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Brazilian Portuguese Verb Conjugation

In the previous article we discussed Portuguese verbs in their infinitive form.

In this post we are going to step into the realm of verb conjugation and define what we must do if we are to discuss a verb that is actually attributed to a noun, or pronoun.

I remember when I first encountered this subject, I did not know the word, “conjugation,” yet.
So, I’ll simply explain it in case you are in the same boat that I was. To conjugate a verb in grammar basically just means to change or modify the verb based on some conditional circumstance, like assigning it to a noun.

Let’s begin.

I had said before that all Portuguese verbs in their infinitive form will end in, “ar,” “er,” “ir,” and, “or.”

This is very important when discussing conjugation, as the rules for conjugating the verb vary based on which of these endings the verb has in its infinitive form.

In order to understand properly what conjugating verbs means, we must first talk again about different ‘subjects.’

We are going to briefly look back at the article on pronouns and extract some pronouns from the list you saw in that post.

We will be utilizing the following:

Noun / PronounEnglish Translation
EuI
VocêYou
EleHe
ElaShe
NósWe
VocêsYou all
ElesThey (masculine)
ElasThey (feminine)
Any noun by name; i.e. James, etc.He/She/They (masculine, feminine, or otherwise)
Any other third person pronoun
(singular)
It
Any other third person pronoun (plural)They / Those

I will not be including the, “Tu,” or, “Vós,” subjects, as these are really only spoken in Portugal and legal jargon in Brazil and are not very useful to you at this time.

So, now that we have our nouns and pronouns ready, we can begin assigning verbs to them to see how the verbs are affected (conjugated.)

In English, it is very simple to conjugate a verb, but in Portuguese, it is a whole different ball game.

We are only going to be discussing regular verbs in the present indicative tense.

Let’s look back at our first example of a verb in Portuguese that we saw in the previous articles, “dançar,” meaning “to dance.”

Let’s take our first pronoun, “I,” and attribute this verb to it.

To do so, we would say, “I dance.”

In English, there is no change to the verb, dance.
However, in Portuguese, we would say, “Eu danço.”

If you look carefully, you will notice that we replaced that, “ar,” ending on the verb “dançar” with the letter, “o.”
 
This is what verb conjugation means.
It means modifying the spelling of the verb to correspond to the person, place, or thing that it is being attributed to.

Taking this a step further, if we were to say, “you dance,” in Portuguese, it would be, “você dança.”
The verb, “dançar,” becomes conjugated with the pronoun, “você,” and thus changes its form to, “dança.”

This is the basic concept of verb conjugation (conjugação,) and every verb changes from its infinitive form to a particular conjugated form when it is applied to a noun.

We will now look at this in greater detail, using many examples.

Taking that same verb, “dançar,” let us see all the conjugated forms that exist for this word in the present indicative tense:

Verb: Dançar (To dance)ConjugaçãoEnglish Translation
Eu + dançarEu danço.I dance.
Você + dançarVocê dança.You dance.
Ele + dançarEle dança.He dances.
Ela + dançarEla dança.She dances.
Nós + dançarNós dançamos.We dance.
Vocês + dançarVocês dançam.You all dance.
Eles + dançarEles dançam.They dance.
(masculine)
Elas + dançarElas dançam.They dance.
(feminine)
Any noun by name, i.e. James, etc. + dançarO James dança.James dances.
Any other third person pronoun (singular) + dançarIsto dança.It dances.
Any other third person pronoun (plural) + dançarAqueles dançam.Those dance.



This is what the verb conjugation looks like for a verb that ends in, “ar.” In the present tense.

Now let’s see what it looks like for a verb that ends in, “er.”

Verb: Comer (To eat)ConjugaçãoEnglish Translation
Eu + comerEu como.I eat.
Você + comerVocê come.You eat.
Ele + comerEle come.He eats.
Ela + comerEla come.She eats.
Nós + comerNós comemos.We eat.
Vocês + comerVocês comem.You all eat.
Eles + comerEles comem.They eat.
(masculine)
Elas + comerElas comem.They eat.
(feminine)
Any noun by name, i.e. James, etc. + comerO James come.James eats.
Any other third person pronoun (singular) + comerIsto come.It eats.
Any other third person pronoun (plural) + comerAqueles comem.Those eat.

