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All You Need to Know About the Brazilian National Anthem

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National anthems are all about expressing patriotic sentiments, and much can be learned about a country’s history by discovering its anthem. This is true when it comes to the Hino Nacional Brasileiro (“Brazilian National Anthem”). 

Brazil’s Anthem is long, with a composition that resembles early Romantic Italian music and lyrics written in 1909. Its melody is strong and enthusiastic – as a result, it is easy to see Brazilians proudly chanting it in sporting events and similar situations in which the anthem is played. 

If we are being honest, it isn’t easy to understand the lyrics of Brazil’s national anthem. Inversions are often used, and older words that are not used anymore appear very often. So in this article, we will examine the lyrics of the national anthem for Brazil, as well as its history and uses.

Brazilian Flag Holstered

The Brazilian Flag

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Lyrics of Brazil’s Anthem in English and Portuguese
  2. History of the Brazilian National Anthem
  3. Occasions When You Can Hear the Brazilian Anthem
  4. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. Lyrics of Brazil’s Anthem in English and Portuguese

Let’s take a look at the two consecutive stanzas of the Brazilian National Anthem. The lyrics are complex, with metaphors and rarely-used words. Since it was written in the Parnassian style, it prioritizes the beauty of the form over clarity, opting for ornate language and many inversions. 

Below, we provided two translations: the first is the more literal one, keeping the inversions and older vocabulary and grammar; the second is a more direct and easier translation to simplify your understanding of the meaning of the Brazilian anthem. 

And if you want to listen to the Brazilian National Anthem being sung, you can check out this video.

First Stanza

Verse 1

Ouviram do Ipiranga as margens plácidas
De um povo heróico o brado retumbante,
E o sol da liberdade, em raios fúlgidos,
Brilhou no céu da pátria nesse instante.
The placid banks of the Ipiranga heard
the resounding shout of a heroic folk,
And the sun of Liberty in shining beams
shone in the homeland’s sky at that instant.
The resounding cry of a heroic people was heard at the peaceful banks of the Ipiranga river
And the dazzling rays of the sun of Liberty
Bathed our country in their brilliant light.
The Ipiranga river is the stream in the city of São Paulo where Prince Dom Pedro, the future Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil, declared Brazilian independence from Portugal. The “sun of Liberty” is a reference to independence as well.

Verse 2

Se o penhor dessa igualdade
Conseguimos conquistar com braço forte,
Em teu seio, ó liberdade,
Desafia o nosso peito a própria morte!
If the pledge of that equality
we managed to conquer with strong arm,
In thy bosom, O Freedom,
our chest defies death itself!
If with strong arm we have succeeded
In winning a pledge of equality,
In your bosom, O Liberty,
Our hearts will defy death itself!
Penhor dessa igualdade” is used figuratively to refer to the guarantee that there will be freedom, independence. 

Verse 3

Ó Pátria amada,
Idolatrada,
Salve! Salve!
O beloved,
idolized homeland,
Hail! Hail!
O adored Fatherland,
Revered,
Hail! Hail!

Verse 4

Brasil, um sonho intenso, um raio vívido
De amor e de esperança à terra desce,
Se em teu formoso céu, risonho e límpido,
A imagem do Cruzeiro resplandece.
Brazil, an intense dream, a vivid ray
of love and hope to earth descends,
If in thy beautiful sky, smiling and limpid,
the image of the (Southern) Cross blazes.
Brazil, a dream sublime, a vivid ray of love and hope descends to earth,
Where in your clear, hopeful, beautiful skies
The image of the Southern Cross shines forth.
Cruzeiro is a reference to the Southern Cross (also known as Crux) constellation of the Southern sky, with four bright stars in a cross shape. 

Verse 5

Gigante pela própria natureza,
És belo, és forte, impávido colosso,
E o teu futuro espelha essa grandeza.
Giant by thine own nature,
Thou art beautiful, strong, a fearless colossus,
And thy future mirrors that greatness
Vast by its own nature,
You are fair, you are strong, brave colossus,
And your future mirrors that greatness.

Verse 6

Terra adorada,
Entre outras mil,
És tu, Brasil,
Ó Pátria amada!
Dos filhos deste solo és mãe gentil,
Pátria amada,Brasil!
Adored Land
Amongst a thousand others
art thou, Brazil,
O beloved homeland.
Of the sons of this ground thou art kind mother,
Beloved homeland,
Brazil!
Land adored
Above all others,
It is you, Brazil,
Beloved Fatherland!
You are gentle mother of the children of this soil,
Beloved land,
Brazil!

Southern Cross Constellation Highlighted against the Sky

Cruzeiro do Sul (“Southern Cross”)

Second Stanza

Verse 7

Deitado eternamente em berço esplêndido,
Ao som do mar e à luz do céu profundo,
Fulguras, ó Brasil, florão da América,
Iluminado ao sol do Novo Mundo!
Eternally lying on splendid cradle,
to the sound of the sea and under deep sky light,
Thou flashest, Brazil, rosette of America,
illuminated by the sun of the New World!
Laid out eternally in the splendor of nature,
To the sound of the sea and the light of the deep skies,
You shine, O Brazil, ornament of America,
Illumined by the sun of the New World!

Verse 8

Do que a terra, mais garrida,
Teus risonhos, lindos campos têm mais flores;
“Nossos bosques têm mais vida”,
“Nossa vida” no teu seio “mais amores.”
Than the more garish land,
thy smiling, pretty prairies have more flowers;”
Our groves have more life”,
“Our life” in thy bosom “more loves.”
Your fair, smiling fields have more flowers
Than the most gracious land;
“Our forests have more life”,
“Our lives” in your bosom “more loves.”
The sentence “Nossos bosques têm mais vida” (“Our groves have more life”) – as well as the following line – are citations from the famous poem “Canção do Exílio“, by Gonçalves Dias.

Verse 9

Ó Pátria amada,
Idolatrada,
Salve! Salve!
O beloved,
idolized homeland,
Hail! Hail!
O adored Fatherland,
Revered,
Hail! Hail!

Verse 10

Brasil, de amor eterno seja símbolo
O lábaro que ostentas estrelado,
E diga o verde-louro dessa flâmula–
“Paz no futuro e glória no passado.”
Brazil, of eternal love be a symbol,
the starred labarum that thou displayst,
And say the green of this pennant,
“Peace in the future and glory in the past.”
Brazil, may the starry flag you display Be a symbol of eternal love,
And may the green and yellow of this flag proclaim:
“Peace in the future and glory in the past.”

Verse 11

Mas, se ergues da justiça a clava forte,
Verás que um filho teu não foge à luta,
Nem teme, quem te adora, a própria morte.
But if thou raisest the strong mace of justice,
thou wilt see that a son of thine flees not from battle,
nor do those who love thee fear their own death.
But if you draw forth the strong mace of justice, You will see that a child of yours does not flee from a fight,
Nor do those that adore you fear their own death.

Verse 12

Terra adorada,Entre outras mil,
És tu, Brasil,
Ó Pátria amada!
Dos filhos deste solo és mãe gentil,
Pátria amada,
Brasil!
Adored Land
Amongst thousand others
art thou, Brazil,
O beloved homeland.
Of the sons of this ground thou art kind mother,
Beloved homeland,
Brazil!
Land adored
Above all others,
It is you, Brazil,
Beloved Fatherland!
You are gentle mother of the children of this soil,
Beloved land,
Brazil!

Amazon River in the Middle of the Forest

Brazil’s anthem makes many references to nature.


2. History of the Brazilian National Anthem

Time to understand how the Brazilian Anthem came about. As a little heads up, the melody and lyrics were created at different times, so we will also discuss them separately. 

In 1822, Dom Pedro I proclaimed Brazilian independence from Portugal. Dom Pedro I, the first Brazilian Emperor, then composed an anthem celebrating the Independence. This composition is still an official patriotic song in Brazil, called the Independence Anthem. But in 1831, Pedro I abdicated and left for Europe – and the anthem he composed fell in popularity. 

