supplies

Uma canetaPen
Um lápisPencil
Uma borrachaEraser
Um cadernoNotebook
Um livroBook

8 – Technology in the Home

Um telefonePhone
Um celularCellphone
Uma telaScreen
Um computadorComputer
A InternetThe internet
Uma televisãoTelevision

9 – Body

Uma cabeçaHead
Um olhoEye
Uma bocaMouth
Um narizNose
Uma orelhaEar
CabeloHair
Um braçoArm
Uma mãoHand

10 – Dining and Food

Uma mesaTable
Um pratoPlate
Um copoGlass
ÁguaWater
Uma frutaFruit
Um legumeVegetable
Um caféCoffee
Um pãoBread
ArrozRice
FeijãoBeans


A Boy Smiling while Using a Laptop

Um menino (“A boy”)

4. Talk About Actions: Verbs

Portuguese beginners will greatly benefit from learning the most common verbs early on in the process. 

Verbs are the central part of sentences and, as you can imagine, there are thousands of them to choose from. Why not begin by getting acquainted with 50 of the most commonly used verbs in Portuguese?


SerTo be (permanent)
Ser is used to talk about permanent or long-lasting things that a person can be. For example, you can be a certain nationality or profession.
  • Eu sou engenheira. (“I am an engineer.”) [feminine]
EstarTo be (impermanent)
Estar is used to talk about temporary things that a person can be or feel. For example, you can be cold or you can be in school.
  • Eu estou no supermercado. (“I am in the supermarket.”)
  • Eu estou com medo. (“I am scared.”)
IrTo go
TerTo have
PoderTo be able to
Can
DeverTo have to
Must
FazerTo do
To make
DizerTo say
To tell
FalarTo talk
To speak
To tell
Dar To give
GostarTo like
AmarTo love
VerTo see
OuvirTo hear
EscutarTo listen
TocarTo touch
To play an instrument
SentirTo feel
PensarTo think
ProcurarTo look for
To search
AcharTo find
SaberTo know
EntenderTo understand
QuererTo want
PedirTo ask for
FicarTo stay
To get
To be
Ficar translates to “to get” when it’s followed by an adjective. For example:
  • Você está ficando vermelha! (“You are getting red!”) – feminine
You can also use ficar when talking about locations:
  • A minha casa fica logo ali. (“My house is right over there.”)
PrecisarTo need
DeitarTo lay down
ColocarTo put
To place
DirigirTo drive
ChegarTo arrive
EntrarTo enter
ChamarTo call
To summon
ComeçarTo start
To begin
VirTo come (over)
VoltarTo come back
To return
SairTo leave
To go out
ConhecerTo meet
To know
Conhecer only means “to know” when referring to something familiar.

For example, you could use conhecer if you knew a certain street or a certain person:
  • Você conhece a prima Luisa? (“Do you know Cousin Luisa?”)
But you can’t use conhecer when referring to something you know how to do. In this case, use saber:
  • Eu sei cozinhar. (“I know how to cook.”)
ConseguirTo achieve
ContinuarTo continue
ViverTo live
TomarTo take
Tomar can be used interchangeably with beber (“to drink”).
PegarTo catch
To grasp
ComerTo eat
AndarTo walk
TrabalharTo work
ContarTo count
To tell
EsperarTo wait
AbrirTo open
FecharTo close
DecidirTo decide
AprenderTo learn
EstudarTo study

Three Students Studying in a Classroom with a Teacher Standing Nearby

Vamos estudar. (“Let’s study.”)

5. Add Details: Adjectives

As we hinted at before, adjectives in Portuguese need to agree with the noun they describe in gender and number. 

Each adjective below is listed in the singular form. Where applicable, we’ve indicated the gender as follows: [masculine / feminine]. 

Bom / BoaGood 
RuimBad 
FácilEasy
DifícilDifficult / Hard
Novo / NovaNew 
Velho / VelhaOld 
Caro / CaraExpensive 
GrandeLarge / Big 
Pequeno / PequenaSmall / Little 
Longo / LongaLong 
Curto / CurtaShort 
Bonito / BonitaBeautiful 
Lindo / LindaHandsome / Pretty
Feio / FeiaUgly
ForteStrong
LegalNice
Alto / AltaTall
Baixo / BaixaShort
Magro / MagraThin / Skinny 
Gordo / GordaFat 
AlegreGlad
TristeSad
Tímido / TímidaShy 
Cansado / CansadaTired 
DoenteSick / Ill
EnsolaradoSunny
NubladoCloudy
ChuvosoRainy
Frio / FriaCold 
QuenteWarm / Hot
ImportanteImportant
Preto / PretaBlack 
Branco / BrancaWhite 
AzulBlue
VerdeGreen 
Amarelo / AmarelaYellow 
Vermelho / VermelhaRed 
DoceSweet
Salgado / SalgadaSalty
Delicioso / DeliciosaDelicious


An Asian Woman Getting Her Hair Done at a Salon

Ela tem cabelo preto. (“She has black hair.”)

