In English the sentence "I'm starving to death" in the meaning of "I'm very hungry" (rather than of a real pathological condition). Is there an equivalent in Portuguese (using the word 'death')?


2 Answers 2


No expression with the exact word "death" (morte) comes to my mind, but the almost literal translation of the expression in English, i.e.,

Estou morrendo de fome.

("I'm dying of hunger.") is very common.

  • 2
    It is the right translation, not literal. death becomes the verb morrer. They swam across the river. Atravessaram o rio nadando.
    – Lambie
    Nov 18, 2023 at 16:04
  • I would have said I am dying of hunger was more common in English too than starving to death. We do say I am starving, of course.
    – mdewey
    Nov 19, 2023 at 13:48
  • @mdewey To starve to death is a common idiom in English. And dying of hunger can be literal or metaphorical.
    – Lambie
    Nov 19, 2023 at 14:00

From a Portuguese (Portugal) perspective, it is more common to say "*Estou a morrer de fome" than "Estou morrendo de fome".

In Portugal the gerund has been largely replaced by "a+infinitive".

Examples: "Estou a comer um bolo." – "I'm eating a cookie". "Estou a passar a ferro." - "I'm ironing clothes".

While in Brazilian Portuguese the main verb comes in the Gerund form, the European standard uses the Infinitive form preceded by the preposition a.

  • 1
    Welcome to Portuguese SE, tony! Thanks for contributing.
    – stafusa
    Nov 20, 2023 at 14:05

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