Portuguese Irregular Verbs

Ejemplo para los verbos irregulares del portugués: Eles quiseram conhecer o Pão de Açúcar.

Hi! We all know Irregular Verbs are a tricky part of learning any new language, right? We can’t memorize all of them! So come with us and let’s learn about Portuguese Irregular Verbs in today’s Dica! It will certainly help you!

What are the Portuguese Irregular Verbs?

Portuguese irregular verbs are special cases that modify the root of a word or its ending, changing their form almost completely and they don’t following any rules!

Okay, let’s understand it divided into parts. What is the root of a word? When we talk about verbs, for example, we know that they are divided in parts. The root is the main part of the verb, the most important, that characterizes its meaning independently from the tense that you are using or the person. Let me give you an example.

Let’s take a look at the regular verb amar (to love). The root of this verb is am, in this case the letters ar are there to say that the verb is not conjugated, that is, it is in the infinitive form. Everything that we put after the root of the verb, in Portuguese, will have specific goals and classifications. But don’t worry, the other classifications don’t matter to you right now (only if you are a nerd like me that actually likes to study grammar, if this is the case come do an online Portuguese class with us and we can talk deep nerdy grammar hahaha.)

Now you understand what the root of the verb is. The irregular verbs are ones that, when conjugated, have changes in their root or endings. That is, you can’t just add the ending that you would expect, you have to change the main part of the verb, this is exactly what we are going to learn today.

Just like Regular Verbs, the irregular verbs are also divided into three conjugations: -AR, -ER, -IR. Let’s check them out one by one!

  Verbs Ending in -AR

Let’s take a look at  some irregular verbs that end in -AR. First we are going to learn the main conjugations of the verb estar.

Simple Past Present Future
Eu estive I was Eu estouI am Eu estarei I will be
Você esteveYou were Você estáYou are Você estaráYou will be
Ele esteveHe was Ele estáHe is Ele estaráHe will be
Nós estivemosWe were Nós estamosWe are Nós estaremosWe will be
Vocês estiveramYou were Vocês estão You are Vocês estarãoYou will be
Eles estiveramThey were Eles estãoThey are Eles estarão They will be

This verb is super irregular and the best way to learn the simple past is memorizing it. But one thing that can help you to conjugate the plural forms is taking the part of the verb (estive-) and then add the endings (-mos,-ram,-ram). Notice that in the singular form you have to memorize it, and to put in the plural you just copy the conjugation of the first person (eu) and then you add the specific terminations of the past.

To learn the imperfect past of irregular verbs, read all about it in this Dica.

In the present form, you use the root (est-) and add the following endings (in the respective order of conjugation): -ou, -á, -á, -amos, -ão, -ão.

To complete the future form we can use the verb in the infinitive form (estar) and add the terminations of future just like the regular verbs (-ei, – á, -á, -emos, -ão, -ão), that is, this verb is not irregular in the future form. To learn how to put irregular verbs in the future tense deeply, check out this Dica.

Take a look at some other Irregular -AR verbs:

Dar To give
Passear To take a walk
Odiar To hate

With these 3 verbs we are going to do like this.. In the present form we have to memorize it, there’s no other way because each of the irregular verbs change in different ways. So check the links above to know the conjugation of the present.

However, in the past tense, we can identify the part of the verb that doesn’t change and then add specific past tense endings. In the case of the verb dar, the only part that remains the same in the past is the letter D. So, we can use the letter D + past tense terminations. Check it out:

Eu Dei
Você Deu
Ele Deu
Nós Demos
Vocês Deram
Eles Deram

With the verb odiar, we can do something similar, but the ending will have an o or an a instead of an e. And the part that doesn’t change here would be odi- .Take a look:

Eu Odiei
Você Odiou
Ele Odiou
Nós Odiamos
Vocês Odiaram
Eles Odiaram

Click here to learn the imperative form of the irregular verbs and expand your vocabulary!

The verb passear will have the same logic as the verb odiar. And the part that doesn’t change here would be passe- .This is not a specific rule, is just something to help you memorize.

Eu Passeei
Você Passeou
Ele Passeou
Nós Passeamos
Vocês Passearam
Eles Passearam

In the future we can still use the same rule as the verb estar, this tense is not irregular in these verbs either. So, just follow the rules that you already know about future for regular verbs.

Don’t forget to to click on the links above to learn the irregular conjugations of these verbs.

Examples

Take a look at the examples using the irregular forms of the verbs.

Eu dou aulas de Português
I give Portuguese classes

Eu estive em Salvador no ano passado!
I was in Salvador last year!

Eu passeio sempre com meu cachorro.
I always take my dog for a walk.

 

Irregular Verbs Ending in -ER

Now let’s learn some irregular verbs that end in -ER. To begin with we are going to learn the main conjugations of the verb fazer – that is super irregular and important to know.

