Ways To Say One In Portuguese

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning Portuguese and want to expand your vocabulary? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we will explore various ways to say ‘one’ in Portuguese. By understanding the different forms and contexts in which this word can be used, you will be able to communicate more effectively in Portuguese-speaking countries.

From the basic form of ‘one’ to the masculine and feminine variations, plural forms, and even colloquial expressions, we will cover it all. Additionally, we will delve into using ‘one’ in dates, time, currency, and common phrases.

By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of the numerous ways to express ‘one’ in Portuguese, enabling you to confidently navigate conversations and enhance your language skills.

So, let’s dive in and discover the diverse ways to say ‘one’ in Portuguese!

The Basic Form of ‘One’

You might be wondering, "What’s the easiest way to say ‘one’ in Portuguese?" Well, it’s as simple as using the word ‘um’!

In Portuguese, ‘um’ is the basic form of ‘one’ and it is used in a variety of contexts. Whether you’re counting objects or talking about a singular item, ‘um’ is the go-to word.

So, next time you need to say ‘one’ in Portuguese, just remember to use ‘um’!

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Masculine and Feminine Forms of ‘One’

Imagine yourself in a lively conversation, effortlessly navigating between the masculine and feminine forms of ‘one’ in Portuguese.

When referring to a masculine noun, you would use ‘um’ as in ‘um homem’ (one man).

On the other hand, when referring to a feminine noun, you would use ‘uma’ as in ‘uma mulher’ (one woman).

These subtle linguistic variations are essential in Portuguese, allowing you to express yourself fluently and accurately.

Plural Forms of ‘One’

Navigating the plural forms of ‘one’ in Portuguese can be quite a linguistic adventure. As you effortlessly switch between using ‘uns’ for masculine nouns and ‘umas’ for feminine nouns, your speech flows naturally and harmoniously.

The use of ‘uns’ adds a touch of masculinity to your words, while ‘umas’ brings a feminine elegance.

Mastering these plural forms allows you to express yourself fluently and confidently in Portuguese.

Indefinite Article with ‘One’

To truly grasp the essence of Portuguese, it’s crucial to understand the subtle yet impactful use of the indefinite article when referring to ‘one’.

In Portuguese, the indefinite article ‘um’ is used before masculine nouns, while ‘uma’ is used before feminine nouns. This distinction is important because it helps to clarify the gender of the noun being referred to.

Mastering this aspect of the language will greatly enhance your ability to communicate effectively in Portuguese.

Fractional Numbers with ‘One’

Learning Portuguese becomes even more interesting when you dive into the world of fractional numbers and how they’re expressed using contractions.

When it comes to saying ‘one’ in fractional numbers, Portuguese has a unique way of expressing it. Instead of using the word ‘um’ alone, it’s combined with the preposition ’em’ to create the contraction ‘num.’

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For example, ‘one and a half’ is expressed as ‘um e meio,’ but ‘one in a hundred’ is expressed as ‘num em cem.’

Ordinal Numbers with ‘One’

Hey there! Ever wondered how to add a touch of uniqueness when expressing the first in a series of events or positions in Portuguese? Let me show you the charm of using contractions with ‘one’ to express ordinal numbers!

In Portuguese, we use contractions like ‘primeiro’ (first) and ‘primeira’ (feminine form) to give a distinct flair to the number ‘one’ when it represents an ordinal position. It’s a subtle way to make your speech more elegant and sophisticated.

Using ‘One’ in Dates and Time

Explore the enchanting world of Portuguese by embracing the elegance of using contractions with ‘one’ to express dates and time in a more sophisticated manner. Instead of saying ‘the first of January,’ you can say ‘o primeiro de janeiro.’

For example, ‘I was born on the first of January’ becomes ‘Eu nasci no primeiro de janeiro.’ This subtle linguistic nuance adds depth and precision to your conversations, making you sound like a true Portuguese speaker.

Expressing ‘One’ in Currency

Now that you’ve learned how to use ‘one’ in dates and time, let’s delve into expressing ‘one’ in currency.

In Portuguese, you can say ‘um’ to refer to one unit of a currency. For example, if you want to say ‘one euro’, you would say ‘um euro’.

This simple yet essential phrase will come in handy when you’re traveling or dealing with money in Portuguese-speaking countries.

Colloquial and Informal Ways to Say ‘One’

There are plenty of cool and casual ways to express ‘one’ in Portuguese-speaking countries, making your conversations sound even more authentic.

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In informal contexts, you can use the word ‘um’ to mean ‘one’, but it is often shortened to ‘umazinha’ or ‘umazinha só’ to add a friendly and laid-back tone.

Another colloquial expression is ‘um bocadinho’, which means ‘a little bit’.

These expressions are commonly used among friends and in relaxed conversations.

Common Phrases and Idioms with ‘One

One can’t underestimate the power of common phrases and idioms in conveying cultural nuances and deepening connections in Portuguese-speaking countries. They are like keys that unlock a deeper understanding of the language and its people.

For example, ‘dar uma mãozinha’ (to give a little hand) means to help someone, while ‘meter o bedelho’ (to stick one’s nose in) is used when someone interferes in a situation without being asked.

These expressions add color and richness to conversations, making them more authentic and enjoyable.


In conclusion, there are several ways to say ‘one’ in Portuguese, depending on the context. From the basic form to the masculine and feminine forms, as well as the plural forms, we have explored the different possibilities.

We have also seen how ‘one’ is used with the indefinite article, in fractional numbers, dates and time, and currency.

Additionally, we have looked at colloquial and informal ways to express ‘one,’ as well as common phrases and idioms.

By understanding these various forms, one can effectively communicate in Portuguese.