6. Make Connections: Conjunctions

Conjunctions are small yet powerful words that connect two or more clauses or sentences. You’ll use them countless times when talking or writing in Portuguese. By mastering the most commonly used ones, you’ll get far!

  • E (“And”)
    Eu gosto de correr e nadar. (“I like to run and swim.”)

  • Ou (“Or”)
    Você quer café ou água? (“Do you want coffee or water?”)

  • Nem (“Nor”)
    Não como carne nem peixe. (“I don’t eat meat nor fish.”)
  • Se (“If”)
    Ela vai trabalhar se conseguir uma babá. (“She will work if she can get a nanny.”)
  • Então (“So”)
    Hoje acordei tarde, então estou sem fome. (“I woke up late today, so I’m not hungry.”)
  • Mas (“But”)
    Ela perdeu mas está feliz. (“She lost, but she is happy.”)
  • Que (“That”)
    É importante que você passe nessa curso. (“It’s important that you pass this course.”)

  • Porque (“Because”)
    Ela ganhou porque treinou muito. (“She won because she trained a lot.”)

  • Como (“As” / “Like”)
    Ela, como suas amigas, é estudante. (“She, like her friends, is a student.”)
    Como me perdi, cheguei atrasada. (“As I got lost, I arrived late.”)

Learn even more Portuguese conjunctions, as well as how and where you can use them, with this complete guide by PortuguesePod101

A Man and Woman Watching Funny Videos on a Cellphone

Eles gostam de conversar e assistir vídeos. (“They like to chat and watch videos.”)

7. Add More Information: Adverbs

While adjectives modify nouns, adverbs modify other types of words (verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs). Adverbs are a nifty set of words in Portuguese for beginners to learn, as they allow you to better express yourself and add extra information to what you’re saying. 


1 – Questions

Like the interrogative pronouns we already saw, interrogative adverbs can also be used to ask questions. 

QuandoWhen
Quando é seu aniversário? (“When is your birthday?”)
OndeWhere
Onde vocês estão? (“Where are you?”) – plural
AondeWhere to
Aonde você vai?  (“Where are you going to?”)
ComoHow
Como foi a sua viagem? (“How was your trip?”)
Por queWhy
Por que eles brigaram? (“Why did they fight?”)

2 – Time

TardeLate
CedoEarly
LogoSoon
Already
OntemYesterday
HojeToday
AmanhãTomorrow
AntesBefore
DepoisAfter

3 – Frequency

SempreAlways
Jamais / NuncaNever
Às vezesSometimes
GeralmenteUsually

4 – Place

AquiHere
There
Em toda parte / Em todo lugarEverywhere
DentroInside
ForaOutside
LongeFar
PertoCloseby

5 – Manner

BemWell
MalPoorly / Barely
MuitoVery
PoucoLittle / Few
RápidoFast
RealmenteReally
NadaNothing
SomenteOnly
MaisMore
MenosLess
JuntosTogether
Só / SozinhoAlone

A Woman Lost at the Train Station

Ela sempre se perde. (“She always gets lost.”)

8. Even More Words: Brazilian Culture

Let’s dive into some specific Portuguese vocabulary you can use to engage in interesting conversations!

