(random notes)

Portuguese has a number of grammatical features that distinguish it from most other Romance languages, such as a synthetic pluperfect, a future subjunctive tense, the inflected infinitive, and a present perfect with an iterative sense. A rare feature of Portuguese is mesoclisis, the infixing of clitic pronouns in some verbal forms.

Portuguese classifies most of its lexicon into four word classes: verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. These are “open” classes, in the sense that they readily accept new members, by coinage, borrowing, or compounding. Interjections form a smaller open class.

There are also several small closed classes, such as pronouns, prepositions, articles, demonstratives, numerals, and conjunctions.

Personal pronouns are declined with three main types of forms: subject, object of verb, and object of preposition.

Most nouns and many adjectives can take diminutive or augmentative derivational suffixes, and most adjectives can take a so-called “superlative” derivational suffix. Adjectives usually follow their respective nouns.

Verbs are highly inflected:

  • there are three tenses (past, present, future),
  • three moods (indicative, subjunctive, imperative),
  • three aspects (perfective, imperfective, and progressive),
  • three voices (active, passive, reflexive),
  • and an inflected infinitive.

Most perfect and imperfect tenses are synthetic, totaling 11 conjugational paradigms, while all progressive tenses and passive constructions are periphrastic. As in other Romance languages, there is also an impersonal passive construction, with the agent replaced by an indefinite pronoun. Portuguese is basically an SVO language, although SOV syntax may occur with a few object pronouns, and word order is generally not as rigid as in English. It is a null subject language, with a tendency to drop object pronouns as well, in colloquial varieties. It has two main copular verbs: ser and estar.

A few grammatically peculiar words are difficult to categorize; these include cad (“where is”—Braz., colloq.), tomara (“let’s hope”), oxalá (“let’s hope that”), and eis (“here is”; cf. Latin ecce and French voilà).

Within the four main classes there are many semi-regular mechanisms that can be used to derive new words from existing words, sometimes with change of class; for example, veloz (“fast”) → velocíssimo (“very fast”), medir (“to measure”) → medição (“measurement”), piloto (“pilot”) → pilotar (“to pilot”). Finally, there are several phrase embedding mechanisms that allow arbitrarily complex phrases to behave like nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

Subject, Object, and Complement

The central element of almost any Portuguese clause is a verb, which may directly connect to one, two, or (rarely) three nouns (or noun-like phrases), called the subject, the object (more specifically, the direct object), and the complement (more specifically, the object complement or objective complement). The most frequent order of these elements in Portuguese is subject–verb–object (SVO, as in examples (1) and (2) below), or, when a complement is present, subject–verb–object-complement (SVOC — examples (3) and (4)):

(1) {A Maria}S {ama}V {o Paulo}O, “Maria loves Paulo.”
(2) {O pedreiro}S {construiu}V {a casa}O, “The mason has constructed the house.”
(3) {O presidente}S {nomeou}V {Pedro}O{ministro}C, “The president appointed Pedro (as) minister.”
(4) {Ela}S {achou}V {o livro}O {uma chatice}C, “She found the book a bore.”

Any of the three noun elements may be omitted if it can be inferred from the context or from other syntactic clues; but many grammatical rules will still apply as if the omitted part were there.

A clause will often contain a number of adverbs (or adverbial phrases) that modify the meaning of the verb; they may be inserted between the major components of the clause. Additional nouns can be connected to the verb by means of prepositions; the resulting prepositional phrases have an adverbialfunction. For example:

Ele carregou {sem demora} a mala {para ela} {do carro} {até a porta}, “He carried {without delay} the bag {for her} {from the car} {to the door}.”

Null subject language

As with several other modern Romance languages, Portuguese is a null subject language, i.e., a language whose grammar permits and sometimes mandates the omission of an explicit subject.

In Portuguese, the grammatical person of the subject is generally reflected by the inflection of the verb. Sometimes, though an explicit subject is not necessary to form a grammatically correct sentence, one may be stated in order to emphasize its importance. Some sentences, however, do not allow a subject at all and in some other cases an explicit subject would sound awkward or unnatural:

  • “I’m going home” can be translated either as Vou para casa or as Eu vou para casa, where eu means “I”.
  • “It’s raining” is Está a chover in European Portuguese, or Está chovendo in Brazilian Portuguese, neither of which occurs with an explicit subject.
  • In European Portuguese, only in exceptional circumstances would “I’m going home; I’m going to watch TV” be translated as Eu vou para casa; eu vou ver televisão. At least the second eu (“I”) would normally be omitted. Meanwhile, in Brazilian Portuguese, the subject pronoun is more likely to be repeated.

As in other null subject SVO languages, the subject is often postponed, mostly in existential sentences, answers to partial questions and contrast structures:

  • Existem muitos ratos aqui! (“There are many mice here”)
  • Quem é que foi? Fui eu. (“Who was it? It was me.”)
  • Ela não comeu o bolo, mas eu comi-o(European Portuguese) or …mas eu comi(Brazilian Portuguese) (“She didn’t eat the cake, but I did.”)

Types of sentences

Portuguese declarative sentences, as in many languages, are the least marked ones.

Imperative sentences use the imperative mood for the second person. For other grammatical persons and for every negative imperative sentence, the subjunctive is used.

Yes/no questions have the same structure as declarative sentences, and are marked only by a different tonal pattern (mostly a raised tone near the end of the sentence), represented by a question mark in writing.

Wh- questions often start with quem (“who”), o que (“what”), qual (“which”), onde (“where”), aonde (“where… to”), quando (“when”), por que (“why”), etc. The interrogative pronouns quem, o que and qual can be preceded by any preposition, but in this case o que will usually be reduced to que. Frequently in oral language, and occasionally in writing, these words are followed by the interrogative device é que (literally, “is [it] that”; compare Frenchest-ce que in wh-questions).

Wh- questions sometimes occur without wh-movement, that is, wh-words can remain in situ. In this case, o que and por que are replaced by their stressed counterparts o quêand por quê. [1] For example:

O que/Que é que ela fez? or O que/que fez ela?

“What did she do?”
Ela fez o quê?

“What did she do?” or, if emphatic, “She did what?”
Por quê?

Em que dia é que isso aconteceu?

“On what day did that happen?”
Isso aconteceu em que dia?

“On what day did that happen?”

In Brazilian Portuguese, the phrase é que is more often omitted.


Não (“no”) is the natural negative answer to yes/no questions. As in Latin, positive answers are usually made with the inflected verb of the question in the appropriate person and number. Portuguese is one of the few Romance languages keeping this Latin peculiarity. The adverbs (“already”), ainda(“yet”), and também (“too”, “also”) are used when one of them appears in the question.

Q: Gostaste do filme? A: Gostei. / Não.

Q: “Did you like the movie?” A: “Yes.”, literally, “I liked.” / “No.”
Q: Eu não tinha deixado aqui uma chave? A: Tinhas!

Q: “Didn’t I leave here a key?” A: “Yes, you did!”
Q: Já leste este livro? A: Já. / Ainda não.

Q: “Have you already read this book?” A: “Yes”, literally, “Already.” / “Not yet.”

The word sim (“yes”) may be used for a positive answer, but, if used alone, it may in certain cases sound unnatural or impolite. In Brazilian Portuguese, sim can be used afterthe verb for emphasis. In European Portuguese, emphasis in answers is added with the duplication of the verb. In both versions of Portuguese, emphasis can also result from syntactical processes that are not restricted to answers, such as the addition of adverbs like muito (“much”) or muitíssimo(“very much”).

It is also acceptable, though sometimes formal, to use yes before the verb of the question, separated by a pause or, in writing, a comma. The use of sim before the verb does not add emphasis, and may on the contrary be less assertive.

Q: Gostou do filme? A: Gostei, sim!

Q: “Did you like the movie?” A:”Yes, I did!” (Brazilian Portuguese)
Q: Gostaste do filme? A: Gostei, gostei!

Q: “Did you like the movie?” A:”Yes, I did!”; literally, “I Liked, I liked!” (European Portuguese)
Q: Há comboios a esta hora? A: Há, há!

Q: “Are there any trains at this time?” A:”Yes, there are!” (European Portuguese)
Q: Ele gostou do filme? A: Sim, gostou…

Q:”Did he like the movie?” A:”Yes…” (Both Brazilian and European Portuguese)


Portuguese has a definite article and an indefinite one, with different forms according to the gender and number of the noun to which they refer:

singular plural meaning
masculine feminine masculine feminine
definite article o a os as the
indefinite article um uma uns umas a, an; some

The written form of the Portuguese articles is the same, independently of the next word. The noun after the indefinite article may be elided, in which case the article is equivalent to English “one” (if singular) or “ones” (if plural): quero um também (“I want one too”), quero uns maduros (“I want ripe ones”).

The definite article may appear before a noun in certain contexts where it is not used in English, for example before certain proper nouns, such as names of countries or organizations:

Ele visitou o Brasil, a China e a Itália, “He visited Brazil, China, and Italy”
Ele visitou o Rio, “He visited Rio”
A IBM patrocinou o MoMA, “IBM sponsored MoMA”
Ele foi para o São Paulo, “He went to the São Paulo (soccer team)”.


Ele visitou Portugal e Moçambique, “He visited Portugal and Mozambique”
Ele foi para São Paulo, “He went to São Paulo (city or state)”.

The article is never used with Portugal, Angola, Cabo Verde, Moçambique and Timor. In general, article usage for proper nouns is largely determined by tradition, and it may vary with dialect.

Article before Personal Names

In many varieties of the language, including all European varieties, personal names are normally preceded by a definite article, a trait which Portuguese shares with Catalan. This is a relatively recent development, which some Brazilian dialects (e.g. those of the Northeast) have not adopted. In those dialects of Portuguese that do regularly use definite articles before proper nouns, the article may be omitted for extra formality, or to show distance in a literary narrative.

A Maria saiu, “Maria left” (informal)
A Sr.ª Maria saiu, “Ms. Maria left” (formal)


Maria Teixeira saiu, “Maria Teixeira left” (used in newspapers and books) means that neither the writer nor the readers have a personal relationship with the person.


Nouns are classified into two grammatical genders (“masculine” and “feminine”) and are inflected for grammatical number (singular or plural). Adjectives and determiners (articles, demonstratives, possessives, and quantifiers) must be inflected to agree with the noun in gender and number. Many nouns can take diminutive or augmentative suffixes to express size, endearment, or deprecation.

Portuguese does not inflect nouns to indicate their grammatical function or case, relying instead on the use of prepositions (simple and phrasal), on pleonastic objects, or on the context or word order. Personal pronouns, on the other hand, still maintain some vestiges of declension from the ancestor language, Latin.

Gender and Number

Most adjectives and demonstratives, and all articles must be inflected according to the gender and number of the noun they reference:

esta linda casa branca (“this lovely white house”)
este lindo carro branco (“this lovely white car”)
estas lindas aves brancas (“these lovely white birds”)
estes lindos gatos brancos (“these lovely white cats”)

The agreement rules apply also to adjectives used with copulas, e.g. o carro é branco (“the car is white”) vs. a casa é branca (“the house is white”).

Gender Determination

The grammatical gender of inanimate entities is quite arbitrary, and often different from that used in sister languages: thus, for example, Portuguese árvore (“tree”) and flor (“flower”) are feminine, while Spanish árbol and Italian fiore are masculine; Portuguese mar (“sea”) and mapa (“map”) are masculine, while French mer and mappe are feminine; and so on.

In many cases, the gender and number of a noun can be deduced from its ending: the basic pattern is “-o” / “-os” for masculine singular and plural, “-a” / “-as” for feminine. And, indeed, casa (“house”), mala (“suitcase”), pedra (“stone”), and inteligência (“intelligence”) are all feminine, while carro (“car”), saco (“bag”), tijolo (“brick”), and aborrecimento (“annoyance”) are all masculine. However, the complete rules are quite complex: for instance, nouns ending in -ção are usually feminine, except for augmentatives like bração (“big arm”). And there are many irregular exceptions. For words ending in other letters, there are few rules: flor (“flower”), gente (“folk”), nau (“ship”), maré (“tide”) are feminine, while amor (“love”), pente (“comb”), pau (“stick”), café (“coffee”) are masculine.

The gender of animate beings often matches the biological sex, but there are many exceptions: autoridade (“authority”), testemunha (“witness”), and girafa (“giraffe”), for example, are always feminine regardless of their sex; whereas peixe fêmea (“female fish”) is usually treated as masculine.

aquela estudante é nova, mas aquele estudante é velho (“this (female) student is new, but that (male) student is old”

Eu sou brasileiro (“I am Brazilian”, said by a man)

Eu sou brasileira (“I am Brazilian”, said by a woman).

Honorific forms of address such as Vossa Excelência (“Your Excellency”) exhibit noun/adjective agreement internally, but require agreement according to the sex of the referent for other modifiers, as in Vossa Excelência está atarefado (“Your Excellency is busy”).

Many animate masculine nouns have specific feminine derivative forms to indicate female biological sex: lobo (“wolf” or “male wolf”, masculine gender) → loba (“she-wolf”, feminine), conde (“count”, m.) → condessa(“countess”, f.), doutor (“doctor” or “male doctor”, m.) → doutora (“female doctor”, f.), ator (“actor”, m.) → atriz (“actress”, f.), etc. The feminine noun derivations should not be confused with the adjectival gender inflections, which use different (and more regular) rules.

Diminutives and Augmentatives

The Portuguese language makes abundant use of diminutives, which connote small size, endearment or insignificance. Diminutives are very commonly used in informal language. On the other hand, most uses of diminutives are avoided in written and otherwise formal language.

The most common diminutive endings are -inho and -inha, replacing -o and -a, respectively. Words with the stress on the last syllable generally have -zinho or -zinha added, such as café “coffee” and cafezinho “coffee served as a show of hospitality”. In writing, a c(but not a ç) becomes qu in some words, like pouco (“few”) and pouquinho (“very few”), in order to preserve the [k] pronunciation.

Possible endings other than -inho(a) are:

-ito(a), e.g. copo/copito (“glass”)
-ico(a), e.g. burro/burrico (“donkey”)
-(z)ete, e.g. palácio/palacete (“palace”)
-ote, e.g. saia/saiote (“skirt”)
-oto, e.g. lebre/lebroto (“hare/leveret”)
-ejo, e.g. lugar/lugarejo (“place”)
-acho, e.g. rio/riacho (“river”)
-ola, e.g. aldeia/aldeola (“village”)
-el, e.g. corda/cordel (“rope”)

It is also possible to form a diminutive of a diminutive, e.g. “burriquito” (burro + -ico + -ito).

Portuguese diminutive endings are often used not only with nouns but also with adjectives, e.g. tonto/tontinho (“silly” / “a bit silly”), or verde/verdinho (“green” / “nicely green”) and occasionally with adverbs, e.g. depressa/depressinha (“quickly”) and some other word classes, e.g. obrigadinho—diminutive for the interjection obrigado“thanks”. Even the numeral um (one) can informally become unzinho.

The most common augmentatives are the masculine -ão and the feminine -ona, although there are others, like -aço(a) e.g. mulher/mulheraça (“woman”); or -eirão, e.g. voz/vozeirão (“voice”), less frequently used. Sometimes the masculine augmentative can be applied to a feminine noun, which then becomes grammatically masculine, but with a feminine meaning, e.g. a mulher / o mulherão(“the woman” / “the big woman”).



Adjectives normally follow the nouns that they modify. Thus “white house” is casa branca, and “green fields” is campos verdes; the reverse order (branca casa, verdes campos) is generally limited to poetic language.

However, some adjectives—such as bom(“good”), belo (“nice”), and grande (“great”, “big”)—often precede the noun. Indeed, some of these have rather different meanings depending on position: compare um grande homem “a great man”, vs. um homem grande“a big man”.

Adjectives are routinely inflected for gender and number, according to a few basic patterns, much like those for nouns, as in the following table:

masc. sing. fem. sing. masc. pl. fem. pl. meaning
branco branca brancos brancas “white”
francês francesa franceses francesas “French”
verde verde verdes verdes “green”
feliz feliz felizes felizes “happy”
superior superior superiores superiores “superior”
motor motriz motores motrizes “motorised”
azul azul azuis azuis “blue”
grandão grandona grandões grandonas “rather big”
conservador conservadora conservadores conservadoras “conservative”
central central centrais centrais “central”
europeu europeia europeus europeias “European”

Although, some adjectives are invariable, usually the ones whose singular form ending is -s, and a few colour adjectives, generally the compound ones, as in the table below:

masc. sing. fem. sing. masc. pl. fem. pl. meaning
simples simples simples simples “simple”
reles reles reles reles “lousy”
azul-claro azul-claro azul-claro azul-claro “light blue”
laranja laranja laranja laranja “orange”
verde-oliva verde-oliva verde-oliva verde-oliva “olive green”
ultravioleta ultravioleta ultravioleta ultravioleta “ultraviolet”

The adjectives for “good” and “bad” are irregular:

masc. sing. fem. sing. masc. pl. fem. pl. meaning
bom boa bons boas “good”
mau maus más “bad”

mais: mais alto (do) que = “higher than”, o mais alto “the highest”.

Most adjectives have—in addition to their positive, comparative, and superlative forms—a so-called “absolute superlative” form (sometimes called “elative”), which enhances the meaning of the adjective without explicitly comparing it (lindo, “beautiful”; lindíssimo, “very beautiful”).

Positive Comparative Superlative Absolute superlative
belo“pretty” mais belo“prettier” o mais belo“the prettiest” belíssimo“very pretty”
caro“expensive” mais caro“more expensive” o mais caro“the most expensive” caríssimo“very expensive”

A few adjectives (besides mais itself) have suppletive comparative/superlative forms:

Positive Comparative Superlative Absolute superlative
bom“good” melhor“better” o melhor“the best” ótimo “very good”
mau“bad” pior “worse” o pior “the worst” péssimo“very bad”
pequeno“small” menor“smaller” o menor“the smallest” mínimo“very small”
grande“big” maior“bigger” o maior“the biggest” máximo“very big”


Simple prepositions consist of a single word, while compound prepositions are formed by a phrase.

Simple prepositions

a = “to”, “at”, “in”, “on”, and used before indirect object
até = “until”
com = “with”
de = “of”, “from”, “about”, etc.
desde = “from”, “since”
em = “in”, “on”, “at”
entre = “between”, “among”
por = “by”, “for”, “through”
para = “for”, “to”, “in order to”
sem = “without”
sobre = “on”, “above”, “on top of”, “about”
sob = “under” (mostly literary)
Compound prepositions

a partir de = “from”
acerca de = “about”
através de = “through”
debaixo de = “under”, “below”
dentro de = “inside”
embaixo de= “under”
em cima de= “above”, “on”
junto com = “along with”
para com = “to”
vindo de = “from”, “since”

The English possessive case for nouns (apostrophe s, or “Saxon genitive”) has no systematic counterpart in Portuguese (nor, for that matter, in any other Romance language except Romanian). Portuguese generally uses de (“of”) to indicate possession (possession is one of several relationships that can be indicated by de).

Several prepositions form contractions with the definite article.

preposition article
o a os as
de do da dos das
em no na nos nas
por pelo pela pelos pelas
a ao à aos às
para1 prò, pro prà, pra pròs, pros pràs, pras
1 Contractions with para are colloquial only.

The contractions with de, em, por, and a are mandatory in all registers. The grave accent in à / às has phonetic value in Portugal and African countries, but not in Brazil (see Portuguese phonology). In Brazil, the grave accent serves only to indicate the crasis in written text. The contractions with para are common in speech, but not used in formal writing. They may, however, appear when transcribing colloquial speech, for example in comic books. In the latter case, the grave accent is often omitted in Brazil, and it is also often mistakenly replaced with an acute accent elsewhere.

The prepositions de and em form contractions with the third-person pronouns, as, for example, dele (“of him, his”), nelas (“in them [fem.]”), as well as with the demonstrative adjectives (thus desta “of this [fem.]”, naqueles “in those [masc.]”).

These two prepositions may also contract with the indefinite article:

de + um/uma/uns/umas = dum/duma/duns/dumas (“of a”, “from a”)
em + um/uma/uns/umas = num/numa/nuns/numas (“in a”, “on a”, “at a”)

These contractions with the indefinite article are common in the spoken language, formal or informal, and are also acceptable in formal writing in Portugal. In Brazil, they are avoided in writing, especially those of the preposition de with the indefinite article.

Across clause boundaries, contractions may occur in colloquial speech, but they are not done in writing:

Fui, apesar da loja estar fechada. (informal only)
Fui, apesar de a loja estar fechada. (formal or informal)
“I went, even though the shop was closed.”

The English concept of phrasal verb (like “set up”, “get by”, “pick out”, etc.) does not exist in Portuguese: as a rule, prepositions are attached to the noun more strongly than to the verb.

For more contracted prepositions in Portuguese, see this list on the Portuguese Wikipedia.

Personal Pronouns and Possessives

Pronouns are often inflected for gender and number, although many have irregular inflections.

Personal pronouns are inflected according to their syntactic role. They have three main types of forms: for the subject, for the objectof a verb, and for the object of a preposition. In the third person, a distinction is also made between simple direct objects, simple indirect objects, and reflexive objects.

Possessive pronouns are identical to possessive adjectives. As in other Romance languages, they are inflected to agree with the gender of the possessed being or object.

There are major differences in personal pronoun usage and forms between EP and BP, especially in spoken BP. Some of the more notable differences:

  • Spoken BP tends to reduce or eliminate the use of the familiar second-person singular tu in favor of você; even when forms of tu are used, they generally co-occur with third-person singular verbs.
  • Correspondingly, original third-person possessive forms seu/sua shift to mean “your”, while postposed dele/dela (literally “of him/her”) are co-opted as third-person possessives.
  • Colloquially, first-plural verb forms are often substituted by the pseudo-pronominal a gente (originally “the people”), along with third-person singular verbs.
  • The above changes tend to trigger a much stronger use of subject pronouns in non-emphatic contexts (i.e. BP is moving away from being a null-subject language).
  • Unstressed object pronouns are always placed before the verb in BP, while in EP they often come after the verb (or even between the verb stem and its ending, in the case of the future and conditional tenses), with various associated phonological adjustments.
  • Unstressed third-person object pronouns (o/a/os/as) are rare in BP (eu tenho “I have it”; eu vi or eu vi ela “I saw her”).


Place Adverbs

Adverbs of place show a three-way distinction between close to the speaker, close to the listener, and far from both:

aqui, = “here”
= “there” (near you)
ali, (also acolá and além) = “over there” (far from both of us)

The difference between aqui and tends to be that between stationary location (“in this place”) and movement to a destination (“to this place”), respectively: e.g. estamos aqui“we are here” vs. vem para cá “come here”. The meanings of ali and tend to separate between places visible to the interlocutors vs. places out of the range of visibility, respectively. Além is usually followed by de to form a compound preposition meaning “beyond”. Acolá is infrequent.


Demonstratives have the same three-way distinction as place adverbs:

este lápis – “this pencil” (near me)
esse lápis – “that pencil” (near you)
aquele lápis – “that pencil” (over there, away from both of us)

In colloquial Brazilian Portuguese, esse is often used interchangeably with este when there is no need to make a distinction. This distinction is usually only made in formal writing or by people with more formal education, or simply to emphasize the fact that it is near, as in esta sexta! (“next Friday!”).

The noun after a demonstrative can be elided: quero esse também (“I want that one too”), vendi aqueles ontem (“I sold those yesterday”).

In the demonstratives, not only the vowel of the ending, but also the stressed vowel is different for masculine (este/esse/aquele with /e/), feminine (esta/essa/aquela with /ɛ/), and neuter (isto/isso/aquilo with /i/). (A similar variation occurs in the personal pronouns between masculine ele /eli/ and feminine ela /ɛla/.)

The demonstratives, like the articles, form contractions with certain preceding prepositions: de + este = deste (“of this”), de + esse = desse (“of that”), em + aquilo = naquilo(“in that thing”), a + aquela = àquela (“to that”).

Demonstrative adjectives are identical to demonstrative pronouns: e.g. aquele carro“that car”, and aquele “that one.”

Indefinite Pronouns

The indefinite pronouns todo, toda, todos, todas are followed by the definite article when they mean “the whole”. Otherwise, articles and indefinite pronouns are mutually exclusive within a noun phrase.

