By Teacher Claudia
Dear readers, sorry for the absence and thanks for your e-mails. Hugs, South Africa!
As I’ve told you, due to our historical, social and cultural roots, Brazilian Portuguese has a myriad of interjections and expressions, and some may be tricky to comprehend.

In fact, they are the only linguistic elements which don’t need to connect to any other, and they express several emotional states, such as joy, admiration and surprise.

Quoting a student, Brazilians are too emotional”, it’s only fair enough the presence of these elements in our language.

Activity 1
Read part of a song, “O Meu Amor” by Chico Buarque, a master in using colloquial Brazilian Portuguese in his lyrics:
E me beija com calma e fundo
At minha alma se sentir beijada, ai
Eu sou sua menina, viu?
E ele o meu rapaz
Meu corpo testemunha
Do bem que ele me faz

(My Love
And he kisses me calmly and deep
Until my soul feels kissed, ai
I’m his girl, right?
And he’s my boy
My body is the witness
Of the good he does to me)

Activity 2
Recognize the various types of interjections and what they express:
Joy: Ah! Oh! Oba! !
Admiration or surprise: Puxa! Nossa! Viva! Caramba!
Greeting: Psiu! Oi! Ei! Ol!
Intention: Oxal! Tomara!
Pain: Ai! Ui!
Silence: Psiu!
End: Basta! Chega!

Activity 3
Know some expressions with interjections:
Puxa vida! Como voc demorou! (expressing anger)
Apesar do acidente, voc est bem. Graas a Deus! (gratitude)
Todos chegaram a tempo para a reunião. Ainda bem! (relief)
Nossa Senhora! Que frio! (surprise)

Activity 4
Understand some contractions:
Mandei e-mail para voc, viu?
The word viu might be the simple past of ver, but it isn’t. In fact, it’ the contraction of ouviu, and it means “Did you hear what I said? Did you pay attention to my words?”
O clima em São Paulo horrvel, n?
The word n is even clearer. It’s the combination of não and , “Isn’t it?”.
Xi, o relatório vai atrasar…
Now, xi is one of the most interesting. It’s the contraction of Virgem Maria, which has several branches; vixi Maria, xi Maria, and sometimes only xi.

Activity 5
Use you comprehension.
Find the word which is also used as an interjection, to emphasize denial.
“Só pro meu prazer”, by Leoni
Não vem agora com essas insinuaes
Dos seus defeitos ou de algum medo normal
Ser que voc não nada que eu penso
Tambm se não for não me faz mal, não
Não me faz mal, não.

(For my pleasure only
Dont come now with these insinuations
Of your flaws or some normal fear
Is it possible you’re nothing that I think of
But if you aren’t it won’t harm me
Don’t you harm me)

Answer: the word não, at the end of the sentences.

Practice your interjections and expressions, viu?
See you next class!
Teacher Cludia

Teacher Claudia is available for private classes in São Paulo. She can be contacted at

To read previous articles by Teacher Claudia click below:

A Brazilian Holiday: October 12th
Portuguese Tip: Sounds
Portuguese Tip: Verb Tenses
Portuguese Tip: The Mystery of Seu, Sua
Portuguese Tip: Interjections and Expressions
Portuguese Tips: Plurals – Part 2
A Brazilian custom: Kissing the Cheek
Portuguese Tips: Regular Verbs – Simple Past
Portuguese Tips: Plurals – Part 1
Portuguese Tips: Regular Verbs – Simple Present
Portuguese Tips
Portuguese Tips: Adverbs in Portuguese
Portuguese Tips: Comparative and Superlative
Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes

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