We express our emotions all the time. Today you will learn 10 common emotions in Portuguese, including good and bad feelings. The goal is to improve your ability to communicate in Portuguese so you can deepen relationships and enrich your conversations.
For each emotion I will show you not only the adjective (happy, sad), but also the related noun (happiness, sadness).
Regarding the gender of words:
- Adjectives that have a masculine and a feminine version are indicated by adding “/a” at the end of the word. It means that word can end in “o” (masculine) or in “a” (feminine). Learn about the gender of adjectives to feel comfortable with it. Those that end in “e” or in “z” apply to both men and women.
- By each noun, you will find the indication of whether it is a feminine noun (f) or a masculine noun (m).
After the vocabulary section you will find real-life examples using some of these emotions in full sentences.
Vocabulary list: 10 Emotions in Portuguese
1. Angry = zangado/a, com raiva*
anger = raiva (f)
2. Anxious = ansioso/a
anxiety = ansiedade (f)
3. Joyful = alegre
joy = alegria (f)
4. Depressed = deprimido/a
depression = depressão (f)
5. Disappointed = decepcionado/a, desapontado/a
disappointment = decepção (f), desapontamento (m)
6. Frustrated = frustrado/a
frustration = frustração (f)
7. Happy = feliz
happiness = felicidade
8. Nervous = nervoso/a
nervousness = nervosismo (m)
9. Sad = triste
sadness = tristeza (f)
10. Scared = amedrontado/a, com medo*
fear = medo (m)
* Com raiva and com medo are not adjectives. I included these expressions because they are the most common way in which we express feeling angry and scared, respectively, in Brazil.
Emotions in Portuguese: Verb Ser vs. Verb Estar
Here are a few things you need to know in order to use emotions correctly in full sentences:
- Use the verb Ser to indicate how someone is in general (not how they are feeling at the moment).
- Use the verb Estar to indicate how someone feels at the moment.
- Use the verb Ficar in the past tense to say that someone was sad (or any emotion), meaning that they got sad because something caused them to feel sad. See examples 4 and 5 below.
I have a whole Portuguese lesson about different uses of the verb Ficar. Using it with emotions will make your Portuguese sound great.
6 real-life examples using emotions in Portuguese
To get more out of the examples below, pay close attention to how we word these phrases in Portuguese and in English. Observing differences and similarities will benefit your Portuguese in general.
Example # 4 has a useful idiomatic expression: to stand someone up. The Brazilian Portuguese equivalent is totally different.
Example # 6 has another useful idiomatic expression: não adianta.
1. Por que você está com raiva? O que aconteceu? = Why are you angry? What happened?
3. Joana é sempre tão alegre. Infelizmente hoje ela está triste porque perdeu o emprego. = Joana is always so joyful. Unfortunately today she is feeling sad because she’s lost her job.
4. Ontem Ana deu um bolo em Mário. Ele ficou muito decepcionado. = Yesterday Ana stood Mário up. He was very disappointed.
5. Parabéns pela promoção! Fiquei muito feliz com a notícia. = Congratulations on the promotion! I was very happy with the news.
6. Não fique nervoso porque não adianta nada! = Don’t get nervous because it doesn’t help with anything.
To talk about emotions in Portuguese with confidence, practice with your Portuguese teacher using real-life examples in different contexts. Practice with the verbs Ser, Estar, and Ficar, as these are important and useful verbs.
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