Portuguese Basics: Lesson 10

Could you guess the Portuguese word for smart or, hint, inteligent:


Now, the Portuguese word for person is similar as in English except it has a few changes:

Portuguese for person is pessoa.

So, how would you say:

?The smart person|A pessoa inteligente

Now, say:

?It’s possible that this person is inteligent.|É possivel que esta pessoa é inteligente.

What if you wanted to say "smarter"? That’s very simple - you say more smart (or more inteligent).

The Portuguese word for more is mais.

There is a very famous Portuguese saying mais ou menos which means more or less. You hear it all the time if you listen to Portuguese.

So, how would you say:

?More inteligent|Mais inteligente

Now, English only uses more for certain words. You can say more interesting but you can’t say more fast. In Portuguese, you use mais all the time (except maybe 3 words or something).

It is handy to know that the Portuguese word for than is the same as the Portuguese word for that - que.


?This mister is more inteligent than this person.|Este senhor é mais inteligente que esta pessoa.

The Portuguese word for that (as in: that thing) is esse (or, of course, essa if it’s feminine).

So, say:

?This word is more interesting than that word.|Esta palavra é mais interessante que essa palavra.

Now, if you remember, the saying was more or less - mais ou menos. Guess how you would say:

?Less interesting|Menos interessante

?This is less interesting.|Isso é menos interessante.

Alright, what if you wanted to say better? You could say mais bom but that’s not how it works (you don’t say more good in English as well). There is a special word for Portuguese in it:

The Portuguese word for better is melhor.

Now, know that:

Portuguese for book is livro.

The word is almost impossible to forget because of the existance of the word library.

So, how would you say:

?This book is better.|Este livro é melhor.

?This book is better than that book because this book has very interesting words.|Este livro é melhor que esse livro porque este livro tem palavras muito interessantes.

For the fun of it, I’ll tell you the word big and bigger (both of them you already know indirectly).

The Portuguese word for big is grande.

Think of grandeur and you got it. Say:

?This book is very big.|Este livro é muito grande.

Now, what do you think bigger would be? Mais grande? It should be that but the Portuguese have another word for it as well:

The Portuguese word for bigger is maior.

You know this word already because the English word mayor is the same word, and, mayor means in fact bigger (a thing to note: that a in Portuguese maior is pronounced differently than in mayor but otherwise the words are the same).

So, how would you say:

?This book is bigger than that book.|Este livro é maior que esse livro.

Alright. Last thing for today. What if you wanted to say the most interesting, the smartest, the biggest etc.? Well, you say it by saying the more interesting, the more smart, the better, etc.

So, how would you say:

?This person is the most inteligent.|Esta pessoa é a mais inteligente.

If you wanted to say the most interesting book, you would say the book the most interesting:

?The most interesting book|O livro o mais interessante

What about the best? Well, it’s simply the more good or, as it works in Portuguese, the better. Say it:

?The best|O melhor

?That book is the biggest but this book is the best.|Esse livro é o maior mais este livro é o melhor.

In conclusion: comparing this is very easy in Portuguese. Now we would be ready to move on and describe actions. But first we need to learn more actions which we could describe so that’s what we will be focusing on in the next few lessons.

NOTE: This appears to be the last lesson so far. The course is not marked as finished so there should probably be more lessons in the future. In the meanwhile, you might want to check out some of the other courses we have:

Forming the Future Subjunctive a course of Portuguese with 3 lessons produced by Linas
Introduction to Portuguese a course of Portuguese with 5 lessons produced by Linas
Introduction to Lithuanian a course of Lithuanian with 5 lessons produced by Linas
Greek Medio-Passive Voice Explained a course of Greek with 10 lessons produced by Linas
Introduction to Lithuanian II a course of Lithuanian with 5 lessons produced by Linas

You can also return to the main page of the labs to see all of the courses we have here.