Basic Portuguese Phrases and Words for Your Next Trip to Brazil or Portugal

No need to tell us obrigada for these tips.

Surfers gathering on Brazilian beach with mountains in background
Photo: Holger Leue/Getty Images

Brazil and Portugal are thousands of miles apart, but they have a lot in common: gorgeous beaches, vibrant cities, and the beautiful Portuguese language. Whether you're wandering the hilly streets of Lisbon, snacking on delicious egg tarts, or lounging on the Algarve's stunning beaches, knowing some basic Portuguese can make your trip even better (even though many people in popular tourist areas do speak English).

Meanwhile, in the land of samba and caipirinhas, body language does go a long way. But Brazilians are a very gregarious bunch, and as soon as you arrive and see the crowds of people hanging out on Ipanema Beach, dancing in the streets to live music, or chatting over açaí and snacks at the ubiquitous juice stands, you'll wish you had brushed up on a few introductory words and phrases to better interact with locals. Thankfully, most Brazilians are more than happy to practice with you — and they'll be extra impressed if you already know a thing or two.

Just a note: Brazilians tend to be pretty casual with language, so you can almost always use the informal versions below.

Here are the basic Portuguese words, phrases, and slang to learn before your next trip to Brazil or Portugal.

Basic Portuguese Phrases and Words

Hello: Oi (informal); olá (formal)

How are you?: Como está?; tudo bem? (In response, you can say "tudo bem" as well, meaning "everything's good.")

How's it going?: Como vai?; como está indo?

Goodbye: Tchau (informal); adeus (formal)

See you later: Até mais

See you soon: Até logo

See you tomorrow: Até amanhã

Good morning: Bom dia

Good afternoon: Boa tarde

Good evening/good night: Boa noite

Please: Por favor

Thank you: Obrigada (if you are female), obrigado (if you are male) (Tip: Locals often shorten this to 'brigada or 'bridago, omitting the first "o")

Thank you very much: Muito obrigada/o

You're welcome: De nada

What's your name?: Qual é o seu nome? (informal); Como se chama? (formal)

My name is…: Meu nome é… (informal); Me chamo... (formal)

Pleased to meet you: Prazer

Friend: Amigo (masculine); Amiga (feminine)

Family: Família

Father/mother: Pai/mãe

Boyfriend/girlfriend: Namorado/namorada

Mr./mrs./miss: Senhor/senhora/senhorita

Beautiful: Lindo (if the object you're describing is masculine); linda (feminine)

Good: Bom (if the object you're describing is masculine); boa (feminine)

Bad: Mau; Ruim

Yes: Sim

No: Não

I don't know: Não sei

I'm sorry/excuse me: Desculpa

Excuse me (passing through a crowd or asking to pass by someone): Com licença

Today: Hoje

Tomorrow: Amanhã

Yesterday: Ontem

Day: Dia

Week: Semana

Weekend: Fim de semana

Who?: Quem?

What?: Que? (When asking solely "what?" you say, "O que?")

Where?: Onde?

When?: Quando?

Why?: Por quê?

Which?: Qual?

How much?: Quanto?

Useful Portuguese Words for Travelers

Airport: Aeroporto

Taxi: Táxi

Subway: Metrô

Subway station: Estação de metrô

Train: Trem

Train station: Estação de trem

Bus: Ônibus

Bus stop: Ponto de ônibus

Car: Carro (Tip: Double Rs in Portuguese are pronounced as an "h" sound, so this is pronounced ca-ho.)

Luggage: Bagagem

Ticket: Bilhete

Beach: Praia

City: Cidade

Restaurant: Restaurante (Tip: Rs at the beginning of words in Portuguese are pronounced as an "h" sound, so this is pronounced hes-taur-ronch.)

Bathroom: Banheiro

Store: Loja

Hotel: Hotel

Hostel: Albergue

Food: Comida

Drink: Bebida

Breakfast: Café da manhã

Lunch: Almoço

Dinner: Jantar

Snack: Lanche, petiscos

Wine: Vinho; vinho tinto (red wine); vinho branco (white wine)

Beer: Cerveja

Expensive: Caro

Cheap: Barato

Street: Rua

Hospital: Hospital

Help: Ajuda

Police: Polícia

Bank: Banco

ATM: Caixa eletrônico

Left: Esquerda

Right: Direita

Go straight: Siga; vai direto

Common Portuguese Phrases for Travelers

Where is the bathroom?: Onde fica o banheiro?

Do you speak English?: Você fala Inglês?

I don't understand: Eu não entendo

What?/Say that again?: O quê?

I don't speak Portuguese: Não falo Português

How much does this cost?: Quanto custa isso?

Check, please: A conta, por favor

Cheers! (when toasting drinks): Saúde!

I'm lost: Estou perdido (if you are male); Estou perdida (if you are female)

Let's go: Vamos!; vamos embora!

I would like...: Eu gostaria...

I like…: Eu gosto...

I don't like…: Eu não gosto...

I am from/I come from…: Eu sou de…

Where are you from?: De onde você é?

Important Phrases for Any Trip to Brazil

This city is marvelous: Essa cidade é maravilhosa

Very good: Muito bom

One more (drink)!: Mais uma!

I'd like an açaí with banana, please: Quero um açaí com banana, por favor (Trust us, you'll want to order this)

Let's go to the beach: Vamos a praia

I will miss this place: Vou ter saudades desse lugar

Portuguese Slang Words and Phrases

What's up?: E ai?

Alright (to show agreement and enthusiasm): Beleza

Cool!: Legal!

Awesome: Bacana

Thanks (informal/colloquial): Valeu!

Wow/no way (a general exclamation in reaction to something): Nossa (or nossa senhora)

All good?/It's alright?: Ta bom? (If someone asks you this, you respond with "ta" to say "yes")

Who knows/I have no idea: Sei la

Guy/girl: Cara (this is used to address in an informal, colloquial manner, as "man" or "dude" is used in the U.S.)

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