Portuguese words you need to know to build your Portuguese vocabulary

Common Portuguese words: facts and figures

The Portuguese language is one of the most exotic languages in the world, and its beauty lies in its words.
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. This means that by focusing your efforts on learning the most common Portuguese words, you will be fluent in Portuguese in no time.

Let's start learning the most used Portuguese words with the top 10 most common Portuguese verbs!

  • ser/estar: to be
  • ter: to have
  • poder: can
  • saber: to know
  • gostar: to like
  • dizer: to say/to tell
  • dar: to give
  • ver: to see
  • chegar: to arrive
  • falar: to speak

Portuguese flag
Common Portuguese words

When you know the most common 100 Portuguese words

You can understand 50% of the texts written in Portuguese

Top 10 most common Portuguese words pronounced by fluent Portuguese speakers

  1. 1. Olá = Hello

    Let's naturally start with "Olá" which means "Hello" in Portuguese. This is one of the most known words in Portuguese and a great way to start a conversation with someone from Brazil. Click play below to listen to the actual pronunciation:


  2. 2. Amor = Love

    Love is a universal feeling and we definitely had to talk about it here. Portuguese people have a lovely way of saying they love someone or something through the word "amor". Hear it in action here:


  3. 3. Felicidade = Happiness

    When there's love, there's definitely happiness. We are all chasing "felicidade" as Portuguese speaking people would say. Listen closely and you might just get some “happiness” in your life today:


  4. 4. Gato = Cat

    Let's talk pets. There are two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. We are going to talk about cats first or how people in Portugal would say: "gato". Listen to how it sounds like:


  5. 5. Cão = Dog

    But let's not forget our lovely and loyal companions, dogs. A dog in Portuguese is "cão", a really useful word for dog lovers worldwide. Here is how you would pronounce it:


  6. 6. Sorrir = Smile

    Now it is time to smile. Or how someone from Portugal would say: "sorrir". Smiling makes us happy and helps us stay healthy, so that's why we all need to smile everyday. Here's the Portuguese pronunciation:


  7. 7. Português = Portuguese

    Next, let’s see how people in Portugal say “Portuguese”. The correct answer is "português". Listen to how a Portuguese speaker would pronounce it:


  8. 8. Sim = Yes

    Yes, we have arrived at number 8 where “yes” is the subject to be discussed. Portuguese speakers say “yes” by simply saying "sim". Enhance your understanding by listening to how a person from Brazil would pronounce it:


  9. 9. Obrigado = Thank you

    Thank you for reading this far or should I say "Obrigado" as they say in Portuguese. Here's a native speaker thanking you in Portuguese:


  10. 10. Adeus = Goodbye

    No polite conversation can end without a good old goodbye or "Adeus!" how Portuguese people usually say. Now it's time for a delightful Portuguese voice to say "Goodbye" to you:


Common Portuguese words to know

Speaking Portuguese

    Portuguese words related to time

  • amanhã: tomorrow
  • hoje: today
  • hora: hour
  • minuto: minute
  • ontem: yesterday
  • segundo: second
  • semana: week

  • Portuguese words related to buildings

  • aeroporto: airport
  • táxi: taxi
  • ponte: bridge
  • estacionamentoô: car park
  • trem: train
  • chemin de fer: railway
  • ônibus: bus
  • praia: beach
  • rua: street

    Portuguese words related to foods and drinks

  • vinho: vine
  • leite: milk
  • suco: juice
  • chá: tea
  • água: water
  • café da manhã: breakfast
  • bolo: cake
  • pão: bread

Speaking Portuguese

Additional Portuguese words

People speaking Portuguese

    Portuguese verbs

  • ter: to have
  • ser/estar: to be
  • fazer: to do/to make
  • ir: to go
  • vir: to come
  • dar: to give
  • trazer: to bring
  • dizer: to talk

    Portuguese adjectives
  • longe: far
  • perto: near
  • bom: good
  • mau: bad
  • alto: tall
  • curto: short
  • magro: thin
  • frio: cold
  • quente: hot

People speaking Portuguese

Portuguese words being used in English

Top Portuguese words

English has borrowed several Portuguese words. Examples are:
Embarrass: to tie in knots, coming from the Portuguese embaraçar
Fetish: a charm or sorcery, from feitiço
Lingo: language
Piranha: fish with sharp teeth
Potato: from 'batata' in Portuguese
Mango: a fruit that comes from the Portuguese/Spanish manga
Samba: a kind of dance from Brazil
Lambada: a type of song and dance
Guarana: a seed that gives natural caffeine
Cashew: a kind of nut
Coconut: actually a fruit, not a nut, from côco

Top Portuguese words

Why learn the most common Portuguese words first?

Make Portuguese learning fun and easier

Starting with the Portuguese basics means you will begin by learning the easiest words first and gradually increase difficulty. This way you will feel great while learning and see how your language knowledge broadens.

Have basic Portuguese conversations in no time

You'll be able to speak to someone from Rio de Janeiro or Lisbon about regular topics like weather, politics or family. This will make you confident in your Portuguese skills and eager to learn more.

Become fluent in Portuguese faster

By learning the most common Portuguese words first you are learning the smart way. Why learn the most unusual words in Portuguese when you might never use them in real life?

You improve your Portuguese vocabulary

Each new Portuguese word you learn piles up until your vocabulary builds stronger and stronger. Each lesson gets you one step closer to fluency.

Join 125 million people learning a language with Mondly by Pearson

Explore a world of languages