Are you looking to learn Portuguese? Congrats! Portuguese is a beautiful language to learn and the sound of it is very attractive to many people around the world. Not only that, but it will also take you to amazing places in Brazil and Portugal.

And if you truly know the language, you’ll be able to do more than just walk around. You’ll get to truly immerse in their culture and even have interesting conversations with the locals.

But did you know that there are some differences between Portugal and Brazilian Portuguese? Exactly! It happens like in any other language that’s spoken in different countries. Here we want to show you some of the differences. So you can choose which Portuguese to learn based on your own personal language goals. Both are amazing.

Let’s also say that you learn one type of Portuguese and go to a completely different Portuguese-speaking country. This could make you feel confused at why they don’t speak exactly like you. But if you know the differences, you might not feel as lost.

Nonetheless, don’t worry, Portuguese speaking people will still be able to understand you no matter which Portuguese you learn.

“Tu” and “Você”

You know how in Spanish some countries use “tu” and some others use “usted”? Well, something like that happens with Portuguese.

In Brazil, people use “você” for both formal and informal situations and when talking to any kind of person, close or not.

For example: “Você canta muito bem” (you sing very well). It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to your mom, your choir teacher or your friend. The phrase is the same.

In Portugal, natives use both “tu” and “você”.

If you’re in an informal setting, you can use “tu”. This informality is good with family, friends and overall people you’re close to and you know won’t feel disrespected by it. Notice the conjugation of the verb. That’s how it must be conjugated with the “tu”.

For example: “Tu cantas muito bem”.

Now, when you’re in a formal setting and with people that are authorities, then you must use “você”. It could also be used with your grandparents, because despite them being family, they might be more traditional. With the use of “você” the conjugations of the verb change from how they’re used with “tu”. Now, they must be conjugated as if you were using “he” or “she”.

For example: “Você canta muito bem”.

And in case you’re wondering about the plural form, you’ve got to use the plural “vocês”. This is used for both formal and informal situations, so don’t worry about learning another form. And in this case, the verb conjugation also changes.

For example: “Vocês cantam muito bem”.

Vowels Pronunciation

Just like it happens with other languages, Portuguese also has variations in its pronunciation depending on which country you’re in. The explanation for this lies in the way natives pronounce the vowels.

Brazilians pronounce all the vowels in their words. Even though some of their vowel sounds are more open than others, they still emphasize all the vowels. So they sound more clear.

While the Portuguese don’t pronounce all the vowels; it’s like they lose some. And since you can’t hear all the vowels in their words and phrases, it gets a bit more difficult to understand them. Nonetheless, both sound beautiful.

The Letter “L”

Here is another difference in the pronunciation.

In Portugal Portuguese, people pronounce the letter “L” the normal way.

But in Brazilian Portuguese, when a word or a syllable ends with the letter “L”, this one is pronounced like an “u”. So, for example, the word “Brasil” (Brazil) would sound like “Braziu”. Or the word “alma” (soul) would sound like “auma”.

But in words like “limão” (lemon) or “lado” (side), the “L” would still be pronounced like an “L”. Because the letter is at the beginning of the words.

The Gerund

The way they use the “gerund” is very different between both countries.

The Brazilian conjugation in gerund means the verb ends with “ndo”. And Brazilian people use the gerund like in English. They first use the auxiliary verb, then the verb conjugated in gerund and finally the noun.

For example: “Estou aprendendo português” (I’m learning Portuguese).

While in Portugal, they don’t really use the gerund, even when they want to say that something is happening at that moment. Instead, they use first the auxiliary verb, then a preposition, then a verb in infinitive and finally the noun.

For example: “estou a aprender português”.

Only a few regions of Portugal use the Brazilian gerund, that is the verb with an “ndo” ending.


Here’s one difference that happens in all languages depending on where they’re spoken. Portuguese people will have a different way than Brazilian people of saying the same word.

For example:

English – Brazil – Portugal

  • Train – Trem – Comboio
  • Bus – Ônibus – Autocarro
  • Bus stop – Ponto de Ônibus – Paragem
  • Sport – Esporte – Desporto
  • Cellphone – Celular – Telemóvel
  • Juice – Suco – Sumo
  • Nickname – Apelido – Alcunha
  • Bathroom – Banheiro – Casa de banho
  • Ice cream – Sorvete – Gelado
  • T-shirt – Camiseta – Camisola


This could be confusing if you know one type of Portuguese and travel to a country when they speak the other type. But if you learn how they say the most basic words in the country you’re traveling to before doing it, you’ll be fine.

Achieve Your Portuguese Language Goals with TruFluency

Now you know some of the amazing differences between Brazilian Portuguese and Portugal Portuguese. These differences are what make each type of Portuguese unique but still universal!

What makes each country stand out but remain united to each other by one language! These differences are also what will help you choose which type of Portuguese you want to learn. Whatever you pick, it’s the right choice and we can help you with it!

TruFluency offers Portuguese language classes with the native teachers! There’s nothing better than learning from people who grew up not only using that language, but also immersed in that culture.

We base all our classes on the Bellieu Method, created by our very own CEO. It consists of speaking using everything you’ve learned so far. That way you’ll reinforce the knowledge and get fluent. Practice makes perfect. And if you don’t practice speaking, how are you going to talk with natives when you travel abroad, right?

Don’t worry, though. Our classes are a safe environment to make mistakes and learn from them. And they’re also customized to you, so you can achieve all your language goals.

Now, a common impediment for many people that want to learn a new language is time! They already have too much in their agendas! We understand and that’s why our lessons are completely online. This way you can study with us without losing time moving in the traffic from one place to the school. Plus, we have flexible schedules!

Take a trial class to have a peek at how we work. Just choose your language and your schedule. Você não vai se arrepender!