In this article I’m going to present you with some of the most common Portuguese words, including their meaning in English. To keep things simple, I organized them by categories: greetings, personal pronouns, articles, verbs, and adjectives. These words will be of great help to get you started. By the end of this article, you will be able to make some simple and useful sentences in Portuguese. Your first sentences!


A simple word that you can learn right away is:

 1 - “Olá” /o-LÁ/.

This is like saying “Hi”. Remember though to stress the second syllable /o-LÁ/.


Other greetings that you can use pretty much in any context (formal or informal) are:

2 - “Bom dia” (literally meaning “good day”), you can use this greeting in the morning;

3 - “Boa tarde” - “good afternoon”

4 - “Boa noite” - “Good night”

All these greetings are frequently used by natives so you just have to practice a little and you will be ready to greet people in Portuguese and sound like a native.

Personal pronouns / Articles / Verbs

To start making simple sentences, you’ll need to learn the personal pronouns. To keep it simple, we’ll start with the singular ones:

5 – “Eu” - “I”

6 – “Tu” - “You”

7 – “Ele” - “He”

8 - “Ela” - “She”


Keep in mind that in Portuguese nouns can be either “masculine” or “feminine” and we have to use the corresponding article.

Definite Articles

9 – “O” (pronounced /u/) is used for masculine nouns. Example: “O café” = “The coffee”

10 – “A” is used for feminine nouns. Example: “A casa” = “The house”.

Indefinite Articles


11 – “Um” is used for masculine nouns. Example: “Um café” = “A coffee”

12 – “Uma” – is used for feminine nouns. Example: “Uma casa” = “A house”


The next step is to learn some common verbs. By learning some frequently used verbs we’ll be able to start making simple sentences easily.

13 – “Ser” – (meaning “to be”)

Conjugating the verb: Eu sou (I am), tu és (you are), Ele é (he is), Ela é (she is)…

14 – “Querer” – (meaning “to want”)

Conjugating the verb: “Eu quero” (I want); Tu queres (You want); Ele quer (He wants); Ela quer (She wants)…

15 – “Ter” – (meaning to have”)

Conjugating the verb: “Eu tenho” (I have); Tu tens (You have); Ele tem (He has); Ela tem (She has)…

Other useful verbs: aprender (to learn); falar (to speak)…

Your first sentences

With this short explanation and with some help you may be able to start making your first simple sentences in Portuguese! Are you ready?

You can use the verb “ser” (to be) to introduce yourself.

“Bom dia! Eu sou o John” = “Good morning! I’m John”

“Olá! Eu sou a Marta” = “Hi! I’m Marta”

You can use the verb “querer” to ask for something:

“Eu quero um café” = “I want a coffee”

“Ele quer uma cerveja” = “He wants a beer”

“Eu quero aprender a falar português” = “I want to learn to speak portuguese” 😁


To describe things, you’ll need some adjectives. Some useful ones are:

16 - “Grande” (big)

17 - “Pequeno” (small)

18 - “Bonito” (beautiful)

19 - “Feio” (ugly)

20 - “Quente” (hot)

21 - “Frio” (cold)

22 - “Caro” (expensive)

23 - “Barato” (cheap)

24 – “Fácil” (easy)

25 – “Difícil” (Hard)

With these adjectives, we can make some useful sentences. For example:

“O café é barato” = “The coffee is cheap”

“Portugal é bonito” = “Portugal is beautiful”

“A casa é grande” = “The house is big”

“Eu tenho uma casa pequena” = “I have a small house”

“Aprender português é fácil” = “Learning portuguese is easy” 😁

I would like to tell you that learning to speak Portuguese fluently is easy. But the truth is that it depends on some factors. For example, how much time and effort you are willing to put into your learning. But, as you can see by reading this article, it’s not too difficult to learn the basics. By learning some words/terms you can make some simple but useful sentences. I really hope that these 25 words are useful to you and that you get the feeling that learning Portuguese can be fun and “fácil” (easy) 😀. And here goes a bonus word for today: Obrigado (thank you). Obrigado (Thank you) for taking the time to read this article and I really hope to see you around.

Read More: How to Say Thank You in Portuguese