If you want to learn Portuguese with Rafa click here to see what I mean.

Last week I was devastated by learning about the tragedy in Haiti.

To be honest, I read the common news very rarely and only when I cannot avoid it. But, I read the news when there are facts from which I can learn lessons for my life to become somehow a better person.

Particularly in the last year, the news slammed us in the face with depression, people's revolt, decay, and a decadent and destructive world. I am not only talking about the financial world, but also unemployment, families destroyed, death, injustice, anger... How long can this list be?

Sometimes I wonder how much better and appreciated a newspaper, a TV channel or a magazine would be if, instead of publishing bad news, they gave us reasons to smile.

When we only see the negative aspects of people and life, we forget just how beautiful people and life are.

When you get to know that tragedies happen, I believe you must consider yourself lucky, and grateful for being alive. Lucky for living one more day of joy, for being able to learn many things that could make life even more beautiful for yourself and, for many others as well.

By realising that such tragedies happen you may want to let them fire in your heart, and hunger your soul. You may want to let them kill your laziness and fear, and step forward - to start getting things done!

So let this tragedy give you hope for those in Haiti and start or carry on doing what you believe can bring some goodness to your world. In this case, let's face seriously this odyssey of learning Portuguese.

Spend a good time of today setting a goal for yourself about how you can learn Portuguese quicker. Do the same tomorrow, and the day after.

Day after day, and little by little, you'll reach a better level in your Portuguese learning process.

Remember, don't waste the day of today, because sooner or later you will run out of time. So, if you haven't started yet, start now!

Today, this newsletter will help you to know how to start and finish an email in Portuguese.

Next time you write to your friends, family, and loved ones, why don't you, at least, start and finish your email in Portuguese?

They will notice your motivation in learning this language and perhaps, the motivation they see in yourself is the kick they need to start doing something they always really wanted to do, but, for some reason, they haven't done so, so far.

Anyway, the way you write emails in Portuguese is pretty much the same in all Lusophone countries - and I mean, all Portuguese speaking countries.

When you write an email in Portuguese, you need to take into account three levels of formality.

1. Informal (messages to your friends, lovers, partners and close members of your family).

2. Semi-formal (messages to your work colleagues or someone older than you).

3. Formal (someone you want to contact for the first time, or someone with a high position in your company or another institution).

You have also to take into account if you are writing to a male or female, and the degree of education they have.

So, let's analyse one by one, and learn the different possibilities:

1. Informal - The way you greet or say goodbye to someone in an email is basically the same as when you see them.


  • Olá
  • Olá + first name
  • Oi
  • Oi + first name
  • Oi, tudo bem?
  • Bom dia + first name (if it's in the morning)
  • Boa tarde + first name (in the afternoon)
  • Boa noite + first name (in the evening)
  • Olá então, tudo bem?
  • Olá então, espero que tudo esteja bem?


  • Beijinhos (between a male and a female, two females or a female and a male)
  • Um beijo grande (between family, and between lovers themselves)
  • Um beijão (also between family, and between lovers themselves)
  • Um abraço (between 2 males) - this literally means "a hug", but in fact it is felt like "Regards", so don't be afraid of using it, even if you are a bit reserved.
  • Tchau
  • Até!
  • Até breve
  • Até + day of the week (e.g. "Até domingo" - if you know next time you'll be in contact with that person is next Sunday)
  • Até amanhã (if you know that next time you'll be in contact with that person again is only tomorrow)
  • Até logo (if you know that you will be in contact with that person again by the end of the same day only)
  • Até para a semana (if you know that next time you will be in contact is next week)
  • Até para a semana que vem (if you know that next time you will be in contact is also next week)

    2. Semi-formal.


  • Caro Sr. + surname (when you are witting to a man)
  • Cara D. + first name (when you are witting to a woman)
  • Caro Dr. + surname (if you are writing to man with an university degree)
  • Cara Dra. + first name (if you are writing to woman with an university degree)
  • Caro Engº. + surname (if you are writing to man which is a graduated engineer)
  • Cara Engª. + first name (if you are writing to woman which is a graduated engineer)
    Caro Arqº. + surname (if you are writing to man which is an architect)
  • Cara Arqª. + first name (if you are writing to woman which is an architect)
  • Caro colega (if he is your work colleague)
  • Cara colega (if she is your work colleague)


  • Cumprimentos.
  • Com os melhores cumprimentos.
  • Um abraço (once again, this literally means "a hug", but in fact it is felt like "regards" - so don't be afraid even if you are a bit reserved)

    3. Formal - Only in writing.


  • Ex.Mo Senhor + first and last name (if you are writing to a man, e.g. the way you say it is "Excelentíssimo Senhor Nuno Costa")
  • Ex.Ma Senhora Dona + first and last name (if you are writing to a woman, e.g. the way you say it is "Excelentíssima Senhora Dona Maria Costa")
  • Ex.Mo Senhor Dr. + first and last name (if you are writing to man with an university degree)
  • Ex.Ma Senhora Dra. + first and last name (if you are writing to woman with an university degree)
  • Ex.Mo Senhor Engº. + first and last name (if you are writing to man which is a graduated engineer)
  • Ex.Ma Senhora Engª. + first and last name (if you are writing to woman which is a graduated engineer)
  • Ex.Mo Senhor Arqº. + first and last name (if you are writing to man which is an architect)
  • Ex.Ma Senhora Arqª. + first and last name (if you are writing to woman which is an architect)
  • Ex.Mo Senhor Embaixador + with or without first and last name (if you are writting to an Ambassador)
  • Ex.Ma Senhora Embaixadora + with or without first and last name.


