First and foremost, here are 3 polite phrases that everyone should know:

Por favor - Please

Obrigado / Obrigada - Thank you (Spoken by male / female)

Desculpe - Sorry, Excuse me

If you’re a true beginner, to set up expectations for the conversation, you could say something like:

Desculpe, só falo um pouco de português - Sorry, I only speak a little Portuguese

This lets the listener know to take it easy on you. However, sometimes they want to be helpful by switching to English. You could say:

Por favor, podemos falar em português? Preciso de praticar. - Can we speak in Portuguese, please? I need to practice.

Of course, always be respectful of someone’s time. Standing at the front of a long line at the supermarket is probably not the time to “practice” with the cashier.

When you hear a new language, it always seems like everyone is speaking too quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask for repetition or clarification. Here are some good go-to phrases:

Pode dizer outra vez? / Pode repetir? - Can you say (that) again? / Can you repeat (that)?

Pode falar mais devagar? - Can you speak more slowly?

Diga? / Como? - What?

Não percebi - I didn’t understand, I didn’t get it

Já percebi - Got it / I understand now

To learn more and hear the pronunciation for these phrases, visit us at