Hello in Portuguese: 37 Essential Portuguese Greetings for Any Situation

There are so many different ways to greet someone by saying “Hello,” “Hi” and “How are you” in Portuguese.

Whether you’re talking to someone in Brazil, or you’ve got a few friends from Portugal you’d love to chat with in their native language, we’re about to cover what might just be the essential conversation starter.

In this post, you’ll find 37 common Brazilian and European Portuguese greetings to use in any situation, from formal or informal encounters to letters and emails!


How to say “Hello” or “Hi” in Portuguese: The Basic Greetings

Olá — Hello

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Used by European and Brazilian Portuguese speakers alike, olá is a slightly more formal way of saying hello, and the safest option when you’re greeting someone you don’t know very well.

Not only is it suitable for many situations, but its pronunciation does not change at all across Portuguese-speaking countries!

How to respond: A simple o back to the person will suffice. You can also say hello and immediately ask the other person how they are—the phrases you’ll need in order to do this will be covered later in this post.

Oi — Hi

Used in: Brazilian Portuguese

A casual, informal way to say “hi” in Portuguese. Oi is mostly used in Brazil, but you might hear it from time to time in Portugal as it’s becoming more widespread, although Portugal tends to favor the use of olá. 

Oi is often used both orally and in writing, especially when texting, on Whatsapp, on social media and any other informal means of communication.

The word is pronounced “Oee,” with no difference from country to country.

How to respond: Same logic as above—say oi, and maybe follow up by asking the person how they’re doing. 

Viva! — Hello 

Used in: European Portuguese

A common, slightly more formal way to greet people in Portugal: Viva, amigos! would be like saying “hello, my friends.” The word viva is literally translated as “live” or “long live” (as in “long live the king”— viva o rei ), but the Portuguese use it as a way to wish good health to the person being greeted.

How to respond: If used as a standalone greeting, reply with viva as well and then ask the person how they are; if the other person greeted you with viva and immediately followed with a “how are you?” phrase (as is most common) you may answer with viva and a response to the question. We’ll cover the related phrases and responses in the sections below.

How to Say “Hello, How Are You?” in Portuguese

Now we get to the different ways of saying “how are you?”

In the same way that English speakers will tweak that question according to formality (“how have you been?”, “what’s up?” and “how’s things?”), Portuguese speakers have their own formal and informal variations:

Tudo bem? / Tudo bom? —  Everything well? / Everything good?

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Literally translating to “Everything well?” and “Everything good?” in English, this is the most common informal manner of saying “how are you?” in Brazil. It’s also used in Portugal to greet family members and friends.

A difference in pronunciation between Brazilian and European Portuguese does exist, but it’s not significant for this greeting.

How to respond: Tudo, e você? (I’m good, and you?) is the most common response in Brazil; a longer alternative would be Eu estou bem, e você? (it means the exact same thing: “I am good, and you?”) and a shorter version is Bem, e você? (Good, and you?).

In Brazil and Portugal alike you can answer by asking Tudo bem? back, as if you were saying hello, or by saying Estou bem, obrigado/obrigada (I am good, thank you). If using obrigado/obrigada (thank you) note that in Portuguese the ending changes depending on the gender of the person who is saying it. Obrigado is masculine and obrigada is the feminine version.

Como está? / Como estás?  — How are you? 

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

These are different ways of saying “how are you?” For the first phrase, the verb estar (one of the two “to be” verbs in Portuguese) is conjugated according to the você form of “you,” most commonly used by Brazilian Portuguese speakers in informal situations and by European Portuguese speakers in very formal situations.

In Portugal, speakers tend to favor the use of tu  (informal “you” form) and reserve você for very formal situations, while in Brazil, speakers use você as the informal “you.” For example, in informal situations in Portugal you’ll hear Como estás? (tu form) and in Brazil you’ll hear Como está?  (você form), which both mean “how are you?” in English.

