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Telling Time in Portuguese – Everything You Need to Know

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What’s your relationship with the clock like? Does it run your day from a morning alarm to a cut-off chime for bed, or are you more of a go-with-the-flow type, letting your mood and emotions decide how much you fall in line with time?

Understanding time in Portuguese is an important part of your studies. As humans, our lives are filled with habits and schedules. From waking up and going to work or gym, to missing rush hour traffic on our way home, we’re always aware of time. We have routines around coffee breaks, meetings, soccer games and vacations. In fact, time can seem rather capricious – going slowly, going fast, sometimes against us, other times on our side – like a force that has a life of its own.

In science, time is often referred to as a fourth dimension and many physicists and philosophers think that if we understood the physics of the universe, we would see that time is an illusion. We sense an ‘arrow’ or direction of time because we have memories, but really time is just a construct that humans have created to help make sense of the world. 

On the other hand, poets through the ages have written impassioned thoughts about time, depicting it as both a relentless thief and an immensely precious resource, not to be wasted at any cost.

Well, poets and scientists may have their views, but in our everyday lives there’s the question of practicality, isn’t there? I mean, if you have plans and want things to happen your way, there’s a certain amount of conforming to the human rules of time that you can’t avoid. 

In ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the prince has a rose that he falls in love with, and he tenderly protects it with a windscreen and places it under a glass dome on his tiny planet.  I love this quote from the book:  “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”  If we truly love something, we spend time with it and not a second of that time could ever be seen as wasted. I feel that way about horses, my children, travel and learning languages

With that in mind, I’d like to take you on a journey into ‘time’ from a Portuguese perspective. It’s fun, it’s informative and it’s a basic necessity if you’re learning the language – especially if you plan to travel. PortuguesePod101 has all the vocab you need to fall in love with telling time in Portuguese, and not a minute will be wasted.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Talking about Time in Portuguese
  2. How to Tell the Time in Portuguese
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about Time in Portuguese

As a traveler, your primary need for knowing how to read the hour in Portuguese will be for transportation schedules: the bus, train, airplane, ferry, taxi… whatever you plan to use to get from A to B, it won’t wait for you! Fortunately, it’s really not complicated. You already have a firm grasp of time in English and you know you’ll need to reset your watch and phone to the local time. Great – that means you’ll have the correct time on your person. 

We’re so used to just looking at our phones for the time, that it’s easy to take this convenience for granted and forget some travel basics: in a foreign country, times won’t always be written digitally. If you see the time written in words, it’ll be the same challenge to you as hearing it spoken: you’ll need to be familiar with the language. 

You may be surprised at how often ‘time’ comes into conversation. Learning the Portuguese terms for time will help you when you have to call a taxi, ask about opening and closing times of events and tourist attractions, restaurants and bars and even late-night food cafes.

My biggest annoyance when traveling is not being able to get coffee and amazingly, even at nice hotels this has happened more times than I care to think about. I’ll be up late planning something, writing my blog or chatting and when I go looking for coffee downstairs, I’m told the kitchen is closed or the ‘coffee lady’ has gone to sleep. Frustrating!

If you’re doing a homestay or at a youth hostel or backpackers, there will probably also be a limited timeframe for when you can grab dinner. Do you know how to ask when it’s time to eat in Portuguese? I’ve learned that it’s vital to know how to make my queries clearly understood to accommodation staff and for me to clearly understand their answers. Perfect your ‘time in Portuguese’ translations early on – you’ll thank me. 

At PortuguesePod101, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of Portuguese time words and phrases to get you going. 

Pedestrians in a city

1- Morning – manhã

Morning is the time when we wake up from our dreamworld, hopefully fully rested and restored; we brew the first delicious cup of coffee for the day and watch the sunrise as we prepare for another glorious twelve hours of life. No matter what happened the day before, a new morning is a chance to make everything right. 

I like these quiet hours for language practice, as my mind is clear and receptive to learning new things. I start by writing the Portuguese time, date and word of the day on my whiteboard, then get back under the covers for an engrossing lesson.

Time in the morning is written as AM or A.M., which stands for ante meridiem – meaning ‘before midday’ in Latin.

Person typing with coffee next to them

2- Evening – noite

Evening is the part of night when we’re still awake and doing things, winding down from the day. Whether you enjoy a tasty international dinner with friends, go out to see a show, or curl up on the couch with a Portuguese snack and your favorite TV series, evening is a good time to forget your worries and do something that relaxes you. If you’re checking in with your Facebook friends, say hi to us, too!  

Evening is also an ideal time to catch up on your Portuguese studies. The neighbourhood outside is likely to be quieter and time is yours, so grab a glass of wine or a delicious local tea, and see what’s new on your Mac App or Kindle

3- Daytime – dia

Daytime is defined as the period from early morning to early evening when the sun is visible outside. In other words: from sunrise to sunset.  Where you are in the world, as well as the season, will determine how many daylight hours you get. 

Interestingly, in locations north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, in summertime the sun does not sink below the horizon within a 24-hour period, bringing the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun.  You could only experience this in the north, though, because there aren’t any permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle.

4- Nighttime – noite

Nighttime is all the hours from sunset to sunrise and depending on where in the country you are, people may be partying all night, or asleep from full-dark. 

In the same northernmost and southernmost regions where you can experience a midnight sun, winter brings the opposite phenomenon: the polar night. Can you imagine a night that lasts for more than 24 hours? 

Girl sleeping; moon and starry sky

5- Hour – hora

An hour is a unit of time made up of 60 minutes and is a variable measure of one-24th of a day – also defined by geeks as 3 600 atomic seconds. Of all the ‘time’ words we use on a daily basis, the hour is the most important, as time of day is typically expressed in terms of hours. 

One of the interesting methods of keeping time that people have come up with is the hourglass. Although the origins are unclear, there’s evidence pointing to the hourglass being invented around 1000 – 1100 AD and one of the ways we know this, is from hourglasses being depicted in very old murals. These days, with clocks and watches in every direction we look, they’re really only used symbolically to represent the passage of time. Still – a powerful reminder of our mortality and to seize the day. In his private journal, the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, wrote: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

An hourglass with falling sand

6- Minute – minuto

Use this word when you want to say a more precise time and express minutes in Portuguese. A minute is a unit of time equal to one sixtieth of an hour, or 60 seconds. A lot can happen in the next 60 seconds. For example, your blood will circulate three times through your entire vascular system and your heart will pump about 2.273 litres of blood. 

7- O’clock – hora

We use “o’clock” when there are no minutes and we’re saying the exact hour, as in “It’s two o’clock.” In Portuguese, this is essentially the same as saying “hour.”

The term “o’clock” is a contraction of the term “of the clock”. It comes from 15th-century references to medieval mechanical clocks. At the time, sundials were also common timekeepers. Therefore, to make clear one was referencing a clock’s time, they would say something like, “It is six of the clock” – now shortened to “six o’clock”.

We only use this term when talking about the 12 hour clock, though, not the 24 hour clock (more on that later!) The 12-hour clock can be traced back as far as Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Both an Egyptian sundial for daytime use and an Egyptian water clock for nighttime use were found in the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep I. Dating to c.1500 BC, these clocks divided their respective times of use into 12 hours each. The Romans also used a 12-hour clock. Daylight was divided into 12 equal hours and the night was divided into four watches. 

These days, the internet has made it very easy to know what the time is in any part of the world.  Speaking of which, why not add the Portuguese time zone clock to your laptop?

Many different clocks

8- Half past – e meia

When the time is thirty minutes past the hour, in English we say “half past”. Just like the hour, the half-hour is universally used as an orientation point; some languages speak of 30 minutes before the hour (subtraction), whereas others speak of 30 minutes after the hour (addition). 

9- AM – da manhã

As mentioned earlier, AM is the abbreviation of the Latin ante meridiem and means before midday. Using ‘AM’ as a tag on your time simply tells people you’re speaking about a time in the morning. In some countries, morning is abbreviated to “AM” and you’ll see this on shop signs everywhere, announcing the opening hour. A typical shop sign might read something like this:

“Business hours are from 7AM to 6PM.” 

Woman in a shop, adjusting the shop sign

10- PM – da noite

PM is the abbreviation of the Latin post meridiem and means after midday. Along with ‘AM’, you’ll usually find ‘PM’ on store signs and businesses, indicating the closing hours. It’s advisable to learn the difference between the two, since some establishments might only have one or the other on the sign. For example, a night club sign might say: 

“Open from 10 PM until late.” 

11- What time is it now? – Que horas são agora?

Here’s a very handy question you should memorize, as you can use it in any situation where you don’t have your watch or phone on you. This could be on the beach, in a club, or if you’re stuck anywhere with a flat phone battery. It happens at home, so it can happen when you’re traveling! 

Woman on the phone, looking at her watch

12- One o’clock – uma hora

One o’clock, or 1 PM, is the average lunch time for many people around the world – at least, we try to get a meal in at some point between midday and 2 PM.  In terms of duration, the nations vary: Brazililans reportedly take the longest lunch breaks, averaging 48 minutes, whereas Greece reports an average break of only 19 minutes. Historically, Greeks were known for their very leisurely lunch breaks, so it just goes to show how fast the world is changing. If you’re curious about what to expect in Brazil, try asking our online community about lunch time in Portuguese.

13- Two o’clock – duas horas

In his last days, Napoleon Bonaparte famously spoke of “Two o’clock in the morning courage” – meaning unprepared, spontaneous  courage. He was talking about soldiers who are brave enough to tumble out of bed in an instant, straight into action, without time to think or strategize. Do you think you have what it takes? I’m pretty sure all mothers know this feeling!

14- Three o’clock – três horas

3 AM can be perceived as the coldest time of day and is not an hour we want to wake up, but meteorologists will tell you that the coldest time is actually half an hour after sunrise. Even though the sun is peeking over the horizon, the solar radiation is still weaker than the earth’s infrared cooling to space.

Clock pointing to 3 o'clock

15- Four o’clock – quatro horas

Do you know anyone who purposely gets up at 4 o’clock in the morning? As crazy as it sounds, there is something to be said for rising at 4 AM while the rest of the world sleeps. If you live on a farm, it might even be normal for you. I know that whenever I’m staying in the countryside, rising early is a lot easier, because there’s a satisfying reason to do so: watching a sunrise from a rooftop, with uninterrupted views, can’t be beat! It’s also likely that you’ll be woken by a cock crowing, or other animals waking to graze in the fresh pre-dawn air. 

In the world of business, you’ll find a small group of ambitious individuals – many entrepreneurs – who swear by the 4 o’clock in the morning rise. I’m not sure I like that idea, but I’d wake up at 4 AM if it was summer and I had my car packed for a vacation!

16- Five o’clock – cinco horas

What better way to signal the transition between work and play than the clock hands striking 5 o’clock? It’s the hour most working people look forward to each day – at least, those who get to stop working at 5 PM.  Meanwhile, millions of retired folks are taking out the wine glasses, as 5 PM is widely accepted as an appropriate time to pour the first glass. I don’t know how traditional your families are, but for as long as I’ve been alive, my grandparents have counted down the milliseconds to five o’clock, and the hour is announced with glee.

A sunset

17- Six o’clock – seis horas

This is the time many working people and school kids wake up in the morning. In many parts of the world, 6 o’clock is also a good time to watch the sunrise, go for a run or hit the hiking trails. 

18- Seven o’clock – sete horas

Health gurus will tell you that 7 o’clock in the morning is the best time to eat your first meal of the day, and 7 o’clock in the evening is the time you should eat your last meal. I’ve tried that and I agree, but it’s not always easy!

19- Eight o’clock – oito horas

8 o’clock in the morning is the time that most businesses open around the world, and the time most kids are in their first lesson at school – still full of energy and willing to participate. Interestingly, it’s also the time most babies are born in the world!  In the evening, 8 o’clock is many young children’s bedtime and the time for parents to watch the evening news. 

Smiling boy in school with his hand up

20- Nine o’clock – nove horas

It’s good to occasionally sleep late on a weekend and for me, this means waking up at 9 AM. If you’re traveling in Brazil and staying at a hotel, planning to sleep late means politely requesting to not be woken up by room service.

21- Ten o’clock – dez horas

10 o’clock in the morning is a popular time to conduct business meetings, and for first break time at schools. We’re usually wide awake and well into our day by then.  But what about the same hour at night? Modern people are often still awake and watching TV at 10 PM, but this isn’t exactly good for us. Experts say that the deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 PM and 2 AM, so we should already be sound asleep by ten o’clock. 

In advertising, have you ever noticed that the hands of the clock usually point to 10:10? Have a look next time you see a watch on a billboard or magazine. The reason? Aesthetics. Somehow, the human brain finds the symmetry pleasing. When the clock hands are at ten and two, they create a ‘smiley’ face and don’t cover any key details, like a logo, on the clock face. 

22- Eleven o’clock – onze horas

When I see this time written in words, it makes me think of the hilarious Academy Award-winning very short film, “The Eleven O’Clock”, in which the delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes that he is actually the doctor. 

Then there’s the tradition of ‘elevenses’ – tea time at eleven o’clock in the morning. Strongly ingrained in British culture, elevenses is typically a serving of hot tea or coffee with scones or pastries on the side. It’s a great way to stave off hunger pangs before lunch time arrives. In fact, if you were a hobbit, ‘Elevenses’ would be your third meal of the day!

23- Twelve o’clock – doze horas

Twelve o’clock in the daytime is considered midday, when the sun is at its zenith and the temperature reaches its highest for that day; it’s written as 12 noon or 12 PM. In most parts of the world, though, this doesn’t happen at precisely 12 PM. ‘Solar noon’ is the time when the sun is actually at its highest point in the sky. The local or clock time of solar noon depends on the longitude and date. If it’s summertime, it’s advisable to stay in the shade during this hour – or at least wear good quality sunblock.

Midnight is the other ‘twelve o’clock’, of course. Midnight is written as 12 AM and is technically the first minute of the morning. On the 24-hour clock, midnight is written as 00:00. 

