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The Conjugation of “Dizer” in Portuguese: A Complete Guide

The verb dizer – meaning “to say” or “to tell” – is a common verb in Portuguese. It is used in a whole host of situations, from news reports (reportagem), to historic papers (papéis históricos), fiction books (livros de ficção) or just in relaying a conversation (uma conversa). It`s important to understand how the conjugation of dizer in Portuguese works, so that you know who said what and when, while as at the same time being able to accurately relay information to other people.

Whether you`re someone who loves a bit of gossip (fofoca), or purely want to delve into the depths of how to conjugate ‘dizer` in Portuguese, help is at hand!

About the Portuguese Verb Dizer

The verb, dizer, comes from the Latin word, dicere. It is similar to the Spanish verb decir or the French verb dire. In Portuguese, it can be used to express a number of meanings — mainly “to say” and “to tell”– but can also be used in certain situations to mean“to state”, “to utter”, “to pronounce”, “to recite”, “to blurt out”, “to account”, “to inform”, or “to report”.

So, whether you want to report what someone said in a story, or just want to tell a child “for the umpteenth time, I am saying no!”, you will be wanting to use the verb dizer.

  • Infinitive (“to say”) is dizer
  • Participle (“said”) is dito
  • Gerund (“saying”) is dizendo
A note about YOU: The European Portuguese word for you (singular) is tu, whereas in Brazilian Portuguese, you (singular) is você. When we are conjugating você, we use the same word as we would with ele/ela.

Let`s get started…

Learning how to conjugate verbs can seem like a lot of information all at once. So let’s separate out the different tenses to make it a bit more digestible. The four most common ways that the verb dizer is used are in the present tense, present perfect tense, past preterite tense and the future tense. Here`s an explainer on how to conjugate dizer in these four tenses.

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Present Tense

The Present tense is used when you talk about what is happening NOW.

Eu (I) digo I say
Tu (You) dizes You say
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) diz He/She says /You say
Nos (We) dizemos We say
Vos (You all) dizeis You all say
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) dizem They/you (pl.) say

You might say:

Quando eu digo “vai”, pode sair. (When I say “go”, you may leave.)

Toda vez que te pergunto, tu dizes “não”. (Every time that I ask you, you say “no”.)

Ela diz “pula”, e você diz, “quão alto?” (She says “jump”, and you say, “how high?”)

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Present Perfect Tense

You use the Portuguese Present Perfect tense when you talk about something that happened in the past, and would use have or has in English.

Eu (I) tenho dito I have spoken/said
Tu (You) tens dito You have spoken/said
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) tem dito He /She has spoken/said /You have spoken/said
Nos (We) temos dito We have spoken/said
Vos (You all) tendes dito You all have spoken/said
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) têm dito They/you (pl.) have spoken/said

So, some examples of how dizer is conjugated in this tense would be:

Donald Trump têm dito que ele fez a cor vermelha popular. (Donald Trump has said that he made the color red popular.)

Não sei o que tenho dito, mas… (I don`t know what I have said, but…)

Vos tendes dito que concordam em responder á pergunta. (You have all said that you agree to answer the question.)

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Past Preterite Tense

We use the Past Preterite tense when we are talking about something that happened at a particular time in the past.

Eu (I) Disse I spoke/said/told
Tu (You) Disseste You spoke/said/told
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) Disse He/She/You spoke/said/told
Nos (We) Dissemos We spoke/said/told
Vos (You all) Dissestes You all spoke/said/told
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) Disseram They/you spoke/said/told

So, here are some examples with dizer in the Past Preterite tense:

Eu te disse para comer suas verduras. (I told you to eat your vegetables.)

Você disse que é uma porta azul. (You said that it is a blue door.)

Foi isto que eles disseram… (This is what they said)

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Future Tense

The Future tense is used when talking about what we will be doing in the future.

Eu (I) Direi I will say/tell
Tu (You) Dirás You will say/tell
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) Dirá He/She/You will say/tell
Nos (We) Diremos We will say/tell
Vos (You all) Direis You all will say/tell
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) Dirão They/you will say/tell

Some examples involving dizer conjugated in the Future tense would be:

Eu direi que estou ocupada. (I will say that I`m busy.)

O que sua mãe dirá? (What will your mother say?)

Nos diremos a ela que está atrasada demais. (We will tell her that she is too late.)

Conjugating Dizer – The Next Level…

Now that you have these more basic conjugations of the Portuguese verb dizer under your belt, we can move onto some more complicated tenses. It can be a bit tricky to understand some of these tenses for English speakers, as they don`t really exist as separate entities in the modern English language.

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Conditional Mood

To cut a long story short, the conditional mood is used when we would say would in English.

Eu (I) Diria I would say/tell
Tu (You) Dirias You would say/tell
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) Diria He/She/You would say/tell
Nos (We) Diríamos We would say/tell
Vos (You all) Diríeis You all would say/tell
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) Diriam They/you would say/tell

Some examples of using dizer the Conditional mood would be:

Eu diria mas estou com medo dele. (I would say, but I`m scared of him.)

Se eu te perguntasse, tu me dirias uma mentíra? (If I asked you, would you tell me a lie?)

Mesmo que seja muito doce, eles não diriam a ele. (Even if it was very sweet, they wouldn`t tell him.)

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Past Imperfect Tense

The Past Imperfect tense is used when we talk about something that we used to do, but don`t do anymore.

