Saber Conjugation in Portuguese

Saber Portuguese conjugation example: Eles sabem dançar forró.

What’s up, everyone? “I don’t know how to speak Portuguese”, have you used this sentence too many times? What do you know? Do you know how to speak Portuguese? Do you know how to ride a bike? Do you know any famous people?
In today’s Dica we will learn how and when to use the verb to know in Portuguese in different situations. We will learn how to say I don’t know in Portuguese, and of course, I know in Portuguese. Besides that, we will also see something that causes a lot of doubt when learning Portuguese: the use of saber in the perfect and imperfect tense – Sabia vs. Soube. We will also learn all of the saber conjugation in Portuguese, both its regular and irregular forms! And all of that listening to the right pronunciation, let’s go!

Verb Saber in Portuguese

First of all, let’s understand what this verb means. You can use saber in Portuguese when you have knowledge of a subject and when you have some information about something. You can also use it to express an ability that you have.

Examples with saber in Portuguese

Eu sei o que você fez no verão passado.
I know what you did last summer.

Nós sabemos andar de skate.
We know how to skate.

Eu sei como conseguir o visto de estudante no Brasil.
I know how to get a student visa in Brasil.

Elas sabem tocar violino.
They know how to play the violin.

Ele sabe que o instagram da Rio & Learn é legal!
He knows that Rio & Learn’s Instagram is cool. 

Check out the Saber conjugation in Portuguese

Now that we know what the verb means, let’s check out the conjugation of saber in Portuguese, shall we? This is an irregular verb, so most conjugations will be different from the norm. Its regular forms will be in bold, while the irregular will have an asterisk. Remember that the regular form can vary according to whether the verb ends in -AR, -ER, or -IR. Let’s take a look at the saber Portuguese conjugations:


PresentSimple PastImperfect Past
Eu sei*Eu soube*Eu sabia
Você sabeVocê soube*Você sabia
Ele/ ela sabeEle/ ela soube*Ele/ ela sabia
Nós sabemosNós soubemos*Nós sabíamos
Vocês sabemVocês souberam*Vocês sabiam
Eles/ elas sabemEles/ elas souberam*Eles/ elas sabiam
Past pluperfect simplePast pluperfect composed
Eu soubera*Eu tinha sabido
Você soubera*Você tinha sabido
Ele/ ela soubera*Ele/ ela tinha sabido
Nós soubéramos*Nós tínhamos sabido
Vocês souberam*Vocês tinham sabido
Eles/ elas souberam*Eles/ elas tinham sabido
Simple FutureImmediate FutureFuture of the past
Eu sabereiEu vou saberEu saberia
Você saberáVocê vai saberVocê saberia
Ele/ ela saberáEle/ ela vai saberEle/ ela saberia
Nós saberemosNós vamos saberNós saberíamos
Vocês saberãoVocês vão saberVocês saberiam
Eles/ elas saberãoEles/ elas vão saberEles/ elas saberiam


Saiba você*Não saiba você*
Saiba ele/ ela*Não saiba ele/ ela*
Saibamos nós*Não saibamos nós*
Saibam vocês*Não saibam vocês*
Saibam eles/ elas*Não saibam eles/ elas*


PresentImperfect PastFuture
Que eu saiba*Se eu soubesse*Quando eu souber*
Que você saiba*Se você soubesse*Quando você souber*
Que ele saiba*Se ele soubesse*Quando ele souber*
Que nós saibamos*Se nós soubéssemos*Quando nós soubermos*
Que vocês saibam*Se vocês soubessem*Quando vocês souberem*
Que eles saibam*Se eles soubessem*Quando eles souberem*

Other tenses

Personal infinitiveGerundParticiple
Para saber euSabendoSabido
Para saber você
Para saber ele/ela
Para sabermos nós
Para saberem vocês
Para saberem eles/elas

I Don’t Know in Portuguese

A very common use of to know in Portuguese is when I want to express that we don’t know something. It is very useful when you don’t dominate the Portuguese language or even for your first trip to Brazil. There are plenty of ways that we can express I don’t know in Portuguese and you can check them on the link, but the most usual way is to say: Não sei. It is a colloquial and shorter way to express “Eu não sei” the negative first conjugation of the present tense. Let’s listen how we say I don’t know in Portuguese:

Não seiI don’t know
Eu não seiI don’t know

Let’s see a use example:

– Você sabe onde fica o Parque Lage.
– Não sei

– Do you know where Parque Lage is?
– I don’t know

I don’t know how to speak Portuguese

A very common use for I don’t know in Portuguese is when somebody talks to us in Portuguese and we don’t know the language, so we will say: Eu não sei falar português, or following the previous use case Eu não sei português.

If you would like to say that you don’t know a person, you will need to use another verb, the verb conhecer in Portuguese. Let’s see the differences:

Eu não sei portuguêsI don’t know Portuguese
Eu não sei falar portuguêsI don’t know how to speak Portuguese

Know in Portuguese: Saber and Conhecer

Example with knowing in Portuguese: Do you know Diogo?

So, we have two main verbs that we can translate as know in Portuguese. Do you know the difference between saber and conhecer in Portuguese? In English, they are both the same verb: know. But in Portuguese, we have different uses for each of them. Usually, we use saber to express information and abilities while conhecer is for people and places. See our Dica about the two verbs we use for to know in Portuguese.

So let’s see an example to understand it better. In this case we use the expression I know in Portuguese:


Eu conheço o Igor Severo.
I know Igor Severo.

Eu sei que o Igor é severo.
I know that Igor is severe.

Do you like that pun? hahaha, Severo is his last name, but it also means severe in Portuguese. (True story!)

Difference between Sabia and Soube

Example of the verb saber in Portuguese: Eles souberam a fofoca pela internet.

Now we are going to compare two forms of the verb to know in Portuguese in the past. When you use Sabia, the verb in the imperfect tense, you are saying that you know something by your intuition, in your guts.


Ela trouxe um guarda-chuva porque ela sabia que ia chover.
She brought an umbrella because she knew it was going to rain.

Eu sabia que você ia cair! Eu te avisei.
I knew that you were going to fall. I told you so.

On the other hand, when you use Soube, in the perfect tense, you are saying that you know it because someone told you. When you use Soube sometimes it is almost like gossip, fofoca.


Você soube que o John chegou no Rio ontem?
Did you know that John arrived in Rio yesterday?

Nós soubemos que ontem teve RioLIVE! na Lagoa.
We knew that yesterday was RioLIVE! Lagoon

Practice saber conjugation in Portuguese

Let’s do some an exercise to conjugate saber in Portuguese:

  1. O que você ______________ (present) sobre o Rio de Janeiro?
  2. Quando éramos crianças, nós não ______________ (imperfect past) andar de bicicleta.
  3. Ele ______________ (immediate future) tudo sobre português com a Dica do Dia!
  4. Se eu ______________ (imperfect subjunctive) como resolver esse problema, já teria feito.
  5. Ela ______________ do acidente pela internet e nós ______________ (simple past) pela TV.
  6. Você já tinha ______________ (participle) algumas palavras em português antes de vir ao Brasil?
  7. Quando você ______________ (future subjunctive) de alguma novidade, me avise!
  8. Eu preciso que vocês ______________ (present subjunctive) a diferença entre português e espanhol.
  9. No próximo fim de semana ela ______________ (simple future) mais histórias sobre o Rio.
  10. O que eles estão ______________ (gerund)?

All good things come to an end, folks! Now, you know how to use the saber conjugation in Portuguese in all verb tenses, and there are some differences between the conjugations.
What about you? Do you know where the best place to learn Portuguese in Brazil is?

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Click on the links below to see more related Dicas

To Know in Portuguese: Saber and Conhecer
Regular -ER Verbs in Portuguese
Verbs ending in ER in the Past

Answers to the exercise of the saber conjugation in Portuguese

  1. sabe
  2. sabíamos
  3. vai saber
  4. soubesse
  5. soube/soubemos
  6. sabido
  7. souber
  8. saibam
  9. saberá
  10. sabendo

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

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