How to use the word SAUDADE

Today, we’re going to talk about a Portuguese word that you should already be familiar with if you listen to Brazilian music regularly. The word saudade.

We’re going to see what it means, the verbs and prepositions to use with it and lots of examples of sentence structures to use with the word saudade.

Let’s start with the pronunciation

The strongest syllable is the middle one: saudade and the unstressed d and e at the end of words like this one, will always have a djee sound.

Now let’s have a look at its meaning. A lot of people like saying that the word saudade can’t be translated into English – it expresses the feeling of missing someone or something, and in English we tend to use a verb: to miss. So, in a way, because saudade is a noun and to miss is a verb, there is no direct translation. However, there are actually nouns in English that express the same feeling: words like yearning and longing.

Now let’s see how the word is used in a sentence

 It’s often used with the verb ter followed by the preposition de

Tenho saudade de você. / I miss you.

and the verb estar, this time always followed by the preposition com

Estou com saudade de você./ I miss you.

or to sound more natural, to illustrate day-to-day colloquial speech, we can change estou to just :

Tô com saudade de você. / I miss you.

With the verb estar, there’s a common variation of it, by adding the verb morrer (to die),

straight after the verb estar, for emphasis, if you want to stress the fact that you really miss something or someone.

Tô morrendo de saudade de você. / Lit. I’m dying of saudade of you.

So, these are the main verbs that people tend to use with the word saudadebut, sometimes you might hear people using the verb sentir (to feel):

Sinto saudade de você

Another verb that is sometimes used with the word saudade is the verb bater (to hit):

Hoje bateu saudade de você. 

So, this gives an idea of being suddenly hit by the feeling of missing someone or something.

Another common verb used is matar (to kill) when you’re referring to putting an end to that saudade feeling.

So, let’s suppose that a Brazilian friend of mine here in London has just come back from a holiday in
Brazil. I could say to them: 

Então, matou a saudade do Brasil?

Literally, So, did you kill your saudade of Brazil? / Have you put an end to that feeling of missing Brazil?

image with examples of sentences with the word saudade

The other important thing to notice here is the preposition you need to add after saudadewhen you specify what or who you miss – the preposition de.

And, as always, that preposition, when followed by a definite article, or, an indefinite article, it will merge with said article

Tô com saudade do Brasil.

Tô com saudade da Inglaterra.

Tô com saudade dos Estados Unidos.

Now, let’s see a couple of examples with indefinite articles.

Tô com saudade de um bom churrasco.

I miss a good barbecue.

Tô com saudade de uma boa caipirinha.

I miss a good caipirinha.

Notice here that when the preposition de is followed by an indefinite article, they are not going to merge, but their
sound are going to be quite close, it’s gonna be:

de um [djoom] 

de uma [djoomah]

image with examples of sentences with the word saudade

So, now that you know how to use the word saudade, I would like to hear from you.

What or who do you currently miss?

Make up a sentence  and write it in the comments below, and I’ll give you some feedback on your written Brazilian Portuguese.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. Muito obrigado! Até a próxima. Tchau!

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