Eu (I) Dizia I used to say/speak/tell
Tu (You) Dizias You used to say/speak/tell
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) Dizia He/She/You used to say/speak/tell
Nos (We) Dizíamos We used to say/speak/tell
Vos (You all) Dizíeis You all used to say/speak/tell
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) Diziam They/you used to say/speak/tell

In this case, examples of sentences with dizer conjugated in the Past Imperfect tense are:

Ela sempre me dizia que estava doente. (She always used to tell me she was sick.)

Nos dizíamos a ela que não podia sair sozinha. (We used to tell her that she couldn`t go out alone.)

Vos dizíeis que gostais de cachorros. (You all used to say that you like dogs.)

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Past Perfect Tense

In Portuguese, we use dizer in the Past Perfect tense when we would say that we had spoken or said.

Eu (I) tinha dito I had said/spoken
Tu (You) tinhas dito You had said/spoken
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) tinha dito He/She/You had said/spoken
Nos (We) tínhamos dito We had said/spoken
Vos (You all) tínheis dito You all had said/spoken
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) tinham dito They/you had said/spoken

Here are some examples of the Past Perfect tense in use:

Como eu ja tinha dito… (As I had already said)

Se você tinha dito “não”, eu não teria deixado ele entrar. (If you had said “no”, I wouldn`t have let him in.)

Nos tínhamos dito que queríamos um carro novo. (We had said that we wanted a new car.)

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Future Perfect Tense

We use the Future Perfect tense in Portuguese when we would use will have in English.

Eu (I) terei dito I will have spoken/said
Tu (You) terás dito You will have spoken/said
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) terá dito He/She/You will have spoken/said
Nos (We) teremos dito We will have spoken/said
Vos (You all) tereis dito You all will have spoken/said
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) terão dito They/you will have spoken/said

Here are some examples of how you would use the verb dizer in the Future Perfect tense:

Tu terás dito mil vezes… (You will have said a thousand times…)

Amanhã, nos ja teremos dito “adeus”. (Tomorrow, we will have already said “goodbye”.)

Eles terão dito para a recepcionista… (They will have said to the receptionist…)

Conjugating Dizer – The Last Bit…

After you have read and understood the final section on the conjugation of dizer in Portuguese, you`ll be able to use the verb to say in practically any situation.

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Future Subjunctive Tense

The Future Subjunctive tense is used in specific situations – usually when the phrase starts with:

  • if (se) – see example a below
  • when/as soon as (quando) – example b
  • as soon as (assim que/logo que) – example c
  • while/during/before (enquanto) – example d
  • in accordance with/according to (conforme) – example e

It is also used with the following relative pronouns:

  • the way/as/like (como) – example f
  • where (onde) – example g
  • who (quem) – example h

Finally, we would also use the Future Subjunctive tense when we are saying a sentence in two parts, with a command in each half – example i.

Eu (I) Disser If I speak
Tu (You) Disseres If you speak
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) Disser If he/she/you speaks/speak
Nos (We) Dissermos If we speak
Vos (You all) Disserdes If you all speak
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) Disserem If they speak

Here are some examples of how you would use the Future Subjunctive tense in real life:

  1. Se eu disser “parar”, não podem mudar. (If I say “stop”, you cannot move.)
  2. Quando te disseres `por favour`, tu podes ter os doces. (When you say `please`, you may have the sweets.)
  3. Assim que ela disser que está pronta, vamos comer. (As soon as she says that she`s ready, let`s eat.)
  4. Enquanto você disser que me ama, eu estarei aqui. (As long as you say that you love me, I`ll be here.)
  5. Eu vou cozinhar, conforme me disserem. (I will cook, in accordance to what they tell me.)
  6. “Massa!” como nos dissermos na Bahia… (“Massa!” as we say in Bahia…)
  7. Onde disserdes “sim, por favour”, é muito importante. (Where you say, “yes please”, is very important.)
  8. Quem disser o contrário, é errado. (Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.)
  9. Se ele disser que vai, cuidas dele por favour. (If he says that he`s going, look after him please.)

Conjugation of the Verb Dizer – Imperative Mood

In Portuguese we use the imperative mood when we make a command. This is usually a one-word command, or a very short phrase.

Eu (I)
Tu (You) Dize! / Não digas! Speak! / Don`t speak!
Ele/Ela/Você (He/She/You) Diga! / Não diga! Speak! / Let him/her/it/you not speak!
Nos (We) Digamos! / Não digamos! Let`s speak / Let us not speak!
Vos (You all) Dizei! / Não digais Speak! / Don`t speak!
Eles/Elas/Vocês (They/You pl.) Digam! / Não digam! Speak / Don`t speak!

So, for example, a policeman (um policial) might say “dize!” (or “diga!” if you were in Brazil) to you when you are being interrogated.

Or a teacher (um professor) might say “não digam!” to a group of chattering students.

Other Portuguese Verbs that Work in a Similar Way

Some good news is there are a few other verbs which you can use in the same way as dizer, as they are made up of the root dizer preceded by a prefix. Some of these are:

  • Condizer (to match)
  • Bendizer (to bless)
  • Contradizer (to contradict)
  • Maldizer (to badmouth)

So there you have it – all you ever needed to know about how to conjugate dizer in Portuguese. Now go out there and nail it!

Boa sorte!

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