Brazilian Portuguese Phrases

brazilian portuguese phrasesBrazilian Portuguese is a fun language, and learning some common Brazilian Portuguese phrases can give you insight into Brazilian culture, which is a lively one. Learning Brazilian Portuguese phrases and expressions that are used every day will also prove useful when traveling.

Portuguese is a Latin language, and its grammar is similar to Spanish and Italian. While Brazilians may understand some Spanish – such as those living in areas that border Spanish-speaking countries – it is best to learn Brazilian Portuguese phrases to communicate while abroad.

Learning Brazilian Portuguese phrases is pretty straightforward, as long as you know learn a few basic rules. Let’s get started!

How Do I Say That?

Before we go over how to pronounce entire phrases in Brazilian Portuguese, let’s go over how to pronounce vowels. Learning the basics of how to pronounce the letters of the alphabet in Brazilian Portuguese will give you a better foundation to reference when learning words and phrases.


Latin vowels in Brazilian Portuguese are pronounced differently than they are pronounced in English.

Following are examples of the way the Latin vowels a, e, i, o, and u are pronounced in Brazilian Portuguese, using sounds from English words as a reference:

A as in “car”

E as in “bed”

I  as in “see”

O as in “Pau”’

U as in “foot”

Try to practice these and once you have them memorized, pronouncing Brazilian Portuguese phrases will be quite easy.


It is also important to know how to pronounce consonants in Brazilian Portuguese that sound different than their counterparts in English.

When learning Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation, keep in mind that plausive consonants, such as b, d, p and t are not as strong as in English.

Portuguese is a very nasal language, and words that end in -m, -ã, ão or -ões should be pronounced nasally. Let’s take a look at some examples!

jardim (garden)

irmã (sister)

verão (summer)

canções (songs)

Also, the Brazilian Portuguese ç is pronounced like ‘s’, and j is pronounced like ‘sh‘.

Common Brazilian Portuguese Words and Expressions

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to pronounce Brazilian Portuguese letters, let’s take a look at some common Brazilian Portuguese words. After that, we’ll build on what we’ve learned, and cover phrases!

The following are words and expressions used in everyday Brazilian Portuguese. Learning them will prove quite helpful when traveling or trying to communicate in Brazilian Portuguese. Let’s take a look and practice learning a new language!

Alô – means “hello” and is commonly used when answering the telephone.

You can finish your telephone call with “obrigado, tchauwhich means “thank you, bye

Obrigado means “thank you.”

And, in response to “Obrigado,” or “thank you,” one would simply say, “De nada,” meaning “You’re welcome.”

Here are some other helpful commonly used single-word expressions:

Oi – “Hello”

Por Favor – “Please”

Desculpe – “Sorry”

Quando – “When”

Quantos – “How many”

Entrada – “Entrance”

Saída – “Exit”

You can also say “Desculpe” or “Por favor” to say “Excuse me” in Brazilian Portuguese.

Now, let’s cover some simple phrases.

Greetings are always useful! Let’s go over some ways to greet others, as well as ways to ask some common questions in Brazilian Portuguese.

Greetings and Introductions

Bom dia – “Good morning”

Boa tarde – “Good afternoon”

Boa noite – “Good night”

Boa sorte – “Good luck”

Boa viagem – “Bon voyage”

Prazer – “Pleased to meet you”

Meu nome é… – “My name is…”

Como se chama? – “What is your name?”

Let’s take a look at some common questions that are useful to know.

Common Questions

Fala inglês? – “Do you speak English?”

Tudo bem? – “How’s it going?”

Quanto é…? – “How much is?”

Que horas são? – “What time is it?”

A que horas…? – “At what time…?”

Como eu chego em…? – “How do I get…?”

Quanto custa? – “How much does it cost?”

Now, let’s go over some useful Brazilian Portuguese vocabulary pertaining to money, transportation and directions, places of interest, and food and drink – all essential to communicate about when traveling abroad!

The more you learn, the easier it will be to get around and learn more about the culture of another country because speaking the language helps you assimilate and gain a better understanding of the other culture’s perspective.

