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Brazilian Portuguese (português brasileiro) is the variety of Portuguese spoken in Brazil. European Portuguese differs from the Brazilian variety in pronunciation, as well as in some vocabulary, though the written language is much closer than the oral. Due to the wide distribution of Brazilian television programs to the rest of the Portuguese-speaking world, many speakers in the Eastern Hemisphere can converse with Brazilians without great difficulty. Brazilians may have difficulty understanding certain words, especially slang terms, in European Portuguese but in general, if spoken slowly, educated speakers of either variety of Portuguese can understand each other.



The Portuguese alphabet (alfabeto) has 23 letters, plus 3 foreign ones. Accented vowels, cedillas (see below), diphthongs, digraphs (including ch), etc. do not count separately. The alphabet is a b c d e f g h i j l m n o p q r s t u v x z with additional characters á à â ã ç é ê í ó ô õ ú. By far the most common diphthong is ão. The alphabet, when pronounced, is similar to Spanish: á bê cê dê é efe gê agá i jota ele eme ene ó pê quê erre esse tê u vê xis zê. The letters k (), w (dábliu), and y (ípsilon) are usually used only in words of foreign origin. In Brazil, this includes most of the indigenous languages, as their writing was developed by German anthropologists. Words such as Kayapó, Wapishana, and Yanomami refer to the names of a few of these indigenous tribes.



Written vs. spoken


In Brazil, spoken language can be very different from written language and official grammar, confusing non-native speakers. While gíria (slang) is common and difficult to understand, it is generally not used around foreigners. Less educated people are likely to use slang a lot. The written language is also much closer to Spanish than what is spoken. But make no mistake, Brazilian Portuguese is phonetically much closer to modern Galician than to European Portuguese, let alone Spanish. If you're a Spanish speaker and try speaking "portuñol", people will most likely look at you in confusion and wonder what you're saying, if not going into "what a stupid gringo" mode.

Gender, plurals, and adjectives


To avoid duplication, see wikibooks[dead link]. Also, Portuguese words ending in _ão are often, but not always, feminine. Their plurals, most of the time, simply replace _ão with _ões. (Example: a televisão, as televisões) To be sure, look it up in a dictionary. Even words that are the same in both English and Portuguese can be different in plural form, depending on the last letter. Example: 1 hotel (oh TEL), 2 hotéis (oh TAYS).

In Portuguese, the names of most countries of the world take the definite article, inflected according to the name's gender and number, e.g. 'o Brasil', 'o Peru', 'a Argentina', 'o Chile', 'os Estados Unidos da América', 'a China', 'o Japão', 'o Timor-Leste', 'as Filipinas'. The same is true for a few cities: Oporto in Portugal, 'o Rio de Janeiro', 'o Recife', 'o Prado' in Bahia, 'o Gama', 'o Guará' and 'a Ceilândia' near Brasília in Brazil. By contrast, calling The Hague 'a Haia' in a Brazilian Portuguese-speaking environment is somewhat pedantic, however correct, 'Haia' will do. Surprisingly, Portugal itself has no gender or article, along with most African Portuguese-speaking countries; the exception is 'a Guiné-Bissau'. For Lusophones, the funniest Portuguese-born toponym ever has always been a República dos Camarões, literally "The Shrimps' Republic".

Pronouns for "you"


These can be a little confusing, especially for those transitioning from other Romance languages to Brazilian Portuguese. Originally in Portugal, the archaic Vossa Mercê, "Your Mercy", which in Brazil got shorter, vosmecê, and finally became você (vou-SAY), with its plural Vossas Mercês / vosmecês / vocês (vou-SAYS), were the formal "You"; tu and the plural vós were the informal, with all four having conjugations of their own. In the Brazilian contemporary context, vós is only used to address God in prayer, and tu is properly conjugated only in certain areas of the North and Northeast. Elsewhere, tu is usually followed by the same verb endings as você. Thus, most Brazilians do not use the verb endings for the 2nd person, making it much easier to learn just the 1st and 3rd person. However, they do use informally the 2nd person pronouns te ([to] you), ti ([for] you), teu/tua[s] (yours), contigo (with you), very similarly to Spanish and French (some highbrow university professors will even thus use vosso/vossa[s] and convosco in class). Since this eliminates much of the grammar-based formality, to be formal, replace you with o senhor (oh sen-YOUR) for a man, a senhora (ah sen-YOUR-ah) for a woman, and a senhorita (ah sen-your-REE-tah) for a young unmarried lady. This can also be done just before their name (equivalent to Mr., Mrs., and Miss respectively), or it can be spoken by itself initially (with or without a name) in order to get someone's attention.

Dropping the plural


Informal speech in Brazil may avoid the plural altogether by using a gente (the people) for we and todo mundo (everybody) for they. Both forms use 3rd person singular. There's a subtle difference between todo mundo (everybody) and todo o mundo (all the world). Outside Brazil, toda a gente substitutes todo mundo. Unfortunately, this isn't much of a shortcut, as the we form is by far the easiest, and the they form is still needed for objects.

It is also becoming common to see people dropping the final S in the nouns as it happens in French. So words like "as casas" are spoken as "as casa". However, in written form, that is not accepted.

Other pronouns


It is very common (though technically incorrect) to use ele/a as the object pronoun for "it." Eu encontrei ele. I found it. If the "it" is intangible, best to change to the Portuguese genderless word for "this." Amo muito tudo isso. I'm loving it.

eu (think of the A in "say", Aw)
tu (too)
you (informal, with incorrectly conjugated verbs. Semi-formal in some northern and northeastern regional accents, but seldom used elsewhere)
ele (A-lee)
he, it (m)
ela (homophonic to Ella Fitzgerald)
she, it (f)
nós (noise)
vós (voise)
you — plural (nowadays, only found on ancient and biblical texts)
eles (A-lease)
they, them (mixed gender ok)
elas (EH-lass)
they, them (all females/feminine)

Avoid confusion with third person possessives


Possessives are used like the definite articles (o,a, os, as) and are genderized by what is being possessed—not who possesses them (as in English his/her). Also, the definite article precedes the possessive in most dialects. (The main exception is Northeast Brazil, including Salvador, Bahia.)

Beware, seu(s) and sua(s) can either mean your (second person), or his/her/their (third person). The default is the second person. Only if there is no possibility that it could belong to "you" is the use in the third person allowed. (Exception: if the tu or vós forms are being used, then seu/sua become the 3rd person and teu/tua or vosso/vossa are used instead .) Sua boca = your mouth. Seu carro = your car. But if you don't have a car, then it means "his or her car." If you do have a car, and they want to talk about someone else's car, then they have to say o carro dele (the car of his), or o carro dela (the car of hers). Notice that dele/dela (unlike regular possessives) are based on who possesses them (like English). This can be very confusing and requires practice.

  • a sua namorada     his girlfriend   Assuming she's not your girlfriend (spoken by another person), as this would have priority unless tu (i.e. teu/tua) is being used.

Note the feminine possessive pronoun sua becomes the masculine his in English

  • a namorada dele     literally: the girlfriend of his

In this case, le is masculine. Normally translated as just "his girlfriend."



This topic is much too complex for a phrasebook. In general though, infinitive verbs (i.e. as found in the dictionary) end in _ar, _er, and _ir (like Spanish) plus there's one irregular infinitive pôr (to put). A lot of the most common verbs are irregular, and must be memorized (except in the we form, most of the time). Você, ele, ela, (and usually tu in Brazil -- see above) share the same verb set, as do (separately) vocês, eles, and elas. By not using the second person, you also avoid having to change verbal commands when switching from affirmative to negative: (you) go , (you) don't go não vá, but with tu it's vai (affirmative) and não vás (negative) which is more complicated.

Pronunciation guide


Portuguese has both nasal vowels and reduced vowels. Nearly everyone struggles to learn them correctly. If you don't reduce the vowels, you will still be understood, but sound over-enunciating. If you don't nasalize the vowels, you can easily be misunderstood: mão means "hand", while mau means "bad." So, be extra careful not to ouch the ão sound. For starters, try something in between English no and now for não (which means English no). Start practicing with words whose preceding consonant doesn't have much lip movement. For example, não is easier than pão (bread). A good native pronunciation of this diphthong will take lots of listening and practice. The nasals are transcribed as "ng", but don't pronounce "ng" as a consonant.

Brazilian and Luso (European Portuguese) pronunciation differ, and within Brazil, there are regional differences as well. The Brazilian variant used here is generally based on the São Paulo pronunciation.

Vowels and accents


Nasal Vowels

Like French, Portuguese has its share of nasal vowels. These are written in one of six ways:

  • 1.) A tilde over the vowel: ã, õ (This is also the phonetic representation of the nasal vowel.)
  • 2.) Any vowel followed by m at the end of a word
  • 3.) Any vowel followed by n plus a consonant (except nh)
  • 4.) Any vowel followed by m plus b or p
  • 5.) The vowel â with the circumflex (stressed)
  • 6.) The diphthong ui, if in the middle of a word

Often, but not always, nasal vowels occur at the end of a word.


  • 1.) ímã (EE-mon, magnet; a tricky word, end it nasally as Brazilians do, don't move your tongue or close the mouth for the final N), rã (frog; say aloud the English word hum not closing your mouth for the final M, and you'll nail it), irmã (eeh-MON with mouth open, sister); diphthongs: irmão (eeh-MOWNG, brother), cão (kawng, dog), Camões (the poet Camoens)
  • 2.) andam (AHN-downg, they walk), viagem (vee-AH-zheng, trip), ruim (hoo-EENG, bad), bom (bowng, good), algum (ahl-GOONG, singular male form of adjective "some")
  • 3.) antes (AHN-tease, before), mundo (MOON-doo, world), ano (AHN-noo, year), but not anu (ah-NOO, a bird), nulo (NOO-loo, null), enorme (ee-NORE-mee, enormous), banho (BAHN-yoo, bath), etc.)
  • 4.) caçamba (kah-SAHM-bah, freight truck), emprego (een-PRAY-goo, job), simples (SEEM-please, simple), combinar (kown-bee-NARG, to combine, to harmonize one's clothes, to set up a date), penumbra (penn-OOM-brah, astronomical word)
  • 5.) lâmpada (LAHM-pah-dah, lamp), but not você, avô (ah-VOU-oo, grandfather), etc.
  • 6.) muito (MWYN-too, much): slight nasalization


Statistically speaking, most Brazilian Portuguese words are paroxytones (stressed on the second-to-last syllable). If in doubt, remember this. Proparoxytones (third-to-last syllable), such as último (OOL-chee-moo, last) and próximo (PRAW-see-moo, next), are very rare and will always bear an accent. Oxytones (last syllable) such as the male names José (zhoo-ZED, mouth open), João (zhoo-AWNG), Tomé (tom-MET, mouth open), Luís (lew-EES), André (unDREAD, with a short Spanish "El Rey" R, and the mouth open), Valdir (vow-JEER), Cauã (kow-AHM, mouth open), Simão (see-MOWNG) and Iberê (ee-bay-RAY, with a short Spanish "El Rey" R, and the mouth open) are often clearly marked as well. If you encounter tricky words such as the lawyer's term acórdão (ah-CORE-down), remember that the stress is marked by the acute accent, not the tilde.

Similar to Spanish: Words ending in -a, -e, -o, -m, or -s are stressed on the next to the last syllable. Words ending in any consonant except -m or -s are stressed on the last syllable. (Portuguese words end in m instead of n.)

Dissimilar to Spanish: Words ending in -i and -u are stressed on the last syllable. This includes the nasal vovels -im and -um. (The final -m is not pronounced as a consonant here.)

Exceptions to the above will have an accent mark. This is why the word táxi is accented in Portuguese, but not in Spanish.

While in many languages, the accent mark indicates the stress, and the vowel used indicates the sound, Portuguese sometimes reverses this concept (though not in the same word). The accent mark shortens the vowel sound, and which of two vowels a word ends with determines the stress, but both have the same sound. However, accent marks have priority in determining which syllable is stressed.

Words ending in -e and -i have the same sound (ee), but -e is stressed on the next to the last syllable, and -i is stressed on the last syllable. The diphthong ei is used for the long "a" (as in weigh) sound at the end of a stressed syllable.