1 – Traditional Brazilian Culture

Boi-bumbáA Brazilian folk theatrical tradition
NovelaSoap opera
Festa juninaTraditional party that takes place in June
CapoeiraAfro-Brazilian martial art

2 – Holidays

Ano NovoNew Year
CarnavalCarnival
NatalChristmas
PáscoaEaster

3 – Music and Musical Styles

SambaSamba
Bossa novaBossa nova
AxéAxé music
FunkFunk carioca
SertanejoBrazilian country music

4 – Food & Beverages

FeijoadaStew of black beans, beef, and pork
ChurrascoBarbecue (Brazilian-style)
BrigadeiroBrazilian chocolate truffle
TapiocaCassava pancake
PaçocaPeanut candy
GuaranáSoft drink made with guaraná, a typical fruit from the North region which resembles an eye
CaipirinhaTraditional alcoholic cocktail, made with cachaça, ice, sugar, and lime
CachaçaAlcoholic beverage made out of sugarcane; some are cheap, while others are prime Brazilian drinks.
ChimarrãoCaffeine-rich infusion with the yerba mate plant
MandiocaManioc, cassava
PalmitoHeart of palm

A Samba Parade during Carnival

Desfile de escola de samba no Carnaval (“Samba parade during Carnival”)

9. Final Thoughts

This article presented 200+ words every Portuguese beginner should know, from pronouns and verbs to culture-specific terms. This will be a handy guide you can come back to as you advance in your Portuguese learning journey. Soon, you’ll have many more words to add to this list! 

We would love to hear your thoughts. Did you like this article? Do you think we missed any important Portuguese words for beginners? Let us know in the comments. 

And now, it’s time to put it all into practice. To start, you can check out these tips for remembering words better. Or go ahead and choose your own vocabulary list or another free resource on PortuguesePod101.com, and get studying!

If you want to take your learning experience further, members of PortuguesePod101 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

Sound Like a Brazilian: The Top 10 Portuguese Filler Words

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No language would be complete without its unique quirks and imperfections—like all of those small, seemingly meaningless words and sounds you hear in conversations! Yes, we’re talking about filler words. They may be unnecessary, but they’re definitely present in everyday conversations and other forms of speech. 

Portuguese filler words vary immensely between countries, so that even native speakers from Europe have difficulty understanding the Brazilian counterparts of their everyday fillers (and vice-versa). But after reading this handy guide, you’ll be able to understand and use filler words in Portuguese yourself!

As you can probably imagine, filler words get a lot of hate. Some think they’re grammatical crutches used specially by younger generations. Others think they just sound ugly. But who has never been thankful for fillers when they needed to buy some time to find what to say next? 

Learning about Portuguese filler words is important, regardless of whether you like them or loathe them. After all, you’re going to encounter them often in your conversations with native Portuguese speakers. But before you get too excited, remember that you shouldn’t rely too much on them either. So be open to learning them, but also understand how to substitute them when needed.

In this article, you’ll learn the top 10 most commonly used filler words in Portuguese, their meaning, and when to use them. We’ll also provide you with examples and alternatives so you can learn to sound like a Brazilian—without becoming a filler word machine.

A Group of Four Friends Chatting and Having Coffee Beverages

Out with Portuguese speakers? Prepare to hear many filler words!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Why do we use filler words?
  2. The Top 10 Portuguese Filler Words
  3. Pros and Cons of Filler Words
  4. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. Why do we use filler words? 

Filler words are used in spoken conversation to indicate a pause—maybe to think, maybe to look for the right words—while also letting the other party know that the speaker hasn’t finished talking yet. Keep in mind that fillers can be words or sounds. In either case, fillers don’t add meaning to the sentence. 

One thing you might notice, however, is that some people use filler words excessively. In these cases, the fillers are not used to indicate a pause but rather as a crutch or an automatic tic that interrupts the flow of speech. When that happens, it’s almost impossible not to notice them and the speaker risks annoying those who are listening. 

Putting it all together, why do we use filler words, then?

  1. To indicate hesitation. In other words, to buy ourselves time to think when speaking.
  2. To help manage the flow of discourse. They act almost like punctuation marks for speech.
  3. To emphasize ideas. They bring more attention to what has just been said or what is about to be said.
  4. To approach a certain topic more gently. In this case, they’re used at the beginning of a sentence to make it sound less harsh.

You might also notice that there are differences between the filler words used by younger generations versus older generations. Some say it’s a problem with the younger ones, that they’re “destroying” the language by employing so many filler words… But the truth is that each generation has its own fillers. 

In Portuguese, for example, older people might often use veja bem (“see”) or ou seja (“in other words,” but meaning “I mean”). Young adults and teenagers, on the other hand, prefer sabe (“you know”) or tipo (“like”).

As we go through the top 10 filler words used today in Brazilian Portuguese, we’ll give you some tips on the context in which they’re used, when to avoid them, and possible alternatives. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand and use them with confidence! 


