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The Similarities between Portuguese and Spanish

By Daniel Baker posted 05-29-2013 15:23



Genders A vs O - The article the can be expressed as an A or O. The article must agree with the subject or noun. Say, for example, the topic of discussion is: the house. Since house in Portuguese = casa; therefore, the article used must be in agreement. The gender of casa is feminine. So, in this case, the article A is used: a casa. However, it is my understanding that similarly written words in Spanish and Portuguese may not have the same genders. El viaje (the trip in English) is considered masculine; whereas, a viagem (the trip in Portuguese) is feminine. Another example would be nariz (nose). In Portuguese it is masculine, but in Spanish feminine.


Verbs to be vs to be - In both Portuguese and Spanish, the verb to be refers to two states, i.e. there are two different verbs. One for, what I like to call "state of being" and one for "state of character". The verbs are: estar,ser. Under my first set of examples, I'll use Portuguese.

  • I am fine = Eu estar bem
  • I am Dave = Eu ser Dan.

And in Spanish that same phrase will be:

  • I am fine = estar bien
  • I am Dave = ser Dan

Sentence Structure

Sentence structure is basically identical between the two languages.


In the case of casa (house), pronunciation in Portuguese: casa = caza. In spanish: casa = caza. The verb está is pronounced: es-tá with emphasis on á. How about the word here? In Portuguese = aqui and in Spanish = aqui. And here is the pronunciation: a-qui (akey). why and because = por que and porque. You notice the gaps between why and because?. This is just to distinguish in the written form, since, both are spelled the same. Even this gap exists between Portuguese and Spanish.


Here is my list of some similar words:

  • Casa (house)
  • Nariz (nose)
  • Estar (to be)
  • Ser (to be)
  • Camisa (shirt)
  • Blusa (blouse)
  • Fumar (to smoke)
  • Para (to)
  • Por (for)
  • Querer (to want)
  • Aqui (here)

Your Opinions

If you are a native speaker of either Portuguese or Spanish, or have learnt one or both languages in the past or have just enough knowledge between both languages to form an opinion, what would your assessment be? What could you bring to the table - figuratively speaking? Open comments for anyone interested.