Sun at noon in a blue cloudy sky

2. How to Tell the Time in Portuguese

Telling the time

Using a clock to read the time in Brazil is going to be the same as in your own country, since you’re dealing with numbers and not words. You’ll know the time in your head and be able to say it in English, but will you be able to say it out loud in Portuguese? 

The first step to saying the time in Portuguese is knowing your numbers. How are you doing with that? If you can count to twelve in Portuguese, you’re halfway there! We’ve already covered the phrases you’ll need to say the exact hour, as in “five o’clock”, as well as how to say “half past”. What remains is the more specific phrases to describe what the minute hand is doing.

In everyday speech, it’s common to say the minutes past or before the hour. Often we round the minutes off to the nearest five. 

Then, there’s the 24-hour clock. Also known as ‘military time’, the 24-hour clock is used in most countries and, as such, is useful to understand. You’ll find that even in places where the 12-hour clock is standard, certain people will speak in military time or use a combination of the two.  No doubt you’ve also noticed that in written time, the 24-hour clock is commonly used.  One of the most prominent places you’ll have seen this is on airport flight schedules.

Airport flight schedule

Knowing how to tell military time in Portuguese is really not complicated if you know your numbers up to twenty-four. One advantage of using the 24-hour clock in Portuguese, is there’s no chance of confusing AM and PM.

Once you know how to say the time, it will be pretty easy to also write the time in Portuguese. You’re already learning what the different hours and minutes look and sound like, so give yourself some writing practice of the same. 

3. Conclusion

Now that you understand the vocabulary for telling time in Portuguese, the best thing you can do to really lock it down is to just practice saying Portuguese time daily. Start by replacing English with Portuguese whenever you need to say the time; in fact, do this whenever you look at your watch. Say the time to yourself in Portuguese and it will become a habit. When learning a new language, the phrases you use habitually are the ones your brain will acquire. It feels amazing when that turning point comes!

To help yourself gain confidence, why don’t you make use of our various apps, downloadable for iPhone and iPad, as well as Android? Choose what works best for you. In addition, we have so many free resources available to supplement your learning, that you simply can’t go wrong. Some of these are:

If you prefer watching your lessons on video, check out our YouTube channel – there are hundreds of videos to browse. For those of you with Roku, we also have a TV channel you can watch.

Well, it’s time for me to say goodbye and for you to practice saying the time in Portuguese. Look at the nearest clock and try to say the exact time, down to the seconds. See you again soon at PortuguesePod101!

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Essential Vocabulary for Directions in Portuguese

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Do you know your left from your right in Portuguese? Asking for directions can mean the difference between a heavenly day on the beach and a horrible day on your feet, hot and bothered and wondering how to even get back to the hotel. Believe me – I know! On my earlier travels, I didn’t even know simple terms like ‘go straight ahead’ or ‘go west,’ and I was always too shy to ask locals for directions. It wasn’t my ego, but rather the language barrier that held me back. I’ve ended up in some pretty dodgy situations for my lack of directional word skills.

This never needs to happen! When traveling in Brazil, you should step out in confidence, ready to work your Portuguese magic and have a full day of exploring. It’s about knowing a few basic phrases and then tailoring them with the right directional words for each situation. Do you need to be pointed south in Portuguese? Just ask! Believe me, people are more willing to help than you might think. It’s when you ask in English that locals might feel too uncertain to answer you. After all, they don’t want to get you lost. For this reason, it also makes sense that you learn how to understand people’s responses. 

Asking directions in Brazil is inevitable. So, learn to love it! Our job here at PortuguesePod101 is to give you the confidence you need to fully immerse and be the intrepid adventurer you are.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Portuguese Table of Contents
  1. Talking about position and direction in Portuguese
  2. Getting directions in Portuguese
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about position and direction in Portuguese

Have you ever tried saying the compass directions of north, south, east and west in Portuguese? These words are good to know, being the most natural and ancient method of finding direction. In the days before GPS – before the invention of the compass, even – knowing the cardinal directions was critical to finding the way. Certainly, if you were lost somewhere in the mountain regions now and using a map to navigate, you’d find them useful. Even more so if you and a Portuguese friend were adrift at sea, following the stars!

In most situations, though, we rely on body relative directions – your basic up, down, left and right, forward and backwards. Most cultures use relative directions for reference and Portuguese is no exception. Interestingly, in a few old languages there are no words for left and right and people still rely on cardinal directions every day. Can you imagine having such a compass brain?

A black compass on a colored map

Well, scientists say that all mammals have an innate sense of direction, so getting good at finding your way is just a matter of practice. It’s pretty cool to think that we were born already pre-wired to grasp directions; the descriptive words we invented are mere labels to communicate these directions to others! Thus, the need to learn some Portuguese positional vocabulary. So, without further ado… let’s dive in.

1- Top – topo

If planting a flag at the top of the highest mountain in Brazil is a goal you’d rather leave for  adrenaline junkies, how about making it to the top of the highest building? Your view of the city will be one you’ll never forget, and you can take a selfie  for Twitter with your head in the clouds. 

man on the top rung of a ladder in the sky, about to topple off

2- Bottom – fundo

The ‘bottom’ can refer to the lower end of a road, the foot of a mountain, or the ground floor of a building. It’s the place you head for after you’ve been to the top!

What are your favorite ‘bottoms’? I love the first rung of a ladder, the base of a huge tree or the bottom of a jungle-covered hill. What can I say? I’m a climber. Divers like the bottom of the ocean and foxes like the bottom of a hole. Since you’re learning Portuguese, hopefully you’ll travel from the top to the bottom of Brazil.

3- Up – cima

This is a very common and useful word to know when seeking directions. You can go up the street, up an elevator, up a cableway, up a mountain… even up into the sky in a hot air balloon. It all depends on how far up you like to be!

Hot air balloons in a blue cloudy sky

4- Down – baixo

What goes up, must surely come down. This is true of airplanes, flaming arrows and grasshoppers – either aeronautics or gravity will take care of that. In the case of traveling humans who don’t wish to go down at terminal velocity, it’s useful to know phrases such as, “Excuse me, where is the path leading back down this mountain?”

5- Middle – meio

In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s characters live in Middle-earth, which is just an ancient word for the inhabited world of men; it referred to the physical world, as opposed to the unseen worlds above and below it. The ancients also thought of the human world as vaguely in the middle of the encircling seas.

When we talk about the ‘middle’, we’re referring to a point that’s roughly between two horizontal lines – like the middle of the road or the middle of a river. While you’re unlikely to ask for directions to the ‘middle’ of anything, you might hear it as a response. For example, “You’re looking for the castle ruins? But they’re in the middle of the forest!”

Castle ruins in a forest

6- Center – centro

Although similar in meaning to ‘middle’, this word is more specific. Technically, it means the exact central point of a circular area, equally distant from every point on the circumference.  When asking for directions to the center of town, though, we don’t mean to find a mathematically-accurate pinpoint!

Bull’s eye on a dartboard

7- Front – frente

The front is the place or position that is seen first; it’s the most forward part of something.  In the case of a hotel, the front is going to be easy to recognize, so if you call a taxi and are told to wait “in front of the hotel”, you won’t have a problem. It’s pretty cool how just knowing the main Portuguese directional words can help you locate something if there’s a good landmark nearby.

8- Back – atrás

I once rented a house in a charming little street that was tucked away at the back of a popular mall. It was so easy to find, but my boss took three hours to locate it from 300 meters away. Why? Well, because she spoke no English and I had no clue what the word for ‘back’ was. All she heard, no matter which way I said it, was “mall, mall, mall”.  As a result, she hunted in front of and next to the mall until she was frazzled. 

Knowing how to describe the location of your own residence is probably the first Portuguese ‘directions’ you should practice. This skill will certainly come in handy if you’re lost and looking for your way home. 

9- Side – lado

If the place you’re looking for is at the ‘side’ of something, it will be located to the left or the right of that landmark. That could mean you’re looking for an alleyway beside a building, or a second entrance (as opposed to the main entrance). 

As an example, you might be told that your tour bus will be waiting at the right side of the building, not in front. Of course, then you’ll also need to understand “It’s on the right” in Portuguese.

Jeepney taxi parked at the side of a building

10- East – leste

If you’re facing north, then east is the direction of your right hand. It’s the direction toward which the Earth rotates about its axis, and therefore the general direction from which the sun appears to rise. If you want to go east using a compass for navigation, you should set a bearing of 90°. 

We think of Asia as the ‘East’. Geographically, this part of the world lies in the eastern hemisphere, but there’s so much more that we’ve come to associate with this word. The East signifies ancient knowledge and is symbolic of enlightenment in many cultures.

Monks reading on a boulder in front of a Buddha statue

11- West – oeste

West is the opposite to east and it’s the direction in which the sun sets. To go west using a compass, you’ll set a bearing of 270 degrees. 

If you were on the planet Venus, which rotates in the opposite direction from the Earth (retrograde rotation), the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east… not that you’d be able to see the sun through Venus’s opaque clouds. 

Culturally, the West refers mainly to the Americas and Europe, but also to Australia and New Zealand, which are geographically in the East. The Western way of thinking is very different to that of the East. One of the most striking differences is individualism versus collectivism. In the West, we grew up with philosophies of freedom and independence, whereas in the East concepts of unity are more important. 

Food for thought: as a traveler who’s invested in learning the languages and cultures of places you visit, you have an opportunity to become a wonderfully balanced thinker – something the world needs more of.

12- North – norte

North is the top point of a map and when navigating, you’d set a compass bearing of 360 degrees if you want to go that way. Globes of the earth have the north pole at the top, and we use north as the direction by which we define all other directions.

If you look into the night sky, the North Star (Polaris) marks the way due north. It’s an amazing star, in that it holds nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole – the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Definitely a boon for lost travelers!

The North Star with the Big Dipper in a night sky

13- South – sul

South is the opposite of north, and it’s perpendicular to the east and west. You can find it with a compass if you set your bearings to 180 degrees. 

The south celestial pole is the point around which the entire southern sky appears to turn. In the night sky of the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross is a very easy to find constellation with four points in the shape of a diamond. If you come from the southern hemisphere, chances are your dad or mum pointed it out to you when you were a kid. You can use the Southern Cross to find south if traveling by night, so it’s well worth figuring it out!

14- Outside – fora

This word refers to any place that is not under a roof. Perhaps you’ve heard talk about some amazing local bands that will be playing in a nearby town on the weekend. If it’s all happening outside, you’ll be looking for a venue in a park, a stadium or some other big open space. Come rain or shine, outside definitely works for me!

A young woman on someone’s shoulders at an outdoor concert

15- Inside – dentro

I can tolerate being inside if all the windows are open, or if I’m watching the latest Homeland episode. How about you? I suppose going shopping for Portuguese-style accessories would be pretty fun, too, and that will (mostly) be an inside affair. 

16- Opposite – oposto

This is a great word to use as a reference point for locating a place. It’s right opposite that other place! In other words, if you stand with your back to the given landmark, your destination will be right in front of you. 

17- Adjacent – próximo

So, the adorable old man from next door, who looks about ninety-nine, explains in Portuguese that the food market where he works is adjacent to the community hall on the main road. ‘Adjacent’ just means next to or adjoining something else, so… head for the hall! 

While you’re marveling at the wondrous and colorful displays of Portuguese food, think about how all of these delicious stalls lie adjacent to one another. Having a happy visual association with a new word is a proven way to remember it!

Outdoor food market fruit display

18- Toward – em direção a

To go toward something is to go in its direction and get closer to it. This word can often appear in a sentence with ‘straight ahead’, as in:

“Go straight ahead, toward the park.”

If you’ve come to Brazil to teach English, you might have to ask someone how to find your new school. Depending on what town you’re in, you could simply head toward the residential area at lunch time. You’ll see (and probably hear) the primary school soon enough – it will be the big fenced building with all the kids running around the yard!

19- Facing – de frente para

If you look at yourself in a mirror, you’ll be facing your reflection. In other words: you and your reflection look directly at each other.  Many plush hotels are ocean-facing or river-facing, meaning the main entrance is pointed directly at the water, and the beach out front faces the hotel. 

20- Beside – ao lado

I know of a special little place where there’s a gym right beside a river. You can watch the sun go down over the water while working out – it’s amazing. What’s more, you can park your scooter beside the building and it will still be there when you come out.

21- Corner – esquina

I love a corner when it comes to directions. A street corner is where two roads meet at an angle – often 90 degrees – making it easier to find than a location on a straight plane. 

“Which building is the piano teacher in, sir?”

“Oh, that’s easy – it’s the one on the corner.”

The key to a corner is that it leads in two directions. It could form a crossroads, a huge intersection, or it could be the start of a tiny one-way cobblestone street with hidden treasures waiting in the shadow of the buildings.

A white and yellow building on the corner of two streets

22- Distant – distante

When a location is distant, it’s in an outlying area. This Portuguese word refers to the remoteness of the site, not to how long it takes to get there. For that reason, it’s a very good idea to write the directions down, rather than try to memorize them in Portuguese. Even better, get a Portuguese person to write them down for you. This may seem obvious, but always include the location of your starting point! Any directions you’re given will be relative to the exact place you’re starting from.

Man lost on a dusty road, looking at a road map and scratching his head

23- Far – longe

This word has a similar meaning to the previous one, but it speaks more about the fact that it will take some time to get there. If you’re told that your destination is “far”,  you’ll no doubt want to go by public transport if you don’t have your own vehicle. Get your hands on a road map and have the directions explained to you using this map. Don’t hesitate to bring out the highlighters. 

24- Close – perto

This word is always a good one to hear when you have your heart set on a very relaxing day in the sun. It means there’s only a short distance to travel, so you can get there in a heartbeat and let the tanning commence. Remember to grab your Nook Book – learning is enhanced when you’re feeling happy and unencumbered. Being close to ‘home’ also means you can safely steal maximum lazy hours and leave the short return trip for sunset! 

A smiling woman lying in a hammock on the beach

25- By – por

This word identifies the position of a physical object beside another object or a place. A Bed and Breakfast can be ‘by the sea’ if it’s in close proximity to the sea. 

‘By’ can also be used to describe the best mode of transport for your route, as in:

“You can get there by bus.”

