Verbs

This is a brief introduction to my Portuguese Grammar bookwhich is illustrated and much more complete and detailed than the material available on my website.

 

My Portuguese Grammar book covers all the essential aspects of Portuguese verbs. It is divided into four chapters. The first chapter presents an introduction to Portuguese verbs; the second chapter presents Portuguese tenses in more detail; the third chapter presents tables of regular and irregular verbs conjugated in all tenses and the fourth chapter presents a list of approximately 850 Portuguese verbs, sorted into groups according to their special characteristics.

 

If you are learning Portuguese as a second language and need a complete, concise and practical reference, you can order my Portuguese Grammar book and Portuguese Course, which are complementary to each other. Both materials are designed for self-study and suitable for beginners to advanced students

 

  1. Introduction
  2. Conjugation
  3. Mood
  4. Tenses
  5. Regular Verbs
  6. Indicative Simple Tenses
  7. Indicative Continuous Tenses
  8. Indicative Compound Tenses
  9. Subjunctive Simple Tenses
  10. Subjunctive Continuous Tenses
  11. Subjunctive Compound Tenses
  12. Imperative (Command)
  13. Personal Infinitive
  14. Participles
  15. Irregular Verbs
  16. Indicative
  17. Subjunctive
  18. Imperative and Personal Infinitive
  19. Active and Passive Voice

1. Introduction

 

A verb is an action or a doing word in a sentence. It is the most important word in a sentence that must always be present to complete an idea.

In Portuguese, the endings of verbs are more varied and there are more tenses available than in English. Therefore, Portuguese verbs are much more complicated than English verbs.

 

2. Conjugation

 

There are three conjugations, that is, three main verb groups in Portuguese.

 

verbs ending in -ar falar to speak
verbs ending in -er beber to drink
Verbs ending in -ir assistir to watch

Remarks: 

 

  • It is very important to distinguish the ending of a verb because all regular verbs with the same ending follow the same pattern.
  • Verbs ending in –ar are the most common ones.
  • There are also verbs ending in –or like pôr (to put), compor (to compose), supor (suppose), etc., but these verbs are irregular. 

 

3. Mood

 

In Portuguese, the verbs are divided into three moods.

 

Indicative used to express a sure fact.
Subjunctive used to express an unsure or possible fact, a wish, etc.
Imperative used to express a command, a wish or an advice.

Remarks: 

 

  • The subjunctive is used after certain verbs, expressions, conjunctions and adverbs. The subjunctive is difficult to understand because iis used differently in English and it doesn’t correspond exactly in tense to the Portuguese tense.

  • The study of the subjunctive is for intermediate and advanced students, but you can easily communicate in Portuguese without it in the early stage.

  • For those interested in learning Portuguese seriously, there is a chapter (Portuguese Tenses) in the Portuguese Grammar book which explains in detail and gives all the rules for using the subjunctive and the other tenses available and used in Portuguese.

 

4. Tenses

 

In Portuguese, a tense can be called simple tense or compound tense. A simple tense consists of only one verb, that is, the main verb while a compound tense consists of two verbs, that is, an auxiliary verb and the main verb.

The main auxiliary verbs used in Portuguese to form compound tenses are estar (to be, used to form continuous tenses); ir (to go, used to form the future tense); ter (to have, used to form perfect tenses) and ser (to be, used to form the passive voice). 

 

5. Regular Verbs

 

Regular verbs have a invariable radical (falar – to speak) and are easy to memorize.

Each conjugation follows a different, but regular pattern.

Below you will find an example of regular verbs conjugated in all tenses available and used in Portuguese. 

 