Sensing an opportunity, a man named Francisco Manuel da Silva presented to the public the melody of the anthem-to-be on April 13, the same day the previous Emperor left the country. Now, this day is considered the Day of the Brazilian National Anthem. No one knows when the melody was really composed. Some believe it dates back to 1822, others that it was composed in 1831 itself. 

At first, the melody gained accompanying lyrics written by Appeals Judge Ovídio Saraiva de Carvalho e Silva, celebrating the abdication and Pedro II’s (the then 5-year-old son of Pedro I) accession to the Brazilian Throne. But the Hino ao 7 de Abril (“April 7 Hymn”), as the lyrics were then called, were not very popular. The melody, however, continued to be played in public ceremonies. As the years passed, the composition came to be adopted as the national anthem. 

When Pedro II came of age in 1841, new lyrics were proposed, but not for long. Emperor Pedro II would mandate that the national anthem should be played without lyrics whenever he presented in public and in military and civil solemnities. 

Some time passed until the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889. With the change in regime, a competition was launched to choose a new anthem. However, the winning composition didn’t stick – there was a popular outcry against it, and the Provisional Government formalized that the melody by Francisco Manuel da Silva would be the Brazilian National Anthem.

Until 1922, no official lyrics existed. In 1909, another competition ended up selecting a poem by Joaquim Osório Duque-Estrada, which was adapted to fit the anthem’s melody. However, the lyrics were not officialized, and different states even adopted different lyrics. In the following years, Duque-Estrada continued to make changes to his original version until 1922. That year, which marked the 100-year anniversary of Brazilian Independence, was also when Duque-Estrada’s lyrics were finally declared official.

Sheet Music for Brazilian Anthem

Sheet music for the Brazilian Anthem


3. Occasions When You Can Hear the Brazilian Anthem

Now that you know the lyrics to the Brazilian National Anthem and its history, are you looking for an opportunity to hear it being sung live? There are a few different situations in which that might happen. 

The anthem is played in official civil and military events, alongside the hoisting of the flag. It is also mandatory in Brazil that, at least once a week, the national anthem be played in schools – and students should be taught how to sing it. You will also hear it in sporting events, for example, before a soccer match or when a Brazilian athlete is receiving an Olympic medal. 

Brazil’s national anthem has two stanzas, as we’ve already seen. Until 2016, only the first stanza was sung in sporting events. Now, the anthem is played in its entirety, which takes around 3 minutes and a half. Brazilian law also describes how people should behave when the national anthem plays: people should listen to it standing up, without any headwear. If the instrumental version is playing, people should remain silent. Clapping or whistling during the anthem is forbidden, but clapping afterward is off the hook.

But if you were curious to see some other versions of the Brazilian anthem, you can do it… but it is not totally legal. The Federal Constitution forbids any arrangements other than the official one. But with a quick search on YouTube you can find versions of the anthem in Brazilian musical styles like Forró, Samba e Pagode. And, of course, Brazilians also play around with the lyrics from time to time – but for that, you will have to attend a soccer match in the country to find out first-hand!

Group of Friends Holding a Brazilian Flag

Ready to sing along to the Brazilian Anthem?

4. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

We hope this article helped you understand this important national symbol of Brazil! The Brazilian National Anthem praises the beauty, size, and richness of the country – and even if you haven’t been there yet, it’s easy to see why. 

If you are able to understand the complex lyrics of this anthem, then you are ahead of many native speakers. High five, and well done!

And please let us know what you think of this article. Was it helpful for you? Do you think we missed any useful explanations about the national anthem for Brazil? 

Now, continue learning Portuguese with the hundreds of free Portuguese resources and the many 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, members of PortuguesePod101.com get access to the largest language lesson library in the world, with thousands of real lessons by real teachers. With Premium PLUS, you will have your own personalized learning program, with weekly assignments based on your needs! Perfect for anyone who wants to learn from anywhere, feel motivated, and be ready to speak Portuguese with confidence. And in the meantime, continue exploring PortuguesePod101!

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50+ Portuguese Classroom Phrases for Studying in Brazil

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Learning is a lifetime pursuit. So if you are embarking on an educational experience in Brazil, there are some Portuguese classroom phrases you should learn. This way, you will be able to follow your teacher’s instructions, greet your colleagues and make the most of the experience!

Whether you plan to spend a semester abroad or you are going to teach in Brazil, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the specific vocabularies. Once you find the most common Portuguese phrases and words used in the classroom, you can focus on the most important thing: learning! 

In this article, we will cover vocabulary for the supplies you will need, classroom items, and subject names. You will also learn sentences and phrases to follow your teacher’s instructions and ask for clarifications. Finally, you’ll see how to explain tardiness and absences, and how to talk about your favorite courses. 

Ready to learn Portuguese phrases for the classroom? Let’s get started!

Students Writing in a Classroom

Grab a pen and some paper and get ready to take notes!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Classroom Greetings
  2. Teacher Instructions in Portuguese
  3. Ask Questions in Portuguese
  4. Explain Absence and Tardiness in Portuguese
  5. Talking About Your Favorite Subjects in Portuguese
  6. School Supplies and Classroom Vocabulary in Portuguese
  7. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. Classroom Greetings

When you arrive at your educational institution or classroom, ready to learn the Portuguese language, the first thing you will have to do is greet people. Whether you’re saying hi to your friends and colleagues or saying good morning to your teacher and professors, there are a few phrases you need to learn.

But first, here is some important context and vocabulary. In Portuguese, we use the same words for teacher and professor: professor (male) and professora (female). When addressing a teacher or professor, you can use the word professor(a) by itself or include the professor’s name afterward. In Brazil, we usually use the professor’s first name. 

You should know that, in general, the relationship between professors and students in Brazil tends to be more informal than in other countries. So don’t be surprised if you hear people calling professors directly by their name or using você (“you”). A more polite way to address teachers and professors is to use the form o senhor (“the sir”) or a senhora (“the madam”). 

Now, let’s see how to greet people in the classroom. 

  • Bom dia, professor. (“Good morning, teacher.”)
  • Oi professor, tudo bem? (“Hi teacher, how are you?”)
  • Boa tarde, turma. (“Good afternoon, class.”)
  • Estão dispensados. Tenham um bom fim de semana. (“You are dismissed. Have a good weekend.”)
  • Até amanhã. (“See you tomorrow.”)
  • Até semana que vem. (“See you next week.”)

2. Teacher Instructions in Portuguese

Class just began. You are listening attentively to your teacher, but suddenly they ask you a question. You better know what they are saying to avoid any confused stares. Who knows, you might even be able to help your colleagues if they are having trouble understanding!

Or perhaps, you are planning to teach in Brazil for some time. In this case, here are some must-know classroom phrases for teachers in basic Portuguese:

  • Silêncio, por favor. (“Silence, please.”)
  • Sentem-se, por favor. (“Sit down, please.”)
  • Os alunos lá atrás conseguem me ouvir? (“Can the students in the back hear me?”)
  • Isto é importante, então prestem atenção.  (“This is important, so pay attention.”)
  • Hoje vamos estudar tempos verbais. (“Today we are going to study verb tenses.”)
  • Abram o livro na página 394. (“Open the book on page 394.”)
  • Peguem seus cadernos. (“Get your notebooks.”)
  • Alguém sabe me dizer porque esta resposta está errada? (“Can anyone tell me why this answer is wrong?”) 
  • O que isso quer dizer? (“What does that mean?”)
  • Quem sabe responder esta questão? (“Who can answer this question?”)
  • Repitam comigo. (“Say it with me.”)
  • Escrevam, por favor. (“Write it down, please.”)
  • Alguma dúvida? Está claro? (“Any questions? Is it clear?”)
  • Para este exercício, podem trabalhar em pares ou grupos de três estudantes. (“For this exercise, you can work in pairs or groups of three students.”)
  • Formem grupos de cinco pessoas. (“Form groups of five people.”)

Students Raise Their Hands in a Classroom

Quem sabe responder esta pergunta? (“Who knows how to answer this question?”)

3. Ask Questions in Portuguese

It’s absolutely normal that, when following a class, some things are not immediately clear. You may not understand something the professor said, or maybe you are confused about some of the course material. Either way, knowing how to ask questions and clarifications is an important step for a better Portuguese language learning experience.