In terms of pronunciation, in Brazil Como está is pronounced as “komoo eeSTAH” and “komoo eeSHTAH,” but in Portugal, you’d say it as “komoo SHTAH”instead: Como está? .

How to respond: These greetings are regularly used as a way of saying hello, and as such don’t always warrant a reply, like “how’s it going?” in English. If you feel like responding, a simple, Estou bem, obrigado (I am good, thanks) or Bem  (Good) will suffice.

Como vai? — How’s it going? 

Used in: Brazilian Portuguese

Como vai? (how’s it going?) is mostly used in Brazilian Portuguese in informal situations. Sometimes you may hear this phrase include você, for example: Como você vai?  or Como vai você? , but this is optional as vai is already conjugated in the você form.

How to respond: Like the phrases above, depending on the context a response isn’t always necessary. However, if you feel like replying, you can simply say Estou bem, e você?

E aí? / Beleza? — What’s up? 

Used in: Brazilian Portuguese

These are two ways Brazilian Portuguese speakers say “what’s up?” Don’t try to translate it literally as these are quite slangy terms. Beleza? literally means “beauty” and can be used in many different contexts, such as asking “how are you?”—like saying “All good?” in English.

How to respond: Both greetings can easily be answered with beleza  (All good).

Note that, while these are commonly used in Brazil, in Portugal you may hear some young people use Como é que é? (lit. “How is it?”) with a huge smile on their faces to informally ask what you have been up to.

Tá tudo? / Tás bom? — Are you well? 

Used in: European Portuguese

These are two slang phrases for saying “are you well?” in European Portuguese. They are best left for friends only as they’re quite informal.

How to respond: Portuguese speakers often use this as a way of saying “hi,” without expecting any answer in return. Still, you could answer with Tudo bem (I’m good) or Tudo  (same but condensed) if you feel the context calls for it.

Tem passado bem? — Is everything good? 

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

A formal greeting you could use to ask another person how they are in European and Brazilian Portuguese is Tem passado bem? which literally means “Have you been passing well?”

This greeting could be used with an old colleague that you haven’t seen in a while or perhaps with someone you know but are not too familiar with.

Another way of saying this is by asking Como tem passado? . This option has the same meaning but is slightly more formal and is often used in Brazilian soap operas.

How to respond: To respond to these phrases, you can simply answer by saying Sim! E você? (Yes! And you?). Alternatively, you could respond with Bem  (Good) or Muito bem!  (Very good!).

Bem-vindo —  Welcome

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

In the Portuguese language, most verbs, nouns and adjectives have to adapt to both the number (singular or plural) and gender (male or female) of whatever they are referring to.

To make matters worse, even if you have a group of five women and only one man, you will still have to refer to that group as male.

For that reason, the word bem-vindo will actually be found in several forms. Luckily, this greeting is not pronounced differently across Portuguese-speaking countries:

  • Bem-vindo — for a man
  • Bem-vinda  for a woman
  • Bem-vindas — for two or more women
  • Bem-vindos — for both two or more men, and for any group in which a man is included, even if the majority of people in that group are women

Bem-vindo is often used when welcoming someone to a particular place, such as your house or country. 

Next time your Portuguese-speaking friends visit you, try using this greeting to give them a warm welcome!

Hello in Portuguese for Different Times of Day

Like in English, in Portuguese there are also some standard ways to greet others during the day that are used in both Brazilian and European Portuguese.

Depending on the time of day, you might say hello to a Portuguese speaker in the following ways:

Bom dia — Good morning

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Bom dia literally translates as “good day” and can be used to say “good morning.” Use this between 6:00 a.m. and noon.

Notice that bom dia is pronounced “bom GEE-a” in Brazil—in Portugal and African countries, it’s said as “bom DEE-a” instead: bom dia .

Boa tarde — Good afternoon

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Use boa tarde as a greeting from noon until about 7:00 p.m. to say “good afternoon.” 