2. The Top 10 Portuguese Filler Words

#1

PortugueseLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Tipo“Type”“Like”

As the holy grail of Portuguese filler words, tipo is as common in Portuguese as “like” is in English. It can be placed at the beginning or in the middle of pretty much any sentence. It’s more commonly (though not exclusively) used by younger generations.

Tipo is used to buy time when speaking, but it can easily become a habit or tic. Language purists would argue that the word should never be used as a filler, that it indicates a lower level of education, and that it makes you sound like a Brazilian version of a “valley girl.”

However, it’s good to remember that languages evolve and that speakers are the makers of language. Using tipo will definitely make you sound more like a native. Just keep in mind the context: If you’re in a job interview or writing a formal message, don’t use it. In informal situations, just be mindful to not overuse it and you’ll be good to go!

You might also see tipo paired with the word assim (“as such”). The resulting expression (tipo assim) is used in the same way as tipo.

Hoje eu andei de bicicleta e, tipo, tô super cansada. (“Today I biked and, like, I’m super tired.”)
Não sei, tipo, eu gosto dele, mas às vezes ele me irrita. (“I don’t know, like, I like him but sometimes he annoys me.”)
Tipo assim, se você não tentar, nunca vai saber. (“Like, if you don’t try, you will never know.”)

#2

PortugueseLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Ééé“Uh”

Maybe you remember that é is the verb “is” in Portuguese. However, as a filler word, it loses this meaning and acts more like a sound that fills a moment of pause. It’s probably the most common filler sound in Brazilian Portuguese. 

This filler is the result of a tendency to prolong the last sound of a word when trying to indicate a pause in speech or when thinking about what to say next. For example:
  • Eu queroooo… cinco pães, por favor. (“I want, uh… five loaves of bread, please.”)
  • Eu vou visitar aaaa… tia Ana hoje. (“I’ll visit, uh… Aunt Ana today.”)
You can use this strategy and/or the filler sound ééé—or even hummm—when searching for words, thinking about your answers, or stalling for a magic solution to drop from the skies (although this is more unlikely).

Éééé… difícil responder essa pergunta. (“Uh… it’s difficult to answer this question.”)
Eu quero, ééé… um café e um pão com manteiga. (“I want, uh… a coffee and one bread with butter.”)

A Woman Pausing to Look Up and Think while Taking Notes

Éééé… como era mesmo? (“Uh… how was it, again?”)

#3

PortugueseLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Bom / Bem“Good” / “Well”“Well”

This filler in Portuguese is commonly used at the beginning of a sentence to indicate hesitation or to buy more time. It’s also used when beginning a somewhat sensitive phrase, as a way of approaching the topic more gently.

You’re more likely to hear bom being used as a filler word in Brazilian Portuguese, while bem is more often used in European Portuguese. 

Bom… Eu não sei o que eu faria na sua situação, mas tenta falar com ele. (“Well… I don’t know what I’d do in your situation, but try to talk to him.”)
Bom… O prato do dia parece uma boa opção. (“Well… The daily dish looks like a good option.”)


#4

PortugueseLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Então“Then”“So”

Então can be used at the beginning of a sentence as an indicator that a previous topic is being approached again. But more often, it doesn’t carry any meaning and is rather used as a filler word out of habit. 

Compared to other Portuguese fillers, it’s not as frowned upon in formal settings. But as a rule of thumb, it’s good to avoid filler words in general when it comes to formal situations, as they can be seen as language crutches. 

A possible substitute for então when it’s used to resume a conversation about a previous topic is como eu disse (“as I said”) or como eu estava dizendo (“as I was saying”).

Então, tenho que te contar o que aconteceu ontem. (“So, I have to tell you what happened yesterday.”)
Então, menina, foi uma briga enorme! (“So, girl, it was a huge fight!”)

A Man Sitting on the Couch and Talking on the Phone with a Remote in His Hand

Então, deixa eu te contar sobre esse filme. (“So, let me tell you about this movie.”)

#5

PortugueseLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Assim“As such” / “This way”“Like” / “So”

In informal conversations, people use assim in two ways:
  • To begin a sentence, stretching the i
  • To manage the flow of sentences, just as the word tipo is used.
It’s also used to smooth things over when starting to approach a delicate topic. It can be pronounced in a way that draws the vowel i out a bit, buying the speaker even more time to think.

As mentioned before, assim can also be paired with the ubiquitous filler word tipo, creating a common filler expression: tipo assim.

