Brazilian Portuguese vs. European Portuguese

After one of our posts on Facebook showing the a comparitive between few words in Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese, I received a lot of emails and ibox messages asking for more information about this topic. So here we are! 🙂 I found this very interesting text (the source is at the end of the text) that summarize everything you need to know about it.  I hope you enjoy it! 😉 – Lívia Almeida


(Translated by Luana Cavalcanti)

This is a comparison,which the main goal is to spot the differences Between Brazilian Portuguese and Continental Portuguese.
Portuguese people and Brazilians can understand each other very well, just like English people can understand Americans without the need of subtitles.
The main differences are predominantly in phonetics and vocabulary. Some Brazilians might find it difficult to understand the European Portuguese because the Portuguese from Portugal has a tendency to compress words to a greater extent than in Brazil – for example, tending to drop unstressed phoneme like /e/. The language syntax is remarkably the same, and in morphology the distinctions are not numerous. Finally, there is Portuguese language here and there. To prove it, if you are learning the Brazilian variant, simply open a book or read a news website published in European Portuguese, you will understand it perfectly.

Understanding the Differences

Portuguese language was established as the official language of Brazil in 1758, by this time the contact with indigenous people and African slaves had already changed the spoken language here. According to the linguist Rosa Matos and Virginia Silva from Federal University of Bahia.”The Africans who arrived as slaves did not attend school and learned the colloquial Portuguese, creating differences in the original language.” Later, in the late 19th century, European and Asian immigrants arrived in Brazil, and new changes in the Brazilian way of speaking where introduced.

Spelling differences: 
a) European Portuguese retains some consonants that are no longer pronounced in words like acto, excepto, óptimo. The Brazilian spelling has eliminated those consonants. Although with the new orthographic Agreement,those consonants in European Portuguese will be dismissed.
b) Some words that Brazilians pronounce with a closed vowel (written â, ê, ô) are pronounced with an open vowel in Portugal (written á, é, ó), and this is reflected in differing spellings
c) The Brazilian spelling distinguishes between a closed diphtong ei and an open diphtong éi. In Portugal, this distinction is not made, because both diphtongs are pronounced identically.

– Differences of vocabulary:

There are vast differences in vocabulary, and sometimes the same word may be employed differently in the two varieties
An example that is commonly used over the internet and in some books : The word for “pineapple” in European Portuguese is “ananás,” similar to other European languages, including the German “Ananas,” French “ananas” and even the Hungarian “ananasz.” In Brazil, however, the Portuguese word for pineapple is “abacaxi”. The Brazilian Portuguese in this case was heavily influenced by native Amerindian languages , in this particular case: tupi-guarani.
Some other examples:
1. comboio (EP) = trem (BP) (train)
2. autocarro (EP) = ônibus (BP) (bus)
3. hospedeira de bordo (EP) = aeromoça (BP) (stewardess)
4. bairro de lata (EP) = favela (BP) (slum)
5. desporto (EP) = esporte (BP) (sport)

– Grammatical differences :
a) Regarding the use of personal pronouns. The pronoun tu is replaced with você in most of Brazil, because você tends to be avoided in Portugal. A gente replaces nós much more often in colloquial Brazilian Portuguese than in Portugal .
b) Regarding the distinction between third person subject pronouns and object pronouns. In colloquial Brazilian Portuguese, the subject pronouns ele(s), ela(s), você(s)are often used as objects, where o(s), a(s), lhe(s) would be used in Portugal.
c) Regarding the placement of the clitic personal pronouns. In Portugal, the clitic personal pronouns can come after a verb under some circumstances (enclisis or mesoclisis): “Dê-me um cigarro”, “Desculpe-me“, “Pode dizer-me…?” They can also be placed before the auxiliary verb, in other circumstances: “Não me pode dizer…?”
In colloquial Brazilian Portuguese, the tendency is to always place the clitic pronoun before the main verb, and between the auxiliary verb and the main verb, in compound tenses: “Me dê um cigarro”, “Me desculpe”, “Pode me dizer…?”, “Não pode me dizer…?”
d) Compound verb tenses of the form “estar + gerund” tend to be replaced with “estar a + infinitive” in most of Portugal.This happens because in Brazil you use the gerund to describe something you are doing now, since in Portugal, you use the infinitive.
e) Regarding the use of prepositions. Brazilians sometimes replace the preposition a with em or para with verbs of motion. They occasionally eliminate prepositions or pronouns from verbs that are prepositional or pronominal (“reflexive”) in Portugal.


