Viver vs morar. What's the difference?

Hi All!
I’m wondering about the distinction between use of “viver” vs “morar”. As far as I can tell, "viver
is an equivalent or the French verb “vivre” (to live, to exist), and “morar” is the equivalent to “habiter” (to live in a specific town, place, country.) Is this correct, or is it more nuanced?
Many thanks, Francesca


Bemvindo @freespiritphotos - and great timing! I just heard it introduced in the new podcast that dropped this past weekend (27th July), called “Olá Shorties” - here’s the portion of the transcript that covers it.

I hope that helps!

Hi, @freespiritphotos, and welcome. Indeed, the latest podcast episode touches on that (direct link: Before I finished reading your post, I was certain you had just listened to it and wanted extra clarification :smile:

I think you summarized it well. “Morar” can only be used to talk about where you physically live. In English, I think we can compare it to the verb “to inhabit” (we also have the verb “habitar” in Portuguese, though). “Viver” can also be used in that sense, but is much broader in terms of possibilities, so it’s not limited to that. Here are some examples:


  • Eu moro num prédio alto. (I live in a tall building)
  • Tu moras no Porto. (You live in Porto)
  • Ela mora com amigos. (She lives with friends)


  • Nós vivemos em Londres. (We live in London)
  • Ele vive para comer. (He lives to eat)
  • Vocês vivem com simplicidade. (You live with simplicity)