The first step to learning Portuguese, much like learning any other language, is to memorize a few basic phrases that you can use in everyday conversation.
Once you’ve learned a few phrases to help you get around you can then work on building up your vocabulary and learn the rules of grammar and pronunciation in order to formulate sentences on your own.
In this post, we’ve gathered the most common Portuguese phrases that you are likely to hear from native speakers. Memorize these phrases and learn how and when to use them.
We’ve also included a handy PDF file that you can download so you can have them with you anytime and anywhere.
Download PDF here
Words of Greeting In Portuguese
Of course, the first Portuguese phrases that you should learn are basic greetings. You can use the following phrases to cheerfully great Portuguese speakers.
1. Olá– Hello
2. Oi – Hi
These are both acceptable greetings, though “Oi” is considered a bit more informal, so maybe save that for people you are already friendly with and stick to “Ola” if you are in a formal business setting or meeting someone for the first time.
You can also use one of the following phrases to greet a Portuguese speaker. As you can see, there are “time-sensitive” greetings that refer to a particular time of day, so consider that when deciding which to use.
3. Bom dia – Good morning
4. Boa tarde – Good afternoon
5. Boa noite – Good evening
How to Say Goodbye In Portuguese
The first two words here are basic phrases to say goodbye in Portuguese. The first is a little more formal than the other but either is acceptable.
6. Adeus - Goodbye
7. Tchau – Bye
You can also use the following phrases to take your leave of your current companion, especially if you have plans to see each other again.
8. Até logo – See you later
9. Até amanhã – See you tomorrow
10. Até breve – See you soon
How to Answer the Basic Question In Portuguese
Here’s how to say “yes” or “no” in Portuguese.
11. Sim – Yes
12. Nao - No
Polite Expressions to Use In Portuguese
Portuguese speakers tend to belong to cultures that are known for being warm and friendly to strangers, however, that doesn’t mean that they will tolerate rudeness.
As a beginner language learner, it’s always best to make sure you know how to be polite in whatever language you seek to learn. This means knowing how to say “please” and “thank you” at the very least.
13. Por favor – Please.
14. Origado/a – Thank you. If you are speaking to a male person, it should end in “o”, if you are speaking to a female, you should end it with an “a”
15. Como licenca – Excuse me
16. Perdão – Pardon me
17. Desculpa – I’m sorry. You can also say “desculpe”, which is considered a bit more formal.
Polite Forms of Address In Portuguese
If you don’t know someone’s name, or if you want to get the attention of a stranger, you can use one of these phrases first.
18. O senhor- Sir
19. A senhora – Ma’am
Making Introductions In Portuguese
Before you start having a really deep conversation with a Portuguese language speaker about the best restaurant in town or that episode of that hit TV series you just caught, you need to introduce yourself – and get the name of your potential new friend as well.
20. Meu nome é – My name is
21. Qual é o seu nome? – What is your name?
Here are a few other introductory phrases that you can use or that you might hear from Portuguese speakers.
22. Este e o meu amigo/amiga – This is my friend. If you are referring to a male, use “amigo”. If you are referring to a female, use “amiga”.
23. Queria apresentar... – I would like to introduce...
After initial introductions have been made, you might want to politely acknowledge the persons you have just met by saying the following.
24. Muito prazer em conhecê-lo – I am pleased to meet you. You can also shorten it to just “prazer”.
Common Portuguese Phrases to Start a Conversation
After you have greeted someone and exchanged your name, you can then ask them how they are, using one of the following phrases.
25. Tudo bem? – How are you?
26. Como vai? – How is it going?
27. Como vai você? – How are you?
If the person you are talking to you, however, asks “Tudo bem?” or “Como vai?” the polite initial response is one of the following.
28. Eu estour bem e tú? – I’m good, how are you?
29. Estou bem, obrigado – I’m fine, thanks.
Portuguese Phrases That Language Learners Should Use
Of course, one of your goals to striking a conversation with a native language speaker is to practice your own language skills. But you should probably let them know beforehand that you are a learner and as such, they might need to be more patient with you.
30. Fala inglês? – Do you speak English?
31. Alguém aqui fala inglês? – Does anyone speak English?
32. Não falo muito português – I speak a little Portuguese
33. Preciso praticar meu português – I need to practice my Portuguese
34. Não compreendo – I don’t understand
35. Não entendi – I don’t understand what you said
36. Entendi – I understand
37. Pode dizer outra vez? – Can you say that again?
38. Fale mals devagar, por favor – Please speak slowly
39. Eu não sei – I don’t know
40. Como se diz _____em Português? – How do you say ____ in Portuguese?
41. O que quer dizer _____ em inglês? What does ____ mean in English?
How to Understand Directions In Portuguese
Before traveling to a country with a lot of Portuguese speakers, you should know how to ask for directions. Memorize the following phrases.
