Helena decides to organize her storage closet. Notice how the verb “dar” is used in a variety of different expressions throughout the dialogue.
The simplest translation for the Portuguese verb andar is “to walk”, but the fun doesn’t stop there! Andar can take on many different meanings, depending on the context.
As opposed to caminhar Play normal audio to walk, which is pretty straightforward, andar Play slow audio Play normal audio refers more to the general act of moving, acting, or changing places. It can indicate that an action is about to become habitual or express a sense of continuity (e.g. to “go around” doing something).
You may remember this from when we learned about how to form the present continuous / present progressive tense.
The Most Common Meanings of the Verb Andar
In today’s European Portuguese Listening Practice, a brother confronts his sister about an exciting job offer she has been keeping a secret. Why has she been trying to hide it from everyone? 🚀 Explore the difference between the verbs dizer, falar, and contar.
A couple makes the best of a sunny day by going for a walk on the beach. Verbs practice: irregular -ir verbs in the present tense
Adriana tells Nuno about how her last relationship ended. Verbs practice: irregular verbs in the simple past
Explore the many different uses of the verb “passar” in this dialogue between Eurico and Vanessa.
Explore the difference between the verbs dizer, falar, and contar in this dialogue between a brother and sister.
Jorge tells Soraia about meeting up with an old “friend” over the weekend. Notice the use of many regular and irregular verbs in the simple past tense.
Diogo is in a bad mood and just wants some breakfast. Unfortunately, everywhere he goes seems to be closed. Verbs practice: regular -ir verbs in the present tense
Explore the differences between the verbs ser and estar, as well as some useful adjectives, as Adriano tells us about each member of his family.
Leonor has a test on opposite words tomorrow, so she asks her father to help her study while they walk home from school. Throughout their practice, you’ll learn lots of Portuguese adjectives, plus many examples of when to use ser vs. estar.
With so much to learn about the European Portuguese language, it helps to consider what you’ll actually use most frequently. Let’s start off with the top 10 most common Portuguese verbs!
The verb ficar Play slow audio Play normal audio is a very common, and important, Portuguese verb. Ficar is sort of like a Swiss army knife, as it can take on many meanings… but you also have to careful with it!
In most cases, this verb means to be, to stay, to become, or to keep. It implies that something happened or will happen, or that something changed (and that change can be either permanent or temporary). It can also be used to indicate the placement of objects, cities, buildings and so on (especially unmovable objects), or talk about the location where a certain object is usually stored.
You can explore the different verb conjugations here.
We’ll also discuss the difference between ficar vs. ser vs. estar vs. tornar-se, as these are often difficult for non-native speakers to differentiate.
Most Common Meanings of Ficar
The most important verb to learn when talking about likes and dislikes in Portuguese is gostar Play slow audio Play normal audio to like. Let’s start with a simple example:
It’s important to remember that the preposition de Play slow audio Play normal audio of, from, by goes along with the verb gostar. Adding de may seem strange at first to English speakers because we don’t use a preposition in this context. If it helps you remember to add de, you could also think of it as “I’m fond of“.
So to form this sentence, I just conjugated the verb gostar…
This guide will focus on the differences between the Portuguese verbs falar, dizer, and contar.
The meanings of these words are actually very similar because they all relate to speaking or communicating information. In fact, they’re often considered synonyms and can be used interchangeably in certain contexts. However, it’s important to understand the differences as you work toward making your Portuguese sound more correct and more natural.
If you frequently get confused by these verbs, you’re not alone. They are some of the most commonly confused Portuguese words! This guide will hopefully clarify their differences for you.
In Portuguese, verb phrases are known as locuções verbais. The definition of verb phrases varies in English, but in the Portuguese language, it refers to the use of an auxiliary verb + a main verb. More specifically, the formula “auxiliary verb + the main verb in the infinitive, past participle or gerund”. In such situations, the placement of the clitic pronoun is a bit more lax compared to the rules we’ve discussed in the past.