26- Surrounding – rodeado

If something is surrounding you, it is on every side and you are enclosed by it – kind of like being in a boat. Of course, we’re not talking about deep water here, unless you’re planning on going fishing. Directions that include this word are more likely to refer to the surrounding countryside, or any other features that are all around the place you’re looking for.

A polar bear stuck on a block of ice, completely surrounded by water.

27- All sides – todos os lados

Another useful descriptive Portuguese term to know is ‘all sides’. It simply means that from a particular point, you will be able to see the same features to the front, back and sides of you. It doesn’t necessarily imply you’ll be completely surrounded, just more-or-less so. Say, for example, you’re visiting the winelands for the day. When you get there, you’ll see vineyards on all sides of you. How stunning! Don’t neglect to sample the local wines – obviously. 

28- Next to – perto de

The person giving you directions is probably standing next to you. The place being described as ‘next to’ something is in a position immediately to one side of it. It could refer to adjoining buildings, neighbouring stores, or the one-legged beggar who sits next to the beautiful flower vendor on weekdays. ‘Next to’ is a great positional term, as everything is next to something! 

“Excuse me, Ma’am.  Where is the train station?”

“It’s that way – next to the tourist market.”

29- Above – acima

This is the direction you’ll be looking at if you turn your head upwards. Relative to where your body is, it’s a point higher than your head. If you’re looking for the location of a place that’s ‘above’ something, it’s likely to be on at least the first floor of a building; in other words, above another floor.

‘Above’ could also refer to something that will be visible overhead when you get to the right place. For example, the road you’re looking for might have holiday decorations strung up from pole to pole above it. In the cities, this is very likely if there’s any kind of festival going on.

View from below of a carnival swing, with riders directly above the viewer

30- Under – embaixo

Under is the opposite of above, and refers to a place that lies beneath something else. In the case of directions in Portuguese, it could refer to going under a bridge – always a great landmark – or perhaps through a subway. In some parts of the world, you can even travel through a tunnel that’s under the sea!

Of course, you might just be missing your home brew and looking for an awesome coffee shop that happens to be under the very cool local gym you were also looking for. Nice find!

2. Getting directions in Portuguese

The quickest and easiest way to find out how to get where you’re going is simply to ask someone. Most people on the streets of Brazil won’t mind being asked at all and will actually appreciate your attempt to ask directions in Portuguese. After all, most tourists are more inclined to ask in their own language and hope for the best. How pedestrian is that, though?

Asking directions

I know, I know – you normally prefer to find your own way without asking. Well, think of it like this: you obviously need to practice asking questions in Portuguese as much as you need to practice small talk, counting, or ordering a beer. Since you can’t very well ask a complete stranger if they would please help you count to five hundred, you’ll have to stick with asking directions!

We spoke earlier about body relative directions and these tend to be the ones we use most. For example:

“Turn left.”

“Go straight.”

“Turn right.” 

Remember, too, that your approach is important. Many people are wary of strangers and you don’t want to scare them off. It’s best to be friendly, direct and get to the point quickly.  A simple ‘Hi, can you help me?” or “Excuse me, I’m a bit lost,” will suffice. If you have a map in your hand, even better, as your intentions will be clear. 

The bottom line is that if you want to find your way around Brazil with ease, it’s a good idea to master these basic phrases. With a little practice, you can also learn how to say directions in Portuguese. Before you know it, you’ll be the one explaining the way!

3. Conclusion

Now that you have over thirty new directional phrases you can learn in Portuguese, there’s no need to fear losing your way when you hit the streets of Brazil. All you need is a polite approach and your own amazing smile, and the locals will be excited to help you. It’s a chance for them to get better at explaining things to a foreigner, too. Most will enjoy that!

I advise keeping a few things handy in your day pack: a street map, a highlighter, a small notebook and pen, and your Portuguese phrasebook. It would be useful to also have the Portuguese WordPower app installed on your phone – available for both iPhone and Android

Here’s a quick challenge to get you using the new terms right away. Can you translate these directions into Portuguese?

“It’s close. Go straight ahead to the top of the hill and turn left at the corner. The building is on the right, opposite a small bus stop.”

You’re doing amazingly well to have come this far! Well done on tackling the essential topic of ‘directions’ – it’s a brave challenge that will be immensely rewarding. Trust me, when you’re standing at a beautiful location that you found just by knowing what to ask in Portuguese, you’re going to feel pretty darn good.

If you’re as excited as I am about taking Portuguese to an even deeper level, we have so much more to offer you. Did you know that we’ve already had over 1 billion lesson downloads? I know – we’re blown away by that, too. It’s amazing to be bringing the world’s languages to people who are so hungry for learning. Let me share some of our best options for you:

  • If you haven’t done so already, grab your free lifetime account as a start. You’ll get audio and video lessons, plus vocabulary building tools. 
  • My favorite freebie is the word of the day, which will arrive in your inbox every morning. Those are the words I remember best!
  • Start listening to Portuguese music. I’m serious – it really works to make the resistant parts of the brain relax and accept the new language. Read about it here for some tips.
  • If you enjoy reading, we have some great iBooks for your daily commute.
  • If you have a Kindle and prefer to do your reading on a picnic blanket,  there are over 6 hours of unique lessons in Portuguese for you right there.

That’s it for today! Join PortuguesePod101 to discover many more ways that we can offer you a truly fun and enriching language learning experience. Happy travels!

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Você Merece Até a Lua: A Guide to Compliments in Portuguese

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Você merece até a lua. (“You’re so great, you deserve everything.” Literally: “You deserve the moon.”)

Few things can help your Portuguese thrive like bonding with native speakers. So what’s the first step in successfully expanding your communication with others? Learning compliments in Portuguese.

One doesn’t need to be “fake” to observe someone and identify personal traits worth mentioning. Compliments are not only a gateway to others’ attention, but also to their culture and habits—you need to formulate them correctly according to the context and local use.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to a compilation of European Portuguese compliments and compliments in Brazilian Portuguese. If you practice them enough, they may make the Portuguese more open to dialogue and the Brazilian more prone to cooperate.

Hopefully, the 20+ options in this article will provide you with a good initial reference as a beginner- or intermediate-level speaker. We’ll cover how to value someone’s work, how to compliment a girl in Portuguese, some other European and Brazilian Portuguese compliments, and the best way to deliver compliments in a Portuguese-speaking country.

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Table of Contents

  1. Complimenting Someone’s Look
  2. Complimenting Someone’s Work
  3. Complimenting Someone’s Skills
  4. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere
  5. What to Expect After Giving Compliments
  6. A raspa do tacho

1. Complimenting Someone’s Look

Before either person opens their mouth, one’s appearance can say a lot about them. In this vein, both girls and boys have a hard time resisting a good compliment in Portuguese! Looks aren’t everything, but they surely are something.

So how do you compliment someone in Portuguese about their looks? Here are some phrases you can remember:

  • Você é linda/lindo. (“You are beautiful/handsome.”)
  • Que bonita(o) está hoje. (“You look good today.”)
  • Você tem um sorriso lindo. (“You have a beautiful smile.”)
  • Você é muito charmoso(a). (“You’re very charming.”)
  • Você é estiloso(a). (“You’re stylish.”)
  • Que gatinho(a)! (“What a beauty!” Literally: “What a kitty!”)

A Black-and-white Cat against a White Background

(Que gatinha! [“What a kitty!”])

Many people struggle to come up with appropriate compliments for women in Portuguese. Pretty girls often get bored of being called pretty, for instance. Neither do people like to be judged only by their looks. So here are some more original ways to compliment a girl in Portuguese:

  • Seu ____ é muito giro. (“You’re wearing a very fine _______.”) — Portugal only.
  • Que elegância! (“You look elegant!”)
  • Você tem um ótimo senso de humor! (“You have a great sense of humor!”)
  • Adoro suas manias. (“I love your ways.” Literally: “I love your mania.”)
  • Você me inspira. (“You inspire me.”)
  • Você tem um coração lindo. (“You have a beautiful heart.”)

The following compliments aren’t strictly related to looks, but are examples of more original ways to compliment a girl in Portuguese.

You are the sunshine of my life.

Here’s a little selection for those who are madly in love. In any other context, these would sound cheesy. But in a moment of extreme intimacy and chemistry, just go for it.

  • Você me faz querer ser uma pessoa melhor. (“You make me want to be a better person.”)
  • Eu só tenho olhos para você. (“I only have eyes for you.”)
  • Sua beleza é enigmática. (“You have an enigmatic beauty.”)
  • Não existe nada que soe mal na sua voz. (“Nothing that is spoken in your voice sounds bad.”)

2. Complimenting Someone’s Work

Compliments in Portuguese are desirable in workplaces. Any manual on “how to be a boss” will recommend the reasonable use of compliments or the regular mentioning of employees’ best characteristics to motivate a team.

Not only is giving compliments a good management maneuver, but is there anything more flattering than receiving appreciation for a job well-done? That’s a very useful way to employ a compliment in Portuguese!

One Woman Supervising Another Woman on the Job

(Foi trabalho muito bem-feito! [“That was a very well-done job!”])

Giving a compliment in Portuguese about someone’s professional abilities is easier than flirting: the language is plain and the speaker only needs to worry about not sounding too informal.

  • Bom trabalho! (“Good job!”)
  • Matou dois coelhos com uma cajadada só! (“You were very efficient!” Literally: “You’ve killed two rabbits with only one stroke.” Equivalent to “kill two birds with one stone.”) — Less formal & Brazil only.
  • Meus parabéns! (“Congratulations!”)
  • Foi trabalho muito bem-feito! (“That was a very well-done job!”)
  • O seu currículo é impressionante! (“You have an impressive resumé!”)
  • Mandou bem! (“Good one!”) — Less formal

3. Complimenting Someone’s Skills

Compliments

Friendship is a rich source of compliments in Portuguese. Here are some Portuguese compliments to express your confidence in someone:

  • Você é um(a) ótimo(a) amiga(o)! (“You’re a great friend!”)
  • Estou contigo e não abro! (“You can count on me.” Literally: “I’m with you and won’t open.”) — Brazil only.
  • Você me faz feliz. (“You make me happy.”)
  • És muito fixe. (“You’re very nice.”) — Portugal only.

In more general situations, here are some common ways to compliment someone’s skills:

  • Você _______ muito bem! (“You are very good at ______!”)
  • Você é muito ________! (“You are very ______!”)

The blank in the second sentence can be filled with adjectives, such as:

  • Interessante (“Interesting”)
  • Forte (“Strong”)
  • Engraçado(a) (“Funny”)
  • Divertido(a) (“Fun”)
  • Sincero(a) (“Sincere”)
  • Atlético(a) (“Athletic”)
  • Alto astral (“Joyful”) — Informal.

Also, there are some types of compliments in Portuguese you can direct to people you’re not very close to in a social context. For instance, compliments to the chef in Portuguese:

  • Meus cumprimentos ao chefe! (“I send my compliments to the chef!”)
  • A comida estava excelente! (“The food was excellent!”)
  • Você cozinha como um profissional! (“You cook like a professional!”)

A Chef Chopping Vegetables

(Meus cumprimentos ao chefe! [“I send my compliments to the chef!”])

4. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere

Positive Feelings

This section relates more to the delivery of compliments in Portuguese than to the vocabulary itself. Here are some tips on how to compliment in Portuguese in a way that’s believable and meaningful:

  • Don’t be afraid to compliment too much, as long as your compliments are honest.
  • Only say what you truly mean—or at least what you can support rationally.
  • Don’t trade an interesting talk for cheap compliments.
  • Match the emotion of your voice with the message you’re sending.
  • Use proper posture. Look people in the eye while you give them compliments.

5. What to Expect After Giving Compliments

People in Brazil react differently to compliments in Portuguese than people in Portugal do. Apart from silly stereotypes, there are some cultural trends involved in this matter. Compliments in Portuguese culture are very interesting to get an initial reaction to, since the people here are more socially closed or shy than Brazilian people.

One might expect both Portuguese and Brazilian people to show appreciation for the compliment:

  • Obrigadinho! (“Thank you very much!”) — Portugal only.
  • São os seus olhos… (“It’s in your eyes…”)
  • Muito amável! (“Thanks!” Literally: “Very lovely!”)
  • Obrigado(a)! (“Thank you!”)
  • Valeu! (“Thanks!”) — Informal & Brazil only.

Then, the target of the compliment might respond with a reciprocal compliment.

Considering that compliments in Portuguese culture are a way of bonding, the reception of the compliment tends to be different in Portugal and Brazil.

For example, a stranger who offers too many compliments in a first conversation is more likely to make a Portuguese person feel uptight, while a Brazilian person would feel more comfortable. The Portuguese tend to be a little “colder,” while Brazilians might create a type of “instant intimacy.”

This intimacy is often fake, but it’s a common cultural trait to treat a friendly stranger nominally as a member of the family. That is, to make someone feel comfortable in social environments and make the conversation more interesting (or at least more bearable, in bad cases).

A Group of Women Surrounding an Older Man at a Picnic

(An apparent intimacy is sometimes only momentary…)

This might send the wrong message to a foreigner. For instance: a Brazilian who, in the first conversation, shares information that sounds too personal to a foreigner can be interpreted as real interest or flirting. Often, it means nothing, though.

Brazilian Portuguese compliments sometimes focus on things that Europeans would never mention. This piece of information is especially useful for flirty guys looking to compliment a girl in Portuguese. When getting in touch with the foreign culture, pay equal attention to the social dynamics and the compliments in Brazilian Portuguese.

Having said that, Portuguese people won’t usually react badly to compliments. They only take more time to establish confidence and are more literal in their approach. Compliments that are more specific will communicate better than broad ones.

6. A raspa do tacho

So, we’ve achieved a raspa do tacho—the end. This article has presented some of the most common and effective ways to give compliments in Portuguese.

Most of these are Brazilian Portuguese compliments, but can also be used in Portugal, Angola, and other Portuguese-speaking countries. This little guide will direct your steps toward success as you communicate with people from these countries.

Always remember that practice makes perfect, so you can always broaden your knowledge with new lessons, articles, audio files, and videos at PortuguesePod101.com.

