The Art of Giving and Receiving Compliments in Portuguese

If you have Portuguese-speaking friends, you may want to learn how to compliment them in their language. Portuguese is known for its warm and friendly nature, and a sincere compliment can go a long way in making someone's day.

Portuguese compliments for Friends

1 Você é um super amigo. (You’re an awesome friend.)

Portuguese speakers love to be acknowledged for their friendship, and it’s an excellent compliment that makes them feel valued. It’s important to note that “amigo” is used for male friends, whereas “amiga” is used for female friends.

2 Que inteligente que você é! (How smart you are!)

Your friends may compliment you with phrases like “Que inteligente que você é” as you learn Portuguese, acknowledging the effort it takes to learn a new language as a foreigner. However, it’s important to note that this phrase can have different meanings depending on the intonation used. For example, it could mean, “You’re very smart,” but it can also mean, “You’re speaking nonsense,” or even “You’re not very smart.”

Therefore, we must be mindful of our intonation to avoid misunderstandings. While complimenting someone, a sincere smile and positive body language can also make a big difference in conveying the intended message.

3 É impressão minha ou você está mais magra? (Is it me or you’ve lost weight?)

In countries like Brazil, most women want a perfect body, it is always great to notice a positive change in them. This isn't because they are desperate for compliments; It’s an acknowledgment of their efforts.

If they are keeping a healthy exercise routine or following a weight loss diet, it’s nice to hear “É impressão minha ou você está mais magra?

4 Você tem bom gosto. (You have good taste.)

Your Portuguese-speaking friends will appreciate hearing that they have good taste, as it can boost their confidence and encourage them to express themselves more. If you ask for their opinion on things like dresses, hairstyles, or makeup, they will be delighted to offer it. In fact, some Brazilians are so keen to share their recommendations that they'll even call their hairdresser to get you a discount.

Complimenting Physical Appearance in Portuguese

5 Você está muito bonita hoje. (You look very beautiful today [for girls])

If you have a close Portuguese-speaking friend or a romantic interest, they will love to hear “Você está muito bonita hoje”.

You can also say “Você é Muito bonita” (You’re very beautiful) or “Você é muito bonito” (You’re very handsome), depending on the gender of the person.

This can be considered an insult if the person is in a serious relationship with someone else, so use this compliment wisely.

6 Você está maravilhosa. (You look gorgeous.)

Imagine you’re waiting for your Portuguese date. When you finally meet, they say, “Você está maravilhosa”, wouldn’t you love to hear that?

You can also use this expression to compliment your friends by saying: “Amiga, você está maravilhosa” (Girl, you’re gorgeous).

7 O seu sorriso é lindo. (Your smile is beautiful.)

Portuguese speakers, especially Brazilians, carry a smile on our faces almost all the time! We smile involuntarily when someone says that they like our smile.

By saying “O seu sorriso é lindo” you are letting us know that you care about our happiness, and you want to see more of it. This compliment is a sincere way of showing your appreciation.

What About Friends Who Are Parents?

8 Que menino/a comportado/a! (What a well-behaved boy/girl!)

Parents in Portuguese Speaking countries love to hear from others that their children are well-behaved because the kid’s behavior is usually a reflection of the parents’ skills.

In Portuguese-speaking countries, we take family reputation seriously. By complimenting the kid, you also compliment the parents and the good job they have been doing.

Complimenting Portuguese-Speaking People Professionally

9 O seu currículo é impressionante. (Your resume is impressive.)

You are hiring a new staff member at work, during a candidate interview. You examine their resume and feel impressed with their excellent education and work experience, and they also speak Portuguese.

React: “Uau, o seu currículo é impressionante, e você também fala português!”
Meaning: “Your resume is outstanding, and you also speak Portuguese!”.

10 Você fez um ótimo trabalho! (You did a great job!)

Everyone likes to be recognized for their work; It’s similar for Portuguese native speakers. To congratulate someone on their work, you can say: “Você fez um ótimo trabalho”.

This compliment can be used at your workplace with Portuguese-speaking colleagues when they work hard. This can make anyone feel happier!

Responding to compliments in Portuguese

11 Obrigado/Muito obrigado! (Thank you! /Thank you very much!)

Whether with friends or coworkers, properly responding to compliments can go a long way when building relationships. Use “Obrigado”, (“thank you”), when responding to daily/expected efforts.

Be mindful when others make an extra/unexpected effort for you, in which is better appropriate to respond with “Muito obrigado!”, (“Thank you very much!”)

Keep in mind that in Portuguese grammar, the word “obrigado” should always agree in gender with the speaker, and the one we have just exposed is the masculine version of it, if you are a female speaker, say “obrigada” instead.

12 São seus olhos! (It’s your eyes!)

This one is an idiomatic expression, mastering it may give the impression you’re speaking like a native and going out of your way to better learn Portuguese.

It roughly translates to “it’s your eyes”, meaning that the person is kind for complimenting your looks or creativity. It’s useful to make others feel attentive and reinforces that they have good taste.

Things to be aware of when complimenting someone in Portuguese

Complimenting someone can come naturally or feel more challenging based on one’s background and upbringing. Our culture and society play a significant role in shaping us in this regard. Here are some aspects you should keep in mind when complimenting someone:

Tone of voice

It’s important to match your tone and emotion to make sure you convey the right message. Portuguese is a language that uses stress syllables for emphasis.

The pace at which we speak and the syllables we stress can change the meaning of a sentence. For instance, «Que bonito», (So beautiful!) is different from «Que boniiiito» (What a shameful thing you’re doing!).

Body Language

Languages require a level of body language to complement what you’re saying. And Portuguese is no different. When complimenting someone in Portuguese, it is important to use your body language the right way in order to get the desired effect.

We know that language is more than putting words together. Especially when using a language that is foreign to you, it never hurts to put in the extra effort.


Hopefully, this article taught you new ways to compliment people in Portuguese. Feel encouraged to try these when showing appreciation to your Portuguese speaker friends!