When the main verb is in the infinitive or gerund
In the first example below, the pronoun comes after the main verb (mostrar) and this would be the most common way to place it. This is because there’s not a so-called “attractive” word that requires you to place it before the verb (such as an adverb or negative word). This usually happens in affirmative sentences.
Joana had a wonderful weekend! Listen for the simple past tense as she describes all the fun she had with her family.
As previously mentioned, the futuro do conjuntivo Play normal audio future subjunctive allows us to talk about the conditions that must be met in order for a potential future action to occur, (i.e. “If this goes well, I will do that” or “When we get home, I will do that”). This tense appears in subordinate adverbial clauses (i.e. clauses which function like an adverb), as well as in relative clauses. It often goes along with the conjunction se Play slow audio Play normal audio if or others such as:
- assim que Play slow audio Play normal audio as soon as, once
- sempre que Play slow audio Play normal audio whenever
- quando Play slow audio Play normal audio when
- enquanto Play slow audio Play normal audio while, as long as
- como Play slow audio Play normal audio how
- o que Play normal audio what
With regular verbs, the futuro do conjuntivo is conjugated exactly the same as the
Another tense that makes up part of the conjuntivo is the imperfeito do conjuntivo Play normal audio imperfect subjunctive. You learned about the pretérito imperfeito do indicativo, which references past events that were ongoing. In the conjuntivo, however, the imperfect refers to:
- past or future wishes and desires;
- something purely hypothetical in the past or future:
- i.e. imagining “what could have been” or “what could be” if things were or had been different;
- something that is or was unlikely to take place.
Presente do Conjuntivo
As one of the tenses that makes up part of the conjuntivo (subjunctive) mood, the presente do conjuntivo Play normal audio present subjunctive lets you talk about something that may or may not happen, but that is within the realm of possibility. This includes hopes, fears, doubts, and other hypotheticals. It tends to be paired with the presente do indicativo, such as in clauses beginning with:
- Espero que… Play normal audio I hope that…
- É importante que… Play normal audio It’s important that…
- É bom que… Play normal audio It would be good if…, Literal – It is good that…
- Receio que… Play normal audio I’m afraid that…
- Duvido que… Play normal audio I doubt that…
- Desejo que… Play normal audio I wish that…
- Quer que eu…? Play normal audio Do you want me to…?
In the next lessons, we’ll focus on the presente do conjuntivo, but you
Conjuntivo: What is it?
What in English is called the subjunctive mood, in European Portuguese is named modo conjuntivo Play normal audio subjunctive mode. While the indicativo Play normal audio indicative mood refers to actions that are certain or real, the conjuntivo, in contrast, indicates something possible, desired, hypothetical, or even unreal. It conveys the idea of uncertainty, doubt, or hope.
It is often found in sentences that contain the word se Play slow audio Play normal audio if or after a verb + que Play slow audio Play normal audio that, as you will notice in many (but not all) of the examples.
The conjuntivo can appear in
Daniela is worried about her relationship and goes to her friend Zeca for advice.
What is a past participle? A past participle is a verb form that functions similarly to an adjective (e.g. “I am interested in that”), or that goes along with an auxiliary verb to form different verb tenses or use the passive voice (e.g. “The bill has been paid“, “The bill was paid“). Let’s look at a few examples to better understand how to use past participles in Portuguese:
Notice that, in the two examples above, you needed to use another verb before using the past participles “seen” and “written”.
In this lesson, we’ll have a look at particípios passados duplos Play slow audio Play normal audio double past participles. ‘Double’ here means that some verbs can take the form of either a regular or an irregular participle, depending on the auxiliary verb being used with them.
Remember those verbs we marked off with an asterisk in the Irregular Participles learning note? They were ganhar Play slow audio Play normal audio to win, to earn, gastar Play slow audio Play normal audio to spend, and pagar Play slow audio Play normal audio to pay. These are verbs that have double participles. Let’s see them in action: