Obrigado vs obrigada

I always understood that men will use obrigado and women obrigada, when they say “thank you”. However, I frequently hear Portuguese women use obrigado. We live in Madeira and there are a few differences between the way some things are said here and the mainland. Might this be the reason for this?

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This is pretty common actually. They are absolutely incorrect since as you know, the word refers to yourself being “obliged”. So males should say “obrigado” and females “obrigada”.

For foreigners learning the language I think the concept is pretty simple. But for natives who have spoken the language their whole lives, they don’t think about the language as analytically as us, and sometimes won’t follow this rule. When asked, they may even be in doubt about what the rule is. They just go with what they’ve heard their whole lives and might not consciously be aware of a difference.

Thanks for the clarification Joel

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Any time, appreciate the great question and excited to see more! :nerd_face:

I’ve also heard both women and men say “brigad”. Or at least that’s what it sounds like to me. Almost like a quick, gender-neutral thank you.

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I hear people saying ‘brigad’ (or as you say that is what it sounds like) all the time when visiting my Girlfriends family in Portugal. Always taken it to be a short informal way of saying ‘thank you’. A bit like saying ‘thanks’ rather than ‘thank you’.

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Yes, when we speak fast, it sounds like ‘brigad’, but we’re not truly abbreviating the word, just being lazy with the pronunciation, since we know we’ll be understood anyway. We have a tendency to drop quite a few starting/final vowels when talking :slight_smile:

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I’m very glad I came upon this question. I’ve been living in the Azores now for over two years and hadn’t gotten any clarification on this question until today. Much obliged! Obrigado!