In Brazilian Portuguese, we never say “mais grande”, “mais pequeno”, “mais bom”, “mais bem”, “mais ruim”, and “mais mal”. These are incorrect.
This always comes as a surprise to learner of Portuguese, especially to Spanish speakers.
In Portuguese we create augmentatives and make comparisons by adding “mais” in front of the word being modified. For example:
- mais bonito
- mais rico
- mais saudável
- mais feliz
So far, so good. This is the general rule. You can read the lesson here.
But you know we always have exceptions to our rules 😉
Here are the exceptions:
Here’s the right way to say it:
- maior = bigger
- menor = smaller
- melhor = better
- pior = worse
Let’s see examples:
1) O elefante é maior do que o leão.
= Elephants are bigger than lions.
- If you want to use the plural in Portuguese, say maiores.
2) O leão é menor do que o elefante.
= Lions are smaller than elephants.
- If you want to use the plural in Portuguese, say menores.
3) Caipirinha é melhor do que vinho na praia.
= Caipirinha is better than wine at the beach.
4) O transporte público em Recife é pior do que em Londres.
= Public transit in Recife is worse than in London.
You can also say:
- muito maior = much bigger
- muito menor = much smaller
- muito melhor = much better
- muito pior = much worse
Caipirinha é muito melhor do que vinho na praia.
= Caipirinha is much better than wine at the beach.
If you are learning Portuguese, keep this in mind. You will sound much better using these correctly.
Speak Portuguese You Can Be Proud Of
I once met this American girl who spoke Portuguese with a perfect São Paulo accent. You could say she was from Brazil. I told her how wonderful it is to be that talented with language. I will never forget her reply.
She told me that it wasn’t some talent she was just lucky to have. She said that she worked hard to get where she was. She studied a little bit every day. She would go to bed repeating words that she found difficult so that she could master their pronunciation.
Practice really is the key to speaking any language comfortably.
You too can speak Portuguese that you can be proud of.
Street Smart Brazil has a wonderful team of instructors. We offer one-on-one lessons via Skype. It is a simple, convenient, and effective way to learn Portuguese at any time and from anywhere.
Give it a try and see for yourself. Book a Trial Lesson with us today to get your Portuguese on the right track.