  • Cumprimentos.
  • Com os melhores cumprimentos.
  • Sem mais de momento, subscrevo-me. Com os melhores cumprimentos.

    So, because today is a day for celebrating your vision of life and your potential as a human being as a future completely fluent Portuguese speaker, enjoy your day and start living how it feels being a completely successful Portuguese speaker.

    Até breve.


    PS 1: Questions about any topic? Success stories? Please let me know here https://www.learn-portuguese-with-rafa.com/contact-me.html

    PS 2: also, if you are going to tell your friends ONE PIECE OF ADVICE you learned from me which has helped you to speak Portuguese... What would that be? Let me know in your email!

    I look forward to receiving your email :-)

    New! Comments

    Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Obrigado. :-)

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    "Having found Rafa's website by accident I can honestly say it was the best thing to happen to me on my journey to learn Portuguese.

    I started learning on January 2012 (using a language programme) but wanted to take some classes to aid my learning. When I looked on the internet there were so many options and I felt overwhelmed but one day whilst randomly looking on different websites I found Rafa's site and thought it was the best site I had come across but when I found out he did lessons in London I was thrilled - I emailed him and he promptly responded and we arranged to meet for a coffee the next day. Rafa was so confident that I would find his lessons successful that he offered me the first lesson for free and he was right!

    What makes Rafa such a fantastic teacher is that not only does he explain the concepts and structure of the language in a clear, concise manner, he inspires his students with the confidence to speak and the motivation to want to learn more - I now take lessons twice a week (2 hours each time) and I always look forward to every lesson.

    Learning Portuguese can be extremely frustrating at times but Rafa gives you the belief that with his help and hard work you can achieve your goal.

    I have been really impressed with my progress since January and to put it into context - on my first lesson my only contact with Portuguese was 8 lessons on a language programme. With Rafa, we started going through the alphabet and pronunciation rules and now, three months later we are talking in Portuguese about holidays, life in London and even the socio-economic fortunes of young people in Brazil!

    Rafa has not only been an inspiring teacher but has become a good friend - he's always happy to answer my emails if I have questions and we often go for a coffee or beer after lessons to discuss my progress and other things of interest.

    If you are serious about learning Portuguese I could not recommend Rafa highly enough - he will be the difference between you giving up when the success you want is just around the corner.

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    Rafa speaks excellent English, and as a result is able to explain subtleties that other teachers can't.

    He can speak Portuguese clearly for the beginner or with the slang and difficult pronunciation that everyday Portuguese so often use. This is a great help.

    The use of Skype to conduct a lesson at a distance is great. It works absolutely fine.

    His site has lots of goodies and is very useful. That, combined with Rafa himself as a teacher over Skype is an excellent way to learn the language."

    Dale - Netherlands.


    "Dear Rafa,

    Just wanted to thank you that you took your time and build this page. In my opinion is the best page for learning Portuguese, I just love your way of teaching! I've already taken lessons in my country but now everything seems much, much easier!

    Muito obrigada :)

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    Just want to say that I have found your site on learning Portuguese absolutely great! I am planning to come over to Portugal early next year to live and try to find work. Like you say it takes time to learn a language and that is true, but I do feel much more confident learning Portuguese from your site than any book, class or tapes etc... Thanks for the great site!

    Cheers from Melbourne Australia.

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    Harry" - UK


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    John - L.A., USA


    "Olá! Eu queria escrever só porque gosto muito do seu site! Eu amo o português!! Eu gosto do que você escreve sobre o medo e a mente quando aprendemos línguas.

    Eu gosto de ler coisas sobre como aprender Português na internet. Eu aprendi Português enquanto morei no Rio de Janeiro por 6 meses e falando só com os Brasileiros. Ajudou também ter um namorado brasileiro. Estou aprendendo ainda, todo dia, mas tenho confiança em enfrentar qualquer Brasileiro para dar uma idéa! Hoje em dia tem tantos métodos de estudar. Eu vejo vídeos no youtube - entrevistas, programas de televisão, músicas - e ler os commentarios - isso é muito bom para aprender as gírias! É bom também memorizar as letras das musicas....

    Boa sorte! Gostei do seu site!

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    I like your page and it is very useful for me when I learn Portuguese since I get a lot of information which is easy to understand. Thank you so much for your effort.

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    "Olá Rafa!

    O meu nome é Jakub. Eu só queria dizer que eu estou feliz de encontrar o seu site. Acho que ele é muito bom e útil! Eu tento aprender a língua Portuguesa porque tenho muitos amigos Angolanos na minha cidade - Cracovia.
    And something I'm not yet able to express in Portuguese... I very much like your way of sharing knowledge and your sense of humour. Muito obrigado!

    Jakub" - Poland


    "Hi Rafa,

    Your site is a really useful resource, and I found your comparison of the personal infinitive/future subjunctive very interesting – I happened upon it precisely when I was struggling to grasp the concept, thinking I may be the only one with this problem!

    Alex" - UK


    "Hi Rafa

    This is a great site! I'm a British ex-pat and I have been living in Portugal for 15 months now, but I am still struggling with the language. I've spent a lot of money on books, CDs and language lessons.
    I like the idea of practising my pronunciation by reading out the text but I think the text you have chosen is far too difficult. In my opinion, an easier text with more commonly used words would be more useful and make beginners feel less overwhelmed!
    Many thanks again, it's a great site!

    Jennifer" - Portugal


    "Olá Rafa

    I love the website!!! I can see that a lot of long nights and a lot of thinking went into this site.

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