As you can see, the change to the, “er,” was very similar in this example as the changes to the, “ar,” in the, “dançar,” example.

Now let’s see what it looks like for a verb that ends in, “ir.”

Verb: Abrir (To open)ConjugaçãoEnglish Translation
Eu + abrirEu abro.I open.
Você + abrirVocê abre.You open.
Ele + abrirEle abre.He opens.
Ela + abrirEla abre.She opens.
Nós + abrirNós abrimos.We open.
Vocês + abrirVocês abrem.You all open.
Eles + abrirEles abrem.They open.
(masculine)
Elas + abrirElas abrem.They open.
(feminine)
Any noun by name, i.e. James, etc. + abrirO James abre.James opens.
Any other third person pronoun (singular) + abrirIsto abre.It opens.
Any other third person pronoun (plural) + abrirAqueles abrem.Those open.


I hope you are starting to see a pattern emerge.


Unfortunately, the pattern somewhat stops with these three regular verb-endings. The few verbs that end in, “or,” are rather troublesome and fall under the category of, “irregular verbs.” Which we will discuss more in an upcoming lesson.


Let’s see what it looks like for an, “irregular,” verb that ends in, “or,” in the present tense:

Verb: Expor (To expose)ConjugaçãoEnglish Translation
Eu + exporEu exponho.I expose.
Você + exporVocê expõe.You expose.
Ele + exporEle expõe.He exposes.
Ela + exporEla expõe.She exposes.
Nós + exporNós expomos.We expose.
Vocês + exporVocês expõem.You all expose.
Eles + exporEles expõem.They expose.
(masculine)
Elas + exporElas expõem.They expose.
(feminine)
Any noun by name, i.e. James, etc. + exporO James expõe.James exposes.
Any other third person pronoun (singular) + exporIsto expõe.It exposes.
Any other third person pronoun (plural) + exporAqueles expõem.Those expose.


As you can see with the verb, “expor,” the conjugations are a little less amicable. We get the tilde over the, “õ,” and it combines with an, “e,” for a majority of them.

Still though, if you study the chart with care, you will notice some patterns are still present. For example, the pronoun, “nós,” still has its conjugation ending in “omos.” Also, the plural pronouns still have their conjugations ending in an, “m,” like the other, “regular,” verbs you saw before.

The takeaway from these examples is that, regardless of the verb that you are conjugating, you will almost always follow these patterns listed here.

There are some verbs that sort of take these rules and smash them with a hammer, but we will come back to those a little later. 

Let’s look at some more conjugations of regular, “ar,” “er,” and” “ir” verbs to really get you going on this, then we will put these into sentences to get a good sense of how this works in application:

Verb: Andar (To walk)ConjugaçãoEnglish Translation
Eu + andarEu ando.I walk.
Você + andarVocê anda.You walk.
Ele + andarEle anda.He walks.
Ela + andarEla anda.She walks.
Nós + andarNos andamos.We walk.
Vocês + andarVocês andam.You all walk.
Eles + andarEles andam.They walk.
(masculine)
Elas + andarElas andam.They walk.
(feminine)
Any noun by name, i.e. James, etc. + andarO James anda.James walks.
Any other third person pronoun (singular) + andarIsto anda.It walks.
Any other third person pronoun (plural) + andarAqueles andam.Those walk.
Verb: Entender (To understand)ConjugaçãoEnglish Translation
Eu + entenderEu entendo.I understand.
Você + entenderVocê entende.You understand.
Ele + entenderEle entende.He understands.
Ela + entenderEla entende.She understands.
Nós + entenderNós entendemos.We understand.
Vocês + entenderVocês entendem.You all understand.
Eles + entenderEles entendem.They understand.
(masculine)
Elas + entenderElas entendem.They understand.
(feminine)
Any noun by name, i.e. James, etc. + entenderO James entende.James understands.
Any other third person pronoun (singular) + entenderIsto entende.It understands.
Any other third person pronoun (plural) + entenderAqueles entendem.Those understand.
Verb: Curtir (To enjoy)ConjugaçãoEnglish Translation
Eu + curtirEu curto.I enjoy.
Você + curtirVocê curte.You enjoy.
Ele + curtirEle curte.He enjoys.
Ela + curtirEla curte.She enjoys.
Nós + curtirNós curtimos.We enjoy.
Vocês + curtirVocês curtem.You all enjoy.
Eles + curtirEles curtem.They enjoy.
(masculine)
Elas + curtirElas curtem.They enjoy.
(feminine)
Any noun by name, i.e. James, etc. + curtirO James curte.James enjoys.
Any other third person pronoun (singular) + curtirIsto curte.It enjoys.
Any other third person pronoun (plural) + curtirAqueles curtem.Those enjoy.

