The Language Brazilians Speak


When you want to describe somebody or something you use words to indicate size, color, length, age, etc. These words are adjectives.

Adjectives (adjetivos) in Portuguese change according to the gender and the number of the noun they are related to: 

Um homem bom – A good man

Alguns homens bons – Some good men

Uma mulher boa – A good woman

Algumas mulheres boas – Some good women 

Normally only adjectives that end in –o have a different form in the feminine, –o is replaced by ­–a: 

O menino esperto – The smart boy

A menina esperta – The smart girl 

Ending in –e, –l, –r and –z it is the same for masculine and feminine, but it changes if the noun is in the plural form: 

O café quente – The hot coffee

A água quente – The hot water

Os copos quentes – The hot glasses

As panelas quentes – The hot pots (The hot pans) 

Ending in –e you only add –s to make the plural; ending in –r or –z, you must add –es: 

Um trabalho eficaz – An effective work.

Uma estratégia eficaz – An effective strategy.

Trabalhos eficazes – Effective works

Estratégias eficazes – Effective strategies 

Ending in –l you must remove –l and add –is:

Um assunto pessoal – A personal matter

Assuntos pessoais – Personal matters. 

Adjetivos sobre o tamanho (adjectives about the size): 

Grande – big, large

Pequeno – small, little

Enorme – very big, enormous 

Sobre a cor (about the color): 

Preto – black

Branco – white

Azul – blue

Vermelho – red

Amarelo – yellow

Laranja – orange

Marrom – brown

Cinza, cinzento – grey

Roxo – purple

Violeta – violet

Rosa, cor-de-rosa – pink

Verde – green 

Sobre a quantidade (about the amount): 

Pouco – little

Muito – much

Poucos – few

Muitos – many 

Sobre a aparência (about the look): 

Feio – ugly

Belo – beautiful

Bonito – beautiful, pretty

Lindo – beautiful (more emphatic than “bonito”)

Horrível – horrible, very ugly 

Sobre a temperatura (about the temperature) 

Frio – cold

Fresco – fresh, cool

Quente – warm, hot

Morno – warm (something you can feel the heat but you don’t get burnt) 

Sobre a velocidade (about the speed): 

Lento – slow

Rápido – fast, quick

Veloz – fast, quick 

Sobre o caráter (about the character):

Bom – good (feminine: boa; masuline plural: bons)

Ruim – bad (same for masculine or feminine; plural: ruins)

Mau – bad (feminine: má; for plural just add –s)

Honesto – honest

Desonesto – dishonest

Péssimo – very bad

Ótimo – very good, great

Horrível – very bad (yeah, it can mean this and “very ugly”)

Sobre a idade ou o tempo:

novo - new

velho - old

idoso - old (person)

jovem - young (same form for masculine and feminine; 

plural: jovens)