In this post we’ll learn the different ways you can pronounce the letter o in Brazilian Portuguese words.
Many students of Brazilian Portuguese often tell me they find it difficult to pronounce the letter o in Brazilian Portuguese, mainly because they can’t actually hear the difference between the open and closed sounds of it.
1. Open sound
Like the o in the English word ‘bought’. examples:
(It’s quite common for Brazilians to just say vó without the a)
Note that when the o is under the acute accent [ ´ ] it is always pronounced as an open sound, no matter where it is in the word.
2. Closed sound
It’s a short ‘oh’ sound, similar to the o in the English word no:
(It’s quite common for Brazilians to just say vô without the a)
Note that when the o is under the circumflex accent [^] is is always pronounced as a closed sound, no matter where it is in the word.
3. oo sound
If the o is the last letter of a word, it is pronounced more like the oo in food.
4. Diphthongs (vowel pairs) with the letter o
-> at the end of a word: both vowels blend into [ee-oo] as in you
-> not at the end of a word: normal closed sound.
closed o sound combined with ee
The o is pronounced with the oo sound
voar (to fly)
(as in cow)
closed sound (not at the end of a word)
closed sound – the u is silent.
Ele chegou. (He arrived.)
Sou (I am)
5. Nasal sounds
Brazilian Portuguese has many nasal vowel sounds. They happen when a vowel is followed by the letter m (and sometimes n) or when the vowel combination has a tilde accent [~]. The sound produced is similar to the sound in English words ending in -ng (song, ping) but when the g is barely pronounced. Let’s have a look at some examples of nasal sounds with the vowel o.
I’ve written a post, with a video as well on how to pronounce words with -ão. Click here to be taken to that post.
Similar to the -oing sound in boing
Ele põe (He puts)
Similar to the -ong sound in gong
Now that you know the different ways of how to pronounce the letter o in Brazilian Portuguese try these other posts:
And if you want to be notified of all future videos on pronunciation make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to always be notified of new videos!
Learn two common Brazilian Portuguese Expressions
O Leãozinho, a Brazilian classic, by Caetano Veloso
Learn how to pronounce the letter R in Brazilian Portuguese once and for all! In this post, you will...