  • O que o professor disse? (“What did the teacher say?”)
  • Desculpe, não entendi. Pode repetir? (“Sorry, I do not understand. Can you repeat it?”)
  • Pode explicar mais uma vez? (“Can you explain it one more time?”)
  • Pode falar um pouco mais devagar, por favor? (“Can you speak a little slower, please?”)
  • O que significa isso? (“What does that mean?”)
  • Como posso dizer isto em português? (“How can I say this in Portuguese?”)
  • Eu tenho uma dúvida: como posso…? (“I have a question: how can I…?”)
  • Eu não sei como dizer isto. (“I don’t know how to say this.”)
  • Com licença, professor. Posso ir ao banheiro? (“Excuse me, teacher. Can I go to the bathroom?”)

4. Explain Absence and Tardiness in Portuguese

Let’s face it. Stuff happens – maybe you weren’t able to finish an assignment by the deadline. Or maybe you went out with friends and missed your alarm clock in the morning. It’s a good idea to know how to apologize… or make up excuses. 

The infamous phrase “My dog ate my homework” can be translated to Portuguese as Meu cachorro comeu meu dever de casa. Everyone will know what it means if you say it, even though it is originally an anglophone sentence. 

Need a more believable excuse for being late? Public transportation can be quite flaky in Brazil. Say your bus was late, and you might successfully explain your tardiness without problems. 

Here are possible ways to justify absence or delay. 

  • Desculpa, professor, mas eu não consegui terminar o trabalho. (“Sorry, professor, but I couldn’t finish the assignment.”)
  • Eu não fiz o dever de casa. (“I did not do my homework.”)
  • Eu não consegui terminar a lição de casa. (“I did not do my homework.”)
  • Desculpe o atraso, o ônibus atrasou. (“Sorry for the delay, the bus was late.”)
  • Eu estou um pouco mal, não vou para a aula hoje. (“I’m a little sick, I’m not going to class today.”)
  • Não me sinto muito bem. Posso ser dispensado hoje? (“I don’t feel well. Can I be excused for the day?”)
  • Estou doente, então vou faltar à escola hoje. Mas eu tenho um atestado médico. (“I’m sick, so I’m going to miss school today. But I have a doctor’s sick note.”)
/! There are two ways of saying homework in Portuguese: lição de casa or dever de casa. It’s common to only say lição or dever, though. 

Woman in a Bus, Reading a Book.

Public transportation will never be this empty in Brazil. But you may still have a chance to read!

5. Talking About Your Favorite Subjects in Portuguese

We hope you enjoy some of the courses and subjects you study. That’s the key to enjoy studying! 

The first step to talking about the subjects you enjoy – and the ones you don’t enjoy as much – is to know their names in Portuguese. 

PortugueseEnglish
InglêsEnglish
PortuguêsPortuguese
EspanholSpanish
LiteraturaLiterature
MatemáticaMathematics
FísicaPhysics
QuímicaChemistry
BiologiaBiology
GeografiaGeography
HistóriaHistory
ArtesArts
FilosofiaPhilosophy
EconomiaEconomy
SociologiaSociology
PsicologiaPsychology
AdministraçãoBusiness Administration
InformáticaComputing, IT
MúsicaMusic
Educação FísicaPhysical Education (PE)

And here are some basic Portuguese phrases and conversations discussing subjects:

  • O professor de Matemática está atrasado. (“The Mathematics teacher is late.”)
  • Estou indo para a aula de Espanhol. (“I’m going to Spanish class.”)
  • Qual é a sua matéria preferida? (“What is your favorite subject?”)
  • Minha matéria favorita é Filosofia. (“My favorite subject is Philosophy.”)
  • Eu tenho boas notas em Inglês. (“I have good grades in English.”)
  • Eu sou péssimo(a) em Física. (“I’m very bad at Physics.”)
  • Tenho que revisar a matéria da aula de História. (“I have to review the material for History class.”)
  • Você precisa de ajuda para estudar? Eu sou boa em História. (“Do you need help studying? I’m good at History.”)
  • Ah sim, por favor. E eu posso te ajudar com Inglês, se você quiser. (“Oh yes, please. And I can help you with English if you want.”)
  • Amanhã é a prova de Química. (“The Chemistry test is tomorrow.”)

Medical Student Watching Class Attentively

You better like biology if you want to be a doctor.

6. School Supplies and Classroom Vocabulary in Portuguese

You know that moment when you are sitting at your desk, watching the professor write on the black board, you pull up your notebook from your backpack… And then you see that you forgot your pencil case. Now you need to ask your colleagues for a pen. 

All of those Portuguese words in the sentence above are important classroom vocabulary to know. After that, you can borrow and lend things to your colleagues, point out items in the classroom and more.   

Let’s start with a list of supplies: 

PortugueseEnglish
Uma mochilaA backpack
Um estojoA pencil case
Um lápisA pencil
Uma lapiseiraA mechanical pencil
Uma canetaA pen
Uma borrachaAn eraser
Um apontadorA sharpener
Um marca-textoA highlighter
Um marcadorA marker, a sharpie
Um cadernoA notebook
Um livro (didático)A textbook
Uma calculadoraA calculator
Uma réguaA ruler
Um compassoA compass

Now, for the classroom vocabulary:

PortugueseEnglish
Uma carteira, uma mesaA desk
Uma cadeiraA chair
Um projetorA projector
Uma telaA screen
Um quadroA board
Um quadro-negroA blackboard
Um monitorA (computer) monitor
Um relógioA clock
Um mapa-múndiA world map

Finally, here are a few more Portuguese classroom phrases for students:

  • Eu esqueci meu livro. Posso sentar com você? (“I forgot my book. Can I sit with you?”)
  • Eu perdi meu estojo. Você pode me emprestar um lápis? (“I lost my pencil case. Can you lend me a pencil?”) 
  • Claro! Mas é bom apontar esse lápis antes de usar. Aqui, pode usar meu apontador. (“Of course! But it ‘s better to sharpen that pencil before using it. Here, you can use my sharpener.”)
  • Você tem uma caneta para me emprestar? (“Do you have a pen I can borrow?”)
  • Todos trouxeram réguas e calculadoras para a prova? (“Did everyone bring rulers and calculators to the test?”)
  • Professor, minha calculadora não está funcionando. Alguém tem uma calculadora extra para emprestar? (“Professor, my calculator is not working. Does anyone have an extra calculator to lend me?”)

A Hand Pointing with a Stick at a World Map

O mapa-múndi (“The world map”)


7. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

With this guide, you are now ready to boost your Portuguese language learning, get into a classroom in Brazil and understand all of the Portuguese classroom words and phrases! Learning can be an exciting journey. And now you’re even more prepared for it. Next step: bonding with colleagues and interacting with professors – in Portuguese of course! Luckily, there are plenty of resources on PortuguesePod101 to help you with that.

What did you think of this guide? Do you feel prepared to follow your teacher’s instructions or ask questions to your colleagues? Let us know in the comments below.

Now, continue learning Portuguese with the hundreds of free Portuguese resources and the many 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, members of PortuguesePod101.com get access to the largest language lesson library in the world, with thousands of real lessons by real teachers. With Premium PLUS, you will have your own personalized learning program, with weekly assignments, based on your needs! Perfect for anyone who wants to learn from anywhere, feel motivated, and be ready to speak Portuguese with confidence. And in the meantime, continue exploring PortuguesePod101!

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

Top Portuguese Phrases You’ll Use in a Restaurant

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Like many other places, food is an important part of Brazilian culture. So if you are planning on going to Brazil at any time, odds are you are going to eat out at a restaurant. If this makes you feel a bit anxious and nervous about how to communicate correctly, don’t worry! This article will teach you everything you need to know to speak Portuguese in restaurants, from basic phrases all the way to how you can order your food in Portuguese. 

Of course, the experience of going to a restaurant includes many other aspects, like making a reservation via telephone and leaving tips. We will include some relevant information so you will know what to do!

With sample dialogues and a list of phrases for each step of the restaurant experience in Portuguese, you will learn everything you need to enjoy the moment to the max – without worrying about what to say.

