Want to express gratitude like a true Brazilian? This in-depth guide will teach you all the Portuguese ways to say thank you.
Whether you’re shopping at a market, dining at a restaurant, or just met a new friend, knowing how to say obrigado(a) is essential in Brazil.
This guide includes:
- The 3 main ways to say thank you in Portuguese
- A live example used on the streets in Rio.
- When to use casual vs formal thank you phrases
- Culturally appropriate thank yous for different situations
Watch this video to learn the different ways of saying thank you.
Key Ways to Say Thank You in Portuguese:
Obrigado/Obrigada is the standard way to say thank you in Portuguese. Obrigado is used if the speaker is a man, while obrigada is used by women.
2. Muito Obrigado
You can emphasize the extent of your gratitude by saying muito obrigado/muito obrigada, which means thank you very much.
Brazilians use this casual and informal way to say thanks among friends, especially on the go. Valeu is a shortened slang version of valeu a pena (it was worth it).
When to Use Each Term:
Use valeu for casual everyday situations – like when a friend passes you the salt.
Stick with obrigado or obrigada for more formal occasions, like thanking a colleague or your boss.
Say muito obrigado when you want to really stress how grateful you are, like if someone did you a big favor.
Other Ways to Say Thanks:
Brigadão – A very enthusiastic thanks!
Agradecido – It was appreciated.
Saying Thank You in Different Contexts:
Learn culturally appropriate Portuguese thank yous for:
Casual situations – hanging out with friends: Valeu! You’re the best.
Business meetings – making deals: Obrigado pela oportunidade. Thank you for the opportunity.
Restaurants – delicious meal: Muito obrigado pela comida maravilhosa. Thank you very much for the wonderful food.
Comparing Brazilian Thanks Yous and Spanish Gracias:
In Spanish, “gracias” is the standard way to say thank you.
However, in Brazilian Portuguese, the common way to say thank you is “obrigado” (for males) or “obrigada” (for females).
“Graças” does exist in Portuguese, but it has a different meaning than “gracias” in Spanish.
“Graças” in Portuguese means “blessings” or “graces”. It comes from a religious context, referring to blessings from God. It is commonly used in the phrase, “Graças a Deus” which translates to “thanks to God” or “thank God” in English.
Some examples of when it’s used:
- When something bad almost happened but was ultimately avoided:
- “Graças a Deus não me envolvi naquele acidente de carro” = “Thank God I didn’t get involved in that car accident”
- Upon receiving good news:
- “Graças a Deus você passou no vestibular!” = “Thank God you passed your college entrance exam!”
- When succeeding at something difficult:
- “Graças a Deus eu finalizei minha dissertação” = “Thank God I finally finished my dissertation”
So while “gracias” = “thank you” in Spanish, “graças” ≠ “thank you” in Portuguese.
Start Speaking Portuguese!
Now you know the essential Portuguese phrases for showing appreciation and thanks. Want to learn even more?
Check out this popular post I wrote about learning Brazilian Portuguese.