When you start learning a language, you need to learn the whole world in new words. Therefore, one of the first challenges is how to learn vocabulary fast in Portuguese.
Learning words that are similar in Portuguese and in your language is a great way to learn vocabulary fast. This is why it is common for textbooks and language teachers to present you with cognates when you start learning a language. Cognates are words that have the same origin. Therefore, they are similar in the different languages.
Learning cognates is also a great way to practice pronunciation. More about that later.
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.
1. Say the words aloud
Say the words aloud. This is so important for language learning. Don’t just listen to these words. Don’t just keep them in your head. Say the words out loud. This helps with memorization and pronunciation.
2. Observe 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.
3. Use the words in full sentences
The words in this Portuguese lesson go well with the Verb Ser (to be). So, go to my Portuguese lesson about the verb Ser to boost your learning. You will get to practice the words below and the verb Ser at the same time. It is similar to doing compound moves in your workouts.
4. Use the words in context
When creating sentences with the word that you will learn in this lesson, describe real people. Think about family, friends, and celebrities. You can certainly describe fictional characters too. What matters is that you “see” the words in a bigger context of life. This helps with memorization.
5. Practice masculine and feminine
Visit my lessons on the gender of nouns and on the gender of adjectives in Portuguese. Then create sentences using the words you will learn here in both genders. When you create sentences using the feminine version of words, you practice more than the one word you started with because you also need to use articles, prepositions, pronouns etc. in the feminine. Therefore, you are training your brain in gender agreement in Portuguese.
Learn vocabulary fast: 45 similar words in Portuguese & English
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.
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 = impulsive
- 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/a = 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.
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.