Words ending in -o and -u have the same sound (oo), but -o is stressed on the next to the last syllable, and -u is stressed on the last syllable. The diphthong ou is used for the long "o" (as in four) sound at the end of a stressed syllable.


like father
like the u in the English word hum (nasal)
like set, say, or eight. At the end of words it is pronounced as a short ee.

See also the diphthong ei

closed e
like herd. Often spelled with an accent mark: ê
like let
like machine
Usually rounded (like in cold) except at the end of a word, when it is pronounced as a short oo, as in the English word to. See also the diphthong ou.
open o
like in hot. Also spelled ó
like in low.
say mown or song with mouth open, end nasally
like soup or book



Regional accents have somewhat been homogenized by mass media, but still vary widely. The Luso speech's sonic trait of "windsurfing between the vowels", rarely unmentioned by comparative phonology scholars, is very present in the "carioca", "maranhense" and "paraense" regional accents. The Paulista and southern accents are very influenced by Italian and Spanish immigration, and will accordingly roll their R's; elsewhere, a more English "H" sound (or the French R) is used instead. The M is also nasalised at the end of words (sim, mim) and the English "M" sound should be dropped even if the next word begins with a vowel. In this phrasebook, it's represented by an N (the closest possible sound). Also, be careful with words containing "Te" and "Ti" (see below).

like 'b' in "bed"
like 'c' in "cat"
ce     ci
like in cell and civil.
like 's' in soft or super. The mark below the letter "c" is called a cedilla in English or cedilha in Portuguese. It is used to force the soft C before vowels other than E or I.
like 'd' in "dog". Like 'j' in "jump" when before an "i" or "e"
like 'f' in "father"
like 'g' in "good". Same as the d above, the letter is never softened between vowels as in Spanish. Example: foguete (foo-GHETT-chee, rocket)
ge     gi
like 's' in pleasure
Silent. See Common digraphs below and r and rr for the English "h" sound. Note: many Spanish words starting with this silent "H" begin with "F" in Portuguese (and in other Romance languages) such as "hacer" v.s "fazer" (to do).
like 's' in pleasure
Found only in words of foreign origin, so pronounce accordingly. See letters c and q for the English "k" sound.
like 'l' in "love". The final L is vocalised (like in "cold"). Brazilians will make it a "u" sound (like in "mal" sounding like the English "ow", as in "now".) Unlike English, words ending in L are normally stressed on the final syllable. Example: capital (cah-pee-TAU)
like 'm' in "mother".
Nasalizes the preceding vowel, and is dropped at the end of a word.
like nice. Nasalizes the preceding vowel and is silent when followed by a consonant. (See Common digraphs below.)
like 'p' in "pig"
like "unique". Qu is usually followed by e  or i  as a way to get the k sound. Words with qua will sound just as 'qua' in the English word "quack".
like 'h' in "help", only harder. See also RR in Common Digraphs below. It's often pronounced like a Spanish J.
like 'r' in "Harry".
like the Spanish 'r'.
  • Examples:

        fresta (FRES-tah)   a loophole
        hora (OH-rah)   hour, time

like "hiss" at the beginning of words, "haze" between vowels, "sure" in final position/before consonants in Rio de Janeiro, or as s elsewhere (like the regular plural ending sound in English).
like 't' in "top"

...te   (if unstressed, i.e. no accent mark)  
te + a...  (the 'a' is pronounced in the next syllable)
ti   (in any syllable)
        like 'chee' in cheese
Note this is completely different from Spanish

  • Examples:

        teatro (chee-AHT-roh)   theatre
        tipo (CHEE-po)   type
        rotina (ho-CHEE-nah)   routine
        assisti (ah-sist-CHEE)   I watched/helped/attended
        teste (TES-chee)   test
        até (ah-TEH)   until

like 'v' in "victory"
Found only in words of foreign origin, so pronounce accordingly. Mostly pronounced as 'v' (Volkswagen) or 'u' (Wilson).
like "box", "shoe", "zip" or even "yes". The correct pronunciation of the X is not easy to deduce. It is usually pronounced like sh before a vowel, and "ks" if preceding another consonant (but not always).
Found only in words of foreign origin, so pronounce accordingly. The digraph lh sounds like a "ly". (see Common digraphs below)
like 'z' in "zebra," or like a soft s when final ("paz", "luz")

Common diphthongs


Two vowels together not listed as diphthongs usually means a hiato, or syllable split. Example: ia in Bahia (bah-EE-ah). Any accent mark (not counting the tilde such as ão and õe) will split a diphthong into two regular vowels (see above).

same as ã and â, but unstressed     andam (AHN-downg)   they walk (nasal)
like bike (often equivalent to Spanish 'AY')     praia   beach
aí   (with an accent)
Not a diphthong; just a, (new syllable), stressed i     saída (sah-EE-dah) exit
similar to uwng (u as in cup)     dão   they give (nasal)
used only in contractions, and the same sound as au below
like house     Manaus   THE city in the Amazon River
like say (best equivalent to Spanish 'E')     meio (MAY-oo)   half.
the e vowel (similar to the A in "say") plus a w semivowel, very unheard in English     Europa   Europe
like reign     viagem   travel or journey; Belém (bay-LEIGN) do Pará (nasal).
like boy     constrói   he constructs
like the British Oi!     oito   eight
same as õ, but closing the mouth with a brief M afterwards;     som   sound (nasal)
as in own   false diphthong   (pronounced the same as the Portuguese vowel 'Ô')     sou (sô)   I am   Do not pronounce as "OY  " as in Spanish. Doing so is portuñol and will mark you as a gringo.
nasal oi     ele põe   he puts; Luís Vaz de Camões (nasal)
like room     algum some (nasal)

