Days of the week in Portuguese

The days of the week in Portuguese are very different from the English form. That is because the names adopted are not related to the Pagan gods, as it happens in French, Spanish, Italian and English.

As you may see in the list below, in Portuguese there is a strange repetition of the word “feira”, which in Latin means “rest day”. That, however, doesn’t mean that every day is a rest day (I wish…)!

The term “feira” was actually implemented in the year 563 during the week before Easter, when every Christian should rest. Later on, that rule was applied to all of the other weeks of the year.

Now, let’s take a look at the name of the seven days and their pronunciation:

Segunda-feira – /se•goon•dah fay•rah/

Terça-feira – /ter•sah fay•rah/

Quarta-feira – /kwar•tah fay•rah/

Quinta-feira – /keen•tah fay•rah/

Sexta-feira – /says•tah fay•rah/

Sábado – /sah•ba•doo/

Domingo – /do•mean•goo/

When we’re talking about the days of the week in a conversation with someone, we could abbreviate these long forms, removing the term “-feira”, which leaves us with: segunda, terça, quarta, quinta and sexta.

Let’s see a practical example:

O Ano Novo de 2017, celebrado no dia 1º de janeiro, cairá em um domingo. Porém, o Dia de Reis será na sexta.

The New Year of 2017, celebrated on the 1st of January, will be on a Sunday. However, the Three Kings’ Day will fall on a Friday.


We could also abbreviate those written forms to numbers. Yes, I know it seems weird, but if you pay close attention, every day correspond to an ordinal number. For example, segunda reminds us of the number 2, terça is correlated to the number three, ecc. So how’s that abbreviation, you might ask… Well, it’s quite simple:

Segunda – 2ª

Terça – 3ª

Quarta – 4ª

Quinta – 5ª

Sexta – 6ª

Easy, right?

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