Eles podem fazer stand up paddle. Poder in Portuguese.

Long time no see! Today is a great day to learn more Portuguese, don’t you think?
In this Dica we are going to study the meaning of poder and all its usages, getting to know the various ways of articulating the verb Poder in Portuguese.

Can in Portuguese

What can you do? Can you speak Japanese? Portuguese? Or maybe Spanish…? Can you play the guitar? Or any instrument at all? Can you sing? Can you walk from the mall to your house?

Did you notice that these questions used the verb Poder in Portuguese in different ways? This verb can mean ability, permission or possibility.

How to use Poder in Portuguese

How to use Poder in Portuguese. Uso do verbo poder em português. Sujeito + verbo poder + verbo no infinitivo. Example: Eu posso ir à praia hoje.

Notice that every time that you use the verb poder in Portuguese you must use a verb in the infinitive form after it. Want to master all of the meanings? Let’s learn them one by one.

Ah, if you have any doubts with the conjugation of poder in Portuguese, just take a look at this Dica.

Poder in Portuguese for Ability 

Example with the verbo Poder for ability: Eles podem dançar forró. Students dancing forró.

We use the verb can in Portuguese to talk about abilities: the languages that you can speak, the instruments you can play, awesome things that can you do. In other words, the abilities that you have (or don’t have hahaha). Usually in this case, we use the conjugation of poder in Portuguese in the present or in the imperfect past tense to express abilities that we have or had.


Nedelina pode falar 5 idiomas.
Nedelina can speak 5 languages. 

Quando criança, Tony podia andar de bicicleta, agora não pode mais.
When he was a child, Tony could ride a bike, now he can’t anymore.

Eu posso aprender português em 30 dias!
I can learn Portuguese in 30 days!

Poder for permission

Example with the verbo Poder for permission: Na aula só podemos falar português. Students talking in Portuguese.

We can also use the verb Poder in Portuguese to talk about permissions. So, if you are allowed or not to do something, if you need someone’s permission. The best way to talk about this type of poder is using the present poder in Portuguese or the future of the past (poderia). It’s very common to use poderia to be more formal when we are asking for permission.


Você poderia sair comigo hoje?
Can you go on a date with me today?

Com o visto brasileiro de estudante, você pode ficar aqui por mais tempo.
With the Brazilian student visa, you can stay here for more time. 

Eles não podem viajar, porque trabalham a semana toda.
They can’t travel, because they work all week.

Poder for possibility

Example with the verbo Poder for possibility: O que eles podem fazer no Rio? Poder in Portuguese. Students at Pão de Açúcar.

Finally, we can use the verb poder to talk about possibilities too. When you’re not sure if something will happen, but you know it might. To talk about possibilities we generally use the present or the future.


Pode ser que faça sol hoje à tarde.
It might be sunny this afternoon.

Se você quiser, eu posso te ajudar.
If you want, I can help you.

Ela poderá visitar o Cristo quando for ao Rio.
She can visit Cristo when she goes to Rio.

Poder as a noun

The word poder in Portuguese can also be a noun, instead of a verb. Poder means power, a strength that someone has. Do you know the X men? They would be regular people if it wasn’t for their poderes. 

Finally you know all the ways to use the verb poder in Portuguese. Therefore you can use it properly, right?
So, tell us, what you can do in Brazil and can’t do in your country? What could you do as child? And what can’t you do anymore as an adult?

Hope you enjoyed this lesson!
Until the next one.
Beijinho beijinho tchau tchau!

Ler esta Dica em Português       Leer esta Dica en Español
Click in the links below to see more related Dicas
To be able to
Simple Present of Poder
Conjugate poder

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