Irregular -ER Verbs

Quick review of regular -ER verb endings

Let’s start out with a regular verb:

escrever
to write

Indicativo

Escrever – Indicativo – Presente

Tu escreves poemas lindos.
You write beautiful poems.

  • eu escrevo
  • I write
  • tu escreves
  • you write
  • ele / ela escreve
  • he / she writes
  • você escreve
  • you formal write
  • nós escrevemos
  • we write
  • eles / elas escrevem
  • they masc. / they fem. write
  • vocês escrevem
  • you pl. write

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The verb stem escrev- is combined with the regular -ER present tense endings (-o, –es, –e, –emos, –em).

Irregular -ER Verbs

For an irregular example, let’s have a look at ser paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to be (permanent), which you’ve likely seen by now. This verb is a mess! Not only does it have non-standard endings, but it doesn’t even have a fixed verb stem (that is, the beginning part of the conjugation is different).

ser
to be (permanent condition)

Indicativo

Ser – Indicativo – Presente

Tu és uma boa pessoa.
You’re a good person.

  • eu sou
  • I am
  • tu és
  • you are
  • ele / ela é
  • he / she is
  • você é
  • you formal are
  • nós somos
  • we are
  • eles / elas são
  • they masc. / they fem. are
  • vocês são
  • you pl. are

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The next irregular example is a bit less drastic. At least here the conjugations all start with “te-“, just like the infinitive verb:

ter
to have

Indicativo

Ter – Indicativo – Presente

Tu tens olhos azuis.
You have blue eyes.

  • eu tenho
  • I have
  • tu tens
  • you have
  • ele / ela tem
  • he / she has
  • você tem
  • you formal have
  • nós temos
  • we have
  • eles / elas têm
  • they masc. / they fem. have
  • vocês têm
  • you pl. have

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Now let’s compare ter paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio to have with the regular -ER endings:

Regular -ER Endings Actual Conjugation of “Ter”
-o Eu tenho paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio I have
-es Tu tens paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio You(sing.inf.) have
-e Ele, Ela, Você tem paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio He, she, you(sing.form.) have
-emos Nós temos paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio We have
-em Eles, Elas, Vocês têm paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio They, you(plur.) have

Other Common Irregular -ER Verbs

dizer
to say

Indicativo

Dizer – Indicativo – Presente

Ele diz que está feliz.
He says that he is happy.

  • eu digo
  • I say
  • tu dizes
  • you say
  • ele / ela diz
  • he / she says
  • você diz
  • you formal say
  • nós dizemos
  • we say
  • eles / elas dizem
  • they masc. / they fem. say
  • vocês dizem
  • you pl. say

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fazer
to do

Indicativo

Fazer – Indicativo – Presente

Tu fazes coisas maravilhosas.
You make wonderful things.

  • eu faço
  • I do
  • tu fazes
  • you do
  • ele / ela faz
  • he / she does
  • você faz
  • you formal do
  • nós fazemos
  • we do
  • eles / elas fazem
  • they masc. / they fem. do
  • vocês fazem
  • you pl. do

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querer
to want

Indicativo

Querer – Indicativo – Presente

Tu queres demasiadas coisas.
You want too many things.

  • eu quero
  • I want
  • tu queres
  • you want
  • ele / ela quer
  • he / she wants
  • você quer
  • you formal want
  • nós queremos
  • we want
  • eles / elas querem
  • they masc. / they fem. want
  • vocês querem
  • you pl. want

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saber
to know (about)

Indicativo

Saber – Indicativo – Presente

Você sabe onde fica a casa de banho?
Do you know where the bathroom is?

  • eu sei
  • I know
  • tu sabes
  • you know
  • ele / ela sabe
  • he / she knows
  • você sabe
  • you formal know
  • nós sabemos
  • we know
  • eles / elas sabem
  • they masc. / they fem. know
  • vocês sabem
  • you pl. know

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ter
to have

Indicativo

Ter – Indicativo – Presente

Tu tens olhos azuis.
You have blue eyes.

  • eu tenho
  • I have
  • tu tens
  • you have
  • ele / ela tem
  • he / she has
  • você tem
  • you formal have
  • nós temos
  • we have
  • eles / elas têm
  • they masc. / they fem. have
  • vocês têm
  • you pl. have

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trazer
to bring

Indicativo

Trazer – Indicativo – Presente

Eu trago sempre tudo comigo.
I always bring everything with me.

  • eu trago
  • I bring
  • tu trazes
  • you bring
  • ele / ela traz
  • he / she brings
  • você traz
  • you formal bring
  • nós trazemos
  • we bring
  • eles / elas trazem
  • they masc. / they fem. bring
  • vocês trazem
  • you pl. bring

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poder
can / to be able to

Indicativo

Poder – Indicativo – Presente

Com esse dinheiro, tu podes comprar um carro.
With that money, you can buy a car.

  • eu posso
  • I can
  • tu podes
  • you can
  • ele / ela pode
  • he / she can
  • você pode
  • you formal can
  • nós podemos
  • we can
  • eles / elas podem
  • they masc. / they fem. can
  • vocês podem
  • you pl. can

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ver
to see

Indicativo

Ver – Indicativo – Presente

Eu vejo bem porque uso óculos.
I see well because I wear glasses.

  • eu vejo
  • I see
  • tu vês
  • you see
  • ele / ela
  • he / she sees
  • você
  • you formal see
  • nós vemos
  • we see
  • eles / elas veem
  • they masc. / they fem. see
  • vocês veem
  • you pl. see

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Comments:

  • The conjugations for ver and vir are very confusing for me. I suspect they are for others as well. Perhaps some exercises that flip back and forth between the conjugations for the two verbs?

    • Same here! I get them confused all the time. This is for the simple past tense, but check out Lesson 13 in this unit: Simple Past 2. Maybe we can add something similar for some of the other tenses.

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