Portuguese Language Blog

The Many Usages of Parabéns Posted by on Aug 28, 2009 in Learning

Parabéns, as you may know, means congratulations in Portuguese. But unlike in English, it is used much more frequently in Portuguese on an every day basis. Let’s take a look at the many usages for this noun.

Special events

Like in English, we use parabéns for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries and births.

Parabéns no seu casamento! Congratulations on your wedding!


We can use this word to mean “Happy birthday” by itself, given the context.

Hoje é meu aniversário. Today’s my birthday.

Parabéns! Happy birthday!

Good job/well done

We can use this word to mean good job or well done on an activity or project.

Parabéns! O texto ficou ótimo. Good job! The piece is great.

Ganharam o jogo? Parabéns! You won the game? Well done!


Similar to the previous usage, we can use the word to compliment someone’s work.

Gostei muito do seu blog. Parabéns! I really like your blog. It’s great!

Parabéns! Adoramos a pintura. Congrats! We loved the painting.

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  1. Fabricio:

    Parabens pra voce,
    nesta data querida,
    muitas felicidades,
    e muitos anos de vida.

    One of my earliest memories was hearing Happy Birthday… when I was three years old.

  2. Irina:

    Thanks for these examples, I was confused by this word.

  3. Mitch:

    And my favorite: “Voce eh de parabens”–the day after the party at which you went wild.

  4. lalchand mandal:


  5. Tina:

    Hi sorry for being stupid but does parabens meu amor mean happy birthday my love or congratulations my love in birthday context don’t want to sound stupid on a birthday card..

  6. gerald macharia:

    thanks …this was pretty much helpful

  7. Maria Figueroa:

    Obrigada, eu gosto muito seu blog!!!!