42. Como chego ao/a - How do I get to (place)? Portuguese is a gendered language so, you use “ao” if it is masculine and “a” if it is feminine.
43. Onde está ___? Where is (place)
It’s one thing to be able to ask where a place is, but it’s another thing altogether to use the directions you are given to successfully find the place. Here are a few phrases you need to understand when asking for directions in Portuguese.
44. Ao lado de – Next to
45. Perto – Near
46. Longe – Far
47. É perto/longe? – Is it near/Is it far?
48. Esquerda - Left
49. Direita- Right
50. Vire à esquerda/direita – Turn left/right
51. Sempre em frente – Straight ahead
52. Em direcção à – Towards the
53. Depois do/a – Past the
54. Antes do/a – Before the
55. Você pode me mostrar no mapa? – Can you show me where it is on the map?
Common Portuguese Phrases That Will Help You Navigate Public Transportation
If you want to take public transportation while in Portugal, these phrases can be useful to know.
56. Como chego a estacao de trem?– How do I get to the train station?
57. Como chego ao ponto de ônibus? – How do I get to the bus stop?
58. Para onde vai esse trem? – Where does this train go?
59. Para onde vai esse ônibus? – Where does this bus go?
60. Onde posso encontrar um táxi? – Where can I find a taxi?
Portuguese Phrases to Use at a Restaurant
Once you’ve found a good restaurant, you can use the following phrases to order food and drinks.
61. Moco – Waiter
62. Eu queria uma mesa – I’d like a table
63. Eu queria o menu, por favor – I’d like a menu, please
64. O que você recomenda? – What would you recommend?
65. Queria – I’d like
66. Para comer queria – To eat I would like
67. Para beber queria – To drink I would like
68. A conta, por favor – The bill please
69. Queria pagar – I would like to pay
Common Portuguese Phrases You Can Use When Going Shopping
Remember, when in a Portuguese speaking country, you can use the phrase “onde está” to ask for a place. If you are going shopping and are looking for a specific type of store, you say “onde está” and add one of these phrases.
70. A loja – The store
71. O shopping – The shopping center
72. O mercado – The market
73. O supermercado – Supermarket
74. A farmácia – Pharmacy
75. A livraria – Bookstore
76. A padaria – Bakery
77. A confeitaria – Pastry shop
78. A loja de música – Music store
After you’ve found your way to a store or shopping center, you can use the following Portuguese phrases to make purchases.
79. Onde fica? – Where is? You can use this phrase when asking about where to find an item or a particular store.
80. Estou procurando – I am looking for. You can use this when referring to a specific item.
81. Você tem – Do you have (item)?
82. Quanto custa? – How much? When inquiring about the cost of an item.
83. Estou só a ver, orgigado/a – I’m just looking, thank you.
84. Vou levar – I’ll take it.
85. Aceita cartão de crédito? – Do you accept credit card?
86. Gostaria de pagar com cartão de crédito – I’d like to pay by credit card.
87. Gostaria de pagar em dinheiro – I’d like to pay in cash
Basic Portuguese Phrases Should Know
Whether you are traveling to Portugal or just another country where Portugal is commonly spoken, you should know how to say the following.
88. Preciso tua ajuda – I need your help
89. Você pode me ajudar? – Can you help me?
90. Estou perdido/perdida – I’m lost
It’s probably a good idea to know how to make some basic inquiries about time.
91. Que horas são? – What time is it?
92. Que horas abra? – What time does it open?
93. Que horas fecha? – What time does it close?
94. Que horas vocês abrem? – What time do you open?
95. Que horas vocês fecham? – What time do you open?
Here are three phrases you should know to make sure some basic needs are taken care of.
96. Onde fica a case de banho? – Where is the bathroom?
97. Estou com fome – I’m hungry
98. Estou com sede – I’m thirsty
If you need to find a hotel room, you can use the following phrases.
99. Quatro de hotel – Hotel room
100. Vocês tem un quarto disponível? – Do you have a room available
101. Quanto custo por noite – How much does it cost per night?
Just in case, you should know how to say the following phrases for your safety.
102. Ajuda! – Help
103. Sinto-me mau – I feel sick
104. Preciso de um medico – I need a doctor
105. Chame a polícia – Call the police.
Whatever your reasons to travel to Portugal or a country where Portuguese is commonly spoken – such as Brazil, it’s important that you start to learn how to understand and speak the language.
