Portuguese is a warm and friendly language. In this article, we'll teach you how to compliment your Portuguese-speaking friends in their language.
By learning some Portuguese compliments, you’ll know how to make your friends smile.
Most native Brazilians, or Portuguese speakers are friendly towards foreigners, for them, it’s always wonderful being complimented in Portuguese. This article explains how best to compliment your Portuguese-speaking friends.
Portuguese speakers love to be acknowledged for their friendship. This is a great compliment to make them feel appreciated.
Remember that «amigo» is for male friends, make sure to use «amiga» for girls.2 Que inteligente que você é! (How smart you are!)
Maybe your friends will tell you “Que inteligente que você é”, because you’re learning Portuguese, we know it’s not easy for a foreigner.
However, depending on the intonation used “que inteligente que você é”, can mean, “You speak nonsense”, or “you’re not very smart”. We must be careful with how we speak. A sincere smile while verbalizing goes a long way.3 É impressão minha ou você está mais magra? (Is it me or you’ve lost weight?)
In countries like Brazil, most women want a perfect body, it is always great to notice a positive change in them. This isn't because they are desperate for compliments; It’s an acknowledgment of their efforts.
If they are keeping a healthy exercise routine or following a weight loss diet, it’s nice to hear “É impressão minha ou você está mais magra?”4 Você tem bom gosto. (You have good taste.)
Telling your Portuguese-speaking friend that they have good taste boosts their confidence and encourages them to better express themselves.
They love when someone close asks for their opinion about a dress, a hairstyle, or makeup. Brazilians will even call their hairdresser to give you a discount.
If you have a close Portuguese-speaking friend or a romantic interest, they will love to hear “Você está muito bonita hoje”.
You can also say “Você é Muito bonita” (You’re very beautiful) or “Você é muito bonito” (You’re very handsome), depending on the gender of the person.
This can be considered an insult if the person is in a serious relationship with someone else, so use this compliment wisely.6 Você está maravilhosa. (You look gorgeous.)
Imagine you’re waiting for your Portuguese date. When you finally meet, they say, “Você está maravilhosa”, wouldn’t you love to hear that?
You can also use this expression to compliment your friends by saying: “Amiga, você está maravilhosa” (Girl, you’re gorgeous).7 O seu sorriso é lindo. (Your smile is beautiful.)
Portuguese speakers, especially Brazilians, carry a smile on our faces almost all the time! We smile involuntarily when someone says that they like our smile.
By saying “O seu sorriso é lindo” you are letting us know that you care about our happiness, and you want to see more of it. This compliment is a sincere way of showing your appreciation.
Parents in Portuguese Speaking countries love to hear from others that their children are well-behaved because the kid’s behavior is usually a reflection of the parents’ skills.
In Portuguese-speaking countries, we take family reputation seriously. By complimenting the kid, you also compliment the parents and the good job they have been doing.
You are hiring a new staff member at work, during a candidate interview. You examine their resume and feel impressed with their excellent education and work experience, and they also speak Portuguese.
React: “Uau, o seu currículo é impressionante, e você também fala português!”
Meaning: “Your resume is outstanding, and you also speak Portuguese!”.
Everyone likes to be recognized for their work; It’s similar for Portuguese native speakers. To congratulate someone on their work, you can say: “Você fez um ótimo trabalho”.
This compliment can be used at your workplace with Portuguese-speaking colleagues when they work hard. This can make anyone feel happier!
Whether with friends or coworkers, properly responding to compliments can go a long way when building relationships. Use “Obrigado”, (“thank you”), when responding to daily/expected efforts.
Be mindful when others make an extra/unexpected effort for you, in which is better appropriate to respond with “Muito obrigado!”, (“Thank you very much!”)
Keep in mind that in Portuguese grammar, the word “obrigado” should always agree in gender with the speaker, and the one we have just exposed is the masculine version of it, if you are a female speaker, say “obrigada” instead.12 São seus olhos! (It’s your eyes!)
This one is an idiomatic expression, mastering it may give the impression you’re speaking like a native and going out of your way to better learn Portuguese.
It roughly translates to “it’s your eyes”, meaning that the person is kind for complimenting your looks or creativity. It’s useful to make others feel attentive and reinforces that they have good taste.
Depending on your origins and upbringing, complimenting can be easier or harder for you. Culture and society determine how we are shaped. Here are some aspects you should pay attention to when complimenting someone in Portuguese.
It’s important to match your tone and emotion to make sure you convey the right message. Portuguese is a language that uses stress syllables for emphasis.
We speak at different paces and use syllables to communicate different meanings. For example, «Que bonito», (So beautiful!) is different from «Que boniiiito» (What a shameful thing you’re doing!).
Languages require a level of body language to complement what you’re saying. And Portuguese is no different. When complimenting someone in Portuguese, it is important to use your body language the right way in order to get the desired effect.
We know that language is more than putting words together. Especially when using a language that is foreign to you, it never hurts to put in the extra effort.Conclusion
Hopefully, this article taught you new ways to compliment people in Portuguese. Feel encouraged to try these when showing appreciation to your Portuguese speaker friends!
For more on the Portuguese language, see this article by the same author on how to write an email in Portuguese .
And for those aspiring polyglots among you, how about learning about compliments in other languages besides Portuguese:
Editor's note: You can use our free language tool to make your own vocabulary lists, and record your own phrases.