Learning how to say “Thank you” in Portuguese is essential for those interested in visiting Portugal or Brazil, or even just knowing new people from those places. But did you know that there are many ways one can say “thank you” in Portuguese? We’re gonna show you.
First of all, you need to know that ‘thank you’ in Portuguese may appear in different forms both because of the Portuguese grammar and because of its transformation through language usage and slangs. In this post we are going to try to cover all of them focusing on the main countries that speak Portuguese: Brazil and Portugal (but as always, choose the best way to learn Portuguese for your needs.
There are other places where the Portuguese Language is the official or one of the main languages in use, but if learn how to say ‘thank you’ in Portuguese with the cases we are going to present here you’re probably good to go on those other places too.
Thank you in portuguese: 10 ways to say it right
Saying ‘Thank you’ in Portuguese might get a bit tricky depending on the situation. Unlike in English, Portuguese Language varies most of its words according to the gender of the person speaking and/or receiving the message.
Below, we listed all the cases. There are audio records from native Brazilians speaking the examples used so you can understand better how they say it.
Use the summary to get the information you need faster.
Obrigado/Obrigada: Thank you
Many Brazilian or Portuguese don’t know but the word ‘obrigado’ came from the Latin obligare (to be obligated, in English). And, as we said before, the word ‘obrigado’ changes when it is a woman or a man saying it and that’s extremely important on how to say ‘thank you’ in Portuguese.
Obrigado (Thank you): used by male speakers to thank for something.
Example: John wants to thank Julia for the coffee. “Obrigado pelo café, Julia!” (Thank you for the coffee, Julia).
Obrigada (Thank you): used by female speakers to thank for something.
Example: Susan wants to thank Carlos for the help. “Obrigada pela ajuda, Carlos!” (Thank you for your help, Carlos).
Obrigado/Obrigada has another meaning
Be careful: Obrigado/Obrigada also has the meaning of literally ‘obliged’. How do you know then? Pay attention on the context the speaker is using it. It rarely will be used on light conversations or when the mood is cheerful. Examples of ‘obrigado’ used as ‘obliged’:
- “Ela foi obrigada a ficar até mais tarde no trabalho para terminar suas tarefas” – She was obliged to stay late at work to finish her tasks;
- “Todos os motoristas estão obrigados por lei a realizarem o teste do bafômetro” – All drivers are obliged by law to perform the breathalyzer test.
Both Brazilians and Portuguese are used to ‘chop’ the ‘o’ from Obrigado. This is the result of many centuries of Portuguese usage and is mostly likely that this change was intended to make easier (and faster) to say obrigado.
Although is common to hear ‘brigado’ to say thank you in Portuguese, please note that this is a feature from the spoken language only. There is no ‘brigado’ in written form when used to thank for something (more on that later).
The usage goes as the traditional ‘obrigado’ as we saw above, but it only can be used on informal occasions:
Brigado (thanks): used by a male speaker on informal occasions.
Example: Mark wants to thank the driver for the ride. “Brigado pela carona” (Thanks for the ride).
Brigada (thanks): used by a female speaker on informal occasions.
Example: Beth wants to thank Rita for the Pão de Queijo recipe. “Brigada pela receita, Rita. Estava deliciosa!” (Thanks for the recipe, Rita. It was delicious!)
Brigado/Brigada has another meaning
Yeap, as it happens with ‘obrigado/obrigada’, ‘brigado/brigada’ also has another meaning. It mean something like ‘fought’, so be careful whiling using it. Some examples of ‘brigado/brigada’ meaning ‘fought/fight’:
- “Mariana estava brigada com a irmã dela há 3 anos, mas hoje fizeram as pazes” – Mariana had a fight with her sister 3 years ago and they weren’t speaking to each other since then, but today they made peace with each other again.
- “Pedro havia brigado na rua” – Pedro had a fight out on the street.
Muito obrigado/Muito obrigada: Thank You Very Much
What happens when you are REALLY thankful for something? Well, there’s a way to say it in Portuguese too. This case is simple and it doesn’t have any other meaning so you can use to express your gratitude with no worries.
Muito obrigado (thank you very much): used by a male speaker who wants to show gratitude over something.
Example: Jonathan wants to thank Marcos for have helped with the visa, otherwise he would have to return to his country. “Muito obrigado pela ajuda com o Visto, Marcos! Se não fosse por você eu estaria em grandes apuros.” (Thank you very much for your help with my visa, Marcos! Without your help I would be in big trouble right now).
Muito obrigada (thank you very much): used by a female speaker who wants to show gratitude over something.