In the demonstratives and in some indefinite pronouns, there is a trace of the neuter genderof Latin. For example, todo and esse are used with masculine referents, toda and essa with feminine ones, and tudo and isso when there is no definite referent. Thus todo livro “every book” and todo o livro “the whole book”; toda salada “every salad” and toda a salada “the whole salad”; and tudo “everything”; etc.:

Indefinite pronouns masc. sing. fem. sing. masc. pl. fem. pl. neuter1
“this”, “these” este esta estes estas isto (“this thing”, “this idea”)
“that”, “those” (near) esse essa esses essas isso (“that thing”, “that idea”)
“that”, “those” (far) aquele aquela aqueles aquelas aquilo (“that thing”, “that idea”)
“some” algum alguma alguns algumas algo(“something”)
“no”, “none” nenhum nenhuma nenhuns nenhumas nada(“nothing”)
“every”, “all” todo toda todos todas tudo(“everything”)
1 For purposes of agreement, these neuter pronouns take masculine modifiers (except for tudo isto, tudo isso, and tudo aquilo).


The Portuguese verb is usually inflected to agree with the subject’s grammatical person (with three values, 1 = I/we, 2 = thou/you, 3 = he/she/it/they) and grammatical number (singular or plural), and to express various attributes of the action, such as time (past, present, future); aspect (completed, interrupted, or continuing); subordination and conditionality; command; and more. As a consequence, a regular Portuguese verb stem can take over 50 distinct suffixes. (For comparison, regular verbs have about 40 distinct forms in Italian and about 30 in modern French.)


Portuguese, like some other Romance languages, has two main linking verbs: serand estar (both translated “to be”). They developed from Latin SUM and STŌ, respectively (although the infinitive form seractually comes from SEDĒRE). Most forms of ser come from SUM (infinitive ESSE), the only exceptions being the future indicative, the present subjunctive and the imperative.

Ficar is also used as a secondary copula, being variously translatable as (1) “to become” or “to get (to be)” (e.g. Fiquei rico. = “I got rich”; Fica quieto! = “Be still!”); (2) “to stay” (e.g. Fica aí! = “Stay there!”); or (3) “to be (permanently) located” (e.g. Coimbra fica na Beira = “Coimbra is in Beira”). Compare Spanish quedar.

The distinction between ser and estar tends to be oriented along a permanent-versus-temporary axis, rather than one of essence versus state. In this respect, Portuguese is more similar to Catalan than to Spanish.

  • A cadeira é [feita] de madeira = “The chair is made of wood”

In this example the word feita (“made”) is in square brackets, as it is usually omitted.

  • Sou casado. = “I’m married.”
  • Estou casado. = “I’m married now.”

The same applies in sentences that use ser to form the passive voice, such as the following:

  • É proibido fumar neste voo = “No smoking on this flight” (lit. “It is forbidden to…”)

Portuguese counts location as either fundamental or incidental, and accordingly uses ser or ficar for the former, and estar for the latter:

  • Onde é/fica a casa dela? = “Where is her house?”
  • Onde está o carro dela? = “Where is her car?”

Change of adjective meaning

  • Estou tonta = “I’m dizzy”
  • Sou tonta = “I’m silly”
  • É sujo = “It’s dirty” (i.e. “It’s a dirty place” — characteristic)
  • Está sujo = “It’s dirty” (i.e. “(right now) The place is dirty” — state)
  • É aberta = “She’s open” (i.e. “She’s an open sort of person” — characteristic)
  • Está aberta = “It’s open” (probably referring to a door or window — state)
  • Ele é triste = “He is sad” (i.e. gloomy — characteristic)
  • (Ele) Está triste = “He is sad” (i.e. feeling down — state)
  • Como és? = “What are you like?” (i.e. “describe yourself” — characteristics)
  • Como estás? = “How are you?” (i.e. “how are you doing?” — state)

With adjectives of appearance (“beautiful”, etc.), ser means “to be”, and estar means “to look”.

  • Que linda ela é! = “Wow, she’s so beautiful” (characteristic)
  • Que linda ela está! = “Wow, she’s looking so beautiful” (state)

As in Spanish, the states of life and death are expressed with estar: Está vivo (“He is alive”). Está morto (“He is dead”).

Ser is used with adjectives of fundamental belief (Não sou católico, “I’m not Catholic”), nationality (És português, “You are Portuguese”), sex (É homem, “He’s a man”), intelligence (Somos espertos, “We are smart”), etc.

Católico can also be used with estar, in which case it takes on a figurative meaning:

  • Eu não estou muito católico = “I’m not feeling very dependable/trustworthy” (possibly ill or drunk).
  • O tempo hoje não está muito católico = “The weather’s not very nice today.”

Adjectives in -ado derived from adjectives of nationality are used with estar: Estou abrasileirado (“I’m Brazilian-influenced” — state, result of a change); Estás americanizado (“You are, have become, Americanised”).

Infinitive form

The infinitive is used, as in English, as a nominal expression of an action or state at an unspecified time, and possibly with an indefinite or implicit subject, e.g. queremos cantar (“we would like to sing”), cantar é agradável (lit. “to sing is pleasant”). Many of its uses would be translated into English by the “-ing” nominal form, e.g. mesa para cortar(“cutting table”), cantar é bom (“singing is good”), trabalhe sem parar (“work without pausing”).

European Portuguese has the distinct feature of preferentially using the infinitive preceded by the preposition “a” in place of the gerund as the typical method of describing continuing action:

Estou lendo.

“I am reading.” (Brazilian Portuguese)
Estou a ler.

“I am reading.” (European Portuguese)
Estavam dormindo.

“They were sleeping.” (Brazilian Portuguese)
Estavam a dormir.

“They were sleeping.” (European Portuguese)

The gerund “-ndo” form is still correct in European Portuguese and it is used colloquially in the Alentejo region, but relatively rare (although its adverbial uses and the other participle forms are not uncommon). On the other hand, the “a + infinitive” form is virtually nonexistent in Brazil, and considered an improper use in Brazilian Portuguese.

A distinctive trait of Portuguese grammar (shared with Galician and Sardinian) is the existence of infinitive verb forms inflected according to the person and number of the subject:

É melhor voltar, “It is better to go back” (impersonal)
É melhor voltares, “It is better that you go back”
É melhor voltarmos, “It is better that we go back”

Depending on the context and intended sense, the personal infinitive may be forbidden, required, or optional.

Personal infinitive sentences may often be used interchangeably with finite subordinate clauses. In these cases, finite clauses are usually associated with the more formal registers of the language.

Conjugation Classes

All Portuguese verbs in their infinitive form end in the letter r. Verbs are divided into three main conjugation classes according to the vowel in their infinitive ending:

  • First conjugation: -ar
  • Second conjugation: -er (also includes pôrand prefixed verbs in -por; see below)
  • Third conjugation: -ir

The exceptional verb pôr (“to put”) is placed by many grammarians in the -er conjugation class, for historical reasons: in older language the infinitive was poer, derived from Latin PONERE. It is the basis for several derived, prefixed verbs, most of which correspond to English verbs in -pose (although some differ in meaning):

antepor “to put before” (rare)
apor “to place on or adjacent” (rare)
compor “to compose”
contrapor “to counterpose”
decompor “to break down (analyze; or rot)”
descompor “to disarrange, disturb”
depor “to set aside; to depose (as a ruler)”
dispor (de) “to have at one’s disposal”
expor “to expose; to expound”
impor “to impose”
interpor “to interpose”
justapor “to juxtapose” (rare)
opor “to oppose”
predispor “to predispose”
pressupor “to assume”
propor “to propose”
recompor “to put back together, reformulate”
repor “to reset, to put back, or to restore”
sobrepor “to overlay”
supor “to suppose”
transpor “to transpose”

The unprefixed pôr has the circumflex accent to distinguish it from the preposition por.

The -ar conjugation class is the largest of the three classes, and it is the only one open to neologisms, such as clicar (“to click” with a mouse).

Each conjugation class has its own distinctive set of some 50 inflectional suffixes: cant/arcant/ou (“he sang”), vend/ervend/eu (“he sold”), part/irpart/iu (“he left”). Some suffixes undergo various regular adjustments depending on the final consonant of the stem, either in pronunciation, in spelling, or in both. Some verbal inflections also entail a shift in syllable stress: ‘canto (“I sing”), can’tamos(“we sing”), canta’rei (“I will sing”). See Portuguese verb conjugation.

Verbs with some irregular inflections number in the hundreds, with a few dozen of them being in common use. Some of the most frequent verbs are among the most irregular, including the auxiliaries ser (“to be”), haver(“there to be” or “to have”), ter (“to possess”, “to have”, “there to be” – in Brazilian Portuguese), ir (“to go”).

Gerund and participle forms

The gerund form of a verb always ends with -ndo. It is used to make compound tenses expressing continuing action, e.g. ele está cantando (“he is singing”), ele estava cantando(“he was singing”); or as an adverb, e.g. ele trabalha cantando (“he works while singing”). It is never inflected for person or number.

In European Portuguese, the gerund is often replaced by the infinitive (preceded by “a“) when used to express continuing action.

The participle of regular verbs is used in compound verb tenses, as in ele tinha cantado(“he had sung”). It can also be used as an adjective, and in this case it is inflected to agree with the noun’s gender and number: um hino cantado (“a sung anthem”, masculinesingular), três árias cantadas (“three sung arias”, feminine plural). Some verbs have two distinct forms (one regular, one irregular) for these two uses. Additionally, a few verbs have two different verbal participles, a regular one for the active voice, and an irregular one for the passive voice. An example is the verb matar (to kill): Bruto tinha matado César(“Brutus had killed Cesar”), César foi morto por Bruto (“Cesar was killed by Brutus”).

Synthetic Moods and Tenses

Grammarians usually classify the verbal inflections (i.e. the synthetic verb forms) into the following moods, tenses, and non-finite forms:

  • indicative mood, used in the main clausesof declarative sentences:
    • present tense: cantamos, “we sing”
    • past tenses:
      • preterite: cantámos (EP), cantamos(BP) “we sang”
      • imperfect: cantávamos, “we were singing”
      • pluperfect: cantáramos, “we had sung”
    • future tense: cantaremos, “we will sing”
  • conditional mood:
    • conditional tense: cantaríamos, “we would sing”
  • subjunctive mood used in certain subordinate clauses:
    • present subjunctive: que cantemos, “that we sing”
    • preterite subjunctive: se cantássemos, “if we sang/would sing”
    • future subjunctive: se cantarmos, “if we sing/should sing”
  • imperative mood: used to express a command, advice, encouragement, etc.:
    • positive: canta! “sing!”
    • negative: não cantes!” “don’t sing!”
  • verbals
    • infinitives:
      • impersonal: cantar, “to sing”
      • personal: cantarmos, “for us to sing”, “that we sing” or “our singing”
    • participles:
      • present participle: cantando “singing”
      • past (or passive) participle: cantado“sung”

The conditional tense is usually called “future of the past” in Brazilian grammars, whereas in Portugal it is usually classified as a separate “conditional mood”. Portuguese grammarians call subjunctive “conjuntivo”; Brazilians call it “subjuntivo”.

Note that the synthetic future and conditional have largely disappeared from Brazilian speech. The synthetic future is generally replaced by ir + infinitive (e.g. vou cantar “I will sing”), while the conditional is replaced either by the imperfect (especially in its modal use; se você me desse dinheiro, eu cantava “if you gave me money, I would sing”) or by the imperfect of ir + infinitive (in its non-modal, “future of the past” usage; ele disse que ia cantar “he said that he would sing”). However, the synthetic future subjunctive is still in common use (e.g. se você for “if you should go”). The synthetic future and conditional of verbs with one-syllable infinitives also sometimes occur (e.g. será/seria “it will/would be” or in the compound tenses terá/teria sido “it will/would have been”).

In regular verbs, the personal infinitive is identical to the subjunctive future tense; but they are different in irregular verbs: quando formos (“when we go”, subjunctive) versus é melhor irmos (“it is better that we go”).

There are also many compound tenses expressed with inflected forms of the auxiliary verbs ser and estar (variants of “to be”), haverand ter (variants of “to have”).

Compound Forms

Like all Romance languages, Portuguese has many compound verb tenses, consisting of an auxiliary verb (inflected in any of the above forms) combined with the gerund, participle or infinitive of the principal verb.

The basic auxiliary verbs of Portuguese are ter (originally “to hold”, from Latin tenere, but nowadays meaning “to have”), haver (“to have”, from Latin habere; tends to be replaced with ter in most constructions), ser (“to be”, from Latin esse), estar (“to be”, from Latin stare “to stand”), and ir (“to go”, Latin ire), which have analogues in most other Romance languages. Thus, for example, “he had spoken” can be translated as ele havia faladoor ele tinha falado. The verb ficar (“to remain”, “to become”) also has an auxiliary-like use in combination with the past participle or gerund of another verb.

Compound Perfect

In other Romance languages, the compound perfect is usually constructed with a verb derived from Latin habēre “to have”. This used to be the case in Portuguese also, but in recent centuries the verb ter (from Latin tenēre “to hold”) has been steadily overtaking haver in both functions—to mean “to have”, and as the auxiliary for perfect tenses—although haver is still used with some frequency in writing and in formal spoken registers. In colloquial European Portuguese, haver is only used impersonally (with the sense of “there to be”) and in the construction haver-de with the effect of a future tense, often with an implication of promise (hei-de voltar “I will return”). In spoken Brazilian Portuguese even the impersonal haver is replaced with ter, as in Tem muito peixe no mar “There are plenty of fish in the sea” (although the latter use is not endorsed by official grammar).

Tenses with ter/haver + past participle (compound tenses):

  • Preterite perfect indicative – temos falado(“we have been speaking”; see “Preterite vs. present perfect” below). Haver is not used nowadays. This tense may also be equivalent to the simple preterite for some fixed expressions, such as Tenho dito/concluído)
  • Pluperfect indicative – tínhamos/havíamos falado (“we had spoken”)
  • Anterior pluperfect indicative – tivéramos/houvéramos falado (“we had spoken”, literary use only)
  • Future perfect indicative – teremos/haveremos falado (“we will have spoken”)
  • Conditional perfect – teríamos/haveríamos falado (“we would have spoken”)
  • Preterite perfect subjunctive – desde que tenhamos/hajamos falado (“provided that we have spoken”)
  • Pluperfect subjunctive – se/que tivéssemos/houvéssemos falado (“if/that we had spoken”)
  • Future perfect subjunctive – se/quando tivermos/houvermos falado (“if/when we have spoken”)
  • Personal perfect infinitive – termos/havermos falado (“for us to have spoken”)

With no inflection:

  • Impersonal perfect infinitive – ter/haver falado (“to have spoken”)
  • Perfect gerund – tendo/havendo falado(“having spoken”)

Compound vs. simple pluperfect

In addition to the compound forms for completed past actions, Portuguese also retains a synthetic pluperfect: so, ele tinha falado and ele havia falado (“he had spoken”) can also be expressed as ele falara. However, the simple (one-word) pluperfect is losing ground to the compound forms. While pluperfect forms like falara are generally understood, their use is limited mostly to some regions of Portugal and to written language. In Brazilian Portuguese their use is even less frequent.

Preterite vs. present perfect

The simple past (or pretérito perfeito simplesin Portuguese) is widely used, sometimes corresponding to the present perfect of English (this happens in many dialects of American Spanish, too).

A present perfect also exists (normally called pretérito perfeito composto), but it has a very restricted use, denoting an action or a series of actions which began in the past and are expected to continue into the future, but will stop soon. For instance, the meaning of “Tenho tentado falar com ela” may be closer to “I have been trying to talk to her” than to “I have tried to talk to her”, in some contexts. This iterative sense of the present perfect is exceptional among Romance languages. It seems to be a recent construction, since it only allows the verb ter as auxiliary, never haver, and is absent from Galician.

Progressive Tenses

Portuguese originally constructed progressive tenses with a conjugated form of the verb “to be”, followed by the gerund of the main verb, like English: e.g. Eu estou trabalhando “I am working” (cf. also the corresponding Italianphrase: (Io) sto lavorando). However, in European Portuguese an alternative construction has appeared, formed with the preposition a followed by the infinitive of the main verb: e.g. Eu estou a trabalhar. This has replaced the ancient syntax in central and northern Portugal. The gerund may also be replaced with a followed by the infinitive in less common verb phrases, such as Ele ficou lá, trabalhando / Ele ficou lá, a trabalhar “He stayed there, working”. However, the construction with the gerund is still found in southern and insular Portugal and in Portuguese literature, and it is the rule in Brazil.

estou falando or estou a falar (“I am speaking”)
estava falando/ a falar (imperfective: “I was speaking” [at the moment])
estive falando/ a falar (perfective: “I was speaking [for a while]” / “I have been speaking” [for a while])
estivera falando/ a falar (“I had been speaking”)
estarei falando/ a falar (“I will be speaking”)
esteja falando/ a falar (“[that] I/he/she be speaking”; or “am” or “is speaking”)
se estivesse falando/ a falar (“if I were speaking”)
quando estiver falando/ a falar (“when you are speaking” [in the future])
estar falando/ a falar (“to be speaking”)

Periphrastic construction with haver

As in most Romance languages, the simple future indicative and the conditional are formed by appending the present or the imperfect of the verb haver, respectively, to the infinitive. In Portuguese, the form of havercan also be used before the verb, together with the proposition de. This is usually limited to spoken language.


  • Eu disse que havia de voltar for Eu disse que voltaria (“I said I would return”)
  • Vós haveis de (or “heis-de”) vencer for Vós vencereis (“You will win”)

Infrequently, other tenses of haver are used, as in Quem houver de ficar com a casa, há-de vir para aqui “Whoever might stay at the house will/should come here”.

The monosyllabic forms of haver (hei, hás, , heis, hão) are no longer joined to the following de with a hyphen.

The periphrastic construction with haverusually conveys a sense of obligation or necessity, rather than simple futurity. Examples in EP:

  • Hei-de lá ir amanhã (promise, “I will go there tomorrow”) versus Irei lá amanhã (less emphatic, almost an expectation, “I’m going there tomorrow”).
  • Havemos de cá voltar (promise, but in an uncertain future, “We will return here”) versus Voltaremos cá (prediction or statement of an arrangement). Depending on the context, it can also be an invitation: Gostei de te ter aqui, hás-de cá voltar (“I’ve enjoyed having you here, you should return”).
  • Havias de ter visto a reacção dela (“You should have seen her reaction”) versus Terias visto a reacção dela (“You would have seen her reaction”). The meaning here is quite different.
  • Que havia eu de fazer? (“What should I (was I to) do?”) versus Que faria eu? (“What would I do?”). The latter is merely a hypothetical question, while the former could be asking for advice or an opinion about what ought to have been done.

The haver de + infinitive construction has also acquired other meanings, including one of supposition, as in O que está cá dentro? Dinheiro! O que havia de ser?! “What is in here? Money! What else?!”

In Brazil, the meaning is stronger, e.g. hei de ir lá amanhã implies strong determination (“I willgo there tomorrow!”).

Other compound tenses

Tenses with ir + infinitive

vamos falar (“we will speak”, “we are going to speak”)
íamos falar (“we were going to speak”)
iríamos falar (“we would speak”, “we would be going to speak”)

In spoken BP, the construction ir + infinitive almost completely replaces the use of the synthetic future (e.g. vamos falar rather than falaremos).

Tenses with multiple auxiliaries:

teríamos estado falando/a falar (“we would have been speaking”)
tenho estado falando/a falar (“I have been speaking [until now]”)

Passive Voice

An active clause with a transitive verb and direct object can be transformed into a passive clause much the same as is done in English: the original object becomes the subject; the verb is replaced by ser (in the same mood and tense) followed by the past participle of the original verb; and the original subject may become an adverbial complement with the preposition por (“by”):

O rato comeu o queijo (“The mouse ate the cheese”)
O queijo foi comido pelo rato (“The cheese was eaten by the mouse”)
Aquela senhora cantará a ária (“That lady will sing the aria”)
A ária será cantada por aquela senhora(“The aria will be sung by that lady”)
Se você cantasse a aria, ele ficaria (“If you were to sing the aria, he would stay”)
Se a ária fosse cantada por você, ele ficaria(“If the aria were to be sung by you, he would stay”)

As in Spanish, there is also—for third-person objects, and when the agent is not expressed—a “reflexive” passive, which uses the pronoun se:

Fizeram-se planos e criaram-se esperanças.(“Plans were made and hopes were created.”)

The same construction extends to some intransitive verbs, in which case they are rendered “impersonal”, in the sense that their subject is not expressed:

Comeu-se, bebeu-se e bailou-se. (“There was eating, drinking, and dancing.”)

Subjunctive Mood

Portuguese subjunctive mood is used mainly in certain kinds of subordinate clauses. There are three synthetic subjunctive inflections, conventionally called “present”, “past” and “future”. The rules of usage, in broad terms, are the following:

  • The present subjunctive is used in clauses, often introduced with que (“that”), which express generally non-assertive notions, such as wishes, orders, possibilities, etc.:
quero que cante, “I want her/him to sing”
supondo que cante, “assuming that he/she will sing”
ele será pago, cante ou não, “he will be paid, whether he sings or not”
  • The past subjunctive is used for adverbial subordinate clauses, introduced with se (“if”) or equivalent, that are conditions for a main cause in the conditional tense.
se cantasse, seria famoso (“if he/she sang [if he/she were a singer], he/she would be famous”)
se cantasse, teríamos aplaudido (“if he/she had sung, we would have applauded”)

It is also used for noun clauses, introduced with que, that are the object of past wishes or commands:

esperávamos que cantasse (“we hoped that he would sing”)
eu mandei que cantassem (“I ordered them to sing”)
  • The future subjunctive is an uncommon feature among Indo-European languages. It is used in adverbial subordinate clauses, usually introduced by se (“if”) or quando (“when”), or in adjectival subordinate clauses that express a neutral or expected condition for a present- or future-tense main clause:
se cantarmos, seremos pagos (“If we (should) sing, we will be paid”)
se cantarmos, ele fica (“If we (should) sing, he stays”)
quando cantarmos, ele escutará (“When we (should) sing, he will listen”)
  • Often, the option between indicative and subjunctive depends on whether the speaker does or does not endorse the propositionexpressed by the subordinate clause:
Admito que ele roubou a bicicleta. (“I admit that he stole the bicycle.”)
Admito que ele possa ter roubado a bicicleta. (“I admit that he could have stolen the bicycle.”)
  • In relative clauses, the option between indicative and subjunctive depends on whether the speaker does or does not identify a single object with the property expressed by the relative clause:
Ando à procura de um cão que fala! (“I’m looking for a certain dog which can speak!”)
Ando à procura de um cão que fale! (“I’m looking for any dog that speaks!”)

More on the subjunctive mood in Portuguese can be found at Wikibooks: Variation of the Portuguese Verbs.

Verbal Derivatives

Portuguese has many adjectives that consist of a verbal stem plus an ending in -nte, which are applied to nouns that perform the action of the verb; e.g. dançar (“to dance”) ~ areia dançante (“dancing sand”), ferver (“to boil”) ~ água fervente (“boiling water”).

However, those adjectives were not always derived from the corresponding Portuguese verbs. Most of them were directly derived from the accusatives of the present participles of Latin verbs, a form which was not retained by Portuguese. Thus, for example, Portuguese mutante (“changing”, “varying”) does not derive from the Portuguese verb mudar (“to change”), but directly from the Latin accusative present participle mutantem (“changing”). On the other hand, those pairs of words were eventually generalized by Portuguese speakers into a derivational rule, that is somewhat irregular and defective but still productive. So, for example, within the last 500 years we had the derivation pï’poka (Tupi for “to pop the skin”) → pipoca (Portuguese for “popcorn”) → pipocar (“to pop up all over”) → pipocante(“popping up all over”).

Similar processes resulted in many other semi-regular derivational rules that turn verbs into words of other classes, as in the following examples:

clicar (“to click”) → clicável (“clickable”)
vender (“to sell”) → vendedor (“seller”)
encantar (“to enchant”) → encantamento(“enchantment”)
destilar (“to distill”) → destilação(“distillation”)

The latter rule is quite productive, to the point that the pervasive -ção ending (derived from Latin -tione) is a visually striking feature of written Portuguese.


Another specific feature of Portuguese is mesoclisis, the placement of clitic pronouns between stem and ending in future and conditional verb forms.[4] In Brazilian Portuguese it is limited to extremely formal and mostly written style, but European Portuguese still allows clitic object pronouns to be positioned as mesoclitics in colloquial language:[5]

  • Ela levá-lo-ia (“She take-it-would” – “She would take it”).
  • Eles dar-nolo-ão (“They give-usit-will” – “They will give it to us”).