Now that you have seen a few examples, I believe it is time to start putting these verbs into action.

The remainder of this lesson will be examples of the verbs you have seen here and how to use them in a sentence (como usar numa frase.)

Let’s begin:

O verbo: DançarComo Usar Numa Frase  
I want to dance every night.Eu quero dançar todas as noites.
I dance every night.Eu danço todas as noites.
You dance every night.Você dança todas as noites.
He dances every night.Ele dança todas as noites.
She dances every night.Ela dança todas as noites.
We dance every night.Nós dançamos todas as noites.
You all dance every night.Vocês dançam todas as noites.
The boys, they dance every night.Os meninos, eles dançam todas as noites.
The girls, they dance every night.As meninas, elas dançam todas as noites.
James dances every night .O James dança todas as noites.
It dances every night.Isto dança todas as noites.
Those dance every night.Aqueles dançam todas as noites.
O verbo: ComerComo Usar Numa Frase  
I like to eat watermelon in the morning.Eu gosto de comer melancia pela manhã.
I eat watermelon in the morning.Eu como melancia pela manhã.
You eat watermelon in the morning.Você come melancia pela manhã.
He eats watermelon in the morning.Ele come melancia pela manhã.
She eats watermelon in the morning.Ela come melancia pela manhã.
We eat watermelon in the morning.Nós comemos melancia pela manhã.
You all eat watermelon in the morning.Vocês comem melancia pela manhã.
The boys, they eat watermelon in the morning.Os meninos, eles comem melancia pela manhã.
The girls, they eat watermelon in the morning.As meninas, elas comem melancia pela manhã.
James eats watermelon in the morning.O James come melancia pela manhã.
It eats watermelon in the morningIsto come melancia pela manhã.
Those eat watermelon in the morning.Aqueles comem melancia pela manhã.
O verbo: Abrir  Como Usar Numa Frase
It’s difficult to open the door at work.É difícil abrir a porta no trabalho.
I open the door at work.Eu abro a porta no trabalho.
You open the door at work.Você abre a porta no trabalho.
He opens the door at work.Ele abre a porta no trabalho.
She opens the door at work.Ela abre a porta no trabalho.
We open the door at work.Nós abrimos a porta no trabalho.
You all open the door at work.Vocês abrem a porta no trabalho.
The boys, they open the door at work.Os meninos, eles abrem a porta no trabalho.
The girls, they open the door at work.As meninas, elas abrem a porta no trabalho.
James opens the door at work.O James abre a porta do trabalho.
It opens the door at work.Isto abre a porta do trabalho.
Those open the door at work.Aqueles abrem a porta do trabalho.
O verbo: Andar

