Brazilian people are very expressive and very friendly. Most importantly, they know when to be informal and when to be formal. Of course, if they are talking to friends or family, there’s no need for formalities. However, if they’re talking to an older person, their bosses, or someone who has authority, they talk with all due respect.
- Two Ways of Saying hi: Olá! or Oi!
- Morning greeting: Bom dia!
- Afternoon greeting: Boa tarde!
- Evening greeting: Boa noite!
- Saying good night*: Boa noite!
*Used when you know you’re not going to see the person that evening anymore.
Asking how someone is:
- Tudo bem? or Como vai você?
- Answer: Tudo bem e você? ~ I’m fine and you?
- When speaking to a male: Como vai, o senhor? ~ How are you, sir?
- When speaking to a female: Como vai, a senhora? ~ How are you, ma’m?
- Answer: Vou bem, obrigada e o senhor, e a senhora? ~ I’m fine, thanks, and you sir, ma’m?
Wishing someone a nice day
- Have a nice day: Tenha um bom dia!
- Informal Answer: Você também! ~ You too!
- Formal answer: O senhor também! A senhora também! ~ Same to you, sir, ma’m!
- If speaker is a male, he should say: Obrigado!
- If speaker is a female, she should say: Obrigada!
- Answer: De nada!
Apologizing to someone
- Used either formally or informally: Desculpe! or Me desculpe!
- Informal: Tchau!
- A Bit More Formal: Até logo!
- A long good-bye: Adeus! *
*Adeus is used mostly in literary work, but it’s also possible to use in conversation when the goodbye may mean a long one.
I’m so glad you’re here! If you’re just starting on your journey of Portuguese learning, be sure to check out the Starter Guide.