Central & South America - 9 min read

Basic Portuguese Phrases (For Your Trip to Brazil or Portugal)

Town and Tourist

Town and Tourist, Updated September 7, 2022

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Portugal is the travel destination for travelers, a place that offers the best of both worlds. Lisbon’s museums, restaurants, and culture keep travelers coming back for more, and it’s not hard to see why. Portugal’s welcoming people and relaxed atmosphere make each visit unique.

The Portuguese enjoy a casual lifestyle that’s easy to fall into. We understand that you’re excited to visit! We want you to have the best experience possible. That’s why we’re offering you this guide.

Portugal isn’t just a country. It’s a treasure trove of culture, cuisine, and history. Portugal offers the best of both worlds for travelers looking to spend time in a country that’s embraced globalization without forgetting its roots.

And since it’s among the world’s most popular tourism destinations, there are plenty of opportunities to brush up on your language skills. Wow your hosts with a few Portuguese phrases—they will appreciate your efforts, and you’ll enjoy learning the language as well!

If you want to travel to Portugal, it’s essential to know some Portuguese before you go. A little language knowledge can make your trip infinitely more fun and memorable. Following this guide, you’ll learn a few helpful, basic Portuguese phrases.

Common Words and Phrases in Portuguese

There is a myriad of great words to learn before you begin your trip, so starting with some helpful, common phrases can assist you in your journey’s many steps. Beneath are a few excellent, everyday terms to communicate with Portugal locals.

I am learning Portuguese.

Whether you’re spending the evening drinking wine on your terrace in Lisbon or partying with friends in the sun, you’ll quickly find that everyone knows how to be hospitable. So, part of that is the language! You will likely meet some friendly locals who are happy to hear that you are learning Portuguese; let them know this by saying, “Eu estou aprendendo Português.

Hello

Firstly, a few standard greetings are among the most essential things to know. To say “Hello,” in Portuguese, you can reply with “Oi,” which is informal, or you can begin with “Olá,” which is a formal variant of hello for those situations where you really need to make a great introduction.

How are you?

While the above is standard, why not mix it up a little? Next is “How are you?” which can be stated as, “Como está?; Tudo bem?” and is very useful for making great connections with the locals. If they reply, “Tudo bem!” it means “Everything’s good.” A very common response.

Goodbye

Now, when things have concluded between you and the locals, it’s polite to give a closing to your great discussions. To say “Goodbye,” you would close using “Tchau,” the informal variant, with “Adeus” as the more formal closing for your exit.

See you later.

In these cases, you might encounter variants of goodbye you wouldn’t expect. One of which is “See you later.” Which translates to “Até mais.” Another, of course, is “See you soon.” Which can be directly translated into “Até logo.” Say “Até amanhã.” when you leave your new friends after having a great time together, it means “See you tomorrow.”

Thanks

Say “De Nada” after somebody thanks you in Portugal. It’s a small gesture, but it lets others know you’re thankful for their kindness and consideration. Or, for more formal events, you have the choice of saying something more advanced. Thank you, or in Portugal, “Obrigada/o” is always the right thing to say, whether at a restaurant, museum, or someone’s home.

Numbers in Portuguese

Everyone loves numbers! Cats and dogs, people and bugs, grade schools and banks… Numbers are everywhere! Portuguese numbers are no exception. They’re used daily, so learning how to use them correctly could be a huge bonus. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or just starting; this information will help you understand the topic better.

The basics, which we all learned, are what you’ll be starting with again. When you’re learning to count, the biggest challenge is figuring out what comes next. In Portuguese, numbers are called números. If you’ve studied any other Romance languages (like French or Spanish), this word should sound familiar to you. Here’s a list of numbers from one to ten in Portuguese:

  1. Um
  2. Dois
  3. Três
  4. Quatro
  5. Cinco
  6. Seis
  7. Sete
  8. Oito
  9. Nove
  10. Dez

Zero and Portuguese

And then there’s zero. The funny thing is, that the word “zero” is a perfect example of how the pronunciation of the letter “e” has changed over time. Before the 15th century, the letter was pronounced like an “ee.” It might be the smallest of all integers, but it is just as important as the rest. In Portuguese, It sounds like the “e” in “bell,” and its name derives from Latin for “nothing.”

Ten Through Twenty in Portuguese

As an English language student, you probably know numbers aren’t usually that tough. Though, they can be a little different in Portuguese. There are a few that might throw you off. So in this section, we’ll go over ten through twenty to speed you up.

