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The Verb “Pôr”: In a Group of Its Own?

The verb pôr is an unusual Portuguese verb.
You may be surprised to learn that all verbs ending in -OR are actually part of the same group as verbs that end in –ER. 🤔 These “-por” verbs are considered part of the -ER group because of their Latin origins: pôr used to be written as poer (i.e. with an -ER ending), which comes from the Latin word ponere.
Let’s look at the present tense conjugations, which are irregular:

verb-icon

pôr
to put

Indicativo

Pôr – Indicativo – Presente

Ele põe demasiado açúcar no café.
He puts too much sugar in his coffee.

  • eu ponho
  • I put
  • tu pões
  • you put
  • ele / ela põe
  • he / she puts
  • você põe
  • you formal put
  • nós pomos
  • we put
  • eles / elas põem
  • they masc. / they fem. put
  • vocês põem
  • you pl. put

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There are also some derivative verbs that end in “-por” (notice the dropped ˆ circumflex). These verbs are conjugated with the same endings:
verb-icon

compor

Indicativo

Compor – Indicativo – Presente

Tu compões peças lindas.
You compose beautiful pieces.

  • eu componho
  • I compose
  • tu compões
  • you compose
  • ele / ela compõe
  • he / she composes
  • você compõe
  • you formal compose
  • nós compomos
  • we compose
  • eles / elas compõem
  • they masc. / they fem. compose
  • vocês compõem
  • you pl. compose

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verb-icon

propor
to propose

Indicativo

Propor – Indicativo – Presente

Eu proponho que acabemos isto amanhã.
I propose that we finish this tomorrow.

  • eu proponho
  • I propose
  • tu propões
  • you propose
  • ele / ela propõe
  • he / she proposes
  • você propõe
  • you formal propose
  • nós propomos
  • we propose
  • eles / elas propõem
  • they masc. / they fem. propose
  • vocês propõem
  • you pl. propose

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We’ll practice using the verb pôr and its derivatives in the following lessons.

Comments

  • Ah, it helps a lot to see the Latin root – I’d been wondering how this verb relates to “poner” in Spanish. Now I see!

  • Hi,
    I can’t figure out when to use ” a mala dela” or ” a sua mala”
    Is there a rule or is it optional?

    I am really enjoying the course and I am glad I chose you for leaning Portuguese

    Thank you
    Stein

    • Good question! They are both accurate, though “a mala dela” is a bit more common to hear. Using dele and dela makes it less ambiguous, so you would only want to use “a sua mala” if it’s clear from context who you are talking about (since sua could mean your(formal), his, her, or their). You’ll learn more about the difference between these forms in the Possessives unit.

  • Hi guys! In the first exercise, why is it “… a roupa lá fora” and not “na fora”? I haven’t seen “lá fora” before 🙂 (also, sorry if I’m asking this in the wrong place, this is my first time posting a question!) Thank you, obrigada!

    • Olá, Hayley! “Lá fora” is our usual way of saying “outside”. “Na fora” wouldn’t be grammatically correct, because prepositions/articles (you have both here, since na = em + a) aren’t paired up with adverbs like “fora”. So instead, you get this combination of two adverbs, “lá fora” 🙂 “Fora” on its own might be understood as just “out”, rather than “outside”.

  • Thank you so much, Joseph! I’ve definitely been saying na fora… 😂 So I’ll make sure to commit this one to memory!

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