WordReference: when you need expert advice

WordReference is a site that I’ve taken for granted so much that I never even thought to write about it until now. Whenever I have a question about Portuguese that no one else seems able to answer, I go here.

For example, I have long wondered about the difference between three words that all seem to mean “beautiful” in Portuguese: bonito, lindo, belo. I have asked people about this before but have never gotten a satisfactory answer. I finally found this thread on WordReference, where a several native speakers give excellent answers:


  • bonito and lindo both mean beautiful, but something that is lindo is even more beautiful than something that is bonito.
  • belo is like bonito, but it has a more poetic/literary ring to it that can sound ridiculous or forced in certain contexts, though it’s possible to use that to ironic effect
  • belo usually comes before the noun while bonito and lindo come after.
  • belo can also be used in certain expressions where it means “satisfactory” or “sufficient”: um belo exemplo, uma bela quantia

WordReference is an excellent site to have in your toolkit when you’re working on a translation, or when you need expert advice from a native speaker.

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2 Responses to WordReference: when you need expert advice

  1. Mike says:

    Hi Lauren, Agreed about WRForum! I used it quite a bit prior to my last trip to Brasil.
    And actually, I just received an email w/ a phrase that I don’t know: “ter dado certo”. I might need a visit to WRF.

    Thanks, MIke

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Mike! “dar certo” means “to go well” or “to work out right”. So for example:

      – Fico feliz que apesar de todos os problemas, tudo deu certo na viagem sua.

      – I’m happy that despite all your troubles, everything went well on your trip.

      – Tenho medo que não vai dar certo.

      – I’m worried that it’s not going to work out.

      – Depois de toda a sua preparação, o plano deve ter dado certo.

      – After all your preparation, the plan must have worked.

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