Compliments in Brazilian Portuguese are a quick step to shorten distances between people. The most fascinating information about them actually shows up when the vocabulary is applied to real-life situations. The real dynamics with other cultures are very rich, and it’s where at least half of the interest in language use is.

What are common compliments in your language? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Beyond Portuguese Curse Words – Getting Angry in Portuguese

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Not everything will be hunky-dory during your visit to Brazil. When the time comes for you to express yourself, knowing a few angry phrases in Portuguese will be immensely helpful for you, especially if things get heated. Knowing these phrases will help you vocalize your anger or understand what’s being told to you in a not-so-happy fashion. But hey, there’s no need to shower anyone with Portuguese curse words!

While you can learn how to curse in Portuguese, the best way to express yourself in those heated moments is to have some milder angry phrases up your sleeve. Let’s help you with that!

It’s worth noting that some dirty words can be used in common sentences and be “stripped” of the profanity. But for now, let’s keep it simple. In our list below, we’ll only give one example of such a word.

With that, keep reading to learn how to let others know you’re angry in Brazilian Portuguese!

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Table of Contents

  1. Angry Imperatives
  2. Angry Warnings
  3. Describing How You Feel
  4. Conclusion: How to Calm Yourself Down When You’re Angry

1. Angry Imperatives

1- “Shut your mouth!”

It’s almost comical that in many languages, Portuguese included, one of the first angry phrases to come out always involves telling someone to zip it. It can be a little rude, sure, but sometimes it’s necessary to let it fly and not hide your feelings. To tell someone to shut up, you can say Cala a Boca!

It’s a literal translation, word per word. Simple and straightforward, and it leaves no need for Portuguese swearing. However, you still have to be really careful about when and how you use this phrase. Because if you let it slip at the wrong time or in the wrong way, it’s time to say sorry.

2- “Enough!”

You’ve had enough. To tell someone to stop what they’re doing in Portuguese, just say Chega!

You can use this phrase in many different scenarios. For example, when somebody is complaining a lot and you can’t take it anymore. All of us have a friend who won’t stop complaining about the night out, the bar, the music, the food. Or maybe you’ve had to travel or deal with kids who won’t stop running, crying, and screaming. When that happens, all you can say is… CHEGA!

Man Screaming

3- “Leave me in peace.”

This angry phrase is kind of like “Leave me alone,” but after saying this one, someone is more likely to just go and talk to someone else. To say this in Portuguese, it’s Me deixa em paz!

You’re infuriated with someone, and you really want them to know this. Paz is “peace,” and it can mean a lot of things in this case: being alone, continuing to do what you were doing, or even going to talk with somebody else.

4- “Get lost!”

The translation of vazamento is “leak,” but when you use vaza in an angry phrase, you’re telling someone to scram, get out, or disappear. It’s a colloquial expression to make it clear that you can’t stand that person and you want them to get lost.

2. Angry Warnings

Angry outbursts in Portuguese wouldn’t be complete without a few warning phrases to get started. Let’s see a few of the most common ones:

1- “Don’t be on top of me!”

You’re trying to establish some ground in an argument or discussion, and you don’t want anybody to mess with you. That’s when you say: Não vem para cima de mim!

The literal translation above gives a sense of what this phrase means in Portuguese, but the threatening tone is more like “Don’t mess with me.” If you say this, you’ll make it clear that this is your turf no matter what anyone else says.

You can mix some Portuguese curse words in here, and maybe you’ll hear that version. But trust me: keep it classy and the message will be the same.

2- “This is the last time I’ll say it!”

Mother Scolding Child

Every mom and dad in the world can relate to this sentence. In Portuguese, it’s the same structure: Esta é a última vez que eu vou falar!

After that, the only thing the kid can do is stop whatever he or she is doing.

3- “Not here!”

You’re explicitly saying that a certain action is forbidden in a determined place: Aqui não!

You can say or hear this Portuguese angry phrase in many situations. For example, a traffic officer warning you that you can’t park in a driveway; that’s a clear scenario. But you can also hear this phrase other times.

For example, when two teams are playing in a stadium and the home team wins, you can see a player telling the fans aqui não, meaning “not in our home.”

4- “I don’t want to see you even if you are painted in gold.”

In English, this one seems weird. But when you want to be crystal-clear about not wanting to see that person, you can say in Portuguese: Não quero te ver nem pintado de ouro!

It’s harsh, but it fits if you’ve had a bad breakup with your partner, a bad encounter with your boss, or any other very negative experience with a person who gets on your nerves.

5- “Where was your head at?”

Here’s another universal expression that’s so real when you’re talking to a friend who seems to have lost it. In Portuguese, you can say: Onde você estava com a cabeça?

This phrase can serve as a warning, or simply as an exclamation after you hear a surprising story your friend told you. “Onde você estava com a cabeça when you went on a date with that guy?” Or: “Are you crazy? Onde você estava com a cabeça?

6- “Who do you think you are?”

Another classic. If someone says this phrase has never crossed his/her mind, you can call that person out for blatantly lying! In Portuguese, you say it like this: Quem você pensa que é?

You can use this phrase when you think somebody is thinking too highly of himself/herself. For example, people who are likely to use this phrase include a parent trying to put some sense into his sons, or a meddling coworker stepping where he/she shouldn’t be.

If you’re thinking about adding a “You think you’re better than me?” afterward, this, unfortunately, isn’t very common in Portuguese. A bunch of Portuguese swear words can follow, or not. It’s up to you.

7- “You screwed everything up!”

Woman Blaming Man for Something

A project, a relationship, anything that wasn’t done properly by the other people involved. To voice your blame toward them, you can say Você ferrou com tudo!

You can use this phrase when you’re speaking to a coworker who didn’t manage a situation how he/she should have. I know that the word “screwed” is a little bit ugly, but rest assured that ferrar is not counted among the Portuguese swear words.

8- “It was.”

Yes, it seems weird, but Brazilians say “It was,” a lot. You have to understand what they mean by that and why it can be an angry phrase. First of all, in Portuguese, it’s: Já era.

Basically, you say this when something has reached a point of no return. For example:

  • A: “Can we catch the bus that leaves at one p.m. (it’s already 1:03 p.m.) to Cristo Redentor?”
  • B: “That bus já era.”

In the example above, the phrase isn’t used angrily. But try telling a client an insensitive joke and see him/her leave the room.

  • You: “Can I try to win him back and still have a job?”
  • Your boss: “Você (you) já era!”

9- “None of your business.”

When someone asks you about something that’s very personal or that you can’t really share with them, you can tell them loud and clear: Não é da sua conta.

For example, if somebody asks how much you make per month and you don’t feel like answering, this phrase is perfect.

10- “That goes on your tab.”

No, that’s not a phrase only a waiter can say. Essa vai para a sua conta can also be a direct way to point your finger at someone for messing something up. For example, when you’re playing soccer and your goalie doesn’t make an easy save. Let it rip!

11- “You don’t listen to me.”

Ahh, nothing tops a classic. If you’ve ever been in a serious relationship, you know this one is the bread-and-butter that starts, ends, or just brings all the flair in the middle of a fight. In Portuguese, it’s Você não me escuta.

But hey, Você não me escuta is not a monopoly for couples. You can say it to a friend who’s giving the wrong directions on a trip and not listening to what you’re saying about going the other way. That’s called versatility.

3. Describing How You Feel

Complaints

Now, let’s learn how to actually describe your emotions. In this section, we’ll outline how to say “I am angry” in Portuguese a few different (and creative) ways.

1- “I’m pissed off.”

Yes, it seems like we’re resorting to Portuguese swear words. Not so fast, cowboy!

When you’re really pissed off, puta/puto (“prostitute,” both genders) transforms from a curse word into a description of when someone is really angry. In Portuguese, a common phrase is Estou muito puto/puta.

For example, something went wrong at work and the blame fell on you. Because you’re angry, you say Estou muito puto(a), and people understand that you’re mad, not that you’re exploring other ventures.

2- “My balls are full.”

Very Frustrated Man

Again, this one seems really rude, but Estou de saco cheio is a really common expression, and even Presidents use it. It means that you have no patience for anything.

You want a classic example that will make you understand?

Let me paint you a picture: Monday has arrived, it’s early, you have to work, and now you’re facing a really full subway. Done: Your saco cheio is at a record high.

3- “I’m without a head for it.”

This is similar to saco cheio, but more polished: Estou sem cabeça para isso.

Instead of lacking patience, you simply can’t do a specific task right that moment because it requires something that you don’t have.

  • A: “Can you run those numbers and deliver a report?”
  • B: “Estou sem cabeça para isso.

4- “It can’t be done anymore.” / “I can’t do it anymore.”

When you can’t take it anymore or something isn’t possible, you say: Não dá mais.

This phrase is considerably more polished than Já era. For example, when your boss is saying that grammar errors on presentations can’t be accepted anymore:

Não dá mais, the clients will leave if they see Brasil with a Z again!”

Negative Verbs

4. Conclusion: How to Calm Yourself Down When You’re Angry

Of course, it’s best that you don’t use any of these Portuguese angry phrases, but that’s not realistic. So before you start looking for articles about how to curse in Brazilian Portuguese, the best thing to do is to keep those words in mind, but when you’re on the verge of saying them, try to calm yourself.

There are many ways to do this.

First of all, a classic: Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and count to five. Try to forget about everything during those five seconds and then think of a good, positive solution. You can think of the other person’s point of view, try to reach a middle point, or just forget it. Let it go.

If that exercise isn’t doing much, get out and run, walk, bike, exercise, or just stare at the sun and smell the roses. That will leave you more time to think about things and relax to make a better-informed decision.

Last, but not least, do something you like if you feel burned or stressed out. Go to the movies, listen to your favorite artist, read a book, write in your journal, or even take a trip if you have more time.

The main thing is not to explode and worsen a situation, only to later regret the way you acted. Take your time to digest everything, and then find the best solution. This can be applied to anything: relationships, work, family… Use your Portuguese for the best!

With PortuguesePod101, you can learn vocabulary applicable to everyday situations, study the pronunciation of common words, and discover what words or phrases to use in specific situations. That way, you can learn faster and use your knowledge right away!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you calm yourself down when angry or frustrated. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Portuguese

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What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Brazil for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

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Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Portuguese? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Portuguese, here at PortuguesePod101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – aniversário

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Portuguese friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Portuguese, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Portuguese is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

Feliz Aniversário

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Portuguese! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – comprar

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Portuguese etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – aposentar-se

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Brazil, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – formatura

When attending a graduation ceremony in Brazil, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Portuguese you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – promoção

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – aniversário

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Portuguese.

7- Funeral – funeral

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Brazil, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – viajar

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Portuguese immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – formar-se

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Brazil afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – casamento

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – mudar-se

I love Brazil, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – nascer

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Portuguese?

13- Get a job – conseguir um emprego

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Brazil – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Portuguese introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Portuguese?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – morrer

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – casa

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Brazil for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – trabalho

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – nascimento

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Brazil?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – comprometer-se

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Brazil is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Portuguese?

19- Marry – casar-se

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Portuguese?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Brazil, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Portuguese phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, PortuguesePod101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at PortuguesePod101:

  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Portuguese with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Portuguese dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about PortuguesePod101…!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Portuguese teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Portuguese word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Portuguese level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in PortuguesePod101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Portuguese.

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Talk About the Weather in Portuguese Like a Native

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Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Portuguese acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

PortuguesePod101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

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Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Brazil
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. PortuguesePod101 can prepare you for any season.

1. Talking about the weather in Brazil

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Portuguese weather – just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- The rain is falling on the street – Está chovendo na rua.

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Portuguese experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything – A neve cobriu tudo.

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud – nuvem fofa

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass – A água congelou no copo.

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding – Esta chuva forte poderia causar uma inundação repentina.

If you’re visiting Brazil in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Portuguese weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood – inundação

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit – O tufão chegou.

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing – Verifique o boletim metereológico antes de sair para velejar.

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds – O tempo de hoje está ensolarado com nuvens eventuais.

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Brazil! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- Rainy – chovendo

Remember when you said you’d save the Portuguese podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow – arco-íris cênico

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Brazil. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous – Os lampejos de relâmpago podem ser bonitos, mas são muito perigosos.

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- 25 degrees Celsius – vinte e cinco graus Celsius

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Portuguese term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- His body temperature was far above the usual 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit – A temperatura corporal dele estava muito acima da temperatura normal de 98.6 graus Fahrenheit.

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this phrase in Portuguese in case one of your companions develops a raging fever.

15- Today the sky is clear – Hoje o céu está limpo.

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots – not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle – garoa leve

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Brazil. You could go to the mall and watch a Portuguese film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature on a thermometer – temperatura no termômetro

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though – it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid – úmido

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry – Com baixa umidade, o ar fica seco.

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Portuguese friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong – O vento está muito forte.

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- Windy – ventando

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing – As estradas molhadas podem se cobrir de gelo quando a temperatura cai abaixo do ponto de congelamento.

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy – Hoje está muito abafado.

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog – neblina

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane – ciclone

Your new Portuguese friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Brazil.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Big tornado – tornado grande

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today – Hoje está nublado.

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Brazil will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Portuguese to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures – temperaturas abaixo do ponto de congelamento

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Portuguese winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill is how cold it really feels outside – Sensação térmica é como realmente se sente em um lugar aberto.

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is. Not all your Portuguese friends will know that, though, so learn this Portuguese phrase to sound really smart!

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius – A água congelará quando a temperatura estiver abaixo dos zero graus Celsius.

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair – find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up – esperando limpar

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Portuguese Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat – evite as ondas de calor

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost – geada pela manhã

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower – chuva rápida

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold – À tarde vai ficar nublado e frio.

When I hear this on the Portuguese weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Severe thunderstorm – tempestade de trovão forte

Keep an eye on the Portuguese weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window – Gelo se formou na janela.

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water – that should work!

38- Large hailstones – Está caindo granizo.

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now – especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Rolling thunder – trovão ressonante

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet – granizo

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Portuguese!

2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Portuguese friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Portuguese spring words!