The verb fazer is used to express the causative, as in Eu fiz José comer os bolos. Note that this is different from other Western Romance languages in that, like English, the causee can come between the causative verb fazer and the infinitive lexical verb. Other languages, such as French, do not permit such a construction (compare Je ferai manger les gâteaux à Jean, I make.FUT eat the cakes PREP Jean, “I will make Jean eat the cakes”.[6]


  1. ^ “Why” is translated as por que, except in sentence-final position, when it becomes por quê. Compare the conjunction porque‘because’ and the noun o porquê ‘the reason why’.
  2. ^ Gilmar Ferreira Mendes and Nestor José Forster Júnior, Manual de redação da Presidência da República (2nd ed., Brasília: Presidência da República, 2002), Sec. 2.1.2.
  3. ^ The Latin ancestor of this ending, -issimus, had a literally superlative meaning, “the most + [adjective]”. The term “superlative” has been retained without its literal meaning.
  4. ^ Mesoclisis, which occurs at a word-internal morpheme boundary, differs from infixing in that the latter occurs within a single morpheme.
  5. ^ Gadelii, Karl Erland (2002). “Pronominal Syntax in Maputo Portuguese (Mozambique) from a Comparative Creole and Bantu Perspective” (PDF). Africa & Asia. 2: 27–41. ISSN 1650-2019. Retrieved 2006-09-20.
  6. ^ Dixon (2000:35)

Variation of the Portuguese Verbs

Verbs are the most variable words in the Portuguese Language. Portuguese verbs vary on mood, tense, voice, number and aspect.


Any verb that expresses a desire in some form can be used to introduce the subjunctive. Doubt, denial, emotion, wish, hope, suggestion, certainty, supposition, recommendation are other examples. It is also used after indirect commands. In Portugal, the subjunctive (subjunctivo) is called the conjunctive (conjuntivo). (More details below).

The Indicative Mood is the opposite and refers to statements of fact or certainty.

The Imperative Mood is used for commands.


The present, preterite, and future tenses refer to a fact that is occurring in the moment in which one is speaking, before the moment in which one is speaking, or after the moment in which one is speaking, respectively.


The aspect is the speaker’s point of view of the action expressed by the verb. The word Imperfect comes from the Latin “imperfectum” which means not completed. This is often a source of confusion when studying Portuguese because this has no relation at all with what is considered the imperfect aspect of a verb.

Mood, Tense, and Aspect

The following table explains each of the the moods, tenses and aspects of Portuguese verbs. The first four columns represents a typology often found in Portuguese grammar books. As they are best understood when they are used together, the following table displays all the variations1:

Mood Tense Aspect simple/compound Example in English Verb in Portuguese Explanation
Indicative Present N/A N/A I study today estudo Action in the present – PRESENTE DO INDICATIVO
Indicative Preterite Imperfect N/A I was studying while watching T.V. I used to study every day estudava; estava estudando Action began, continued and ended in the past. It relates to a continuous action or describes the state of things over a period of time in the past. Note: Also known as the Imperfect Indicative. – PRETÉRITO IMPERFEITO DO INDICATIVO
Indicative Preterite Perfect simple I studied last night. I have studied already. estudei A single action completed in the past. Note: Also known as the Preterite Indicative. PRETÉRITO PERFEITO SIMPLES DO INDICATIVO
Indicative Preterite Perfect compound I have studied a lot lately. I have been studying since last week. I have repeatedly studied all semester. tenho estudado; estiveram estudando An action started in the past and continuing into the present. “Have studied” can only be translated as “tenho estudado” if there is a contextualizing element indicating the action is still continuing (I have studied all semester long; I have studied this since yesterday). There are other ways of forming this tense by using the present indicative (e.g. estudo) with other contextualizing elements in the sentence such as (e.g. Ha um ano que eu estudo portugues, Desde que…, Ha mais de dois anos…). See “Present Perfect” below for more information. Note: Also known as Present Perfect Progressive/Continuous Indicative. PRETÉRITO PERFEITO COMPOSTO DO INDICATIVO
Indicative Preterite Pluperfect simple Yesterday, I had studied before I went to school. estudara An action in the past before another action in the past. Largely a literary form. In English, only the compound form exists (see next item below) Note: Also known as Simple Pluperfect Indicative. PRETÉRITO MAIS-QUE-PERFEITO SIMPLES DO INDICATIVO
Indicative Preterite Pluperfect compound Yesterday, I had studied before I went to school. Tinha estudado An action in the past before another action in the past (just like in English). Note: Also known as Past Perfect or Pluperfect Indicative. PRETÉRITO MAIS-QUE-PERFEITO COMPOSTO DO INDICATIVO
Indicative Future Of the Present simple I will study tomorrow. I’m going to study tomorrow estudarei/vou estudar An action that will happen in the future FUTURO IMPERFEITO DO INDICATIVO
Indicative Future Of the Present compound By 6:00pm tomorrow, I will have studied everything terei estudado; vou ter estudado An action in the future in relation to another action in the future. Note: Also known as the Future Perfect Indicative. FUTURO PERFEITO COMPOSTO DO INDICATIVO
Indicative Future Of the Preterite simple I would/should study tomorrow estudaria An action intended in the future. Note: Some grammar books refer to this as the conditional mood or simple conditional or just conditional. CONDICIONAL PRESENTE
Indicative Future Of the Preterite compound If I had seen the test, I would have studied more. teria estudado An action intended in the future. Note: Also known as the Conditional Perfect. CONDICIONAL PRETÉRITO
Subjunctive Present N/A N/A I may study today. Maybe I will study today. I want/need you to study. I hope that I will study tomorrow. It is a shame that I study all the time. I hope that I will study tomorrow. estude desire, doubt, hope, emotion, suggestion, that one has now about a present or future action. Also for indirect commands. PRESENTE DO CONJUNTIVO
Subjunctive Preterite Imperfect N/A I would like you to study with me today. I wanted you to study with me yesterday. estudasse desire, doubt, hope, emotion, suggestion, about an action in the past, present, or future. This is always used in the subordinate clause with the verb in the main clause usually being in the Imperfect Indicative, the Preterite Indicative, the Conditional, or Present. PRETÉRITO IMPERFEITO DO CONJUNTIVO
Subjunctive Preterite Perfect N/A Maybe I had studied too much yesterday. I doubt that she had studied yesterday. I’m sorry that I hadn’t studied more. You probably will have studied for your test by noon. tenha estudado desire, doubt, hope, emotion, suggestion, about a fact in the past supposedly concluded or a fact in the future terminated in relation to another fact in the future. Always conjugated with help of verb ter. Note: Also known as Present Perfect Subjunctive. PRETÉRITO PERFEITO COMPOSTO DO CONJUNTIVO
Subjunctive Preterite Pluperfect N/A I would be happier if I had studied before I went to work. If I had studied more, I would have scored better. I would not have cheated if you had studied with me. tivesse estudado desire, doubt, hope, emotion, suggestion, about an action in the past before another action in the past or a past condition in relation to a fact in the past that hasn’t occurred. Also, what you would have done in the past if things had been different. Note: Also known as the Past Perfect Subjunctive or Pluperfect Subjunctive. PRETÉRITO MAIS-QUE-PERFEITO COMPOSTO DO CONJUNTIVO
Subjunctive Future N/A simple If I study tomorrow, I will know everything estudar desire, doubt, hope, emotion, suggestion, about the eventuality of a future action.2 It can also be used for uncertain present reality (details below). FUTURO DO CONJUNTIVO
Subjunctive Future N/A compound Tomorrow I will be ready if ,by then, I have studied everything. When/As soon as I have studied everything, I will go to Brazil. tiver estudado desire, doubt, hope, emotion, suggestion, about the eventuality of a future action. Note: Also known as the Future Perfect Subjunctive. FUTURO PERFEITO COMPOSTO DO CONJUNTIVO
Imperative Present N/A N/A Study the book, students! estudem commands IMPERATIVO
N/A N/A N/A N/A I will be studying during class tomorrow! estarei estudando Future Progressive/Continuous. An action starting in the future and continuing in the future usually in relation to some other future event. FUTURO CONTINUADO
N/A N/A N/A N/A I had been studying during classes all day yesterday! tinha estado estudando Past Perfect Progressive/Continuous. An action starting in the past and continuing in the past and ending in the past usually in relation to some other past event. These longer constructions are not very natural-sounding and occur infrequently. PRETÉRITO MAIS-QUE-PERFEITO COMPOSTO CONTINUADO
N/A N/A N/A N/A I have studied for this test already! (ja) estudei Present Perfect. An action starting in the past and continuing up to the present where it stops but still has some sort of effect. This tense is best explained here.There is no correspondence in Portuguese so the simple preterite is used sometimes preceded by “ja”. The only exception to this is “should have studied” — devia ter estudado NO NAMED TENSE

1 There are some special treatments of participles (see below).
2 The future subjunctive is formed by taking the 3rd person past tense form of any verb and dropping the “am”. For the 1st person plural add “mos” and for the 3rd person plural add “em”.

More on the Subjunctive Mood

WikiPedia Subjunctive Mood Article

WikiPedia Portuguese Grammar Article

It is first important to understand the difference between a main clause and subordinate clause in order to understand when the subjunctive is used. More on clauses can be found here. Usually the subordinate clause is used after que, other conjunctions (e.g. embora, porque, se, quando, etc.) or relative pronouns (cujo, quem, qual, onde, etc.).

  • The subjunctive is used in the main clause when the verb in the clause expresses a curse or a wish or when it begins with the word “maybe” (talvez)
  • Any wish, intention or purpose in the main clause that expresses the desire to influence the action in the subordinate clause necessitates the use of the subjunctive.
  • When the verb in the main clause expresses denial, doubt or uncertainty, presupposition, or emotion about the action in the subordinate clause, the verb in the subordinate clause must use the subjunctive.
  • Certain conjunctions introducing a subordinate clause require the indicative to be used in the subordinate clause (e.g. visto que (given that), porque (because), dado que (given that), ja que (now that), assim como (in the same way that)). Others require the use of the subjunctive. (e.g. the following require the use of the present or imperfect subjunctive: caso (in case), antes que (before), ainda que/posto que (although or even if), unless (a nao ser que or a menos que), a que (to), in order to (a fim de que), unless or without (sem que), para que (so that, in order to), even if (mesmo que, nem que), although (embora), provided that (contanto que), as soon as (logo que/assim que)).
  • You can use the indicative or the subjunctive in sentences where the following verbs are negated (preceded by nao): achar, crer, sonhar, revelar, mencionar, alegar, aununciar, confirmar, comunicar, contar, informar.


  • If the verb in the main clause is in the indirect command form or expressing desire or emotion in the present, the verb in the subordinate clause will be in the present subjunctive.
    • I hope (desejo: present indicative) that you accompany (acompanhem: present subjunctive) me. – these are indirect commands or verbs that express a desire or emotion somewhow. They require the use of the present subjunctive after them (e.g. I hope that…, I want that…, I need that…, I suggest that…, I recommend that…, I insist in that…, I permit that, It is important that…, It is better that…, It’s a pity that…, It’s sad that…It’s ridiculous that…, It’s strange that…, I’m upset that…, I deny that…).
    • Use with verbs such as sugerir (to suggest), permitir (to permit), recomendar (to recomend), insistir em (to insist), É preciso que… (it is nesscessary that), É importante que…(it is important that), É melhor que… (it is better that) and others.
  • If the verb in the main clause is in the present or imperative, the verb in the subordinate clause will be in the present subjunctive or the imperfect subjunctive depending on whether the verb in the main clause refers to a present event or a past one respectively.
    • I doubt (duvido: present indicative) that they speak (falem: present subjunctive) very well. – This refers to a present situation so the present subjunctive is used.
    • They doubt (duvidam: present indicative) that my mother was (estivesse: imperfect subjunctive) at the house. – This refers to a past situation so the imperfect subjunctive is used.
    • Study (estude: imperative) now so that you can learn (aprenda: present subjunctive) more Portuguese.
  • The imperfect subjunctive or pluperfect subjunctive is used after “como se” (as if).
    • My friend was speaking (falava: imperfect indicative) as if he was (fosse: imperfect subjunctive) an important person.
    • They speak (falam: present indicative) as if they are (fossem: imperfect subjunctive) lawyers.
    • My sister ate (comeu: preterite indicative) as if she hadn’t eaten (tivesse comido: pluperfect subjunctive) in three years.
  • If the verb in the main clause is in the future, the verb in the subordinate clause will be in the present subjunctive or the future subjunctive.
    • Before I see (veja: present subjunctive) him, I will tell (direi: future indicative) my husband everything.
    • When she comes (vier: future subjunctive), I will be (estarei: future indicative) in California.
  • When the if-clause refers to a future occurrence, the future subjunctive is used in the if-clause:
    • If I have (tiver: future subjunctive) a boyfriend, I will take (farei: future indicative) him to brazil.
    • If you can (puder: future subjunctive), arrive (chegue: present subjunctive) as late as possible to the party.
  • “While” followed by a reference to a future situation requires future subjunctive in the while-clause.
    • While you are (estiver: future subjunctive) not feeling well, stay (fique: present subjunctive) with me.
  • Doubt about a present reality sometimes necessitates the future subjunctive:
    • I’m not sure if you want to or not (…se voce quiser…)
    • I’m not sure if you can or not. (…se voce puder…)
    • If she prefers… (Se ela preferir…)
    • As you wish…(Como voce quiser…)
    • Wherever you wish….(Onde voce quiser)
  • “When” followed by a reference to a future situation requires future subjunctive in the when-clause:
    • When you know (souber: future subjunctive) the day of the test, tell (diga: present subjunctive) me.
  • The translation of wherever, whenever, whoever, and whatever require the use of the Future Subjunctive:
    • You can love whoever you wish (quiseres: future subjunctive).
  • The future subjunctive is also used with “as soon as you wish” (assim que quiseres/logo que) and “as you wish” (como quiseres).
  • If the the verb in the main clause is in the past (e.g. preterite indicative, imperfect indicative) or the simple conditional, the verb in the subordinate clause will be in the imperfect or the past perfect.
    • I would like you (queria: conditional) to have dinner (viesses jantar: imperfect subjunctive) with me tomorrow or next week.
    • I wanted (quis: preterite indicative) you to have dinner (viesses jantar: imperfect subjunctive) with me last week.
    • I didn’t believe (acreditei: preterite indicative) that he had sold (tivesse vendido: past perfect subjunctive) everything.
    • I wanted (desejava: imperfect indicative) him to be (estivesse: imperfect subjunctive) with me everywhere.
  • If the “if” condition can’t be met (i.e. doesn’t imply a real fact) and the sentence refers to a present situation, the imperfect subjunctive is used in the if clause and the conditional or imperfect indicative is used in the main clause:
    • If I had (tivesse: imperfect subjunctive), I would take (faria or fazia: conditional or imperfect indicative) a vacation in Rio de Janeiro.
  • If the “if” condition can’t be met (i.e. doesn’t imply a real fact) and the sentence refers to a past situation (what could have been), the past perfect subjunctive is used in the if-clause and the conditional perfect (or simple pluperfect indicative) in the main clause:
    • If I had had (tivesse tido: past perfect subjunctive) a girlfriend, I would have taken (teria feito or tinha feito: conditional perfect or pluperfect indicative) her to Brazil.

More on Participles

The verb forms with participles are those with “estudado” listed above. Here are two important topics regarding participles:

  • The participle stays the same in the active voice (like #1) but agrees with the subject in the passive voice (#2 and #4) except when using the passive voice with ter or haver (#3, #5, #6).
  1. A professora ja tinha ido.
  2. Algumas pessoas foram atingidas pelo meu carro.
  3. Os cavalos nos quais eu tinha andado estavam vividos.
  4. A rua foi feita um ano atras.
  5. Os problemas tinham partido da minha alma.
  6. A carta que eu havia escrito foi longa.
  • Some verbs have two particple forms. Examples of verbs with two participles are:

aceitar – aceitado – aceito
acender – acendido – aceso
contundir – contundido – contuso
eleger – elegido – eleito
entregar – entregado – entregue
enxugar – enxugado – enxuto
expulsar – expulsado – expulso
imprimir – imprimido – impresso
limpar – limpado – limpo
murchar – murchado – murcho
suspender – suspendido – suspenso
tingir – tingido – tinto
findar – findado – findo
isentar – isentado – isento
matar – matado – morto
salvar – salvado – salvo
segurar – segurado – seguro
soltar – soltado – solto
benzer – benzido – bento
morrer – morrido – morto
prender – prendido – preso
suspender – suspendido – suspenso
emergir – emergido – emerso
expelir – expelido – expulso
exprimir – exprimido – expresso
inserir – inserido – inserto
omitir – omitido – omisso
submergir – submergido – submerso
juntar – juntado – junto
trazer – trazido – trago

    • ter/haver in front of the verb to form the perfect tenses use the first form (e.g. juntado).
    • ser/estar in front of the verb (more adjectivial in nature) use the second form (e.g. junto).

Nominal Forms

These are forms of a verb that are characterized by not having an indication of time or of mood depending always on the context in which they’re found. In these nominal forms, the verbs can themselves function as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

Infinitive Infinitivo When expressing the idea of the action of the verb, the infinitive is used. Just like in English, it is also used as the name of the verb. This comes in two forms, the personal and the impersonal. The former is when it refers to a subject and the latter when it doesn’t. INFINITIVO IMPESSOAL
Participle Particípio Used to form compound tenses. This represents the result of the action expressed by the verb and accumulating the characteristics of the verb as an adjective. You have eyes buried…(poetically). Tens os olhos encovados… PARTICÍPIO PASSADO
Gerund Gerúndio A type of Present Participle which is using in special conjugations called Conjugações Perifrásticas. This is the function of the verb being expressed as an adverb or adjective. Chegando a manha, continuamos. GERÚNDIOMore on the Infinitive:

The infinitive has many uses. The impersonal infinitive has one form: the one you see in the dictionary that ends in –ar, -er, or –ir. Here are some uses of the impersonal infinitive:

  • Driving (Dirigir) is fun. – when it is the subject of clauses
  • I need to drive (dirigir). I am going to drive (vou dirigir) – coupled with other verbs.
  • I am learning now. (estou a aprender). This is another form of the present continuous and is the same as “estou aprendendo”.
  • I am happy being (ficar) with you. – Complementing nouns and adjectives.
  • They were forced to stop. (Eles foram forcados a parar). – verb in the passive voice with preposition is followed by the impersonal infinitive.
  • I stated that I was prepared (disse estar preparadas) for the examination.– When the main and subordinating clauses have the same subject.
  • And he yelled, “Stop” (Parar) – substituting for the imperative

There are also Personal Infinitives which are less used in spoken language than in writing. They are used when there are infinitive verb constructions but the subject of this verb is not very clear. Therefore the infinfitive is “personalized” to make clear who the subject is. It is formed by: INFINITIVO PESSOAL

  • Adding a subject in front of the singular infinitive forms:
    • Eu sair — Before I leave, I want to talk to her.
    • Voce sair — Before you leave, I want to talk to her.
  • Adding endings to the plural infinitive forms:
    • infinitive + mos for first person plural
    • infinitive + em for third person plural

Here are some uses for the personal infinitive:

  • They regret that we are (estarmos) not here. When the main and subordinating clauses have different subjects.
  • It’s necessary for me to buy (eu comprar) another car. It’s easy for them to arrive (elas chegarem) early. It’s impossible for you to leave now (voce entrar) – Used after impersonal expressions. In these sentences “for” is not translated.
  • When they opened (Ao abrirem eles) the card, they saw the picture. Used after ate, antes de, depois de, ao (translated as when or upon), a fim de, sem, para


In English In Portuguese Description
Active Voice Voz Ativa The subject performs the action expressed in the verb. Eu te vejo. I see you. VOZ ATIVA
Passive Voice Voz Passiva The direct object of the active voice corresponds to the subject of the passive voice. Pedro foi dirigido por Miguel. (Peter was driven by Miguel). VOZ PASSIVA
Reflexive Voice Voz Reflexiva The direct object or the indirect object is the same person as the subject: VOZ REFLECTIVA

Eu me feri.  I wounded myself.
Eu me firo.  I wound myself.


In English In Portuguese Description
Singular Singular Used when the subject of the verb is one person or thing, e.g. I, you, he, she
Plural Plural Used when the subject of the verb is more than one person or thing, e.g. we, you(plural), they

The subjunctive is a grammatical mood (that is, a way of speaking that allows people to express their attitude toward what they are saying) found in many languages. Subjunctive forms of verbs are typically used to express various states of unreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, obligation, or action that has not yet occurred; the precise situations in which they are used vary from language to language. The subjunctive is an irrealis mood (one that does not refer directly to what is necessarily real) – it is often contrasted with the indicative, which is a realis mood (used principally to indicate that something is a statement of fact).

Subjunctives occur most often, although not exclusively, in subordinate clauses, particularly that-clauses. Examples of the subjunctive in English are found in the sentences “I suggest that you be careful” and “It is important that she stay by your side.” (The corresponding indicative forms of the verbs in bold would be are and stays.)

Subjunctive may be denoted by the abbreviationsjv or sbjv. It is sometimes referred to as the conjunctive mood, as it is mostly found in clauses introduced by a conjunction.

Indo-European languages


The Proto-Indo-European language, the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, had two closely related moods: the subjunctive and the optative. Many of its daughter languages combined or merged these moods.

In Indo-European, the subjunctive was formed by using the full ablaut grade of the root of the verb, and appending the thematic vowel *-e- or *-o- to the root stem, with the full, primary set of personal inflections. The subjunctive was the Indo-European irrealis, used for hypothetical or counterfactual situations.

The optative mood was formed with a suffix *-ieh1 or *-ih1 (with a laryngeal). The optative used the clitic set[clarification needed] of secondary personal inflections. The optative was used to express wishes or hopes.

Among the Indo-European languages, only Albanian, Avestan, Ancient Greek, and Sanskrit kept the subjunctive and the optative fully separate and parallel. However, in Sanskrit, use of the subjunctive is found only in the Vedic language of the earliest times, and the optative and imperative are comparatively less commonly used. In the later language (from c. 500 BC), the subjunctive fell out of use, with the optative or imperative being used instead, or merged with the optative as in Latin. However, the first-person forms of the subjunctive continue to be used, as they are transferred to the imperative, which formerly, like Greek, had no first person forms.


Main article: English subjunctive

The subjunctive in Modern English occurs in a variety of contexts in which the form of the verb used is different from what other usage would be, given the implied time of the action. Regardless of the subject, the form of the present subjunctive verb that expresses present or past desires (and other uses) in that clauses is the bare form of the infinitive (not preceded by “to”). Hence, the present subjunctive of “to go” is “I go”, “you go”, “he/she/it go”, “we go”, “they go”. For instance: “It was required that he go to the back of the line” (compared with the past indicative”Everyone knows that he went to the back of the line”); and “It is required that he go to the back of the line” (compared with the present indicative “Everyone knows that he goes to the back of the line”).

The English subjunctive also occurs in counterfactual dependent clauses, using a form of the verb that in the indicative would indicate a time of action prior to the one implied by the subjunctive. It is called the past subjunctive when referring counterfactually to the present, and is called the pluperfect subjunctive when referring counterfactually to the past. It occurs in that clauses following the main-clause verb “wish” (“I wish that she were here now”; “I wish that she had beenhere yesterday”) and in if clauses expressing a condition that does not or did not hold (“If she were here right now, …”; “If she had been here yesterday, …”).

The terms “present subjunctive” and “past subjunctive”, such as those appearing in the following table, refer to the form and not to the time of action expressed.[3]:p.270 (Not shown in the table is the pluperfect subjunctive, which uses the had-plus-past-participle construction when the counterfactual time of action is the past.)

Present indicative Present subjunctive Past indicative Past subjunctive Present negative indicative Present negative subjunctive Past negative indicative Past negative subjunctive
to own
regular verb)
I own
he/she/it owns
we/you/they own
that I own
that he/she/it own
that we/you/they own
I owned
he/she/it owned
we/you/they owned
that I owned
that he/she/it owned
that we/you/they owned
I do not own
he/she/it does not own
we/you/they do not own
that I not own
that he/she/it not own
that we/you/they not own
I did not own
he/she/it did not own
we/you/they did not own
that I did not own
that he/she/it did not own
that we/you/they did not own
to be I am
he/she/it is
we/you/they are
that I be
that he/she/it be
that we/you/they be
I was
he/she/it was
we/you/they were
that I were
that he/she/it were
that we/you/they were
I am not
he/she/it is not
we/you/they are not
that I not be
that he/she/it not be
that we/you/they not be
I was not
he/she/it was not
we/you/they were not
that I were not
that he/she/it were not
that we/you/they were not
Time of action present or future present or future past present or future present or future present or future past present or future
Usage desire in that clauses counterfactuality in wish or ifclauses desire in that clauses counterfactuality in wish or ifclauses

As shown in the above table, the form of the subjunctive is distinguishable from the indicative in five circumstances:

  1. in the third-person singular of any verb in the present form;
  2. in all instances of the verb “be” in the present form;
  3. in the first and third persons singular of the verb “be” in the past form;
  4. in all instances of all verbs in the present negative form.
  5. in the first and third persons singular of the verb “be” in the past negative form.