Waiter Showing a Couple to a Table

Esta é a nossa melhor mesa. (“This is our best table.”)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Before Dining Out
  2. During Dining
  3. After Dining
  4. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. Before Dining Out


A- Booking a Table

Most restaurants in Brazil don’t require a reservation unless you have a big party of people. More often than not, you can simply arrive and find a table. It might also be the case that, if the restaurant is full, they will ask you to wait for a few minutes.

However, if you are going to a particularly popular or fancy restaurant, then a reservation might be needed. The easiest way to check is to visit their website or social media accounts. Then, you can either make a reservation online or give them a call. A reservation for dinner can sometimes be made on the same day, but it all depends on the popularity of the establishment. 

B- What Do I Say?

Let’s take a look at some essential vocabulary first.

PortugueseEnglish
ReservarTo book
Uma reserva A reservation
Uma mesaA table
Um jantarA dinner
Um almoçoA lunch
Um horárioAn hour, a time
Não fumanteNon-smoking

Here are some sentences you can use:

  • Vocês tem disponibilidade para hoje à noite? (“Do you have availability for tonight?”)
  • É possível reservar uma mesa para amanhã? (“Is it possible to book a table for tomorrow?”)
  • Quanto tempo é preciso esperar? (“How long do I have to wait?”)

And the restaurant employee might answer with:

  • Sim, temos disponibilidade. (“Yes, we have availability/places.”)
  • Está reservado. (“It’s booked.”)
  • Infelizmente não temos mais mesas para essa data. (“Unfortunately, we don’t have any tables for that date.”)

If you feel comfortable enough, you can put all the necessary information in one single phrase. This way, there will be less back and forth between you and the restaurant. 

  • Gostaria de reservar uma mesa para amanhã, às 13h, para cinco pessoas. (“I would like to reserve a table for tomorrow at 1 pm for five people.”)

This is an example of how the call to make a reservation can go. As in the phrases above, green indicates the client, and red indicates the restaurant.

Restaurante A Flor da Lapa, bom dia.
(“A Flor da Lapa restaurante, good morning.”)

Olá, bom dia. Eu gostaria de reservar uma mesa para hoje à noite. 
(“Good morning. I’d like to reserve a table for tonight.”)

Claro, para quantas pessoas? 
(“Of course, for how many people?”)

Para quatro pessoas, por favor. 
(“For four people, please.”)

Certo. Temos mesas no lado de dentro e também algumas no exterior, o que prefere?
(“Right. We have tables inside and also some outside, what do you prefer?”)

Somos fumantes, então do lado de fora é melhor. 
(“We are smokers, so outside is better.”)

Ok. E para que horas é a reserva? 
(“Ok. And what time is the reservation for?”)

Para às 20h. 
(“At 8 pm.”)

Perfeito. Está reservado para hoje à noite, às 20h, uma mesa para quatro pessoas no exterior. 
(“Perfect. A table for four people, outside, is reserved for tonight at 8 pm.”)

Ótimo, muito obrigado(a)! 
(“Great, thank you very much!”)

A quick note about smoking: in Brazil, you can’t smoke inside restaurants (or anywhere indoors, in fact). So keep your cigarettes for after your meal!


Set Table at a Chinese Restaurant

It’s a good idea to book a table if there are a lot of people at your party

2. During Dining


A- Arriving at the Restaurant

When you arrive at the restaurant, there are two possibilities: either you already booked a table, or you didn’t. 

In the first case, you can say something like:

  • Olá, boa noite. Temos uma reserva para quatro pessoas. (“Hello, goodnight. We have a reservation for four people.”)
  • Olá, tenho uma reserva no nome de Maria Paula. (“Hello, I have a reservation in the name of Maria Paula.”)

If you don’t have a reservation, you can say:

  • Olá. Eu não tenho uma reserva, mas é possível ter uma mesa para dois? (“Hi. I don’t have a reservation, but is it possible to have a table for two?”)
  • Oi, gostaria de uma mesa pra quatro, por favor. (“Hi, I’d like a table for four, please.”)

Here is how it can look in a sample dialogue:

Olá, boa noite. Vocês tem uma mesa para três pessoas? 
(“Hello, goodnight. Do you have a table for three people?”)

O senhor tem reserva? 
(“Do you have a reservation?”)

Não, não tenho. 
(“No, I don’t.”)

Se puderem aguardar cerca de 10 minutos, teremos uma mesa livre. 
(“If you can wait about 10 minutes, we will have a free table.”)

Perfeito, vamos aguardar então. 
(“Perfect, we will wait then.”)

Couple with Two Children, Looking at a Menu

Uma mesa do lado de fora. (“A table outside.”)

B- Asking for the Menu and Ordering Food

Once you are inside and sitting, you will probably receive the menu. Of course, you can also ask for the menu at the entrance, before sitting down, so you can check if you like their offerings or not. 

If you are eating at a self-service restaurant, you probably won’t have a menu – perhaps just a drink menu. A similar thing can happen in all-you-can-eat establishments, called rodízios in Brazil. In this case, you decide if you want a portion of the food as the waiter passes by your table with the food. 

Let’s first take a look at important vocabulary:

PortugueseEnglish
Um cardápio, um menuA menu
Um pratoA dish
Um prato do diaA dish of the day, a day’s special
Uma sobremesaA dessert
Uma bebidaA drink
Um garçom, uma garçoneteA waiter, a waitress

At this stage, here are the phrases you can use or hear:

  • Aqui está o cardápio. (“Here is the menu.”)
  • O que deseja? (“What would you like to order?”)
  • Com licença, você pode nos trazer o menu? (“Excuse me, can you bring us the menu?”)
  • Qual é o prato do dia? (“What’s today’s special?”)
  • Qual prato você sugere? (“What dish would you suggest?”)
  • Posso ver a carta de bebidas? (“May I see the drinks’ menu?”)
  • Vocês têm opções vegetarianas/veganas? (“Do you have vegetarian/vegan options?”)
  • Eu tenho alergia a frutos do mar. (“I have a seafood allergy.”)
  • O que vem neste prato? (“What’s on this plate?”)
  • Você acha que este prato é suficiente para duas pessoas? (“Do you think this dish is enough for two people?”)
  • Gostaria da carne ao ponto / mal passada / bem passada. (“I would like the meat medium / rare / well done.”)

The dialogue with the waiter or waitress can go something like this:

Com licença, vocês já sabem o que querem beber? 
(“Excuse me, do you already know what you want to drink?”)

Client 1: Sim, eu quero uma limonada. 
(“Yes, I want a lemonade.”)

Client 2: E eu gostaria de uma garrafa de água, por favor. 
(“And I’d like a bottle of water, please.”)

Client 3: Eu não quero nada por enquanto, obrigada. 
(“I don’t want anything for now, thank you.”)

Perfeito. E para comer, já se decidiram? 
(“Perfect. And to eat, have you already decided?”)

Client 1: Ainda não. Estou em dúvida entre estes dois pratos. O que você recomenda? 
(“Not yet. I’m torn between these two dishes. What do you recommend?”)

Os dois são muito bons, mas para quem gosta de nozes, recomendo este Canelloni al Pesto. 
(“Both are very good, but for those who like nuts, I recommend this Canelloni al Pesto.”)

Client 1: Eu tenho alergia a nozes, então vou querer a quiche. 
(“I’m allergic to nuts, so I’ll have the quiche.”)

C- During the Meal

Once you have your meal, the restaurant staff might ask you a few questions:

  • Está tudo bem? (“It’s everything going well?”)
  • Gostaram do prato? (“Did you like the dish?”)
  • Posso retirar os pratos? (“Can I clear the dishes?”)

And here are some things you might ask for or say:

  • Pode me trazer um pouco de sal? (“Can you bring me some salt?”)
  • Pode trazer mais guardanapos, por favor? (“Can you bring more napkins, please?”)
  • Com licença, eu vou querer mais uma água. (“Excuse me, I’ll have another water.”)
  • Com licença, minha faca caiu. Pode trazer outra, por favor? (“Excuse me, I dropped my knife. Can you bring another one please?”)
  • Estava tudo ótimo! (“Everything was great!”)
  • Estava delicioso. (“It was delicious.”)
  • As batatas estavam um pouco insossas / sem sal. (“The potatoes were a little bland/unsalted.”)

