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)

EXCEPTIONS

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

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