However, even when the subjunctive and indicative forms are identical, their time references are usually different.

The verb “to be” is so distinguishable because its forms in Modern English derive from three different Old English verbs: beon (be, being, been), wesan (was, is, wast), and wæron (am, art, are, were, wert).[clarification needed]

Some modal auxiliaries have a past subjunctive form. For example, the indicative will as in He will come tomorrow has the subjunctive form would as in I wish that he would come tomorrow. Likewise, the indicative can as in He can do it now has the subjunctive form could as in I wish that he could do it now. And the indicative shall as in I shall go therehas the subjunctive form should as in If I should go there, ….

In Early Modern English, the past subjunctive was distinguishable from the past indicative not only in the verb to be (as in Modern English) but also in the second-person singular of all verbs. For example: indicative thou sattest, but subjunctive thou sat. Nevertheless, in some texts in which the pronoun thou is used, a final -est or -st is sometimes added; for example, thou beestappears frequently in the work of Shakespeare and some of his contemporaries.


In Portuguese, the subjunctive (subjuntivo or conjuntivo) is used to talk about situations which are seen as doubtful, imaginary, hypothetical, demanded, or required. It can also express emotion, opinion, disagreement, denial, or a wish. Its value is similar to the one it has in formal English:

Present Subjunctive
  • Command: Faça-se luz!Let there belight!”
  • Wish: Viva o rei!Long live the king!”
  • Necessity: É importante que ele compreenda isso. “It is important that he understand that.”
  • In certain, subordinate clauses:
    • Ainda que seja meu aniversário… “Even though it be my birthday…”
    • Antes que eu vá “Before I go…”
Imperfect (Past) Subjunctive

As in Spanish, the imperfect subjunctive is in vernacular use, and it is employed, among other things, to make the tense of a subordinate clause agree with the tense of the main clause:

  • English: It is [present indicative] necessary that he speak [present subjunctive]. → It was [past indicative] necessary that he speak [present subjunctive].
  • Portuguese: É [present indicative] necessário que ele fale [present subjunctive]. → Era necessário [past (imperfect) indicative] que ele falasse [past (imperfect) subjunctive].

The imperfect subjunctive is also used when the main clause is in the conditional:

  • English: It would be [conditional] necessary that he speak [present subjunctive].
  • Portuguese: Seria [conditional] necessário que ele falasse [imperfect subjunctive].

Note that there are authors[who?] who regard the conditional of Portuguese as a ‘future in the past’ of the indicative mood, rather than as a separate mood; they call it futuro do pretérito (“future of the past”), especially in Brazil.

Future Subjunctive

Portuguese differs from other Romance languages in having retained the medieval future subjunctive (futuro do subjuntivo), which is rarely used in Spanish and Galicianand has been lost in other West Iberian Romance languages. It expresses a condition that must be fulfilled in the future, or is assumed to be fulfilled, before an event can happen. Spanish and English will use the present tense in this type of clause.

For example, in conditional sentences whose main clause is in the conditional, Portuguese, Spanish and English employ the past tense in the subordinate clause. Nevertheless, if the main clause is in the future, Portuguese will employ the future subjunctive where English and Spanish use the present indicative. (Note that English, when being used in a rigorously formal style, takes the present subjunctive in these situation, example: If I be, then…) Contrast the following two sentences.

  • English: If I were [past subjunctive] king, I would end [conditional] hunger.
    • Spanish: Si fuera [imperfect subjunctive] rey, acabaría con [conditional] el hambre.
    • Portuguese: Se fosse [imperfect subjunctive] rei, acabaria com [conditional] a fome.
  • English: If I am [present indicative] [technical English is “if I be” present subjunctive] elected president, I will change [future indicative] the law.
    • Spanish: Si soy [present indicative] elegido presidente, cambiaré [future indicative] la ley.
    • Portuguese: Se for [future subjunctive] eleito presidente, mudarei [future indicative] a lei.

The first situation is counterfactual; the listener knows that the speaker is not a king. However, the second statement expresses a promise about the future; the speaker may yet be elected president.

For a different example, a father speaking to his son might say:

  • English: When you are [present indicative] older, you will understand [future indicative].
  • Spanish: Cuando seas [present subjunctive] mayor, comprenderás [future indicative].
  • French: Quand tu seras [future indicative] grand, tu comprendras [future indicative].
  • Portuguese: Quando fores [future subjunctive] mais velho, compreenderás[future indicative].

The future subjunctive is identical in form to the personal infinitive in regular verbs, but they differ in some irregular verbs of frequent use. However, the possible differences between the two tenses are due only to stem changes. They always have the same endings.[7]

It is important to see how the meaning of sentences can change by switching subjunctive and indicative:

  • Ele pensou que eu fosse alto (He thought that I was tall [and I am not])
  • Ele pensou que eu era alto (He thought that I was tall [and I am or I am not sure whether I am or not])
  • Se formos(If we go there)
  • Se vamos(equivalent to “if we are going there”)

Below, there is a table demonstrating subjunctive and conditional conjugation for regular verbs of the first paradigm (-ar), exemplified by falar (to speak) .

Grammatical Person Past Subjunctive Present Subjunctive Future Subjunctive Conditional (Future of Past)
Eu falasse fale falar falaria
Tu falasses fales falares falarias
Ele/Ela falasse fale falar falaria
Nós falássemos falemos falarmos falaríamos
Vós falásseis faleis falardes falaríeis
Eles/Elas falassem falem falarem falariam
Compound Subjunctives

Compound verbs in subjunctive are necessary in more complex sentences, such as subordinate clauses with embedded perfective tenses e.g., perfective state in the future. To form compound subjunctives auxiliar verbs (ter or haver) must conjugate to the respective subjunctive tense, while the main verbs must take their participles.

  • Queria que tivesses sido eleito presidente ( I wish you had been elected president)
  • É importante que hajas compreendidoisso. (It is important that you have comprehended that)
  • Quando houver-me eleito presidente, mudarei a lei (When I will have been electedpresident, I will change the law)
  • A cidade ter-se-ia afundado não fosse por seus alicerces ( The city would have sunk, if not for its foundation)
Grammatical Person Past Subjunctive Present Subjunctive Future Subjunctive Conditional
Eu tivesse/houvesse falado tenha/haja falado tiver/houver falado teria/haveria falado
Tu tivesses/houvesses falado tenhas/hajas falado tiveres/houveres falado terias/haverias falado
Ele/Ela tivesse/houvesse falado tenha/haja falado tiver/houver falado teria/haveria falado
Nós tivéssemos/houvéssemos falado tenhamos/hajamos falado tivermos/houvermos falado teríamos/haveríamos falado
Vós tivésseis/houvésseis falado tenhais/hajais falado tiverdes/houverdes falado teríeis/haveríeis falado
Eles/Elas tivessem/houvessem falado tenham/hajam falado tivermos/houvermos falado teriam/haveriam falado

Pre-Roman (Basque, Celtic and Iberian) languages of Portugal

Some traces of the languages of the native peoples of western Iberia (Gallaeci, Lusitanians, Celtici or Conii) persist in the language, as shown below. Many places in Portugal for instance have pre-Roman, Celticor Celtiberian names, such as the cities of Abrantes, Braga, Briteiros, Cantanhede, Coimbra, Évora, Lapa, Leiria, Setúbal, Sintraand several rivers like Ardila, Douro, Minho or Tâmega.


A claim of Basque influence in Portuguese is the voiceless alveolar retracted sibilant [], a sound transitional between laminodental [s] and palatal [ʃ]; this sound also influenced other Ibero-Romance languages and Catalan. The apico-alveolar retracted sibilant is a result of bilingualism of speakers of Basque and Vulgar Latin. Basque influence is prominent in Portuguese language and entered through Spanish, because aside from it is a result of bilingualism of speakers of Basque and Vulgar Latin, many Castilians (native speakers of Spanish) who took part in the Reconquistaand later repopulation campaigns were of Basque lineage.

  • carrasco “executioner” or “Portuguese oak”, from Basque karraska “thunder, crash of falling tree”
  • chamorro “close-cropped” (cf. Basque txamorro “grub, subterranean bug or worm” or samur, xamur “tender, delicate”)
  • chaparro “dwarf oak” (cf. Basque txapar)
  • esquerdo “left” (from Basque ezker ‘left’)
  • sarça (archaic), “bramble”, fr early Basque (Oihenart; 17th century) çarzi (modern sasi“bramble”, sarri “bush, thicket”) (Trask 1997, 421)
  • sarna “scabbies” from Medieval Latin (7th century, Isidore of Seville, Origines, 4.8.68), but as serna attested in Theodorus Priscianus(Constantinople, 4th century). Trumper (2004)however, after studying the variants of the word in the Latin medical treatises, proposes a Hispano-Celtic origin; cf. Middle Welsh sarn“mess” and sarnaf “to wreck”.
  • veiga “meadow, grassland”, from Basque (i)bai “river” + relational suffix -ko

Names of Basque origin:


  • Inácio variant of Ignatius. ***Of uncertain origin. Often claimed an Etruscan-Latinised derivation but probably Pre-Roman Iberian, Celtiberian or Basque see* Íñigo, Íñaki
    Variants: Egnatius (Ancient Roman), Iñaki (Basque), Ignasi (Catalan), Ignác (Czech), Ignaas (Dutch), Iggy (English), Ignace (French), Ignatz (German), Ignác (Hungarian), Ignazio (Italian), Ignas (Lithuanian), Ignacy (Polish), Ignatiy (Russian), Ignac, Ignacij, Nace (Slovene), Ignacio, Nacho, Nacio (Spanish)
  • Vasco derived from Basque “belasko”, ‘small raven’
  • Xavier, from Basque Xabier, from etxe berri, meaning ‘new house’ or ‘new home’[5]
  • Ximeno,[6] a variant of the medieval Basque gifven name Semen, root seme < senbe ‘son’ as found in the ancient Aquitanianname Sembetten, attested form “sehi” as ‘child’, hypothetical ancient root *seni (cf. Koldo Mitxelena and modern form “senide” = ‘brother or sister’, ‘relative’)


  • Galarça, from Basque “galartza”, ‘abundant in dead wood’
  • García, from Basque “gartzia”, ‘the young’
  • Mendonça is a common Portuguese and Old Galician variant of Spanish surname Mendoza. The name derives from Basquemendi (mountain) and (h)otz (cold).
  • Velasco derived from Basque “belasko”, ‘small raven’


Although there is not a comprehensive study or wordcount on how much Celtic or Celtiberian survived in Portuguese (and Galician), it is fair to say that after Latin, this ancient language or fragments of several languages; left an important mark in the Portuguese language as we know it.

Placenames: There are numerous Celtic-derived towns and placenames in Portugal like Braganza (Bragança), Menir de Forjães, Menir do Castelo, Cabanas de Viriato, Dólmen da Pedreira, Borba, Bouçã, Britelo, Carvalhos, Carvalhosa, Carvalhal, Carvalhais, Carvalheira, Carvalhoa, Amieira, Amieiro, Vale do Amieiro, Gouveia, Lousã, Tojeira, Vargem, Vidoeira, Monte das Vargens and many others.


  • Artur, (cognate of English Arthur) derived from the Celtic elements artos “bear” combined with viros “man” or rigos “king”. Used in Catalan, Czech, Estonian, Galician, German, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, with the same spelling. Variants= : Arthur, Tuur (Dutch) Artturi, Arto, Arttu (Finnish), Artúr (Hungarian), Arturo (Italian), Artūrs (Latvian), Tuur (Limburgish), Artūras (Lithuanian), Artair (Scottish), Arturo (Spanish)
  • Breno, (cognate of English Brennus) Latinised form of an ancient Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either “king, prince” or “raven”.
  • Brígida, (cognate of Irish Brighid) which means ‘exalted one’. Variants: Breda, Bríd, Bride, Brighid, Brigid (Irish), Bridgette (English), Brighid, Brigid, Brigit (Irish Mythology). Also: Brigita (Croatian), Birgit, Birgitta, Birgitte, Berit, Birte, Birthe, Brita, Britt, Britta, Gitte (Danish), Brigitta (Dutch), Birita (Faroese), Birgitta, Piritta, Brita, Pirjo, Pirkko, Priita, Riitta (Finnish), Brigitte (French), Brigitta, Brigitte, Gitta (German), Brigitta (Hungarian), Brigida (Italian), Brigita (Latvian), Breeshey (Manx), Birgit, Birgitta, Birgitte, Berit, Brit, Brita, Britt, Britta (Norwegian), Brygida (Polish), Brigita (Slovene), Brigida (Spanish), Birgit, Birgitta, Berit, Brita, Britt, Britta, Gittan (Swedish), Ffraid (Welsh)
  • Genoveva, (cognate of English Genevieve) from Genovefa, a Gaulish name possibly meaning “tribe woman”. Rare, variants: Geneviève (French), Genevieve (English), Genoveffa (Italian), Genowefa (Polish), Genoveva (Spanish)
  • Lusitânia or Lusitana probably of Celtic origin: ‘Lus and Tanus’, “tribe of Lusus”, connecting the name with the personal Celtic name Luso and with the god Lugh.
  • Nelson also Nélson from the Gaelic name Niall, which is of disputed origin, possibly meaning “champion” or “cloud”. This was the name of a semi-legendary 4th-century Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages. In the early Middle Ages the name was adopted by Viking raiders and settlers in Ireland in the form Njal.
  • Óscar (cognate of English Oscar) derived from Gaelic “deer” and cara “friend”, possibly means “deer friend”. Variants: Òscar (Catalan), Oskari, Osku (Finnish), Oskar (German), Oszkár (Hungarian), Oscar (Irish), Óskar (Icelandic), Oskars (Latvian), Oskar (Polish), Oskar (Slovene), Óscar (Spanish)
  • Tristão (cognate of Tristan) from Pictish “Drustan”, derived from Celtic drest meaning “riot” or “tumult”. This name was borne by several kings of the Picts, including their last king Drust X, who ruled in the 9th century. Variants: Drest, Tristan (Celtic Mythology), Tristan, Tristen, Tristin, Triston (English), Tristram (English (British)), Tristan (French), Tristán (Spanish), Drystan, Tristan, Trystan (Welsh)
  • Viriato, from Ancient Celtic ‘viriae’ “bracelets”. Viriathus was a leader of the Lusitani (a tribe of Portugal) who rebelled against Roman rule in the 2nd century BC. This name is historically unique to Portugal.


A considerable number of the Portuguese surnames (spread in all Portuguese-speaking countries and ex-colonies today) is Celtic or of Latinised, Celtic-borrowings. This is not a comprehensive list of those.

  • Abranches Gaulish from ‘Abrincate’ cognate of Breton *ambrouga ‘to lead’ or Welsh *hebryngydd, hebryngiad ‘leader, guide’ + suffix “ate”
  • Abrantes from Proto-Celtic ‘Arantis’ or Latin ‘Aurantes’
  • Abrunhosa, Abrunheiro Latinised prūnum, from Celtic *agrīnio
  • Bacelar (also Bacellar), from Celtic*baccos ‘young man, lad’ akin to Gaulish and Breton bach
  • Barreto also Barrete from Proto-Celtic *birros ‘short coat with a hood’
  • Bico, Bicudo, also Bica, Bicalho, from Proto-Celtic *bekko ‘beak, kiss’,[7][8][9] cognate of Italian becco, French bec.
  • Borba, from Proto-Celtic *borwâ ‘mud, slime, mucus’
  • Bouça, Boiça, probably from Proto-Celtic *baudea-, *baud- smear
  • Braga, from Celtic *braco ‘hoop iron, small fortification’
  • Bragança toponymic, also synonymous with the House of Braganza, from Bregança or Bragancia, from ‘Brigantia’ Proto-Celtic *bhr̥g’hntī, berg’h high, lofty, elevated
  • Brites from Celtic *brig- / brigo- / briga ‘great, high, eminent’ also relating to Brigantia the celtic deity
  • Brito from Celtic ‘brìgh’ < Proto-Celtic *brīgos ‘strength’
  • Cabanelas from Celtic *cab ‘hut’
  • Calhau, from proto-Celtic *ca-la cognate of French caillou ‘pebble’
  • Caminha from Latin *cammīnus, from proto-Celtic *kanxsman ‘step’
  • Canastra, from Old French ‘banaste’, from Celtic *benna- ‘straw-basket’
  • Canto, Canteiro from Proto-Celtic *kanto ‘rim’
  • Cangas, Cangueiro from Celtic *kambika ‘collar, yoke’
  • Carpinteiro from Proto-Celtic *carbanto ‘(wooden) chariot, wooden box’
  • Carvalho, Carvalhal, Carvalheira, Carvalhosa, Carvalheda from cassīcos, from Celtic *cassos ‘curly, twisted’
  • Cerveja also Cervejaria from Vulgar Latin *cerevisia derived from Gaulish[10] Cognates: Old French cervoise, Provençal, Spanish cerveza; akin to Old Irish coirm, Welsh cwrw, Breton korev.
  • Charrua, Charruadas also Charraz, from Celtic *carros-
  • Coelho, Coelhos, Coelhoso also Coelha, Coelhas, from Irish coinân, Cornish conyn, Manx coneeyn, Gaelic coineanach, Welsh cwningen, alternatively from Celtiberian *cun-icos ‘little dog’[11]
  • Colmeia, from a Celtic form *kolmēnā ‘made of straw’,[12] from *kolmos ‘straw’, which gave Leonese cuelmo; cf. Welsh calaf“reed, stalk”, Cornish kalav “straw”, Breton kolo“stalk”).
  • Correia, Corrêa from Gallo-Latin corrigia ‘strap’; akin to Old Irish cuimrech “fetter”, Irish ‘creasa’ (belt, girdle), Scottish cuibhreach “bond, chain”, ‘crios’ (belt), Welsh cyfrwy “saddle”, Middle Welsh kyfreieu “leashes”, Cornish kevrenn “fastening, link”, Breton kevre “link, bond”
  • Curral, from Celtic *korro ‘corral, pen, corner’
  • Faia, Faial, from Latin loanword ‘fagea’, from proto-Celtic *bagos ‘beech tree’
  • Galante, Galhardo also Galharde, from Celtic *gal- force, via Gaulish *galia-
  • Garça, Garção, Garcês also Garcez, from Celtic *cárcia akin to Breton kerc’heiz, Cornish kerghydh ‘egret’
  • Gouveia toponymic, via Gaulish *guvia <from Proto-Celtic *gulb-
  • Lage, Lages, Laginha also Laginhas from the medieval form lagena, from proto-Celtic *ɸlāgenā, cognate of Old Irish lágan, láigean, Welsh llain ‘broad spearhead, blade’; akin to Irish láighe ‘mattock, spade’.
  • Lança also Lanças, from Gaulish *lancea- ‘to launch, to throw (a spear)’
  • Lanes also Lande, Landes, Delannes and Delanes originally a French toponymic (southwest) from Proto-Celtic *landā
  • Lapa, from Proto-Celtic *lappa, akin to Irish Gaelic lapa ‘paw, flipper’ and Polish łapa‘paw, flipper, mutton fist’
  • Leira, Leirão also Leirião, Leirio, Leiro, Leiria, Leirosa from Proto-Celtic *ɸlāryo ‘floor’
  • Lousa, Lousão, Loisa, Lousano, also Lousan, Lousada from Proto-Celtic *laws
  • Minhoca, from medieval form *milocca, from Proto-Celtic *mîlo-, akin to Asturian milu, merucu ‘earthworm’, Irish míol ‘worm, maggot’, Welsh, Breton mil ‘animal’
  • Raia also Raiano, from Celtic *rica- ‘furrow, line’
  • Rego, also Rêgo from proto-Celtic *ɸrikā ‘furrow, ditch’, akin to Welsh rhych, Breton reg, Scottish/Irish riach ‘trace left from something’; cognate of French raie, Occitan, Catalan rega, Basque erreka, Italian riga‘wrinkle’.
  • Rocha, also Rochas, Rochel from old Breton *roc’h, with Latin loanword rocca ‘rock, stone’
  • Seara, also Seareiro, Senra, from medieval senara, a Celtic compound of *seni- ‘apart, separated’ (cf. Old Irish sain ‘alone’, Welsh han‘other’) and *aro- ‘ploughed field’. (cf. Welsh âr, Irish ár ‘ploughed field’).
  • Saboga, from celtic *sabauca’ or *sabŏlos, see also “sável”
  • Seabra, Celtiberian toponymic of sena-briga, of which *briga means ‘castro/fortress’
  • Tojal, Tojeira, Tojo from Celtic *togi ‘furze’
  • Tristão from Celtic *drest ‘riot’
  • Truta, from Celtic *tructa- freshwater fish of the salmon family. Cognate of French truite, English trout, Catalan truita, Spanish trucha, Italian trota’.
  • Vassalo Latinised ‘vassalum’ from proto-Celtic *wasto-, cognate of French vassal, Spanish vasallo, Middle Irish foss ‘servant’, Welsh gwas ‘servant; lad’, Breton gwaz