After you finish eating the main dish, the waiter or waitress may ask if you want anything else:

  • Querem algo mais? (“Do you want anything else?”)
  • Gostariam de ver o menu de sobremesas? (Would you like to see the dessert menu?)
  • Vão querer sobremesas, ou um café? (Will you want desserts or a coffee?)


Man Full of Food, with an Empty Plate in Front of Him

It’s impossible not to overeat in a rodízio (“all-you-can-eat”)!

3. After Dining

Now that you are done eating and had your dessert and coffee, time to pay the bill. But before that, you may want to ask to take the leftovers. This is quite common in Brazil, so feel free to ask for a to-go box called quentinha (literally “small hot”) or embalagem para viagem (literally “take out package”). 

  • É possível colocar isso numa embalagem para viagem? (“Is it possible to put that in a to-go box?”)
  • Pode colocar o restante numa quentinha, por favor? (“Can you put the rest in a to-go box, please?”)

When it comes to paying the bill, here are some words that you might come across:

PortugueseEnglish
Uma contaA bill
Um pagamentoA payment
Um cartão de créditoA credit card
Um cartão de débitoA debit card
Um reciboA payment receipt
Uma gorjetaA tip

And here are the phrases you should know:

  • A conta, por favor. (“The bill, please.”)
  • Pode trazer a conta, por favor? (“Can you bring the bill, please?”)
  • Claro, já trago a conta. (“Of course, I’ll bring the bill.”)
  • Podem pagar diretamente no balcão. (“You can pay directly at the counter.”)
  • O pagamento é junto ou separado? (“Are you paying together or separately?”)
  • Vamos separar. (“We’ll split.”)
  • Eu pagarei para todos. (“I’ll pay for everyone.”)
  • Vocês aceitam cartão (de crédito/de débito)? (“Do you accept (credit/debit) card?”)
  • Pode me dar o recibo, por favor? (“Can you give me the receipt, please?”)

A- Should You Pay Tips?

In Brazil, the bill normally comes with the 10% tip added (called gorjeta in Portuguese). Of course, it isn’t mandatory to pay for it, but it is customary. If you are particularly pleased with the service, it’s seen with good eyes to tip a bit more: 15% to 20% of the bill amount. Usually, the tip can be paid separately, in coins or cash, and given directly to the waiter. You can always ask the waiter how you should pay the tip, in case it isn’t clear.


Money Under a Coffee Cup

Gorjeta (“tip”)

4. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

Now that you learned the Portuguese phrases to use in Brazilian restaurants, hope you are ready to go out and have great meals! There are many different types of restaurants to discover during your time in Brazil, and now you have the tools to make the most of it.

What did you think of the article? Do you think this guide was complete? If we missed any important Portuguese phrases for restaurants, let us know in the comments!

Now, continue learning Portuguese with the hundreds of free Portuguese resources and the many 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, members of PortuguesePod101.com get access to the largest language lesson library in the world, with thousands of real lessons by real teachers. With Premium PLUS, you will have your own personalized learning program with weekly assignments based on your needs! Perfect for anyone who wants to learn from anywhere, feel motivated, and be ready to speak Portuguese with confidence. And in the meantime, continue exploring PortuguesePod101!

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

The Best Ways to Improve Your Portuguese Conversation Skills

Thumbnail

Why are you learning Portuguese? Odds are, you want to communicate in the language. Although learning the many grammar rules and new vocabulary is important, the ultimate goal is to allow you to understand and be understood when talking in Portuguese. So if you want to convert your hours of language learning into real-life Portuguese conversation skills, you found the right article!

Together, we will cover the must-know sentences to deal with different situations, the best ways to present yourself to get a chat going, and how to improve your Portuguese conversation skills. We will begin by creating your personalized language profile, which will help you feel at ease with ready-to-use phrases and conversation topics. 

Of course, just reading about improving your conversation skills won’t do the trick. That’s why the last section of the article covers the best ways to move forward and how to take action.

If you feel ready for amazing conversations in Portuguese with friends, colleagues, and fellow language learners, let’s get started!

Three Friends Holding Drinks

Get the conversation going in Portuguese!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Getting Started With a Conversation Cheat Sheet
  2. Learn Portuguese Reactions
  3. Portuguese Filler Words
  4. Common Questions and Answers in Portuguese
  5. Portuguese Conversation Starters
  6. Best Ways to Improve Your Conversation Skills
  7. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. Getting Started With a Conversation Cheat Sheet

A conversation cheat sheet, also known as a language profile, is the perfect starting point to improve your conversation skills. It is basically a one-stop-shop for the words, sentences, and conversation starters that you can use when speaking Portuguese. But it isn’t a general list. On the contrary: it is a personal, tailored-for-you cheat sheet with phrases you would use in real life to talk about yourself, your interests, and your routine.  

1 – Why Should You Have a Conversation Cheat Sheet

The main advantage of having a language profile is that you will have talking points ready to go whenever you start a conversation in Portuguese.

That’s why it is important that the phrases in your conversation are not cookie-cutter sentences but rather relevant to you. When you are presenting yourself or starting to talk with someone new, you’ll be able to rely on words and sentences you are comfortable with. Most importantly, it will give you ideas and help you overcome fears of speaking Portuguese when still learning.

Keep in mind that you don’t always have to use the language profile in its entirety, like a rehearsed introduction. But you will be ready to answer questions about yourself, your life and hobbies, and your family. From there, you can ask some related questions to the other person and get the ball rolling. 

2 – How to Make Your Conversation Cheat Sheet 

Let’s start writing a simple introduction: your name, your age, and where you are from. From here, everything depends on your personality and tastes. For example, are you studying at the moment? Maybe you’d like to talk about student life. Or if you have children, that might be something you’d mention. 

It can be helpful to think of some of the situations you may find yourself in: meeting a co-worker, going on a first date, or getting introduced to your partner’s family. You can also consider these questions:

  • Why are you learning Portuguese?
  • What interests or hobbies do you pursue in your free time?
  • What do you spend most of your time doing?
  • Where did you live in the past 5 years?

Based on these questions, you can create sentences that tell a bit more about yourself. For example:

  • Eu comecei a aprender Português há três anos. (“I started learning Portuguese three years ago.”)
  • Eu me mudei para o Brasil porque o meu marido é brasileiro. (“I moved to Brazil because my husband is Brazilian.”)
  • Eu gosto de conhecer novas culturas e aprender novas línguas. (“I like to get to know new cultures and learn new languages.”)

  • Eu gosto de correr e nadar. (“I like to run and swim.”)
  • Cozinhar é uma das minhas paixões. (“Cooking is one of my passions.”)
  • Estou aprendendo a… (“I’m learning to…”)

  • Eu trabalho no centro da cidade. (“I work downtown.”)
  • Eu estudo de manhã e trabalho de tarde. (“I study in the morning and work in the afternoon.”)
  • Estou aposentado. (“I’m retired.”)

  • Eu nasci na Inglaterra, mas morei muitos anos nos Estados Unidos. (“I was born in England but lived in the United States for many years.”)
  • Antes de vir para o Brasil, nunca tinha saído da minha cidade. (“Before coming to Brazil, I had never left my city.”)
  • Já morei em 4 países diferentes. (“I’ve lived in 4 different countries.”)

3 – Examples of Conversation Cheat Sheets

Now it’s time to put it all together. Your language profile for some informal self-introductions can look something like this:

Oi! Eu sou a Maria. Eu sou francesa, mas me mudei para o Brasil no ano passado. Eu tenho 28 anos, e estou fazendo o meu PhD no Rio de Janeiro. Já passeei bastante pela cidade, mas agora quero conhecer outros lugares no país. Amo viajar e conhecer pessoas novas. Também gosto de praticar português!
“Hi! I am Maria. I’m French, but I moved to Brazil last year. I’m 28 years old, and I’m doing my Ph.D. in Rio de Janeiro. I’ve been around the city a lot, but now I want to know other places in the country. I love traveling and meeting new people. I also like to practice Portuguese!”