Common digraphs

like machine (sh sound) Completely different from Spanish. In Brazil, letter t when followed by i or final e produces the Spanish & English "ch" sound (see above).
  • Example:

        chuva (SHOO-vah)   rain

like million (equivalent to Spanish LL) Note: Spanish words starting with "LL" very often convert to "CH" (with the sh sound) in Portuguese (see above)
  • Example:

        velho (VEL-yo)   old

like canyon (equivalent to Spanish Ñ and NI, but note that Ñ most often becomes just N in Portuguese)
  • Examples:

        banho (BAN-yo)   bath;   piranha (pee-RAHN-yah) man-eating fish, also pejorative term for "prostitute"
the r is pronounced like help
  • Example:

        honra (ON-ha)   honor

In Brazil, like help (same as R at the beginning of a word).
  • Example:

        cachorro (cah-SHOW-ho)   dog
prevents the S becoming Z between vowels.
  • Examples:

        assado (ah-SAH-doo, roasted); casado (cah-ZAH-doo, married) / cassado (cah-SAH-doo, debarred from office)

European vs. Brazilian Portuguese

See also: Portuguese phrasebook

Besides pronunciation differences, there are also significant lexical differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese. As an example, Brazilian Portuguese only uses você as the singular second person pronoun, while European Portuguese distinguishes between the casual tu and the polite você.

The table below provides some common words that differ between the two varieties.

Example differences between European/African Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese
English Portugal Brazil Notes
hello olá oi
bus autocarro ônibus
train comboio trem
girl rapariga menina Rapariga means "whore" in Brazilian Portuguese
juice sumo suco
mobile phone telemóvel celular
ice cream gelado sorvete In European Portuguese, sorvete only means "sorbet" or "sherbet"
line (of people waiting) bicha fila In Portugal, bicha may be used as slang for the more common fila, but in Brazil, it's a homophobic slur referring to gay men
pineapple ananás abacaxi Ananás is the most common name for "pineapple" in European Portuguese, and while abacaxi is still used, it typically refers to sweeter varieties
breakfast pequeno-almoço café da manhã
toilet / bathroom casa de banho banheiro
dog cão cachorro In European Portuguese, cachorro only means "puppy". In Brazil, cão is understood but comes across as very stilted. "Hot dog" is always cachorro quente
nickname alcunha apelido In European Portuguese, apelido means "surname"
meat and cheese sandwich Francesinha Bauru
cup chávena xícara
football goalpost baliza trave, goleira
goalkeeper guarda-redes goleiro
football (the ball itself) esférico bola Bola is by far the most used name in Portugal, but it isn't uncommon to hear esférico from sports commentators
goal (in football) golo gol

The numbering system is also different: Portugal uses the long scale, while Brazil uses the short scale.

Phrase list


To ask a question in Portuguese use rising intonation to distinguish it from a statement. This will seem natural as English also uses rising intonation in questions, but Portuguese has no equivalent for Do...?, Did...?, Don't...?, etc.

Also, note in the following example that você (you) -- not tem (have) -- is the first word in the question. Without the question mark, it is no different than a statement. Reversing the first two words (as is often done in Spanish and English) is irrelevant in Portuguese.


(Do) you have a battery for this?
Você tem uma pilha para isto? (voh-SAY teng U-mah PEEL-yah PAH-rah EES-toh?)



Common signs

SAÍDA (sah-EE-dah)
PUXE (CAUTION: sounds similar to English "PUSH")
Good Morning (lit. Good Day)
Bom dia. (bon JEE-ah)
Good Afternoon
Boa tarde. (BOW-ah TAR-jee)
Good Evening / Good Night
Boa noite. (BOW-ah NOY-chee)
Hello. (informal, very similar to the Cockney greeting)
Oi (Oi!)
Thank you. (said by a man)
Obrigado. (ob-ree-GAH-doo) lit. "I'm obliged"
Thank you. (said by a woman)
Obrigada. (ob-ree-GAH-dah) lit. "I'm obliged"
How are you?
Como está? (KOH-moh es-TAH?) or Como vai você? (KOH-moh vahy voh-SAY?)
Are you all right?
Tudo bem? (TOO-do BENG?) or Tudo bom? (bon)
Fine, thank you.
Bem, obrigado/a (BENG, ob-ree-GAH-doo/dah). Also, you can informally say "All well/good", Tudo bem/bom.
Everything is OK. (Lit. "All is well")
Tudo bem (TOO-do BENG. TOO-do oKAY works just as fine).
What is your name? (Lit. "How are you called?")
Como se chama? (KOH-moh se SHA-ma?)
What is your name? (Literal)
Qual é o seu nome? (kwahl eh oh SAY-oo NOH-mee?)
My name is ______ .
Meu nome é ______ . (mehoo NOM-ee ey _____ .)
Nice to meet you.
Muito prazer (em conhecê-lo). (MOOY-to prah-ZEHR eng koh-nye-SEH-lo) The final part is dropped in informal speech.
Please (Lit. "As a favor")
Por favor. (pohr fah-VOHR)
You're welcome (Lit. "For nothing")
De nada. (je NAH-dah)
Sim. (SIN(G))
Não. (NAWN(G))
  • Remember the Portuguese "no" doesn't mean a negation as in English and Spanish—but rather "in the" as a contraction of em + o (Spanish en el). Such contractions are common in Portuguese. Não falo inglês no Brasil. I don't speak English in Brazil.
No (not any) + noun
Nenhum(a) (neh-NYOONG(-ah))
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Com licença (kong lee-SEN-sa)
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
Desculpe-me. (dees-KUL-pee-mee; Brazilians often shorten it to "Desculpa", dees-KUL-pah)
I'm sorry.
Desculpe. (dees-KUL-pay)
I'm sorry. (Lit. "pardon")
Perdão. (pehr-DAWNG)
Goodbye (permanent, lit. "to God")
Adeus. (uh-DEOOS)
Bye (informal, identical to Italian ciao)
Tchau. (CHOW)
See you soon
Até logo (ah-TEH LOH-goh), até breve (ah-TEH BRAH-vee)
I can't speak Portuguese [well].
Não falo [bem] português. (NOWNG FAH-loo [bay(n)] poor-too-GEHS)
I only speak English.
Só falo inglês.
Do you speak English?
Fala inglês? (fah-la in-GLES?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Há aqui alguém que fale inglês? (AH ah-KEE al-GENG keh FAH-lee ing-GLES?)
Socorro! (soo-KOH-hoo!)
Good afternoon (also early evening)
Boa tarde. (BO-ah TAR-jee)
Good evening (also nighttime)
Boa noite. (BO-ah NOI-chee)
I don't understand.
Não compreendo/entendo. (NOWNG kom-pree-EN-doo/een-TEN-doo)
Where is the toilet?
Onde é o banheiro? (OND-de / OND-jee eh o bahn-YAIR-row?)