Assim, eu não acho que ele tem toda a culpa. (“So, I don’t think he is entirely to blame.”)
Assiiiiim… você acha mesmo que essa viagem é uma boa ideia? (“Sooo… do you really think this trip is a good idea?”)    
Ele chegou tão atrasado que, tipo assim, a festa já tinha terminado. (“He arrived so late that, like, the party was already over.”)
Eu penso que, assim, não faz sentido essa briga. (“I think that, like, this fight makes no sense.”) 

#6

PortugueseLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
E aí“Then”“What’s up”

(“then”) is a common word you’ll hear countless times when a Brazilian is telling a story:

A festa estava indo bem, mas aí ele correu para o palco, e aí tirou o microfone das mãos dela. Aí, todo mundo ficou em silêncio. (“The party was going well, but then he ran to the stage, and then he took the mic off her hands. Then everybody went silent.”)

In the sentence above, you can see that does have a meaning, but it can also be easily overused.

As a filler word, is often paired with e (“and”). When that happens, it can be used in different ways:
  • As “and then”: In the previous example, you can see e aí being used to continue telling what happened.
    • Eles entraram na sala, e aí viram o presente. (“They got into the room and then they saw the gift.”)
  • As “and then?” or “what happened?”: It can be used by itself to ask what happened next.
    • Tive uma entrevista de emprego hoje. (“I had a job interview today.”)
    • E aí? (“And how did it go?”)
  • As “what’s up!”: Used to greet people in an informal way.
    • E aí, tudo bem? (“What’s up, all good?”)
  • “So”: Used just as então, at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence.
    • Eles já acordaram, aí vamos sair em 1 hora. (“They woke up already, so we’ll leave in 1 hour.”)

E aí, prontos para o filme? (“So, ready for the movie?”)
E aí, Luciana! (“What’s up, Luciana?”)

#7

PortugueseLiterally and English Equivalent
Cara / Mano / Meu“Dude” / “Bro” / “Mate”

Imagine you have to tell a juicy piece of gossip to your best friend. A Portuguese speaker might begin the story in one of the following ways, depending on their region:
  • Cara, você não vai acreditar! (“Dude, you won’t believe this!”)
  • Mano, você não vai acreditar! (“Bro, you won’t believe this!”)
  • Meu, você não vai acreditar! (“Mate, you won’t believe this!”)
These words are all variations of “dude,” “bro,” “mate,” or similar words. If you were to talk to people from different areas of Brazil, you might discover many more, like velho/véi (“old man”), rapaz (“man”), mana (“sister”), and more. 

Their placement is not restricted to the beginning of the sentence, though. In informal Portuguese, they can be used in any part of the phrase. As filler words, they don’t add any meaning, but instead help with the flow of the sentence. 

One way you can substitute these words is by using the name of the person you’re talking to. But, again, don’t overdo it: people might be weirded out if you say their name too many times.

Cara, o dia tá lindo! (“Man, the day is beautiful!”)
Doeu muito, mano. (“It hurt a lot, dude.”)
Ela foi lá, meu, e partiu pra briga! (“She went there, mate, and started a fight!”)


One Businessman Whispering Something in the Ear of Another Businessman

Mano, ele colocou a culpa em você, meu. (“Man, he blamed you for it, bro.”)

#8

PortugueseLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
“Isn’t it?”“Right?” / “You know”

is the contraction of não é (“isn’t it”). This filler is commonly used at the end of a sentence, like “right?” would be used in English. But it can also be used almost like a comma in informal spoken Portuguese: 
  • Ele chegou atrasado, né, aí foi um pouco chato. (“He arrived late, you know, so it was a bit annoying.”)
It can also be used to emphasize a negative answer, in which case it means “of course not”: 

A: Você saiu na chuva, mesmo doente? (“You went out in the rain, even though you’re sick?”)
B: Não, né. Eu remarquei o encontro. (“Of course not. I rescheduled the date.”)

Amanhã vamos no shopping, né? (“We’ll go to the mall tomorrow, right?”)
Você assistiu o vídeo que eu te mandei, né? (“You watched the video I sent you, right?”)
Ela sempre quis conhecer a Argentina, né, então foi ótimo. (“She always wanted to go to Argentina, you know, so it was great.”)


#9

PortugueseLiterally and English Equivalent
Sabe“You know”

Used just like the English equivalent, sabe appears at the end of sentences in Portuguese. However, when it’s used as a filler word, the question implied—Você sabe? (“Do you know?”)—is rhetoric. The speaker is not really asking if you know anything specific, it just marks the end of the sentence.

