Regular Verbs in the Simple Past: AR Verbs

The English simple past (e.g. “I went”, “We ate”, “You finished”) corresponds to the Portuguese Pretérito Perfeito.
As with the present tense, conjugating regular Portuguese verbs in this tense is easier once you learn the patterns for each verb group.
Examples of some regular verbs in the -AR group are falar to speak, gostar to like, and andar to walk.
Let’s see the conjugations for the latter:

to walk


Andar – Indicativo – Pretérito

Nós andámos até ao topo da montanha.
We walked up to the top of the mountain.

  • eu andei
  • I walked
  • tu andaste
  • you walked
  • ele / ela andou
  • he / she walked
  • você andou
  • you formal walked
  • nós andámos
  • we walked
  • eles / elas andaram
  • they masc. / they fem. walked
  • vocês andaram
  • you pl. walked


To conjugate other regular -AR verbs in this tense, you just have to figure out the verb stem (in this case, “and-“) and then add the correct endings (-ei, -aste, -ou, -ámos, -aram). Remember, the verb stem ends before the last vowel of the verb in its infinitive form. For example, the verb stem of “passear” is “passe-“.
If we wanted to conjugate the verb comprar to buy, the verb stem would be “compr-“. After adding the endings, we’d get the following:

to buy


Comprar – Indicativo – Pretérito

Tu compraste o tamanho errado.
You bought the wrong size.

  • eu comprei
  • I bought
  • tu compraste
  • you bought
  • ele / ela comprou
  • he / she bought
  • você comprou
  • you formal bought
  • nós comprámos
  • we bought
  • eles / elas compraram
  • they masc. / they fem. bought
  • vocês compraram
  • you pl. bought


More Examples of Regular -AR Verbs in the Simple Past

to look


Olhar – Indicativo – Pretérito

Ela olhou para mim na festa.
She looked at me at the party.

  • eu olhei
  • I looked
  • tu olhaste
  • you looked
  • ele / ela olhou
  • he / she looked
  • você olhou
  • you formal looked
  • nós olhámos
  • we looked
  • eles / elas olharam
  • they masc. / they fem. looked
  • vocês olharam
  • you pl. looked


to ask (a question)


Perguntar – Indicativo – Pretérito

Eles perguntaram por ti.
They asked about you.

  • eu perguntei
  • I asked
  • tu perguntaste
  • you asked
  • ele / ela perguntou
  • he / she asked
  • você perguntou
  • you formal asked
  • nós perguntámos
  • we asked
  • eles / elas perguntaram
  • they masc. / they fem. asked
  • vocês perguntaram
  • you pl. asked


to help


Ajudar – Indicativo – Pretérito

Vocês ajudaram-nos muito.
You helped us a lot.

  • eu ajudei
  • I helped
  • tu ajudaste
  • you helped
  • ele / ela ajudou
  • he / she helped
  • você ajudou
  • you formal helped
  • nós ajudámos
  • we helped
  • eles / elas ajudaram
  • they masc. / they fem. helped
  • vocês ajudaram
  • you pl. helped


to teach


Ensinar – Indicativo – Pretérito

Eu ensinei a minha irmã a contar.
I taught my sister how to count.

  • eu ensinei
  • I taught
  • tu ensinaste
  • you taught
  • ele / ela ensinou
  • he / she taught
  • você ensinou
  • you formal taught
  • nós ensinámos
  • we taught
  • eles / elas ensinaram
  • they masc. / they fem. taught
  • vocês ensinaram
  • you pl. taught


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