Senão in Portuguese

Ejemplo de se não o senão en portugués: Se não chover, iremos à praia.

Hey you. In today’s free Portuguese lesson for foreigners we’ll teach you the difference between se não and senão in Portuguese. Let’s learn all about it, and practice with an exercise.

What’s the difference between se não and senão in Portuguese?

In Portuguese we have two forms that are very similar, and pronounced the same way, but that have different meanings. We’ll teach you what each of them mean, and how to use them correctly.

Senão in Portuguese

We use senão in Portuguese when we want to mean otherwise. So, senão can mean: otherwise, but yes, except, unless, defect, failure, more than. Let’s take a look in an example for each case:

  • Otherwise:
    Saia agora, senão você se atrasará.
    Leave now, otherwise you will be late.
  • But:
    O cabelo dele não é nem louro nem preto, senão ruivo.
    His hair is neither blond nor black, but red.
  • Except:
    Ele não comprou nada, senão um anel.
    He didn’t buy anything, except for a ring.
  • Defect, failure:
    O professor não encontrou nenhum senão no meu texto.
    The teacher didn’t find any flaw in my text.

Se não in Portuguese

We’ll use se não separately when we need to indicate contradiction, alternative, uncertainty, doubt. In that case, we can notice that the word se often indicates a condition (if). Take a look at the examples:

Se não for chegar a tempo para a RioLIVE!, avise ao professor. (condition)
If you are not going to arrive in time for RioLIVE!, let the teacher know.

Vou ficar 2 horas aqui, se não 3. (uncertainty)
I will stay 2 hours here, if not 3.


Now it’s your turn!

Now that you know how to use Senão in Portuguese, complete this exercise! Don’t forget to check your answers at the end of this Dica!

  1. _________ tivesse dinheiro, não teria viajado.
  2. Eles não vão estudar português no Brasil por 1 semana, _______ 2.
  3. Não vamos para praia agora, ________ vamos nos atrasar para nossa aula online.
  4. Ele vai te encontrar _______ chover.
  5. Passe muito filtro, ________ficará queimado.
  6. Estudarei muito, _______ não me sentirei preparada para a prova.
  7. _______ fosse por você, eu não estaria aqui.
  8. Havia três estudantes lá, _______ quatro.
  9. _______ tocar funk, não é uma boa festa.
  10. Leve dinheiro, _______você ficará com fome.

We hope you enjoyed today’s Portuguese lesson for foreigners! Check out our Instagram to see what we’ve been up to!

Ler esta Dica em Português Leer esta Dica en Español
Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Present Perfect in Portuguese
Demais meaning
Regência Nominal
Adverbs of Denial



  1. Se não tivesse dinheiro, não teria viajado.
  2. Eles não vão estudar português no Brasil por 1 semana, senão 2.
  3. Não vamos para praia agora, se não vamos nos atrasar para nossa aula online.
  4. Ele vai te encontrar se não chover.
  5. Passe muito filtro, senão ficará queimado.
  6. Estudarei muito, senão não me sentirei preparada para a prova.
  7. Se não fosse por você, eu não estaria aqui.
  8. Havia três estudantes lá, se não quatro.
  9. Se não tocar funk, não é uma boa festa.
  10. Leve dinheiro, senão você ficará com fome.

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