Introduction to Portuguese:
Lesson 1

By Linas

There is already a course of Portuguese on this site but unlike that course, this course aims at teaching you to have a simple introductory conversation in Portuguese rather than learning its structure. That is the whole difference. The beginning of this course is the same.

The Portuguese word for is is é.

Because of that accent, it is pronounced like é in fiancé.

The Portuguese word for good is bom.

This om is nasal because all vowel+m combinations are in Portuguese. You pronounce it like o and you kind of eat the m a bit. Listen to an example. If you can’t quite say it, don’t worry and just say it like om. You’ll still be understood and only sound like as if you had a Bulgarian accent if you don’t pronounce it right so what do you have to lose, right?

There is no it of the kind that you use in it is in Portuguese. How do you go about saying:

It is good.

Answer: É bom.
Not correct. Please try again.

Alrighty then.

The Portuguese word for not is não.

The ã has this ~ sign on the top and that means the sound is a nasal a sound so it is supposed to be said through your nose again. That was just to let you know. In speech it comes out like this almost automatically. Or if it doesn’t, you simply sound like a guy with a Bulgarian accent. No big deal.

If you say it is not good you say it not is good which comes out as not is good actually. What would that be:

It isn’t good.

Answer: Não é bom.
Not correct. Please try again.

It isn’t good that we know so few words so let’s learn more.

Portuguese for Portuguese is português.


It isn’t Portuguese.

Answer: Não é português.
Not correct. Please try again.

Since language names often have this ês ending, the Portuguese word for English has it too. When you say English you say Inglish rather than English and Portuguese being an easy to spell language notes that.

Combine ing and ês to get the Portuguese word for English:


Answer: Inglês
Not correct. Please try again.

Take a stab in the dark at what France’s lang French would be:


Answer: Francês
Not correct. Please try again.

Portuguese for why is literally for what or por que.

It is very easy because por is like for but with p and que is that thing that the Spanish always say and everybody knows this word and it so happens that it is the same in Portuguese.

If you want to ask why something is you simply do so (you say why it is so and not why is it so like you do in English). Do that and ask:

Why is it English?

Answer: Por que é inglês?
Not correct. Please try again.

The word que actually not only means what but it also means that so porque is forthat or because.


It is English because it is not Portuguese.

Answer: É inglês porque não é português.
Not correct. Please try again.

Last thing about questions: when you ask why - por que - you usually do say not only why is in English but you would rather say why it is that it is English. Try to work that out:

Why is it that it is English.

Answer: Por que é que é inglês?
Not correct. Please try again.

This was not necessary because you may ask without this extra é que but it sounds so much cooler with it so I just wanted you to learn it.