Adjectives in Brazilian Portuguese

This page outlines how adjectives are used in Brazilian Portuguese.

Adjectives describe things and tell us more about the noun.  If you can put ‘it is’ in front of a word, then it’s most probably an adjective.

The adjective in Portuguese normally comes after the noun, this is the opposite word order to English (e.g. caneta vermelha / pen red)

position of adjectives and nouns in brazilian portuguese

The ending of the adjective changes depending on the noun it follows.  Portuguese adjectives have to “agree” with the noun they are describing – if the noun is masculine, then the adjective will probably end in an o.  If the noun is feminine, then the adjective will probably end in an a:

  • ele é baixo / he is short
  • a cadeira é amarela / the chair is yellow

The word for ‘good’ changes depending on whether it is masculine, or feminine:

  • bom = good (m) – e.g. o peixe é bom / the fish is good
  • boa = good (f) – e.g. a pizza é boa / the pizza is good 

Some adjectives are neutral and stay the same for both masculine and feminine nouns.  These adjectives often end in e rather than o and a (e.g. intelligente and grande

If the noun is plural, add an s to the end of the adjective (e.g. gatos pequenos / small cats)

See below for a list of adjectives in Brazilian Portuguese:

short (length)curto

Examples of adjectives flashcards

Test your memory of adjectives using the flashcards below. Click on the card to reveal the translation and the arrows to move between questions:

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