Example: Serena wants to thank Felipe for the ride to the airport when she wasn’t able to find any taxis and was going to miss the flight. “Muito obrigada pela carona, Felipe. Você salvou a minha vida!” (Thank you very much for the ride, Felipe. You saved my life!)
Both ‘obrigadinho’ and ‘obrigadinha’ have no direct translation to English. They are just a cute way to say thank you in Portuguese or to show affection. It’s mostly used by women and among girl conversation.
Obrigadinho (thanks): used by a male speaker to say thank you in a cute manner (but is very unlike that you have to use this form).
Obrigadinha (thanks): used by a female speaker to say thank you in a cute manner.
Example: Mary wants to thank Carla for the cute message she sent her before she left for work. “Recebi seu recadinho, você é tão fofa! Obrigadinha!” (I received your message, you so cute! Thanks!)
Obrigado por/pelo…: Thanks for/Thank you for
As in English, we often thank someone for something in Portuguese. So you might have to use ‘por’ or “pelo/pela” in addition to ‘obrigado’. The direct translation is something like ‘thanks for’ and it is used in most of the cases.
Obrigado por (thank you for/thanks for): used by a male speaker to thank someone for something.
Example: Joseph wants to thank Camila for the gift. “Obrigado pelo presente!” (Thank you for the present).
Obrigada por (thank you for/thanks for): used by a female speaker to thank someone for something.
Example: Carol wants to thank Oswaldo for waiting her at the office. “Obrigada por me esperar, Oswaldo! Acabei me atrasando no trabalho.” (Thanks for waiting, Oswaldo! I was late because of work).
We can say that ‘valeu’ is the direct equivalent to ‘thanks’ in English and it’s an informal way to say thank you in Portuguese. As other words presented here so far, ‘valeu’ also has another meaning so pay attention to that.
Valeu (thanks): used both by male and female speakers do thank for something in a very informal way.
Example: Carry wants to thank her classmate for the tips about next week’s exam. “Valeu pela dica, vai me ajudar bastante na prova.” (Thanks for the tip, it’s going to be really helpful in my exam).
The other meanings of ‘Valeu’
The word ‘valeu’ is derived from the word ‘vale’ and it has other usages. For instance, ‘valeu a pena’ means ‘worth it’ and ‘quanto vale?’ might mean ‘how much it costs?’.
If you are really grateful for something, you can use ‘grato/grata’. Grato means grateful and can also be used as a really forma way to say thank you in Portuguese. Let’s see:
Grato (grateful): used by a male speaker to express gratitude.
Example: “Sou muito grato por tê-la conhecido.” (I’m very grateful for meeting you).
Grata (grateful): used by a female speaker to express gratitude.
Example: “Sou muito grata pela chance que tive de participar de um intercâmbio” (I’m very grateful for having the chance of participating on an exchange program).
Grato/Grata (grateful-ish): used by male/female to say thank you in Portuguese in a formal manner (very common on emails, signs, memos at the office, etc.).
Example: A sign at a hospital asking to be silent. “Por favor, faça silêncio. Grato pela compreensão.” (Please remain silent. We appreciate your cooperation)
The word ‘agradecido/agradecida’ literally means grateful in Portuguese and must be used in really formal conversations and/or texts.
Agradecido (thankful): used by a male speaker to express gratefulness.
Example: “Estou muito agradecido pelo convite, senhor presidente.” (I’m really grateful for your invitation, mr. President).
Agradecida (thankful): used by a female speaker to express gratefulness.
Example: “Fiquei muito agradecida com a homenagem que recebi da universidade.” (I was very grateful for the homage I received at the University).
Não, obrigado: No thanks
Portuguese speakers also thank when refusing something. It’s quite simple actually:
Não, obrigado: used both by male and female speakers to politely refuse something.
Example: Brad had dinner before he went to Carina’s house. But there they were about to eat diner, so he refuses because is not hungry. “Não, obrigado. Já jantei em casa.” (No thanks, I already had dinner at home).
De nada: You are welcome
As we do in English, Portuguese speakers have a way to kind of respond when someone says thank you in Portuguese. As you are going to see, the direct translation of the expression has no meaning in English, so the best equivalent in our language would be ‘You’re welcome’.
De nada: used both male and female speakers to acknowledge when someone says thank you in Portuguese.
Example: Ted drove Cristina to the dock. When Cristina says “Obrigado pela carona” (Thanks for the ride), Ted answers “De nada, Cristina” (You’re welcome Cristina).
Learn more expressions in Portuguese!
Learned how to say thank you in Portuguese? What about learn more expressions to improve your portuguese?