Leave me alone.
Deixe-me em paz. (DEY-sheh meh eng PIZE) rhymes with "size"
Don't touch me!
Não me toque! (NOWNG meh TOH-keh!)
I'll call the police.
Vô chamar a polícia. (VOU-oo shah-MAH a poh-LEE-see-ah)
Polícia! (poh-LEE-see-ah!)   The second syllable is stressed, unlike Spanish. "Policía" is portuñol.
Stop! Thief!
Pára! Ladrão! (PAH-rah! lah-DROWNG!)
I need your help.
Preciso da sua ajuda. (preh-SEE-zoo dah SOO-ah ah-ZHOO-dah)
It's an emergency.
É uma emergência. (EH oo-mah eh-mer-ZHENG-see-ah)
I'm lost.
Estou perdido(a). (esTOW per-JEE-doo/dah)
I lost my bag.
Perdi a minha mala [bolsa]. (per-JEE a meen-yah MAH-lah)
I lost my wallet.
Perdi a minha carteira.(per-JEE ah MEE-nyah cahr-TAY-rah)
I'm sick.
Estou doente. (es-TOW doo-AYN-chee )
I've been injured.
Estou ferido/da. (es-TOW feh-REE-doo/dah)
I need a doctor.
Preciso de um médico. (preh-SEE-zoo deh oong MEH-jee-koo)

Note the first two syllables of the pronunciation of "médico" will sound to English speakers more like "magic" than "medic."

Can I use your phone?
Posso usar o seu telefone? (POH-soo oo-ZAR oo seoo teh-leh-FOW-nee?)



Note: Spanish speakers need to practice pronunciation of Portuguese numbers to be understood, even though they are quite similar in written form. Give particular attention to dropped middle syllables in numbers 7, 9, and 10, and those ending in te (pronounced as chee). Also, don't confuse cento for "cents" or "centavos," as it refers to "hundreds."

um(m)/uma(f) (oong / OO-mah)
dois(m)/duas(f) (dois / DOO-as)
três (tres)
quatro (KWAH-troh)
cinco (SING-koo)
seis/meia (seys/mey-ah) Use meia in a numerical series (e.g. phone numbers, postal codes, etc.) to prevent confusion with "três". "Meia" is short for "meia-dúzia" (half-a-dozen).
sete (SEH-tchee )
oito (OY-too)
nove ( NOH-vee)
dez (deys)
onze ( ONG-zee )
doze (DOH-zee )
treze (TRE-zee )
catorze (kah-TOH-zee)
quinze (KEENG-zee)
dezesseis (deh-zee-SEYS)
dezessete (deh-zee-SEH-tchee)
dezoito (deh-ZOY-too)
dezenove (dee-zee-NOH-vee)
vinte (VEEN-chee)
vinte e um/uma (VEEN-chee ee oong/OO-mah)
vinte e dois/duas (VEEN-chee ee doyss/DOO-as)
vinte e três (VEEN-chee ee trezh)
trinta (TREEN-tah)
quarenta (kwah-REN-tah)
cinqüenta (sing-KWEN-tah)
sessenta (seh-SEN-tah)
setenta (seh-TEN-tah)
oitenta (oy-TEN-tah)
noventa (no-VEN-tah)
cem (seng)
cento e um/a (SENG-too ee oong/OO-mah)
cento e dois/duas (SEHN-too ee doyss/DOO-ahs)
cento e três (SEHN-too ee trehs)
cento e dez (SEHN-too ee dehs)
cento e vinte e cinco (SEHN-too ee VEEN-chee ee SEEN-koo)
duzentos/as (doo-ZEHN-toos/as)
trezentos/as (tre-ZEHN-toos/as)
quatrocentos/as (kwah-troo-SEHN-toos)
quinhentos/as (keen-YENG-toos)
seiscentos/as (sayss-SEHN-toos)
setecentos/as (seh-tchee-SEN-toos)
oitocentos/as (oy-too-SEHN-toos)
novecentos/as (no-vee-SEHN-toos )
mil (meeu)
dois mil (doyss meeu)
um milhão (oong meel-YOWNG)

For numbers 1,000,000,000 and above, Brazilian Portuguese uses the short scale, while European Portuguese uses the long scale

um bilhão
um trilhão

number _____ (train, bus, etc.)
número _____ (NU-may-ro)
metade (me-TAHD-jee)
menos (MEH-noos)
mais (mighs)


agora (ah-GOH-rah)
depois (the Powy's)
antes de (ANches jee)
manhã (mah-NYAHNG)
tarde (TAHR-jee)
Use night ("noite") for evening. Unlike English, "boa noite" means "good evening" and "good night".
noite (NOI-tchee)

Clock time


Note: In a sentence add é just before one o'clock, noon and midnight, and são just before two through eleven o'clock. (English equivalent of "it is..."). Unlike Spanish, the definite article (Span. la; Port. a) is not used.

one o'clock AM
uma hora da manhã (uma OH-ra dah man-yah)
two o'clock AM
duas horas da manhã (dua-ZOH-ras dah man-yah)
meio-dia (mayo JEE-ah)
one o'clock PM
uma hora da tarde (uma OH-ra dah TAHR-jee)
two o'clock PM
duas horas da tarde (dua-ZOH-ras dah TAHR-jee)
half past three PM
três e meia da tarde (tray-zee MEY-ah dah TARD-jee)
meia-noite (MAY-ah NOY-tchee)


