So you are travelling to Brazil for the first time and want to learn the basics of everyday conversations, i.e. “greetings”! Brazilians like to talk all the time, so you should expect to hear (and say) hello pretty much in any situation. Here are some must-know Portuguese phrases with pronunciation you need to master to go unnoticed as a tourist (at least for a few minutes) if you pronounce them correctly to Brazilians.
1. Bom dia!
That’s how you say “Good morning” in Portuguese. Say that to neighbors, bus drivers, and anyone you want to be nice or want to start a conversation. How to reply: just say “Bom dia” back. Or, if you want to spice it up a bit, you can say “Pra você também!” (For you too!).
2. Boa tarde!
This one means “Good afternoon” in Portuguese. You can use it any time between 12pm and 6pm. How to reply: just say “Boa tarde” back.
3. Boa noite!
It means both “Good evening” and “Good night”, you can say it when meeting someone after 6 or 7pm, but also when leaving a meeting, dinner or party at night. It’s also a very common phrase to say at home to family members when going to bed. How to reply: just say “Boa noite” back.
4. Oi, tudo bem?
This is a very Brazilian way to ask “How are you?” (or, literally, “Hi, is everything well?”). You can also say “Olá, como vai?“, although it’s more oftenly used in Portugal than in Brazil. How to reply: just say “Tudo bem, e você?” (Everything is well, and you?).
5. E aí, beleza?
This one too means “How are you?” (literally “What’s up, beauty?), and it’s not only a phrase unique to Brazil, but it’s also very informal. You can say that to close friends or young people in general. A variation of this informal greeting ca be “E aí, tranquilo?” (“What’s up, ‘calm‘?). How to reply: “Beleza, e você?” or “Tranquilo, e você?“.
If you want to say “thank you” someone, that’s the way to go! Unless you’re a woman, in which case you’d better say “Obrigada” instead. To say “thank you very much”, just say “Muito obrigado(a)“. How to reply: you can say “De nada“/”Por nada” (You’re welcome) or even “Imagina! Não foi nada!” (It’s ok, you don’t need to thank me for that) if you want to show off your Portuguese skills.
You probably heard this one from other latin languages to say “goodbye”. It comes from the Italian ciao, with the same pronunciation, but with a catch: in Portuguese you can only use it to say goodbye, whereas in Italian it also means hello. If you want to sound cuter, just double it and say: “Tchau tchau!“. How to reply: say “Tchau” back or use the phrase below.
8. Até mais!
Another farewell phrase, but this one means “see you later”. Actually “até” means literally “until”, and you can use it with a number of other time-related words or expressions to say, for example, “see you tomorrow” (Até amanhã!), “see you soon” (Até logo!), “see you next week” (Até semana que vem), etc. How to reply: you can just repeat the phrase or shorten it to a simple “Até!“
Brazilians like to hug. And not just physically, but also verbally. And sometimes only verbally. That’s what “abraço” means: a hug. When saying goodbye to friends or family it’s common to hug each other, but when talking on the phone you also say to hang up. Weirdly, we sometimes just say “abraço” to friends right in front of us if we’re in a hurry and can’t hug everyone. How to reply: just say “abraço” back or “pra você também” (for you too), or even “outro” (another one to you).
Just like “abraço”, this is a very affectionate way to say goodbye in Portuguese: it means “kiss”. Particularly in Brazil people tend to say more “Beijo” (kiss) or “Beijão” (big kiss), whereas in Portugal they prefer “Beijinho” (little kiss). This is also more common to say when writing a message or talking on the phone, but in some situations you can also say it right in front of the other person. And as you might expect, you can say it to people you already know and have a close relationship, although in Brazil you can get to this point very quickly 🙂 How to reply: just say “beijo” back or “pra você também“.
How did you like these phrases and audios? Let us know if it helped you on the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our Portuguese Basics series to learn more essential words and phrases!
Abraço e até o próximo post! 🙂