the Portuguese use definite articles a lot.
Examples: o meu nome é (EP) = meu nome é (BP) (my name is, the Portuguese literally say “the my name is”)
Brazilians normally place the object pronoun before the verb (proclitic position), as in ele me viu (“he saw me”). In many such cases, the proclisis would be considered awkward or even grammatically incorrect in EP, in which the pronoun is generally placed after the verb (enclitic place), namely ele viu-me. However, formal BP still follows EP in avoiding starting a sentence with a proclitic pronoun; so both will write Deram-lhe o livro (“They gave him/her the book”) instead of Lhe deram o livro, though it will seldom be spoken in BP (but would be clearly understood).

The Orthographic Agreement
Portuguese speaking countries signed an orthographic agreement in 1990. More than unifying spellings, the agreement is oriented to accept one another’s spelling as correct. It will be mandatory in Brazil in 2016.

Source: Azevedo, Milton. 2005. Portuguese: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Governo brasileiro vai adiar obrigatoriedade do Acordo Ortográfico para 2016,Observatório da Língua Portuguesa


Soy loco por ti, COXINHA! – Brazilian snacks!

If you are hungry right now and because of that you’ve chosen the tag “brazilian food” or if you just love or are curious about the flavours of Brazil, so this post is FOR YOU! 🙂

I’d like to introduce you one of the most famous brazilian snacks: COXINHA! 🙂 It’s part of a big list of “salgadinhos”(one more exemplo of diminutivos!). Roughly translated, “tasty little salty things” (tasty was my addition, because they’re really delicious), salgadinhos are indispensable at any children’s birthday bash, wedding or post-party munch fest and “coxinha” is so far the most famous But you also can find them anywhere: bus terminal, restaurants, bakaries, snackbars…If there is food being sold, so probably there is “coxinha” :P.


The name coxinha derives from the snack’s peculiar drop shape, mocking a chicken drumstick (which, in Portuguese, is curiously called “coxa” [= thigh] only when referring to chickens; the chicken thigh is called sobrecoxa…). The golden, crispy exterior of this salgadinho surrounds a layer of soft dough filled with lightly seasoned, moist shredded chicken (last month I’ve tried a variation of coxinha filled with salmon – O -M-G! – I totally recomend it, too!). Some people love to eat them dotting each bite with some good hot red pepper sauce.

We LOVE so much coxinhas that there is even a blog just about it: Soy Loco Por ti Coxinha (I’m crazy for you, coxinha!) It is in Spanish rather in Portuguese in homage to Caetano Veloso’s famous song “Soy Loco Por Ti, América!” The blog is the work of a group of coxinha enthusiasts and biologists fromUnifesp, the Federal University of São Paulo. It’s filled with coxinha lore and legend, and perhaps most interestingly, a complex and detailed evaluation of the coxinhas from a number of Brazilian bars and restaurants – all done with the goal of finding Brazil’s best coxinha.

So choose your and find you tasty wonderful COXINHA! 😉

Do you want to try to make it yourself?? So of course we’re gonna share the recipe 😉 Wash your hands and go for it!

Ingredients (Makes about 20 coxinhas)


  • Chicken breast, boneless, skinless — 1 pound
  • Water — 3 cups
  • Salt — to season
  • Oil — 2 tablespoons
  • Onion, finely chopped — 1
  • Tomato, seeded and chopped — 1 cup
  • Cream cheese — 1/2 cup


  • Flour — 2 cups
  • Oil — 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper — to season

