Saying No

The Basics: No & Not

Não No, not
The simplest way to make a sentence negative in Portuguese is just to place the word não no, not before the verb. This is the Portuguese equivalent of adding “no” or “not” to a sentence in English. Examples:
Esta mota é rápida. This motorbike is fast.
Esta mota não é rápida. This motorbike is not fast.
Não is also used at the beginning of sentences, when replying “no” to a question:
Queres água? Do you want some water?
Não, obrigado. No, thank you. male speaker
Não, obrigada. No, thank you. female speaker

Comments:

  • Boa Tarde

    Apologies for the lack of accents it’s my keyboard
    I’m new to this site and loving it so far but I have question.
    When you pronounce Rs is it from the back of the throat or rolling your tongue similar to the Spanish? I can’t seem to match Rui’s pronunciation.
    Obrigada

    • Olá, Rebecca! You’ll hear both versions of the R depending on where in Portugal you are or who you talk to. Rui, as someone from Lisbon, pronounces it in a more guttural way, similar to the French R. Rui and Joel actually talk about and demonstrate different pronunciations of the R in their latest podcast: Maratona de Leitura (especially from 22:43 to 25:00 and from 38:45 to 39:17)

  • Obrigadinha Joseph I will look into that as I sound like I’m trying to cough a furrball up when I’m trying to pronounce it

  • Ola guys. I have a similar question… Regarding the pronunciation of words ending in ’em.’ As a beginner, this is a new phonetic. I have written it as ‘engm’ to help learn the pronunciation. Is that close?

    Obrigada.

    • Olá! Yes, that looks good. Just note that we don’t close our mouths to pronounce that final M, we just let it ring nasally, so take care not to overpronounce it 🙂 You can hear examples of that sound all over the website, but maybe this Learning Note about the preposition “em” can be a good reference point: The Preposition “Em”

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