Aside from memorizing basic phrases such as the 105 common ones that we have here, it’s probably a good idea to work with an online Portuguese tutor.
A few regular sessions with a native speaking tutor will help ensure that you don’t just memorize a few Portuguese words and phrases but are able to use them to communicate.
- Oi/Olá- Hi or Hello. Saying hi to someone is the best way to start chatting! ...
- Bom Dia- Good Morning. ...
- Boa Tarde- Good Afternoon. ...
- Boa Noite- Good Night. ...
- Prazer- Nice to meet you. ...
- Por favor- Please. ...
- De nada- You're welcome. ...
- Obrigada/o- Thank you.
- Begin your Portuguese training with the best language learning app available. ...
- Read children's books in Portuguese. ...
- Use flashcards for those Portuguese words that can't seem to stick. ...
- Train your ears with TV series, movies, music or short videos in Portuguese.
- Use repetition: reading, writing and speaking words over and over again.
- Associate words with drawings, pictures and funny scenes.
- Try to use the language routinely in the context of daily life.
- Reading as much as possible, especially the newspaper, helps you to remember words.
Ask for the check. When you're ready to leave, ask for the check with a conta por favor. In a busy, loud restaurant, getting yourself heard might be hard.What does Bom Dia mean? ›
“Bom dia” literally means “good day," but you'd only use it to say “good morning” in Portuguese. Note that Brazilians pronounce “dia” like “jee-ah” while the Portuguese say “dee-ah.”Do people in Portugal say ciao? ›
By and large, the most common sign-off you'll encounter in Portuguese is tchau. And yes, that's like the Italian ciao, which is now pretty universal across Europe and, in the case of Portuguese, in Brazil. However, unlike ciao, tchau is only used to say goodbye — never as a greeting.How long does it take to learn Portuguese fluently? ›
According to the FSI list, mastering Portuguese to a fluent level takes the same amount of time as Spanish, with 600 hours of study during six months.Is learning Portuguese hard? ›
Also a romance language, Portuguese is widely spoken around the world and relatively easy for English-speakers to learn.How do you say hi in Portuguese? ›
If you'd like to say “hello” in Brazilian Portuguese, you would generally use “Olá”. You can also use “Oí"—which is often considered more informal. Here are a few other basic phrases you'll find useful: Bom dia.How many words do I need to know to be fluent in Portuguese? ›
The Portuguese language is estimated to be made out of a total of 250,000 words with the largest Portuguese dictionary having over 171,000 words. However, you only need to know roughly 5% of the total words to be fluent in Portuguese.
100 Most Common Portuguese Words in Context - YouTubeHow do you say beer in Brazil? ›
Portuguese Lesson - Your Weekly Word # 3: Cerveja (Beer) - YouTubeWhat time is dinner in Portugal? ›
In Portugal, restaurants open for lunch starting at 12:00 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. but don't usually fill up until around 1:00 p.m. Dinner is most commonly taken at 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., but restaurants do open as early as 7:00 p.m.Can you eat salad in Portugal? ›
Portuguese cuisine is tough on strict vegetarians and you'll be eating a lot of omelettes, chips, salads and pizzas. Nearly everywhere does a basic vegetable soup, though beware of the caldo verde – a kale, onion and potato broth – which usually comes with chouriço in.How do I call a waiter in Portugal? ›
In Portugal when you order , you can just say the name of the dish you want and add por favor, which means “please.” Let's say you want to order wine and Bacalhau com natas. You should say to the waiter: Vinho e bacalhau com natas, por favor.How do you pronounce Bom Dia? ›
How to pronounce 'Bom dia' (Good morning) in Portuguese? - YouTubeHow do you greet someone in Portugal? ›
In Portuguese, people use the expressions Bom dia, Boa tarde and Boa noite both when saying hello and goodbye, as in Olá, bom dia - Hello, good morning or Adeus, boa tarde - Goodbye and good afternoon to you.What is a very common greeting in Brazil? ›
As a general rule, use the formal address for people you are unfamiliar with as well as those who are older than you. Common verbal greetings include 'olá' ('hello'), 'bom dia' ('good day'), 'boa tarde' ('good afternoon') and 'boa noite' ('good evening' or 'good night').Do I say Obrigado or Obrigada? ›
Unlike in a lot of other languages, however, the word for “thank you” in Portuguese changes depending on who is saying it. So, if you're a male, you say obrigado, and if you're a female, you say obrigada – regardless of who you're talking to.