Crispy Coating

  • Eggs, beaten — 2
  • Fine breadcrumbs – 1 1/2 cups
  • Oil for deep frying


  1. Heat the chicken breasts, water and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken and reserve the poaching liquid. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers.
  3. Clean out the saucepan, and then add the oil and heat over medium-high flame. Saute the onion in the oil until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the tomato and cook down for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chicken, salt and pepper and continue to simmer until most of the liquid is cooked away. Remove from heat, stir in the cream cheese and adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. In another saucepan, mix 2 cups of the reserved broth with the flour, oil, salt and pepper and stir together until smooth. Then set the saucepan over medium flame and cook, stirring constantly, until the batter forms a smooth mass and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Chill the dough and chicken for at least an hour.
  5. Flatten a golf ball-sized piece of dough into a round. Place a tablespoon of the chicken filling in the middle of the round and bring the sides of the dough up to encase the filling. Shape the dough into a little drumstick. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  6. Take a coxinha and dip it in the beaten egg and let the excess drip off. Then roll it in the breadcrumbs and set it on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining coxinhas.
  7. Deep fry the coxinhas in batches at 365°F until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot.

Coxinhas Variations

  • The type of cheese used for coxinhas in Brazil is called Catupiry and is similar to American cream cheese. Definitely use it if you can find it.
  • Eliminate the tomatoes from the filling if you like.
  • Add a squeeze of lime to the filling for extra flavor

Português do Brasil é muito bonitinho – Diminutives in Portuguese

Check this a “Coca-Cola” advertisement in Ecuador. They are making fun of a really popular brazilian way of speaking: DIMINUTIVO! 😀

Ela é tao bonitinha! (She’s so cute!)

Você quer um cafezinho? (Do you want some coffee?)

Nós vivemos pertinho de você. (We live close to you.)

A diminutive (diminutivo in Portuguese) is a word formed by adding “-inho(a)” or “-zinho(a)” to the end of a word to show that something or somebody is smaller. Diminutives are also used to denote affection, intimacy, courtesy, and sometimes even a pejorative tone.

To form the diminutive, you need to pay attention to the end of the noun:

  • If it ends in “s” or “sa”, we just add “inho” or “inha”: lápis – lapisinho; princesa – princesinha; casa – casinha
  • If it ends in z, a consonant or stressed syllable, you keep the z and add “inho” or “inha” or in case it ends in consonant or stressed syllable just add “inho” or “inha”: nariz (nose) – narizinho; flor(flower) – florzinha; maçã (apple) – maçãzinha; café – cafezinho

Here are  just a few other examples :

  • With adjectives:

“Grande” becomes “Grandinho” – Slightly big
“Verde” becomes “Verdinho” – Vivid green. –> A grama está tao verdinha. (The grass is so green.)
“Barato” becomes “Baratinho” – Cheap and affordable –> Está baratinho. Vou levar. (It’s very cheap. I’m gonna take it)

  • Even with some adverbs like:

“Depressa” becomes “Depressinha” – to give the idea of very quickly
“Nunca” becomes “Nunquinha” – to give the idea of Never ever.

Now check these other examples:

  • Oi, amorzinho! – Hi, honey! (For somebody you love.)
  • Seu bebê é tão bonitinho. – Your baby is so cute. (Showing affection.)
  • Vamos tomar uma cerveja bem geladinha? – Let’s have a really nice cold beer. (To emphasize the quality of the adjective, meaning ‘nice and …’)
  • Nós temos um probleminha. – We have a little problem. (Actually, it’s probably a huge problem. :P)
  • Vou fumar só um cigarrinho. – I’m going to smoke just one little cigarette. (Maybe trying to hide a vice.)
  • Você pode esperar só um momentinho? – Can you wait just a moment? (probably you will wait more than “a moment”)
  • Vou dar uma saidinha. – I’m just going to pop out. (Implying a quick return, which is not always the case.)

In fact, it’s very popular in Brazil. Another way to use “diminutivo” is to create brazilian nicknames. It seems at times that everyone in the country has some sort of nickname. For example, my name is Lívia, but my friends usually call me Livinha. It’s a way to show affection. I’m sure you have heard about the most famous diminutive on the planet :P: the soccer star Ronaldinho. hehehe.

