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Deciphering Days of the Week in Portuguese

It’s difficult to communicate much with people in countries such as Portugal and Brazil if you don’t know the words for the days of the week (dias da semana) in Portuguese. Whether you are hoping to meet (encontrar) people, buy tickets (ingressos) for a party or find out what day the of carnival you are going to attend, you will need to know how to understand (entender) and talk (falar) about the days of the week in Portuguese.

It might be that you need to tell someone about a meeting or understand a sign telling you when a shop’s open (aberto) or closed (fechado). Whatever the case, knowing the days of the week in Portuguese is very important.

A Bit of History

If you know other Romance languages like French or Spanish, you might think that the Portuguese days of the week would be similar. But just when you thought that things would be easy, I’ve got some bad news for you.

The Romance languages are generally based on Latin (from Rome) and their days of the week are based on God’s relation to the stars:

Latin Spanish English
Solis diēs Domingo Sunday
Lunae diēs Lunes Monday
Martis diēs Martes Tuesday
Mercurii diēs Miércoles Wednesday
Jovies diēs Jueves Thursday
Veneris diēs Viernes Friday
Saturni diēs Sábado Saturday

However, the story with the days of the week in Portuguese is different.

Portuguese uses what’s called Liturgic Latin for the days of the week. This stems from the 15th century, when priest Martinho de Dume, from Braga, Portugal, established the names of the days of the week based on Christian—and not Pagan—names. These names then stuck, and the names based on Liturgic Latin became the norm in Portuguese.

Days of the Week in Portuguese

The days of the week in Portuguese, therefore, are:

English Liturgic Latin Portuguese
Sunday Diēs dominica Domingo
Monday Feria secunda Segunda-feira
Tuesday Feria tertia Terça-feira
Wednesday Feria quarta Quarta-feira
Thursday Feria quinta Quinta-feira
Friday Feria sexta Sexta-feira
Saturday Sabbatum Sábado

The word feira means fair and refers to rest days (dias de descanso) because in the Holy Week, the “week days” (Monday to Friday) were rest days, while Saturday (Sábado) and Sunday (Domingo) were Holy Days.

Unlike in English, in Portuguese we do not use capital letters at the beginning of each day name.

So, some examples would be:

Hoje é sexta-feira. (Today is Friday.)
Amanhã é domingo. (Tomorrow is Sunday.)
Ontem foi quarta-feira. (Yesterday was Wednesday.)

All the -feira days are feminine, so we use a, whereas sábado and domingo are masculine and thus accompanied by o. Here are some examples:

Estamos abertos na segunda-feira. (We are open on Monday.)
Ela vem no sábado. (She is coming on Saturday.)
Vamos encontrar na terça-feira. (We will meet on Tuesday.)

A Bit of a Mouthful

For a lot of people saying the whole day name can be a bit of a mouthful, so often (mainly in conversational Portuguese) the -feira days are shortened to just the first half. Sábado and domingo, however, remain the same.

So, we might say:

Ele saiu na quinta. (He left on Thursday.)
É meu aniversário na sexta. (It’s my birthday on Friday.)
Eu começo na segunda. (I start on Monday.)
Domingo é meu dia de folga. (Sunday is my day off.)

Another way of abbreviating the days of the week in written Portuguese is by using numbers. Here’s how it works:

Dom. Domingo Sunday
2ᵃ Segunda-feira Monday
3ᵃ Terça-feira Tuesday
4ᵃ Quarta-feira Wednesday
5ᵃ Quinta-feira Thursday
6ᵃ Sexta-feira Friday
Sab. Sábado Saturday

You might see a sign saying:

“Aberto de 2ᵃ a 6ᵃ das 8.00 às 18.00” (Open Monday to Friday from 8am – 6pm)

Or also:

“De férias de 6ᵃ a 2ᵃ” (On holiday from Friday to Monday).

Make sure that you don’t confuse this with the ° sign, which means -th. For example:

is the 3rd


3ᵃ is Tuesday

Using Portuguese Days of the Week in a Sentence


In English, the majority of the time, when we are talking about the days of the week, we use it with the word on. In Portuguese, we use no or na.

The words no and na come from the preposition, em. When em is combined with a or o, it becomes na or no (or nas or nos for plurals).

  • em + a = na
  • em + o = no
  • em + as = nas
  • em + os = nos

Some examples would be:

Eu vou ao banco na segunda-feira. (I’ll go to the bank on Monday.)
Ela vai vê-lo no sábado. (She’ll see him on Saturday.)
Eles estão abertos todas as terças-feiras. (They are open on Tuesdays.)
Estão fechados todos os domingos. (They are closed on Sundays.)