Spring Vocabulary

3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Brazil there are many ways to enjoy the summer – it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Portuguese songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Portuguese summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand

4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Portuguese landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Brazil.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Portuguese autumn words.

Autumn Phrases

5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow

6. PortuguesePod101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Brazil, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Portuguese street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Portuguese weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? PortuguesePod101 is here to help!

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Your Handy Guide to Portuguese Conjunctions

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When constructing sentences in any language, we tend to focus a lot on the big “building blocks,” like the subject, verb, and object. But there are many other small elements that have a part to play! Conjunctions are one of those essential parts, since they connect words and clauses, making sentences coherent. Portuguese conjunctions are handy words to learn, and you’ll soon be using them all the time!

Conjunctions might appear very simple at first. And the truth is, they are! But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a very important role in languages. After all, even if you understand all the grammar rules and acquire an impressive vocabulary, without conjunctions, you can’t communicate fluently.

Hopefully you agree with us that conjunctions are important. But perhaps now you’re wondering what those small yet powerful words are. Conjunctions are connecting words, such as “and,” “or,” “nor,” and “if.” There’s quite a large list of conjunctions, which are used in different contexts.

In this article, we’ll cover the different kinds of Portuguese conjunctions, help you understand the difference between simple conjunctions and conjunctive phrases, and show you a lot of examples! By the end, you’ll have the resources to express your thoughts in Portuguese with much more ease.

    → Before you continue, you may find it useful to study our short vocabulary list on Connecting Words!

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Table of Contents

  1. The Basics of Portuguese Conjunctions
  2. Portuguese Conjunctions to Add Information
  3. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Alternatives
  4. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Condition
  5. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Conclusion
  6. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Opposition
  7. Portuguese Conjunctions that Act as Complementizers
  8. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Concessions
  9. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Cause
  10. Even More Portuguese Conjunctions
  11. Continue Learning Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. The Basics of Portuguese Conjunctions

First things first. Let’s get to understand what conjunctions are and what you can expect from them.

1 – What are Conjunctions?

Conjunctions connect other words, phrases, and clauses. They tend to be invariable grammatical particles, which means they are not modified in number, gender, or mode. In other words, they’re very useful but quite simple!

As an English speaker, you’re already quite familiar with the role conjunctions play. Take a look at these examples:

  • She likes to dance and sing.
  • I am a good cook, but my desserts are not great.
  • We had to sleep early, so we turned off the lights.

The words in blue are conjunctions in English. As you can see, they’re very commonly used words. You’ll use conjunctions in Portuguese the same way, although more often than in English.

Another important thing to note is that conjunctions express different things: cause, purpose, opposition, condition, and more. In this article, we’ll go through the most commonly used types of conjunctions, which will allow you to express your thoughts coherently.

2 – Simple Conjunctions and Conjunctive Phrases

Simple conjunctions are exactly what we were talking about before: single words that have a connective function. Conjunctive phrases are two or more words that, together, behave as a conjunction.

Here are some examples of sentences using conjunctive phrases:

  • Farei uma reunião com os professores para que não haja nenhum mal-entendido.
    “I’ll have a meeting with all the professors so that there is no misunderstanding.”
  • Já que você não quer mais, vou comer o bolo.
    “Since you don’t want it anymore, I’ll eat the cake.”
  • Podemos sair agora, uma vez que a babá chegou.
    “We can go now, since the nanny has arrived.”

Pretty straightforward, right? Now that we’ve clarified what Portuguese conjunctions and conjunctive phrases are, let’s see the most common ones in our Portuguese conjunctions list!

2. Portuguese Conjunctions to Add Information

Sentence Patterns

We’ll begin with the most common conjunctions in Portuguese. These words are called conjunções aditivas (“additive conjunctions”), and their purpose is to add more information to your sentence. Take a look:

1- E (“And” )

  • Eu posso escutar podcasts e cozinhar ao mesmo tempo.
    “I can listen to podcasts and cook at the same time.”
  • Você gosta do verão e da primavera, certo?
    “You like summer and spring, right?”

2- Nem (“Nor” )

  • Sua mãe não ligou nem mandou mensagem.
    “Your mother hasn’t called nor sent a message.”
  • Não como peixe nem frutos do mar.
    “I don’t eat fish nor seafood.”

3- Não só…mas também (“Not only…but also” )

  • Ele não só ganhou o prêmio, mas também o bônus.
    “Not only did he get the prize, but also the bonus.”

You can also use another conjunctive phrase to express a similar idea: não só…como também (“not only…also” ).

  • Vocês não só são bonitas, como também são muito engraçadas.
    “You are not only pretty, you are also very funny.” [plural feminine form]

Someone Pouring Coffee and Milk into a Mug

Gosto de café e gosto de leite. (“I like coffee and I like milk.” )

3. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Alternatives

In life, we face a lot of choices. From what we’re having for breakfast to what movie we’ll watch tonight, alternatives are everywhere! Here are some of the conjunções alternativas (“alternative conjunctions” ) you will encounter every time you face those moments of choice.

1- Ou (“Or” )

  • Você quer sair ou assistir a um filme?
    “Do you want to go out or watch a movie?”
  • Eles preferem sopa ou salada?
    “[Do] they prefer soup or salad?”

2- Ou…ou (“Either…or” )

  • Ou saímos agora ou perderemos o show.
    “Either we leave now or we miss the show.”
  • Ou ela termina esse projeto ou aceita o emprego ou volta para a universidade.
    “Either she finishes this project or she accepts the job or she goes back to university.”

When repeating the word ou (“or” ) to indicate alternatives, it’s translated in two ways: as “either” the first time it’s used and as “or” the subsequent times.

3- Senão (“Otherwise” )

  • Durma cedo, senão vai perder o ônibus.
    “Sleep early, otherwise you will miss the bus.”
  • Coma tudo, senão não tem sobremesa.
    “Eat it all, otherwise there is no dessert.”

Senão can also act as another kind of conjunction, called an adversative conjunction, which we’ll see a bit later. In these cases, it works as “but.”

  • Ele ganhou não por sua habilidade, senão por seu carisma.
    “He won not because of his abilities, but due to his charisma.”

4- Nem…nem (“Neither…nor” )

Nem is a versatile little word. We already saw it before, being used by itself as an additive conjunction. Now, take a look at how it can be used to talk about negative alternatives.

  • Nem meu pai nem minha mãe sabem resolver esta questão.
    “Neither my father nor my mother know how to solve this question.”

As you can see, nem translates to both “neither” and “nor,” depending on the position of the word in the sentence. It can also be used several times within the sentence.

  • Não bebo nem café nem chá nem bebidas alcóolicas.
    “I don’t drink neither coffee nor tea nor alcoholic beverages.”

5- Quer…quer (“Whether…or” )

  • Quer você ganhe o prêmio, quer não, estou orgulhoso.
    “Whether you win the prize or not, I am proud.”
  • Quer chova, quer faça sol, estaremos lá!
    “Whether there be rain or sunshine, we’ll be there!”

A Girl Trying to Decide between a Green or Red Apple

Vermelha ou verde? (“Red or green?” )

4. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Condition

Expressing condition is essential in social interactions. In conversations with friends, family, and loved ones, there are always circumstances where we have to employ a bit of quid pro quo, right? Maybe you need to convince someone to do the dishes after preparing a nice dinner, or vice-versa. For these kinds of situations, conjunções condicionais (“conditional conjunctions” ) are the way to go.

1- Se (“If” )

  • Eu lavo a roupa se você varrer o chão.
    “I’ll do the laundry if you sweep the floor.”
  • Se não tiver comida, posso pedir uma pizza.
    “If there is no food, I can order a pizza.”

2- Desde que (“As long as” )

  • Compre o que quiser, desde que esteja dentro do orçamento.
    “Buy whatever you want, as long as it is within budget.”
  • Ela vai organizar o evento, desde que você pague adiantado.
    “She will organize the event, as long as you pay in advance.”

The conjunctive phrase contanto que (“as long as” ) can be used interchangeably.

  • Podemos assar um bolo, contanto que a cozinha continue arrumada.
    “We can bake a cake, as long as the kitchen remains tidy.”

3- A não ser que (“Unless” )

  • Não me ligue a não ser que haja uma emergência.
    “Don’t call me unless there’s an emergency.”
  • Preciso ir embora, a não ser que eu cancele a consulta.
    “I need to leave, unless I cancel the appointment.”

The conjunctive phrase a menos que (“unless” ) can also be used in these cases.

  • Temos que sair, a menos que a aula tenha sido adiada.
    “We have to leave, unless the class has been postponed.”

5. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Conclusion

To wrap up an idea or a thought, use the conjunções conclusivas (“final conjunction” ).

1- Então (“So,” “Therefore” )

  • Hoje é meu aniversário, então vamos comemorar.
    “Today is my birthday, so let’s celebrate.”
  • Vamos dormir tarde, então então me ligue de manhã.
    “We’re going to sleep late, so don’t call me in the morning.”

2- Logo (“So,” “Therefore” )

  • Não concordo com isso, logo prefiro não me envolver.
    “I don’t agree with that, so I prefer not to get involved.”
  • Você conhece o Luís há anos, logo faz sentido que você faça o convite.
    “You have known Luís for years, therefore it makes sense that you invite him.”

3- Portanto (“Therefore,” “So” )

  • Tenho muito trabalho para fazer, portanto, não espere por mim.
    “I have a lot of work to do, so don’t wait for me.”
  • Esse carro é muito caro, portanto, não posso comprar agora.
    “This car is very expensive, therefore, I can’t buy it now.”

The conjunctions above can be used interchangeably most of the time. The most commonly used one is então, in both written and spoken Brazilian Portuguese.

Other conjunctions you can use in the same way and with the same meaning are: por isso, por conseguinte, and assim.

A Mother Reading a Book to Her Daughter

No story is complete without a conclusion!

6. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Opposition

Another very handy and commonly used group of conjunctions! After all, we can’t communicate without a dose of opposition, right? Take a look at the most useful conjunções adversativas (“adversative conjunctions” ) in Portuguese.

1- Mas (“But” )

  • Ele gosta de bolo, mas não quis comer uma fatia.
    “He likes cake, but he didn’t want to eat a slice.”
  • Vou me atrasar, mas chego para o jantar!
    “I’m going to be late, but I’m coming for dinner!”

2- Porém (“However,” “But” )

  • Ela acordou cedo, porém chegou atrasada.
    “She woke up early, but arrived late.”
  • A encomenda já foi enviada, porém não tenho o código de rastreamento.
    “The order has already been shipped, however, I don’t have the tracking code.”

3- Todavia (“However,” “Still,” “Yet” )

  • Eles não acreditaram na história, todavia, ela manteve sua versão dos fatos.
    “They did not believe the story, yet she kept her version of the facts.”
  • O acordo, todavia, não aconteceu.
    “The agreement, however, did not happen.”

This conjunction can also be used at the beginning of a sentence, without the comma.

  • Todavia o acordo não aconteceu.
    “However, the agreement did not happen.”

The conjunction entretanto (“however” ) can be used in the same way.

  • Não foi possível, entretanto, encontrar os documentos.
    “It was not possible, however, to find the documents.”
  • Entretanto, não foi possível encontrar os documentos.
    “However, it was not possible to find the documents.”

7. Portuguese Conjunctions that Act as Complementizers

“Complementizer” is just a fancy grammatical term for words that introduce a complement in sentences. In English, the most common complementizers are “that” and “if.” For example:

  • I hope that she comes.
  • I wonder if she will come.

Let’s look at their Portuguese counterparts, called conjunções integrantes.

1- Que (“That” )

  • É importante que você diga a verdade.
    “It’s important (that) you tell the truth.”
  • Eu acho que eles ganharam.
    “I think (that) they won.”

Unlike the English word “that,” que can’t be omitted in sentences. As a result, it’s used quite often. Que is also often used to replace other conjunctions, making it a handy go-to even for native speakers.

2- Se (“If,” “Whether” )

  • Não sei se ele já chegou.
    “I’m not sure whether he’s arrived yet.”
  • Vou perguntar se eles querem ir.
    “I will ask if they want to go.”

Instead of expressing alternatives, when se (“if” ) is used as a complementizer, it introduces an indirect question.

Si-o-se Pol Bridge in Iran

Think of complementizers as a bridge.

8. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Concessions

This group of conjunctions serve to introduce a contrasting or contradicting idea. As you can imagine, they’re very useful when trying to explain a decision or an unexpected event. In Portuguese, they’re called conjunções concessivas (“concessive conjunctions” ).

1- Ainda que (“Even if,” “Although” )

  • Ainda que chova, vamos passear.
    Even if it rains, we will go for a walk.”
  • Ele vai no jantar, ainda que não esteja muito animado.
    “He will go to the dinner, although he is not very excited.”

You can also use the conjunctive phrase mesmo que interchangeably:

  • Mesmo que chova, vamos passear.
    “Even if it rains, we will go for a walk.”
  • Mesmo que as pessoas mudem, os amigos são para sempre.
    “Although people change, friends are forever.”

2- Embora (“Although,” “Even though” )

  • Embora estivesse atrasado, ele preparou um delicioso lanche.
    “Although he was late, he prepared a delicious snack.”
  • O dia estava agradável, embora tenha chovido.
    “The day was pleasant, even though it rained.”

3- Se bem que (“Even though,” “Although” )

  • Ele não confirmou presença, se bem que parecia bem animado com a festa.
    “He didn’t confirm his presence, although he seemed very excited about the party.”
  • As aulas estão boas, se bem que já foram melhores.
    “The classes are good, although they have been better.”

9. Portuguese Conjunctions to Express Cause

These conjunctions, called conjunções causais (“causal conjunctions” ) introduce a sentence or clause that explains the cause of what was stated before. Very handy for explaining how you came to a decision or took a certain action.

1- Porque (“Because” )

  • Não pude esperar mais porque meu filho estava cansado.
    “I couldn’t wait any longer because my son was tired.”
  • Ela tirou uma boa nota porque estudou muito.
    “She got a good grade because she studied hard.”