Olá, prazer em te conhecer. Meu nome é Marc e tenho 40 anos. Eu venho da Austrália, e estou viajando pela América do Sul. Já estou estudando português há dois anos, desde que conheci minha namorada. Temos um cachorro e um gato, mas eles ficaram em casa enquanto viajamos. Quando não estou no escritório, onde trabalho em Marketing, gosto de escutar música latina e de surfar. 
“Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Marc, and I am 40 years old. I come from Australia, and I’m traveling around South America. I’ve been studying Portuguese for two years now, since I met my girlfriend. We have a dog and a cat, but they stayed at home while we traveled. When I’m not at the office, where I work in Marketing, I like listening to Latin music and surfing.”

Oi, tudo bem? Eu sou a Alice. Sou professora de inglês e trabalho online. Em alguns anos eu vou me aposentar, e então quero viajar pelo Brasil e Portugal. Por isso, comecei a estudar português no meu tempo livre. Além disso, gosto de visitar meus filhos e meus netos, fazer caminhadas no parque e assistir filmes estrangeiros. Também gosto de ler biografias e livros de ficção histórica.
“Hi, how are you? I’m Alice. I’m an English teacher and I work online. In a few years I’m going to retire, and then I want to travel around Brazil and Portugal. That’s why I started studying Portuguese in my spare time. Also, I enjoy visiting my children and grandchildren, taking walks in the park, and watching foreign movies. I also enjoy reading biographies and historical fiction books.”

And here is an extra example for more formal situations:

Olá, como vai? Prazer em conhecê-lo/conhecê-la. Meu nome é Andrew. Acabo de chegar no Brasil por motivos de trabalho. Ainda não conheço bem a cidade, então adoraria receber algumas dicas de locais para visitar. Quando não estou no escritório, gosto de ler, pintar e ir à praia. E é claro, estou sempre buscando formas de melhorar o meu português. 
“Hello, how are you? Nice to meet you (masculine ad feminine forms). My name is Andrew. I just arrived in Brazil for work reasons. I still don’t know the city well, so I’d love to get some tips on places to visit. When I’m not at the office, I like to read, paint and go to the beach. And, of course, I am always looking for ways to improve my Portuguese.”


Three Women on a Couch, Smiling

With your own language profile, you will feel more confident!

2. Learn Portuguese Reactions 

Reaction words and phrases are important to create a dynamic conversation and show the other person you care about what they say. Use the right ones at the right times, and be seen as a great listener!

That’s Exciting!

Q: Vou passar as férias no Rio de Janeiro. (“I’m going to spend my vacation in Rio de Janeiro.”)

A: Legal, aproveite muito! (“Cool, enjoy it a lot!”)
A: Que demais! Você vai gostar, tenho certeza. (“How awesome! You’ll like it, I’m sure.”)

Disbelief and surprise

Q: Ele perdeu a carteira ontem. (“He lost his wallet yesterday.”)

A: Sério? Que dor de cabeça! (“Seriously? What a headache!”)
A: Meu Deus, outra vez? Não pode ser! (“My God, again? It can’t be!”)
A: É mesmo? E agora, o que ele vai fazer? (“Really? And what is he going to do now?”)

Bad news

Q: Não fui bem na prova. (“I didn’t do well in the exam.”)

A: Poxa, sinto muito. (“Oh no, I’m sorry.”)
A: Ah, que pena! Como você está se sentindo? (“Oh, what a pity! How are you feeling?”)

Poxa is a common interjection for disappointment or surprise.

Annoyance

Q: O carro está na oficina mais uma vez. (“The car is in the shop once more.”)

A: Que droga, não vamos poder passear hoje então. (“Shoot, we’re not going to be able to walk today then.”)
A: Que saco, esse carro sempre tem algum problema. (“Darn it, this car always has a problem.”)

    ➜ There are many other reaction words and expressions you can use in Portuguese. Check out this blog article on Intermediate Portuguese Phrases for much more!

An Angry Man Holding His Laptop, with Smoke Coming Out of His Ears.

Que droga! (“Shoot!”)

3. Portuguese Filler Words

Filler words can help make you sound like a native speaker if used right. They make the speech sound a bit more natural and alive. Another bonus: filler words give you time to think about what to say next, which is always helpful! 

Just be careful not to overuse those words. Native speakers sometimes fall into this trap and punctuate every sentence with slang or filler words, which can be unnerving for anyone listening. Try to use it sparsely at first. As you become more used to speaking Portuguese, you will find the right balance for you!

TipoEnglish equivalent: “Like”
Ela quer comprar um vestido, tipo, um vestido chique. (“She wants to buy a dress, like, a fancy dress.”)
Tipo… Não sei, as coisas estão estranhas. (“Like… I don’t know, things are weird.”)

BomEnglish equivalent: “Well”
Bom, nesta história, ninguém é santo. (“Well, in this story, no one is a saint.”)
Bom… Podemos sair mais tarde, mas agora não posso. (“Well… We can go out later, but now I can’t.”)

EntãoEnglish equivalent: “So”, “well”
E então, novidades? (“So, any news?”)
Então, eu já tentei falar com ele. (“Well, I already tried talking to him.”)

Ééé…English equivalent: “Uh…”
Ééé… vou tomar um café puro. (“Uh… I’ll have a black coffee.”)
Vamos visitar a… ééé… esqueci o nome dela. (“We are going to visit… uh… I forgot her name.”)

English equivalent: “You know”, “right”
Não é uma situação fácil, né. (“It’s not an easy situation, right.”)
Eu já esperava esta reação, né. (“I already expected this reaction, you know.”)


A Man Thinking, with His Finger on His Chin

Ééé… não sei. Bom… (“Uh… I don’t know. Well…”)

4. Common Questions and Answers in Portuguese

When meeting new people, you can be sure there will be many questions and answers being exchanged. Even with old friends, questions are the perfect way to keep the conversation interesting. That’s why it is a good idea to be comfortable with common Portuguese questions and different ways to answer them.

In this article, we are focusing on easy-to-use structures and many real-life sentences. But if you need to review the theory behind the phrases presented here, be sure to read our complete guides, which you can find for free on PortuguesePod101. A good starting point is the blog article on Portuguese Questions and Answers.

“What’s your name?”

Q: Qual é o seu nome? (“What’s your name?”)
Q: Como você se chama? (“What are you called?”)

A: Eu sou a Maria (“I’m Maria.”)
A: Eu me chamo Luís. (“I’m called Luís.”)

“How are you?”

Q: Como você está? (“How are you?”, more formal)
Q: Tudo bem? (“All right?”, more casual)

A: Estou bem, obrigada. (“I am well, thank you.”, spoken by a female speaker).
A: Tudo bem, e você? (“All good, and you?”)

“Where are you from?”

Q: De onde você é? (“Where are you from?”)
Q: Onde você nasceu? (“Where were you born?”)

A: Eu sou australiano. (“I’m Australian.”, spoken by a male speaker)
A: Eu nasci em Tóquio, no Japão. (“I was born in Tokyo, in Japan.”)

“How long have you been studying Portuguese?”

Q: Você estuda português há quanto tempo? (“How long have you been studying Portuguese?”)
Q: Quando você começou a estudar português? (“When did you start studying Portuguese?”)

A: Já faz três anos. (“It’s been three years.”)
A: Eu comecei a aprender português em 2019. (“I started learning Portuguese in 2019.”)

“Why are you learning Portuguese?”

Q: Por que você está aprendendo português? (“Why are you learning Portuguese?”)

A: Porque eu acho que é uma língua linda. (“Because I think it’s a beautiful language.”)
A: Porque quero morar no Brasil. (“Because I want to live in Brazil.”)

“What are you doing?”

Q: O que você está fazendo? (“What are you doing?”)
Q: Você vai fazer alguma coisa hoje? (“Are you going to do something today?”)

A: Agora eu estou trabalhando. (“Now I am working.”)
A: Hoje eu vou encontrar alguns amigos. Você quer ir? (“Today I’m going to meet some friends. You want to go?”)


