Obrigado and Obrigada: How to say Thank You in Portuguese

Portuguese lesson - how to say thank you in Portuguese - Obrigado or Obrigada


It is very easy to say thank you in Portuguese correctly. Yet, I see so much confusion around this topic, including among Brazilians.

The fact the many Brazilians do not remember this very simple rule and use it incorrectly certainly does not help Portuguese learners.

Today you will understand why you need to say either Obrigado or Obrigada. This understanding will make it super easy to always remember the correct way for you to say it.


Here’s how to say thank you in Portuguese

It really is easy to say thank you in Portuguese:

  • Men say Obrigado
  • Women say Obrigada

Why is that?

The first thing to have in mind is that in Portuguese adjectives vary in gender to agree with the noun they are modifying. And nouns can be masculine or feminine. For example:

  • casa nova (new house)
  • carro novo (new car)

Obrigado comes from “I feel obliged”. That is, when someone does me a favor, I feel grateful and obliged to that person.

Therefore, the word Obrigado or Obrigada will vary in gender to agree with who is feeling obliged.

This is a simple and easy rule to memorize. Guys always say Obrigado. Girls always say Obrigada.

It is not about who you are thanking. It is about who is saying than you in Portuguese.

This is one of those rules that people don’t know about or forget. I can assure you that you will hear Brazilian women saying “Obrigado”. They should not. And now you know why :)

Colloquial Portuguese in Brazil

In spoken Portuguese in Brazil, we tend to drop the first “o”. So you might hear Brazilians saying “brigado” or “brigada“. That’s fine in informal conversations, but we usually don’t write it this way.

What else to know about Thank you in Portuguese

Now make sure that when you say thank you in Portuguese, you use the right preposition.

And how would you answer when someone thanks you in Portuguese? I have a lesson with 12 ways to say you are welcome in Portuguese, including colloquial ways to respond. 

Portuguese lesson - Obrigada por or Obrigado para - Learn to say thank you in Portuguese     Portuguese lesson - 12 ways to say you are welcome in Portuguese

Obrigada for reading my Portuguese lesson :)

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