For Starters... 3
>>Brazilian Portuguese | Switch to European Portuguese

*When you see "B "P, this means that you can click to hear how the word or phrase sounds in Brazil (Brazilian dialect) and Portugal (European dialect).*

This lesson is the last in a series of Para começar introductory lessons. Please link back to the Portuguese Online Lessons page to view all of the lessons offered on this site.




Roberto and Ana are both eating in a café in the city. Ana thinks she recognizes Roberto, but she's not sure if she remembers his name. Boldly, he makes the first move:

(Note that the word garçom means waiter)

Roberto Oi! Como você vai?
Ana Tudo bem... desculpe... como é seu nome?
Roberto Meu nome é Roberto.
Ana Oh, sim! Sou Ana.
Garçom (with a plate full of food, tries to squeeze behind Ana). Com licença.
Ana Pois não. (turns back to Roberto)
Roberto Quantos anos você tem?
Ana Tenho 20 anos. E você?
Roberto Tenho 20 anos. (he looks at his watch). Muito prazer, outra vez!
Ana Muito prazer, obrigada.
Roberto Não por isso. Tchau!
Ana Tchau!

It's a short encounter, but you have a lot to learn from it:


>>Understanding the Language 
Phrases, Numbers and Pronunciation

More and More Questions and Answers

Roberto may have checked his watch and run off, but we're still here. That means that we can put the finishing touches on our beginning conversation tables.


Statement Response
Oi! Oi!
Hello!, Hi! Hello!, Hi!
Bom dia! Bom dia!
Good day!, Hello! Good day!, Hello!


Question Response
Como você vai? Tudo bem!
How are you? I'm fine!
  Muito bem!
  Very well!

Asking someone's name

Question Response
Como você se chama? Eu me chamo...
What's your name? My name is...
Como é  seu nome? Meu nome é...
What's your name? My name is...
  I am...

Asking someone's place of origin

Question Response
De onde você é? Sou de...
Where are you from? I am from...

Asking someone's age

Question Response
Quantos anos você tem? Tenho ____ anos.
How old are you? I'm ____ years old.

Excusing, interrupting and apologizing

Statement Response
Desculpe. Não foi nada.
Sorry, Excuse me (It was) nothing/no problem
Com licença. Pois não.
Pardon me Go ahead, Certainly
Como? (repeat what was said)
What (did you say)? ....

Responding to yes-no questions

Question Response
(Pergunta)? Sim.
(Question)? Yes.

Thanking someone

Question Response
Obrigado!, Obrigada! De nada.
Thank you! You're welcome.
Muito obrigado!, Muito obrigada! Não por isso!
Thank you very much! Don't mention it.

Saying Goodbye

Question Response
Adeus! Adeus!
Goodbye! Goodbye!
Tchau! Tchau!
See you!, Ciao! See you!, Ciao!



You're going to learn to count outra vez again, this time (around) in your new language. You will begin with the numbers one through ten.

Number Spelling
1 um  "B "P
2 dois "B "P
3 três "B "P
4 quatro "B "P
5 cinco "B "P
6 seis "B "P
7 sete "B "P
8 oito "B "P
9 nove "B "P
10 dez "B "P

In the dialogue, both Roberto and Ana gave 20 as their age. The number 20 is vinte "B "P in Portuguese.

PRONUNCIATION (Stressing Words Out)

In both English and Portuguese, words are stressed, meaning that, when speaking the language, we emphasize or accent a certain syllable. Before understanding when to stress that certain syllable, we must first be able to cut any word into syllables.

Since even linguists argue among themselves about where one syllable ends and another begins, let's not travel too far into the specifics. The easiest way for a beginner to brake any word into syllables is to count the vowels. A word like philosophy can be daunting until you test that theory: phi-lo-so-phy. Four syllables!
>example filosofia philosophy is pronounced fi-lo-so-fi-a. Five syllables.

Do you recall that diphthongs count as a "single vowel sound"? Keep our new friends in mind: ai, au, ei, eu, oi, ou and ui.
>example auto is pronounced au-to. Two syllables.

Now we add the stress. In Portuguese, stress follows simpler rules than in English:

>>A word ending in a vowel, m or s is stressed on the second-to-last syllable.
>example au-to, fa-lam, au-tos, lu-zes

>>A word ending in a consonant, i or u is stressed on the last syllable.
>example fa-lar, hin-du

Some explanations:
-m and -s are very common endings on nouns and verbs. You'll soon stress the second-to-last syllable subconsciously.

Words ending in -i or -u are rare, usually foreign.

In English, we have a similar set of rules for stressing words like mo-ney and ho-tel, but there is no easy way to determine whether or not a given word follows these rules in writing. If we ever break the rules in Portuguese, we have to indicate it in the written language. In other words, whenever there are exceptions to any of the rules you've just learned, the word you're looking at will have to tell you.

Now you may wonder, how does it tell me this? Believe it or not, you've already seen some examples. Irregular stress is shown with an accent mark on the irregularly accented syllable (the one that breaks the rules).

á â é ê í ó ô ú

written á
>example es-, diário
(without the accent we would say es-ta, di-a-ri-o)

unless it's found before m or n, where it's written â
>example -ma-ra vs. ca-ma

(without the accent we would say ca-ma-ra)

E (you've seen these rules before)
written é when pronounced like the e in let
>example é-ti-co, Jo-
(without the accent we would say e-ti-co, Jo-se)

written ê when pronounced like the e in they
>example vo-

(without the accent we would say vo-ce)

written í
>example im-plí-ci-to, e-xer-cí-cio
(without the accent we would say im-pli-ci-to, e-xer-ci-ci-o)

O (you've also seen these rules before)
written ó when pronounced like the o in sock
>example a-, ó-ti-mo, qui-ló-me-tro (Portugal)*
(without the accent we would say a-vo, o-ti-mo, qui-lo-me-tro)

written ô when pronounced like the o in throw
>example a-vô, qui-lô-me-tro (Brazil)*
(without the accent we would say a-vo, qui-lo-me-tro)

*The word kilometer is quilômetro in Brazil and quilómetro in Portugal.

written ú
>example úl-ti-mo
(without the accent we would say ul-ti-mo)

Now, where should you emphasize filosofia?




Here is a list of words. Try to pronounce them aloud, paying close attention to where you break the syllables and which syllable you stress in each word. Try not to reference the Understanding the Language section during this exercise.

câmara filosofia você prazer avó auto avô falar está luzes muito hindu ético


This exercise is similar to the one above, but you will not be given any words to pronounce here. Instead, you must read each number aloud. Click on the number after you have finished to hear the pronunciation. Do not reference the Understanding the Language section during this exercise.

7 9 2 4 8 5 1 10 3


>>O Mundo Luso
The Portuguese-speaking World

Brazil is a very large country, by far the largest in the South American continent. The clima climate is hot and humid, because most of the country lies inside the tropics. The weather alone draws many tourists to the country's famed beaches.

The largest cities are found near the coast. São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the most well-known cities. São Paulo, named for Saint Paul is the most populous city, and Brasília, in the country's interior, is home to Brazil's capital since 1960. Before then, Rio served as the capital city.


>>What Should I Have Learned Here?
Final Review & Key Points

Here are the key points to review in this lesson:

I hope that you've thoroughly enjoyed these PARA COMEÇAR lessons. With the knowledge you've gained here, you should be very ready to tackle the Lições lessons pages. Parabéns! Congratulations on completing your first step toward fluency in Portuguese!

Back to Para Começar 2<< | Return to Lessons Page | >>On to the Lições!