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Portuguese Conjugation Practice: Essentials, Tips & Resources

Portuguese conjugation involves several tenses and moods, and the full list can get rather long depending on how we decide to categorize them. To get an idea of how tricky Portuguese conjugation can be, take a look at the conjugation of the verb dizer (to say) in Portuguese. Nevertheless, we’ve done our best to provide you with a Portuguese conjugation list as complete as possible right below. 

In this article, we will share all the best tips and resources for learning how to conjugate verbs in Portuguese. But first, let’s take a look at the essentials of Portuguese conjugation; for diversity’s sake, we have used different verbs for each of the examples.

The Essentials of Portuguese Conjugation (with Examples)

In Portuguese, verbs appear in one of three tenses: present, past, and future. Portuguese conjugation also varies according to mood. The three main moods of the Portuguese language are the passive voice, the imperative voice, and the conditionals.

Present Tense

The present tense is used to express present actions. To illustrate the differences between present tense simple, continuous, and perfect, we will be using the verb escrever (to write).

Conjugation of Escrever in Present Simple

The present simple is used to describe situations that are either happening at the present moment (such as “He writes very well”—Ele escreve muito bem) or that refer to habitual actions (such as “I write to make money”—Eu escrevo para ganhar dinheiro).

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuWriteEscrevo
You / TuWriteEscreves
He-She / Ele-ElaWritesEscreve
We / NósWriteEscrevemos
You / VocêsWriteEscrevem
They / Eles-ElasWriteEscrevem

Conjugation of Escrever in Present Continuous

The present continuous is used to describe situations that are happening at the moment of speaking. It’s usually formed using the additional verb estar (to be) to reinforce the present continuous action taking place (such as in “I am writing”—Eu estou escrevendo).

Interestingly enough, Portuguese conjugation of present continuous verbs varies from European Portuguese to Brazilian Portuguese. While in European Portuguese we use the infinitive version (escrever), in Brazilian Portuguese we apply the gerund version (escrevendo).

In the table below, we have listed conjugations in the Brazilian variant:

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuAm writingEstou escrevendo
You / TuAre writingEstás escrevendo
He-She / Ele-ElaIs writingEstá escrevendo
We / NósAre writingEstamos escrevendo
You / VocêsAre writingEstão escrevendo
They / Eles-ElasAre writingEstão escrevendo

Conjugation of Escrever in Present Perfect

The present perfect describes actions completed in the past that have ongoing influence on the present, as in “I have written professionally for many years”—Eu tenho escrito profissionalmente por muitos anos.

Just like the present continuous, the present perfect is signaled using an additional verb (in this case, the verb ter, or “to have”).

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuHave writtenTenho escrito
You / TuHave writtenTens escrito
He-She / Ele-ElaHas writtenTem escrito
We / NósHave writtenTemos escrito
You / VocêsHave writtenTendes escrito
They / Eles-ElasHave writtenTêm escrito

Past Tense

The past tense is used to express actions that have already taken place. To illustrate the differences between present tense simple, continuous, and perfect, we will be using the verb comer (to eat).

Conjugation of Comer in Past Simple

The simplest form of the past tense is used to describe events that were completed in the past, as in “I ate pizza yesterday”—Eu comi pizza ontem.

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuAteComi
You / TuAteComeste
He-She / Ele-ElaAteComeu
We / NósAteComemos
You / VocêsAteComeram
They / Eles-ElasAteComeram

Conjugation of Comer in Past Continuous

Similar to the present continuous, the past continuous is usually formed using the additional verb “to be” and differs from European to Brazilian Portuguese. It refers to events from the past that were ongoing.

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuWas eatingEstava comendo
You / TuWere eatingEstavas comendo
He-She / Ele-ElaWas eatingEstava comendo
We / NósWere eatingEstávamos comendo
You / VocêsWere eatingEstavam comendo
They / Eles-ElasWere eatingEstavam comendo

Conjugation of Comer in Past Perfect

The past perfect tense is used to express actions that were completed before a specific point in the past, and is reinforced by the verb ter (to have).