Notice the correct way of writing porque in these situations. In Portuguese, there are different ways of writing the word depending on the meaning or use. But the conjunction form should always be written like this, with no accent marks and no spaces.

2- Visto que (“Since,” “As,” “Seeing” )

  • Não quero mais alugar o carro, visto que a taxa é muito alta.
    “I don’t want to rent the car anymore, since the rate is very high.”

You can also use the conjunctive phrases uma vez que (“since” ) and já que (“since” ) to express the same thing.

  • Ela não quer viajar, uma vez que ainda está se recuperando.
    “She doesn’t want to travel, since she is still recovering.”
  • Vocês podem dividir o prêmio, já que tiveram a mesma pontuação.
    “You can share the prize, since you had the same score.”

A Man Explaining Himself to His Boss

Now you know what conjunctions to use to explain what happened!

10. Even More Portuguese Conjunctions

We already saw a number of important conjunctions in Portuguese, organized by the function they have. Now, let’s take a look at some extra useful conjunctions that you might encounter.

1- Enquanto (“While” )

Expresses time.

  • Vou tomar banho enquanto você cozinha.
    “I’ll take a shower while you cook.”

2- Desde que (“Since” )

Expresses time.

  • Desde que comecei a trabalhar, não tenho tempo para a academia.
    “Since I started working, I haven’t had time for the gym.”

3- Conforme (“As” )

Expresses conformity.

  • Eu resolvi o exercício conforme foi explicado.
    “I solved the exercise as was explained.”

4- Como (“As,” “Like,” “As well as” )

Como is another one of those versatile conjunctions. It can have different roles and is also part of several conjunctive phrases.

→ Expressing comparison:

  • Alice, como sua mãe, gosta de plantar.
    “Alice, like her mother, likes to plant.”

The conjunctive phrases bem como and assim como have the same meaning.

  • Alice, bem como sua mãe, gosta de plantar.
    “Alice, like her mother, likes to plant.”
  • Alice, assim como sua mãe, gosta de de plantar.
    “Alice, like her mother, likes to plant.”

→ Expressing cause:

  • Como perdi o ônibus, cheguei atrasada.
    “As I missed the bus, I was late.”

→ Expressing conformity:

  • Hoje não haverá aula, como anunciado na segunda-feira.
    “There will be no class today, as announced on Monday.”

→ Expressing condition:

  • Comprarei o livro como não seja muito caro.
    “I’ll buy the book if it isn’t too expensive.”

5- Quanto mais…mais (“The more…the more” )

Expresses the idea of proportionality.

  • Quanto mais o tempo passa, mais eu gosto de você.
    “The more time passes by, the more I like you.”

A Group of Women doing Yoga at the Beach

Quanto mais me exercito, mais energia tenho. (“The more I exercise, the more energy I have.” )

11. Continue Learning Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

Improve Listening

Now that you’re familiar with the most important Portuguese conjunctions and conjunctive phrases, get out in the world and put it into practice! You’re ready to create even more complex sentences, linking ideas and clauses in a coherent way. And remember, whenever you need to refresh your memory, come back to this article for a quick lesson.

Was this article helpful to you? Did we miss any important conjunction you were hoping to learn about? Let us know in the comments; we would really like to hear from you.

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The Most Interesting, Useful Brazilian Customs & Etiquette

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A tourist in Rio de Janeiro can ignore Brazil’s etiquette. A devoted learner can’t. In fact, understanding Brazil customs and etiquette—and some of their roots—is a solid path to richer contact with the language.

Because the etiquette of Brazil is fairly different from Portuguese etiquette, learning cultural etiquette in Brazil is a great opportunity to understand Brazilian people. After all, meeting new people and hearing different perspectives contributes to a richer life experience!

A Grandmother Snuggling Her Granddaughter

[The importance of family, and many more customs, are an open door to Brazilian culture.]

Traveling and getting to know different realities often reveals unthinkable life conditions and habits. Even though the cultures, concerns, and consumption habits worldwide tend to assume a growingly homogenic behavior in comparison to decades ago, there are so many countries in the world and still so many different people.

Getting to know new people and cultures always leads to surprises, both good and bad. That’s why we’ll present the do’s and don’ts of Brazilian etiquette and customs, also giving you a taste of each behavior’s roots and why things are done that way.

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Table of Contents

  1. Dining Etiquette in Brazil
  2. Sightseeing Etiquette
  3. Brazil Greetings Etiquette
  4. Visiting a House
  5. Public Transportation
  6. Business Etiquette in Brazil
  7. Celebrations Etiquette
  8. Conclusion

1. Dining Etiquette in Brazil

Do: Take Your Time Eating

The first of our Brazil etiquette tips is to respect the meal. If you’re not eating fast food and aren’t late to an appointment, take your time.

Brazilians don’t usually have a solid meal structure like Italians do, with a full course, seven-dish dinner. But they’ll eat calmly, even during lunchtime on work days.

While there are exceptions, it’s generally best to eat and leave room for the coffee afterwards—and participate in the small talk after the meal.

Do: Embrace Coffee

Coffee is at the core of Brazilian culture. After the scourge of slavery, it was coffee production and exports that boosted the Brazilian economy. Across the decades, the commodity’s prices and planting cycle have created obstacles to a sustainable production of wealth.

In spite of that, the country is still the world’s top producer of coffee—with more than three times the production of the famous Colombian coffee in 2019. The world’s biggest coffee cooperative is located in Guaxupé, in the state of Minas Gerais.

So, drinking coffee is a widespread habit in Brazil, especially during breakfast and after other meals, both during the workweek and weekend.

Brazilians usually drink sweetened coffee. While this isn’t part of the rigid Brazil table manners and etiquette, it is a habit. If you don’t like your coffee sweetened and you’re in a restaurant, your cup of coffee will probably come from the kitchen unsweetened. But in a workspace, it’s quite possible that the sugar will have been added already. Ask the waiter or the person who prepared the beverage about this detail just to be sure.

In Brazil, it’s not very common to ask for coffee with cream and other ingredients. Black Coffee is king, with Coffee with Milk and Pingado (basically a cup of milk with a splash of coffee) being distant seconds.

If you’re not into coffee, no problem. Just hang around and talk a little until your mates finish drinking this dark elixir.

A Pile of Coffee Beans Next to a Cup of Coffee

[This dark elixir awaits for you after every meal]

Don’t: Pay if You’re Invited

If you’re invited to eat, don’t dare to pay! This Brazilian dining etiquette rule is more frequent in familial contexts or among older people; younger people tend to earn less and split the bill without much care for etiquette.

Don’t: Sit at the Head of the Table

This is one of the basic Brazil dining etiquette rules. It’s not exclusively Brazilian, but should be kept in mind while in the country.

The head of the table is “reserved” for the house owner or chief of family, so you’re not supposed to sit there. Only proceed to take that place if you’re invited to do so.

Also, there’s the following saying: “The seater at the head of the table pays the bill.” So, be prepared for the consequences!

Bonus: Brazilian Tipping Etiquette

Tipping in Brazil is always optional. Still, the tradition is to tip the waiter ten percent of the meal’s value. Most restaurants bill the client with both the “rough” value of the meal and with the tip added—clearly showing the different values so that you can make the decision. In some places, the employee will ask if you want to pay the ten percent just to be polite; if you say no, this may be considered rude.

2. Sightseeing Etiquette

Do: Keep it Basic and Watch Out While in Public

This is the saddest of all our Brazilian etiquette tips and is very important. It’s a beautiful country with abysmal violence rates. The announcement of 30,864 homicides in the first seven months of 2019 was considered an achievement compared to the 39,527 homicides registered for the same period the year before.

That’s how absurd the situation is—and theft crimes are even more common.

So, it’s prudent to avoid flashy clothes and accessories if wandering through public spaces, such as a crowded street or the beach. The catch is: there are items that foreigners don’t even understand to be flashy—but are. Some examples include:

  • A metallic watch
  • A smartwatch
  • Luggage
  • A cool jacket
  • Silver/gold jewelry
  • Fancy sunglasses
  • Fine shoes
  • A cell phone

This means that the dress code for sightseeing should be urban and basic. If you’re riding in a car, you’re safer and thus can be a bit more flexible with styling. If you’re going to the beach, carry just a few items (since you’ll have to watch them all the time) and pick flip-flops instead of shoes.

Cell phones are the most wanted item for criminals; they’re easy to take and profitable in the black market. Avoid making phone calls or reading text messages for longer periods of time while in the street. You can take pictures and talk once in a while, but look around before and be discreet. You can also enter a shop or restaurant to do so.

Do: Take it Easy with Schedules

Some tourist attractions, appointments, or meetings can take longer than expected. Some nations and cultures recommend punctuality. Britons are a proverbial reference in this aspect. In contrast, Brazil customs and etiquette tend to relativize this asset.

People can be late for meetings and appointments. Being five, ten, or even fifteen minutes late is generally not a problem in informal contexts. If you’re thirty minutes late, send a message and your friends will usually understand. Of course, if you’re late for the cinema screening, forget about that session.

But don’t mix things up: Brazil dating etiquette recommends that you don’t leave the person hanging for half an hour. This is especially true if you’re going to meet in a public space, since it can be dangerous to hang out on an empty street, building, etc.

Likewise, delays are generally not part of business etiquette in Brazil. Being a little bit late may be okay for things like meeting a coworker for lunch, but showing up late for negotiations, tests, workshops, conferences, or job interviews is out of line.

3. Brazil Greetings Etiquette

Do: Kiss

A little kiss on the cheek is especially normal in man-woman and woman-woman greetings. The etiquette for some states (Rio de Janeiro) is to kiss both cheeks, while others (São Paulo) recommend one kiss. But you can also find state etiquette that recommends three kisses (Minas Gerais).

To resolve this controversy, the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism has developed a very useful Mapa do beijinho (literally: “Little kiss map”), showing how many kisses are the norm for each state. That one embarrassment of meeting someone is now finally behind you!

Another great strategy is to wait and see how people are greeting one another. If the kiss is too intrusive and intimate in that context, a handshake is enough!

Do: Shake Hands

In Brazilian social etiquette, shaking hands is the most common greeting for formal occasions. In informal situations, it’s normally employed between people of the same sex.

Don’t: Freak Out When Hugged

While the hug can send a bad message and even sexual overtones, it’s relatively normal in Brazil, even among people who aren’t that intimate.

However, there’s a subtle way to differentiate between intimate hugs between friends and greeting acquaintances with a hug.

A warm hug demands contact with the torso and lacing your arms around someone else. A “half-hug” will only demand lacing one arm around someone and making contact with part of the torso (or only the shoulder).

You can make the “half-hug” even more distant by converting it to a handshake and a tap on the shoulder or arm of the person you’re greeting. This is ideal for business and formal environments.

4. Visiting a House

Do: Greet Everyone

In Brazil, guest etiquette demands that you greet everyone. You may think it’s redundant to do this in a room with lots of people, but a person may become offended if you don’t greet them warmly.

Don’t: Stay in Your Safe Zone

If they’ve called you to be a guest in their house, it means they’re sharing their intimacy with you. So, you can loosen up a little bit.

Make sure you observe and respect the family code of the house, but don’t be shy to talk, share some of your ideas, or take part in family activities like watching TV—with a family that was completely strange to you five minutes ago.

A barbecue is the perfect context to exercise this piece of cultural etiquette in Brazil. Meeting a new family, getting to know them while eating good food, and enjoying the afternoon together, is a great experience.

People will be interested in knowing the guest (you) as well. If you observe a lot and act polite, you’ll probably do fine. When in Brazil, do as the Brazilians do.

Don’t: Flush the Toilet Paper

You know what they say: Brazil bathroom etiquette is the best Brazil etiquette—not. Indeed, this tip of Brazil bathroom etiquette is a little awkward, but very important.

Most Brazilians place a little trash can beside the toilet in their bathrooms. You may feel confused about it or even find yourself attracted to its mystery (don’t look inside!).

Instead of flushing used toilet paper, it’s common to dump it into this little trash can. The trash can in the bathroom is disgusting, but the sewer system in Brazil is worse. The condition of the pipes is often not good and the water pressure allows only a little help to flush.

So, get used to the can, because flushing the paper can lead to bad—and even more disgusting—episodes.

A Toilet and Roll of Toilet Paper

[Excuse me, my friend: where is the little trash can?]

5. Public Transportation

Do: Be Active to Call Your Bus

Brazilian public transportation emulates the law of the jungle in many aspects. You’ll struggle to find a seat. People are not very polite. Often, you’ve got to camouflage and find an attitude of balance between dismissing ambulant vendors and not being a jerk.

Well, you have to be inside the bus before managing these issues.

Many countries have only tightly scheduled rides, and people don’t have to signal to the driver to board the bus. This is not the case in Brazil.

Picture yourself at the bus stop. As soon as you identify the bus you want to ride:

  • Raise your arm in the air.
  • Bend it a little toward the street.
  • Sustain your arm until you’re completely sure the driver has seen you.
  • Now, you can get in.

People Boarding a Bus

[After the procedure, you’re free to hop in and find a seat…]

Do: Mind the Importance of the Sun

When you’re picking a seat on the bus, figure out which side of the bus receives the most sunlight. Solemnly avoid it and take a seat on the other side.

Brazil is a hot country, and riding the bus under the sun is one of the worst experiences of the local public transportation, especially if the bus gets filled with people.

Don’t: Rely on the Taxi Driver

I’m sorry if you’re a taxi driver or know someone who is. If you ride a taxi without knowing the directions to your destination, you may be inviting someone to the depths of your wallet—it’s possible that you’re being scammed.

Take a few minutes to understand the course of the ride before getting into the cab. Get a general notion of the main avenues, so you can notify the driver if you notice something strange.

The rise of Uber, and other companies that navigate with software that shows the course, have made this process more transparent. But there’s always some smart guy out there, eager to get in touch with your money.

6. Business Etiquette in Brazil

Business Etiquette

Do: Dress Accordingly

Brazil business dress etiquette is paramount in the working place. The clothes are not much different from those in other countries, but in Brazil, the presentation is really important.

