In this post, we’ll look at 6 ways to say how are you? in Brazilian Portuguese, and we will see some pronunciation tips.
In my other post on how to say ‘hello’ in Brazilian Portuguese, we saw that oi is the most common way to say ‘hello’ and that most Brazilians almost always ask the question >tudo bem? (‘Is everything alright?’) after oi, which is not strictly speaking a translation of how are you? in Brazilian Portuguese, but it serves the same purpose. but, there are other ways to say ‘okay?’ – let’s see them next.
alternatives to all bem?
although tudo bem? is probably the most common way to ask how are you? in Brazilian Portuguese, there are certainly other popular alternatives.
1. all bom?
tudo bom literally means ‘everything ok?’ – is perhaps a little less common than tudo bem? but still quite popular.
both tudo bem? and tudo bom? are neutral, so you can use them to greet anyone, regardless of their age, social status, or how well you know them . . in more formal situations, or if you are greeting an older person, you can say bom dia (good morning), boa tarda (good afternoon) or boa noite (good night – also good night, when saying goodbye) instead of oi.
let’s hear some combinations:
hey. all bem?
Good morning. Tudo Bom?
Good afternoon. all bem?
good night. Tudo Bom?
- sounds em (bem) and om (bom) – a vowel is nasal when followed by -m or -n within the same syllable, pronounced a bit like ‘ng’ as in ‘sing‘. a common mistake is that students pronounce the -m too much at the end.
- the d is usually pronounced as a j as in ‘jeans’ when followed by -i: or -e
- the t, when followed by -e at the end of a word, is pronounced as tch as in ‘child ‘
2. all jewel?
The word joia literally means ‘jewel’, but here it is used as slang for ‘good’, ‘great’.
3. legal tude?
the word legal literally means ‘legal, lawful’
4. all beauty?
The word beleza literally means ‘beauty’, but here it is used as slang for ‘good’, ‘great’.
These three expressions above are more informal and therefore should be best used between friends and avoided in more formal situations.
now let’s see the most literal way to ask how you are. in Brazilian Portuguese:
5. how are you? / How are youare you?
The verb used here is the verb estar (the verb used for temporary conditions). you can also hear the short form of você when it precedes the verb: cê. and the verb estar shortened to just tá.
– how are you?
sometimes the expression é que is added after like :
– how is that you are?
lit: what are you like? for those familiar with French, this is the equivalent of ‘est-ce que’.
but it doesn’t really matter if you say – como você tá? o – how is that você tá?
6. how are you doing? / as vai você?
here we have the verb ir ir, conjugated in the third person, which would be more or less the equivalent of ‘how are you doing?’ and sometimes Brazilians also leave out você:
– how are you doing?
In all these expressions you can replace você with o senhor or a senhora, if you want to sound a bit more formal; if you are talking to an older gentleman or lady, or if you want to show respect (in a business situation, for example).
– How is Mr.?
– like senhora vai?
7. and there?
We saw that all the expressions with tudo…? (tudo bem?, tudo legal, etc.) and the more forms direct to ask how are you? in Brazilian Portuguese (como você está?, como você vai, and its variations) are usually said after oi (or olá, bom dia, boa tarde or boa noite), but they can also be said after another expression commonly used in Brazil: e aí?, which literally translates as and there? but it’s actually the equivalent of saying hello! what is going on? , which, again, is usually followed by one of the ways we’ve already seen how to say how are you? in Brazilian Portuguese.
– and there? how are you? hello, how are you?
– and there? all good? hello, is everything ok?
The expressions I mentioned above are common in everyday conversation regardless of where you are in Brazil, but there are some local/regional variations, as well as other forms, depending on the region.
Categories: Vocabulary, How to Say Anything in Brazilian Portuguese, Expressions