In this post, you will learn the difference between the verbs "jogar" and brincar" - they both mean "to play", but they are used in different contexts
Let's start with the verb jogar
👉 The verb jogar means to play, as in to take part in a game, where the main objective is to win. For example:
jogar futebol / to play football
Você gosta de jogar futebol? / Do you like playing football?
jogar xadrez / to play chess
Vamos jogar xadrez? / Shall we play chess?
jogar videogame / to play videogames
Ontem joguei videogame o dia inteiro. / Yesterday, I played videogames all day.
👉 The verb jogar can also mean to throw
Vou jogar essa bola pra você! / I'm going to throw this ball to you!
and to throw away
Vou jogar fora essa guitarra! / I'm going to throw away this guitar!
👉 Let's see two very common expressions with the verb jogar:
jogar conversa fora / to chat; to make small talk
Às vezes, eu gosto de jogar conversa fora. / Sometimes I like making small talk.
jogar tudo pro alto / jogar tudo pra cima / to drop everything; to stop doing something
Ontem, quase joguei tudo pro alto! / Yesterday, I almost dropped everything!
Now, let's move onto the verb brincar
👉 The verb brincar can also be translated as to play, but it's used in relation to toys and children's play For example:
brincar de casinha / to play doll
Elas estão brincando de casinha. / They are playing house.
brincar de carrinho / to play (with) toy cars
Eu gostava de brincar de carrinho. / I used to like playing (with) toy cars
brincar de esconde-esconde / to play hide-and-seek
Vamos brincar de esconde-esconde! / Let's play hide-and-seek.
Another meaning of the verb brincar is to joke, to jest:
A very common expression with the verb brincar is
brincar com fogo / to play with fire
Quem brinca com fogo acaba se queimando. / If you play with fire, you get burned.
There is another verb that can also be translated as to play, which is tocar, when referring to a musical instrument.
tocar piano / to play the piano
Eu toco piano todos os dias. / I play the piano every day.