Oxalá in Portuguese

Oxalá in Portuguese example: Oxalá você ganhe!

Hello everyone! Ready to learn Portuguese online?
In today’s Dica we’ll learn the meaning of Oxalá in Portuguese.

Oxalá Meaning

Here in Brazil, the word Oxalá expresses optimism when you want something to happen. It’s also used in religious contexts to refer to one of the most important orixás in the Candomblé, we will talk about this deity at the end of our Dica.

OxaláLet’s hope / Hopefully / I hope / If only

As said, “Oxalá” is a very expressive word in Portuguese that reflects hope or a wish for something to happen. It’s a term that has Arabic origins, specifically from “inshallah,” which means “God willing” or “if God wills it.” In Portuguese, “oxalá” conveys a similar sentiment of desiring an outcome, relying on divine will or fate. Let’s see how we can use this word in Portuguese, in this free Portuguese Lesson.

How to use oxalá in Portuguese

Here’s how you might use “oxalá” in different contexts:

  1. Expressing hope for personal outcomes:
    • “Oxalá eu passe no exame amanhã!” (Hopefully, I pass the exam tomorrow!)
    • “Oxalá tudo corra bem na tua entrevista.” (Hopefully, everything goes well in your interview.)
  2. Wishing well for others:
    • “Oxalá vocês tenham uma boa viagem!” (I hope you have a good trip!)
    • “Oxalá ela se sinta melhor em breve.” (Hopefully, she feels better soon.)
  3. In broader, more philosophical or reflective statements:
    • “Oxalá o mundo seja mais justo.” (If only the world were fairer.)
    • “Oxalá possamos viver em paz.” (If only we could live in peace.)

The word “oxalá” is versatile and can be used in various tenses, depending on the context. It’s predominantly seen in wishes or hopes concerning the future, but you can also use it to express wishful thinking about the present or past, often reflecting an impossible or hypothetical desire.

When using “oxalá,” it’s important to remember that it introduces a subjunctive or conditional mood in the sentence, which aligns with its speculative, hopeful nature.

Examples of Oxalá in Portuguese

Oxalá Example 1

Igor: E aí, Diogo! Você vai no show da Anitta hoje?
Igor: Hey Diogo! Will you go to Anitta’s concert today?

Diogo: Claro que vou! E você?
Diogo: Of course I will! And you!

Igor: Vou, lógico! Oxalá ela toque Vai malandra
Sure! I hope she plays Vai malandra!

Oxalá example in Portuguese.

Oxalá Example 2

Moisés: Igor, o que você está fazendo?
Moisés: Igor, what are you doing?

Igor: Estou vendo se eu ganhei na loteria.
Igor: I’m checking if I won the lottery.

Moisés: Oh, oxalá você ganhe e me dá uma parte desse dinheiro!
Moisés: Oh I hope you win and give me part of the money!

Oxalá Example 3

Moisés: Ai cara, esse Dwayne Johnson é um homem lindo! Oxalá eu pudesse namorar com esse homem!
Moisés: Oh boy, Dwayne Johnson is such a handsome man. I wish I could date this man!

Igor: Eu sou muito melhor!
Igor: I’m way better than him!

Moisés: Ah, te manca, Igor!
Moisés: Come on! Look at yourself, Igor!

Despite the fact that the word Oxalá exists in Portuguese, most Brazilians prefer to use the word Tomara to express desire.

Oxalá, the Orixá

Oxalá, known as one of the most revered orixás in the Afro-Brazilian religious traditions of Candomblé and Umbanda, holds a pivotal place in the spiritual landscape of Brazil. This deity is often associated with creation and is considered the father of all orixás, embodying wisdom, peace, and purity. Oxalá is frequently identified with Jesus Christ in syncretic practices, illustrating the blending of African religious beliefs with Catholicism, which is a characteristic feature of Brazilian religious syncretism.

In the pantheon of Candomblé and Umbanda, Oxalá wears white, symbolizing peace and purity, and his followers also dress in white during rituals. These rituals often involve offerings of white foods like yam, tapioca, and white beans, which are thought to please the deity and bring his blessings. Oxalá’s day of the week is Friday, and his festivals and rituals are generally marked by a serene, contemplative atmosphere, contrasting with the more vibrant and energetic celebrations dedicated to other orixás.

Now it’s your turn!

Let’s test your reading comprehension! Read the sentences below and say if they are correct or incorrect by placing V (for correct) and X (for incorrect) in the parentheses.

  1. Vamos receber essa semana? Oxalá (  )
  2. Eu não tenho nada pra fazer hoje, oxalá ( )
  3. Ela vai chegar de viagem amanhã. Oxalá ( )
  4. Eles trabalham muito. Oxalá ( )
  5. Espero que ela tenha ido bem na entrevista de emprego. Oxalá ( )
  6. A que horas chegamos? Oxalá ( )
  7. Hoje o dia vai estar lindo. Oxalá ( )
  8. Vocês querem estudar português na Rio & Learn? Oxalá ( )

And that’s it for today, everyone!
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And check out our previous Dicas !!

Click in the links below to see more related Dicas

What does Tomara mean?

Verbs of desire in Portuguese
Imperfect Subjunctive in Portuguese
Use of Embora in Portuguese


  1. Vamos receber essa semana? Oxalá ( V )
  2. Eu não tenho nada pra fazer hoje, oxalá ( X )
  3. Ela vai chegar de viagem amanhã. Oxalá ( V )
  4. Eles trabalham muito. Oxalá ( X )
  5. Espero que ela tenha ido bem na entrevista de emprego. Oxalá ( V )
  6. A que horas chegamos? Oxalá ( X )
  7. Hoje o dia vai estar lindo. Oxalá ( V )
  8. Vocês querem estudar português na Rio & Learn? Oxalá ( V )

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