  • alauda [f] ‘lark’, Latin borrowing ‘alauda’ from Gaulish *alaio ‘swan’, cognate of French alouette, Walloon alôye, Provençal alauza, alauseta, Catalan alosa, alova, Spanish alondra, Italian allodola, lodola, Old Irish elu ‘swan’, Irish/Scottish eala ‘swan’; with suffix, Welsh alarch ‘lark’, Breton alarc’h ‘lark’.
  • álamo [m] ‘elm tree’, from Celtic *lēmos ‘elm’, cognate of Asturian llamera, Irish leamhán, Welsh llwyfen, Spanish álamo.
    derivatives: alameda lane, avenue, alamedar to plant trees in a lane, avenue
  • amieiro [m] ‘common alder’, a derivative in -arium of *abona ‘river’, related to Bretonavon, Welsh afon, Irish abha/abhainn ‘river’.
    derivatives: amieiral alder woods, amieirayoung alder tree or hand-basket made of alder or chestnut shoots
  • arpente also arpento ‘arpent acre’ Latin borrowing (old measurement) from Gaulish *arpen, cognate of French arpent, akin to Old Irish airchenn ‘short mete, bound (abuttal); end, extremity’, Welsh arbenn ‘chief’
  • abater [v] ‘to knock down, to lower’ from Vulgar Latin abbattuere to demolish, knock down, overthrow: from ad- + Latin battuere, see bater below. The d is assimilated to the bin battuere from older Celtic.
  • abrolho ‘sprout, thorn, thicket, rocky surfaces just under water, keys’, from Celtic *brogilos ‘copse’,.[23][24]
    derivatives: abrolhar [v] ‘to cover with thorns, to sprout (botanics), to get covered in spots, blisters, to sprout’, abrolhamento ‘to fence smthg with thorns, cover with sprouts, to cause hardship’, desabrolhar [v] ‘to sprout, to bloom, to blossom’.
  • abrunho/abrunheiro [m] ‘sloe’, from Vulgar Latin *aprūneu, from Latin prūnum, under the influence of Celtic *agrīnio;[7][25][26]akin to Irish áirne, Welsh eirin ‘plum’; cognate of Occitan agranhon, Provençal agreno, Catalan aranyó, Aragonese arañon.
  • albóio [m] ‘window-pane (nautical), skylight, from Proto-Celtic *ɸare-bow-yo- akin to Old-Irish airbe ‘covered, enclosed’.
  • ardósia [f] ‘slate’, from Proto-Celtic, probably via Gaulish *aritisia- originally wall, mural interior, construction material
  • atol a muddy place, bog: from atolar “to dirty to soil,” from a- + tol “mire, muddy place” (possibly from a Celtic word represented in Old Irish toll “hole, pit, grave”) + the verbalinfinitive suffix -ar.
    derivatives: atoleiro[m], atoladoiro, atoladouro‘bog’, atolado ‘to get swamped, to get bogged down’, atoladiço ‘place or person with the quality to get swamp/get bogged down’
  • bacelo [m] ‘young vine’, from Celtic*baccos- ‘young man, lad’ akin to Gaulish and Breton bach[27]
    derivatives: baceleiro[m] ‘young vine nursery, man who specialises in planting new vines’, bacelar [v], abacelar [v] ‘to plant and tender to new vines’, abacelamento ‘the act of sorting out young vines (by variety)’, bacharelato‘baccalaureat, university degree’, Latinised from *baccalaris- person of lower (military) rank or young cadet,[27] bacharel ‘same as baccalaureat, chatter-box, chatty or witty person’, bacharelar [v] ‘to talk too much’, bacharelice, bacharelismo ‘habbit of chatting too much or for too long’, barcelo ‘white grape variety from Northern Portugal’
  • bacia [f] ‘basin’, Latinised borrowing ‘baccinum< baccia (‘wine or water jug’), from Gaulish *bacca- ‘burden, load to bear’ cognate of French bassin, Provençal bachè, bacha ‘large vat’, Amognard bassie ‘sink’, akin to Irish/Scots Gaelic bac ‘hindrance, heed’, Welsh baich ‘load, burden’, Cornish begh ‘load, burden’, Breton bec’h ‘burden, toil’.
    derivatives: bacia-hidrográfica, bacia-fluvial(geology) ‘catchment basin, watershed, catchment area’, sub-bacia ‘sub-catchment basin’, bacio ‘chamber-pot’, baciada ‘contents of a basin, pot’
  • balaia [f] also balaio ‘small straw-basket’ via Old French balain ‘broom (plant)’, from Gaul *balatno, metathesis of *banatlo, cognate of Breton balannen, Scots-Gaelic bealaidh, Irish beallaidh, Welsh banadl, Cornish banadhel, Asturian baléu
  • bálano [m] ‘barnacle, gland’ from Gaulish *barenica ‘limpet’, akin to French balane and barnache, Irish báirneach, Scots-Gaelic bàirneach, Welsh brennig, Cornish brennik, Breton bernig, brennig
  • banzo [m] ‘crossbar, beam, parapet, balustrade, nostalgia’ from Proto-Celtic *wankio-‘beam’.
    derivatives: banzeiro ‘moving gently, wind gusts’, banzear [v] ‘to move gently’
  • barco [m] ‘boat, ship’ from Proto-Celtic*barga-, loanward into Latin bargo, ‘boat’.
  • barca [f] ‘small seagoing vessel’, from proto-Celtic *barga- ‘boat’, from Old French’barge’, Old Provençal ‘barca’.
    derivatives: barcaça, barça, barcagem, barcada, ‘barge, shallow boat with a sail’, ‘freight’, ‘boatload’; from Gaulish *barge-, cognate old Provençal ‘barca’, Medieval Latin loanword from Celtic ‘barga’. Maybe from Greek ‘baris’ “Egyptian boat,” from Coptic ‘bari’ “small boat.” Meaning “flat-bottomed freight boat” dates from late 15c.
  • bardo [m] ‘bard, poet’ from Proto-Celtic *bardos- ‘bard, poet’ cognate of French ‘barde’, Scottish Gaelic ‘bard’, Irish ‘bard’, Catalan ‘bard’.
  • barra [f] ‘garret, loft, upper platform’, from proto-Celtic *barro-, cognate of Irish, Breton barr ‘summit, peak, top’, Welsh bar.
    derivatives: barrote [m] ‘wooden beam’
  • barrete [m] ‘hood’, from Proto-Celtic*birros- ‘short coat with a hood’.
    derivatives: barretada ‘greeting someone with your hat’, barrete-de-clérigo ‘fortification or building work composed of three protruding angles and two sinking ones’, enfiar o barrete(popular expression) ‘to mislead or deceive someone’.
  • barulho ‘noise, confusion, turmoil’ from Gaulish *bruge- ‘to troat’, akin to French bruit, barouf, Welsh broch ‘din, tumult’, Breton bruchell ‘roar, bellow’, Scots-Gaelic broiglich ‘noise’, broighleadh ‘turmoil’; Irish brúcht ‘belch’.
    derivatives: barulhento ‘noisy’, barulhar [v] ‘to confuse, to deceive’, barulheira, barulhada‘disruptive noise, tumult, turmoil’
  • beiço [m] ‘snout, animal’s mouth’, from Proto-Celtic *beiccion- or *baykkyon- “animal’s mouth/snort”, from *baicciō “to yell”; akin to Old Irish béccim, Irish béic ‘yell, roar’, Scottishbeuc, Welsh beichio ‘to low, sob’, Cornish begi‘to bray’, Breton begiad ‘to bleat’, Spanish bezo‘big lip’.
    derivatives: gaita-de-beiços ‘harmonica, panpipe’, beiçola, beiça, beiçorra all to do with ‘mouth’, there are several popular expressions like: fazer beicinho ‘pout’, ‘pucker’, or andar pelo beiço ‘to have a crush on someone’, beiçudo ‘thick-lipped, big-mouth person or animal’.
  • berço [m] ‘craddle’, from Gaulish *bertu ‘I rock’, Old French *berta ‘load’, cognate of French berceau, Provençal bressà ‘to rock’, brès ‘cradle’, Irish beartaim ‘I rock’, beárt ‘load, action’; further to Old Irish brith, breth ‘carrying, judgment’, Middle Welsh bryd ‘thought, mind, intent’, Cornish brys ‘thought’.
    derivatives: berçário (hospital), new-born ward(hospital), ‘nursey’, berceiro (colloquial) ‘lazy man’.
  • bater [v] ‘to hit, strike, win’: from Latinbattere, battuere, “to beat, strike,” probably of older, Celtic origin.
  • batuta [f] ‘an orchestra conductor’s baton’: from Italian battuta, from battere, from Latin battere, battuerre, see bater above.
  • betume [m] ‘putty’, from Celtic *betu- derived from Indo-European *gwetu- with the labialisation of ‘gw’ into ‘b’ typical of Celtic, which meant resin. The Latin ‘bitumen’ (tar) is very likely borrowed from the older Celtic’betu-‘.
  • bezerro [m] ‘year old veal’, Uncertain: from Proto-Celtic *bicurru- or Iberian *ibicurri- or Latin *Ibex- “wild goat”
  • bétula [f] ‘birch’, from Gaulish *betuo-, derivation from *betu- ‘woods, forest’, cognate of Gaelic ‘beith’, Cornish ‘betho’, Breton ‘bezo, bedwen’, Welsh ‘bedw, bedwen’.
  • bico [m] ‘beak, kiss’, from Proto-Celtic*bekko-, cognate of Italian becco, French bec.
    derivatives: bicar ‘to kiss’, debicar [v] ‘(bird)pecking’.
  • bilha,[28] [f] ‘spigot; stick’ to Proto-Celtic *beljo- ‘tree, trunk’,[29] akin to Old Irish bille‘large tree, tree trunk’, Manx billey ‘tree’, Welsh pill ‘stump’, Breton pil; cognate of French bille‘log, chunk of wood’.
  • bode [m] ‘billy-goat, male goat’ from Proto-Celtic *bukko- akin to French bouc, loanword into Dutch bok
  • bodalho also godalho ‘male goat, messy or careless person, loose woman’, from Celtic *ghaidos ‘happiness, folly’
  • borba [f] ‘mud, slime, mucus’, from proto-Celtic *borwâ-, cognate of French bourbe ‘mud’; akin to Irish borb ‘mud, slime’, bearbh ‘boiling’, Welsh berw ‘boiling’, Breton berv ‘broth, bubbling’.
  • borne [m] ‘terminal, metal part of an electrical circuit that connects to an external electrical circuit, inner bark of a tree, lukewarm’ from Proto-Celtic *botina ‘troop’., akin to Old Irish buiden and Welsh byddin‘army’ (*budīnā).
    derivatives: bornear [v] ‘to align an object with the view, generally closing one eye, to put a gun/weapon to aim, ie.: to aim a cannon’.
  • bosta [f], ‘excrement from cows and any animal feces, dung, muck, colloquial-derogatory: someone who is a coward, nonsense, shit’.
    derivatives: bostal [m] ‘corral for cattle’, bostar[v] ‘to expel dung, to say very unpleasant or sickening things’, bostear [v], embostear [v], embostar [v] ‘to cover with dung or manure, to dirty something’, bosteiro ‘dung-beetle, lamellicorn beetle’.
  • bouça [f], touça [f], boiça [f], toiça [f] ‘land with overgrown vegetation ie. gorse, broom, heather’, possibly from Proto-Celtic *baudea-, *baud- ‘smear’
  • braço [m] ‘arm'(anatomy), from proto-Celtic *brac- ‘arm’, loanword into Latin ‘brachium’ and Greek βραχίων ‘brakhíôn’; cognate of French ‘bras’, Welsh ‘braich’, Breton ‘brec’h’.
    derivatives: braça, braçada, abraço, abraçar [v]; ‘tree-branch’, ‘breaststroke’, ‘hug,embrace’, ‘to embrace, to hug’. See further list of derived words:

    • antebraço [m] ‘forearm’
    • antebraquial ‘forearm’
    • avambraço ‘forearm’
    • braço-curto
    • braço-de-armas
    • braço-de-ferro
    • braço-de-mono
    • braço-de-preguiça
    • braço-forte
    • braquio
    • cana-de-braço
    • guarda-braço
    • quebra-de-braço
    • queda-de-braço
    • rebraço
    • violão-sem-braço
      There are numerous other Portuguese expressions and colloquialisms deriving from the word braço (arm)
  • braça ‘treelimb, branch’ Latin borrowing branca ‘paw’, from Gaulish *vranca- cognate of French branche, Breton brank, branc’h ‘bough, antlers’, Scots-Gaelic bràc ‘branch, antler; reindeer’
  • braga [f] ‘[Old] Hoop iron that held the fetter, male type of trouser, wall that served as a fortification junk, type of naval crane to lift and move weights (ships), small four-string type of guitar’. From [Proto-Celtic] *braco-, cognate of Galician, Spanish, Occitan braga, French braie, Italian brache.
    derivatives: braguilha [f] ‘trouser-flier, braguinha [f] ‘small guitar’, bragal [m] ‘coarse fabric whose plot is cord, underclothes, old measurement for land demarcation: Portion of a farm (7 or 8 poles) which served as the unit price in certain contracts, set of bucks and fetter’, desbragar [v] ‘to make dissolute, profligate, to drop your buckles’, desbragado[m] ‘riotous, foul-mouthed, indecorous, libertine, dissolute, immoral’, desbragadamente ‘indecorously’, desbragamento [m] ‘riotous quality, ribaldry, impropriety (behaviour), Bracarense ‘relating to Braga, native of that city’, brácaro ‘a person native of Braga’, bracamarte ‘old claymore sword which was swung with both hands’.
  • bravo [m] ‘brave, daring, wild’ from Gaulish *bragos ‘show-off’, akin to French brave, Italian bravo ‘bold’, Occitan/Catalan brau ‘wild’, Irish breá, Scots gaelic brèagh, Cornish bray, Breton braga ‘to strut around’.
    derivatives: bravura [v], braveza [v] bravery, courage, desbravar [v] ‘to pave, to clear, to trace out’, bravio ‘untamed, ferocious, undomesticated, rude’, braviamente ‘(to behave) in a daring, brave, courageous way or manner’
  • brejo [m] ‘marsh, marshland, moor’ from Celtic *vroikos- akin to French ‘bruyère’ (often used as Botanical name for Heather but also meaning marsh=marais), old Gaulish ‘brucus’ (heather blossom), Breton ‘brug’ Welsh ‘grug’, Irish and Scottish Gaelic ‘fraoch’, Galician ‘breixo’, Occitan ‘bruga’.
    derivatives: bregiais, bregieira, bregieiros, bregio, breja, brejão, brejeira, brejenjas, brejinho, brejioso, brejoeira, brejões, brejos all relating to ‘marsh, marshlands, moors’, and also brejeiro, brejeirice, brejeirar [v], ‘meaning naughty person, slightly saucy or cocky talk or behaviour’.
  • brenha [f] ‘thick bush’ from Celtic *brigna- hill.
    derivatives: embrenhar [v] ‘to go deep into a bush or forest, figurative: to go deep in thought’, embrenhado ‘someone who is lost in a deep forest or in thought, concentrating on smthg’.
  • brio[28] [m] ‘pride, courage, might, power’, from Italian brio, from Catalan/Old Occitan briu ‘wild’, from Celtic *brigos,[7] cognate of Occitan briu, Old French brif ‘finesse, style’; akin to Old Irish bríg ‘power’, Welsh bri‘prestige, authority’, Breton bri ‘respect’.
    derivatives: brioso ‘proud, brave, exuberant’, briosamente ‘proudly, with dignity’, desbrio‘lacking pride or courage, a cowardly act’, desbrioso ‘someone who acts without pride, a coward, a wimp’
  • brita [f] ‘grit, stone, gravel’ from Proto-Celtic *brīgos ‘strength’, akin to Old Irish bríg ‘force, power, value, Scots-Gaelic brìgh ‘strength’, Welsh bri ‘honour, esteem’.
    derivatives: britar [v] ‘to grit, to crush’, britadeira ‘stone-breaker, trimmer, crusher (machinery)’, britamento ‘act of crushing, grinding’, britador ‘person who crushes stone, crusher, trimmer, stamp’
  • Britânico [m], from Latin loanword britannicus, from Britannia; akin to Welsh pryd“form”, Irish cruth’
  • broche [m], ‘brooch’, clasp, clip, fastener: from Old French broche “a spit,” from Vulgar Latin (*)brocca “a nail, spike,” from Latinbroccus, brocchus “a nail, projecting (adj.), buck-toothed (adj.)” loanword from Celtic (*)brokko- “a pin, badger.”
  • broca ‘drill, skewer, skew-diver, sharp pointed object’ from Gaulish *brocca, akin to French broche ‘drill, skewer’ Scots-Gaelic brog ‘awl; to prod’, Welsh procio ‘to poke, thrust’, Irish broc, Welsh broch, Breton broc’h, Asturian bruecu.
    derivatives: brocar [v] also broquear [v] ‘to drill, to sever’, brocante ‘with a drilling quality’
  • brócolos or brócolis [m] ‘broccoli’
  • bruxa [f] ‘witch, sorcerer’.
    Derivatives:bruxaria, bruxedo ‘witchcraft, sorcery’, bruxulear[v] ,’flicker, shimmer'(of light)’a luz bruxuleia= the light shimmers’, bruxo ‘clairvoyant’
  • bunda [f] ‘bottom, bum (colloquial)’ from Gaulish. bunda ‘base, bottom’, cognate of French bonde, Old Irish bunud, Scots-Gaelic bonn ‘foundation’, Welsh bonedd ‘base, foundation’
  • cabana [f] ‘hut’ Proto-Celtic *cab-
    derivatives: cabine, cabina cabin, gabineteoffice, telecabine cable-car, pessoal de cabinecabin-crew.
  • cadeira [f] ‘chair’ often claimed as Latin cathedra loanword from Greek καθέδρα‘cathedral’; is however very likely from Proto-Celtic *cathair- ‘chair, seat’, akin to Welshcadair Cornish kador, Breton kador, Irishcathaoir, Scottish Gaelic cathair, Manx caair.
    derivatives: cadeira-de-braços ‘armchair’, cadeira-de-rodas ‘wheelchair’, cadeira de escritório ‘office-chair’, cadeirão ‘sofa’
  • cais [m] ‘quay, jetty’, maybe from French (itself from Norman) quai, from proto-Celtic *kag-yo-, akin to Welsh cae, Cornish ke, Breton kae ‘hedge’; French chai ‘cellar’.
  • calhau[m] ‘pebble, stone’, from Celtic *caliavo- cognate of French caillou, Piccardie caillau, Poitou chail, Provençal calado, Asturian cayuela, Welsh caill, Cornish kell, Breton kell, kall, Irish caull ‘testicle’.
    derivatives: calhoada ‘cairn’
  • camba [f] ‘wheel rim’ from proto-Celtic *kambo-, cognate of Old Irish camm‘crooked, bent, curved’. Cognate of Occitan cambeta ‘part of plough’, Limousin Occitan chambija (< *cambica) ‘part of plough’.
    derivatives: cambada, cambeira ‘coil; crooked log for hanging fish’, cambela

    • type of plough’, cambota ‘beam’, encambar [v] ‘to string, to entangle’, cambo ‘pole, bent’
    • câmbio ‘foreign exchange, Forex’ Latin borrowing from Gaulish *cambion ‘exchange’, cognate of French (bureau de) change, Breton kemm ‘exchange’, Old Irish cimb ‘ransom’ Spanish/Italian cambio, Asturian cambéu ‘exchange’.
      derivatives: cambiar [v] ‘to exchange currencies’, cambista ‘Foreign Exchange agent or trader’, cambiante ‘changing, or (chameleons and other animals) with the ability to change colours’
    • caminho[28] [m] ‘pathway’, from Vulgar Latin *cammīnus, from proto-Celtic *kanxsman-,[7][36] cognate of Italian cammino, French chemin, Spanish camino, Catalan camí, Occitan camin ; akin to Old Irish céimm, Breton cam ‘step’.
      derivatives: caminhar ‘to walk’, caminhada‘walk, journey’, caminhante, caminheiro ‘hiker, walker, someone who loves to walk, pilgrim’, caminheira ‘sort of locomotive used in road transportation’, caminhável ‘area or place adept/safe to walk’
    • camisa [f] ‘shirt’ from Latin, from Gaulish camisia. cognate of Spanish/Occitan camisa, Italian camicia, French chainse.
      derivatives: camisola ‘jersey’, camiseta‘undershirt, singlet’, camisa-de-dormir‘nightgown’, camisa-de-Venus or camisinha‘condom’ (colloquial)
    • camurça ‘chamois, suede, fawn’ Latinised ‘camox’ from Celtic *kamoke, akin to French ‘chamois’

    derivatives: acamurçado, camurçado ‘made of suede, suede-like’, acamurçar [v], encamurçar[v] ‘to cover with leather, to die or treat leather making it look like suede’, camurcina‘suedette’ (fabric)