_____ minute(s)
_____ minuto(s) (mee-NU-toh)
_____ hour(s)
_____ hora(s) (OH-ra)
_____ day(s)
_____ dia(s) (JEE-ah)
_____ week(s)
_____ semana(s) (seh-MAH-nah)
_____ month(s)
_____ mês(meses) (mayse)
_____ year(s)
_____ ano(s) (ahno)


hoje (OHZH-gee)
ontem (OHN-taym)
amanhã (a-mahn-YAHNG)
this week
esta semana (es-tah seh-MAH-nah)
last week
a semana passada (ah s'MAH-nah pah-SAH-dah)
next week
próxima semana (PRAW-see-mah s'MAH-nah)
domingo (doh-MING-goo)
segunda-feira (seh-GOON-dah fey-rah)
terça-feira (TEHR-sah fey-rah)
quarta-feira (KWAR-tah fey-rah)
quinta-feira (KEEN-tah fey-rah)
sexta-feira (SES-tah fey-rah)
sábado (SAH-bah-doo)


Janeiro (zhah-NEY-roo)
Fevereiro (fev-REY-roo)
Março (MAR-soo)
Abril (ah-BREEL)
Maio (MY-yo)
Junho (JUN-yoo)
Julho (JUHL-yoo)
Agosto (AGOS-too)
Setembro (S'tembroo)
Outubro (Ow-TOO-broo)
Novembro (No-VEM-broo)
Dezembro (D'ZEM-broo)

Writing time and date


21 de setembro de 2005, "vinte e um de setembro de dois mil e cinco"

Time is written with "h" as in French: 8h30; or with a colon ( : ). The 24-hour clock is often used.



Most adjectives change the final o to a in the feminine and add s to form the plural. If the adjective ends in "a", there is no separate masculine form.

preto (PREH-too)
branco (BRAHNG-koo)
cinzento (sing-ZEHN-too)
vermelho (ver-MEH-lyoo)
azul (ah-ZOOL), pl. azuis (ah-ZUees)
amarelo (ah-mah-REH-lo)
verde (VEHR-jee)
laranja (lah-RANG-jah)
roxo (HOH-show)
violeta (vee-oh-LAY-tah)
cor de rosa (Cohr jee HOH-sah)
brown (Port.)
castanho (cah-STAHN-yoo)
brown (Brazil)
marrom (mah-HON)
dark brown (skin)
moreno (mor-RAY-no) / (pele) morena (PAY-lee mor-RAY-nah)


carro (KAH-roh),
táxi (TAHK-see)
ônibus (ow-NEE-boos)
caminhão (kah-MEE-nyown)
trem (trehn)
metrô (meh-TROH)
navio (NAH-vyoh)
barco (BAHR-koh)
balsa (BAHL-sah)
helicóptero (eh-lee-KOHP-teh-roo)
avião (ah-vee-AWNG)
linha aérea (LEE-nyah ah-EH-reh-ah)
bicicleta (bee-see-KLEH-tah); the term "bike" is very widespread
motocicleta (moh-toh-see-KLEH-tah) often shortened to "moto" or "motoca"
carruagem (kah-RWAH-zhehm) - In Brazil this word only refers to the old luxury horse-drawn wheeled vehicle
horse-drawn cart
carroça (kah-HOH-sah)

Bus and train

How much is a ticket to_____?
Quanto custa uma passagem para_____? (KWAHN-toh(too) KOOS-tah OO-mah pah-SAH-zheng [bee-LYEH-teh] PAH-rah_____?)
One ticket to_____, please.
Uma passagem para _____, por favor. (OO-mah pah-SAH-zheng PAH-rah_____, poor fah-VOHR)
Where does this train/bus go?
Para onde vai o trem/ônibus? (PAH-rah OHN-zhee vai oo trehm/OH-nee-boos?)
Where is the train/bus to_____?
Onde é o trem/ônibus para_____? (OHN-zhee EH oo trehm/OH-nee-boos PAH-rah_____?)
Does this train/bus stop in _____?
Este trem/ônibus pára em _____? (...)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave?
Quando sai o trem/ônibus para _____? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____?
Quando chega este trem/ônibus a _____? (KWAHN-doo CHEH-gah EHS-chee trehm/OH-nee-boos ah_____?)


How do I get to _____ ?
Como vou _____ ? (KOH-moh vow) or Como chego _____ ? (KOH-moh SHAY-goh) Do NOT use the Portuguese word for "get"; use "go" or "arrive."
...the train station?
...à estação de trem? (AH ehs-tah-SOWN dje trehm?)
...the bus station?
...à rodoviária? (ah roh-doh-vee-A-reeah)
...the airport? aeroporto? (ow ah-eh-roo-POHR-too)
...downtown? centro? (ow SEN-troo)
...the youth hostel?
...à pousada de juventude? (Ah poo-ZAH-dah deh zhu-ven-TUD-jee)
...the _____ hotel? hotel _____? (ow oh-TEL)
...a nightclub/bar?
...a uma boate/bar/festa/farra? (...) Internet café?
...a um lan house? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? consulado americano/canadense/australiano/britânico? (...)
Where are there a lot of...
Onde há muitos/muitas... (OHND ah MOOY-tos/tas...)
...hotéis? (oh-TEYS)
...restaurantes? (res-tau-RAN-chees)
...bares? (BAR-ees)
...sites to see?
...lugares para visitar? (loo-GAH-hes pah-rah vee-zee-TAR)
...mulheres? (moo-LYEH-res)
Can you show me on the map?
Pode me mostrar no mapa? (PAW-djee mee mo-STRAR noo MAH-pah?)
rua (HOO-ah)
Turn left.
Vire à esquerda. (VEER ah es-KEHR-dah)
Turn right.
Vire à direita. (VEER ah jee-RAY-tah)
esquerdo (es-KEHR-doo)
direito (jee-RAY-too)
straight ahead
sempre em frente (Sempree eim FREN-chee)
towards the _____
na direção de _____ (nah jee-reh-SOWN dje)
past the _____
depois de _____ (dePOYS deh)
before the _____
antes de _____ (AN-chees deh)
Watch for the _____.
Procure o/a _____. (proh-KOO-reh oo/ah_____)
cruzamento (kroo-zah-MEN-too)
norte (NOHR-chee or nortch)
sul (sool)
leste (LES-chee)
oeste (oh-EHS-chee)
subida (soo-BEE-dah)
descida (deh-SEE-dah)
sloping street
ladeira (lah-DAY-rah)


