Well, not exactly, but they are similar enough that it's easy to guess! That's why learning about Portuguese-English cognates is a great way to build vocabulary fast.

Cognates are simply words that are very similar in both languages, usually due to a common root. For example, the Portuguese word for hotel is… hotel. They are spelled exactly the same, but the pronunciation is different, of course.

If you know a few of the typical spelling patterns, sometimes you can make educated guesses about how to form a word, or about the meaning of a word you hear. Next time you forget a word mid-conversation, maybe you’ll be bold enough to try this out!

Keep in mind that these are not strict patterns, so they do not apply to every word. Can you guess the meaning of these words?

ph / f: telefone, farmácia

th / t: atleta, matemático

-tion / -ção: opção, situação

-ty / -dade: sociedade, comunidade

-ism / -ismo: racismo, turismo

-ble / -vel: responsável, memorável

-cy / -cia: agência, fluência

-ly / -mente: exatamente, precisamente

-fy / -ficar: identificar, justificar

-age / -agem: coragem, percentagem

-ance or -ence / -ância, ência, ênça: importância, licença

added -o, -a, or -e: importante, moderno, música

Watch out for false cognates, though! There are some words that seem like cognates, but actually have a different meaning. For example, resumir means ‘to summarise’, not ‘to resume’, and puxe means ‘pull’!

Learn more patterns and cognates, and hear the pronunciation of these words at: www.PracticePortuguese.com/AnswerKey