In Brazil, this expression will sound like “boa TAHR-g,” while in Portugal it sounds like “boa TAHR-d”: boa tarde . Once again, Angolan Portuguese pronunciation would come closer to the European version in this greeting, as would Cape Verdean and Guinean pronunciations.

Boa noite — Good evening/Good night

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Boa noite means both “good evening” and “good night” (there’s no distinction between the two in Portuguese). Use this phrase to greet someone from 7:00 p.m. onwards.

These phrases are typically used in more formal situations where olá might be deemed too casual, or as a generally more polite way to greet the person in front of you.

There are slight variations in the pronunciation of this greeting. In Brazil you will be greeted with “boa NOEE-tsh,” and in Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde and other Portuguese-speaking African countries native speakers would say “boa NOEE-t”: boa noite .

How to respond: With all of these, responding with Bom dia / Boa tarde / Boa noite  is all that’s needed.

You could also add a “How are you?” into it:

Boa noite, como vai? (Good evening, how are you?)

Bom dia, tudo bem? (Good morning, how are you?)

“Hello, Operator?” How to Answer the Phone in Portuguese

As in English, there are a number of different ways to answer the phone in Portuguese. This is one of those instances where you’ll see a marked difference between the Brazilian and European Portuguese dialects.

Alô? — Hello? 

Used in: Brazilian Portuguese

In Brazil, the most common way to answer the phone is with Alô? (Hello?). The other person will usually answer back with the same interjection, and maybe ask who is speaking: Quem é? (who is it?) or Quem tá falando? (who is speaking?).

Está lá? / Estou — Are you there? / I am [here] 

Used in: European Portuguese

In European Portuguese, a person will either answer with Está lá? (Are you there?) or most often simply with Estou (I am [here]).

The other speaker will typically respond with Estou  or Estou sim (Yes, I am [here]); sometimes they may reply with Fala (the imperative form of falar , the verb “to speak”) or simply olá  (hello) or sim?  (yes?).

Different Greetings for Letters or Emails in Portuguese

If you’re writing an email or a letter to someone, the greetings you choose to start and end your message with will depend on the level of formality required and your relationship with the person you are writing to. 

Here are a few examples of common greetings used in European and Brazilian Portuguese:

Querido — Dear…

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Querido/querida can be used both in spoken and written informal Portuguese.

Similar to the Spanish cariño or cariña, querido and querida  are terms of endearment used all over the Portuguese-speaking world and would be translated as “Dear” for male and female, respectively.

Be careful, though: the letter “u” after “q” is 100% silent in this case!

While you are free to use this term as you speak, here it is introduced as a greeting while writing. You can begin any informal letter or email to a friend, family member or pen-pal with Querido/a... For example: Querida Maria, Querido José…

Estimado… / Caro… / Prezado… — Dear…

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

If you would prefer to write a formal message in European or Brazilian Portuguese but feel “Greetings” is way too distant and you would prefer to mention a person’s name instead, go for polite salutations such as estimadocaro or prezado.

These are the equivalents to “Dear Mr./Mrs.” or “Dear Sir/Madam,” as you will have to follow them with the person’s full name or last name.

Also, remember what we said before about having to adapt nouns to gender and number? The same happens here, as there are several variations of the same salutation:

The same logic applies to the others: caro , cara , caros , caras ; and prezado , prezada , prezados , prezadas .

Atenciosamente / Cordialmente — Sincerely, Best regards / Cordially

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

These are the friendliest expressions one could use to finish a formal written message, whether that be an email, a text message or a letter.

Since these do not need to be adapted to number or gender, they are practical and universal, as well as understood throughout the Portuguese-speaking world!

If you were to use these expressions orally, you would need to say “atenSEEOH-zamentsh” in Brazil or “atenSEEOH-zament” in Portugal: atenciosamente . Likewise, Brazilians would say “cohr-dee-ALmentsh” (Brazil) but Portuguese would say “cohr-dee-ALment”:  cordialmente .

