Regular -AR Verbs in the Present Tense

In Portuguese, verbs are split into three groups:

In this article, we’ll cover the first group: -AR Verbs!
Common regular verbs ending in -AR include falar to speak, pensar to think and amar to love
When the conjugation is regular, the endings of conjugated -AR verbs follow the same pattern. Below, we’ll use the Portuguese regular verb falar to speak in the present tense as an example:

falar
to speak

Indicativo

Falar – Indicativo – Presente

Eu falo com ela todos os dias.
I speak with her everyday.

  • eu falo
  • I speak
  • tu falas
  • you speak
  • ele / ela fala
  • he / she speaks
  • você fala
  • you formal speak
  • nós falamos
  • we speak
  • eles / elas falam
  • they masc. / they fem. speak
  • vocês falam
  • you pl. speak

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Once you memorize the endings for one regular -AR verb conjugation (-o, -as, -a, -amos, -am), you can follow the same pattern to conjugate all the other -AR verbs… (unless they’re irregular 🙈).

More Examples of Regular -AR Verb Conjugations

gostar
to like

Indicativo

Gostar – Indicativo – Presente

Eu gosto desta música.
I like this song.

  • eu gosto
  • I like
  • tu gostas
  • you like
  • ele / ela gosta
  • he / she likes
  • você gosta
  • you formal like
  • nós gostamos
  • we like
  • eles / elas gostam
  • they masc. / they fem. like
  • vocês gostam
  • you pl. like

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viajar
to travel

Indicativo

Viajar – Indicativo – Presente

Tu viajas muito?
Do you travel much?

  • eu viajo
  • I travel
  • tu viajas
  • you travel
  • ele / ela viaja
  • he / she travels
  • você viaja
  • you formal travel
  • nós viajamos
  • we travel
  • eles / elas viajam
  • they masc. / they fem. travel
  • vocês viajam
  • you pl. travel

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trabalhar
to work

Indicativo

Trabalhar – Indicativo – Presente

Ele trabalha aqui.
He works here.

  • eu trabalho
  • I work
  • tu trabalhas
  • you work
  • ele / ela trabalha
  • he / she works
  • você trabalha
  • you formal work
  • nós trabalhamos
  • we work
  • eles / elas trabalham
  • they masc. / they fem. work
  • vocês trabalham
  • you pl. work

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estudar
to study

Indicativo

Estudar – Indicativo – Presente

Tu estudas demais!
You study too much!

  • eu estudo
  • I study
  • tu estudas
  • you study
  • ele / ela estuda
  • he / she studies
  • você estuda
  • you formal study
  • nós estudamos
  • we study
  • eles / elas estudam
  • they masc. / they fem. study
  • vocês estudam
  • you pl. study

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Verb Stems

Notice that the verb stem (the beginning of the verb to which you add the respective ending) ends right before the last vowel of the verb in its infinitive form. So, the stem of viajar is viaj-, the stem of estudar is estud-, and the stem of anunciar would be anunci-.
Regardless of which tense you are using, if you’re conjugating a regular Portuguese verb, you will always take the same verb stem and add on the appropriate ending.

Tip

  • The first person singular of every single regular verb in Portuguese always ends with just an o, so that’s the easiest one to memorize. You’ll confirm this as you read about the -ER and -IR verb groups as well.

Comments:

  • In the following lesson there is a rather annoying mix up of talk and speak in the translations, sometimes marked as wrong.

    • Thanks for your comment. It’s tricky, because the verb “falar” can mean both “to talk” and “to speak”, so the two possibilities are covered. Feel free to reach out via the contact page (https://www.practiceportuguese.com/contact/) if any specific question was confusing to you and you’d like extra clarification. In alternative, when going through the lessons, you can also click on the option “Send feedback about this question” that appears on the bottom right after you check your answer.

    • Actually, the stem of the verb ‘amar’ would be ‘am-‘, to which you add the suffix ‘-am’. So, you end up with “amam” – this is the right conjugation in the third-person plural 🙂

  • Aft the long. break I had due to the move to Portugal followed by super “fast” internet provision and connection taking about 8 weeks to complete, I am now back on! Hurrah. Some catching up to do though.

  • Oh how I’ve missed verb conjugation! For this to make sense, I have to translate to french and then to portugese!

  • I noticed in many of the pronounncation clips that native speakers will blend or almost drop certain voul sounds.
    For example: She is the woman Ela e a mulher. I only hear a single long a sound for (ea) Like wise if an e proceeds the letter s in the beginning of a word it almost sounds as the short e sound is dropped. For Example Estudar. I wonder if this is just habit or if it is according to pronunciation rules. Might there be in the future some advanced pronunciation lessons?

    • Hi Michelle, You’re absolutely right. You will notice lots of “disappearing” sounds like this. We actually made a video about it that you can watch here: Mystery of the Disappearing Sounds. Sounds blending together happens to some extent in all languages when speaking quickly, but the dropping of vowels is especially common in European Portuguese!

    • Hi Chris, Can you tell me more about what you mean? I’m not sure which pronunciations you’re having trouble with. Let me know and I’ll see if I can help!

  • The “…..am” with falam, gostam, viajam and estudam basically become one of two sounds – why and what tells you to pronoiunce tghem differently?
    Thanks

    • Hi, Chris. The ending -am sound is actually quite consistent across different words. Maybe you’re just noticing minor variations of rhythm or inflection?

  • The order of the plurals is different from the singulars:
    1st person singular, 2nd person singular, 3rd person singular. But then you have 1st person plural followed by 3rd person plural and then 2nd person plural. Is this a Portuguese tradition? I find it confusing.

    • Good question – the variety of 2nd person forms is what complicates things here. It’s divided up this way because 2nd person singular FORMAL (você) is conjugated exactly the same as 3rd person singular, and 2nd person plural (vocês) is conjugated exactly the same as 3rd person plural. Since the last 2 categories from each section are conjugated the same way, they are grouped together. So even though tu and você are technically both 2nd person, it makes more sense to think of você as part of the 3rd person singular category when it comes to adding verb endings. Same with vocês, it makes more sense to think of it as part of the 3rd person plural category.

      Singular:
      1st person singular (eu)
      2nd person singular informal (tu)
      3rd person singular (ele, ela) AND 2nd person singular formal (você and forms of você)

      Plural:
      1st person plural (nós)
      —There is another 2nd person plural formal form that would go here (vós), but we don’t cover this because it’s a mostly archaic form
      3rd person plural (eles, elas) AND 2nd person plural (vocês)

      Let me know if that helps clarify things!

  • If the current order of the 3rd person plural and the “2nd person plural” (vocês) was inverted the two would be still grouped together and people like Will and me wouldn’t be confused. I don’t see any downside to this approach. Maybe I’m missing something though?

  • I still can’t understand how you pronounce the…am of the plural. Could you explain me somehow. I have listened many times the audio of the word but still… It’s a bit confusing .

    • Olá, Amalia. Maybe instead of thinking about -am, you can think of -ão, because both have the same sound. You have to think of these as ending nasally, but without closing your lips/mouth completely. The only similar sound I know in English would be the ‘-ng’ sound in words such as sung or rung, except that the Portuguese nasal sounds aren’t as closed.

  • I love the way I´m able to practice pronouncing the words. As a Spanish speaker I´m used to all the vowel sounds being open. Great so far.

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