Sometimes we want to say that something should happen by a certain day of the week. In this case, we still use na or no, but change the tense at the beginning of the phrase. So:

Isso será feito na terça-feira. (It’ll be done by Tuesday.)
Ela estarána sexta-feira. (She’ll be there by Friday.)
Eu quero isso no domingo. (I want this by Sunday.)


If we want to talk about something happening before a given day, we use the words antes de. So we would say:

Vamos enviá-lo antes de quarta-feira. (We’ll send it before Wednesday.)
Estará pronto antes de sábado. (It’ll be ready before Saturday.)
Ele precisa deles antes de terça-feira. (He needs them before Tuesday.)


When we use the word until in English, in Portuguese we would use até, so:

Nós estaremos aqui até sexta-feira. (We’ll be here until Friday.)
Você tem até segunda para tomar uma decisão. (You have until Monday to make a decision.)
Você pode tê-lo até quarta-feira. (You can have it until Wednesday.)


If you want to talk about something after a certain day, you would use depois de. Some examples here are:

Você pode tê-lo depois da terça-feira. (You can have it after Tuesday.)
Eu estarei pronto depois da quinta. (I’ll be ready after Thursday.)
Você pode esperar até depois do domingo? (Can you wait until after Sunday?


In situations where we would use the word since, desde is used in Portuguese. For example:

Eu estou pronto desde segunda-feira. (I’ve been ready since Monday.)
Faz sol desde sexta-feira. (It’s been sunny since Friday.)
Ele está doente desde sábado.(He’s been ill since Saturday.)

Next and Last…

When you want to talk about the next or the last day of the week, in Portuguese you would use no(a) proximo(a) or que vem and último(a) or passado(a)For example:

Você precisa pagar na próxima segunda-feira.(You need to pay next Monday.)
Eu vou visitá-lo na quarta que vem. (I’m going to visit him next Wednesday.)
Ela vai vê-lo no próximo domingo. (She’s going to see him next Sunday.)
Precisamos fazer isso no sábado que vem. (We need to do it next Saturday.)
Ele vem na última sexta feira do mês. (He comes on the last Friday of the month.)
Eu vi ele na segunda passada. (I saw him last Monday.)
Nosso último sábado juntos. (Our last Saturday together.)
Nós jogamos no domingo passado. (We played last Sunday.)

Other Useful Day Words

Sometimes (as vezes) when we talk about days of the week, there are other words which are useful to know. They can help us talk about specific days without saying the actual day of the week.

Today – Hoje

Hoje é segunda. (Today is Monday.)
Hoje é sábado. (Today is Saturday.)

Tomorrow – Amanhã

Amanhã é Terça. (Tomorrow is Tuesday.)
Amanhã será domingo. (Tomorrow will be Sunday.)

Yesterday – Ontem

Ontem foi sexta-feira. (Yesterday was Friday.)
Ontem foi domingo. (Yesterday was Sunday.)

The week – A semana

Foi uma semana difícil. (It was a difficult week.)
Esta semana eu vou começar as aulas. (This week I’m going to start lessons.)
Ele me ligou 20 vezes na última semana.(He called me 20 times last week.)
Eu comprei na semana passada. (I bought it last week.)
Vai ser melhor na próxima semana. (It will be better next week.)
Vamos tocar na semana que vem. (We will play (music) next week.)
Duas semanas (Two weeks)

The weekend – O fim de semana

Eu não vejo a hora até o fim de semana. (I can’t wait until the weekend.)
Este fim de semana eu vou dormir. (This weekend I am going to sleep.)
Eu saí duas vezes no último fim de semana. (I went out twice last weekend.)
Nos conhecemos no fim de semana passado. (We met last weekend.)
É o aniversário dele no próximo fim de semana. (It’s his birthday next weekend.)
Eu estou trabalhando no fim de semana que vem. (I am working next weekend.)

The day after tomorrow – Depois de amanhã

Nós chegaremos depois de amanhã. (We’ll arrive the day after tomorrow.)
Vai estar pronto depois de amanhã. (It’ll be ready the day after tomorrow.)

Other related words

  • Month – mês
  • Year – ano
  • Day off – dia de folga
  • New Years Day – Ano novo
  • Ash Wednesday – Quarta-feira de Cinzas
  • Holy week – Semana Santa
  • Good Friday – a sexta-feira da Paixão
  • Easter Day – dia de Páscoa
  • Halloween – dia das Bruxas
  • Christmas Eve – véspera de Natal
  • Christmas Day – dia de Natal
  • Boxing Day – dia 26 de dezembro
  • New Years Eve – véspera de Ano Novo

So there you have it – now you know how to say the days of the week in Portuguese (and more)!

Até a próxima!

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