Generally, look sharp and clean. If you’re a man, shave or take care of your beard. Brush your teeth, take a bath. And keep it classic:

Man: Shirt, tie, blazer or suit. Leather shoes. Wear a classy watch, if you want.

Woman: Shirt and social pants or skirt, woman’s blazer. High-heel shoes. Some basic jewelry may be suitable.

Sure, the dress code isn’t like that in every workplace. Dress conservatively, at least until you understand the dress code better. This is the basic business etiquette in Brazil (and everywhere else), and it allows you to blend into the team, stylewise.

Always remember: clean looks, fresh clothes, and perhaps a little cologne are welcome everywhere.

Don’t: Criticize Co-workers

This is an important point of Brazil business meeting etiquette. You can sometimes share your personal impressions during professional meetings. However, criticizing ex-co-workers, your old boss, or people in general, is often understood as a strong negative point for you.

Someone Handing Over a Bunch of Paperwork

[Don’t share the grudge you hold against that terrible boss.]

Do: Accept Help from Locals

One of Brazil’s business downsides is the scandalous number of bizarre regulations. From business restrictions to very specific tax rules (often conflicting between state and federal spheres), doing business in Brazil isn’t easy. In fact, it’s easier to do business in Malawi than in Brazil.

Thus, here’s another important topic of business etiquette in Brazil: gather people you trust to help you in your business. Lawyers, accountants, and people that show useful abilities and regional know-how in your area are precious assets.

7. Celebrations Etiquette

Saying Thanks

Do: Casual and Clean

Be tidy if you’re going to a social event, especially a party. You don’t have to dress fancy, except if the ambience asks for it.

A person’s appearance is very important in celebrations. Shave your body hair and cut your nails. People love perfume or cologne, and you can always chew on mint gum. It’s not a matter of appearance over substance; it’s just that you care about the event and want to look your best.

Don’t: Be Shy

Shy people can suffer a lot with Brazil customs and etiquette. In social interactions, it’s extremely important to demonstrate enthusiasm and to interact with others. You don’t necessarily have to feel it, but it’s better to show it. Speaking louder, performing gestures, and employing physical contact are a few ways to do this.

If you’re not willing to pretend or to interact much, at least be funny or well-humored. Otherwise, chances are high that you’ll be considered rude or arrogant by the standards of cultural etiquette in Brazil.

Also, don’t feel offended if you’re interrupted by someone at a party or dinner. This is rude among many cultures, but in Brazil, interrupting someone is often a way of showing interest.

Do: Party Hard

People in Brazil really enjoy celebrations. Barbecues, big dinners, and parties are the most common examples.

One aspect of Brazil customs and etiquette in parties that feels strange to foreigners is the length of the celebration. People take a long time to prepare for parties at home. Then, they go somewhere to drink and “warm-up” (called, literally, esquenta) for the festivities. Finally, they get to the party and it lasts a long time.

Some countries have strong restrictions regarding the functioning hours for bars and nightclubs, but this isn’t the case in Brazil. You may not be stepping into a rave, but dinners and parties generally demand some resistance, and even patience, during their later hours.

Also, gatherings in Brazil can get extremely loud. If you compare the volume of noise in a Brazilian restaurant to what you’d experience eating out in some other country, it doesn’t even make sense. There’s often the sound of the background music and the talking above it. It’s something unpleasant to overcome, especially for foreigners.

Do: Act Solemnly at Funerals

Some cultures are less formal when it comes to funerals, incorporating meals and the sharing of stories involving the deceased, like during in-house receptions. This is not the Brazilian funeral etiquette.

Be quiet, greet, and send condolences. Wear black. Prayers may be part of the process. If you’re not religious, you can consider taking part merely to transmit support and comfort to people who were close to the deceased. They’ll surely appreciate you being mindful of these Brazilian funeral etiquette rules.

8. Conclusion

Cultural etiquette in Brazil is complex, but it’s a matter that can be learned through daily experience.

Still, this article compiles some of the most relevant tips for Brazilian etiquette for foreigners. In order to broaden your cultural knowledge, we highly recommend that you take part in PortuguesePod101.com lessons.

This modern online platform gathers the most useful Portuguese lessons and blends them evenly with informal and cultural knowledge in a way that’s extremely hard to find elsewhere.

Explore PortuguesePod101 and find both free and paid resources on-demand for your learning appetite and practical needs. Brazilian customs and etiquette may be a long way from home, but PortuguesePod101 is only one click away!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how Brazilian etiquette differs from (or is similar to) etiquette in your country. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Portuguese Calendar: Talking About Dates in Portuguese

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Did you know there are many different types of calendars?

As you probably know – a calendar is a system of organizing days in weeks and months for specific purposes, according to Wikipedia.

Worldwide, most countries use the Gregorian calendar. Some just work on the same framework, meaning that time is divided into units based on the earth’s movement around the sun – the “solar calendar”. Other calendars keep time by observing the moon’s movements, a combination of the moon and the sun’s movements, and seasons.

Through PortuguesePod101, you can learn all about this and so much more! Our themed, culturally relevant lessons are skillfully designed so you can do your planning perfectly for a holiday or a date.

Having a good plan for a visit or a trip is like studying well for an exam. You’re just so much better prepared! For that, you could well need specific phrases to plan around appointments and such, especially on business trips. Make sure to use the charts we provide here with the days of the week in Portuguese, as well as the months in Portuguese to navigate your way as you plan. Great resources!

Also – always remember to have fun!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Portuguese?
  2. Talking About your Plans
  3. Can PortuguesePod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

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1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Portuguese?

Days of the Week

Well, that’s not a difficult question to answer. No matter why you’re travelling, it would be best to at least know the names of days and months in Portuguese. You don’t want to miss your flight or an appointment because you confused “sexta-feira” (Friday) with “sábado” (Saturday)! Or maybe you planned a holiday for “julho” (July), but you booked a flight for “junho” (June) by accident!

Avoid this confusion by learning the Portuguese calendar before you leave.

Now, as promised, the 15 phrases to help you make and discuss plans.

2. Talking About your Plans

Months of the Year

Perhaps you’re working in Brazil, or maybe you’re enjoying a prolonged holiday. Fabulous! Memorize these phrases so you can be sure to successfully negotiate meetings, appointments, dates, events, the list goes on!

1. O que você vai fazer esse fim de semana?

“What are you doing this weekend?”

This question is usually a preamble to inviting someone somewhere. Given that it’s over the weekend, it probably means a casual get-together or another social event. (But not necessarily! A manager or boss could also ask this for entirely different reasons.)

It’s a handy phrase to know when you’ve made Portuguese or expat friends in the country. Or, be the one doing the inviting. Then train your ear to learn the following phrases so you can understand the response.

2. Eu vou viajar neste fim de semana.

“I am traveling this weekend.”

This could be a reply if you’re not available because you’re doing other fun stuff.

No matter why you are visiting Brazil, do take the time to explore the country! It’s beautiful and it has so many wonderful, interesting spots ready to be visited.

Couple at booking in Desk

3. Estou planejando ficar em casa.

“I am planning to stay at home.”

Maybe you feel unwell, but don’t want to give too much information? Or maybe you have work to do? Perhaps you just need some quiet gardening time…it doesn’t matter. This response is polite and honest without oversharing.

It could also be a slightly open-ended response, depending on how you deliver it. Because hey, being home could still mean your plans are flexible, right?

That said – depending on your relationship with the inviter, nuances like these will probably not be so apparent in a foreign culture. So, best to use this excuse for declining an invitation only if you are truly set on staying in.

Woman Doing Gardening

4. Esta semana estou ocupado.

“This week I am busy.”

Another polite phrase that gives a reason for declining an invitation but without oversharing details.

Don’t decline too many invitations, though! You don’t want people to think that you’re too busy to hang out with them. They will stop inviting you out, and you know how the saying goes – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…! Being social is good for the soul.

5. Estou livre amanhã.

“I am free tomorrow.”

Yay! Perhaps you were approached by that person and they asked about your availability for a date. This would be a fine reply. Not too eager, but still indicating that you’re interested.

Or maybe you’re just replying to a colleague or manager’s request for a meeting. Polite, honest and clear.

Alternatively, you’re just busy right now, and plans are not going the way they were…well, planned. Compromise is a lovely thing! And this phrase sounds just like that.

Use it to indicate that you want to accommodate an invitation or the inviter’s plans, despite your current unavailability. Only if you are really free, of course.

6. Podemos reagendar isto?

“Can we reschedule this?”

So, life happened and you are unable to meet obligations or attend a planned meeting. This is a suitable question to ask if you wish to indicate your willingness to still engage with whatever is on the table.

Obviously you should (ideally) not ask to reschedule a party or big meeting! (Unless you’re the boss or it’s your own party, of course.) But if there’s reasonable wiggle room regarding arrangements, then this one’s your question.

Business Man Sitting with Schedule

7. Eu vou ter tempo suficiente no final do mês.

“I will have enough time at the end of the month.”

A go-to phrase when events or activities are likely to take up a lot of your time, such as going away for a weekend, spending the day at a local market, or writing your manager’s quarterly report (with 20 flow-charts in Powerpoint) – anything that won’t only take an hour or two.

8. Esta data está ok para você?

“Is this date OK with you?”

If the other party insists that you choose a time for a meeting, appointment, or date etc., then do so! Respond with this nice, somewhat casual question that leaves space for negotiation, but only needs a simple reply.

Suitable for friends, casual acquaintances, and colleagues.

9. Você está disponível nesse dia?

“Are you available on that day?”

This is the a-bit-more-formal version of the previous question. Again, it has room for negotiation, but only needs a simple response – nice and neat!

Maybe this is the go-to question when you’re addressing your seniors at work, or a person much older than you.

10. Podemos fazer isto o mais rápido possível?

“Can we do it as soon as possible?”

This question has an urgency to it that should preferably be responded to with the same. A simple reply will be good – yes or no. Less negotiable, this is still polite because it’s a question that gives you a choice.

But stand ready with one of the phrases in this article to help tie down a time and date!

Couple Getting Engaged on a Bridge

11. Estou disponível todas as noites.

“I’m available every evening”

If you’re going to reply with this phrase, context is everything.

– If it’s your manager asking you to put in a bit of overtime, and you are available to – great reply! When deadlines are tight and everybody is stressing, your willingness to go the extra mile can only improve your relationship with your boss.

(Still, no need to be a doormat! If you get asked to work overtime too often, or if everyone else is goofing around while you have to graft, then re-evaluate the situation. And if you feel you’re being exploited a bit, don’t stress! Equip yourself with the diplomatic, yet assertive responses right in this article.)

– If it’s an old friend or longtime significant other asking to hang out – good reply. You know one another and appearances don’t matter any longer.

– If it’s a new crush who just asked when you’d be available for a date – stop. Not such a great reply. Tone down a bit! “Interested but not overly eager” is what you’re going for here.

Refer back to response #5, or use a counter-question, such as #1. Whatever suits you.

But if they – or anyone else – invite you to scale the Himalayas with them, then the next phrase will probably be the only sane response!

Mountaineer in Snow

12. Eu preciso planejar isto com bastante antecedência.

“I need to plan this well in advance.”

So, as said under #9, perhaps you’re invited to join someone conquer the Himalayas.

Or your company manager wants you to plan the Party that Tops All Year-End Parties Forever.

Simply – if you get asked to do something that you know will need a lot of thorough planning, this is a good phrase to respond with.

It’s an assertive phrase that demonstrates two things regarding your attitude:

a) That you know your own abilities, and respect your own schedule.
b) That your respect other people’s time and schedule too.

Then just be sure to actually do that planning well in advance!

13. Precisamos encontrar outra data

“We need to find another date.”

So, you’re in negotiations regarding a date.

This is an assertive statement that should probably not be used with a “My way or the highway” attitude.

That stuff only works in the movies – think sharp-tongued Samuel L. Jackson. Or fierce Kristen Stewart. Yea, they can be scary, so tone down that tone.

Also, be mindful that fickle people who change plans all the time don’t keep friends! Taking others’ needs into consideration, while simultaneously having your way is a delicate art that takes proper cultivation. Use this phrase sparingly – we have better ones here to negotiate with.

Rock Concert Hands in the Air

Of course, if your planned trip to the dentist falls on the same day as the only Billie Eilish concert close by…well, priorities are priorities. Feel free to call the dentist with this phrase. Or even better, use the next one.

So, that’s it, folks! Which phrase did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments!

3. Can PortuguesePod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Numbers

Well yes, of course!

We think you will find these phrases easy to use when talking about dates and months in Portuguese. But knowing how to employ them properly could help you avoid sticky situations!

PortuguesePod101 is uniquely geared to help you with this and so much more.

This InnovativeLanguage.com initiative is one of many online language-learning courses. With us, you’ll find it easy and fun to learn a new language, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Immediately upon enrollment, you’ll receive hundreds of well-designed lessons to get you going.
  • Watch superb recordings of native Portuguese speakers in cool slide-shows – the easy way to practice till you sound just like a native speaker yourself!
  • Also immediately upon enrollment, you’ll get access to a huge library of free resources! These include extensive, theme-based Vocabulary Lists and a Word of the Day List (For free, hot bargains!) These alone are sure to give your vocab-learning boxing gloves.
  • You’ll also immediately be able to use an excellent and free Portuguese online dictionary. Necessary for quick, handy translations, no matter where you find yourself.
  • For the serious learner, there are numerous enrollment upgrades available, one of which offers you a personal, online Portuguese host. Allow us to hold your hand and support you in your learning!

If you’re serious about mastering Portuguese easily yet correctly, PortuguesePod101 is definitely one of, if not the best, online language learning platforms available. Talking about your plans or dates in Portuguese need not ever spoil your stay.

So, hurry up—enroll today!

Your Guide to Talking About Family in Portuguese

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Whether it’s a Christmas celebration, a birthday party, or a simple barbecue (churrasco!), there’s a family gathering just about every month in Brazil. Yes, those events where small cousins are running around, grandmother asks about your love life, and there’s more food than people can handle.

Learning how to talk about family in Portuguese is essential, even if you don’t attend one of these family gatherings in Brazil (which we recommend you do!). After all, this is a topic that always comes up in conversations. People will ask you about your family, or tell you stories about their own family involving multiple relatives.