Táxi! (Tak-see)
Take me to _____, please.
Leve-me para _____, por favor. (...)
How much does it cost to get to _____?
Quanto custa ir para _____? (KWAN-to CUS-tah eer pah-rah______)
Take me there, please.
Leve-me lá, por favor. (...)
Follow that car!
Siga aquele carro! (SEEgah AHkelE CAH-hoo (Brazil))
Try to not hit any pedestrian.
Tente não atropelar nenhum pedestre. (...)
Stop staring at me this way!
Pare de olhar para mim desta maneira! (...)
Would you mind driving slower?
Importa-te (-se if formal) de conduzir mais devagar?
Stop, I want to get out here.
Pare-te (Para-se), quero sair aqui.
OK, let's go, then.
OK, então vamos. (Okay en-TAUM VAH-mos)


Do you have any rooms available?
Tem quartos disponíveis? (teng KWAHR-toos dis-po-NEE-veys?)
How much is a room for one person/two people?
Quanto custa um quarto para uma/duas pessoa(s)? (KWAHN-too KOOS-tah oong KWAHR-too pah-rah OO-mah/DOO-as PESS-wa(s)?)
Does the room come with...
O quarto tem... (oo KWAHR-too teng)
...lençóis? (len-SOYSS?)
...a bathroom? banheiro? (oom bah-NYAY-roh?)
...a telephone? telefone? (teh-leh-FOW-nee)
...a TV? televisor? (oon teh-leh-VEE-zor?)
May I see the room first?
Posso ver o quarto primeiro? (POH-soo vehr oo KWAHR-too pree-MAY-roo?)
Do you have anything quieter?
Tem algo mais calmo? (teng AHL-goo mighs KAHL-moo?)
...maior? (mah-YOHR?)
...mais limpo? (mighs LIM-poo?)
...mais barato? (mighs buh-RAH-too?)
OK, I'll take it.
OK, fico com ele. (FEE-coo com EL-ee)
I will stay for _____ night(s).
Ficarei _____ noite(s). (fee-car-AY _____ NO-ee-chee(s))
Can you suggest another hotel?
Pode sugerir outro hotel? (...)
Do you have a safe?
Tem um cofre? (...)
...cadeados? (...)
Is breakfast/supper included?
O café da manhã/ceia está incluído/a? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper?
A que horas é o café da manhã/ceia? (...)
Please clean my room.
Por favor limpe o meu quarto. (...)
Can you wake me at _____?
Pode acordar-me às _____? (...)
I want to check out.
Quero fazer o registo de saída. (...)


Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?
Aceita dólares americanos/australianos/canadianos? (...)
Do you accept British pounds?
Aceita libras esterlinas? (...)
Do you accept credit cards?
Aceita cartões de crédito? (...)
Can you change money for me?
Pode trocar-me dinheiro? (...)
Where can I get money changed?
Onde posso trocar dinheiro? (ON-jee POH-soh troCAR dee-NYEY-roo)
What is the exchange rate?
Qual é a taxa de câmbio? (qual eh ah tasha d'cam-BEE-oh?)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?
Onde há um caixa eletrônico? (ON-jee ah oom KAEE-shah eleh-TROW-nee-koo)


A table for one person/two people, please.
Uma mesa para uma/duas pessoa(s), por favor. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please?
Posso ver o cardápio, por favor? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen?
Posso ver a cozinha, por favor? (...)
Is there a house specialty?
Ha uma especialidade da casa? (...)
Is there a local specialty?
Há uma especialidade local? (...)
I'm a vegetarian.
Sou vegetariano. (...)
I don't eat pork.
Não como porco. (...)
I only eat kosher food.
Só como kosher. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard)
Pode fazê-lo mais "leve" (menos óleo, manteiga, banha), por favor? (...)
half portion
meia porção (MEY-a pour-SAWN)
full portion
porção inteira (pour-SAWN een-TAY-rah)
fixed-price meal
prato feito (PRAH-too FAY-too), often shortened to PF
à la carte
a la carte (ALlah KART-ee)
café da manhã (cah-FEH dah man-YAHN) (Lit. coffee of the morning)
almoço (aw-MOW-soo)
lanche (LAHN-shee)
jantar (zhan-TAHR)
fruit-and-vegetable store
sacolão (sah-koh-LOWN)
bread store
padaria (pah-dah-REE-ah)
I want _____.
Quero _____. (KEH-roo ____)
I want a dish containing _____.
Quero um prato de _____. (KEH-roo oom PRAH-too jee ___.)
bife (BEE-fee)
peixe (peysh)
presunto (pre-ZOON-too)
salsicha (sal-SEE-shah)
queijo (KAY-zhoo)
ovo (OW-voo), pl. ovos (OH-voos)
salada (sah-LAH-dah)
barbecue/roasted meat
churrasco (shoo-HAS-koo)
non-leafy vegetables
legumes (lay-GOO-meess)
(fresh) leafy vegetables
verduras (frescas)(vehr-DO-rass FRAY-skass)
(fresh) fruit
fruta (fresca) (FROO-tass FRAY-skass)
laranja (lah-RAHN-zhah)
limão (lee-MAWN)
maçã (mah-SAN)
abacaxi (ah-bah-kah-SHEE)
acerola (ah-se-ROH-lah)
caju (kah-ZHOO)
In Brazil, this is the fruit; the nut is called castanha de caju (kash-TAH-nya ji kah-ZHOO).
guanabana, soursop
graviola (grah-vee-OH-lah)
carambola (kah-ram-BOH-lah)
caqui (kah-KEE)
morango (moh-RAHNG-goo)
ice cream
sorvete (sowr-VAY-tah)
pão (powng), pl. pães (pighngsh)
torrada (tow-HAH-dah)
macarrão (mah-kah-RAWN)
arroz (ah-ROZH)
whole grain
grão integral (grown een-cheh-GROWL)
This is said of brown rice too (arroz integral, not arroz castanho).
feijão (fay-ZHAWN)
N.B. Do not confuse feijão, pl. feijões, beans, with the feijoa, a small guava-like fruit.
rice and beans
(the national staple food) arroz com feijão (ah-ROZH koom fay-ZHAWN)
May I have a glass of _____?
Quero um copo de _____? (...)
May I have a cup of _____?
Quero uma xícara de _____? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____?
Quero uma garrafa _____? (...)
tea (drink)
chá (shah)
suco (SOO-koh)
(bubbly) water
água com gás (AH-gwah koom GAHS)
água (AH-gwah)
cerveja (ser-VAY-zhah)
yerba mate
erva-mate/tererê/chimarrão (ehr-vah mah-TEH / _MAH-chee / teh-reh-REH / shee-mah-HOWN)
red/white wine
vinho tinto/branco (VEEN-yoo TEEN-too/BRAN-koo)
com/sem (kong/seng)
gelo (ZHEH-loo)
açúcar (ah-SOO-kar)
adoçante (ah-doh-SAHN-chee)
May I have some _____?
Pode me passar _____? (poh-DZHEE mee pah-SAH)
sal (sahl)
black pepper
pimenta do reino (pee-MAN-tah doo HAY-noo)
red pepper
pimenta malagueta (pee-MAN-tah mow-lah-GHETT-tah)
manteiga (mahn-TAY-gah)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Desculpa, garçom? (dees-COOL-pah gar-SOWN)
I'm finished
Já acabei. (zhah ah-kah-BAY)
I'm full
Estou farto/a (is-tow FAR-too/tah)
It was delicious.
Estava delicioso. (is-TAH-vah deh-lee-SYOH-zoo)
Please clear the plates.
Por favor retire os pratos. (...)
The check, please.
A conta, por favor. (Ah KOWN-tah POUR fah-VOHR)


