Five Authentic Ways to Say Thank You in Portuguese
Saying thank you in Brazilian Portuguese requires more than a simple obrigado that you may have learned from your teacher or textbook.
It’s much like saying hello. Depending on the formality of the situation, the person you’re talking to, and the level of gratitude you want to express, you will want a different form of saying it.
Luckily, you can learn five interesting new ways to do it in this article.
And here’s a short lesson entirely in simple Portuguese for beginners and up!
I’m going to repeat this one just to make sure you get this right: if you are a man you say obrigado, and you would say obrigada as a woman.
This is so because this word is an adjective. It’s a short form for “I feel obliged to return you the favor you just did to me.”
Some Brazilians may object to that, saying that this word doesn’t really express gratitude but rather obligation. They may have a point, but that’s moot.
A very informal word, valeu is usually employed by men. But women can also say that.
It’s short for Valeu pela ajuda, because the verb Valer also means to hold in high esteem or to be held in high esteem.
Whenever you express your gratitude for something someone did for you, of course, you hold this action in high esteem. You value it.
All the variations you find are:
- Valeu por tudo
- Valeu mesmo
And when talking to your friends on WhatsApp, you can write ” vlw.” It’s usually followed by “flw,” meaning “falou” (another way of saying goodbye).
Grato, Grata (GRAH.too,tah)
We don’t usually say it. But when writing emails or other kinds of business communication, you write it a lot.
In this context, using “obrigado” might sound more formal than using “grato.” It’s like you are angry or displeased about something and think it is understood.
It means “grateful” and depending on the gender of the speaker, the ending changes. It’s short for “I’m grateful”.
If you want to use it in speaking, you can pair it up with the verb “ficar” as in “fico muito grata pela ajuda.”
If you’re using this word with a friend, I imagine you are very angry or upset at something.
Maybe your friend finally did something you were expecting him to do, and you want to make it very clear that although it was very late – and you probably don’t like this fact –, you thank him anyway.
It’s the simple present form of the verb to thank (agradecer). We hardly ever employ this word in the past or in the future.
But if you’re using this word in formal situations, it lets your interlocutor know that you really mean it.
Agradecido, Agradecida (ah.grah.day.SEE.doo, .dah)
It’s the past participle of the verb to thank. Although it also means “thankful” or “grateful”, it is not used like the word we studied above (grato). In writing, we use “grato” by itself, and in speaking we can say “agradecido” by itself. People also say “muito agradecido” meaning “muito obrigado.”
And if you want to use expressions that will make you sound like a native, you’ll find below a list of very common expressions to say thank you.
- Obrigadinho. (Diminutive form of thank you in Brazil)
- Não tenho nem como agradecer. (I don’t even have any way to thank you)
- Levanto as mãos para os céus. (I raise my hand to the skies)
- Deus lhe pague. (May God pay you back)
- Muitíssimo obrigado. (Thank you so so much)
- Gratidão (gratitude, but it’s considered hipster-y)
- Graças a (thanks to; we say it in English meaning due to, and in Portuguese this is the way you’d say it).
And How to Respond to Thank You in Portuguese?
All you need to say is: De nada! or Por nada!
That’s the most common form.
But in Brazil, it’s also common to say Obrigado você or obrigado digo eu (“it is I who says thank you”). Sometimes my friends use não há de quê (“there’s nothing for you to feel obliged by”), but that’s somewhat old-fashioned.
So, now you can say thank your friends like a native! Use one of these expressions in your answers in the comments below and tell us: what are you thankful for?. And if you want to sound even more Brazilian, take advantage of our exclusive guide to get rid of those mistakes that gringos make when speaking Portuguese.