Gerund in Portuguese

example of gerund in portuguese: O grupo estava saindo para beber com os amigos!

Hi, guys! Shall we practice? Today, you are going to learn all there is to learn about gerund in Portuguese. This verb form is often used in daily Brazilian lives, and you have to learn it well so you can feel like a true Brazilian! Are you ready?

What is the Gerund in Portuguese?

examples of how to make the gerund in portuguese. present or past of verb estar + main verb + ndo. presente: eu estou estudando. passado: eu estava estudando.

The Gerund is used in verbs to indicate the idea of continuity. This continuity can be narrated in three verb tenses: past, present and future. The gerund when associated with the present, past or future is used to express the idea that something is progressing. If you are reading this text right now, you can use the present continuous, that is, the gerund with the present tense. If you were eating something a few minutes ago, you can talk about that situation using the past continuous, that is, the gerund with the past tense. And if you intend to do the exercise at the end of this lesson in the near future, you can use the future continuous, that is, the gerund with the future tense. It’s very simple, we promise!

Present Continuous: Gerund with Present Tense

example of gerund in portuguese in the present tense: ele está bebendo uma caipirinha!

We can form the gerund by adding the present tense of verb estar + the main verb plus “-ndo” at the end. This will give an idea of continuity in the present and it’s the most common way to use gerund. If you have doubts about this structure, you can check out more about it here. Let’s check out some examples that can make it all easier:

Arthur está comendo o almoço.
Arthur is eating the lunch.

Ícaro está estudando para a prova.
Ícaro is studying to the exam.

Não se preocupe, estou levando o bolo da festa surpresa!
Don’t worry, I am bringing the surprise party cake!

Past Continuous: Gerund with Past Tense

example of gerund in the past tense in Portuguese: os rapazes estavam jogando bola na praia!

We can form this type of gerund by adding the imperfect past of verb estar + the main verb plus “-ndo” at the end. This form is very used to indicate that the past has something going on that has a continuous aspect. Let’s check some examples of this form:

Ana estava tomando um banho.
Ana was taking a shower.

Eu estava escrevendo uma carta para Joana.
I was writing a letter to Joana.

Nós estávamos assistindo ao programa de TV.
We were watching the tv show.

Future Continuous: Gerund with Future Tense

example of gerund in portuguese in the future tense: eles estarão vindo para o brasil durante o carnaval!

This is rather simple: we form this type of gerund by adding the future tense of verb estar + the main verb plus “-ndo” at the end. This form is used when you need to talk about a specific moment that will be happening in the future. Let’s check out some examples in which this case is clear:

Eles estarão gravando o novo álbum durante o próximo ano.
They will be recording the new album next year.

Eu estarei indo para Paris durante a sua cirurgia.
I will be going to Paris during your surgery.

As crianças estarão brincando no parque.
The children will be playing at the park.

More Situation to Use Gerund in Portuguese

In addition to its use in progressive tenses, the Portuguese gerund finds frequent application in various scenarios, besides mere continuity. It serves as a means to convey and elucidate connections involving cause and effect, gradual progression, simultaneous events, and sequential actions.

Sequenced Actions

We often use the gerund to express two sequenced actions, one unfolding after another. Take a look at the sentence below:

Ele estudou para a prova e tirou 10.
He studied to the exam and got an A.

Now, let’s see how the gerund would express the same idea:

Ele estudou para a prova, tirando um 10.
He studied to the exam, getting an A.


The gerund is also used to introduce a cause with an consequence in sentences. Take a look at the following sentence:

Eu sou muito carinhosa, e por isso gosto de abraçar a todos.
I’m very affectionate, and that’s why I like to hug everyone.

Now, let’s see how the gerund would express the same idea:

Sendo muito carinhosa, gosto de abraçar a todos.
Being very affectionate, I like to hug everyone.

Simultaneous Actions

This is a very used case! We use the gerund in Brazilian Portuguese to express two different actions happening at the same time.

Joana jantou enquanto assistia TV.
Joana had dinner while watched TV.

Check out how to use gerund and keep the same idea:

Joana jantou vendo TV.
Joana had dinner while watching TV.

Gradual Continuity

We can also use gerunds to intensify something, by giving the idea of continuity or gradualness. Check out this case:

A inflação sobe cada vez mais.
Inflation rises more and more.

Now, check out how we can use gerund:

A inflação está subindo cada vez mais.
Inflation is rising more and more.

More Examples of Gerund in Portuguese

example of gerund: Os alunos estavam prestando atenção na exposição.

Eu estou falando com meus pais agora.
am talking to my parents now.

O que você está fazendo?
What are you doing?

Hoje, ela está comprando roupas na loja da amiga.
Today, she is buying clothes at her friend’s store.

Vocês estão conversando com o José.
You are talking to José.

O que nós estamos esperando para ir ao restaurante?
What are we waiting for to go to the restaurant?

Ontem, ele estava lendo um livro muito bom.
Yesterday, he was reading a very good book.

Nós estávamos trabalhando em um projeto muito interessante.
We were working on a very interesting project.

No ano passado, elas estavam aprendendo Português na Rio & Learn.
Last year, they were learning Portuguese at Rio & Learn.

Vocês estavam viajando pelo Brasil no último mês.
You were travelling through Brazil last month.

Eu estava dormindo no ônibus porque estava cansado.
I was sleeping on the bus because I was tired.

Review the Gerund in Portuguese with us!

Take a look at this video our teachers made with our students! Don’t lose the opportunity to continue learning Portuguese in the amazing city of Rio de Janeiro! Consider coming to study with us with a student visa!

Now it’s your turn!

Complete the sentences below with the correct form of the gerund in the present or in the past:

  1. (fazer) Alô, Paulo? O que você ____________ agora?
  2. (curtir) Em dezembro do ano passado nós ____________ férias no Rio de Janeiro.
  3. (trabalhar) Não posso falar no momento, ____________.
  4. (cozinhar) Que cheiro bom! Acho que minha esposa ____________ Moqueca.
  5. (esperar) O entregador já ____________ há cinco minutos quando eu abri a porta.
  6. (dormir) Eles ____________ há 12 horas. Melhor acordá-los.
  7. (escrever) Eu ____________ uma mensagem quando você me ligou.
  8. (tomar/assistir) Ontem, enquanto ela ____________ banho, eu ____________ TV.
  9. (dançar) Carlos e Ana ____________ dançando muito bem!
  10. (ir) José ____________ ao banco, mas desistiu.

Piece of cake, isn’t it? So, people, what were you doing yesterday morning? I bet you were practicing Portuguese with our Dicas!

We are waiting for you!
Big hug from Rio & Learn.

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Estar Conjugation in Portuguese
Portuguese Imperfect Past
While in Portuguese
Feelings in Portuguese


  1. está fazendo
  2. estávamos curtindo
  3. estou trabalhando
  4. está cozinhando
  5. estava esperando
  6. estão dormindo
  7. estava escrevendo
  8. estava tomando / estava assistindo
  9. estão dançando
  10. estava indo

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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