Just like in English, the apparently simple act of saying thank you in Portuguese can be performed in a variety of different ways, and which is most appropriate depends on the context. While obrigado/a will get you through most situations, learning these different ways of saying thank you in Portuguese will help you make a much stronger impression, especially if you practice with an expert tutor.
Here are five ways to say “thank you” in Portuguese.
The most basic and universal way of saying thank you in Portuguese. If you’re not sure which one to use, this will almost always be acceptable. Because the gender of a noun affects the adjective in Portuguese, say obrigado if you’re male and obrigada if you’re female. The word muito (very) can be added for emphasis, as in muito obrigado.
This is a more informal way of saying thank you, which is more common in Brazil and is generally used between friends. If a friend has done you a favor this is a particularly appropriate choice. Valeu, cara is a common Brazilian expression which can be translated as “thanks, buddy.”
This is still quite informal but is applicable in a wider variety of situations. A general rule of thumb is that if you’re in a situation where “thanks a lot” would be appropriate in English, then brigadão is a good way to say thank you in Portuguese.
A very formal way of saying thank you. Appropriate for use in a letter or on a very formal social occasion. As with obrigado/a¸ this is a gendered adjective – use grato if you’re male and grata if female – and muito can be added before for emphasis.
This is a moderately formal way of saying thank you in Portuguese that would be appropriate when speaking to a business partner or an older relative of a friend. The same rules for gender and emphasis apply as with obrigado/a and grato/a.
Knowing how to say “thank you” is great, but if you want to really impress with your Portuguese, there’s no substitute for professional expertise. The best way to put the information in this post into action is to practice using these and other words and phrases with a tutor. Take the next step in your learning process: learn Portuguese online here.