6. Indicative Simple Tenses – Falar/BeberAssistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

Falar (to speak) Beber (to drink) Assistir (to watch)
Presente (Simple Present)
eu falo bebo assisto
você/ele/ela fala bebe assise
nós falamos bebemos assistimos
vocês/eles/elas falam bebem assistem
Stress: falo/fala/falamos/falam
Pretérito Perfeito Simples (Simple Past/Present Perfect)
eu falei bebi assisti
você/ele/ela falou bebeu assistiu
nós falamos bebemos assistimos
vocês/eles/elas falaram beberam asssistiram
Stress: falei/falou/falamos/falaram
Pretérito Imperfeito (Past Imperfect)
eu falava bebia assistia
você/ele/ela falava bebia assistia
nós falávamos bebíamos assistíamos
vocês/eles/elas falavam bebiam  assistiam
Stress: falava/falava/favamos/falavam
Pretérito Mais-Que-Perfeito Simples (Past Perfect)
eu falara bebera assistira
você/ele/ela falara bebera assistira
nós faláramos bebêramos assistíramos
vocês/eles/elas falaram beberam asssistiram
Stress: falara/falara/faramos/falaram
Futuro (Simple Future)
eu vou falar vou beber vou assistir
você/ele/ela vai falar vai beber vai assistir
nós vamos falar vamos beber vamos assistir
vocês/eles/elas vão falar vão beber vão assistir
Stress: vou/vai/vamos/vão + falar
Futuro do Presente Simples (Simple Future)
eu falarei beberei assistirei
você/ele/ela falará beberá assistirá
nós falaremos beberemos assistiremos
vocês/eles/elas falarão beberão assistirão
Stress: falarei/fala/falaremos/falarão
Futuro do Pretérito Simples (Conditional)
eu falaria beberia assistiria
você/ele/ela falaria beberia assistiria
nós falaríamos beberíamos assistiríamos
vocês/eles/elas falariam beberiam assistiriam
Stress: falaria/falaria/falaamos/falariam

Remarks:

 

  • The simple present is the tense with the most irregular verbs in Portuguese. 
  • The simple past is the most frequently used past tense in Portuguese.
  • The past perfect tense (simple form) is rarely used nowadays, even in the written form.
  • There are two ways (simple and compound form) to express the simple future in Portuguese. The compound form (ir + infinitive) is more frequently used than the simple form. 
  • The conditional is also a tense in Portuguese.

 

Examples:

 

Eu falo speak
Eu falei spoke/have spoken
Eu falava spoke/used to speak
Eu falara = tinha falado had spoken
Eu vou falar = falarei am going to/will speak
Eu falaria would speak

7. Indicative Continuous Tenses – Falar/Beber/Assistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

Presente Contínuo (Present Continuous)
eu estou falando estou bebendo estou assistindo
você/ele/ela está falando está bebendo está assistindo
nós estamos falando estamos bebendo estamos assistindo
vocês/eles/elas estão falando estão bebendo estão assistindo
Stress: estou/es/estamos/estão + falando
Passado Contínuo (Past Continuous)
eu estava falando estava bebendo estava assistindo
você/ele/ela estava falando estava bebendo estava assistindo
nós estávamos falando estávamos bebendo estávamos assistindo
vocês/eles/elas estavam falando estavam bebendo estavam assistindo
Stress: estava/esvamos/estavam + falando

Remarks: 

 

  • In Portuguese, all verbs, with the exception of the verb estar (to be), can be used to form the continuous tenses (progressive form).
  • The Portuguese –ndo form corresponds to the English –ing form.
  • To form the –ndo form, just drop the r from the infinitive form and add –ndo. Example: fala> fala > falando (to speak > speaking)

 

Examples:

 

Eu estou falando am speaking
Eu estava falando was speaking

8. Indicative Compound Tenses – Falar/Beber/Assistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

Pretérito Perfeito Composto (Present Perfect Continuous/Present Perfect)

eu tenho falado

tenho bebido

tenho assistido

você/ele/ela tem falado

tem bebido

tem assistido

nós temos falado

temos bebido

temos assistido

vocês/eles/elas têm falado

têm bebido

têm assistido

Stress: tenho/tem/temos/têm + falado
Pretérito Mais-Que-Perfeito Composto (Past Perfect)

eu tinha falado

tinha bebido

tinha assistido

você/ele/ela tinha falado

tinha bebido

tinha assistido

nós tínhamos falado

tínhamos bebido

tínhamos assistido

vocês/eles/elas tinham falado

tinham bebido

tinham assistido

Stress: tinha/tinha/nhamos/tinham + falado
Futuro do Presente Composto (Future Perfect)

eu terei falado

terei bebido

terei assistido

você/ele/ela terá falado

terá bebido

terá assistido

nós teremos falado

teremos bebido

teremos assistido

vocês/eles/elas terão falado

terão bebido

terão assistido

Stress: terei/te/teremos/terão + falado
Futuro do Pretérito Composto (Conditional Perfect)

eu teria falado

teria bebido

teria assistido

você/ele/ela teria falado

teria bebido

teria assistido

nós teríamos falado

teríamos bebido

teríamos assistido

vocês/eles/elas teriam falado

teriam bebido

teriam assistido

Stress: teria/teria/teamos/teriam + falado

Remarks:

 

  • The past perfect compound tense is preferred to the past perfect simple tense.
  • The future perfect, normally seen in the written form, is rarely used.