Como Usar Numa Frase
I don’t want to walk to the park in the rain.Eu não quero andar para o parque na chuva.
I walk to the park in the rain.Eu ando para o parque na chuva.
You walk to the park in the rain.Você anda até o parque na chuva.
He walks to the park in the rain.Ele anda até o parque na chuva.
She walks to the park in the rain.Ela anda até o parque na chuva.
We walk to the park in the rain.Nós andamos para o parque na chuva.
You all walk to the park in the rain.Vocês andam ao parque na chuva.
The boys, they walk to the park in the rain.Os meninos, eles andam para o parque na chuva.
The girls, they walk to the park in the rain.As meninas, elas andam até o parque na chuva.
James walks to the park in the rain.O James anda para o parque na chuva.
It walks to the park in the rain.Isto anda para o parque na chuva.
Those walk to the park in the rain.Aqueles andam até o parque na chuva.
O verbo: Entender  Como Usar Numa Frase
I don’t think the fish wants to understand.Acho que o peixe não quer entender.
I understand more than my fish.Eu entendo mais do que o meu peixe.
You understand more than your fish.Você entende mais do que o seu peixe.
He understands more than his fish.Ele entende mais do que o peixe dele.
She understands more than her fish.Ela entende mais do que o peixe dela.
We understand more than our fish.Nós entendemos mais do que o nosso peixe.
You all understand more than the fish.Vocês entendem mais do que o peixe.
The boys, they understand more than their fish.Os meninos, eles entendem mais do que o peixe deles.
The girls, they understand more than their fish.As meninas, elas entendem mais do que o peixe delas.
James understands more than his fish.O James entende mais do que o seu peixe.
It understands more than its fish.Isto entende mais do que o seu peixe.
Those understand more than their fish.Aqueles entendem mais do que o peixe deles.
O verbo: Curtir  Como Usar Numa Frase
They want to enjoy the ice cream in the afternoon.Eles querem curtir o sorvete à tarde.
I enjoy the ice cream in the afternoon.Eu curto o sorvete à tarde.
You enjoy the ice cream in the afternoon.Você curte o sorvete à tarde.
He enjoys the ice cream in the afternoon.Ele curte o sorvete à tarde.
She enjoys the ice cream in the afternoon.Ela curte o sorvete à tarde.
We enjoy the ice cream in the afternoon.Nós curtimos o sorvete à tarde.  
You all enjoy the ice cream in the afternoon.Vocês curtem o sorvete à tarde.
The boys, they enjoy the ice cream in the afternoon.Os meninos, eles curtem o sorvete à tarde.
The girls, they enjoy the ice cream in the afternoon.As meninas, elas curtem o sorvete à tarde.
James enjoys the ice cream in the afternoon.O James curte o sorvete à tarde.
It enjoys the ice cream in the afternoon.Isto curte o sorvete à tarde.
Those enjoy the ice cream in the afternoon.Aqueles curtem o sorvete à tarde.

This should be enough examples for the moment.

My hope is that you are able to go through each of these tables and really scrutinize them and extract as much information as you can from them just by reading the original sentences and their Portuguese translations.

There is a lot more info here than meets the eye at first.

I can virtually guarantee that you are already seeing the patterns in the conjugations of each verb, as is my goal here.

But just to really deliver the goods, let me re-iterate some of the most important points about the way these verbs work. Having this explicitly stated should help you from here on out, every time you learn a new verb.

Bear in mind, we are still just talking about the present tense right now. There are other tenses that will be discussed in an upcoming lesson.

It essentially works like this for all “regular” verbs:

Almost every time that you use a verb with the first-person-pronoun, “eu,” the verb will end in, “o,” as you saw with, “eu ando,” for example.

Almost every time that you use a verb with the second-person-plural-pronoun, “vocês,”the verb will end in, “am,” or “em,” as you saw with, “vocês comem,” and, “vocês andam, for example.

Almost every time that you use a verb with the third-person-singular-pronouns, “ele,” or “ela,” the verb will end in, “a,” or, “e,” as you saw with, “ele come,” and, “ela anda, for example.

Almost every time that you use a verb with the third-person-plural pronouns, “eles,” or “elas,” the verb will end in, “am,” or, ‘em,” as you saw with, “eles comem,” and, “elas andam, for example.

Almost every time that you use a verb with the first-person-plural pronoun, “nós,” the verb will end in, “amos,” “emos,” or, “imos,” as you saw with, “nós dançamos,” “nós comemos,” and, “nós abrimos,” for example.

Almost every time that you use a verb with a third-person-noun, “James,” for example, the verb will end In, “a,” or, “e,” as you saw with, “O James come,” and, “O James anda.

Almost every time that you use a verb with any third-person-singular-pronouns, “isto,” or etc., the verb will end in, “a,” or, “e,” as you saw with, “isto come,” and, “isto anda, for example.


Almost every time that you use a verb with any third-person-plural pronouns, “aqueles,” or etc., the verb will end in, “am,” or, ‘em,” as you saw with, “aqueles comem,” and, “aqueles andam, for example.

We will close this topic here.
In the next article we are going to be looking very closely at two particular verbs that are, perhaps, the most important verbs in all of Portuguese, “ser,” and, “estar.”

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