Ways To Say Excuse Me In Portuguese

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you planning a trip to Portugal or Brazil? Want to make sure you can navigate social situations with ease and politeness? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through various ways to say ‘excuse me’ in Portuguese.

Whether you need to get someone’s attention, apologize for a mistake, or politely ask someone to move, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll also teach you how to excuse yourself from a conversation, request permission, and express politeness in social settings.

Additionally, we’ll provide tips for dealing with crowded spaces and handling interruptions.

We’ll even dive into the differences between formal and informal language usage.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with a range of phrases to navigate any social situation in Portuguese with confidence. So, let’s get started!

Getting Someone’s Attention

Excuse me, but catching someone’s attention in Portuguese can be as simple as saying ‘Com licença!’

This phrase is commonly used when you need to pass by someone or get their attention in a polite way.

It is a polite and respectful way to ask for permission or apologize for interrupting.

Remember to say it with a friendly tone and a smile to make a good impression.

Apologizing for a Mistake

Apologizing for a mistake in Portuguese can be done by saying ‘Desculpa’ or ‘Me desculpe’. These phrases are commonly used and understood by native speakers. They convey a sincere apology and show respect for the person you are apologizing to.

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It’s important to remember that tone and body language also play a role in conveying your apology effectively. Using these phrases will help you navigate social situations and maintain good relationships with Portuguese speakers.

Politely Asking Someone to Move

Can you kindly ask the person to move out of your way?

In Portuguese, you can say ‘Com licença’ or ‘Desculpe, posso passar?’.

These phrases are polite and commonly used to politely ask someone to move aside.

Remember to use a friendly tone and maintain eye contact.

It’s important to be respectful and considerate when asking someone to move, as it shows good manners in Portuguese culture.

Excusing Yourself from a Conversation

If you wish to politely exit a conversation, there are a few things you can do. First, find an opportune moment to gracefully withdraw. It is important to be respectful and considerate when excusing yourself. Abruptly leaving a conversation may be seen as rude. Remember to thank the person for their time and politely explain the reason for your departure.

Requesting Permission

Seeking permission is an essential skill that allows you to respectfully ask for approval or consent in various situations. In Portuguese, there are different ways to request permission.

To ask if you can do something, you can say ‘Posso fazer isso?’ which means ‘Can I do this?’


‘Pode me emprestar isso?’ which means ‘Can you lend me this?’.

Politeness is important when seeking permission, so make sure to use these phrases with a respectful tone.

Seeking Clarification

Now that you’ve learned how to request permission in Portuguese, let’s move on to seeking clarification. When you’re unsure about something or need further information, it’s important to know how to ask for clarification politely. This skill will come in handy when communicating with native speakers.

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So, let’s dive into some useful phrases that you can use to seek clarification in Portuguese.

Expressing Politeness in Social Settings

In social settings, it’s essential to know how to express politeness and create a comfortable atmosphere.

When trying to get someone’s attention or apologize, saying ‘com licença’ or ‘desculpe’ is common and polite.

If you accidentally bump into someone, saying ‘me desculpa’ shows respect.

It’s also important to use ‘por favor’ when making requests.

These simple phrases can go a long way in making a positive impression in social situations.

Dealing with Crowded Spaces

Navigating through crowded spaces can be challenging, but don’t worry, there are strategies you can use to make it easier.

When trying to move through a crowded area in Brazil, saying ‘com licença’ is the most common way to politely ask people to make way for you. This phrase translates to ‘excuse me’ and is widely understood. Remember to use a polite tone and make eye contact to ensure a smooth passage.

Handling Interruptions

Master the art of handling interruptions like a pro.

When someone interrupts you in a crowded space in Brazil, it’s important to handle it gracefully. To say ‘excuse me’ in Portuguese, you can use ‘com licença’ or ‘desculpe.’ These phrases are polite and commonly used. Remember to maintain a calm demeanor and respond politely.

By mastering the art of handling interruptions, you’ll navigate crowded spaces in Brazil with ease and make a good impression on the locals.

Using Formal and Informal Language

Now, let’s talk about using formal and informal language when saying ‘excuse me’ in Portuguese.

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When addressing someone in a formal setting, you can say ‘com licença’ which means ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me.’

On the other hand, in an informal context, you can use ‘desculpe’ or ‘desculpa,’ both meaning ‘sorry’ or ‘excuse me.’

It’s important to adjust your language based on the situation to show respect and politeness.


In conclusion, learning how to say ‘excuse me’ in Portuguese is essential for effective communication and navigating various social situations. Knowing the appropriate phrases can make a big difference when you need to get someone’s attention, apologize, ask for permission, or politely excuse yourself.

Understanding how to handle crowded spaces and interruptions can help you navigate public settings with ease. By using both formal and informal language, you can express politeness and respect in any social setting.

So, don’t hesitate to practice these phrases and enhance your Portuguese language skills.