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