I hear this expression very often in situations, when somebody asks me whether we want to start/go/leave, so I guess it's something like "Let's go!"

But I don't really understand why "embora" is used here. I guess It's some kind of slang.

Could you enlighten me? Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


That's a very standard expression, not slang at all. Embora is an adverb there meaning "fora daqui". You can even omit vamos, and say only Embora!, using it as an interjection, though that is more likely to mean Vai-te/Vá-se/Vão-se/Ide-vos embora.

Some times though, in informal use, embora can be used beside vamos without having any meaning (just as a modal particle indicating encouragement -- hortative modality). Vamos can also be omitted and embora shortened to bora (even more informal):

Vamos lá embora comer!
Bora comer!

In the first sentence, embora could be omitted without much being lost, the sentence would be just a little weaker. On the other hand, adds a touch of impatience, though not as much as in Let's eat already.

Dictionaries also tell us that, as an adverb, it can mean "em boa hora" (the locution whence it originally came), but I don't think I've ever heard it as such. Aulete marks it as obsolescent, but not Priberam. Do not confuse it qith embora used as a conjunction, which expresses concession.

  • 2
    bora is shorthand for embora, that in itself is shorthand for em boa hora, a really really obsolescent term. Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 14:46
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    @ThatBrazilianGuy In Portugal, "em boa hora" sounds a bit old fashioned, but not more than that. Using "embora" to mean "em boa hora", however...
    – Artefacto
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 18:40

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