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuHad eatenTinha comido
You / TuHad eatenTinhas comido
He-She / Ele-ElaHad eatenTinha comido
We / NósHad eatenTínhamos comido
You / VocêsHad eatenTinham comido
They / Eles-ElasHad eatenTinham comido

Future Tense

The future tense is used to describe actions that are yet to take place. To illustrate the differences between future tense simple, continuous, and perfect, we will be using the verb ganhar (to win).

Conjugation of Ganhar in Future Simple

The simplest form of the future tense indicates actions that will happen in the future.

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuWill winGanharei
You / TuWill winGanharás
He-She / Ele-ElaWill winGanhará
We / NósWill winGanharemos
You / VocêsWill winGanharão
They / Eles-ElasWill winGanharão

Conjugation of Ganhar in Future Continuous

The future continuous tense is used to describe actions that will be in progress at a specific point in the future, and reinforced by the verb estar (“to be). Like all continuous tenses in Portuguese conjugation, the future continuous can be formed using the indicative (European Portuguese) or the gerund (Brazilian Portuguese).

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuWill be winningEstarei ganhando
You / TuWill be winningEstarás ganhando
He-She / Ele-ElaWill be winningEstará ganhando
We / NósWill be winningEstaremos ganhando
You / VocêsWill be winningEstarão ganhando
They / Eles-ElasWill be winningEstarão ganhando

Conjugation of Ganhar in Future Perfect

The future perfect tense is used to express actions that will be completed by a specific point in the future, and is formed using the verb ter (to have).

Subject (EN/PT)Verb in EnglishVerb in Portuguese
I / EuWill have wonTerei ganho
You / TuWill have wonTerás ganho
He-She / Ele-ElaWill have wonTerá ganho
We / NósWill have wonTeremos ganho
You / VocêsWill have wonTerão ganho
They / Eles-ElasWill have wonTerão ganho

Passive Voice

In Portuguese verb conjugation, passive voice is a grammatical construction used to emphasize the action performed on the subject (the receiver of the action) rather than the doer of the action. To express passive voice in the present, past, and future tenses, we must use the reinforcing verb ser (to be), as in “The cake was eaten by me”—O bolo foi comido por mim.

Here are three examples of sentences in the present, past, and future passive:

  • Present passive: “The movie Titanic is loved by many.”—O filme Titanic é apreciado por muitos.
  • Past passive: “The movie Titanic was released in 1997.”—O filme Titanic foi lançado em 1997.
  • Future passive: “The movie Titanic will be watched for many years.”—O filme Titanic será visto por muitos anos.

Imperative Voice

In Portuguese conjugation, the imperative voice is the mood used to provide commands or instructions. The imperative voice changes depending on the tone used (which can be casual or formal) and the number of people instructed.

Here are three examples of sentences in the casual, formal, and plural imperative:

  • Casual imperative: “Go to work.”—Vai trabalhar.
  • Formal imperative: “Go to work.”— trabalhar.
  • Plural imperative: “Go to work.”—Vão trabalhar.

Conditionals

Conditional is the mood used to express hypothetical or uncertain actions or events, typically in relation to a specific condition or situation. The basic formula for a conditional sentence involves a main clause and a what-if clause; there are three main types of conditionals:

  • Realistic conditional: Used to express actions or events that are possible or likely to happen in the future but depend on a certain condition being met. For example: “If you work hard, you will get a promotion”—Se trabalhares arduamente, vais obter uma promoção.
  • Unrealistic conditional: Used to express actions or events that are unlikely or hypothetical. For example: If you had worked hard, you would have gotten a promotion.”—Se tivesses trabalhado arduamente, terias obtido uma promoção.
  • Lost cause conditional: Used to express actions or events that were impossible to happen. For example: “If you had not worked so hard, you would have a better social life.”—Se não tivesses trabalhado tão arduamente, terias uma melhor vida social.

Tips for Learning Portuguese Conjugation

Learning Portuguese can be tricky. Even something as simple as saying “thank you” can get complicated in Portuguese, so it’s important to get a hold of some nice tips for Portuguese conjugation practice. 