    • canapé ‘Canapé’ from Latin ‘canāpēum’ mosquito net, from Old French *conopé- ‘small-size open sandwich’
    • canastra [f] ‘basket, large basket’ from Old French ‘banaste’, from Celtic *benna- ‘straw-basket’.
      derivatives: canastrada ‘basket load, contents in a basket’, canastrão ‘big basket, pejorative for bad acting or public performance’, canastreiro ‘someone who makes straw baskets as a trade, canastrel ‘small basket with a handle and cover’, canastrice ‘poor performance or show’.
    • canga [f] ‘collar, yoke’, from Celtic *kambika.
    • cangalha [f] ‘shoulder yoke’, from Celtic *kambika.
    • canto [m] ‘rim, corner’, from proto-Celtic *kanto-, akin to Old Irish cét ’round stone pillar, Welsh cant ‘tire rim’, Breton kant ‘disk’; cognate of Old French chant, Occitan cant.
      derivatives: cantoneiro ‘road worker’, cantonar[v] ‘railway traffic control’, recanto‘corner’, cantinho ‘small corner’, Cantão, Cantonal ‘Swiss Canton, relating to Canton’s legal affairs or government, acantoar[v] or acantonar ‘to hide, to isolate’, canteiro‘vegetable plot, flowerbed, border’, acanteirar[v], encanteirar ‘to place/arrange in pods'(gardening, bottles, etc.), encanteirado‘in a pod’, cantonado ‘engraved corner (heraldry)’.
    • carro [m] ‘cart, wagon’, from Vulgar Latin carrum, from proto-Celtic *karro-, cognate of Rumanian car, Italian carro, French char, Provençal car, Spanish carro; akin to Irish carr, Welsh car, Breton karr.
      derivatives: carroça ‘cart’, carregar ‘to load’, carroçaria ‘bodywork’ (vehicle), carruagem‘carriage’, carreto ‘load’, carrinha ‘van’, carro-de-mão ‘wheelbarrow’, carrossel ‘carousel’.
    • carvalho [m] ‘common oak’ from *cassīcos, from Celtic *cassos ‘curly, twisted’,[19] akin to Irish cas ‘twist, turn, spin’, Old Welsh cascord ‘to twist’; cognate of Asturian caxigu, Aragonese caixico, Gascon casse, French chêne ‘oak’ (< *cassanos).
      derivatives: carvalhal ‘oak woods’, carvalha, carvalheira, carvalheiro, carvalhiça, carvalhinha all related to different oak-tree sizes
    • caixigo [m] ‘oak; Portuguese oak’, from *cassīcos, from Celtic *cassos ‘curly, twisted’,[40][41] akin to Irish cas ‘twist, turn, spin’, Old Welsh cascord ‘to twist’; cognate of Asturian caxigu, Aragonese caixico, Gascon casse, French chêne ‘oak’ (< *cassanos).
    • carpinteiro [m] ‘carpenter’, from Proto-Celtic *carbanto- ‘(wooden) chariot, wooden box’.
      derivatives: carpintaria ‘carpentry’, carpintar[v] and carpintejar[v] ‘to do wood-works’, carpinteiragem ‘carpentry works’.
    • cerveja[28] [f] ‘beer’, from Vulgar Latin *cerevisia, from Gaulish[42] Cognates: Old French cervoise, Provençal, Spanish cerveza; akin to Old Irish coirm, Welsh cwrw, Breton korev.
      derivatives: cervejaria[f] ‘brewery, brasserie, beer hall’, cervejeiro ‘brewer’
    • charrua [f] ‘plow’, from Celtic *carros- car, with Latin borrowing carruca.
      derivatives: charruar[v] ‘to plow’, charrueco ‘a rough plowing machine’
    • cheda[f] ‘lateral external board of a cart, where the crossbars are affixed’, via Medieval Latin cleta, from proto-Celtic *klētā-,[7][25][28][43]cognate of Irish cloí (cloidhe) ‘fence’, clíath‘palisade, hurdle’, Welsh clwyd ‘barrier, wattle, scaffolding, gate’, Cornish kloos ‘fence’, Breton kloued ‘barrier, fence’; cognate of French claie‘rack, wattle fencing’, Occitan cleda, Catalan cleda ‘livestock pen’, Basque gereta.
    • choco [m] ‘cowbell; squid’, from proto-Celtic *klokko-,[7][25][44] akin to Old Irish clocc, Welsh cloch, Breton kloc’h; cognate of Asturian llueca and llócara ‘cowbell’, French cloche ‘bell’, German Glock.
      derivatives: chocar ‘to bang, to shock’, chocalho ‘cowbell’.
    • clã [m] ‘clan’, from Gaelic *clann- from Old Irish ‘cland’ meaning children or family.
    • coelho [m] ‘rabbit’, likely from Celtiberian *cun-icos ‘little dog’[11] akin to Irish coinân, Cornish conyn, Manx coneeyn, Gaelic coineanach, Galician coello, Welsh cwningen, Catalan conill, Danish/Swedish/Norwegian kanin, Dutch konijn, Finnish kani, Frisian knyn, German Kanninchen, Icelandic kanína, Italian coniglio, Romansh cunigl, Spanish conejo, Veneto conéjo.
      derivatives: coelheira ‘rabbit hutch’, coelheiro‘(dog) good at hunting rabbits’, rabicoelha(ornithology) also rabiscoelha‘corncrake, spotted crake’, coelhinha ‘bunny’
    • colmeia[28] [m] ‘beehive’, from a Celtic form *kolmēnā ‘made of straw’,[45] from *kolmos ‘straw’, which gave Leonese cuelmo; cf. Welsh calaf “reed, stalk”, Cornish kalav“straw”, Breton kolo “stalk”).
      derivatives: colmeeiro ‘hiver’, colmeal‘beekeeping space, area’
    • comba [f] ‘valley, inflexion’, from proto-Celtic *kumbā,[7][25][46] cognate of North Italian comba, French combe, Occitan comba; akin to Irish com, Welsh cwm ‘hollow (land form)’, Cornish komm ‘small valley, dingle’, Breton komm ‘small valley, deep water’.
    • combo [m] (adj.) ‘curved, bent’, from Celtic *kumbo-, cognate of Provençal comb, Spanish combo.
      derivatives: combar ‘to bend’.
    • cômoro [m] also combro ‘mound, hillock, limit of a patch or field, usually left intentionally unploughed’, from proto-Celtic *kom-ɸare-(yo)-, cognate of Old Irish comair‘in front of’, Welsh cyfair ‘direction, place, spot, acre’. Or either to *kom-boros ‘brought together’.[48]
      derivatives: acomarar ‘to mark out a field (literally to dote with cômoros)’.
    • correia ‘belt, girdle’, Latinised Gaulish *corrigia- “strap”; akin to Old Irish cuimrech “fetter”, Irish creasa ‘belt’ , Scottish Gaelic crios, cuibhreach “bond, chain”, Welsh cyfrwy “saddle”, Middle Welsh kyfreieu “leashes”, Cornish kevrenn “fastening, link”, Breton kevre “link, bond”.
      derivatives: desencorrear [v] ‘to unstrap, to unbridle (a horse)’, encorreadura ‘old leather armour’, correada ‘strike from a belt’
    • creme [m] ‘cream’ from French ‘crème’, in itself a combination of Latin ‘chrisma’ and Gaulish *kram- ‘crust’.
      derivatives: cremoso ‘creamy’, leite-créme ‘one of several popular Portuguese desserts, similar to custard’, creme de barbear ‘shaving cream’, creme de leite ‘milk fat, cream’, creme de pasteleiro ‘cream pastry’, cremosidade‘creaminess’, cremosamente[adv] ‘rich in cream’.
    • crica [f] ‘colloquial for vulva, female genitalia’ from Proto-Celtic *krīkʷā- akin to Old Irish crích ‘juice’, Welsh crib ‘chrest’, Breton krib ‘bent, folded’.
    • croca [f] ‘plough-shaft’ from Proto-Celtic *krowkā- akin to Provençal crauc ‘heap, pile’, Occitan cruca ‘cape’; Irish cruach ‘pile, haystack’, Welsh crug ‘heap, tomb’ and Breton krug ‘heap, tomb’
    • curral [m] ‘corral, pen; corner’, from Celtic *korro-,[7] akin to Middle Irish cor ‘circle, turn’, corrán ‘sickle’, Welsh cor ‘enclosure’, Cornish kor ‘turn, veering’.
    • dólmen [m] ‘, from Gaulish/Breton *taol maen- ‘table-shapped stone’
    • dorna [f] ‘a type of boat; trough, measurement (volume)’,[49] from proto-Celtic *durno- ‘fist’,[50] Irish dorn fish, Breton dorn‘hand’; Akin to Old French, Occitan dorn, ‘a handful’.[51] Nevertheless, the Asturian duerna‘bowl’ demand a form **dorno-.
    • duna [f] ‘dune’, from Gaulish *duno or *dunum
    • embaixada [f] ’embassy’, from Provençal ambaissada, from ambaissa ‘service, duty’, from proto-Celtic *ambactos ‘servant’,[52] akin to Welsh amaeth ‘farm’, Cornish ammeth‘farming’, Old Breton ambaith.
      derivatives: embaixador [m] ‘ambassador’, embaixatriz ‘madam-ambassador’
    • embaraço [m] ’embarrassment, shame’; likely a combination of Celtic *- a noose, or rope combined with the prefix em- (from Latin im- for “in-“) with.
      derivatives: [v] embaraçar, embaraçado ‘to embarrass or cause shame to someone’, ’embarrassed’. desembaraçado ‘someone who is expedite, diligent’, desembaraçar [v] ‘to get rid of, to untangle’, desembaraço‘resourcefulness’, embaraçante, embaraçoso’embarrassing, shameful, vexing’, embaraçosamente ‘in a pickle’.
    • engo [m] ‘dwarf elder, loniceraceous plant similar to the elder’
    • enga [f] ‘grassland, pasture’
    • escombros ‘rubble, ruins, debris’ via Latinised combrus ‘barricade of felled trees’ from Gaulish combero ‘river fork, dam’, cognate of Spanish escombro, French décombres akin to Breton kember, Welsh cymmer, Irish comar, cumar
    • estanho[m] ‘tin, pewter’ Latinised stagnum, var. stannum, from Gaulish *stannon (according to Pliny), cognate of French étain, Spanish estaño, Mantuan stajgn ‘hard’, Irish stán, Old Scots-Gaelic stàn, Welsh ystaen, Cornish sten, Breton stean.
      derivatives: estanhar [v] (chemistry Sn), ‘to tin (a surface/material)’, estânico ‘made of tin, pewter, relating to tin, acid or salts resulted from tin and some salts high on metal contents’, estanato (chemistry) ‘salt from tin acid’
    • faia [f] ‘beech tree’ from proto-Celtic *bagos- from Latin loanword ‘fagea’, cognate of Irish ‘feá’, Welsh ‘ffawydd’, Italian ‘faggio’, Spanish ‘haya’.
      derivatives: faial, faiado, faiar [v], desfaiar [v]; ‘beechwood’, ‘loft’, ‘to insert, intercalate’, ‘to fall (down a rocky cliff)’
    • flanela [f] ‘flannel’ from Brittonic or proto-Celtic *u̯lan-ello-s, meaning “little woollen thing”, via Gaulish vlana ‘wool’, cognate of French flanelle, Jersian flianné ‘flannel’, Mantuan flanèla ‘flannel’ Welsh gwlân ‘wool’, gwlanen ‘flannel’, Cornish gwlan, Breton gloan, Irish olann .
      derivatives: flanelógrafo [m] ‘coated frame or table normally done with velcro’, flanelinha [f] (colloquial) ‘parking attendant’.
    • fronha [f] ‘(ugly) face, pillow-case’, from Celtic *srogna- ‘nose, nostril’.
      derivatives: porta-fronha ‘main front-door of a house’, enfronhar [v] ‘to cover a pillow with a case, to disguise or mislead, to educate or inform’, desenfronhar [v] ‘to remove a pillow-case, to undress, to speak up’, afronhado ‘in the shape of a pillowcase’
    • gabela [f] ‘handful, faggot’, from Proto-Celtic *gabalā or *gabaglā-, cognate of French javelle, Provençal gavela, Spanish gavilla; akin to Old Cornish gavael ‘catch, capture’, Irish gabháil ‘get, take, grab, capture’, gabhal ‘fork’.
    • gafa [f] ‘hook, grip’ from Proto-Celtic *gabalā ‘hold, grab’ akin to Cornish gavel, Old Breton gabael, Old Irish gabál, verbal noun of *gabi- (“to take, hold”) (compare Old Irish gaibid), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰh₁bʰ-
      derivatives: gafanhoto [m] ‘grasshopper’
    • gancho [m] ‘hook, hairpin’ from Celtic *ganskio or *gansco ‘branch’, akin to Old Irish gesca, French jachère, Spanish gancho.
      derivatives: ganchar, enganchar [v] ‘to hook smthg, to grab/hang/hold with a hook’, desenganchar ‘to unhook, to free (from hook)’, gancheado ‘hook shaped’
    • galão [m] ‘galon (liquid measure), braid, stripe, galloon, Portuguese traditional caffe-latte drink from Gaulish *glāvo ‘rain’, akin to Welsh glaw ‘rain’, Breton glao, Cornish glaw, Catalan galleda ‘bucket’
    • galga [f] ‘plain stone’, from *gallikā, to Proto-Celtic *gallos ‘stone’,[25] akin to Irish gall, French galet ‘gravel’ gallete ‘plain cake’.
      derivatives: galgar [v] ‘carving a stone to make it plain and regular’.
    • galgo [m] ‘greyhound dog’ from Latin loanword ‘gallîcus'(Gaulish, from Gaul); from Old French *Gaule- or *Waulle- (“Gaul”), from Frankish *Walholant- ‘Gaul, Land of the Romans, foreigners’, from Frankish *Walha- ‘foreigners, Romans, Celts’.
    • galhardo [m] ‘gallant, distinguished man’, from Celtic *gal- force, via Gaulish *galia- combined with Latin suffix ‘art’ or ‘ard’.
      derivatives: galhardete, galardão ‘award’ galardoar [v] ‘to award, to recognise someone officially’; galã, galanteio, galante, galanteador ‘gallant, charming, flattery, innuendo, flirtatious, seducer’; galhardear ‘to show off, to be ostentatious’, galhardia‘elegance, grandeur, generosity’, Gala ‘Gala, ceremony’.
    • galocha [f] ‘Wellington boots’, from French ‘galoche’, from Gaulish *gallos + -oche ‘hard-sole shoes’ also known by the Romans as gallica ‘Gaulish shoes’.
    • garça [f] ‘egret’, (often mistaken with Latin ardĕa-) from Celtiberian *cárcia- akin to Breton kerc’heiz, Cornish kerghydh, Spanish garza.
      derivatives: garço ‘colour: greenish-blue, greenish’, garção ‘large heron’, also (rare) from French garçon ‘waiter’, garça-real ‘Heron’, garça-ribeirinha ‘grey-heron’, garça-boieira‘white-egret’.
    • garrote [m] ‘quadruped animal shoulders, torture instrument which causes bleeding’ from Proto-Celtic *garra- ‘leg’ and diminutive *garrito- ‘small leg’.
    • garra [f] ‘(animal)claw, grip’ also meaning ‘bravery,courage,strength’ from proto-Celtic *garra- ‘leg’ same as above.
      derivatives: agarrar [v] ‘to grab, to hold, to catch’, garrar [v] ‘to drift, to float (nautical), to split, to cut a suture (medical)’, desgarrar [v] ‘to take off course (nautic), to escape, to go off course, to be erratic’, desgarre ‘cockiness, audacity’, desgarrado ‘daring, erratic, audacious, extrovert, perverse’, Desgarrada‘Portuguese popular song involving several singers who dare one another by improvising the verses. Probably a Provençal-Occitan influence originally, Garrano ‘Garrano wild horse-breed’
    • gato [m] ‘cat’ from Latin loanword ‘cattus’ from Gaulish ‘cattos’ from Proto-Celtic *cath- cognate of French ‘chat’, English ‘cat’, Italian ‘gatto’, German ‘Katze’, Welsh ‘cath’, Irish ‘cat’, Catalan ‘gat’, Spanish ‘gato’, Greek ‘γάτα’.
      derivatives: gatinhar [v],gatinha, to crawl (baby-crawl), ‘pussycat, attractive female’, several expressions/idioms like: aqui há gato, trocar gato por lebre ‘English equivalent to ‘I smell a rat’, ‘to rip someone off’.
    • gilbardeira also gilbarbeira[f] ‘myrtle, bog myrtle’ *possibly from Proto-Celtic *raddi- see Middle-Irish ‘raidleog’, Irish Gaelic ‘raideog’ Manx ‘roddagagh’
    • goiva [f] ‘gouge, chisel, grooving plane, also a deep, narrow stream’ from Proto-Celtic ‘gulbia’ or ‘guvia’ from *gulb- ‘beak’, akin to French gouge, Italian gubba, Spanish guba, Old Irish ‘gulba’ Irish gealbhán (bird) and Welshgylyf ‘sickle’ and gylf ‘hilltop’.
      derivatives: goivar[v] ‘to groove (with a plane), to hurt someone’, goivadura ‘cut, cavity made with a grooving plane’, goiveira ‘Dame’s violet plant’, goivo ‘dame’s violet (flower)’
    • gorar [v] ‘sickness, rotting of an egg (hatching), to get confused (thought)’, from Proto-Celtic *gʷor-,[56][57] akin to Old Irishguirid, Welsh and Cornish gori ‘to hatch (eggs)’ and Breton goriñ.
      derivatives: goro ‘unfertilized egg, failure, misfortune’, gorado ‘an egg which didn’t hatch, a failed situation or unfortunate person’.
    • gravilha [f] ‘gravel, grit’ Celtic *graua- akin to Old French ‘gravier’.
      derivatives: greve (via French ‘grève’) ‘strike (workers’ union)’, greve-geral ‘general strike’, grevista ‘someone who strikes or leads a strike movement’, greve de fome ‘hunger strike’.
    • jante [f] ‘wheel rim’, Latinised borrowing ‘canthus’ < Gaulish *cantos, cognate of French jante, Breton kant ‘ring’, Welsh cant ‘felloe, rim’, Irish cétal, Scots-Gaelic canó, Piccardie gante, Occitan cant
    • lançar [v] ‘to launch, to throw’ Latinised borrowing ‘lancea’ from Gaulish *lankia, akin to Mantuan lansa ‘lance’ and lansér ‘lancer’, Mid-Irish do-léicim ‘I toss, fling, launch’, Italian ‘lancia’, Spanish ‘lanza’. Probably initially loanword into Latin ‘plāga’ from Indo-european or Old Germanic *plāk-. The loss of the original /pl into /l is common in the old Celtic languages.
      derivatives: lança ‘spear’, lanço ‘small trap’, lanceolado ‘lanceolate’, lançamento ‘launch’, lançada ‘a spear-strike’
    • landa [f], lande [f] ‘uncultivated or sandy plot’ from Proto-Celtic *landā,[15][29][58] akin to Old Irish lann ‘land, church’, Welsh lann ‘church lands’, French lande ‘sandy plot’, Provençaland Catalan landa.
    • lapa [f] ‘grotto, den, limpet, lighting, slap, bee’ from Proto-Celtic *lappa, akin to Irish Gaelic lapa ‘paw, flipper’, Polish łapa ‘paw, flipper, mutton fist’
      derivatives: lapinha ‘small grotto, rock shelter’, lapeira ‘rectangular knife for collecting limpets and other sea molluscs’, lapão ‘person with no manners, peasant, rude, gluton’
    • lage[28][59] [f] ‘stone slab’, from the medieval form lagena, from proto-Celtic *ɸlāgenā,[13] cognate of Old Irish lágan, láigean, Welsh llain ‘broad spearhead, blade’; akin to Irish láighe ‘mattock, spade’.
    • lavego [m], lavega [f], labego [m] ‘plough’, from Proto-Celtic *ɸlāw-aiko/ɸlāwo-, akin to Lombard plovum’, German ‘Pflug’ and English’plough’.
    • légua[60] [f] ‘league’, to Proto-Celtic *leukā, cognate of French lieue, Spanish legua; akin to Old Irish líe (genitive líag) ‘stone’, Irish lia
    • leira [f] ‘plot, delimited and levelled field’, from the medieval form laria, from proto-Celtic *ɸlār-yo-,[7][61] akin to Old Irish làr ‘ground, floor’, Breton leur ‘ground’, Welsh llawr ‘floor’.
      derivatives: leiro ‘small, ou unleveled, plot’, leirar ‘land working’, leiroto, leiria ‘place of small plots, allotments’.
    • limo [m] ‘silt, mudwort’, from Celtic *leim- ‘mud’, cognate of French limon
    • lisonja [f] ‘flattery’, from Gaulish *lausinga- cognate of old French losenge, Provençal lauzenja ‘lie’.
      derivatives: lisonjear ‘to flatter, lisongeioalternative spelling of ‘flattery’ , lisonjeado‘flattered
    • lousa also loisa [f] ‘flagstone’, ‘trap’, from Proto-Celtic *laws-, cognate of Provençal lausa, Spanish losa, French losenge‘diamond’.
      derivatives: enlousar ‘to cover with flagstones’, lousado ‘roof’, lousão ‘large flagstone’, louseiro or loiseiro’ ‘stone-mason’, enlousar[v]’to cover with stones, to make a stone wall, to trap, to trick or fool someone’
    • lota ‘fish auction’, Latinised borrowing ‘lota’ < Gaulish *lotta ‘flat fish’[62] akin to French lotte, Old Irish lethaid ‘he extends, expands’, Welsh lledu, llydan ‘flounders’ Cornish leyth ‘flounder, flat-fish’
    • manto ‘cloack, cover, veil, cape’ Latinised borrowing ‘mantum, mantellum’ from Gaulish *mantlon- ‘covering, akin to French manteau, Basque mantar ‘shirt, barque tarpaulin’, Mantuan mantèl ‘coat’, Spanish mantilla, Breton malan, manal, Cornish manal ‘sheaf’.
      derivatives: manta ‘mantle, coverlet, blanket’, manta-de-retalhos ‘patchwork blanket or quilt’, manta-morta (ecology) ‘biomass’, Manta [f] ‘sparrow-hawk endemic to Madeira’ (ornithology), mantear ‘to toss a cape, to hoe the soil (a small garden or plot) in lines
    • marga ‘marl’ Latinised borrowing ‘margila’ (“argilla” white clay) from Gaulish *marga- akin to French marne, Spanish/Asturian marga, Lyonese margagni ‘deep mud, muck’, Breton marg, German Mergel
    • menir [m] or menhir [m], ‘menhir’, megalithic stone structures prolific in Atlantic Europe. From Breton men ‘stone’ and hir ‘long’ cognate of Gaelic ‘maen hir’
    • menino [m], menina [f] ‘kid, child, baby’, from medieval mennino, from proto-Celtic *menno-, akin to Old Irish menn ‘kid (goat)’, Irish meannán, Welsh myn, Breton menn.
      derivatives: meninice or meninez ‘childhood, infancy, childishness’, meninote ‘nipper’, [m].
    • minhoca [f] ‘earthworm’, from medieval *milocca, from Proto-Celtic *mîlo-, akin to Asturian milu, merucu ‘earthworm’, Irish míol‘worm, maggot’, Welsh, Breton mil ‘animal’.
      Derivative: minhoquice ‘unfounded suspicions, brooding on smthg unimportant’
    • olga [f], ‘small farming land, plain between hills’, from Proto-Celtic *ɸolkā, cognate of French ouche and Provençal olca.
    • peça [f] ‘piece’, from Vulgar Latin *pettia, from Gaulish petsi, from proto-Celtic *kʷezdi, cognate of Italian pezza, French pièce, Spanish pieza; akin to Old Irish cuit (Irish cuid) ‘piece, share, part’, Welsh peth‘thing’, Breton pez.
    • penêdo [m] ‘cliff, boulder’
    • pisco [m] ‘robin, twinkle, blink’ from Celtic, likely Gaulish *pincio- cognate of Welsh pinc, Breton pint, French pinson, Tuscan pincióne.
      derivatives: piscar[v] ‘to twinkle, to blink’, colloquial expression ‘num piscar de olhos= in the blink of an eye’, pisca ‘small grain, cigaret but, spark’, pisca-pisca ‘warning-light, parking-light (vehicles)’, piscadela (de olho) ‘(eye) twinkle’ (often implying naughtiness)
    • raia [f] ‘ray, line, streak, trail, groove, ray-fish’ from Celtic *rica- ‘furrow’, line on a field (agriculture) created by a plow.
      derivatives: raiar[v] ‘to shine (in rays of light), to rise’, raio ‘ray, thunderbolt, radius, thin and long metal piece’, raiado ‘with (shiny)lines, streaks’.
    • rego [m], ‘furrow, ditch’, from proto-Celtic *ɸrikā,[16][17][18] akin to Welsh rhych, Breton reg, Scottish/Irish riach ‘trace left from something’; cognate of French raie, Occitan, Catalan rega, Basque erreka, Italian riga‘wrinkle’.
      derivatives: regueira ‘small water canal’, regato‘stream, gully, glen’, regatear [v] ‘to haggle, to bargain’, regateio ‘quibble’, regateável‘arguable (price)’, regateiro ‘person who haggles, presumptuous’
    • rocha [f] ‘rock’ from old Breton *roc’h- ‘rock, stone’ with Latin borrowing rocca.
      derivatives: rochedo ‘big rock’, rochoso ‘rocky area’, barronco, barranco, barroca ‘cliff, ravine, pit, hole on the ground’, barrocal ‘(geology) area with pits ie. clay pits or holes’, barrocão‘large pit’
    • rodovalho [m], ‘hefty, short man (with a beard), ‘pleuronectidae type of fish (round and flat in shape)’ from Celtic *roto-ball-jo- [28] [m], da forma composta celta *roto-ball-jo-,[68]meaning ’round edges’, akin to Irish roth‘wheel’, Welsh rhod, and Breton rod combined with Irish ball ‘member, organ’.
    • saiote[69] [m] ‘peticoat, under-skirt’ and saia [f] ‘skirt’, from the medieval form sagia, from an ancient Celtic form from which also Latin sagum ‘robe’.[70]
    • sável [m] ‘shad (fish)’, from proto-Celtic *sabalos-, akin to Old Irish sam ‘summer’.
      derivatives: savelha [fm] and alternative saboga ‘Yellowtail’, smaller fish of the same ‘Alosa’ family
    • seara [f] also senra(archaic), sown field recently broken up, but which is left fallow’, from a medieval form senara, a Celtic compound of *seni- ‘apart, separated’ (cf. Old Irish sain ‘alone’, Welsh han ‘other’) and *aro- ‘ploughed field’.[71] (cf. Welsh âr, Irish ár‘ploughed field’).
      derivatives: seareiro ‘cereals farmer, small farmer’
    • seira ‘traditional long and narrow esparto-grass or straw-basket used to transport or keep food (picnics), fruit or nuts *uncertain, probably from the same root as Gaelic seid‘truss of straw, grass, bedspread on the floor’.
      derivatives: seirão ‘large “seira” basket’, enseirar [v] ‘to pack in a straw basket (usually fruit ie. figs, olives), enseiramento ‘act of packing or keeping into straw baskets.
    • tanoeiro [m] cooper from Celtic *tonn- loanword into Latin tunna, cognate of French tonnelier, Spanish tonelero.
      derivatives: tanoaria, tanoar [v], tonel tannery, cooperage, to do cooperage work, wine or beer barrel
    • tasca [f] and tasquinha [m], ‘swingle’, related to Galatian taskós ‘peg, stake’.[72]
    • tona [f] ‘skin, bark, scum of milk, surface of any liquid’, from proto-Celtic *tondā,[7][73][74]cognate of Old Irish tonn, Welsh tonn.
      derivatives: toneira ‘pot for obtaining butter from the milk’, tonel ‘wine barrel’.
    • tojo [m], ‘gorse, furze (Ulex europaeus)’, from Celtic *togi-,[75] akin to Spanish/Gascon toja, French dialectal tuie.
      derivatives: fura-tojos ‘marten’; tojal, tojeira‘place with tojos’.
    • toucinho [m], also toicinho ‘bacon, lard, pork rash’ via Latin ‘tuccinum (lardum)’, from Celtic tucca ‘buttery juice’.
      derivatives: toucinheiro, toicinheiro ‘lard seller, butcher’, toucinho-do-céu ‘Portuguese regional sweet made with almonds and egg yolk’
    • trado [m] ‘auger’, from Proto-Celtic*taratro-, cognate of Irish tarathar, Welsh taradr, Breton tarar, Occitan taraire, Catalan taradre, Spanish taladro, French tarière, Romansch tarader.
      derivatives: tradar, tradear ‘to drill’.
    • tranca [f], tranco [m] ‘beam, pole’, from proto-Celtic *tarankā,[78][79] cognate of Spanish tranca ‘club, cudgel’, French taranche‘screw bar, ratchet (wine press)’, Provençal tarenco; akin to OIr tairinge ‘iron nail, tine’, Ir tairne ‘metal nail, Sc tairnge ‘nail’.
      derivatives: trancar[v] ‘to close, lock or block’, destrancar [v] ‘to open, unlock or unblock smthg. or someone’, trancada ‘to hit someone or smthg. with a bat’, trancaria ‘pile of wood logs’, destrancador ‘opener’
    • trapo ‘ Latinised borrowing from Gaulish *drappo ‘shred, torn-off piece’, cognate of French drap, Spanish/Italian trapo, Welsh drab ‘piece, shred’, drabio ‘to tear into pieces’.
      derivatives: trapeira ‘trap, shabby woman, dorner window, skipper’s post (nautical)’, entrapar [v] ‘to wrap, cover or bandage (ie. an injury) poorly’
    • trevo [m] ‘clover’, from Proto-Celtic *trebno- farm house, homestead, akin to Irishtreb, Cornish tre, Welsh tref, Asturian truébanu, French trèfle, Spanish trébol and Catalantrèvol.
    • trincar [v] ‘to bite, to snap’, uncertain from Gaulish *trincare- to cut (the head), also possible Latin loanword *trinicāre- (cut into three pieces) cognate of old Provençal trencar, Catalan trencar, French trancher.
      derivatives: tranche ‘slice’, retrincar, retrinco ‘to chew, to cut into smaller pieces’, ‘patch of a bigger piece’, trinco [m] ‘latch’ (door, window, gate), from Gaulish, possibly from Proto-Celtic *trenco- ‘small piece’,
    • truta [f] ‘trout’, from Celtic *tructa- freshwater fish of the salmon family.[21]Cognate of French truite, English trout, Catalan truita, Spanish trucha, Italian trota’.
    • truão ‘tramp, fool, beggar, impostor’ from Celtic *trugo ‘miserable’ akin to French truand, Scots-Gaelic truaghan, Spanish truhan, Breton truc, Irish trogha.
      derivatives: truanice, truania ‘scam, trickery’, truanear [v] ‘to trick, to fool someone’
    • varanda [f] ‘balcony, veranda’ from *varandā, from *rannā “part, portion”; Welsh rhan, Cornish/Breton rann, Irish roinn.
      derivatives: varandim, varandinha ‘small verandah’, varandado ‘Brazilian type of porch in colonial country houses’
    • varga [f] ‘hut; wall made of hurdles; hurdle, fence’, from Celtic *wraga,[80][81]French barge, akin to Old Irish fraig, Irish fraigh‘braided wall, roof, pen’, Br gwrac’hell ‘haybale, rick of hay’.
    • várgea, vargem, vargedo, vargeiro‘agricultural land or open meadow’ (usually referring to cereal or vegetables cultivation) from Gaulish *bargā-, akin to Catalan, Occitan, Ligurian barga “wattle hut”, Middle-Irish barc ‘fort; woodshed’.
    • vasculho [m] ‘bundle of straw; broom’, from proto-Celtic *baski- ‘bundle’,[7] cognate of Gascon bascojo ‘basket’, Asturian bascayu‘broom’, Breton bec’h ‘bundle, load’.
    • vassalo [m] from Vulgar Latin vassalus, from proto-Celtic *wasto-,[7][22] cognate of French vassal, Spanish vasallo, Middle Irish foss ‘servant’, Welsh gwas ‘servant; lad’, Breton gwaz.
    • vassoura [f] or vassoira [f] ‘broom’ from Proto-Celtic *basca- or *baski- ‘bind, tangle’,[7]via Gaulish bascauda, akin to French bâche ‘canvas sheet, tarpaulin’ Gascon bascojo ‘hanging basket’, Asturian bascayu, Béarn bascoyes, Welsh basg ‘plaiting’, Middle Irish basc ‘neckband’.
      derivatives: vassoirar [v] or vassourar [v] ‘to sweep with a broom’, vassourada or vassoirada ‘broom sweep, broomstick strike/hit’
    • velenho ‘henbane’, via Celtiberian belenion < bhel* ‘shiny, burning’ cognate of Old Irish béal ‘sun’, Spanish beleño, Welsh bela. Same etymology as Belenus the Celtic sun-God
    • vereda [f] ‘main road’, from the medieval form vereda, from Celtic *uɸo-rēdo-, ‘pathway’; akin to Welsh gorwydd ‘steed’, Vulgar Latin veredus ‘horse’, French palefroi‘steed’ (< *para-veredus).
      derivatives: enveredar[v] ‘to take or chose a path or direction in life or profession’
    • vidoeiro [m] (alternative, archaic spellings bidoeiro [m] or bidoeira [f] ‘birch’, from Celtic *betu- or *betū-, cognate of Catalan beç, Occitan bèç (< bettiu), French bouleau, Italian betulla (< betula); akin to Irish beith, Welsh bedw, Breton bezv.
      derivatives: vidoeiral ‘place with birch-trees’.