In this article, we’ll go over the vocabulary you need to know to talk about all kinds of families, as well as family-related words in Portuguese. We’ll also see some examples of sentences and questions related to family in Portuguese. But first, let’s go over family values in Portuguese-speaking Brazil and more information on family structures. Ready?

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Table of Contents

  1. An Introduction to Brazilian Families
  2. The Basics of the Nuclear Family
  3. The Relatives You See at Christmas
  4. The New Family: Couples
  5. Extending the New Family: In-laws
  6. Blended Families
  7. Showing Affection: Endearment Terms
  8. Learn More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. An Introduction to Brazilian Families

Family Words

Brazilians tend to have very tight-knit relationships with their families. Family definitely continues to be a strong institution in Brazil, and that’s why it’s always one of the first topics in a conversation. Overall, Brazilians are collectivistic, and it’s not uncommon to see several generations living in the same household or very close by.

Of course, we can’t forget that the local culture also lends a lot of importance to celebrations where the whole family comes together to enjoy each other’s company, great food, and music.

Although the family size in Brazil has diminished over the past several years, it’s still common to see numerous families with plenty of children, cousins, uncles, and aunts. This is especially true in smaller cities and rural areas; families in cosmopolitan regions tend to have fewer children.

Unlike in some other cultures, there aren’t different ways to refer to family members in Portuguese based on their age. What does happen a lot in Brazil is the use of a diminutive suffix at the end of words to indicate affection. You’ll see some examples further along. In addition to that, there are other endearment terms and nicknames that Brazilians use to refer to family members with extra fondness.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Portuguese is a language that tends to use the masculine form when dealing with plurals. This characteristic relates directly to Brazilian society, which is largely patriarchal. We’ll discuss the plurals a bit later in this article as well!

A Father, Grandfather, and Son Smiling for a Photo

Three generations: avô (“grandfather”), pai (“father”), and filho (“son”).

2. The Basics of the Nuclear Family

Let’s start with the basic vocabulary for talking about your immediate family in Portuguese. It might look like a lot of new words, but we’ll put it all in context with some example sentences!

We’ll start by answering the most important question: How do you say “family” in Portuguese?

Família “Family”
Parentes “Relatives”
Mãe “Mother”
Pai “Father”
Pais “Parents”
Irmã “Sister”
Irmão “Brother”
Irmãos “Siblings”
Filho “Son”
Filha “Daughter”
Filhos “Children”

As you can see in the vocabulary table above, when we’re talking about the plural for parents, children, or siblings, we use the masculine form:

  • Pai (“father” ) → Pais (“parents” )
  • Irmão (“brother” ) → Irmãos (“brothers” or “siblings” )
  • Filho (“son” )→ Filhos (“sons” or “children” )

However, if you already know that the siblings or children are all female, then you can use the feminine plural irmãs (“sisters”). If you don’t know, or if there are both male and female siblings, then use the masculine form irmãos (“brothers”). In fact, this plural rule applies to all plurals in Portuguese, so keep that in mind going forward!

Now that you already know the family terms in Portuguese for talking about siblings or children, how can you add more details? Take a look at the words and expressions below.

Mais novo / nova “Younger”
O mais novo/a mais nova, caçula “The youngest”
Mais velho / velha “Eldest”
O mais velho / a mais velha “The eldest”
Do meio “Middle” (child or sibling)
Filho único / filha única “Single child” (male) / (female)
Gêmeos / gêmeas “Twins”

Great, you’ve just learned a bunch of new vocabulary! You might be wondering how these new words look in a real-life sentence. We’ve got you covered:

  • Meu filho mais novo (“My youngest son” )
  • Ele é o caçula. (“He is the youngest.” )
  • Eu sou a irmã do meio. (“I am the middle daughter.” )
  • Ela é a filha mais velha. (“She is the oldest daughter.” )
  • Tenho dois irmãos mais velhos. (“I have two older siblings/brothers.” )
  • Eu vivo com meus pais. (“I live with my parents.” )
  • Ele não tem filhos. (“He doesn’t have children.” )
  • Os almoços de família são sempre cheios de parentes. (“The family lunches are always full of relatives.” )

When talking to a Portuguese speaker, the conversation about family could go a bit like this:

A: Como está a sua família? (“How’s your family?” )
B: Estão todos bem. E sua mãe? (“Everyone is doing well. How about your mother?l” )
A: Ela está melhor, obrigado. Você tem irmãos, não é? (“She is better, thank you. You have siblings, right?” )
B: Tenho sim! Um irmão mais novo e uma irmã mais velha. (“I do! A younger brother and an older sister.” )
A: Legal! Eu sou filho único. Meus pais nunca quiseram mais filhos. (“Cool! I am an only child. My parents never wanted more children.” )

A Large Family Lunch

3. The Relatives You See at Christmas

As we explained before, Brazilians tend to be very close to their relatives, and family gatherings or reunions are a big affair.

Avó “Grandmother”
Avô “Grandfather”
Avós “Grandparents”
Bisavó “Great-grandmother”
Bisavô “Great-grandfather”
Bisavós “Great-grandparents”
Neto “Grandson”
Neta “Granddaughter”
Netos/Netas “Grandchildren”
Tio “Uncle”
Tia “Aunt”
Tios “Uncles” or plural form of “uncles + aunts”
Tias “Aunts”

Note that the first plurals in the table above sound “feminine,” even though the plural favors males as explained previously. This is only a matter of making the word sound more pleasant.

/!\ Tio (“uncle” ) and tia (“aunt” ) are also used to informally refer to friends’ parents or other adults.

Primo “Cousin” (male)
Prima “Cousin” (female)
Primos “Cousins”
Sobrinho “Nephew”
Sobrinha “Niece”
Sobrinhos “Nephews” or plural form of “nephews + nieces”
Sobrinhas “Nieces”
Madrinha “Godmother”v
Padrinho “Godfather”
Padrinhos “Godparents”
Afilhado “Godson”
Afilhada “Goddaughter”

Check out some examples of dialogues including questions and answers using the new vocabulary.

A: Você tem padrinhos? (“Do you have godparents?” )
B: Sim! Minha madrinha é uma amiga da minha avó. Meu padrinho é meu tio, irmão mais velho do meu pai. (“Yes! My godmother is one of my grandmother’s friends. My godfather is my uncle, my father’s oldest brother.” )
A: Legal! Quantos tios você tem, só um? (“Cool! How many uncles do you have, only one?” )
B: Por parte de pai, só um. Por parte de mãe, tenho um tio e dua tias. (“From my father’s side, only one. From my mother’s side, I have one uncle and two aunts.” )

Another example dialogue:

A: Como foi a festa de aniversário do seu sobrinho? (“How was your nephew’s birthday party?” )
B: Foi muito boa! Todos meus primos estavam lá, então deu pra ver todo mundo! (“It was very good! All of my cousins were there, so I could see everyone!” )
A: E seus avós, eles foram? (“How about your grandparents, did they go?” )
B: Minha avó, sim. Mas meu avô ficou em casa cuidando da minha bisavó. (“My grandmother did. But my grandfather stayed home taking care of my great-grandmother.” )
A: Ah, entendi. (“Oh, I see.” )
B: Mas minha avó ficou feliz de ver todos os netos e netas. (“But my grandmother was happy to see all of her grandchildren.” )

A Grandmother Being Kissed By Her Grandchildren

Avó e netos (“Grandmother and grandchildren” )

Listen to the pronunciation for the must-know family terms on PortuguesePod101!

4. The New Family: Couples

Beyond the immediate family ties, you also have to learn how to talk about the new family members a married person acquires!

With the new words you’ll see below, you’ll be able to talk about love and passionate relationships. This way, if you need to DTR (define the relationship) in Portuguese, you’ll have nothing to fear!

Here’s how to talk about newly acquired members of the family in Portuguese, and how to define certain relationships.

Casal “Couple”
Esposo / Marido “Husband”
Esposa / Mulher “Wife”
Casados “Married”
Noivo “Fiancé” / “Groom”
Noiva “Fiancée” / “Bride”
Noivos “Engaged couple”
Namorado “Boyfriend”
Namorada “Girlfriend”
Namorados “Dating couple”
Parceiro “Partner” (male)
Parceira “Partner” (female)
Ex “Ex”
Divorciado “Divorced” (male)
Divorciada “Divorced” (female)
Amante “Lover”
Amantes “Lovers”
Viúvo “Widower”
Viúva “Widow”

Here’s a dialogue example filled with real-life phrases you might hear in Portuguese:

A: Finalmente vou conhecer a sua namorada? (“Will I finally meet your girlfriend?” )
B: Namorada, não. Mas a minha noiva sim! (“Girlfriend, no. But my fiancée, yes!” )
A: Não acredito! (“I don’t believe it!” )
B: Acredite! Tenho uma foto dela, olha. (“Believe it! I have a picture of her, look.” )
A: Ah, muito mais bonita do que sua ex-esposa. Fazem um casal lindo! (“Oh, she is much prettier than your ex-wife. You make a beautiful couple!” )

A Couple Arriving at the House of Someone Else

O casal chegou! (“The couple arrived!” )

→ If love is in the air, you might want to learn these love phrases with PortuguesePod101!

5. Extending the New Family: In-laws

Once the family expands, you’ll have to get used to many more family members! Nothing to worry about, though. In real life, the in-laws tend to be less scary than in the movies.

In Portuguese, it’s not as easy as simply adding “-in-law” to already familiar words. So take your time to practice and understand these different words for the extended family in Portuguese!

Sogro “Father-in-law”
Sogra “Mother-in-law”
Sogros “Parents-in-law” or plural for “father-in-law + mother-in-law”

Genro “Son-in-law”
Nora “Daughter-in-law”
Cunhado “Brother-in-law”
Cunhada “Sister-in-law”

For example:

  • Manda um beijo para a sua sogra. (“Send a kiss to your mother-in-law.” )
  • Quantos cunhados você tem? (“How many brothers-in-law do you have?” )
  • Meu genro é muito inteligente. (“My son-in-law is very smart.” )

5. Blended Families

Like in many other countries, the family structure is changing rapidly in Brazil. The term “blended family” refers to cases where one or both of the spouses have children from other relationships. That means more family relations and more words to discover!

Here’s a list of words you can use to describe these family ties in Portuguese:

Padrasto “Stepfather”
Madrasta “Stepmother”
Enteado “Stepson”
Enteada “Stepdaughter”
Enteados “Stepchildren”
Meia-irmã “Half-sister”
Meio-irmão “Half-brother”
Meio-irmãos “Half-siblings”
Irmã do outro casamento “Stepsister,” literally translating to “sister from another marriage”
Irmão do outro casamento “Stepbrother,” literally translating to “brother from another marriage”
Irmãos do outro casamento “Step-siblings”

As you can see, the terms for step-siblings are a mouthful. As a result, they’re not used very often, and it’s common to just use the words irmão (“brother”), irmã (“sister”), or irmãos (“siblings” ) to refer to step-siblings.

Here are some examples:

  • Eu gosto da minha madrasta. (“I like my stepmother.” )
  • Nossos meio-irmãos são mais novos. (“Our half-siblings are younger.” )
  • A sua enteada tem quantos anos? (“How old is your stepdaughter?” )

A Family Having Fun at the Beach

A família foi para a praia (“The family went to the beach” )

6. Showing Affection: Endearment Terms

As we said before, family relations are very important and central to Brazilian culture. Therefore, it’s not surprising that there are plenty of endearment terms used to refer to some of the family members we covered in this article.

Why don’t we play a game, then? Take a look at the words below and try to guess what family member each term refers to. After you’re done, scroll down to get the answers!

Mamãe
Papai
Vovó
Vovô
Dinda
Dindo
Bisa
Biso
Titio
Titia

Hey, no cheating!

But if you’re done, here’s the translation for each word:

Mamãe “Mommy”
Papai “Dad”
Vovó “Grandma”
Vovô “Grandpa”
Dinda Endearment term for “godmother”
Dindo Endearment term for “godfather”
Bisa Endearment term for “great-grandmother”
Biso Endearment term for “great-grandfather”
Titio Endearment term for “uncle”
Titia “Auntie,” endearment term for “aunt”

In addition to the terms listed above, it’s very common to use the diminutive ending to convey affection. For the cases we’re discussing in this article, the endings are:

  • -inho for masculine words
  • -inha for feminine words

And here are some examples of endearment terms with the diminutive ending.

  • Mãe (“mother” ) → Mãezinha
  • Pai (“father” ) → Paizinho
  • Avó (“grandmother” ) → Vózinha
  • Avô (“grandfather” ) → Vôzinho
  • Vovó (“grandma” ) → Vovózinha
  • Vovô (“grandpa” ) → Vovôzinho
  • Prima (“cousin” female ) → Priminha
  • Primo (“cousin” male ) → Priminho
  • Tia (“aunt” ) → Tiazinha
  • Tio (“uncle” ) → Tiozinho
  • Neta (“granddaughter” ) → Netinha
  • Neto (“grandson” ) → Netinho

In some places in the north and/or the northeast of Brazil, you can also hear the following endearment terms:

  • Mainha (“mom”; exclusive to the Northeast)
  • Painho (“dad”; exclusive to the Northeast)
  • Mana / Maninha (“sis” / “sister” )
  • Mano / Maninho (“bro” / “brother” )
  • Maninha (“little sister” )
  • Maninho (“little brother” )

/!\ While in the north and northeast of Brazil, mano and mana are used to refer to blood relations, those words can also be used as slang throughout Brazil. Context will be your best friend when you encounter those words!

An Elderly Man with His Grandson

Avôzinho e netinho (“Grandfather and his little grandson” )

7. Learn More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

We hope this complete guide to talking about family in Portuguese was helpful to you! Now you’re ready to engage in conversation about family members and tell old family tales like a native Portuguese speaker. If you want to take it a step further, practice the pronunciation of the terms and words you learned today.

Were the examples we presented useful? Did we miss any important words you wanted to learn? Let us know in the comments! And remember that you can come back to this article whenever you need to and refresh your memory.

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