 

Examples:

 

Eu tenho falado have spoken/been speaking
Eu tinha falado = falara had spoken
Eu terei falado will have spoken
Eu teria falado would have spoken

9. Subjunctive Simple Tenses – Falar/Beber/Assistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

Presente do Subjuntivo (Present Subjunctive)
eu fale beba assista
você/ele/ela fale beba assista
nós falemos bebamos assistamos
vocês/eles/elas falem bebam assistam
Stress: fale/fale/falemos/falem
Imperfeito do Subjuntivo (Imperfect Subjunctive)
eu falasse bebesse assistisse
você/ele/ela falasse bebesse assistisse
nós falássemos bebêssemos assistíssemos
vocês/eles/elas falassem bebessem assistissem
Stress: falasse/falasse/fassemos/falassem
Futuro Simples do Subjuntivo (Future Subjunctive)
eu falar beber assistir
você/ele/ela falar beber assistir
nós falarmos bebermos assistirmos
vocês/eles/elas falarem beberem assistirem
Stress: falar/falar/falarmos/falarem

Examples:

 

Talvez eu fale Maybe I will speak
Se eu falasse If I spoke
Quando eu falar Whenever I speak

10. Subjunctive Continuous Tenses – Falar/Beber/Assistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

Presente Contínuo do Subjuntivo (Present Continuous Subjunctive)
eu esteja falando esteja bebendo esteja assistindo
você/ele/ela esteja falando esteja bebendo esteja assistindo
nós estejamos falando estejamos bebendo estejamos assistindo
vocês/eles/elas estejam falando estejam bebendo estejam assistindo
Stress: esteja/esteja/estejamos/estejam + falando
Passado Contínuo do Subjuntivo (Past Continuous Subjunctive)
eu estivesse falando estivesse bebendo estivesse assistindo
você/ele/ela estivesse falando estivesse bebendo estivesse assistindo
nós estivéssemos falando estivéssemos bebendo estivéssemos assistindo
vocês/eles/elas estivessem falando estivessem bebendo estivessem assistindo
Stress: estivesse/estivesse/estissemos/estivessem + falando
Futuro Contínuo do Subjuntivo (Future Continuous Subjunctive)
eu estiver falando estiver bebendo estiver assistindo
você/ele/ela estiver falando estiver bebendo estiver assistindo
nós estivermos falando estivermos bebendo estivermos assistindo
vocês/eles/elas estiverem falando estiverem bebendo estiverem assistindo
Stress: estiver/estiver/estivermos/estiverem + falando

Examples:

 

Talvez eu esteja falando Maybe I am speaking
Se eu estivesse falando If I were speaking
Quando eu estiver falando When I am speaking

11. Subjunctive Compound Tenses – Falar/Beber/Assistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

Pretérito Perfeito do Subjuntivo (Present Perfect Subjunctive)

eu tenha falado

tenha bebido

tenha assistido

você/ele/ela tenha falado tenha bebido tenha assistido

nós tenhamos falado

tenhamos bebido

tenhamos assistido

vocês/eles/elas tenham falado

tenham bebido

tenham assistido

Stress: tenha/tenha/tenhamos/tenham + falado
Pretérito Mais-Que-Perfeito do Subjuntivo (Past Perfect Subjunctive)

eu tivesse fal-ado

tivesse bebido

tivesse assistido

você/ele/ela tivesse falado tivesse bebido tivesse assistido

nós tivéssemos falado

tivéssemos bebido

tivéssemos assistido

vocês/eles/elas tivessem falado

tivessem bebido

tivessem assistido

Stress: tivesse/tivesse/tissemos/tivessem + falado
Futuro Composto do Subjuntivo (Future Perfect Subjunctive)

eu tiver falado

tiver bebido

tiver assistido

você/ele/ela tiver falado tiver bebido tiver assistido

nós tivermos falado

tivermos bebido

tivermos assistido

vocês/eles/elas tiverem falado

tiverem bebido

tiverem assistido

Stress: tiver/tiver/tivermos/tiverem + falado

Examples:

 

Talvez eu tenha falado Maybe I have spoken
Se eu tivesse falado If I had spoken
Quando eu tiver falado Whenever I have spoken

12. Imperative (Command) – Falar/Beber/Assistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

fal-e = fal-a beb-a = beb-e assist-a = assist-e
fal-em beb-am assistam
Stress: fala/fale/falem

Remarks:

 

  • In Brazil, there are two singular forms for expressing the command. The first one (fala) is widely used in the spoken and the second one (fale) in the written language.
  • There is one more form (falemos/bebamos/assistamos) which refers to the subject pronoun nós (we), but it is rarely used. There is no need to learn it except for Vamos (Let's go).

