Saying No

The Basics: No & Not

This is how to say no in Portuguese:
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
In future units, we’ll cover negation in more detail, but for now, let’s practice with não in the next lesson!


  • 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.

    • 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?


    • 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”

  • When I bookmark a page does it get saved somewhere on the site itself or on my computer. I cannot find the pages I bookmarked in either places. Obrigada.

    • Sorry about that Anna! If you go to the Account tab in the top menu bar and then click “Bem-vindo” it will take you to your welcome page. Scroll down a bit and click on Bookmarks and you should see everything you saved there. 🙂

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