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When studying Portuguese, you should be aware that there is much more to learn than just grammar. It is super important to focus on other aspects of the language if you want to become fluent and speak naturally. It is crucial for your development to learn some popular slang, idioms, expressions… And also, the common interjections in Portuguese. After all, you do not want to sound robotic when speaking a second language, but also express feelings and emotions the proper way.

We use interjections to express surprise, fright, hesitation, joy, etc. Nonetheless, they can also be used to draw attention.

We have made a list of the most popular interjections in Portuguese so you get used to them.

Ah!

Might express admiration, relief, and surprise. It is also used when you just remembered something you had forgotten.

Examples:

Ah! Que dia maravilhoso! (What a wonderful day!)
Ah! Ainda bem que não aconteceu nada grave! (I am glad nothing serious happened!)
Ah! Não acredito que você me deu este presente! (I can not believe you gave me that as a gift!)
Ah! Esqueci de te contar sobre a reunião de ontem. (I forgot to tell about the meeting yesterday.)

Arre égua!

This interjection is more often used by people from the Northeast region of Brazil. It may indicate surprise, amazement, or admiration.

Example: Arre égua! Esta mulher é muito linda! (This woman is very pretty!)

Cruz credo!

Used to express fear or disgust. Its origins go back to Christian culture and principles, meaning “I believe in the cross”. However, it became popular in Brazil without a religious connotation.

Example: Você tem o coração muito gelado. Cruz credo! (You have a cold heart.)

Ei!

You may use this interjection as a way to draw somebody’s attention or as a greeting.

Examples:

Ei! Estou falando com você! (I’m talking to you!)
Ei! Como você está? (How are you?)

Eita!

This popular interjection may be used with different meanings, such as admiration, astonishment, happiness, amazement, and surprise.

Examples:

Eita! Que homem bonito! (What a beautiful man!)
Eita! Você viu o acidente de carro que aconteceu aqui na esquina? (Did you see the accident around the corner?)

Hein?

Widely used by Brazilians, this interjection expresses doubt or confusion. It can also be used to indicate you did not hear what was said and is asking for people to repeat it. But, most of the time, “hein?” is used to reinforce a question or statement.

Examples:

Você está muito bonita hoje, hein?! (You look very beautiful today.)
Hein? Não ouvi o que você disse. (I haven’t heard what you said.)
Você sempre chega atrasado, hein?! (You are always late.)

Ih…

This interjection expresses shock, admiration, irony, or fear.

Examples:

Ih… Acho que vai cair uma chuva muito forte hoje à noite. (I think we are getting a really heavy rain tonight.)
Ih… Não vem me pedir dinheiro não que eu já disse que não tenho. (Do not ask me for money because I already told you I do not have it.)

Nossa!

This is one of the most common interjections in Portuguese, used for joy, surprise, shock, or outrage. “Nossa” is an abbreviation for “Nossa Senhora”, which is a title used for Catholic saints. However, this interjection is so popular that everyone says it in Brazil — it does not matter with you are from a different religion or if you do not believe in any God at all.

Examples:

Nossa! Seu filho está enorme! (Your child is really big.)
Nossa! Fiquei chateada com João. Ele disse que me ligaria pela manhã, mas até agora não deu notícias. (I’m mad at John. He said he would call me in the morning but he didn’t.)

Further reading: Religions in Brazil: History and Local Culture

Oba!

“Oba!” might indicate joy, satisfaction, happiness, amazement, or admiration.

Example: Estou feliz que você vai a minha festa de aniversário. Oba! (I’m happy you are coming to my birthday party.)

interjeições em português

Poxa!

This is a very popular interjection in Portuguese. It expresses sadness, shock, annoyance, or fright.

Example: Poxa! Fiquei sabendo que você perdeu o emprego. (I was told you have lost your job.)

Psiu!

Brazilians tend to use this interjection when they need to draw someone’s attention, but they do not know their name.

Example: Psiu! Você deixou sua carteira cair no chão! (Your wallet just fell on the ground.)

Quem dera!

In Brazil, this is a popular way to express the desire for something good to happen.

Example: Sonhei que eu ganhava na loteria. Quem dera! (I dreamt I won the lotery.)

Tomara!

Used the same way as “Quem dera!” as mentioned above. It is also a very popular interjection.

Example: Gabriel disse que vai me dar 50 reais. Tomara! (Gabriel told me he is going to give me 50 reals.)

Uau!

“Uau!” is a pretty popular interjection in Portuguese. It indicates joy, enthusiasm, satisfaction, approval, or surprise.

Example: Uau! Você está linda com esse vestido! (You look good in that dress!)

Ué!

You might use “ué!” for astonishment, surprise, or confusion. It is also used quite often as a way to express irony.

Examples:

Ué! Você disse que não vinha trabalhar hoje e apareceu aqui. (You said you were not coming to work today, but showed up.)
Ué! Não era você que dizia que nunca iria casar? (Weren’t you the one who said you would never get married?)

Ufa!

It indicates relief or tiredness.

Example: Ufa! Peguei um engarrafamento muito garnde. Achei que só ia chegar em casa amanhã. (I was in a really bad traffic jam. I thought I would only get home tomorrow!)

Interjections in Portuguese

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