Portuguese Language Blog

The Top Three Words You Need to be Negative in Portuguese Posted by on Feb 25, 2008 in Learning, Vocabulary

Let’s be real: sometimes we need words to describe negative situations, especially in Brazil, where complaining is a form of conversation. Here are the top three words you need to know.

1. chato (SHAH-too)
This has got to be one of the best words in Brazilian Portuguese because it can be used in many ways. It can be used as an adjective to mean lame, annoying, boring, bad, or something generally displeasing. It can also be used to mean “Wow, that sucks.”

Essa menina é bem chata. That girl is really annoying

Big Brother Brasil é muito chato. Big Brother Brasil (popular TV show) is really lame.

Foi na praia ontem? Did you go to the beach yesterday?
Não, estava chovendo. No, it was raining.
Ah, que chato. Oh, that sucks.

2. ruim (hoo-EEM)
This literally translates as  “bad”  or “no good” and can be used as such, pertaining to negative situations (bad people, in the sense of being evil, would use the word “mau“).

O tempo está ruim hoje. The weather is bad today.

Perdi meu livro. I lost my book.
Que ruim. That’s no good.

3. droga (DROH-gah)
This best translates as “shoot!” or “darnit!”

Droga! Esqueci minhas chaves. Shoot! I forgot my keys.
Droga! Estamos atrasados. Darnit! We’re late.

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