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30+ Essential Portuguese Phrases to Get By in Portugal

How would you fare if we transported you to Portugal right now? Would you have enough Portuguese phrases under your belt to survive for a week?

Oh, you wouldn’t? That’s all right. Then you have clicked on the right page.

Although Portuguese tends to be overshadowed by French and Spanish, it’s still the official language of the oldest country in Europe, Portugal - a beautiful land with a lot to offer to those who love the beach and the mountains, and an excellent choice for job-seekers looking to relocate to a different country.

Portuguese beaches

Are you already thinking about booking your flight? Then make sure you look at this list of Portuguese phrases to help you along during your stay!


Ready to visit Portugal or Brazil? Join our custom-made courses in your city or online and take your Portuguese skills to the next level!


The Essentials


Essential Portuguese Words and Phrases

    • Hello = Olá
    • Goodbye = Adeus
    • Please = Por favor
    • Thank you = Obrigado
    • Excuse me = Desculpe
    • How have you been? = Como tu tens estado?
    • Where is the nearest…? = Onde fica o _____ mais próximo?


Whether travelling for leisure or to expand your career abroad, there are certain Portuguese phrases you need to know before you get on the plane.

One doesn’t need to be an expert on Portuguese etiquette to know that you’re expected to say hello and goodbye when you start and end a conversation. So, you would do well to start with these simple words:

Hello = Olá

Goodbye = Adeus

However, if you really want to get people to like you, there are a couple of magical Portuguese phrases that you’ll want to remember.

Please = Por favor

Thank you = Obrigado

Excuse me = Desculpe

But of course, you haven’t travelled this far just to exchange a few pleasantries with strangers. In fact, the reason for your visit might be that you’ve finally decided to visit your Portuguese-speaking relatives.


Reconnecting With People

Let’s take a look at a few expressions that might come in handy if you’re trying to bond with friends and family, then.

It’s so nice to see you again =  É tão bom ver-te de novo.

How have you been? = Como tu tens estado?

How is your…= Como está…

your mother = sua mãe?

your father = seu pai?

your brother = seu irmão?

your sister = sua irmã?

your wife = sua esposa?

your husband = seu marido?

By asking these types of questions, you can show your family and friends not only that you care about their lives but also that you’ve made an effort to talk to them in their own language.

Do you know what would be really great, though? If you could tell them a few things about yourself. (Believe us, you don’t want to let your great aunt do all the talking!)

Besides, telling a few basic things about yourself in Portuguese is not as hard as it may sound. If you stick to the following Portuguese phrases, it shouldn’t be too challenging.

My family is doing very well = Minha família está muito bem.

I’m single / married / divorced  = Sou solteiro / casado / divorciado.

My daughter / son has started / finished college = Minha filha / filho começou / terminou a faculdade.

I’ve changed jobs last year  = Eu mudei de emprego o ano passado.


Looking for a Job


The hottest professional areas for foreigners in the Portuguese job market are tourism, hospitality, start-ups and call centres. Some of these positions demand a high level of spoken English, so if English is your native language, then you’re very likely to find a job. (Oh, come on, was that really a sigh of relief?)

However (yes, however!), further opportunities and advantages will come your way if you also show that you can speak another European language, especially if it’s Portuguese.

If you’re looking for the job of your dreams in Portugal then you might want to memorise these Portuguese phrases. Write them down, say them out loud, pin them to your refrigerator, do whatever you have to do so you won’t forget them! No, seriously. They might make a huge difference if you’re ever called for an interview.

Thank you for meeting with me today = Obrigado por se encontrar comigo hoje.

The description for this position perfectly matches my qualifications = A descrição do
trabalho se alinha perfeitamente com minhas qualificações.

I can learn the job duties fast  = Posso aprender as funções do trabalho rapidamente.

I have experience in this area = Eu tenho experiencia nesta area.

I believe I can do this job well = Acredito que posso fazer bem este trabalho.


Portuguese Phrases for Tourists


Are you travelling for pleasure? That makes a lot of sense. After all, Portugal is a fascinating destination, thanks to its rich history and magnificent landscapes. (Not to mention its gorgeous people!)

What is more, by learning the Portuguese phrases below you can go on vacation not only to Portugal but also to Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Mozambique.

Where is the nearest…? = Onde fica o _____ mais próximo?

bank = banco

hospital = hospital

bar = bar

hotel = hotel

How much is this? = Quanto custa isto?

Can I pay by credit card? = Posso pagar com cartão de crédito?

Can I have a… = Posso comer…?

a burger = um hambúrguer

a beer = uma cerveja

a pizza = uma piza

a sandwich = um sanduíche

No matter what your motivation for visiting Portugal is (or any other Portuguese-speaking country), these Portuguese phrases should be enough to help you along and make your experience easier and more enjoyable.

Want to do some more learning? Then make sure you check out our list of the best YouTube channels to help you learn Portuguese and this handy post about websites you can visit to brush up on your Portuguese speaking skills.

If you think you’ve memorised enough Portuguese phrases and you’re ready to do some interactive learning, book one of our one-to-one lessons with native teachers! Explore our website now to find out everything you need to know about our methodology!

Ready to visit Portugal or Brazil? Join our custom-made courses in your city or online and take your Portuguese skills to the next level!