Some useful phrases in Portuguese

Living in Portugal

Useful Portuguese Phrases

Meeting and Greeting

  • Hello....................Ola! (ohlah)
  • Pleased to meet you!.....Um prazer! (oom prezair)
  • Good morning!............Bom dia! (bomb deeya)
  • Good afternoon!..........Boa tarde! (bowah tarde)
  • Good evening/night!......Boa noite (bowah noyte)
  • How are you?.............Como esta? (koomoo istah)formal
  • What's your name?........Como e que se chama? (Koomoo eh kuh se shamah?)
  • My name is .....Chamo-me Susan (shamah meh .....)
  • I'm American.....Sou (sou)americano/a
  • I'm British.....Sou britanico/a
  • I'm Chinese.....Sou Chinese/a
  • I'm Canadian.....Sou Canadiano/a
  • Goodbye!.....Adeus! (adayoosh)

GENDER ISSUES! Adjective endings show if the person or object is male or female. There's "O" endings for MASCULINE and "A" endings for FEMININE. So it's "obrigado" (male speaker) and "obrigada" - (female speaker.)I indicate possible choice with - o/a.


  • Portuguese greetings are FORMAL quite often even with friends and recognize the time period of the day. One minute past midday and you're talking Afternoon. Just using these phrases for greetings helps you establish more friendly and respectful relationships.
  •  Kissing on meeting among friends and strangers is customary with a peck either side of the face men to women and woman to woman. Men shake hands. The Portuguese kissing routine is hilariously to American and Canadian kids meeting countless cousins at Portuguese family reunions!

 Phrases of Courtesy

Portugal's general communication style is friendly and a reserved tone and ample phrases courtesy. In Lisbon and the North there's an old time formality been strangers and even among good friends. Here's 5 useful Portuguese phrases for any situation!

  • Please....Faz favor (fash fahvor)
  • Thank-you very much....Muito/a Obrigado/a (mewto obreegad-oo/ah)
  • Of course/please go ahead....A vontade! (a vontaduh)
  • Sorry!....Desculpe! (diskulpe)
  • Excuse me!....Com licenca! (kom leesensah)


  • "COM LICENCA!" a really useful Portuguese phrase for asking permission to take something like a seat at a table or trying to get past someone in a crowded cafe or off a Lisbon Tram.
  •  "DESCULPE!" is a great word for getting attention or service just about anywhere including Restaurants and Stores.
  • If all other useful Portuguese phrases fail you - point to what you need and simply add "faz favor" on the end! This means your request is still polite. Use "faz favor" with an object such as "Agua se faz favor!" for "I'd like some water please!" or "A conta se faz favor!" "I'd like the bill please!"


 Published 26.05.2011