Here are some of the best strategies to improve your Portuguese knowledge and master Portuguese conjugation:

  1. Practice regularly: Consistency is key. Dedicate a specific time each day or week to practice verb conjugation. Even short daily practice sessions can be very effective.
  2. Create personalized flashcards: They can have the infinitive form of a verb on one side and its conjugations on the other. Quiz yourself to test your knowledge.
  3. Read in Portuguese: Reading books, articles, or websites in Portuguese exposes you to various verb conjugations in context. Pay attention to how verbs are used in different tenses and moods.
  4. Watch Portuguese movies and TV series: Watching Portuguese-language movies and TV shows allows you to hear verb conjugations in spoken language. It also helps with understanding context.
  5. Find Portuguese friends: Practice with native speakers or language exchange partners. They can correct your conjugations and provide valuable feedback.
  6. Keep a journal: Write a daily journal in Portuguese, using various tenses and moods. This can help you practice and reinforce what you’ve learned.
  7. Memorize the conjugations of ser (to be) and ter (to have) verbs: Memorizing the ser and ter conjugations will be of great help to conjugate Portuguese verbs in the continuous and perfect tenses more quickly and easily.

In the age of the Internet, learning Portuguese can also be achieved by using language-learning websites, apps, and other online tools. But what are the best resources for Portuguese conjugation practice?

Best Resources for Portuguese Conjugation Practice

Learning Portuguese can be facilitated through a variety of websites, apps, and online tools that cater to different learning styles and preferences. Here are some of the best resources for practicing Portuguese conjugation:

Duolingo

Duolingo is all about interactive exercises and lessons, and it has been recognized as one of the most popular language-learning resources in the world. Think of it as a fun and gamified option for learning Portuguese conjugation.

The Duolingo apps can be used for free, but there’s also a premium subscription plan available for $6.99 per month.

Memrise

Memrise provides user-generated content, including courses for Portuguese that cover vocabulary, grammar – including verb conjugation – and more. If you like using flashcards for learning, then you’ll surely love Memrise’s content!

The pro version of Memrise costs $14.99 per month, but the contents on their website can (for the most part) be used entirely for free.

Clozemaster

Who said Portuguese conjugation practice needs to be boring? With Clozemaster, language learning is turned into a gap-filling game that will keep you entertained for hours. In the process, you’ll start getting more and more accustomed to how Portuguese verbs are spelled in certain contexts.

Clozemaster is free to use, but you can learn Portuguese even faster with a Clozemaster Pro subscription, which unlocks additional features and unlimited practice. It costs a mere $8 per month, and you can also buy a lifetime subscription for $140.

Practice Portuguese

Practice Portuguese is a Portuguese-learning website mainly focused on European Portuguese. This PT-exclusive language-learning resource offers fun and engaging videos, podcasts, and games.

To use Practice Portuguese to the fullest, you need to buy a subscription for $15.92. However, there is a lot of free content on the website that can be accessed by signing in with your e-mail address.

Conjuguemos

Conjuguemos provides verb conjugation exercises for various languages, including Portuguese. It may not be the most complete alternative out there, but it does come rather cheap, with its annual subscription costing just $25. Accounts are divided into teacher and student versions.

Conclusion

If you master Portuguese conjugation, you’ll have no problem mastering the entire Portuguese language. Internalize all the tenses and moods listed above by practicing routinely and accessing online resources that will both improve and put your knowledge to the test.

For additional Portuguese learning content, check out our guides for Portuguese numbers and Portuguese days of the week.

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

Learning Portuguese conjugation might seem daunting at first, but don’t worry, it comes naturally with practice.

Test your skills and see what you’ve learned from this article by playing a selection of sentences with conjugated Portuguese verbs.

Sign up here to save your progress and start getting fluent with thousands of Portuguese sentences at Clozemaster.

Clozemaster has been designed to help you learn the language in context by filling in the gaps in authentic sentences. With features such as Grammar Challenges, Cloze-Listening, and Cloze-Reading, the app will let you emphasize all the competencies necessary to become fluent in Portuguese.

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