  1. Dez
  2. Onze
  3. Doze
  4. Treze
  5. Catorze or Quatorze
  6. Quinze
  7. Dezesseis
  8. Dezessete
  9. Dezoito
  10. Dezenove
  11. Vinte

Continuing Onward to 100

Once you’ve learned the numbers 0-19, the more significant numbers are manageable. All you have to do is add them together, with an “and” between the parts of the sum. So, twenty-one is vinte e um (“twenty and one”), twenty-two is vinte e dois (“twenty and two”)… From there on, you can figure out the rest.

  • Trinta
  • Quarenta
  •  Cinquenta
  • Sessenta
  • Setenta
  • Oitenta
  • Noventa
  • Cem

Travel Phrases and Words in Portuguese

Portugal is the best place to spend your holidays because of its fantastic architecture, its comfortable climate and of course, the beautiful people. If you’re planning a trip to Brazil, Portugal, or another Portuguese-speaking country, learning a few essential Portuguese words and phrases will make your journey much easier and more enjoyable. And don’t forget to drink lots of water (Aguado).

Let Locals Know Your Portuguese Proficiency

If you need to inform someone of your proficiency in the language, there are a few phrases that are great to know; for one example; you can use the following to say, “I speak a little Portuguese.” That is, of course, is “Falo um pouco de Português” translated directly. The next is the opposite, so if you need to say, “Sorry, I don’t speak Portuguese,” you would say, “Desculpe, eu não falo Português.

Polite Affirmations

A great society is a polite society, so for those who want to make the best impressions, knowing how to be courteous to locals is best. To begin, to say, “Yes, please.” You would need to remark, “Sim, por favor,” as a direct response. On the opposite, to say “No, thank you.” You will need to remark, “Não, obrigado/a

The Most Important, Learn to Talk About Language

As you begin your journey toward fluency in Portuguese, you may find yourself struggling to communicate at times. While you’re getting used to the new sounds, expressions, and words of Portuguese, it’s easy to feel like you can’t express yourself. Take heart—you’ll get there with practice. Practice makes perfect!

  • I don’t speak Portuguese: Não falo Português
  • I speak English: Falo Inglês
  • Do you speak English?: Fala inglês? — formal
  • Do you speak English?: Você fala inglês?— informal

Questions to Ask Native Portuguese Speakers

When meeting Portuguese speakers for the first time, knowing how to ask a few basic questions about them will help make friends. Here are some questions and answers that you can use to start a simple conversation.

  • What is your name?: Como o/a senhor/a se chama? — formal
  • What’s your name?: Qual é o seu nome? — informal
  • Where are you from?: De onde o/a senhor/a é? – formal
  • Where are you from?: De onde você é? — informal

How To Ask For Help In Portuguese

Although Portuguese is a complex language for English speakers to master, don’t worry. If you ever find yourself in Portugal and need to ask for help, here are some Portuguese words and phrases that might come in handy.

  • I’m lost: Estou perdido
  • Can you help me, please?: Pode ajudar-me, por favor?
  • Help me!: Socorro!

Phrases to Describe Individual People

Portuguese can be a complex language to learn. Use the vocabulary words below to communicate about people in your life.

  • Father: Pai
  • Mother: Mãe
  • Mom/Mum: Mamãe
  • Man: Homem
  • Woman: Mulher
  • Friend: Amigo/a
  • Girlfriend: Namorada
  • Boyfriend: Namorado

Money-Related Words in Portuguese

There are many ways to say money in Portuguese. The best way to learn these expressions is by conversation! But, there are a few great examples within this to help – Want to know how to say money in Portuguese? You’ll find the translation here. We hope this enables you to understand Portuguese better.

  • ATM Machine – O Caixa Automático
  • Banknote – A Cédula
  • Coin – A Moeda
  • Coupon – O Cupom
  • Credit Card – O Cartão De Crédito
  • Currency – A Moeda
  • Dollar – O Dólar
  • Euro – O Euro
  • I Buy – Eu Compro
  • Wallet – A Carteira

Brazilian Slang for Money

Brazilian style, the full rhythm of Brazil, in all its glory. Money is a universal concept that all people can understand regardless of culture. And many cultures use other terms for it. Brazil’s official term for money is, “grana,” but the slang for money is, “dinheiro.” Others are “pila.”

Phrases About Money

Because of how turbulent things can be in many cities outside the US, you might want to study up on these terms so that you can avoid some conflicts.

  • The entrance to the party cost 10 reais. – ingresso para festa custou 10 pila.
  • Yesterday some guy robbed me and took 100 reais! – Ontem um mano me assaltou e levou 100 pila meu!
  • Hands up, this is a robbery, give me the money and the cellphone! – Mãos ao alto, isso é um assalto, me passa a grana e o celulá!

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