12 Ways to Say Hello in Portuguese (Brazilian and European!)

There are so many different ways to say “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: a simple hello.


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

Olá — Hello

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

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 

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 is becoming more widespread, although Portugal tends to favor the use of olá. 

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

Viva! — Hello (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?

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.

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 vai? — How are you? / How’s it going? 

These are different ways of saying “how are you?” and “how’s it going?” For these phrases, the verbs estar (one of the two “to be” verbs in Portuguese) and ir  (to go) are 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.

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: 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.

E aí? / Beleza? — What’s up? (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).

Tá tudo? / Tás bom? — Are you well? (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.

Hello in Portuguese for Different Times of Day

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

Bom dia — Good morning

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

Boa tarde — Good afternoon

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

Boa noite — Good evening/good night

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 pm 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.

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

This is one of those instances where you’ll see a marked difference between the Brazilian and European Portuguese dialects.

Alô? — Hello? (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] (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?).

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 (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 (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 is a popular farewell in Portugal, in Brazil it is 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 / Tenha uma boa tarde / Tenha uma boa noite — Have a good day/afternoon/evening

These are time-specific goodbyes, and they allow you to wish someone a good morning (or day), a good afternoon or a good evening (or night). These are very polite ways of saying goodbye.

In response, you can either say Tenha um bom dia/uma boa tarde/uma boa noite também  (Have a good morning/afternoon/evening too) or, depending on whom you’re addressing, a simple para você também (literally: to you too) will suffice.

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

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 .

How to Learn to Say Hello in Portuguese

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 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.

FluentU is a language learning program that uses authentic videos made by and for native speakers to help immerse you in the language. Each video comes with interactive subtitles that you can click on to see in context definitions. You can also use the personalized flashcards and quizzes to practice vocabulary.

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 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 Meetup.com 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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