Greetings are often the first thing you cover when learning a new language—and in Portuguese, it’s no different.
you need a reminder of your basic hellos and goodbyes, or you’re yet to
learn them, here are some of the key greetings you need to know:
1. Bom dia/Boa tarde/Boa noite — Good morning/afternoon/night
2. Olá — Hello
3. Oi — Hi
4. Alô/Está lá — Hello (on the phone)
Note that the former is used in Brazil while you’d say the latter in Portugal.
5. Tchau — Bye
6. Até logo! — See you later!
7. Até amanhã — See you tomorrow
8. Adeus — Goodbye (formal)
9. Tudo bem? — How are you?
10. Como vai? — How’s it going?
11. Eu estou bem, e você/e tú? — I’m good, how are you?
Note that e você? is the form of “and you?” most commonly used in Brazil. E tú? is the preferred form in Portugal, though you tend to hear it in certain parts of Brazil too.
manners always make a positive impression. If you’re ever traveling to
Brazil or Portugal, these terms will help prevent any cultural
misunderstandings that might arise from basic etiquette:
12. Por favor — Please
In Brazil, por favor is
also commonly used in the same way that “excuse me” is said in English
when you’re trying to politely grab someone’s attention.
13. Com licença — Excuse me
14. Obrigado/Obrigada — Thank you
Note that obrigado is masculine and therefore said by men and boys; obrigada is the feminine counterpart that women and girls would use.
15. De nada — You’re welcome
16. Desculpa/Desculpe — I’m sorry
Both are a variation of the same thing, though desculpe is slightly more formal.
17. Perdão — Forgive me/pardon me
18. Prazer — Nice to meet you
19. O senhor/a senhora — Formal way of saying “you” when addressing a man (senhor) or a woman (senhora)
For example: O senhor/a senhora poderia me ajudar? — Would you be able to help me?
There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. In fact, it’s all part of the learning experience.
If you’re talking to a native Portuguese speaker, use these phrases to aid your comprehension:
20. (Você/O senhor/A senhora) Fala inglês? — Do you speak English?
In Portugal, just saying Fala inglês? will suffice. In Brazil, it’s more common to precede with você or, if appropriate, the more formal versions of “you.”
21. Alguém aqui fala inglês? — Does anyone here speak English?
22. Não compreendo — I don’t understand
23. Eu compreendo — I understand
24. Não entendi — I didn’t understand [what you said]
25. Entendi — I understood/I understand (the past in this sense is used as an affirmation)
26. Eu não sei — I don’t know
27. Como se diz… em Português? — How do you say … in Portuguese?
28. Fale mais devagar, por favor — Please speak more slowly
to Brazil or Portugal? Then these questions will definitely help you
along the way. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’ll help
you get started:
29. Onde é o banheiro? — Where is the bathroom? (Brazilian Portuguese)
30. Onde fica a casa de banho? — Where is the bathroom? (European Portuguese)
31. Quanto custa? — How much does this cost?
32. Que horas são? — What time is it?
33. Que horas abre/fecha? — What time does this place open/close?
An alternative to this is: Que horas vocês abrem/fecham? — What time do you open/close?
34. Para onde vai esse trem/ônibus? — Where does this train/bus go?
35. Como chego ao (à)… — How do I get to…?
Grammar note: use ao for masculine nouns, à for feminine.
For instance: Como chego à estação de trem? — How do I get to the train station?; Como chego ao ponto de ônibus? — How do I get to the bus stop?
36. Você pode me mostrar no mapa? — Could you show me on the map [where this is]?
37. Qual é o seu nome? — What is your name?
38. Me chamo… — My name is…
An alternative to this is: Meu nome é…
39. Estou com saudades/Tenho saudades — I miss you (Brazilian/European Portuguese respectively)
40. Eu estou doente — I’m sick
41. Preciso de sua/tua ajuda — I need your help (Use sua in Brazil and tua in Portugal)
42. Sim/não — Yes/no
43. Quando? — When?
44. Por quê? — Why?
45. Vamos! — Let’s go!
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