So, I know this subject might seem too simple to write a blog post about. But believe me when I say that the question how to say yes in Portuguese has more to it than you might think.
So, if you are interested to know how you can agree with something or someone in Portuguese and explore 7 Ways To Say Yes In Portuguese, come with me. Yes?
Yes in Portuguese
As you know, almost every (if not every) language in the world has a word, or a sound, or a gesture, that speakers of that language use to say that they agree with some idea, some concept…anything!
Portuguese is no different. Check it out!
This is the word you probably have already heard at least once or twice in your life if you are interested in the Portuguese language. Sim means simply yes.
For example, if someone asks you:
Gostas de mim?
If you DO like the person, you can simply say:
If you want to be more persuasive, as to make the person really believe you, you can say:
(Bear in mind that this can happen with any verb. The verb of any question can be repeated after sim)
Or you can do something we Portuguese love to do – repetition of the word:
(Be aware that sometimes we also use this two sim together, when we pick up the phone, as to say: yes, I am here)
Another way of saying yes in Portuguese, which is not a direct translation of yes, but that also means you do agree with something or someone, is claro.
Claro is used when we really agree with what is being said or asked. It translates into English as of course.
So, let’s check the above question again:
Gostas de mim?
You can now answer:
You can also add the two words together, as to give it more power:
You can even repeat the word and add claro after, as in:
Sim, sim, claro!
However, this claro is also sometimes used in cases when the person is already annoying you with all their questions. Imagine someone asks something really obvious:
Os teus filhos comem direito? (do your kids eat properly?..you know, something a mother-in-law or a cousin who likes to give opinions about everything in your life would ask), then you can answer:
It can also be said sarcastically, when what the other person says or asks is really silly and it is very unlikely to happen. Like:
Amanhã vou ganhar o Euromilhões!
Then you could say:
Claro que sim…
Basically, all these words and groups of words can be used in all of the situations above, but it all comes down to the intonation that you give to them.
Another word you might have heard us say a lot is pois. This word does not literally mean yes, but we use it as a form of agreeing with someone and showing we are listening.
Let’s say our friend is telling us about the neighbours who complained about his dog barking:
Os meus vizinhos queixaram-se porque o meu cão às vezes ladra. Mas eu não sei mais o que fazer, não posso proíbi-lo de ladrar, pois não?. (My neighbours complained about my dog barking a little bit. But I don’t know what else to do, I can’t forbid her to bark, right?
Then you can answer:
Pois não... (in this case you answer with a não afterwards, even if you are agreeing with the person, because the question was also asked in the negative form).
But in fact, even to negative questions, we can answer just pois. So if the answer to the above question would have been just pois, it would not be weird at all.
Answering just with the verb to express agreement in Portuguese
In Portuguese, you can answer just with the verb if the question is not a yes-or-no question.
So, if someone asks you:
Tu és portuguesa?
If you are, you can simply answer:
Of course, you can also mix and match and say:
Or simply answer:
As we saw before there are a lot of different ways to say it, but you just have to remember that answering only with the verb is possible in Portuguese.
Check some other examples:
And so on… I guess you got the idea! Sim?
Some other ways to say yes in Portuguese
Absolutamente – When you really agree and think there is no room for question, you can say absolutely!
Sim, senhor(a) – This is still sim, but we sometimes add senhor or senhora after sim to be more polite. We also sometimes say it this way to our friends and family just to be funny. I don’t know why, but since it is so formal it seems rather weird when you use it with your close friends or relatives. My father used to say it to me all the time when I was a kid and I had a request.
OK – This is the international word also used by the Portuguese to agree with something. OK is largely used and you can say it to answer any question. It is a bit less formal, so try to use it in informal contexts only.
In conclusion, saying yes in Portuguese is not hard, and the most straightforward word is sim.
However, you have many other creative, funny, polite ways to agree to or with something and you should definitely try some of them as to expand your Portuguese.
Check out this overview of 7 ways to say yes in Portuguese:
- Answer just with the verb if the question is not a yes-or-no question.
- Sim, senhor(a)
Tell me, have you heard any of the above-mentioned “yesses”? Please let me know in the comments below.
Also, leave a comment below this post and write how you say yes in your own language. I am super curious to hear your answers 🙂
Also, don’t forget to have fun while learning Portuguese!
If you want to learn Portuguese in a relaxed but effective way, make sure to check out my European Portuguese Online Course.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I will wait for your answers 😉