Regular -ER/-IR Verbs in the Simple Past

-ER Verbs in the Simple Past

Regular verbs in the -ER group include escrever to write and correr to run. Let’s see how they would be conjugated in the pretérito perfeito simple past:

escrever
to write

Indicativo

Escrever – Indicativo – Pretérito

Ele escreveu um livro.
He wrote a book.

  • eu escrevi
  • I wrote
  • tu escreveste
  • you wrote
  • ele / ela escreveu
  • he / she wrote
  • você escreveu
  • you formal wrote
  • nós escrevemos
  • we wrote
  • eles / elas escreveram
  • they masc. / they fem. wrote
  • vocês escreveram
  • you pl. wrote

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correr
to run

Indicativo

Correr – Indicativo – Pretérito

Eu corri uma hora ontem.
I ran for an hour yesterday.

  • eu corri
  • I ran
  • tu correste
  • you ran
  • ele / ela correu
  • he / she ran
  • você correu
  • you formal ran
  • nós corremos
  • we ran
  • eles / elas correram
  • they masc. / they fem. ran
  • vocês correram
  • you pl. ran

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Once you figure out the verb stems, which in this case are escrev- and corr-, you just add the correct ending (-i, -este, -eu, -emos, -eram). Notice that aside from the first person singular, the endings always start with e- for these -ER verbs. This is a good tip to get you started whenever you’re trying to remember the correct conjugations!

Here are couple more examples of common regular -ER verbs:

viver
to live

Indicativo

Viver – Indicativo – Pretérito

Eu vivi em Nova Iorque dois anos.
I lived in New York for two years.

  • eu vivi
  • I lived
  • tu viveste
  • you lived
  • ele / ela viveu
  • he / she lived
  • você viveu
  • you formal lived
  • nós vivemos
  • we lived
  • eles / elas viveram
  • they masc. / they fem. lived
  • vocês viveram
  • you pl. lived

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comer
to eat

Indicativo

Comer – Indicativo – Pretérito

Nós comemos tanto no casamento!
We ate so much at the wedding!

  • eu comi
  • I ate
  • tu comeste
  • you ate
  • ele / ela comeu
  • he / she ate
  • você comeu
  • you formal ate
  • nós comemos
  • we ate
  • eles / elas comeram
  • they masc. / they fem. ate
  • vocês comeram
  • you pl. ate

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-IR Verbs in the Simple Past

The regular endings for the -IR group are the same as the -ER group, except that they all start with i- instead of e- (-i, -iste, -iu, -imos, -iram).
Some examples of regular verbs in this group are partir to leave, to break, dividir to divide and decidir to decide. Their respective verb stems are part-, divid-, and decid-. Let’s take a look at the conjugations:

partir
to leave / to break

Indicativo

Partir – Indicativo – Pretérito

Tu partiste o prato da minha avó.
You broke my grandmother’s plate.

  • eu parti
  • I left
  • tu partiste
  • you left
  • ele / ela partiu
  • he / she left
  • você partiu
  • you formal left
  • nós partimos
  • we left
  • eles / elas partiram
  • they masc. / they fem. left
  • vocês partiram
  • you pl. left

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dividir
to share / to divide

Indicativo

Dividir – Indicativo – Pretérito

O professor dividiu a turma em dois grupos.
The teacher divided the class in two groups.

  • eu dividi
  • I shared
  • tu dividiste
  • you shared
  • ele / ela dividiu
  • he / she shared
  • você dividiu
  • you formal shared
  • nós dividimos
  • we shared
  • eles / elas dividiram
  • they masc. / they fem. shared
  • vocês dividiram
  • you pl. shared

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decidir
to decide

Indicativo

Decidir – Indicativo – Pretérito

Ela decidiu mudar de casa.
She decided to move out of her house.

  • eu decidi
  • I decided
  • tu decidiste
  • you decided
  • ele / ela decidiu
  • he / she decided
  • você decidiu
  • you formal decided
  • nós decidimos
  • we decided
  • eles / elas decidiram
  • they masc. / they fem. decided
  • vocês decidiram
  • you pl. decided

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Comments:

  • Fantastic, I have never learn’t the simple past before. I found this most helpful and clear for the regular verbs.
    Muito obrigada
    Laura Parsons

  • So, the preterite and the present first person plural for ER and IR verbs are the same? i.e. “nós dividimos” can mean either “we divide” or “we divided”? Não gosto disso. 🙂

    • Yes, for regular ER and IR verbs, the presente do indicativo and pretérito perfeito do indicativo are both the same. So you have to rely on context. Haha, I don’t like it either!

  • Hello,
    So there’s no really difference in pronunciation of ‘dividimos’ (we share/ we shared)? And we can only verify by the context?
    Thanks.

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