Learning words that are similar in Portuguese and in your language is a great way to learn vocabulary fast in Portuguese. This is why it is common for textbooks and language teachers to present you with cognates when you start learning a language. A cognate is a word that is related to another word. Therefore, they are similar in the different languages.
In this Portuguese lesson you will find a list of 45 words that are similar in Portuguese and in English.
5 tips to boost your language learning
I offer the following suggestions for you to leverage the learning potential of this Portuguese lesson:
- Say the words aloud. This is VERY important. Don’t just listen to these words (see video below). Don’t just keep them in your head. Say the words out loud. This helps with memorization and pronunciation.
- Observe how the same letters or same syllables are pronounced differently in Portuguese and in English. This is a great way to learn pronunciation.
- Use the words in full sentences. To do that, go to my Portuguese lesson about the verb Ser (to be). You will get to practice the words below and the verb Ser at the same time. Awesome, right?
- Use the words below in context. When forming sentences with them, describe real people. Think about family, friends, and celebrities. Using vocabulary in real-life situations is great for memorization and helps your learning.
- Visit my lessons on the gender of nouns and on the gender of adjectives in Portuguese. Then form sentences using the words below in both genders. This way you enrich your practice by putting more pieces of knowledge together.
The words that have a masculine and a feminine form are indicated below. For example, the first word in the list is: agressivo/a. That means you use agressivo in the masculine and agressiva in the feminine.
Learn vocabulary fast: 45 similar words in Portuguese & English
PT / EN
- Agressivo/a = aggressive
- Ambicioso/a = ambitious
- Animado/a = animated, lively
- Arrogante = arrogant
- Atlético/a = athletic
- Calmo/a = calm
- Competente = competent
- Corajoso/a = courageous
- Criativo/a = creative
- Dinâmico/a = dynamic
- Eficiente = efficient
- Elegante = elegant
- Extrovertido/a = extroverted
- Fascinante = fascinating
- Generoso/a = generous
- Idealista = idealist
- Imparcial = impartial
- Importante = important
- Impulsivo/a = impressive
- Independente = independent
- Inteligente = intelligent
- Interessante = interesting
- Introvertido/a = introverted
- Liberal = liberal
- Lógico/a = logical
- Materialista = materialist
- Moderno/a = modern
- Nervoso/a = nervous
- Otimista = optimistic
- Paciente = patient
- Parcial = partial
- Passivo/a = passive
- Perfeccionista = perfectionist
- Pessimista = pessimist
- Popular = popular
- Rebelde = rebel, rebellious
- Religioso/a = religious
- Responsável = responsible
- Romântico/a = romantic
- Sentimental = sentimental
- Sério/a = serious
- Sincero/a = sincere
- Terrível = terrible
- Tímido = timid
- Tradicional = traditional
Tricky words: similar but with different meanings
Some words are deceivingly similar; we call them false cognates. Here are a few of them with their correct meaning:
PT / EN
- Sensível = sensitive (not sensible)
- Esquisito = weird (not exquisite)
- Pretender = to intend (not to pretend)
Also check out these additional Portuguese lessons to dramatically improve your vocab:
- 40 Easy Words to Learn: Use Patterns to Your Benefit – with video
- 55 Words to Boost Your Vocabulary – with Video
- 90 New Words that You Will Have No Trouble Memorizing – with Video
Now start practicing the words you’ve learned in this lesson to incorporate them into your Portuguese language vocabulary.
This one of the first videos I made for Street Smart Brazil, all the way back in 2008. It is old. But the vocabulary is still current.
We offer Brazilian Portuguese lessons via video meetings. We have been teaching Portuguese online and helping learners around the globe speak Portuguese with confidence since 2008. Book a Portuguese trial lesson with us. It is a no-pressure way to test-drive our lessons and see how we can help you achieve your goals with Portuguese.