Need in Portuguese

Ejemplo con tener y necesitar en Portugués: Eles têm que falar Português na aula.

Hello everyone! How are you today? What do you need to do to be fluent in Portuguese? Do you think you need to study grammar or practice speaking? What is your personal need in Portuguese? In our Dica today, we’ll study the verb to Need in Portuguese! Let’s start learning the uses of the verb and then study the conjugations of the two forms for this meaning with all verb endings highlighted. Take a look!

Meanings of the verb to need in Portuguese

First you need to know that in Portuguese we can use a few different structures to express the idea of the verb to need. The verbs are: precisar (need to), precisar de (need), and ter que (have to).

Precisar   +   verb in the infinitive
Precisar   +   de  +  noun/object
Ter   +   que   +   verb in the infinitive

We use these structures to talk about our needs and obligations; things we need or have to do. For example, you have a class scheduled at 5pm at our school in Copacabana and you’re explaining to a friend that you’re in a rush to arrive at the school on time “Eu tenho que chegar às 5” or “Eu preciso chegar às 5”. And the other form we use to express the need of something such as needing to eat because you’re hungry “Eu preciso comer alguma coisa”. Easy right?

Precisar in Portuguese is a regular verb from the group of verbs which end in -AR. Here you can see this verb conjugation with all endings highlighted to see clearly the changes. Let’s take a look at how we conjugate the verb precisar in Portuguese.


Present Past Simple Imperfect Past
Eu preciso Eu precisei Eu precisava
Você precisa Você precisou Você precisava
Ele/ ela precisa Ele/ ela precisou Ele/ ela precisava
Nós precisamos Nós precisamos Nós precisávamos
Vocês precisam Vocês precisaram Vocês precisavam
Eles/ elas precisam Eles/ elas precisaram Eles/ elas precisavam


Past pluperfect simple Past pluperfect composed
Eu precisara Eu tinha precisado
Você precisara Você tinha precisado
Ele/ ela precisara Ele/ ela tinha precisado
Nós precisáramos Nós tínhamos precisado
Vocês precisaram Vocês tinham precisado
Eles/ elas precisaram Eles/ elas tinham precisado


Simple Future Immediate Future Future of the past
Eu precisarei Eu vou precisar Eu precisaria
Você precisará Você vai precisar Você precisaria
Ele/ ela precisará Ele/ ela vai precisar Ele/ ela precisaria
Nós precisaremos Nós vamos precisar Nós precisaríamos
Vocês precisarão Vocês vão precisar Vocês precisariam
Eles/ elas precisarão Eles/ elas vão precisar Eles/ elas precisariam



Affirmative Negative
Precise você Não precise você
Precise ele/ ela Não precise ele/ ela
Precisemos nós Não precisemos nós
Precisem vocês Não precisem vocês
Precisem eles/ elas Não precisem eles/ elas



Present Imperfect Past Future
Que eu precise Se eu precisasse Quando eu precisar
Que você precise Se você precisasse Quando você precisar
Que ele/ela precise Se ele/ela precisasse Quando ele/ela precisar
Que nós precisemos Se nós precisássemos Quando nós precisarmos
Que vocês precisem Se vocês precisassem Quando vocês precisarem
Que eles/elas precisem Se eles/elas precisassem Quando eles precisarem


Other tenses

Personal infinitive Gerund Participle
Para precisar eu Precisando Precisado
Para precisar você
Para precisar ele/ela
Para precisarmos nós
Para precisarem vocês
Para precisarem eles/elas


Precisar + Verb in Portuguese

Here we have a form that’s a compound verb, this is when we use two different verbs to express an idea. So we use the verb precisar with an verb that is giving a explanation of what it is you need. This second verb is always in the infinitive form. We use this when we want to say that we need to do something.


Esta semana, eu preciso estudar português.
This week, I need to study Portuguese.

Eu preciso ler mais as Dicas do dia.
I need to read the Dicas of the day more.

Você precisa falar comigo?
Do you need to speak to me?

Elas precisam escutar as músicas da Adriana Calcanhotto.
They need to listen to Adriana Calcanhotto’s music.

Precisar de + noun in Portuguese

If we need a thing, rather than an action, we use a noun connected to the verb precisar in Portuguese by the preposition DE and it’s variations. We’ll use the verb precisar with a noun when we need something, like an object. Pay attention to the examples we have below.


O computador dela quebrou, ela precisa de um novo.
Her computer is broken, she needs a new one.

Ele precisa da tarde para relaxar.
He needs the afternoon to relax.

Nós precisamos do carro novo.
We need the new car.

Eles precisam de um livro de Português legal para aprender português em 30 dias.
They need a good Portuguese book to learn Portuguese in 30 days.

Have to in Portuguese

However, there are situations where we have an idea of obligation that the verb precisar in Portuguese does not give the correct meaning. For this situations, we use the verb ter que plus a verb in the infinitive form to represent the obligation to do something. Take a look at the conjugation of the verb Ter in the Present Tense then we’ll look at the use of this verb with the meaning of Have to.

Verb Ter Conjugation in Portuguese. Eu tenho Você tem Ele/Ela tem Nós temos Vocês tem Eles/Elas tem


Eu tenho que aprender Português para me mudar para o Brasil.
I have to learn Portuguese to move to Brasil.

Eu tenho que estudar mais.
I have to study more.

Ela tem que viajar na próxima semana para São Paulo.
She has to travel to São Paulo next week.

Vocês têm que ver o novo filme ‘Vai que dá certo’. Acho que é bem legal.
You have to watch the new movie ‘Vai que dá certo’. I think it’s really cool.

Exercises with Need in Portuguese

Complete the gaps with the correct conjugation of the verb Need in Portuguese:

  1. Eu ______ acordar cedo para ir à aula amanhã. (Simple Future)
  2. Nós ______ prestar atenção na aula. (Simple present)
  3. Ela ______  ______ de uma fantasia para o carnaval. (Immediate Future)
  4. Eles ______ muito quando eram mais jovens. (Imperfect Past)
  5. Vocês ______  chegar cedo para conhecer o Cristo Redentor. (Simple Past)
  6. Eu ______  ______ dizer que te amo. (Present Continuous)
  7. Acho que vocês ______ de um sapato confortável para o passeio. (Future of the Past)
  8. Se eles ______ de ajuda, eles teriam avisado. (Imperfect Past)
  9. Talvez eles não ______ chegar tão cedo para aula. (Present Subjunctive)
  10. Nós _____  _____ do seu telefone mas agora está tudo resolvido. (Pluperfect Composed)

Now, make a list of things that you will need to or have to do when you arrive in Rio de Janeiro. Let me suggest something to your list: Practice Portuguese with a group of students from our school in a fun RioLIVE! Activity.

That’s it, dear students!

After this Dica you now know how to say what you need in Portuguese. Let’s go to our Facebook and make sentences in Portuguese!


Ler esta Dica em Português         leer esta dica en español
Click in the links below to see more related Dicas
Estar com em Português
Differença entre Achar e Pensar
Expressõs com o verbo Ter
Verbo Ter em Português



Exercises with Need in Portuguese: answers

  1. precisarei
  2. precisamos
  3. vai precisar
  4. precisavam
  5. precisaram
  6. estou precisando
  7. precisariam
  8. precisassem
  9. precisem
  10. tínhamos precisado


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

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