Let’s go over some useful vocabulary!


Numbers one through ten: um, dois, três, quatro, cinco, seis, sete (seche), oito, nove, dez

Dinheiro – Money or cash

Banco – Bank

Caixa (caysha) Eletronica – ATM Machine

Cheque (shek) – Check

Cartão de Crédito – Credit Card

Custo – Cost

Moeda – Coin

Nota – Bill

Troco – Change

Troca or Câmbio – Exchange


Transportation and Directions

 Carro (cahoo) – Car

Bus – Onibus – Bus

Plane – Avião – Plane

Trem (treng) – Train

Metrô – Subway

Bilhete – Ticket

Passaporte – Passport

Subir – Go up

Descer – Go down

Direita – Right

Esquerda – Left


Places of Interest

Avenida – Avenue

Rua – Street

Ponto de ônibus – Bus stop

Museu – Museum

Teatro – Theater

Parque – Park


Food and Drink

 Comida – Food

Restaurante (pronounced like hestauranche) – Restaurant

Agua – Water

Agua Mineral – Mineral water

Refrigerante – Soft drink

Cerveja – Beer

Cardâpio (some will recognize menu) – Menu

Vinho Branco – White wine

Vinho Tinto – Red wine

Carne – Meat

Frango – Chicken

Peixe – Fish

Arroz (pronounced like ahoz) – Rice

Batata Frita – French fries

Prato – Plate

Copo – Cup

Faca, Garfo e Colher – Knife, Fork and Spoon

Guardanapo – Napkin

Canudo – Straw

Sem gelo – No ice

Gelado – Iced

Frio – Cold

Quente – Hot

Sobremesa – Dessert

Bolo – Cake

Café – Coffee

Chá – Tea

Açúcar – Sugar

Sal – Salt

Pimenta – Pepper

Conta – Bill

Brazilian Portuguese Expressions

Here are some Brazilian Portuguese phrases that will give you a better feel for the culture, and prove useful as you become better acquainted with the language.

Um beijo! or Um abraço!

Brazilians are very affectionate people and  they often end a conversation with a friend or acquaintance they feel friendly toward by saying Um beijo! (oong bay-zhoh), which means “a kiss,” or Um abraço! (oong ah-bdah-soh), which mean “ a hug.”  In general, women use Um beijo! to male and female friends, and men use Um beijo! to women and Um abraço! to male friends. Also, these expressions are commonly used as ways to end an e-mail or note.

É mesmo?

É mesmo? (eh mehz-moh) means “Really?” It is usually used to react to some interesting new fact.

For instance, if you say to someone, “Did you know that Maria is dating Claudio?” He or she might respond, “É mesmo?” or “Really?”

If you tell your friend you are learning Portuguese, he or she might say, “É mesmo?” or “Really?”


Brazilians are also very hospitable people. After telling you thank you — obrigado (oh-bdee-gah-doh) if you are male and obrigada (oh-bdee-gah-dah) if you are female — a Brazilian often says, Imagina! (mah-zhee-nah. Literally, it means Imagine! What they mean to say is, It’s no trouble at all! Take note: In Brazilian Portuguese, the initial “i” is chopped off in the spoken language, so Imagina! sounds like Magina!

Pois não?

Pois não? is a common phrase you may hear when you enter a shop or call a service-oriented company over the phone, like a restaurant. Pois não? (poh-eez nah-ooh) means “Can I help you?” The phrase literally means “Because no?” so it is a funny phrase, and does not make sense when literally translated, but it is useful to know!

Com certeza!

Com certeza! is another fun, common phrase. Com certeza! (koh-oong seh-teh-zah) literally means With certainty! The phrase translates to “Of course!” or “Definitely!”

If someone asks you, Vai para a festa? (vah-ee pah-dah ah fehs-tah) – meaning, “Are you going to the party?” – you can answer, Com certeza!

Learning useful phrases is a great beginning to learning a new language. Incorporating language learning methods can help you to better retain what you learn so the Brazilian Portuguese phrases you learn stay with you long after your vacation or trip abroad. Give it a try!