Intermediate B1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the B1 level.

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My suggestion* for these two weeks is to focus on:

  • perfeito vs. imperfeito / subjunctive mood intro
  • reading and listening comprehension
  • conversation

*There's always room to adjust the course according to the group's preferences:

After this course, you'll have come closer to the B1 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A2 or B1 course?

Clean Slate A0

Geared toward Absolute Beginners, this course gives you a solid start and foundation to build upon.

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This is an introductory course to the Portuguese language as spoken in Portugal. Throughout the course, we will focus on the Portuguese sound system and basic Portuguese grammar.

You will also learn how to introduce yourself and day-to-day, useful phrases. Finally, we will discuss learning resources and strategies to support your learning journey.

After the course, you will have a basic understanding of European Portuguese pronunciation and grammar. You will also be capable of engaging in simple, short oral interactions. Last but not least, you will be aware of a variety of learning resources and strategies to help you succeed at learning the language.

Portuguese short story for beginners - de maos dadas - Portuguesepedia
Easy Reads for Portuguese Lanugage Learners - Entre a Felicidade e a Tristeza - by Portuguesepedia

I will keep you updated on upcoming course seasons

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Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)

Beginners A2

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A2 level.

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My suggestion* for these two weeks is to focus on:

  • prepositions
  • past tense: perfeito vs. imperfeito
  • listening comprehension and conversation

*There's always room to adjust the course according to the group's preferences:

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A2 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A2 or B1 course?

Beginners A1

This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A1 level.

If you have just started your learning journey, you may find this course too challenging. Consider enrolling for the Clean Slate A0 instead (if available).

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This is an all-round course, meaning that we’ll work on all aspects of language learning (at the A1 level):

  • pronunciation
  • listening comprehension
  • reading comprehension
  • conversation
  • grammar

After this course, you'll have come closer to the A1 level and have the tools and strategies to get there and beyond.

Not sure if you should enroll in the A1 or A2 course?

There are plenty of interesting options for our accommodation. It will most likely be a countryside house near Tavira.

I haven't booked it yet because I want to get a better idea of the group's composition (how many couples/singles) and your preferences before I do so. That will for instance help me understand how big a house we might need.

I look forward to soon talking to you about this and much more. Até breve, p

Where are you at? (1 Beginner–10 Fluent)

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Learn Portuguese through Short Stories

Portuguese Swear Words: An Unashamed Journey through Portuguese Strong Language

Although strongly repressed by many, swear words certainly serve a purpose in human relationships and society at large – they are a powerful means of emotional release and human expression.

In certain contexts, swear words also connects people in meaningful ways. As a language learner, learning how and when to use Portuguese strong language can lead to deeper bonding with native speakers and, consequently, language immersion. 

See, strong language is often used in positive ways, especially among friends while telling jokes and spending a good time together. Knowing how and when to swear makes you more relatable to native speakers and can benefit your language learning.

The purpose of this post is definitely not to instigate unwarranted verbal unpleasantness. Instead, it is meant to give you insight into different nuances of Portuguese strong language and situations in which you could use it in a smart and humorous way without offending or hurting anyone.

That being said, welcome to this indecorous but nonetheless pedagogic journey through Portuguese bad words.

New! Check out this Crash Course on Portuguese Bad Words.

Right off the bat, here’s a list of some of the most hard-core Portuguese swearing expressions people can say to vent their frustration:

  • foda-se (fuck it)
  • caralho (damn it)
  • puta que pariu (fuck it)
  • filho da puta (son of a bitch)
  • merda (shit)
  • porra (damn it)
  • puta de merda (fuck it)
  • raios me fodam (fuck me)

Of course, not all swear words are created equally rough nor do we use them only when we get pissed. There’s much more to it. Read on.

Why do we swear?

Often regarded as rude and impolite, many believe that swear words find their home among the uneducated and people living on the fringes of society. 

The truth is, however, that people use strong language across the entire social strata, and there might be a good reason for that. Undeniably, swearing is cathartic and allows us to release the anger that would, otherwise, get trapped inside. 

Strong language, then, acts as a buffer that prevents anger from escalating to unbearable levels, arguably avoiding dramatic events in the form of physical violence.

But cursing serves other purposes, too. 

For instance, it is used to tell jokes or to spice up story-telling. Dirty words also play an important role in sex talk, making it sound more natural and less awkward. 

Importantly, strong language is used to express positive emotions from powerful experiences. That’s probably the case when we hear something along the lines of, Man, that was fucking good! 

Fair enough, one can say Awesome! instead. But it’s not exactly the same thing, is it?

Now that we’ve got a more complete picture of what swearing is and what it is for, let’s take a look at the advantages of learning Portuguese bad words. 

Before we go any further, note the following:

In some cases, you will notice that the same word is listed across different categories. That’s hardly surprising. The same word can carry different meanings depending on how you say it and, of course, the context.

Also, not all swear words are equally coarse. While both Fuck! and Crap! can be used to express frustration,  Fuck! is more ungracious than the other. Swear words vary along a mild-to-rough continuum and some of the expressions listed below are tagged as either mild, vulgar, or rough.