Eles sempre tiveram um bom relacionamento, sabe. (“They always had a good relationship, you know.”)
A situação é complicada, sabe. (“The situation is complicated, you know.”)

#10

PortugueseLiterally and English Equivalent
Ah / Ai“Oh”

These interjections can be used as filler words when placed at the beginning of sentences. They normally indicate exasperation, excitement, or surprise.

Although ai also means “ouch,” when used as a filler, it acts like “oh” does in English. Ah is used in the same way, although it’s less common. 

Ah, aí, não sei. (“Oh, then I don’t know.”)
Ai, sério? (“Oh, really?”)
Ai, chega de grito!
(“Argh, no more screaming!”)
Ah, será que eles já chegaram? (“Oh, I wonder if they already arrived!”)

/! Bonus: You can put a bunch of filler words together and actually create a sentence with meaning!
  • Ai, aí não, né? (It works like an exasperated “C’mon!”)

A Woman Talking on Her Cell Phone with Eyes Closed and a Hand to Her Head

Ai, não acredito! (“Oh, I can’t believe it!”)

3. Pros and Cons of Filler Words

As you begin listening to native Portuguese speakers, you’ll quickly notice that filler words are everywhere. 

If you’re serious about speaking the language well, you should know if and when to use filler words. As we already hinted at before, there are pros and cons to adding those words to your speech. Let’s take a closer look at them.

1 – Pro: Filler words help you sound like a local.

No native speaker can avoid filler words all the time. So as you learn these words and start incorporating them into your speech, you’ll begin to sound more natural. 

Most of us don’t learn new languages to become a perfect writer or a master of grammar—instead, we learn them to engage in conversations, to interact, and to communicate. Striving for a perfect sentence is not as important as being able to understand when certain words are used without meaning (so you don’t get stuck trying to figure out what tipo means). 

2 – Pro: They buy you time to search for words.

Especially when learning a new language, it’s good to have tools that give you time to search for words when speaking. After all, the vocabulary might not come automatically for you, and using filler words can help you keep the conversation going. 

Plus, if learning and incorporating filler words into your speech makes you feel more comfortable, that’s very  important for boosting your fluency!

3 – Con: It’s easy to overuse filler words.

Because you’ll hear these filler words often and they impart a sense of confidence, it’s easy to get addicted to them and not even realize you’re overusing words like tipo and . But trust me, other people will notice if you exaggerate and it can become annoying. 

4 – Con: They shouldn’t be used in formal situations or contexts.

Remember to avoid filler words in formal situations, such as business meetings, job interviews, or presentations. Likewise, don’t use them when writing a formal email or message. Using filler words in these contexts convey unprofessionalism and a lack of knowledge on what you’re talking about. It can also indicate a lack of confidence, especially when you’re speaking in public. 

So what can you do to mitigate these cons? You have two options. 

The first is to substitute the filler words. If you’re in a situation where you’ve been asked a question and need some time to think, you can use a few tricks like:

  • Repeating the question back: O que eu espero aprender com essa experiência? Eu espero… (“What do I expect to learn from this experience? I expect…”)
  • Adding phrases like boa pergunta (“good question”) and vamos ver (“let’s see”).
  • Being honest and saying you need to think. This works better in an informal situation, in which you can simply say deixa eu pensar (“let me think”).

The second option is to become comfortable with silent pauses. This is an important skill to master in any language, not only in Portuguese. Short silent breaks can actually convey a sense of security and confidence in what you’re saying. It can also give your audience time to absorb what you’ve just said.

A Man Giving a Speech

Avoid filler words in presentations and formal settings.

4. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

Are you ready to identify and use Portuguese filler words after reading this guide? We hope we gave you a good overview of what filler words are, how to use them in Portuguese, and how to substitute them when necessary. Now, you won’t be flabbergasted by the way native speakers say seemingly meaningless words like tipo all the time!  

Do you think we missed any popular Portuguese filler words? Or did any of them surprise you at all? Let us know in the comments below!

Going forward, we suggest you try to pay attention to the way native speakers use the different filler words and why they do it. As we mentioned before, sometimes it’s to buy time while other times it helps with the flow of the sentence. Doing this will help you understand when to use filler words yourself. 

There are more free Portuguese resources and a variety of vocabulary lists available on PortuguesePod101.com to help you continue your language learning journey. Go ahead and choose your favorite tools to expand your learning opportunities.

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