Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation of the letter G

Learn the pronunciation of the letter G in Portuguese. It has different sounds in different syllables.

The examples I use in the lesson are words from the following Brazilian songs:

In this lesson, I cover the sounds of the G when followed by a vowel. I will not cover the sound of the G when it is followed by a consonant as in grande, but here is a tip: In these cases you have the hard G such as in the syllables GA, GO, and GU that you will learn with this lesson.

This video lesson is a part of the Street Smart Brazil Portuguese Starter Kit. In this series we give you important pronunciation tips to improve your pronunciation whether you are just starting out with Portuguese or want to improve your language skills.

The video for this pronunciation lesson is below. Boa aula!

Pronunciation of the letter G before A, O, and U

The letter G has the same sound in the syllables GA, GO, and GU. It is what I call the hard G.
Let’s see a few words:

GA
From the song Ao Meu Redor:

From the song Águas de Março:

GO
In the examples below, you may notice that the sound of the letter “o” varies when it is the last letter of the word. Our focus here, however, is on the sound of the G.
From the song Velha Infância:

GU
Here

Here I cover the sound of the GU when it is not followed by another vowel.
From the song Aquarela:

Pronunciation of the letter G before E and I

The G is soft when you have GE or GI, and sounds just like the letter J in Portuguese. Watch my lesson about the letter J!

GE
From the song Ao Meu Redor:

Garagem is a great word because you have the two distinct sounds of the G.

From the song Aquarela:

A gente is the most common way to say “we” in Brazilian Portuguese. The conjugation, however, is not the same as with “nós”. Learn more with my lesson about how to use A Gente in Brazil.

language book

GI
From the song Aquarela:

Great! Now you know how to pronounce the letter G in Portuguese.

For great tips and strategies to learn language using music and other media resources, check out Susanna Zaraysky’s book Language is Music. It is available in EnglishSpanish, and Portuguese on Amazon.com.


Luciana Lage is the founder of Street Smart Brazil. Online Portuguese lessons.
Luciana Lage, founder of Street Smart Brazil

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