Three Men in a Bar, Holding Beers and Cheering

– O que você vai fazer hoje? (“What are you doing tonight?”)
Vou no bar com um amigo. (“I’ll go to a bar with a friend.”, informal)

5. Portuguese Conversation Starters

We can also use a little help with getting conversations started with strangers, even in our mother tongues. When learning another language, things become a bit harder, as we try to remember particular words, the right grammar structure, and the correct pronunciation.

But don’t worry! By learning some handy Portuguese conversation starters, you’ll always have something to say. The best part is that you can practice these sentences ahead of time and use them whenever you have the chance. Depending on the situation, you can change these ready-to-use sentences to fit your conversation. 

Some examples:

  • Você conhece o Marcos? Você conhece a Alice?
    “Do you know Marcos?”, masculine name
    “Do you know Alice?”, feminine name
  • No que você trabalha?
    “What do you do for work?”

  • Hoje é o meu primeiro dia trabalhando aqui. E você, faz quanto tempo que você trabalha aqui?
    “This is my first day working here. And you, how long have you been working here?”

  • De que tipo de música você gosta?
    “What type of music do you like?”

  • Quanto tempo! Como está tudo?
    “It’s been so long! How is everything going?”
  • Você tem planos para o fim de semana? Vamos fazer alguma coisa!
    “Do you have plans for the weekend? Let’s do something!”

    ➜ If you need more Portuguese conversation starters for your first day in a new school or workplace, first dates, reaching out to friends and more, take a look at this complete article on Conversation Starters by PortuguesePod101.

6. Best Ways to Improve Your Conversation Skills

1 – Listen to a lot of Portuguese

Listening is one of the best ways to improve your speaking skills. Use podcasts, TV shows, YouTube, audio and video lessons… whatever you can – and like – do to get exposure. It is important that you like it, as it will make it easier for you to stick with it. 

It might help you if you try to listen to the kind of Portuguese you are interested in. If you want to move to Portugal, focus on European Portuguese media. If you love the culture of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there are many YouTube channels of cariocas (people from Rio). 

2 – Go Beyond Listening

While watching or listening to Portuguese content, there are some things you can do to improve your pronunciation and conversation skills. For example, give shadowing a try. Repeat after the native speakers, saying it out loud. You can even record yourself and listen back to see what needs to be improved. 

You can also use extensions and plugins to see subtitles when watching videos or change speed. This way, you can see how certain expressions and slang are written and then keep a list you can refer back to. 

3 –  Be (A Little) Prepared

Do you know that feeling of knowing exactly what you want to say, but the words keep escaping you? It can be so frustrating! When learning a language, this lack of vocabulary can be a major bottleneck. So it is a good idea to improve your vocabulary, either by reading, watching Portuguese media, or using the free PortuguesePod101 vocab lists. And of course, have your language profile and cheat sheets close by to use whenever the situation arises! 

4 – Speak Even If Not Ready

It’s very common to feel like you are not ready to speak in Portuguese while still learning. But the truth is, nothing helps you to improve your speaking skills as much as just doing it. So yes, even if it is scary at first, go for it! By engaging in conversation, you’ll learn from your mistakes, become quicker on your feet, and develop more confidence.

If you are living in a place where Portuguese is spoken, perfect. Try to speak the language in the grocery store, the doctor, co-workers… But if you can’t talk with native speakers, fret not! Nowadays, you can pick and choose from a variety of online services to connect with other Portuguese learners or speakers.

When chatting in Portuguese, don’t shy away from feedback. Ask your conversation partner or friend to give you pointers on what to improve. Trust us, it will help a lot, even if it is a bit uncomfortable at first.

Now, if you want to take it to the next level, you can look into learning Portuguese with a private teacher, in person or online. For example, with Premium PLUS on PortuguesePod101, you can have 1-on-1 Interactions with your personal teacher, guidance and ongoing assessment, and your own personalized learning program!

Nine People Hugging, Smiling and Looking at the Camera

Improve your Portuguese conversation skills and make new friends!

7. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

In this guide, we covered many ways to improve your Portuguese Conversation skills. From having a handy Language Profile to help you with self-introductions to the most useful fillers and conversation starters, we hope you are prepared to speak a lot more Portuguese! Whenever you need to get out of a conversation rut, feel free to come back to this article and try out our tips. 

What did you think of this guide? Are you feeling inspired to go out and chat with other Portuguese learners? Do you think we missed any useful tips and conversation starters? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

Now, continue learning Portuguese with the hundreds of free Portuguese resources and the many 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, members of PortuguesePod101.com get access to the largest language lesson library in the world, with thousands of real lessons by real teachers. With Premium PLUS, you will have your own personalized learning program with weekly assignments based on your needs. Perfect for anyone who wants to learn from anywhere, feel motivated, and be ready to speak Portuguese with confidence. And in the meantime, continue exploring PortuguesePod101!

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Portuguese Conversation Starters to Always Break the Ice

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Imagine the scene. You just greeted the host of a dinner party you were invited to. After gifting him a nice bottle of his favorite drink, he tells you to mingle and have fun while he finalizes everything in the kitchen. The only problem is, you don’t know anyone there besides the host! You look around and see the other guests already chatting and laughing. What now?

This scene might make you nervous, especially when you need to speak in a different language. But if you learn conversation starters in Portuguese, you will make your life much easier! You will have go-to sentences you can use to break the ice and avoid awkward silences when meeting people. 

In this article, we will cover basic Portuguese conversation starters for various situations: parties and social events, being in a new job and a new school, first dates, and reconnecting with friends. Once we are done, you’ll know what to say to ask for help, give compliments, learn a bit about the other person and just get conversations started!

Group of Friends Making a Toast and Smiling

Always have something to say – and get the conversation going!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Meeting People in Brazil
  2. Start Conversations at Parties and Social Gatherings
  3. Conversation Starters to Use at Your New Job
  4. Meeting People at a New School
  5. Portuguese Conversation Starters for First Dates
  6. Conversation Starters to Use With Friends
  7. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. Meeting People in Brazil

The first thing you need to know is that Brazilians love parties and get-togethers. It’s very common to have barbecues on the weekends, organize several parties to celebrate a birthday, or get invited for an impromptu dinner. 

In general, Brazilians also tend to be social and curious about new people – especially if you are learning Portuguese! So more likely than not, they will approach you and get the conversation started. But, of course, not everyone is the same. That’s why it is a good idea for you to learn how to break the ice and have handy conversation starters for different situations.

You also should remember the basic Portuguese words and greeting phrases that can always be used. Here is a quick recap:

  • Olá! (“Hello!”)
  • Oi! (“Hi!”)
  • Tudo bem? (literally, “All well?” use it as an informal way of asking “How are you?”)
  • Como você está? (“How are you?”)
  • Prazer em te conhecer! (“Nice to meet you!”)
  • Prazer! (literally “Pleasure”, a shorter way of saying “Nice to meet you”.)

2. Start Conversations at Parties and Social Gatherings

Let’s go back to the scenario in the first paragraph. You are in a gathering with a bunch of people you don’t know. Why not start with the things you have in common, for example, knowing the host?

In Portuguese, the easiest way to do that is by referring to the host by name. For example:

  • Você conhece o João? (“Do you know João?”)
    Você conhece a Maria? (“Do you know Maria?”)
  • Como você conheceu o Carlos? (“How did you meet Carlos?”)

After that, you can branch out to different topics of conversation, talking about the place or the things going on.

  • A casa da Luísa é linda, né? (“Luísa’s house is gorgeous, no?”)
  • O que você está bebendo? (“What are you drinking?”) 
  • O que você está comendo? Parece bom! (“What are you eating? It looks good!”) 
  • Aquele coquetel parece uma delícia, você sabe o que é? (“That cocktail looks delicious, do you know what is it?”) 
  • Eu vou pegar uma bebida. Você quer alguma coisa? (“I’ll go grab a drink. Do you want something?”) 
  • Você gosta deste tipo de festa? (“Do you like this type of party?”) 
  • A música está muito alta, você não acha? (“The music is too loud, don’t you think?”)

Finally, you can also get to know people better with these Portuguese conversation starters:

  • Onde você mora? (“Where do you live?”) 
  • Quanto tempo demorou pra você chegar aqui? (“How long did it take for you to get here?”)
  • No que você trabalha? (literally “In what do you work?”, meaning “what is your job?”)
  • Você estuda o quê? (“What do you study?”)