Do you serve alcohol?
Servem álcool? (...)
Is there table service?
Há serviço de mesas? (...)
A beer/two beers, please.
Uma cerveja/duas cervejas, por favor. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please.
Um copo de vinho tinto/branco, por favor. (Oom KOH-poh d'Vinyoo TINtoo, por faVOR)
A pint, please.
Uma caneca, por favor. (...)
A bottle, please.
Uma garrafa, por favor. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please.
_____ and _____, please. (...)
cerveja (sehr-VAY-zhah)
whisky (wiss-kee)
vodka (...)
rum (room)
Brazilian national drink (sugarcane liquor)
cachaça (kah-SHAH-sah), pinga (PEEN-gah) and hundreds of local nicknames
água (AH-gwah)
club soda
club soda (...)
tonic water
água tónica (...)
orange juice (Brazil)
suco de laranja (SOU-koh day lah-RAHN-jah)
Coke (soda)
Coca-Cola (...), or refrigerante
Do you have any bar snacks?
Tem aperitivos? (...)
One more, please.
Mais um/uma, por favor. (...)
Another round, please.
Mais uma rodada, por favor. (...)
When is closing time?
A que horas fecha? (...)


Do you have this in my size?
Tem isto no meu tamanho? (...)
How much is this?
Quanto custa? (...)
That's too expensive.
É muito caro. (...)
Would you take _____?
Aceita _____? (...)
caro (...)
barato (...)
I can't afford it.
Não tenho dinheiro suficiente. (...)
I don't want it.
Não quero. (...)
I'm not interested.
Não estou interessado/a. (..)
OK, I'll take it.
OK, eu levo. (...)
Can I have a bag?
Você tem um saco? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)?
Envia para outros países? (...)
I need...
Preciso de... (...)
...pasta de dentes. (...)
...a toothbrush.
...escova de dentes. (...)
...tampões. (...)
...sabonete. (...)
...xampu. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen)
...aspirina. (...)
...cold medicine.
...remédio para resfriado. (...)
...stomach medicine.
...remédio para as dores de estômago. (...)
...a razor.
...uma gilete. (...) umbrella.
...guarda-chuva. (...)
...sunblock lotion.
...protetor solar. (...)
...a postcard. cartão postal (...)
...(postage) stamps.
...selos (de correio). (...)
...pilhas. (...)
...a pen.
...uma caneta. (...)
...English-language books.
...livros em inglês. (...)
...English-language magazines.
...revista em inglês. (...) English-language newspaper.
...jornais em inglês. (...) English-Portuguese dictionary. dicionário de inglês-português. (...)


car, automobile, etc.
carro (CAH ho)
I want to rent a car.
Quero alugar um carro. (...)
Can I get insurance?
Posso fazer um seguro? (...)
breakdown (car doesn't work)
avaria (...)
stop (on a street sign)
pare (PAH-reh)
one way
mão única (...)
preferência (...)
no parking
estacionamento proibido (...)
speed limit
limite de velocidade (...)
gas (petrol) station
posto de gasolina (...')
gasolina (...)
diesel (...)
towing enforced
sujeito a reboque
trunk (US), boot (UK)
porta-malas (...)
back seat
banco traseiro (...)
driver's seat
banco do motorista (...)
passenger's seat
banco do passageiro (...)
steering wheel
volante (...)
tire (US), tyre (UK)
pneu (...)
parking/emergency/hand brake
freio de estacionamento/ emergência/ mão (...)
brake pedal
pedal de freio (...)
brakes (in general)
freios (...)
alternador (...)
fan belt
correia de ventilador (...)
radiador (hah-jee-AH-dor)


It's his/her fault!
A culpa é dele/dela! (...)
Its not what its seems.
Não é o que parece (...)
I can explain it all.
Posso explicar tudo. (...)
I haven't done anything wrong.
Não fiz nada de errado. (...)
I swear I didn't do it Mr. Officer.
Juro que não fiz nada Seu Guarda. (...)
It was a misunderstanding.
Foi um engano. (...)
Where are you taking me?
Aonde me leva? (...)
Am I under arrest?
Estou detido? (...)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen.
Sou um cidadão americano/australiano/britânico/canadense [BR]/canadiano[PT]. (...)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate.
Quero falar com o consulado americano/australiano/britânico/canadense. (...)
I want to talk to a lawyer.
Quero falar com um advogado. (...)
Can I just pay a fine now?
Posso pagar a fiança agora? (...)

This Brazilian Portuguese phrasebook has guide status. It covers all the major topics for traveling without resorting to English. Please contribute and help us make it a star!