Simple Past Present Future
Eu fizI did Eu façoI do Eu fareiI will do
Você fezYou did Você fazYou do Você faráYou will do
Ele fez He did Ele faz He does Ele fará He will do
Nós fizemosWe did Nós fazemosWe do Nós faremos We will do
Vocês fizeramYou did Vocês fazemYou do Vocês farãoYou will do
Eles fizeramThey did Eles fazemThey do Eles farãoThey will do

Notice that we are talking about the main 3 conjugations of every verb: the simple past, the present tense and the future. To learn the complete conjugation of the verb fazer in Portuguese, click here.

Take a look at some other Portuguese Irregular Verbs with -ER:

Dizer To say
Caber To fit
Querer To want
Saber To know
Trazer To bring

With the past form of the irregular verbs ending in -ER, you have to memorize the singular forms, and then to put them in the plural forms of the past you can use the first person form and add the endings -emos, and -eram. So, this is a good trick that will help you with plural forms of the past. And you can do it with all the verbs above.

Take a look at the plural forms of the verbs saber, dizer and querer in the past:

Nós Soubemos Dissemos Quisemos
Vocês Souberam Disseram Quiseram
Eles Souberam Disseram Quiseram

In the present form, we can also help you conjugate the plural forms. You can use the verb in the third person (Ele/ela) and then add the endings -emos, -em, -em. Take a look at the plural forms of the verbs fazer, dizer and querer in the present:

Nós Sabemos Dizemos Queremos
Vocês Sabem Dizem Querem
Eles Sabem Dizem Querem

To put them in the future form, the verbs saber, querer, and caber, can follow the rule we told you before of verb in the infinitive form + future terminations (-ei, – á, -á, -emos, -ão, -ão). But with the verbs dizer and trazer, we can’t use the infinitive. Take a look:

Eu Direi Trarei
Você Dirá Trará
Ele Dirá Trará
Nós Diremos Traremos
Vocês Dirão Trarão
Eles Dirão Trarão

Notice that we still use the same endings, but the part of the verb that does not change is different: dir  for the verb dizer and trar for the verb trazer.

Don’t forget to click on the links to see the complete conjugation of these verbs!

Examples

Take a look at the examples below using the irregular forms of the verbs.

Ele coube no porta-malas.
He fit in the trunk.

Eu quis saber mais.
I wanted to know more.

Eu soube pelo jornal.
I knew from the papers.

If you want to take a look at a general verb table, read our Dica of Portuguese Verb Conjugation, there you can also see that the verbs divided between regular and irregular.

Irregular Verbs ending in -IR

Let’s move on to the verbs that end in -IR. Of course we also have irregular verbs in this category.  So, take a look at the conjugation of the verb pedir:

Simple Past Present Future
Eu pedi I asked Eu peçoI ask Eu pedireiI will ask
Você pediuYou asked Você pedeYou ask Você pediráYou will ask
Ele pediuHe asked Ele pedeHe asks Ele pediráHe will ask
Nós pedimosWe asked Nós pedimosWe ask Nós pediremosWe will ask
Vocês pediramYou asked Vocês pedemYou ask Vocês pedirãoYou will ask
Eles pediramThey asked Eles pedemThey ask Eles pedirão They will ask

Take a look at some other Portuguese Irregular Verbs ending in -IR

Cobrir To cover
Rir To laugh
Sair To leave
Agredir To hurt

With these 4 verbs above, in the simple past, you can copy the form of the first person and then add the endings -u, -mos, -ram, -ram. Take a look:

Eu Cobri Ri Saí Agredi
Você Cobriu Riu Saiu Agrediu
Ele Cobriu Riu Saiu Agrediu
Nós Cobrimos Rimos Saímos Agredimos
Vocês Cobriram Riram Saíram Agrediram
Eles Cobriram Riram Saíram Agrediram

In the present form, is always more tricky, so you’ll have to know the verbs. However, to put them in the future form, we can use the same rule as the other examples: verb in the infinitive form + future terminations (-ei, – á, -á, -emos, -ão, -ão).

To learn how to transform the verbs into their subjunctive form click here. The subjunctive is very important when it comes to really speaking Portuguese.

Examples

Take a look at the examples using the irregular forms of the verbs.

Eu ri porque foi engraçado
I laughed because it was funny

Eu agrido se me deixar com raiva.
I’ll attack if you make me angry.

Eu me cubro sempre que chove.
I cover up whenever it rains.

And that’s it! Watch out for Portuguese Irregular Verbs as they can be a little tricky, but you can always come here for help!

To practice more and see all the conjugations, download this document and let’s study!

Stay tuned for our next Dica do Dia here at Rio & Learn, tchau tchau! And if you miss us, say hello to us on Facebook!

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