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.
|Eu estive – I was||Eu estou – I am||Eu estarei – I will be|
|Você esteve – You were||Você está – You are||Você estará – You will be|
|Ele esteve – He was||Ele está – He is||Ele estará – He will be|
|Nós estivemos – We were||Nós estamos – We are||Nós estaremos – We will be|
|Vocês estiveram – You were||Vocês estão – You are||Vocês estarão – You will be|
|Eles estiveram – They were||Eles estão – They 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.
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:
|Passear||To take a walk|
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
|Eu fiz – I did||Eu faço – I do||Eu farei – I will do|
|Você fez – You did||Você faz – You do||Você fará – You will do|
|Ele fez – He did||Ele faz – He does||Ele fará – He will do|
|Nós fizemos – We did||Nós fazemos – We do||Nós faremos – We will do|
|Vocês fizeram – You did||Vocês fazem – You do||Vocês farão – You will do|
|Eles fizeram – They did||Eles fazem – They do||Eles farão – They 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:
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:
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:
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:
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!
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:
|Eu pedi – I asked||Eu peço – I ask||Eu pedirei – I will ask|
|Você pediu – You asked||Você pede – You ask||Você pedirá – You will ask|
|Ele pediu – He asked||Ele pede – He asks||Ele pedirá – He will ask|
|Nós pedimos – We asked||Nós pedimos – We ask||Nós pediremos – We will ask|
|Vocês pediram – You asked||Vocês pedem – You ask||Vocês pedirão – You will ask|
|Eles pediram – They asked||Eles pedem – They ask||Eles pedirão – They will ask|
Take a look at some other Portuguese Irregular Verbs ending in -IR
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:
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.
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!