Brazilians usually won’t say what they really think about something to do not sound “rude”, so the diminutive is often used for this pupose too, because it sounds “less agressive” For example, the word bonitinho I used in the begining of this post, depending on the intonation you give, could mean “cute” or “ugly”.

–> Português do Brasil é muito bonitinho (I mean, it’s really cute!)

–> A: Você acha a Lady Gaga bonita? B: Humm…ela é bonitiiiiinha. (Actually, I think she’s not that beautiful or I really think she’s ugly, but I don’t want to say it because I don’t want to be “rude” – maybe you like Lady Gaga :P)

Many people use the word “bonitinho”(cutie) to refer to someone “feio arrumadinho” (which means that you are an well dressed ugly). ^^ So, if you think someone is really cute, you better say: Você é lindo/linda! Você é muito bonito/bonita! 😉 hehe

All in all, you should start to try “brazilian diminutivo” 🙂 It’s definitly a brazilian mark!!

Um beijinho pra todos vocês! :*

Prepositions in Portuguese – De onde você é?

Prepositions are small words or combination of words that connect some elements (nouns, pronouns or phrases)  to other words in a sentence. Thus, it’s very important to learn PREPOSITIONS and its structure because they are used in every day conversation.


It can be a little bit tricky in the beginning, but the more you pratice, the closer you get to mastering this language. In the following picture you can see some common prepositions in comparison with preposition in English:

Untitled drawing

Now let’s put them into some sentences:

1) Eu vou viajar depois de amanhã. (I’m going to travel after tomorrow.)

2) João vai estudar Português comigo próximo ano. (João will study Portuguese with me next year.)/ Eu  estou com ela. (I’m with her)

3) O cachorro está dentro de casa. (The dog is inside the house.)

4) As chaves estao sob a mesa. (The keys are under the table.)

5) Eu quero encontrar você antes do pôr-do-sol. (I want to see you before the sunset.)

6) Onde você está? Eu estou em casa. (Where are you? I’m at home)

7) Entre eu e você só existe amizade. (Between me and you there is only friendship.)

8) Há sete alunos e um professor entre nós. (There are seven students and one teacher among us)

Some verbs are also followed by preposition, such as GOSTAR, PRECISAR. In Portuguese these verbs are ALWAYS followed by the preposition “DE”(in English it is not necessary):

Eg: Eu gosto de você. (I like you)

Ana gosta de chocolate. (Ana likes chocolate.)

Carlos gosta de feijoada. (Carlos likes feijoada.)

Many students have difficulties to make difference between: DE and DO, DOS, DA, DAS. There are many situations where you can use them,  let’s see some exemples how to use it properly.

First of all, remember that main preposition is “DE”, the other ones are combination of DE + articles:

DE + A: DA (feminim, singular)

DE + AS: DAS (feminim, plural)

DE + O: DO (masculin, singular)

DE + OS: DOS (masculin, plural)

  • DE:

__De onde você é? (Where are you from?)

__Eu sou de Fortaleza. /Eu sou de Sao Paulo/ Eu sou de Brasília/ Eu sou de Bogotá/ Eu sou de Buenos Aires/ Eu sou de Londres.

*exceptions: Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. Eu sou do Rio de Janeiro/ Eu sou da Bahia.

Use “DE” when you’re talking about the city where you’re from.


__De onde você é? (Where are you from?)

__ Eu sou do Brasil/do Japao/do Peru./da Colômbia/da Inglaterra/ da República Tcheca/dos Estados Unidos/das Ilhas Malvinas.

*exceptions: Eu sou de Portugal./ Eu sou de Cuba

Use DO/DA/DOS/DAS when you’re talking about the country you’re from.

To use the correct preposition in this case you must learn the gender of the countries in Portuguese. We have a helpful list for you:


A Argentina

A Alemanha

A Colômbia

A Guatemala

A Espanha

A Eslovênia

A Inglaterra

A China

A Índia

A Angola

A África do Sul

A Hungria

A Russia


O Japao

O Chile

O Equador

O México

Os Estados Unidos

O Brasil

O Canadá

O Ira

O Egito

O Panamá

Are we understood? 😉 Now that you have learned it, leave us a coment answering this question: “De onde você é?” 😀