    Projections on Celtic vocabulary (excluding more modern French and other loanwords), toponyms and derivations in Portuguese, indicate over 1,000 words.


    • abóbora “pumpkin”
    • arroio “brook, stream”
    • baía “bay” (cf. Basque ibai ‘river’)
    • balsa “ferry”
    • barranco “ravine”
    • barranceira “steep climb or cliff” (normally above water)
    • barro “mud; clay”
    • bizarro “quaint, bizarre”
    • boina “Basque berret”
    • cabaça “kalabash, gourd”
    • cachorro “puppy”
    • carapaça “shell, armour”
    • cama “bed” (Vulgar Latin: cama)
    • cavaco “small woods”
    • charco “puddle”
    • gordo “fat individual or liquid”
    • gordura “lard, fat content”
    • manteiga “butter”
    • mata, mato “woods”
    • medronheiro “strawberry-tree”
    • mochila “rucksack, backpack”
    • morro “hill”
    • mouta, moita “bush”
    • sapato “shoe”
    • sapo “toad”
    • silo “silo” (cf. Basque zilo ‘hole’)

    Projections on Iberian vocabulary, toponyms and derivations in Portuguese, indicate just a few dozen words in total.

Influences from outside Europe

With the Portuguese discoveries linguistic contact was made, and the Portuguese language became influenced by other languages with which it came into contact outside Europe. In Brazil, many placenames and local animals have Amerindian names, the same occurring with the local Bantu languages in Angola and Mozambique.


  • Babá (babysitter), a name developed by the slaves to wet-nurses
  • Bungular (to dance like African wizards) from Kimbundu kubungula
  • Cachimbo (smoking pipe) from Kimbundu
  • Careca (bald) from Kimbundu
  • Cabiri (small domestic animal) from Kimbundu kabiribiri
  • Cafuné (caress on the head) from Kimbundu kifumate
  • Capoeira (Brazilian martial art) from Kikongo kipura (cf. Port. & Lat. cap)
  • Cubata/Kubata (African hut/shack) from Kimbundu kubata
  • Marimba (musical instrument) from Bantu marimba/malimba
  • Missanga (glass beads for threading) from Kimbundu

The country name “Angola” is from a Bantuword, N’gola.


  • Ananás (pineapple) from Tupi–Guaraninaná
  • Abacaxi (pineapple) from Tupi ibá + cati
  • Açaí (açaí palm) from Tupi–Guaraniïwaca’i
  • Apache (apache) via Fra. from Yumanepache or apachu
  • Capivara (capybara) from Tupi ka’apiûara
  • Caiaque, Kayak (kayak) via Fra. from Intikut  ᖃᔭᖅ, from Proto-Eskimo qyaq
  • Goiaba (guava) from Arawak guaiaba
  • Jaguar (jaguar) from Tupi–Guaranijaguara
  • Jacarandá (jacaranda) from Tupiyakara’nda
  • Maracujá (passionfruit, maracuya) from Tupi moruku’ia
  • Mocassim (moccasin) via Eng. from Algonquian mockasin
  • Moicano (mohican/mahican) via Eng. from Algonquian ma’hi’kan
  • Muriqui (muriqui monkeys) from Tupimuri’ki
  • Piranha (piranha) from Tupi–Guarani pirá+ sainha
  • Sumaúma (kapok, java cotton) Tupisuma’uma
  • Tatu (armadillo) from Guarani tatu
  • Tucano (toucan) from Guarani tucan


  • Bengala reduced form of «cana de Bengala»; Bengala is a golf on the eastern coast of India.
  • Biombo (screen with multiple panels to divide a room) from the Japanese byōbu
  • Canja from malaiala (language of Malabar – Índia) through concani or concanim (Goese).
  • Chá (Tea), from Chinese cha
  • Corja (rabble) from Malay kórchchu
  • Leque abbreviated form of “abano léquio”, where léquio means “related to Léquias islands, south of Japan”.
  • Ramarrão, ramerrão or rame-rame(monotonous sound), from Hindi ráma-ráma
  • Manga (mango), from Malay mangga
  • Catana (cutlass) from Japanese katana

The country name Macau is from Chinese A-mok, name of the city’s temple.

Portuguese words of Arabic origin

bombordo= port side of a ship: from French babord “portside”, from Dutch bakboord “left side of a ship”, literally “back side of a ship” (from the fact that most ships were steered from the starboard side), from bak “back, behind”, (from Germanic (*)bakam) + boord “board, side of a ship”, see borde below (in Germanic section). Also see estibordo’ “starboard” below in the Germanic section

berbequim= carpenter’s brace: from regional French veberquin (French vilebrequin), from Dutch wimmelken, from wimmel “auger, drill, carpenter’s brace” + -ken, a diminutive suffix, see maniquí below in Middle Dutch section.


bar (the beverage establishment)
basquetebol or basquete(Brazil) = basketball
bit, byte, and many other computing terms
Champô, shampoo or xampu (Brazil) = shampoo
cheque = Cheque (US English check)
choque = shock
clicar = to click
clique = click
clube = club
cocktail or coquetel(Brazil) = cocktail
deletar = to delete
estandarte = standard
faroeste = far west, Western,
fashion = adj., fashionable
futebol = football
hamburguer = cheeseburger, hot dog, hamburger, fast food
interface = interface
marketing = marketing
mesmerizar = mesmerize
mouse = computer mouse
Nylon or náilon (Brazil) = nylon
revolver = revolver
realizar = to realize
sanduiche, sanduíche, sandes = sandwich
show = adj., something with showlike qualities, spectacular
telemarketing, know-how
teste = test
turista = tourist
vagão, vagonete = wagon
voleibol = volleyball


aguentar = to endure, bear, resist: from Italian agguantare “to retain, take hold of” (originally “to detain with gauntlets”), from a- + guanto “gauntlet”, from Frankish (*)want (see guante below) + verbal suffix -are (suffix changed to -ar in Spanish).
alojar= to lodge, to house, to provide hospitality: from Old French loge, see lonja below.
alojamento = lodging (hospitality): from Old French logo “dwelling, shelter”, from Frankish (*)laubja “covering, enclosure”, from Germanic (*)laubja “shelter” (implicit sense “roof made of bark”)
loja= market, building where merchants and sellers gather: from Old French logo “dwelling, shelter”, from Frankish (*)laubja “covering, enclosure”, from Germanic (*)laubja “shelter” (implicit sense “roof made of bark”), from the IE root (*)leup- “to peel.”
bordar= to embroider: from Frankish (*)bruzdon (source of Old French brouder, brosder and French broder), from Germanic (*)bruzd- “point, needle”, from the IE root (*)bhrs-dh-, from (*)bhrs-, from (*)bhar-, “point, nail.”
crossa or croça= crosier (religion): from Frankish *krukkja (stick with a bent extremity) akin to French crosse, Dutch kruk, German Krücke, English crutch”, Norwegian krykkja.
destacar, destacamento= to detach troops: from French détachar (influenced by Spanish atacar), from Old French destachier “to unattach”, from des- “apart, away” + atachier, a variation of estachier, from estaca, from Frankish stakka, see estaca below in Germanic section.
destacar= to stand out, to emphasize: from Italian staccare “to separate”, from Old French destacher, destachier, see destacar above.
estandarte= a military standard: from Old French estandart, probably from Frankish (*)standhard “standard that marks a meeting place”, (implicit sense: “that which stands firmly”), from (*)standan “to stand”, (from Germanic (*)standan, from the IE root (*)sta- “to stand” [1]) + (*)hard “hard, firm”, see ardid below in Germanic section.
guante= glove, gauntlet: from Catalan guant “gauntlet”, from Frankish (*)want “gauntlet.”
loja= market, building where merchants and sellers gather: from Old French logo “dwelling, shelter”, from Frankish (*)laubja “covering, enclosure”, from Germanic (*)laubja “shelter” (implicit sense “roof made of bark”), from the IE root (*)leup- “to peel.”


burgomestre = (City)mayor from Bürgermeister
chic or chique = Chic from Schick
chope = draft beer from shoppen
chucrute = coleslaw from sauerkraut
cobalto = cobalt from Kobold
estilístico = stylistic from Stylistik
faustebol = faustball
kaput, caputar = broken from kaputt
kitsch = kitsch from Kitsch
land = subdivision of a country, e.g. Germany, or Austria
Leitmotiv = leitmotiv from Leitmotiv
LSD (alucinogénio) = LSD from Lysergsäurediethylamid
metapsicológico, metapsicologia = metapsychology from Metapsychologie (S. Freud)
plancton = plancton from Plankton
poltergeist = poltergeist from Poltergeist
pragmatismo = pragmatism from Pragmatismus
propedêutico = introductory from Propädeutik
protoplasma = protoplasm from Protoplasma
Quartzo = quartz from Quarz
Rösti (culinária) = rösti from Rösti (Swiss Swiss dish of grated potatoes formed into a small flat cake and fried)
sabre = sabre from Sabel
social-democrata = social democrat from Sozialdemokrat
valsa = waltz from Walzer, walzen
vampiro = vampire from Vampir
Vermouth or Vermute = vermouth from Vermut (drink)
Zinco = zinc from Zink

Latin words in Portuguese of Germanic origin

bisonte (from L bisont-,bison from Gmc, akin to OHG wisant, aurochs)
feudal (from Latin feodum, feudum of Gmc origin, akin to OE feoh, cattle, property)
filtro; filtrar= “filter; to filter” from ML filtrum felt from Gmc, akin to OE felt, felt
instalar (from ML installare from stallum of Gmc origin, akin to OHG stal, stall)
sabão= “soap” from Latin sapon-, sapo, soap from Gmc

palco= a balcony, balcony of a theater: from Italian palco, from Langobardic palko “scaffolding”, from Germanic (*)balkōn “beam, crossbeam”, see balcão below in Germanic section.

Middle Dutch

baluarte= bulwark: from Old French boloart “bulwark, rampart, terreplein converted to a boulevard”, from Middle Dutch bolwerc “rampart”,
amarrar= to moor a boat, to tie, to fasten: from French amarrer, “to moor”, from Middle Dutch aanmarren “to fasten”, from aan “on” (from Germanic (*)ana, (*)anō, from the IE root (*)an-[3]) + marren “to fasten, to moor a boat.”
Derivatives: amarra ‘mooring’, amarração ‘binding, strong emotional bond, emotional relationship, mooring’, amarrado ‘determined, obstinate, bound, moored’, amarradura ‘mooring place, knot or tool’
manequim= a mannequin, dummy, puppet: from French mannequin, from (probably via Catalan maniquí) Dutch manneken, mannekijn “little man”, from Middle Dutch mannekijn, from man “a man” (see alemán below in Germanic section) + the diminutive suffix -ken, -kin, -kijn, from West Germanic (*)-kin (cf. Modern German -chen)
rumo= direction, course, route, pomp, ostentation: from Old Spanish rumbo “each of the 32 points on a compass”, from Middle Dutch rume “space, place, rhumb line, storeroom of a ship”, from Germanic rūmaz “space, place”, from the IE root (*)reu- “space, to open”.

Old English

arlequim= harlequin: from Italian arlecchino, from Old French Herlequin “mythic chief of a tribe”, probably from Middle English Herle king, from Old English Herla cyning, Herla Kyning literally King Herla, a king of Germanic mythology identified with Odin/Woden. Cyning “king” is from Germanic (*)kunjan “family” (hence, by extension royal family), from the IE root (*)gen- “to birth, regenerate”.
bote= a small, uncovered boat: from Old French bot, from Middle English bot, boot, from Old English bāt, from Germanic (*)bait-, from the IE root (*)bheid- “to split”.
caneco= jug: from Old English *can- derived from cunnan
caneca= mug: *see above ‘can’
este= east: from French est, from Middle English est, from Old English ēast, from Germanic (*)aust-, from the IE root (*)awes-, aus “to shine”.
norte= north: from Old French nord, from Old English north, from Germanic (*)north-, from the IE root (*)nr-to “north”, from (*)nr- “wiktionary:under, to the left” [8]
oeste= west: from Middle English west, from Old English west, from Germanic (*)west-, from (*)wes-to-, from (*)wes-, from (*)wespero- “evening, dusk” [9]
sul= south (combining form): from Old French sud “south”, from Old English sūth, from Germanic (*)sunthaz, from the IE root (*)sun-, swen-, variants of (*)sāwel- “sun”
sudeste= ‘southeast’ *see above sud+est
sudoeste= ‘southwest’ *see above sud+west

Old High German

banca= bench: see banco= bench below
banco= bench: from Old High German banc “bench, board”
banco= bank: from French banque “bank”, from Italian banca “bench, money changer’s table”, from Old High German banc, see banco= bench above
Old Norse

bife= steak, beefsteak: from English beefsteak, from beef (ultimately from Latin bōs, bovis “cow”, from the IE root (*)gwou- “ox, bull, cow” [11]) + steak, from Middle English steyke, from Old Norse steik “piece of meat cooked on a spit”, from Germanic (*)stik-, see estaca below in the Germanic section.


  • agasalhar= perhaps from Latin *ad-gasaliare, from Visigothic *gasalja (partner, colleague)
  • broa= ‘corn and rye bread’ from Visigothic *brauth
  • guarda= guard, bodyguard, protection: from Visigothic wardja “a guard”, from Germanic
  • wardaz, from the IE root (*)wor-to-, see guardar below in Germanic section.
  • guardião= guardian: from Visgothic wardjan accusative of wardja, see guardia above.
  • atacar= to attack: Old Italian attaccare “to fasten, join, unite, attack (implicit sense: to join in a battle)”, changed from (*)estacar (by influence of a-, common verbal prefix) “to fasten, join”, from Visigothic stakka “a stick, stake”, from Germanic (*)stak-, see estaca in Germanic section.
  • faísca= spark, from Visigothic or Suebian *falwiskan. From medieval ‘falisca’, cognate of Swedish falaska, Mid-High German valwische (*falwiskō), Norse fọlski.
  • gavião= hawk,from Visigothic *gabila, akin to German Gabel ‘fork’.


abandonar= to abandon: from Old French a bandon, from a + bandon “control” from ban “proclamation, jurisdiction, power”, from Germanic (*)banwan, (*)bannan “to proclaim, speak publicly”
abandono= abandonment, solitude
abandonado= abandoned, rejected, derelict
abordar= to board a ship, to approach, to undertake: from a- + bordo “side of a ship”, variation of borde, see borde below
abotoar: to button: from a- + botão “button”, see botão below
abrasar= to burn, to parch: from a- + brasa “a coal, ember” (see brasa below) + the verbal suffix -ar
aguentar= “to put up with” (< maybe It agguantare, from guanto “gauntlet” < Old Provençal < OFr guant < Frankish *want)
aguardar= to wait, wait for: from a- + guardar, see guardar below.
alemão= of Germany (adjective), the German language: from Late Latin Alemanni, an ancient Germanic tribe, from Germanic (*)alamanniz (represented in Gothic alamans), from ala- “all” + mannis, plural of manna-/mannaz “man” (Gothic manna) from the IE root (*)man- “man”
ardil= trick, scheme, ruse: from Old Spanish ardid “risky undertaking in war”, from Catalan ardit (noun) “risky undertaking, strategy”, from ardit (adjective) “daring, bold”, from a Germanic source represented in Old High German harti “daring, bold” and hart “hard”, both from the IE root (*)kor-tu-
arenque= herring: possibly via French hareng, from Germanic (compare Old High German hārinc).
harpa= a harp: from French: harpe, from Germanic (*)harpōn-.
arrimar= to approach: possibly from Old French arrimer, arimer “to arrange the cargo in the storeroom of a ship”, from Germanic (*)rūmaz “room”
atrapar= to trap, to ensnare: from French attraper, from Old French a- + trape “trap”, from Germanic (*)trep- (seen in the Old English træppe) from the IE root (*)dreb-, from (*)der- “to run.”
bala= a bullet: Italian balla/palla, from Germanic (*)ball-, see beisebol above in Old English section.
balear= “to shoot”
balcão== a balcony: from Italian balcone, from Old Italian balcone “scaffold”, from Germanic (*)balkōn “beam, crossbeam”, from the IE root (*)bhelg- “beam, board, plank.”
balão= a large ball: from Italian ballone, pallone, balla (see bala above) + -one, an augmentive suffix, related to and possibly the source of Spanish -ão (in balão). see here.
banda= ribbon, band, sash: from Old French bande “knot, fastening”, from Germanic ‘*band-‘, from the IE root (*)bhondh-, from (*)bhendh-[16]
banda= band, troop, musical group: from Germanic ‘*bandwa-‘, “standard, signal”, also “group” (from the use of a military standard by some groups), from the IE root (*)bha- “to shine” (implicit sense “signal that shines”).
bandeira= banner: from Vulgar Latin (*)bandaria “banner”, from Late Latin bandum “standard”, from Germanic (*)bandwa, see banda= group below
bandido= bandit, gangster: from Italian bandito “bandit”, from bandire “to band together”, from Germanic ‘*banwan’, see abandonar above
banco “bench; bank” (OFr bank < Germanic *banki)
banqueiro “banker, financier”
banca “bench, seat”
bancada “row of seats, stall”
Abancar “to settle somewhere”
banquete= a banquet: rom Old French banquet, diminutive of banc “bench, long seat”, of Germanic origin, of the same family as the Old High German banc, see banco= bench above in Old High German section.
banquetear “to feast, to have a banquet”
barão, baronesa, baronato “baron, baroness, baronet”
bisonte== Bison bison: from Latin bisontem (accusative of bison) “wisent (Bison bonasus)”, from Germanic (*)wisand-, wisunt- (Old High German wisant, wisunt).
branco= white, white person, blank: from Vulgar Latin (*)blancus, from Germanic (*)blank- “to shine”, from the IE root
briga= fight, scuffle: from Gothic *Brika-, Old High German Brech-en, Anglo-Saxon break. :Derivatives: brigar [v] ‘to fight’
bloco= a block, a bloc: from French bloc, from Middle Dutch blok “trunk of a tree”, from a Germanic source represented in the Old High German bloh.
bloqueio= “roadblock, blockade”
bloquear= “to block, to veto, to stop”
bloqueado= “something or someone which is blocked, halted, trapped”
boémio or boêmio(Brazil)= a bohemian, of Bohemia, vagabond, eccentric, Gitano, Gypsy: from bohemio/Bohemia (from the belief that the Gitanos came from Bohemia), from Latin bohemus, from Boihaemum, literally “place of the Boi/Boii (from Celtic, see bohemio here) + Latin -haemum “home”, from Germanic (*)haima “home”, from the IE root (*)koi-mo-
bola= ball from Proto-Germanic *balluz, *ballô (“ball”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰoln- (“bubble”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (“to blow, inflate, swell”)
bolas= colloquial bollocks, coward, popular interjection idiom ‘ora bolas!’ oh my! or damn it!, to express frustration or disapproval. From Proto-Germanic *balluz
borda= border, edge: from Old French bord “side of a ship, border, edge”, from Frankish
bordar= “to knit”
bordado= “knit work”
bosque= forest, woods: from Catalan of Provençal of Old French bosc, from Germanic (*)busk- “brush, underbrush, thicket” (source of Old High German busc).
bosquejo= a sketch, outline, rough draft: from Spanish bosquejar “to sketch, to outline”, probably from Catalan bosquejar from bosc, see bosque above.
bota= a boot: from or simply from the same source as French botte “boot”, from Old French bote “boot”, probably from the same source as Modern French pied bot “deformed foot” in which bot is from Germanic (*)būtaz, from the IE root (*)bhau- “to strike”, see botar below.
botar= to throw, to bounce, to jump: from Old French boter, bouter “to open, to hit, to strike, to perforate”, from Romance bottare “to strike, to push, to shove”, from Germanic (*) buttan “to hit, to strike” from the IE root (*)bhau- [18]
botão= button: from Old French boton, bouton “button”, from boter, bouter “to open, perforate”, see botar above
bóia= a buoy: probably from Old French boie, from Germanic, possibly from Old High German bouhhan, from Germanic (*)baukna- “signal”, from the IE root (*)bha- “to shine” [19]
brasa= a coal, ember: from Old French brese “a coal” (Modern French braise), probably from Germanic (*)bres-, (*)bhres-, from the IE root (*)bhreu- [20]
chouriço, choiriça= Latinezed SAURICIUM, from Suebian/Gothic SAURAZ ‘dried, smoked’
churrasco, churrasqueira, churrascaria, churrascar[v]= from Suebian/Gothic SAURUS[21]
estaca= a stake: from Germanic (*)stak-, from the IE root (*)steg- “pale, post pointed stick” [22].
estibordo= starboard side of a ship: from Old French estribord “starboard”, (Modern French tribord), from a Germanic source (confer Old English stēorbord). From Germanic (*)stiurjō “to steer”, + Germanic
faca= knife from a Germanic source, uncertain if Old German happa (hatchet, sickle) or Frankish *happja, cognate of French hache, Spanish hacha, English hatchet or axe
Derivatives: facalhão ‘eustace’, faqueiro ‘cutlery or cutlery cabinet’, facada ‘stabbing’, colloquial facada nas costas ‘to stab (someone) behind the back’
gaita= bagpipe Uncertain, but likely from Old Suebian , akin to Visigothic *agaits- ‘goat’ from Proto Indo-European *ghaido-. Most logical origin as bagpipes were traditionally made from goats skin.
Derivatives: gaiteiro ‘(bag)piper’, gaita ‘penis, or swearword akin to “cock”‘(colloquial), gaita-de-foles, gaita-de beiços, ‘different types or names for bagpipes, gaitar ‘to sob or to fail an exam’ (colloquail).
grupo= group: rom Italian gruppo, from a Germanic word represented by Old High German kropf “beak.”
Derivatives: agrupar ‘to group, to organise into a section’, agrupado ‘part of a group’, agrupamento ‘act of grouping, a team’.
guardar= to guard, watch over, keep, observe (a custom): from Germanic (*)wardōn “to look after, take care of”, from the IE root (*)wor-to-, “to watch”, from (*)wor-, (*)wer- “to see, watch, perceive” [23]
oboé= an oboe: from French hautbois from haut (ultimately from Latin altus “high”) + bois “wood”, see bosque above.
roca= roc, spindle: from Gothic *rukka
Derivatives: enrocar[v], rocar[v], ‘to spindle’, enrocamento ‘riprap’
saco, sacola= bag, sack, rucksack
sacar = to snap, to extract, to snatch, to withdraw (i.e. money from an ATM or account)
saque= withdrawal, theft
ressaque, ressacar= money order, to collect a money order (i.e. Forex)
saxónico, saxão= Saxon
sala, salinha, saleta= a room: from Germanic sal- “room, house”, from the IE root (*)sol- “hamlet, human settlement.”
suisso, suíço= Swiss
suíno= swine, pig from Proto-Germanic *swinan ‘pig’
suinicultor, suinocultor= pig farmer from Proto-Germanic swinan + Latin cultor
suinicultura= porcine breeding from Proto-Germanic swinan + Latin colere
suinicídio= pig killing from Proto-Germanic swinan + Latin cidium
tacho= pot, pan
taco= stick, chalck
tacão = heel
talo, talão= stem, branch, heel
tampa= “top, lid”
tapar= to cover, to hide
teta, tetinha, tetona, tetão= tit, breast
teutónico= teutonic, powerful
trampa= a trap: possibly from Germanic, from the same derivation as trampolín (see below) and atrapar (see above).
trampolim= a trampoline
toalha= towel
toalhete= “handtowel”
toalhinha= “small towel”
toldo= tarpaulin, cover
toldar= to mist up, to darken, to sadden
trepar= to climb, to copulate
trepada= (informal) shag
trombone= trombone
tromba= snout, face
trombudo= someone unfriendly looking
tromba d’água= gusty showers
trombão, trompão= thicker part of a fishing rod
trombar= to sip down food, to scoff up
tropa= troop
atropar= to gather troops
trupe= group, band, gang, student group, artistic group
trupar= to knock someone’s door
varão, varonil “male, manly”



