Portuguese regular verbs, imperfect tense

There are three sets of regular verbs in Portuguese

  1. those ending in ar, for example, andar, to walk
  2. those ending in er, for example, beber, to drink
  3. those ending in ir, for example, abrir, to open

To form the imperfect, you drop the ar, er and ir to get the verb stems and then add the following suffixes:

ar verbs take the following endings: -ava, -avas, -ava, -ávamos, -avam

er and –ir verbs take the following endings: -ia, -ias, -ia, -íamos, -iam

Andar conjugates thus:

  • eu andava – I was walking, I used to walk
  • tu andavas – you (singular, familiar) were walking
  • você/ele/ela andava – you (singular), he, she was walking
  • nós andávamos – we were walking 
  • vocês/eles/elas andavam – you (plural), they were walking

(In Portuguese the stressed syllable is usually the penultimate one, and accents are used to indicate otherwise – for example as above in the first person plural andávamos)

Beber conjugates thus: bebia, bebias, bebia, bebíamos, bebiam (I was drinking, etc)

Abrir conjugates thus: abria, abrias, abria, abríamos, abriam (I was opening, etc)


There are four irregular imperfects in Portuguese:

  • ser (to be) – era, eras, era, éramos, eram
  • ter (to have) – tinha, tinhas, tinha, tínhamos, tinham
  • vir (to come) – vinha, vinhas, vinha, vínhamos, vinham
  • pôr (to put) – punha, punhas, punha, púnhamos, punham

Let's get a conversation started. Write your bit here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s