How to say ‘she’ in Portuguese

Many people struggle with how to say ‘ela’ (she), in Portuguese and it can often be confused with the word ‘ele’ (he).

In this short article you are going to learn how to say them both correctly.

When I first came to Portugal and started learning Portuguese, I fell in love with the language.

I had learned French in school, but now, I was hooked on Portuguese. It is much more romantic in my opinion.

Even the word for she is beautiful. (literally)

‘Ela’ – rhymes with ‘bela’

It isn’t actually a difficult word to pronounce.

‘Ele’ on the other hand is. People struggle a lot with this word because of the differences between European Portuguese v Brazilian.

The internet is flooded with Brazilian portuguese so it can get quite confusing. I am not going to give you the Brazilian pronunciation, as that would would just confuse you more.

So, how do we pronounce it? Do you know? Click on the audio link below to find out!

In European Portuguese the correct pronunciation is:

Can you hear the difference?


With the word ‘ela’ the ‘e’ is open. Rather like the ‘e’ in the word ‘tell’


In the word ‘ele’ the first letter changes its sound slightly and is more closed.

Rather like the sound of the letter ‘i’ in the word ‘bill’. The last letter ‘e’ is a glide off the letter ‘l’ – almost like you are exaggerating the way you say it.

Play the recording over and over to make your pronunciation perfect.

In our online courses we have a complete audio guide so that you can learn how to pronounce the words and phrases correctly from day one. No rookie mistakes!
Take a look at the reviews and see for yourself!

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