Bonus: How to Say “Goodbye” in Portuguese

Given that a “hello” is eventually followed by a “goodbye,” it’s good that we cover these greetings here too.

When it’s time to go your separate ways, this is how you or the other Portuguese speaker will say goodbye:

Tchau — Bye

Used in: Brazilian Portuguese

Pronounced just like ciao in Italian, this is the most common way Brazilians say goodbye to each other. Tchau is also sometimes heard in Portugal, but it is more commonly used in Brazil. To respond, just say tchau back to the other person.

Note that, unlike ciao in Italian which is used to say both “hello” and “goodbye,” in Portuguese, tchau is only used to say goodbye.

Adeus — Goodbye 

Used in: European Portuguese

This is another form of saying goodbye, commonly used in Portugal but seen as very formal in Brazil. Speakers of Brazilian Portuguese may even it see it as over-dramatic at times. While it’s a popular farewell in Portugal, in Brazil it’s reserved for very formal situations, such as when you are unlikely to see the other person for quite a long time.

Like saying tchau in Brazil, all you need to say back to someone who says adeus is—you guessed it—adeus.

Tenha um bom dia — Have a good day

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

This is a time-specific goodbye, allowing you to wish the person you are talking to a good day. You’re most likely to hear this used up until midday or 1:00 p.m.

In response, you can either say  Tenha um bom dia também (Have a good day too) or, depending on whom you’re addressing, a simple para você também (literally: to you too) will suffice.

Tenha uma boa tarde — Have a good afternoon

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

After midday, you may want to alter the previous phrase to say “afternoon,” reflecting the time of day.

In Brazilian and European Portuguese, you can do this by using the same conjugated verb as the previous phrase (Tenha meaning “have”) and changing um bom dia (a good day) to uma boa tarde (a good afternoon).

Like the phrase listed above, to respond to this goodbye you can say  Tenha uma boa tarde também . You could even add obrigado  or obrigada (thank you) before responding to show the person you are talking to your appreciation.

Tenha uma boa noite — Have a good evening

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

As is the case with its equivalent in English, Tenha uma boa noite is used much later on in the day to wish the person you are speaking to a good evening. Most native speakers will tend to use this phrase from 7:00 p.m.

Like the two phrases listed above, most people will often reply by repeating the exact phrase back to the person they are talking to and adding também (too), or say para você também (to you too). Another common reply to these three phrases is igualmente  which is used to say “you too.”

Até mais / Até logo / Até breve — See you soon

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

These are different ways of saying “see you soon” used by both European and Brazilian Portuguese speakers.

For a slightly more formal alternative, use the phrase Até mais tarde or Até logo mais  (both mean “See you later”). You can respond to the other person by echoing any of these greetings, or simply by saying Até  (Until then).

For formal farewells, Brazilian Portuguese speakers tend to use these phrases instead of adeus .

Até amanhã — See you tomorrow

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Fortunately, most separations are not a final “goodbye,” only a “see you tomorrow!”

Like its equivalent in English, this phrase is not considered particularly formal nor informal, so it can be used in most situations in both European and Brazilian Portuguese.

It’s important to know how to pronounce these two very typical Portuguese sounds as they are also used in many other Portuguese words:

  • “nh” — this is pronounced the same as the Spanish ñ, which in English is very close to that nasal “n” sound you make when you say the word “wing,” “thing” or “ring”
  • “ã” — this sound is basically an extremely nasal version of the letter “a”

After you have mastered these two sounds, you are ready to go! Say até amanhã (“see you tomorrow”—using the “nh” and “ã” sounds) when you feel the word “goodbye” could be a little too strong for the occasion.

Abraço — Hug

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Abraço literally means “hug,” and it’s often used in informal Brazilian and European Portuguese writing, such as when finishing a conversation in a chat, a friendly email or a letter to someone you are familiar with.

