Today I am going to write about 9 Ways To Say Thank You In Portuguese. When you go to another country, it is always nice to know some basic phrases and words to get your way around. One of those words, has to be “thank you“, because natives will be happy to know that you went all the way to learn a word that shows how thankful you are.
Now, can there be really so many ways to say it? Well, in Portuguese these word is a bit more complex than English or French, and there are many different expressions to show your appreciation. So, bottom line, the answer is yes! But if you want to know more, tag along to find out all about it!
Most Common Ways Of Saying Thank You In Portuguese
Obrigado vs Obrigada
As you might have heard before, Portuguese women and men must say thank you in different ways. Men say “obrigado” and women “obrigada”. This is so because the word means “to be obliged”, working more a less as an adjective. Adjectives, as you may know, take the gender from the noun or the person of the sentence. Therefore, men say the masculine form “obrigado” and women say the feminine form “obrigada”. With this, they are kind of saying “I am obliged (to say thank you to you)”, much like the old times when people said “Much obliged!” in English. See what I mean?
So, to give you an example:
- Ana would say: João, obrigada pelo livro!/ Rita, obrigada pelo livro!
- Pedro would say: João, obrigado pelo livro!/ Rita, obrigado pelo livro!
As you see the masculinity or femininity of the word “thank you” in Portuguese, has nothing to do with the person that the “thank you” is directed to, but only with the person who is saying it =)
Nowadays, however, you will hear people using them interchangeably, since no a lot of people are really aware of this! This might have to do with the fact that we “eat” the ending vowels so no one really pays attention whether the ending vowel is an “o” or an “a”. Another fact is that we almost use it as an interjection. That interjection is going to be always in the masculine form, so it won’t be uncommon if you hear a girl or woman saying “Obrigado” instead of the feminine counterpart.
Ever heard this? If you’ve been with Portuguese people, you probably already found out that we love diminutives. In fact, we put “inho” and “inha” in everything. The word “thank you” is no exception. In more informal conversations with neighbours or friends or even family, we will sometimes add this particle at the end of the word. This imprints cuteness or familiarity into it, which might come handy at the time of thanking someone.
How to say “Thank you very much” in Portuguese
If you want to say “Many thanks” in a formal conversation, this is the way to go and you should even do it. It will give more power to your speech and it will leave a better impression of you. If you want to sound even more grateful, look at the next word.
Muitíssimo obrigado/obrigada or Obrigadíssimo/ Obrigadíssima
This is used in formal conversations when someone did something for you that really deserves a gigantic thank you. We use it in formal conversations to make it really clear how thankful we are! The particle “íssimo” is added to adjectives to add power, to enhance the meaning, to make its value bigger, and this is exactly why we use it here.
If you thought that giving the word a diminutive, as seen above, is all we can do, you were not right. We can also do the opposite. By saying “Obrigadão”, we are kind of saying “Big thank you”. This particle “ão” makes the adjective sound “bigger”, which can also mean your gratefulness is bigger. Therefore, at least in the region of Porto, we tend to use this also in informal conversations with friends or family. It is quite slangish, so do not use it in formal conversations. Ever. =)
The Cuts To The Vowels
‘Brigad/ ‘Brigadinh/ ‘Brigadão
As I mentioned before, European Portuguese are great at “eating vowels”. With thank you, we not only leave out the first “o”, as we almost don’t pronounce the last vowel as well. It will sound really odd to you, probably, but get used to it. We really do it A LOT! 🙂
Do not write it like this, though, as it is not correct to do it. Unless you are texting and exchanging SMS with friends…then it might be ok! In general, though, try to avoid it.
Other Ways Of Saying Thank You In Portuguese
“Agradecer” is the verb that means “to thank”. If you thought that it was something like “obrigadar”, I can understand why, but in fact it is “agradecer”. So, when someone says “agradecido”, they are actually saying “I am thankful”. Like with “obrigado”, if you are a men you use the word ending in “o” and if you are a woman, you use the one ending in “a”. You can use this version of “thank you” in more informal conversations. It would still be acceptable in a more formal setting, but it is not so commonly used.
Deus lhe pague
This is an expression that means “May God pay you”. Sometimes, we even add “…que eu não tenho dinheiro” to it. When we do so, we are saying “May God pay you, because I don’t have money”. As you can see, we are just being funny and we will only say this to family or close friends, as a joke. However, you can hear the first part – Deus lhe pague – as a serious expression of your thankfulness, as to say “I appreciate so much what you did that I wish God pays you – with health or wealth or any good things”. Older people tend to use this expression a lot to say thank you and I find it kind of cute. Don’t you? =)
Obrigado as a Noun
As I mentioned above, “obrigado” or “obrigada” are used as adjectives. However, we can also use it as a noun, when we say something like:
O meu obrigado
This is used to say “thank you” as “I give my thanks to…”. In this case, we use it to put the stress in the thank you, to give it more power. Since it is a noun, it takes the masculine article – o obrigado – and it will not change whether you are a woman or a man, because it is no longer an adjective. Therefore, even if you are a woman, you will still say “O meu obrigado aos meus pais” (My thanks to my parents). Get the picture? =)
I will repeat the different ways of saying thank you in Portuguese so you have an overview.
Obrigado + por
Just before you go, I need to draw your attention to the use of the prepositions. I know, they are not easy….
With “thank you”, you should normally use the preposition “por”, when you want to say “thank you for…”.
Take a look:
Ana: Obrigada pelo almoço! (Thank you for the lunch!)
António: De nada!
José: Obrigado pelas prendas! (Thank you for the presents!)
António: De nada!
In the sentences above, we use the preposition por + the article, and this is what you have to do when you want to thank someone for something.
9 Ways To Say Thank You In Portuguese
- Obrigado/ Obrigada
- Obrigadinho/ Obrigadinha
- Muito obrigado/obrigada
- Muitíssimo obrigado/obrigada or Obrigadíssimo/ Obrigadíssima
- ‘Brigad/ ‘Brigadinh/ ‘Brigadão
- Agradecido/ Agradecida
- Deus lhe pague
- O meu obrigado
Don’t forget to check out all the essential ways to say thank you in Portuguese in my YouTube video here:
Aaaanddd…this is it!
You made it through! And therefore, to end this article in big, I want to say Muitíssimo obrigada pela vossa atenção!
If you do not know why it is “pela vossa atenção”, you can take a look at this article: When to use por vs para with exercises.
Here you will find further details about “Obrigado/a por”.
If you want to learn this topic and much more, make sure to check out my European Portuguese Online Course for Beginners here.
Ok, peeps. I hope you enjoyed the article.
Tell us in the comments how you say Thank You in your language.
Mais uma vez, muito obrigada!