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Common Portuguese Phrases

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 10 Jan 2015 | comments*Discuss
Common Portuguese Phrases Portugal

Portuguese is a widely spoken language; despite the fact Portugal is a relatively small country. This is mostly due to the language’s prominence in Brazil where it is the official language and elsewhere in South America.

The main reason why British people and English speakers learn a few words of Portuguese, or some common Portuguese phrases, is to be able to use the language on a holiday there. In most places where you are likely to go on holiday, English will be widely spoken but there is always the chance you will stumble upon somewhere where there is not an English speaker.

In addition, the Portuguese people will appreciate it if you try and speak a few words of their language, if only to say hello and thank you.

Ordering Food or Drink

One of the main places you may need a few common Portuguese phrases is a bar or restaurant when you are ordering. You may need to learn how to order certain items, how to identify menu items and how to ask for something.

  • For me… - Para mim…
  • A table for two - uma mesa para duas pessoas
  • Thank you – obrigado/a
  • Please – por favor
  • I have a table reserved - Eu reservei uma mesa
  • To start, I would like … - Para começar, quero ...
  • Could I have the bill, please - Queira trazer a conta, por favor.
  • Steak - bife
  • Chicken - frango
  • Pork - porco
  • Lamb – carneiro
  • Fish - peixe
  • Seafood- marisco
  • Prawns / shrimps - camarão / gamba
  • Drink - bebida
  • Coffee - café
  • White wine - vinho branco
  • Red wine - vinho tinto
  • Water - água
  • Beer - cerveja


If you need to ask directions when walking or driving around, you may stop someone who does not speak English. While you could try someone else, far preferable is to have a go at speaking the language and try and make yourself understood. The other person will know you are not a native speaker and will speak slowly and simply for you in order to help you get where you were trying to go.

  • Excuse me, where is ... ? - Desculpe, onde fica ... ?
  • Is it far? - É longe?
  • Go straight on – Siga sempre em frente
  • Turn right - Volte à direita
  • Turn left - Vire à esquerda


Most people will partake in a little shopping at some point during a holiday or even a business trip. To help you along and make sure you get what you want and are not overcharged because of language mistakes, learn a few common Portuguese phrases to help you to spend your money wisely.

  • Can I help you? - Posso ajudá-lo?
  • How much? - Quanto é?
  • I would like two …, please - Queria dois …, se faz favor.
  • Could you wrap it for me, please - Pode embrulhar para presente, se faz favor?
  • I'll take it/them - Levo-o/os.

There are always words, which you will find you needed but did not know, unless you become a fluent speaker of the language. But by learning a few common Portuguese phrases, the benefits are twofold. Firstly, the person you are speaking to will know that you have made an effort to learn some words, and secondly, you will hopefully be able to make yourself understood should a situation arise when no English speaker is present.

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