Importantly, the swear words below reflect my Portugal-specific idiomatic awareness. While some of the expressions may have currency across other Portuguese-speaking countries, there are certainly a few that only find use in Portugal. 

Create a rock-solid foundation in Portuguese

Expressing annoyance and anger

Strong language is cathartic and enables emotional release. People are likely to use it when, for instance, they get irritated or angry at something or someone. Here are a few Portuguese swear words that serve that purpose.

Swear wordGradeComments
CaraçasmildA milder version of Caralho, equivalent to Damn!
CaralhoroughA Portuguese equivalent to the f-word.
Foda-seroughAs rough as Caralho! Both can be used interchangeably. 
MerdavulgarLiterally Shit! Also common to hear Deixa-te de merdas! as in Cut the crap!
PoçamildIt literally means puddle. It feels as mild as Crap!
PorravulgarA milder version of Caralho! or Foda-se! 
Puta que pariuroughThe whore that gave birth … Can be used interchangeably with Caralho! 
RaispartamildShort for Raios te partam! which literally translates to May the rays break you in two! 

You can add an extra colloquial feeling to the expressions above by adding que and before and after respectively. can be added to all of them, whereas que only will fit some. It is even common to combine different swear words:

  • que merda pá!
  • que caraças!
  • porra pá!
  • que caralho!
  • puta que pariu pá!
  • foda-se pá!
  • raisparta pá!
  • foda-se, puta que pariu!
  • porra caralho!
  • . . .

Reading tips! You’ve maybe noticed something about the way this language sounds that makes you think of Slavic languages? Spot on! European Portuguese has specific phonological features demarcating it from other Romance languages. Learn more about it: Here’s Why Portuguese Sounds Like Russian (or Polish).

Expressing excitement and joy

You will recognize some of the following words from the list above. Just by changing intonation, the same word can go from expressing anger to becoming an exclamation of surprise and astonishment.

CaraçasmildAs in Holy cow!
CaralhoroughAs in Fuck!
Foda-seroughUsed interchangeably with Caralho! Also common to say the short version: dass!
JesusmildAs in Jeez!
Meu deusmildAs in Gosh!
Nossa senhoramildLiterally Our lady! 
Que putaroughUsed interchangeably with Caralho! or Foda-se!
Get Your Pronunciation Right

Swear words meant to offend 

There are a plethora of expressions to choose from if one’s goal is to offend someone else. These insulting words can have a general or a more specific tone such as racist, misogynist, homophobic and so on. 


Many of the following words have English cognates such as stupid, idiot, imbecile, etc. Admittedly, they can be used to insult, but they are often used jokingly among friends as well.

Swear wordComments
CabrãoIt literally means billy goat. Comparable to Bastard!
CornoIt literally means horn. Often intended to humiliate men by suggesting they are cheated upon by their wives. 
EstúpidoIt literally means stupid as in You stupid!
Filho da mãeIt literally means son of a mother 
IdiotaIt literally means idiot as in You idiot! 
ImbecilIt literally means imbecile. Comparable to Asshole!
PalermaComparable to What a jerk!
PaneleiroUsed disparagingly against gay men. Comparable to Faggot!
SacanaComparable to Bastard!

Speaking of cognates! Did you know that there are thousands of Portuguese-English cognates your word count can benefit from? Here’s a read for you: English-Portuguese Cognates – Words You Already Know (without Knowing It).


Swear wordComments
Filho da putaEquivalent to Son of a bitch!
Monte de merdaComparable to You piece of shit! 
Porco(a)It literally means pig. In practice, it will mean different things depending on if it is used against men or women. Against men, it suggests that someone is sloppy and untidy. Against women, it has sexual connotations insinuating someone being licentious.
PutaEquivalent to Slut!
VacaIt literally means cow and it is used derisively against women. Comparable to You bitch! 
Vai apanhar no cúPortuguese version of Up your ass!
Vai p’à puta que te pariu
(vai para a puta que te pariu)
Comparable to Go fuck yourself!
Vai p’ó caralho
(vai para o caralho)
Same as above
Vai-te foderSame as above

Dirty talk

Here come a few Portuguese naughty words commonly used in sex talk.

Portuguese swear words for masculine genitals

  • caralho
  • piça
  • piroca
  • pila
  • colhões (balls)

Portuguese swear words for feminine genitals

  • cona
  • rata 
  • pachacha 
  • pito

Portuguese expressions for sexual intercourse

  • foda (fuck)
  • queca (fuck)
  • rapidinha (quickie)  
  • broche (blow job)
  • minete (lick job) 

Reading tips! Does it feel like your Portuguese is not getting anywhere? Here’re some quick tips that will bring your language learning back to life: 38 Quick Tips to Improve Your Portuguese.

Perfect vs. Imperfect

Break Free from the Tyranny of the Present Tense

Portuguese Bad Words

Master Portuguese Strong Language and Swear Like a Native.

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