Category Archives: 1. Alphabet

Alphabet and Phonemes

These are materials to gain familiarity with letters and sounds of Portuguese alphabet. However, correctly reading skills can only be achieved speaking and listening to native speakers (A LOT). Words are not always pronounced as expected, so patience and persistence will take you a long way.

  1. Presentation about the alphabet and the main and most tricky letters.
  2. A list to practice the name of each letter of the alphabet.
  3. A list of words with ‘x’ and all the different phonemes it can have.

That is all at this point. This topic will always be updated, information about Portuguese phonemes are endless! Particular combinations of letters or regionalisms, there is always useful information to help you achieve fluency.

To get past the very basic topics like this sometimes can feel frustrating, especially when talking about Portuguese. So here are three tips to keep yourself motivated.

1. Keep track of your progress

Record your voice to have evidence of your improvement and how much (and fast!) your skills are developing.

2. Use Brazilian movies and songs

Use these resources and try to imitate their pitch and pronounce as closely as possible and then compare. You can start with this Brazilian movie with English subtitles or check these songs over here.

3. Take it easy

Your goal (for now) is mastering Portuguese pronounce, not vocabulary and grammar. So focus on playing parrot and do not worry too much about words’ meanings. Of course, vocabulary is always welcome, however, it is not a priority at the moment.

Go back to the “Start here” page here or move to the next topic here.

Best wishes on your learning journey! Hope I can be part of it.





First, I’d like to make clear the ultimate rule when dealing with words with x: if you are not sure about how to pronounce it, check a dictionary. There are no perfect guidelines to read this letter, as it depends on its etymology and transformations through time. I’ll try to help you with some on-point observations considering possible positions of this letter in a word. After reading this, check my X-words list for practising and more examples of common words with x.

There are 4 possible phonemes for this mysterious letter:

  • [ʃ ] like the sh in shampoo (xampu);
  • [z] like the s raise (elevar);
  • [ks] like the x in complex (complexo);
  • [s] like the s in say (falar).

5 useful tips when reading x-words:

  1. Between vowels: any of phonemes above, but if you have to guess: [ʃ ].
  2. When x meets c, we have an [s] sound, like excesso.
  3. MANY TIMES in words starting with ex[vowel]-, we have a [z] sound, like exemplo, executar, exato.
  4. After en-, we have [ʃ ] : enxame, enxaqueca, enxugar.
  5. In the prefix ex-: ex-presidente, exceção, exposição.

Don’t forget to check more examples on my X-words list on quizlet!

Below you can find a complete presentation about the alphabet in Portuguese.

Hope you learned a lot and come back for more!

See you.