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Do you know that Portuguese is the ninth most spoken language in the world? Perhaps that’s not enough reason to learn it, so let’s give you some reasons to do so.

First, the Portuguese language is fascinating and the official language of some of the most pleasing countries to visit on holidays. Some of these countries are Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Several other countries also speak Portuguese as their co-official language.

Again, the language is one of the western romance languages; this makes it easy for English speakers to master. This is true because there is a pattern that guides the word formation and articulation of languages in this group.

Another reason you would learn it quickly is that you are reading this article. We are sharing with you the finest way to learn Portuguese from the comfort of your home. Yes, you do not need to enroll in a language school anymore. Read on to find out how to begin speaking Portuguese shortly or find out how to learn another language at home!

Start with the Alphabet and Their Sounds

Learning the Portuguese alphabet, or Alfabeto (as they call it), comes first on the list of things to do because it enables you to read and spell what you hear. And it might interest you to know the Portuguese alphabet contains everything in the English alphabet except K, W, and Y.

Recently, these three letters are sometimes inculcated into the alphabet to make them twenty-six, just like the English alphabet. So, we’ll add them here for good measure. Also, the sounds are pretty different, and a few more characters are present in the Portuguese alphabet. Let us get to know them quickly.

A sounds [ah]

B sounds [beh]

C sounds [seh]

D sounds [deh]

E sounds [ay]

F sounds [ehf]

G sounds [geh]

H sounds [a-gah]

I sounds [ee]

J sounds [jota]

K sounds [kah]

L sounds [éhl]

M sounds [éhme]

N sounds [éhne]

O sounds [óhr]

P sounds [peh]

Q sounds[qay]

R sounds [éh-rre]

S sounds [éh-sse]

T sounds [têh]

U sounds [oo]

V sounds [vay]

W sounds [dahblihoo]

X sounds [shish]

Y sounds [eepsilon]

Z sounds [zay]

Acquaint Yourself with Everyday Words

Think of the words used in everyday expression and write them down. These should include salutations, days of the week, numbers, objects around you, and what have you? Here are a few to get you started.

  • Thank you, Obrigada
  • Hello, Olá
  • Good morning, Bomdia
  • What is your name? qual é o seunome?
  • My name is, meunome é
  • Where is, Onde é
  • What is, o que é

It would be impossible to write them all down here. But you can always pen down as many as you require and stick them around your house for easy sighting. Also, since you’ll use these words often, committing them to memory shouldn’t be a problem.

Know the Articles

As in English, there are also definite and indefinite articles in Portuguese. But just like the French, these articles have feminine and masculine forms and plural forms.

Definite articles

English Masculine Feminine

The (singular) o a

The (plural) os as

Indefinite articles

English Masculine Feminine

a/an um uma


Using these articles is straightforward. Try fixing them before each noun that you’ve learned.

Know the Pronouns

You’ll talk about yourself or someone else while chatting with someone. For example, I am Marcus, and you are? Knowing the pronouns is indispensable to learning Portuguese. We’ll visit that sentence soon, but let’s list the pronouns first.

eu I

você/tu you

osenhor/a senhora you (formal) ((f)/(m)

ele/ela he/she/it ((f)/(m)

nós/a gente we

vocês (all of) you

eles/elas they(f)/(m)

In the Portuguese language, there is a reflection of an elderly or respected person while speaking. We use ‘tu or você ‘ for a younger person or a mate, while “o senhor/a senhora” is a show of respect. Yes, you’re right, just like the French.

Now, back to the sentence, “I am Marcus, and you are?” is translated “Eusou Marcus, e você é?”

Get a Portuguese Dictionary

There isn’t a better way to speed up your vocabulary learning than getting a translation dictionary. Luckily, there are standard English-to-Portuguese dictionaries to download on your mobile device or computer. When you see a word, you can always look up the Portuguese translation, increasing your vocabulary.

Learn the Pluralization Rules

Portuguese has standard ways of converting nouns, adjectives, and verbs from their singular forms to plurals. You’ll have to memorize the rules and practice them with the new words you learn daily. Here are some of those rules for changing from singular to plural form.

  1. Add an ‘s’ to nouns ending with vowels (a, e, i, o, u). For example:

‘aperna(leg)’ becomes ‘as pernas(legs)’ . (Note the change in form of the articles from singular to plural form)

‘um amigo (friend)’ becomes ‘umas amigos (friends)’

  1. Add an ‘es’ to nouns ending with consonants -n-r-s,and -zFor example:

‘o canto(singer)’ becomes ‘os cantores (singers)’

‘ogás(gas) becomes ‘os gases (gases)’

  1. When a noun ends with the consonant -m, replace ‘m’ with -ns.For example:

‘aordem (order)’ becomes ‘as ordens (orders)’

‘ umhomem ( aman) becomes ‘umashomens (men)’

‘ojovem (juvenile)’ becomes ‘osjovens (juveniles)’

  1. Most nouns ending with -ãoneed an -oesto become plural, except for some that need an -s to be added after them. Examples include:

‘ocoração (heart)’ becomes ‘oscorações (hearts)’