Alberto, Adalbert: from the Germanic name Adalbert, composed of the elements adal “noble” and beraht “bright”
Albertina, Alberta: same as above
Albina= Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Slovene, Polish, German, Ancient Roman form of ‘ALBINUS’
Adelaide= from Germanic Adalheidis, which was composed of the elements adal “noble” and heid “kind, sort, type”. It was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great.
Adelardo, Abelardo= from the ancient Germanic name Adalhard, composed of the elements adal “noble” and hard “brave, hardy
Adélia, Adelina, Adele, Aline= Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, German, Ancient Germanic *ADELA (Latinized)
Adelino= from Germanic “Athal-win”, meaning of noble birth
Adosinda= from a Visigothic name derived from the Germanic elements aud “wealth” and sinþs “path”.
Adriano= Portuguese for Adrian in English, Romanian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, form of ‘Hadrianus’
Afonso= from Ancient Germanic Adalfuns, Alfons, Hadufuns, Hildefons.
Alda, Aldina= originally a short form of Germanic names beginning with the element ald “old”, and possibly also with adal “noble”
Álvaro= cognate of Nordic ALVAR. From Ancient Germanic Alfher, Alfarr, name composed of the elements alf “elf” and hari “army, warrior”. Mainly Nordic= Alvar (Estonian), Elvar (Icelandic), Alvar (Swedish), Alvaro (Spanish)
Alzira= relatively rare name. ‘Alzira’ or ‘Alzire’ is a Germanic name meaning `Beauty, Ornament`
Amalia, Amália, Amélia, = Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, German, from Latinized form of the Germanic name ‘Amala’, a short form of names beginning with the element amal meaning “work”.
Amaro= from the Germanic name ‘Audamar’, derived from the elements aud “wealth, fortune” and meri “famous”. Variants: Otmar (Czech), Othmar, Otmar, Ottmar, Ottomar (German), Amaro (Spain, specially Galicia and Asturias)
Américo= Portuguese form of Ancient German ‘Emmerich’.
Anselmo= from the Germanic elements ans “god” and helm “helmet, protection”. Used in Western Europe
Arlete= variation of French Arlette, from Germanic ‘Herleva’ possibly a derivative of hari “army”, era “honour”, or erla “noble” (or their Old Norse cognates). This was the name of the mother of William the Conqueror, who, according to tradition, was a commoner.
Armando, Armindo= a derivation of Herman, from Ancient Germanic Hariman, Herman, Hermanus
Armanda, Arminda= same as above
Arnaldo= from Proto-Germanic Arnold, used in Western Europe= Arnau (Catalan), Arnoud, Aart, Arend (Dutch), Arnold, Arn, Arnie (English), Arnaud (French), Ane, Anne (Frisian), Arnold, Arend, Arndt, Arne (German), Nöl, Nölke (Limburgish)
Anselmo: Germanic ans “god” and helm “helmet, protection”
Aubri= from the Germanic Alberich, derived from the elements alf “elf” and ric “power”.
Baldemar, Baldomero= from Ancient Germanic Baldomar, derived from the elements bald “bold, brave” and meri “famous
Beltrão= from the Germanic element beraht “bright” combined with hramn “raven. Used in Western Europe: Beltran (Catalan) Bertrand (English), Bertrand (French) Bertram (German), Bertrando (Italian)
Barbara= Portuguese, English, Italian, French, German, Polish, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Late Roman derived from Greek βαρβαρος (barbaros) meaning “foreign”
Bernardo= from the Germanic name Bernard, derived from the element bern “bear” combined with hard “brave, hardy”
Bernardino, Bernardim=
Bernardina, Bernadete, Bernardete=
Branca, Bianca= from the Germanic word “blanc” (white, fair).
Bruno= Portuguese, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Croatian, Polish, from Ancient Germanic element brun “armour, protection” or brun “brown”
Brunilde= from Ancient Germanic variant of ‘BRÜNHILD’
Carlos, Carlo= from the Germanic name Karl, which was derived from a Germanic word meaning “man”. An alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic element hari meaning “army, warrior”.
Carolina, Carla, Carlota= female versions of the Germanic name ‘Karl’ above
Clotilde= form of the Germanic name Chlotichilda which was composed of the elements hlud “fame” and hild “battle”. Saint Clotilde was the wife of the Frankish king Clovis, whom she converted to Christianity. Used in France, Portugal, Italy, Spain
Conrado= from the Germanic elements kuoni “brave” and rad “counsel”.
Deolinda= from the Germanic name Theudelinda, derived from the elements theud “people” and linde “soft, tender”. In decline, mainly used in Portugal, Brazil and Galicia
Duarte= from Germanic Ead “rich” and Weard “guardian”
Dieter= from ancient Germanic Theudhar, derived from the elements theud “people” and hari “army”
Edite, Edith= from the Old English name Eadgyð, derived from the elements ead “wealth, fortune” and gyð “war”. It was popular among Anglo-Saxon royalty, being borne for example by Saint Eadgyeth;, the daughter of King Edgar the Peaceful.
Edmundo= Portuguese form of EDMUND. In other European languages: Eadmund (Anglo-Saxon), Edmund, Ed, Eddie, Eddy, Ned (English), Edmond, Edmé (French), Edmund (German), Ödön, Ödi (Hungarian), Éamonn, Eamon, Éamon (Irish), Edmondo (Italian), Edmao, Mao (Limburgish), Edmund (Polish)
Eduardo= see ‘Duarte’ above
Edvino= Portuguese form of Edwin, from the Old English elements ead “wealth, fortune” and wine “friend”
Egil= from the Old Norse name Egill, a diminutive of names that began with the element agi “awe, terror”
Elgar= from Old English ælf “elf” and gar “spear”
Elmar, Elmer= from the Old English name ÆÐELMÆR
Eurico, Érico, Eric, Erik= From Old High German êwa “time, age, law” combined with rîcja “powerful, strong, mighty.” The second element is also closely related to Celtic rîg or rix and Gothic reiks, which all mean “king, ruler.” However, this name can also be a short form of Eburic. Euric was the name of a 5th-century king of the Visigoths.
Ernesto= Portuguese form of Ancient Germanic ‘ERNST’
Evaldo= from the ancient Germanic name Ewald, composed of the elements ewa “law, custom” and wald “rule”
Evelina, Ivelina, Avelina, Evelyne= from the Norman French form of the Germanic name Avelina, a diminutive of AVILA.
Francisco, Francisca= FRANCISCUS, FRANZISKA from Ancient Germanic form of Franciscus (see FRANCIS, Franz, Frans, François, Francisque, Francesco, Francesc, Pranciškus)
Fernando, Fernão, Fernandino= from a Germanic name composed of the elements fardi “journey” and nand “daring, brave”. The Visigoths brought the name to the Iberian Peninsula, where it entered into the royal families of Spain and Portugal. From there it became common among the Habsburg royal family of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria, starting with the Spanish-born Ferdinand I in the 16th century. A notable bearer was Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), called Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese, who was the leader of the first expedition to sail around the earth. Variants: Fernand (French), Ferdinand, Ferdi (German), Ferdinand, Ferdi (Dutch), Ferdie, Ferdy (English), Veeti, Vertti (Finnish), Ferran (Catalan), Ferdinánd, Nándor (Hungarian), Ferdinando (Italian), Ferdynand (Polish), Fernando, Hernando, Hernán, Nando (Spanish)
Fernanda= same as above
Frederico, Fred= form of a Germanic name meaning “peaceful ruler”, derived from frid “peace” and ric “ruler, power”
Gilberto, Gil=
Gisele, Gisela=
Godofredo= from Germanic Godafrid, which meant “peace of god” from the Germanic elements god “god” and frid “peace”
Gonçalo= from Ancient Germanic Gundisalvus. See Gonçal (Catalan), Gonzalo (Spanish)
Gualberto= from the Germanic name Waldobert, composed of the elements wald “rule” and beraht “bright”. Variants: Gaubert (French), Wob, Wubbe (Dutch), Wob, Wobbe, Wubbe (Frisian)
Gualter= see also Valter/Walter
Guilherme= Portuguese equivalent of William in English, from Ancient Germanic Wilhelm or n Willahelm. See Breton: Gwilherm. Used all over Europe in numerous variations
Guiomar= from the Germanic name Wigmar, which is formed of the elements wig “war, battle” and meri “famous”
Gustavo= from Gundstaf, possibly means “staff of the Goths”, derived from the Old Norse elements Gautr “Goth” and stafr “staff”. Used all over Europe
Haroldo= from Old Norse Haraldr derived from the elements here “army” and weald “power, leader, ruler”. Variants: Hariwald (Ancient Germanic), Hereweald (Anglo-Saxon), Harald (Danish), Harold (English), Harri (Finnish), Harald (German), Haraldur (Icelandic), Aroldo (Italian), Harald (Norwegian), Haroldo (Spanish), Harald (Swedish), Harri (Welsh)
Hélder, Helder, Elder= maybe from the name of the Dutch town of Den Helder (meaning “hell’s door” in Dutch) or derived from the Germanic given name HULDERIC; elments hulda “merciful, graceful” and ric “power, rule”.
Hélmut= from the Germanic name Helmut, formed of the elements helm “helmet” and muot “spirit, mind”
Heraldo= from the Old English name Hereweald, derived from the elements here “army” and weald “power, leader, ruler”. The Old Norse cognate Haraldr was also common among Scandinavian settlers in England. This was the name of five kings of Norway and three kings of Denmark. See also Harold and Harald.
Herberto, Heriberto=
Herman, Hermano= from the Germanic elements hari “army” and man “man”. Used in English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene
Hermenegildo= from a Visigothic name which meant “complete sacrifice” from the Germanic elements ermen “whole, entire” and gild “sacrifice, value”. It was borne by a 6th-century saint, the son of Liuvigild the Visigothic king of Hispania. Used in Western Europe: Erminigild (Ancient Germanic), Ermenegilde (French), Hermenegild (German), Ermenegildo (Italian), Hermenegildo (Spanish)
Hilda, Ilda= From Proto-Germanic Hildr (Ancient Scandinavian), Hild, Hilda (Anglo-Saxon), used in Western Europe= Hilda (Danish), Hilda, Hilde (Dutch), Hilda (English), Hilda, Hilde (German), Hildur (Icelandic), Hildr (Norse Mythology), Hilda, Hilde, Hildur (Norwegian), Hilda (Spanish), Hilda, Hildur (Swedish)
Hildeberto, Hildiberto= Portuguese variant of Hildebert, Hilbert, from the Germanic elements hild “battle” and beraht “bright”
Idália, Idalina, Ida= Originally a medieval short form of names beginning with the Old Frankish element idal, extended form of Old Frankish id meaning “work, labour” (cf. Ida). Used in Western Europe
Ildefonso= from Ancient Germanic Hildefons
Isilda= * possibly Germanic, perhaps from a hypothetic name like Ishild, composed of the elements is “ice, iron” and hild “battle”. Could be an early version of Isolda.
Ivo= Germanic name, originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element iv meaning “yew”. Alternative theories suggest that it may in fact be derived from a cognate Celtic element. This was the name of several saints (who are also commonly known as Saint Yves or Ives). Variants: Yvo (German), Yvo (Dutch), Erwan, Erwann (Breton), Yves, Yvon (French), Ives (History), Iwo (Polish)
Ivone= female version of Ivo
Juscelino, Joscelino= from a Germanic masculine name, variously written as Gaudelenus, Gautselin, Gauzlin, along with many other spellings. It was derived from the Germanic element Gaut, which was from the name of the Germanic tribe the Gauts, combined with a Latin diminutive suffix.
Leonor, Eleonor, Eleonora= from Occitan Aliénor derived from Ancient Germanic Eanor
Leopoldo= from the Germanic elements leud “people” and bald “bold”. The spelling was altered due to association with Latin leo “lion”. Used in Western Europe
Liduína= female form derived from Ludwin, Leutwin or Liutwin. There are instances where the first element of the name can also be derived from Old High German hlûd “famous”
Luís, Luiz, Aloisio, Aloysio, Ludovico= from Ancient Germanic Chlodovech, Clodovicus, Ludovicus, Clovis, Hludowig. Used all over Europe
Norberto= from the Germanic elements nord “north” and beraht “bright”. Variants: Norberto (Italian), Norbaer, Baer, Bèr, Nor (Limburgish), Norberto (Spanish)
Olavo= from Old Norse Áleifr meaning “ancestor’s descendant”, derived from the elements anu “ancestor” and leifr “descendant”. This was the name of five kings of Norway, including Saint Olaf (Olaf II).

Osvaldo, Oswaldo= Portuguese variant of Oswald, from the Old English elements os “god” and weald “power, ruler”. See also Old Norse name Ásvaldr.
Osvalda, Osvaldina= female form of Osvaldo
Oto, Otto= short form of various names beginning with the Germanic element aud meaning “wealth, fortune”.
Raimundo= from Proto-Germanic *raginaz («council») and *mundō («protection»), Raymund
Ramiro= Latinized form of the Visigothic name ‘Ramirus’ (Raginmar) derived from the Germanic elements ragin “advice” and meri “famous”. Rare, mainly in Portugal and Spain.
Reinaldo, Ronaldo, Reynaldo= from the Germanic name Raginald, made of elements ragin “advice” and wald “rule”. Used in Western Europe: Ragnvald (Danish), Reinoud, Reinout (Dutch), Reino (Finnish), Renaud, Reynaud (French), Reinhold (German), Raghnall (Irish), Rinaldo (Italian), Ragnvald (Norwegian), Raghnall, Ranald, Ronald (Scottish), Reynaldo (Spanish), Ragnvald (Swedish), Rheinallt (Welsh)
Ricardo= from the Germanic elements ric “power, rule” and hard “brave, hardy”. Used all over Europe: Ricard (Catalan), Richard (Czech), Rikard (Danish), Richard (Dutch), Richard, Dick, Rich, Richie, Rick, Rickey, Ricki, Rickie, Ricky, Ritchie (English), Rikhard, Riku (Finnish), Richard (French), Richard (German), Richárd, Rikárd (Hungarian), Risteárd (Irish), Riccardo (Italian), Rihards (Latvian), Ričardas (Lithuanian), Rikard (Norwegian), Ryszard (Polish), Rihard (Slovene), Rikard (Swedish), Rhisiart (Welsh)
Rodrigo= from Germanic Hrodric/Hrēðrīc/Rørik/Hrœrekr (Roderick, Rodrick, Roderich; a compound of hrod ‘renown’ + ric ‘power(ful)’), from the Proto-Germanic *Hrōþirīk(i)az; it was borne by the last of the Visigoth kings and is one of the most common Lusophone personal names of Germanic origin.[[1]]
Rodolfo= Portuguese variation from Ancient Germanic ‘Hrodulf’, ‘Hrolf’, ‘Hrólfr’, Hróðólfr (Ancient Scandinavian), Hrothulf, Hroðulf (Anglo-Saxon), Rudolf (Armenian), Rudolf (Croatian), Rudolf (Czech), Rolf, Rudolf (Danish), Roelof, Rudolf, Rodolf, Roel, Ruud (Dutch), Rolf, Rollo, Rudolph, Rodolph, Rolph, Rudy (English), Rodolphe, Rodolph (French), Rolf, Rudolf, Rodolf, Rudi (German), Ruedi (German (Swiss)), Rudolf, Rudi (Hungarian), Roul (Medieval English), Roul (Medieval French), Rolf, Rudolf (Norwegian), Rudolf (Polish), Rudolf (Russian), Rudolf (Slovene), Rolf, Rudolf, Roffe (Swedish)
Rogério= from Proto-Germanic Hrodger, Hróarr, Hróðgeirr (Ancient Scandinavian), Hroðgar (Anglo-Saxon), used in Western Europe= Roger (Danish), Roger, Rogier, Rutger (Dutch), Roger, Rodge, Rodger (English), Roger (French), Roger, Rüdiger (German), Ruggero, Ruggiero (Italian), Ruth (Limburgish), Roar, Roger (Norwegian), Roger (Swedish)
Rolando, Orlando, Roldão= from Proto-Germanic Hrodland used all over Europe= Roeland, Roland, Roel (Dutch), Roland, Rolland, Roly, Rowland, Rowley (English), Roland (French), Roland (German), Loránd, Lóránt, Roland (Hungarian), Orlando, Rolando (Italian), Rolan (Russian), Rolando, Roldán (Spanish), Roland (Swedish)
Rosalina, Rosalinda= from Ancient Germanic Roslindis. Used in Western Europe
Rui= Equivalent to English Roy (Roderick) from Ancient Germanic Hroderich. Used in Western Europe: Roderic (Catalan), Roderick, Rod, Roddy (English), Rodrigue (French), Rodrigo, Roi (Galician), Rodrigo (Italian), Rodrigo, Ruy (Spanish)
Waldemar, Valdemar=
Waldevino, Balduíno = from Proto-Germanic Baldovin, Baldwin, used in Western Europe= Boudewijn (Dutch), Baldwin (English), Baudouin (French), Baldovino, Baldo (Italian), Balduino (Spanish), Maldwyn (Welsh)
Walter, Valter=
Wanda, Vanda=
Wania, Vânia=
Wilfried, Vilfredo= from Proto-Germanic Willifrid, Wilfrith, Wilfrið (Anglo-Saxon), used in Western Europe= Guifré (Catalan), Vilfred (Danish), Wilfred, Wilfrid, Wil, Wilf (English), Wilfried (German), Vilfredo (Italian) Wilfredo (Spanish)


Abreu= toponymic, from “Avredo” (avi + redo) derived from Gothic ‘avi’ grace and ‘redo’ to give, to offer. See Norman-French Évreux
Afonso= patronymic of the same name
Antunes= patronymic form of Antonio
Aires= Germanic hypocorism of ‘Hari’ or ‘Hêri’ meaning army
Araújo, Araujo= toponymic, from Gothic ‘Ruderic’ [2]
Arouca= toponymic, derived from Frankish or Gaulish *rusk (iris) maybe via old French ‘rouche’
Alencar, Alenquer= toponymic, derived from Ancient Germanic “Alankerk” (Alan + kerk, temple of the Alans) referring to the Alans
Alves, Álvares= patronymic form of Álvaro
Bandeira= from Ancient Germanic *bandwa, band-
Beltrão= patronymic of the same name
Berenguer, Beringer, Berengar= derived from Ancient Germanic ‘Geir’, ‘Ger’ meaning bear and spear (see Geraldo= Gerald)
Bernardes= patronymic form of Bernardo
Branco= from Germanic ‘blank’ (white, fair)
Esteves= patronymic form of Estêvão
Fernandes= patronymic form of Fernando, archaic Fernão
Geraldes, Giraldes= patronymic form of Geraldo
Gonçalves= patronymic form of Gonçalo
Guarda, Guardão= from Germanic ‘wardon’ (to guard, watch)
Guerra= from Gothic ‘wirro’ (war)
Guerrinha= from Gothic ‘wirro’ (war)
Guerreiro= from Gothic ‘wirros’ (warrior)
Gusmão= from Gothic ‘gutsman’ (goodman)
Guterres= patronymic form of Guterre
Henriques= patronymic form of Henrique
Martins= patronymic form of Martim, Martinho
Mendes= patronymic form of Menendo (short form of Hermenergildo)
Moniz= patronymic form of archaic Moninho or Munio
Norberto= patronymic of the same name, from Germanic Nordberctus, elements ‘nort’ (north)+ berth (illustrious)
Nunes= patronymic form of Nuno
Resende, Rezende= toponymic of Resende, from Suebian ‘sinde’ and ‘sende’, derived from the Germanic “sinths” (military expedition)
Ródão= from ancient Germanic H1reiH- ‘flow, river’
Rodrigues= patronymic form of Rodrigo
Roldão= patronymic form of the same name, variant of Roland
Sá= from Germanic ‘sal’ (room, building)
Saavedra= combination of Germanic ‘sal’ + Latin ‘vetus< vetera (old)
Salas= from Germanic ‘sal’ (room, building)
Sousa, Souza= Visigothic toponymic, from archaic ‘Souza’
Velêz, Velez= from Visigothic baptismal name ‘vigila’, also possible patronymic of Vela (Pre-Roman ‘bela’)
Viegas= patronymic form of Egas

abandonar; abandono= “to abandon” ; “abandon”
atacar= “to attack”
abordar= “to attack (a problem)”
balcão= “balcony”
bandoleiro= “bandit”
bébé or bebê(Brazil)= “baby”
bife= “beefsteak”
bigode= “moustache” (from German Bei Gott, “By God”)
branco; branca= “white”
bloco; bloquear= “block; to block”
bordar=”to embroider”
bote= “boat”
bramar= “to bellow, roar”
brecha= “breach, opening”
brinde= “toast(with drinks)”
brio= “spirit”, “brio” (Celtic???)
brisa= “breeze” (Old Spanish briza from East Frisian brisen, to blow fresh and strong)
brotar= “to sprout”
buganvília = “bougainvillea”
burguês= “bourgeoisie”, “member of the middle class”
busca; buscar=”search, find, look for”
carpa “carp”
chocar “to crash, collide”
clube “club, association”
cobalto “cobalt”
comarca “region”
correia= “strap, belt, leash”
dália= dahlia (named for Swedish 18th century botanist Anders Dahl)
dinamarquês= “a Dane, a citizen of the Kingdom of Denmark”
dança; dançar= “dance; to dance”
dardo= “a dart”
dique= “a dikewall”
dólar= “a dollar”
edredão/edredom= “eiderdown”
emboscar= “to ambush”
embraiagem= “clutch”
enriquecer= “get rich”
estampar= “to stamp”
estampida=same as “estampido” bang, beat, blow (sound like a shot)
este= “east”
estuco; estuque
filme= movie, picture
filtro; filtrar
flutuar; frota; flotilha
folclore (from English Folklore)
fornido; fornecido
franco (candid)
franco (money)
franquear=free, no charge, no cost, for free,
frasco=bottle, urn, pot, vase, container
fresco=chilly, icy,freesing, cold
gabardine; gabardina
ganso; gansa
gripe, gripa
guerra, germ. warra, lat. bellum
guia= “a guide”
lua-de-mel (calque)
oeste= “west”
orgulho = pride
queque= “cake”
quinquilharia= “old junk”, “cheap antiques shop”
raça= “race (lineage)” from Italian raza of Gmc origin, akin to OHG rīga, line; OE ræw, row
refutar (Gmc origin???)
sud- /sul
tungstênio (Tungsten)

aldeia “village” from alḍai`a (or from Edictum Rothari: aldii, aldias)

alface “lettuce” from alkhass

armazém “warehouse” from almakhzan

azeite “olive oil” from azzait

catana “cutlass” from Japanese katana

chá “tea” from Chinese chá.

From Kimbundu came kifumate > cafuné “head caress” (Brazil), kusula > caçula “youngest child” (Brazil), marimbondo “tropical wasp” (Brazil), and kubungula > bungular “to dance like a wizard” (Angola)

From South America came batata “potato”, from Taino;
ananás and abaci from Tupi–Guarani naná and Tupi ibá cati, respectively (two species of pineapple)

pipoca “popcorn”

from Tupi and tucano “toucan” from Guarani tucan.

colchete/crochê: bracket/crochet
paletó “jacket
batom “lipstick
filé/filete “steak”/”slice”,
rua: street
bife: steak
estoque: stock
macarrão: pasta
carroça: carriage
barrack: barrack
melena: hair lock
fiambre: wet-cured ham (in Portugal, in contrast with presunto “dry-cured ham” from Latin prae-exsuctus “dehydrated”) or “canned ham” (in Brazil, in contrast with non-canned, wet-cured presunto cozido and dry-cured presunto cry)
castelhano: Castilian”, from Spanish melena “mane”, fiambre and castellano.