Common Portuguese Words
Portuguese is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Several countries, located on almost every continent, use it as their official language. Moreover, due to the significant geopolitical role that many of these countries play, the language of the renowned writer Camões has become an important tool for economical and cultural exchanges.
To start your immersion in this beautiful language, it is necessary to become familiar with some of its rules, structures, and common phrases. This way, you will feel confident in your interactions with the over 200 million people who use the Portuguese language in their day-to-day lives.
Rules and Structures
Here are a few Portuguese language grammar tips to keep in mind:
- The personal pronouns are eu (I), você (you), ele (he), ela (she), nós (we), vocês (you), eles (masc. form of they), elas (fem. form of they).
- In Portuguese, the basic sentence structure is very similar to English: subject + verb + object.
- You can often omit the subject, since it can be understood by the verb ending. So you can say Eu como muito (I eat a lot) or just Como muito.
- Place não (no/not) before the verb to make a sentence negative: Ele não é brasileiro (He is not Brazilian).
- Even though the letter h exists in words, it is never pronounced.
- Unlike English, vowel sounds hardly change in Portuguese. The letters a, e, i, o, u sound like ah, eh, ih, oh, ooh.
- The verbs ser and estar are the two forms of the “to be” verb. Ser indicates a state of permanence that is unlikely to change (Eu sou brasileira – I am Brazilian), whereas estar refers to a state or condition that is likely to change (Eu estou cansado – I am tired).
- Concerning gender, most words ending in –o are masculine (menino – boy, bolo – cake), while most words ending in –a are feminine (menina – girl, bola – ball).
- >Adjectives are usually placed after nouns: A menina bonita (The beautiful girl).
Common Portuguese Phrases
When traveling to one of the eight countries that use Portuguese as its official language, learning a few phrases and expressions can be a big help in filling a communication gap. Here are some phrases and expressions that will be a great ally in your travels and will help you to be understood.
- Hello! – Olá! // Oi (informal)
- Goodbye. – Adeus. // Tchau (informal)
- It is nice to meet you. – Prazer em te conhecer.
- How are you? – Come vai você? // Tudo bem? (informal)
- Yes. – Sim.
- No. – Não.
- Please – Por favor
- Thank you. – Obrigado./ Obrigada
- Good morning. – Bom dia.
- Good night. – Boa noite.
- What time is it? – Que horas são?
- What is your name? – Qual é o seu nome?
- Let me introduce myself. – Deixe-me apresentar-me.
- My name is… – Me chamo…
- I don’t understand. – Não entendo.
- Happy birthday! – Feliz aniversário!
- Merry Christmas! – Feliz Natal!
- Happy New Year! – Feliz Ano-novo!
- Where is...? – Onde é…?
- I need help. – Preciso de ajuda.
- I don't speak Portuguese. – Não falo Português.
- I speak a little Portuguese. – Falo um pouco de Português.
- Do you speak English? – Você fala inglês?
- Where is the restroom? – Onde é o banheiro?
- I would like a glass of water. – Gostaria de um copo d’água.
- I’m not well. – Não me sinto bem.
- I live in the United States. – Moro nos Estados Unidos.
- I live in Canada. – Moro no Canadá.
- I am on vacation. – Estou de férias.
- I am lost. – Estou perdido.
- I can't find my passport. – Não encontro meu passaporte.
- Taxi – Taxi
- Bus – Ônibus
- Train – Trem
- Airplane – Avião
- Car. – Carro
- Where can I catch a taxi (a bus)? – Onde posso pegar um taxi (um ônibus)?
People from Portuguese-speaking countries, especially those from Brazil, are known for openly expressing their feelings. So here are some sentences that will help you to express yours as well.
- I love you. – Amo você.
- You are beautiful. – Você é bonita.
- You are handsome. – Você é bonito.
- Would you like to go out with me? –Gostaria de sair comigo?
- Would you like to have dinner with me? – Gostaria de jantar comigo?
- You have beautiful eyes. – Você tem belos olhos.
- Will you marry me? – Quer casar comigo?
Numbers in Portuguese
Numbers are paramount for a multitude of everyday situations, such as going shopping, paying bills, and finding addresses. Therefore, it is important to learn some numbers in Portuguese in order to prevent any errors in communication. Here is some core vocabulary:
- One – Um
- Two – Dois
- Three – Três
- Four – Quatro
- Five – Cinco
- Six – Seis
- Seven – Sete
- Eight – Oito
- Nine – Nove
- Ten – Dez
- Twenty – Vinte
- Thirty – Trinta
- Forty – Quarenta
- Fifty – Cinquenta
- Sixty – Sessenta
- Seventy – Setenta
- Eighty – Oitenta
- Ninety – Noventa
- One hundred – Cem
- One thousand – Mil
Days of the Week and Months in Portuguese
Like numbers, days of the week and months are essential in planning a trip whether it is for business or pleasure. The following list contains all you need to know in order to schedule meetings of any sort.
- Monday – Segunda
- Tuesday – Terça
- Wednesday – Quarta
- Thursday – Quinta
- Friday – Sexta
- Saturday – Sábado
- Sunday – Domingo
- January – Janeiro
- February – Fevereiro
- March – Março
- April – Abril
- May – Maio
- June – Junho
- July – Julho
- August – Agosto
- September – Setembro
- October – Outubro
- November – Novembro
- December – Dezembro
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