 

Examples:

 

(Não) fale (Não) fala (Do not) speak
(Não) falem (Do not) speak

13. Personal Infinitive – Falar/Beber/Assistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

Infinitivo Pessoal Simples (Personal Infinitive – Simple Form)
eu falar beber assistir
você/ele/ela falar beber assistir
nós falarmos bebermos assistirmos
vocês/eles/elas falarem beberem assistirem
Stress: falar/falar/falarmos/falarem
Infinitivo Pessoal Composto (Personal Infinitive – Compound form)
eu ter falado ter bebido ter assistido
você/ele/ela ter falado ter bebido ter assistido
nós termos falado termos bebido termos assistido
vocês/eles/elas terem falado terem bebido terem assistido
Stress: ter/ter/termos/terem + falado

Remarks:  

 

  • The personal infinitive is a feature available only in the Portuguese language.
  • The personal infinitive is easy to confuse with the future subjunctive because the regular verbs have the same form in both tenses, but the rules for using the personal infinitive and the future subjunctive are completely different.
  • For those interested in learning Portuguese seriously, there is a chapter (Portuguese Tenses) in the Portuguese Grammar book which explains in detail and give all the rules for using the personal infinitive and the other tenses available and used in Portuguese. 

 

Examples:

 

Depois de eu falar After I spoke
Depois de eu ter falado After I have spoken

14. Participles – Falar/Beber/Assistir (to speak/to drink/to watch)

 

Gerúndio  (Present Participle)
falando bebendo assistindo
Stress: falando
Particípio (Past Participle)
falado bebido assistido
Stress: falado

Remarks: 

 

  • The present participle, called gerund in Portuguese, is usually used to form the continuous tenses and with a few verbs. It is not used after prepositions and it does not have a noun or an adjective function as in English.

  • The past participle can be regular or irregular as in English. In fact, there are only a few frequently used verbs which have irregular past participles. 

  • In Portuguese, there are a few verbs which have two past participles, a regular and an irregular one. The regular form (invariable) is used to form compound (perfect) tenses (ter + past participle) while the irregular form (variable in gender and in number) is mainly used to form the passive voice. 

 

15. Irregular Verbs

 

Irregular verbs which have a variable radical (fazer > façoto do > I do), minor spelling changes (dormir > durmoto sleep > I sleep) and sometimes even a completely different form (ir vouto go > I go), are more difficult and need more time to be memorized. 

Irregular verbs can be very hard, especially for beginners, but do not worry about this. With time and some practice they come naturally.

Below you will find an example of an irregular verb conjugated in all tenses available and used in Portuguese.

 

Remarks:

 

  • In Portuguese, a verb can be regular in one tense, but irregular in another. Verb ter (to have), for example, is irregular in the present and past tenses, but regular in the future, continuous, conditional and compound perfect) tenses. See the table below.

  • For those interested in learning Portuguese seriously, there is a chapter (Portuguese Verbs) in the Portuguese Grammar book which presents tables of regular and irregular verbs, conjugated in all tenses available and used in Portuguese. You can also find lessons on the most common irregular verbs, followed by examples, explanations and lots of interative exercises on my CD-ROM Course, which is also available for sale on my website. 

 

16. Indicative – Ter (to have)

 

ter (to have)
gerúndio/present participle: tendo particípio/past participle: tido

Presente

Simple Present

Perfeito

Simple Past

imperfeito

Past Imperfect

Futuro 

Simple Future

eu tenho tive tinha vou ter
você/ele/ela tem teve tinha vai ter
nós temos tivemos tínhamos vamos ter
vocês/eles/elas têm tiveram tinham vão ter

Pres. Contínuo

Pres. Continuous

Passado Cont.

Past Continuous

Fut. do Pres.

Simple Future

Fut. do Pret.

Conditional

eu estou tendo estava tendo terei teria
você/ele/ela está tendo estava tendo terá teria
nós estamos tendo estávamos tendo teremos teríamos
vocês/eles/elas estão tendo estavam tendo terão teriam

Pret. Perf. Comp.