‘opão(bread)’ becmes ‘ospães(breads)’

‘amão(hand)’ becomes ‘as mãos(hands)’

‘preposição (preposition)’ becomes ‘ preposições (prepostions)’

  1. When nouns end with al-el-ol,and -ul, their plural form takes ais-eis-ois, and -uis, respectively. Examples include:

‘o animal (animal)’ becomes ‘osanimais(animals)’

‘oautomóvel (automobile)’ becomes ‘osautomóveis (automobiles)’

‘orouxinol (nightingale)’ becomes ‘osrouxinóis (nightingales)’

‘oazul(blue)’ becomes ‘osazuis(blues)’

  1. When a noun ends with -il, the plural form may end with -isor -eis depending on whether the word is stressed on the last or penultimate syllable. For example:

‘umréptil (reptile)’ becomes ‘umasrépteis (reptiles)’

‘oimbecil (imbecile)’ becomes ‘osimbecis(imbeciles)’

  1. Nouns ending with -sremain unchanged in the plural form. Examples include:

‘olápis (pencil)’ becomes ‘oslápis(pencils)’

These rules are for nouns only. Adjectives and verbs have different rules guiding their conversion into plural forms, but we won’t cover that here.

Understand How to Stress Words

Like any language, knowing which syllable to stress when pronouncing a word is crucial. The good part is that most Portuguese words are stressed on the penultimate syllable. Let’s call that the first rule. Examples include:

ma-CA-co (monkey)

DE-do (finger)

aMIgo (friend)

As a second rule, words ending with diphthongs (two vowels) and the letters -i, -l, -r, -z, -im, -un, -ins, or -unsare stressed on the last syllable. Examples include:

viSÃO(vision or eyes)

bacalHAU (cod fish)



Meanwhile, if a word has an accent on it, you would have to stress the syllable carrying the accent. Examples include:

pis (pencil)


Acquaint Yourselves with Numbers

Your knowledge of Portuguese is incomplete if you do not know how to count. Knowing your numbers is essential because you’ll deal with quantities and money in daily conversations. Counting in Portuguese isn’t difficult either. Here are the first ten numbers.

  • 1 – um/uma
  • 2 – dois/duas
  • 3 – três
  • 4 – quatro
  • 5 – cinco
  • 6 – seis
  • 7 – sete
  • 8 – oito
  • 9 – nove
  • 10 – dez

As you must have noticed in the first number, there is no differentiation between a/an and number one. For example:

I have one house = I have a house = eutenho uma casa

Also, note the gender representation in both numbers one and two. These two numbers are with gender in mind.

I am buying two mirrors = Estou comprando dois espelhos

I stood behind two women = Euestavaatrás de duasmulheres

Let’s count from eleven to nineteen.

  • 11 – onze
  • 12 – doze
  • 13 – treze
  • 14 – catorze
  • 15 – quinze
  • 16 – dezesseis/dezasseis
  • 17 – dezessete/dezassete
  • 18 – dezoito
  • 19 – dezenove/dezanove

By now, you should see some similarities with the French numbering. The next task is knowing the tens (20, 30, to 90).

  • 20 – vinte
  • 30 – trinta
  • 40 – quarenta
  • 50 – cinquenta
  • 60 – sessenta
  • 70 – setenta
  • 80 – oitenta
  • 90 – noventa

It’s pretty much simple counting once you know the units and tens.

  • Twenty-one = twenty and one = vinte e um/uma
  • Thirty-three = thirty and three = trinta e três
  • Ninety-seven= ninety and seven = noventa e sete

You should get the flow by now. So, how do we count in hundreds? It isn’t difficult either.

One hundred is written as ‘cem’, but once it is above a complete hundred, it becomes ‘cento’.

  • 100 = cem
  • 101 = cento e um/uma
  • 110 = cento e dez
  • 196 = cento e noventa e seis

The rule is the same for the higher hundreds (200 to 900).

  • 200 – duzentos/duzentas
  • 300 – trezentos/trezentas
  • 400 – quatrocentos/quatrocentas
  • 500 – quinhentos/quinhentas
  • 600 – seiscentos/seiscentas
  • 700 – setecentos/setecentas
  • 800 – oitocentos/oitocentas
  • 900 – novecentos/novecentas

You must never forget about the gender inclination of the Portuguese language. Use the feminine numbering while speaking about something feminine. Let’s try out nine hundred and seventy-three. If you got it, you’ll have ‘novecentos e setenta e três,’

Lastly, to count in thousands, it’s leisurely too.

  • 1000 – mil
  • 2000- dois mil
  • 5698- cinco mil seiscentos e noventa e oito

These are easy breezy right? We told you Portuguese is fun.

Final Thoughts

Portuguese would be among the easiest languages you can learn from home. As you must have noted while reading through this article, there are several similarities between the language French and English. In Portuguese, you can say words as you see them.

To successfully learn this language, surround yourself with materials that aid learning at home. Speak and listen to it every day. Get a Portuguese magazine, listen to songs, watch movies and download some applications to help you. Thanks for reading, or rather, obrigado porler.


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