Of course, it would be equally suitable for finishing a phone call!

Beijinho — Lit. “Little kiss”

Used in: Brazilian and European Portuguese

Perhaps one of the sweetest things about the Portuguese language is how it uses -inho or -inha. These are added at the ends of nouns or even names (Ronaldinho, anyone?) to indicate endearment, as well as something of a small size.

That is the case with beijo (kiss) as it becomes beijinho  (little kiss), to mean a very sweet, quick kiss as a greeting.

Most would use this at the end of a phone call, but it can also be used in writing to end an informal conversation in both European and Brazilian Portuguese. Alternatively, you could use beijinhos (kisses).

Regional Variations in Portuguese Greetings

Portuguese is the sole official language of seven countries: Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe. It’s also the co-official language in three other completely different parts of the globe: East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau, in China.

As you have seen above with the greetings, pronunciations differ in different parts of the globe! That’s why we have covered the main basic pronunciation differences between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese.

When it comes to these greetings, you might notice that the most relevant difference between Brazilian and European Portuguese pronunciation relates to consonants, especially at the ends of words.

For instance, the combinations of the letters -de or -te at word endings will often sound like a -gee or a -tsh in Brazil and a simple, dry -d or -t in Portugal, as if the vowel has simply disappeared.

These variations may be difficult to understand at first, and you can use other resources to listen to them. This Langfocus YouTube video goes in-depth about the differences between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese. They talk about the accent differences and the variations in some of the words as well.

You can also listen to authentic Brazilian Portuguese on the FluentU program. This website and app has authentic Portuguese videos like music videos, movie trailers and news clips to give you plenty of context for your learning.

Plus, if you find it difficult to understand, you can turn on the interactive captions (in Portuguese or English, or both if you prefer) that are included with every video in this program. This will allow you to check the definition of any word at a click without leaving the video player. In addition, you can study new vocabulary with personalized quizzes that adapt to your learning.

Portuguese pronunciation in African countries—such as Angola or Cape Verde—will often align more closely with the European version, although these countries tend to open up vowels and have a clearer, more easily understandable accent compared to that of Portugal.

How to Learn to Say Hello in Portuguese

Now that you’ve learned these greetings in Portuguese, it’s time to start practicing them!

If you want to revise your “hellos,” “goodbyes” and “how are yous” before you practice with another person, here are our top recommendations:

1. Prep Yourself

If you want to memorize these essential words and phrases, flashcards are a really good option. Getting started is quite easy too: this collection from Quizlet will point you in the right direction, otherwise just power up an app like Anki to create your own.

2. Test Yourself

Even at the most basic level, testing your knowledge on a regular basis will help you learn and assess your strengths and weaknesses.

For something as essential as greetings, there are different ways to approach it:

You could search for each greeting on an online dictionary like Forvo or Linguee to hear it spoken in the dialect you’re learning. Play it back a few times and repeat it back to yourself; this allows you to practice your Portuguese pronunciation as much as it helps you commit your greetings to memory.

Another way to test your knowledge is through online games. For instance, Digital Dialects has one for basic phrases in Brazilian and European Portuguese that covers essential greetings and allows you to listen to audio.

3. Get out of your comfort zone—online and offline!

Now it’s time to get talking!

If you’re feeling a bit shy, start with some online interactions. You can easily connect with Portuguese speakers through language exchange apps like HelloTalk, Tandem or Speaky.

For offline exchanges, social media can offer some good leads: you could look for Facebook groups for Portuguese speakers and learners in your area and ask them if there are any exchange meetups coming up. You could even offer to organize your own! Otherwise, take a look at and see if there are any Portuguese language exchanges happening near you.


Now it’s our turn to bid you goodbye and say boa sorte  (good luck) with all your language studies! Make sure to practice your greetings so that you too can nail your everyday Portuguese conversations.

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