Pres. Perf. Cont.

Pret. +q/perf. Comp.

Past Perfect

Fut. Pres. Comp.

Future Perfect

Fut. Pret. Comp.

Perf. Conditional

eu tenho tido tinha tido terei tido teria tido
você/ele/ela tem tido tinha tido terá tido teria tido
nós temos tido tínhamos tido teremos tido teríamos tido
vocês/eles/elas têm tido tinham tido terão tido teriam tido

Examples:

 

Eu tenho have
Eu tive I had
Eu tinha had/used to have
Eu estou tendo I am having
Eu estava tendo I was having
Eu vou ter = terei am going to/will have
Eu teria would have
Eu tenho tido I have had
Eu tinha tido = tivera I had had
Eu terei  tido I will have had
Eu teria tido I would have had

17. Subjunctive – Ter (to have)

 

Presente

Present

Imperfeito

Imperfect

Futuro

Future

eu tenha tivesse tiver
você/ele/ela tenha tivesse tiver
nós tenhamos tivéssemos tivermos
vocês/eles/elas tenham tivessem tiverem

Presente Contínuo

Present Continuous

Passado Contínuo

Past Continuous

Futuro Contínuo

Future Continuous

eu esteja tendo estivesse tendo estiver tendo
você/ele/ela esteja tendo estivesse tendo estiver tendo
nós estejamos tendo estivéssemos tendo estivermos tendo
vocês/eles/elas estejam tendo estivessem tendo estiverem tendo

Pret. Perfeito

Present Perfect

Pret. Mais-Que-Perf.

Past Perfect

Futuro Composto

Future Perfect

eu tenha tido tivesse tido tiver tido
você/ele/ela tenha tido tivesse tido tiver tido
nós tenhamos tido tivéssemos tido tivermos tido
vocês/eles/elas tenham tido tivessem tido tiverem tido

Examples:

 

Talvez eu tenha Maybe I have
Se eu tivesse If I had
Quando eu tiver Whenever I have
Talvez eu esteja tendo Maybe I am having
Se eu estivesse tendo If I were having
Quando eu estiver tendo When I am having
Talvez eu tenha tido Maybe I have had
Se eu tivesse tido If I had had
Quando eu tiver tido When I have had

Remark: Remember that the subjunctive is used differently in English and it doesn’t correspond exactly in tense to the Portuguese tense.

 

18. Imperative and Personal Infinitive – Ter (to have)

 

Imperativo 

Command

Infinitivo Simples

Personal infinitive

Infinitivo Composto

Personal Infinitive Perfect

ter ter tido
tenha = tem ter ter tido
(tenhamos) termos termos tido
tenham terem terem tido

Remark: Remember that the personal infinitive is a feature available only in the Portuguese language and it does not have a corresponding form in English.

 

Examples:

 

(Não) tenha (Do not) have
Depois de eu ter After I had
Depois de eu ter tido After I have had

19. Active and Passive Voice – Ter (to have)

 

A verb can be used in the active or in the passive voice. In the active voice the subject does the action while in the passive voice the subject has the action done to it.

The passive voice can be used in all tenses. The verb ser (to be) is used to form the passive voice along with the past participle of the main verb.

 

active O médico me examinou. The doctor examined me.
passive Eu fui examinado (pelo médico). I was examined (by the doctor).

Be aware that in Portuguese in the passive voice not only the verb to be must be in agreement with the object, but also the past participle of the main verb must also be in agreement with the object.

 

Eu fui examinado/examinada I was examined 
Nós fomos examinados/examinadas We were examined 

Remarks:

 

  • The passive voice is followed by the preposition por (by), which can vary pelo(s)/pela(s) as it must agree with the subject it refers to. However, this preposition is usually omitted if it is not important to know by whom the action was done.

  • There are a few verbs like entregar (to deliver) for example, which have two past participles (entregado/entregue – delivered), a regular one and an irregular one. The irregular one (entregue) is used with the passive voice and the regular one (entregado) with the active voice.

  • For those interested in learning Portuguese seriously, there is a chapter (Portuguese Tenses) in the Portuguese Grammar book which explains in more detail the use of the passive voice.​ There is a lesson about the Passive Voice, followed by examples, explanations and lots of interative exercises on my CD-ROM Course, which is also available for sale on my website. 

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