Get futuristic in Portuguese

computer-23713_640In Who’s afraid of Portuguese verbs? The first steps to fluency, you saw how easy it was to learn the present tense in Portuguese. Well, the good news is that the future tense is even easier. Try to master it by this time tomorrow, OK? 😀

Remember, there are three sets of regular verbs in Portuguese

  1. those ending in ar, for example, falar, to speak
  2. those ending in er, for example, comer, to eat
  3. those ending in ir, for example, partir, to leave

Unlike the present tense, where you have to drop the ar, er and ir to get a stem, to which you add the present tense suffixes, in the future tense the suffixes are merely added to the infinitive. (But Portuguese being Portuguese will naturally throw in some exceptions.)


The good news is that there is one set of suffixes (or verb endings) for all three verb groups. They are -ei, -ás, -á, -emos, -ão

Falar conjugates thus:

  • eu falarei – I shall speak
  • tu falarás – you (singular, familiar) will speak
  • você/ele/ela falará – you (singular), he, she will speak
  • nós falaremos – we will speak
  • vocês/eles/elas falarão – you (plural), they will speak

Comer conjugates thus: comerei, comerás, comerá, comeremos, comerão 

Partir conjugates thus: partirei, partirás, partirá, partiremos, partirão 

Note that the first person singular ending -ei is pronounced like “eye” in English. Here is a pop-rock song by Jorge Ferreira, Eu Voltarei (I shall return), to give you an example. I think Ferreira comes from the Açores Islands, much of his music is very traditional and he has an accent to match.


There are three verbs in which the infinitive is not used as a stem for the future tense endings, and they have a z connection:

  • dizer (to say) – instead dir is used as a stem: direi, dirás, dirá, diremos, dirão
  • fazer (to do) – instead far is used: farei, farás, fará, faremos, farão
  • trazer (to bring) – instead trar is used: trarei, trarás, trará, traremos, trarão

As you can see, all that has happened here is that the ze bit in the middle of the infinitive was dropped, perhaps because over time the Portuguese became too lazy to enunciate it.


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