Five Friends Preparing Dinner and Laughing

Como você e a Marcela se conheceram? (“How did you and Marcela meet?”)


3. Conversation Starters to Use at Your New Job

First day at the new job? Congratulations! You’ll probably have some questions for your co-workers. Luckily, those questions will also be a great way to break the ice and build rapport.

These first sentences are big ones, but they are a combination of many useful phrases, which you can also use separately. Here are some basic Portuguese phrases for this kind of situation:

  • Oi, meu nome é [nome]. Hoje é o meu primeiro dia trabalhando aqui. Como eu posso te chamar? (“Hi, my name is [name]. It’s my first day here. How should I address you?”)
  • Com licença, eu sou novo aqui e não conheço o escritório muito bem. Onde posso encontrar o banheiro? (“Excuse me, I’m new and don’t really know my way around here. Where can I find the bathroom?”)
    • Instead of o banheiro (“the bathroom”), you can also say a lixeira (“the trash can”), o chefe (“the boss”), a Maria (“Maria”)… just remember to add the appropriate article before the noun.

Questions about work will be necessary as you get acquainted with the new office, your role, and the people you’re working with.

  • Você trabalha aqui há quanto tempo? (“How long have you been working here?”)
  • Eu trabalho em Recursos Humanos. E você? (“I work in Human Resources. And you?”)
  • Você trabalha em que andar? (“In which floor do you work?”)
  • Como o projeto está indo? (“How is the project going?”)

Conversations with co-workers don’t need to be only about work! So why not forge friendships by doing something together or asking about their weekend?

  • Posso almoçar com vocês? (“May I join you (plural) for lunch?”)
  • Quer pegar um café comigo? (“Do you want to go grab a coffee with me?”)
  • O que você vai fazer depois do trabalho hoje? Vamos tomar uma cerveja! (“What are you doing after work today? Let’s grab a beer!”)
  • E aí, como foi seu fim de semana? (“So, how was your weekend?”)


4. Meeting People at a New School

Starting to study at a new university or school can be just as intimidating as starting a new job. Many of the Portuguese conversation starters from the previous section can also be used to meet people at school. 

But there are some specific sentences you can also use in this scenario. Let’s take a look at some more phrases you might hear from Portuguese native speakers (or use yourself!):

  • Oi, eu sou a Milena. Hoje é o meu primeiro dia aqui. Qual é o seu nome? (“Hi, I’m Milena. It’s my first day here. What ‘s your name? ”)
  • Em que ano você está? (“What year are you in?”)
  • Eu estou no primeiro ano. (“I’m in my first year.”)
  • Você gosta da escola? (“Do you like the school?”)
  • O que você acha da universidade? (“What do you think of the university?”)
  • Licença, eu tô meio perdido aqui. Você sabe onde fica o auditório? (“Excuse me, I’m a bit lost here. Do you know where the auditorium is?”)
  • Posso sentar com vocês? (“Can I sit with you (plural)?”)
  • O que você está estudando? (“What are you studying?”)
  • Você tem aulas com o professor Marcos? (“Do you have classes with Professor Marcos?”)
  • Você está na mesma turma que a Maria? (“Are you in the same class as Maria?”)
  • Você já tem um grupo para a aula de Análise Financeira? (“Do you already have a group for the Financial Analysis class?”)

Students Taking Note During Class

Get to know your new colleagues at university or school!


5. Portuguese Conversation Starters for First Dates

Now that you’re settled in the country and have met your colleagues, maybe it’s time to go on some dates. First dates can be very awkward, and knowing how to avoid those weird moments with no conversation is a must-have skill. 

To help you along the way, you can get started with these basic Portuguese phrases once you greet your date: 

  • Desculpa o atraso. (“Sorry I was late.”) – hopefully, you won’t have to say that, though!
  • Eu gosto do seu sorriso. (“I like your smile.”)
  • Espero que você goste deste lugar. (“I hope you like this place.”)
  • Você quer ficar aqui ou andar um pouco? (“Do you want to stay here or go for a walk?”)

Once the first few minutes go by and you are warming up to each other, you can ask some objective questions to know more about your date:

  • Onde você nasceu? (“Where were you born?”)
  • Você cresceu onde? (“Where did you grow up? ”)
  • Você gosta de morar aqui? (“Do you like living here? ”)
  • Você tem irmãos? (“Do you have any siblings?”)
  • Você tem um pet? (“Do you have a pet?”)
  • O que você faz da vida? (“What do you do for a living?”)

If things go well, it’s a good idea to learn more about the other person’s interests and even ask some deeper questions.

  • De que tipo de música você gosta? (literally, “What type of music do you like?”, referring to one’s favorite musical genre)
  • Você faz algum esporte? (“Do you do any sports?”)
  • O que você gosta de fazer no seu tempo livre? (“What do you like to do in your free time?”)
  • Se você pudesse morar em qualquer lugar, onde seria? (“If you could live anywhere, where would it be?”)
  • Qual foi o encontro mais estranho que você já teve? (“What was the weirdest date you’ve been on? ”)

Man Holding a Cup of Hot Drink and Smiling at a Woman

Eu gosto muito deste lugar, e você? (“I like this place a lot, what about you?”)


6. Conversation Starters to Use With Friends

Even when it comes to people we already know, sometimes it’s hard to know what to say, especially in a foreign language. Maybe you’re trying to reconnect with friends via social media or phone, or maybe you just really need to share some good gossip… whatever the case, these Portuguese conversation starter examples will help you get there!

To have long-lasting friendships, we need to keep in touch from time to time. So if it has been a while since you talked to a particular friend, send them a message saying:

  • Saudades de você! (“I miss you!”)
  • Faz tanto tempo que a gente não se vê! Como está indo? (“It’s been too long since we’ve seen each other! How is it going?”)
  • Quanto tempo! Me liga quando você tiver um tempo. (“It’s been a while! Give me a call when you have a chance.”)
  • Vamos fazer algo esta semana! (“Let’s do something this week!”)
  • Tenho novidades pra te contar. (“I have news to tell you.”)
  • Oi, o que você vai fazer este fim de semana? (“Hey, what do you have planned this weekend?”)

If the issue is not reconnecting, but mostly getting a chat going with a friend, the sentences below can be used.

  • Você não vai acreditar no que aconteceu! (“You won’t believe what happened! ”)
  • Tenho que te contar a coisa mais louca que me aconteceu. Quando a gente pode se ver? (“I’ve got to tell you the craziest thing that happened to me. When can we see each other?”)
  • Me ajuda! Que vestido fica melhor, o azul ou o roxo? (“Help! Which dress fits better, the blue or the purple one?”)
  • Quer ouvir uma piada? (“Want to hear a joke? ”)
  • Tenho uma fofoca pra te contar. (“I got a piece of gossip to tell you.”)
  • Feliz aniversário, amigo! (“Happy birthday, my friend!”), used to talk to a male friend.

Now, just be sure to put what you learned today to the test! You can try using those sentences in your next Portuguese conversation practice, writing a short dialogue, or even role-playing by yourself.

Two Women Sitting in the Couch

If it’s been a while since you saw a good friend, get back in touch with a text!

7. Continue Learning More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

We hope that you feel ready to start chatting left and right in Brazil, using the many Portuguese conversation starters showcased in this article! With over 60 options to choose from, you’ll be able to break the ice in all kinds of situations. Whether you need to meet new colleagues, make new acquaintances or rekindle the conversation with old friends, you will be ready to have a nice talk.

Do you feel you have learned how to start a conversation in Brazil? Do you think we missed any useful Portuguese words and phrases? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Continue your Portuguese language learning journey with the hundreds of free Portuguese resources and the many 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, 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. And in the meantime, continue exploring PortuguesePod101!

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Was this article helpful? Do you think you’ll be able to deal with the common situations that you might face as a new Portuguese learner? Let us know if you think we missed anything!

If you want to take your speaking and listening skills to the next level, be sure to continue studying Portuguese grammar and vocabulary. You can get started by using any of the vocabulary lists or other free resources on PortuguesePod101.com.

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 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!

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

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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