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Portuguese Words You Need to Know

Although other Romance languages, such as Spanish and French, are more popular among language students around the world, there’s no denying that Portuguese has its own special charm. 

Some of the reasons for that are the Portuguese alphabet, Portuguese numbers and Portuguese words. Let’s talk a little about this last one in this article.

Did you know that Portuguese is the official language of nine countries? Recent studies say that more than 270 million people speak this language around the globe. 

Of course, each country or region has its own specific vocabulary, but there are a few Portuguese words that you can learn and be understood wherever you go. How about we learn them?

The Most Useful Portuguese Words


AMIGO – friend

Since Portuguese speakers are so amicable, of course this should be the first word on the list! Just remember that Portuguese differentiate genders, so use AMIGA for women, ok?

AMOR – love

This one is definitely universal! The cool thing is that you can use AMOR to describe the feeling of love but also as a name for your partner, friends or your kids. It’s kind of like honey in English 一 it suits everyone!

DIA – day

One day at a time! It doesn’t matter if you’re making an appointment, filling a form, talking about the weather or telling the story of your life, we refer to dates all the time. 

LEGAL – cool, nice

Do you want to say that someone is a nice person? Did you like your sister’s new shirt? Do you want to confirm you’ll go out with a friend tonight? Would you like to tell your boss you understood what he said? Use LEGAL for all of these situations and you’re ready to go!


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PALAVRA – word

Since we’re talking about words, it’s only fair that we include the word that means word in Portuguese!  

COISA – thing

You know when you want to refer to something but you don’t know or you don’t remember the name of it? In these awkward situations, you can always use the “wildcard” word COISA. Also, when you’re surprised by something you’ve heard, you can express that by saying QUE COISA!

OBRIGADO – thank you

Being polite is very important, specially when you want to make a new AMIGO! So, remember to say OBRIGADO if you’re a man or OBRIGADA if you’re a woman to thank other people for what they’ve done for you.

CASA – house, home

There’s no place like home! You can use the word CASA to refer to the physical place you live in but also to talk about the people who live there or about that safe feeling of being home.

O QUE – what

Did you not understand what someone said to you? Or would you like to ask a question about something? Use O QUE and you’re all set.

VOCÊ – you

No one likes to hang out with people who only talk about themselves! So if you want to make new friends, talk about them using the pronoun VOCÊ. Just remember that if you’re talking with or about two or more people, you have to use the plural form VOCÊS.

BOM – good, well

If you want to say that someone or something is good, or that someone did a good job, or even if you want to start a sentence with the word well to think about what to say next, all this can be done in Portuguese just by using the word BOM.

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Using Portuguese Words

LEGAL! Now VOCÊ know how to use these PALAVRAS in Portuguese to talk to your AMIGOS or to your AMOR in your CASA! No need to say OBRIGADO!

Do you see how only these few words will help you get by in many different conversations in Portuguese? Cool, huh?

BOM, one COISA that VOCÊ may not know is that VOCÊ can learn much more using LingQ! O QUE is LingQ and how can it help you studying Portuguese? Let me explain to make your DIA complete.

Learn Portuguese Faster Using LingQ

Immersing yourself in Portuguese doesn’t require you to travel abroad or sign up for an expensive language program.
However, it can be a bit tiresome to find interesting content, go back and forth between sites, use different dictionaries to look up words, and so on.
That’s why there’s LingQ. A language app that helps you discover and learn from content you love.
Learn Portuguese online at LingQ
You can import videos, podcasts, and much more and turn them into interactive lessons.
Keep all your favorite Portuguese content stored in one place, easily look up new words, save vocabulary, and review. Check out our guide to importing content into LingQ for more information.
LingQ is available for desktop as well as Android and iOS. Gain access to thousands of hours of audio and transcripts and begin your journey to fluency today.

Check out LingQ today to discover how to learn Portuguese from content you love!



Ivy do Carmo is a Brazilian content writer and translator whose passion has always been learning and teaching the English language.