If you’ve been learning Portuguese for a while, and if you’ve done our unit on -ER Verbs (if you haven’t, go do it now!), you may have noticed a glaring absence: the verb haver , one of the most essential Portuguese verbs.
Haver is an odd beast, as we shall see in the next two lessons. The verb haver is mainly used in three different ways: to indicate that something exists, to indicate that something has happened in the past, or to say that something will happen in the future.
When used as a main verb to indicate the existence of something, the verb haver is impersonal and can’t be conjugated!
há there is
haviathere was, there used to be
haveráthere will be
But it is often used as an auxiliary verb, in which case it can be conjugated in different tenses and persons. In practice, it is only used in this way in very few tenses.
For the purposes of this lesson, let’s see three of the most common tenses of the verb: