The base form of the Portuguese verb is called “infinitivo” (infinitive). All infinitive verbs end in “–ar”, “-er”, “-ir” (and "-or", which is present in a single verb, "por" - to put). Once you take out the infinitive ending, you're left with the radical (stem), which is the element of the verb that possesses the meaning. The verbs change their endings according to the person (first, second, third); tense (present, preterite, imperfect, pluperfect, future, and conditional) and mood (indicative, subjunctive, imperative) they refer to, while other verbs (called as irregular verbs) even change their roots.

   Infinitive Portuguese verb: amar
   Meaning: to love
   Stem: am
   Ending: ar


According to infinitive endings, verbs fall under three groups called conjugações (conjugations):
  •  1st conjugation => verbs ending in ar
  • Examples:
    • abaixar (lower)
    • abandonar (abandon)
    • achar (find)

  • 2nd conjugation => verbs ending in er
  • Examples:
    • acender (light)
    • beber (drink)
    • dizer (say)

  • 3rd conjugation => verbs ending in ir
  • Examples:
    • abrir (open)
    • partir (leave)
    • mentir (lie)
    • sentir (feel)

* Verb pôr (to put) and all its derivations (propor, repor, depor, compor, dispor, etc) pertain to the second conjugation for etymological motives.


In Portuguese, verbs are divided into moods:
  • Indicative: These verbs are used to express a fact.
  • Example:
    • Eu trabalho de segunda a sexta. (I work from Monday to Friday.)

  • Subjunctive: These verbs are used to express a wish or an imaginary condition.
  • Example:
    • Sugiro que você seja mais educada com ele. (I suggest that you be more polite to him.)

  • Imperative: These verbs are used to express a wish, command or advice.
  • Example:
    • Fique quieto! (Be quiet!)
    • Não faça isso! (Don't do> that.)

Each mood is made up of a wide array of verb tenses:

  1. Indicative mood - Modo indicativo
  2. Portuguese



    present indicative

    pretérito perfeito

    preterite indicative

    pretérito perfeito composto

    present perfect indicative

    pretérito imperfeito

    imperfect indicative

    pretérito mais-que-perfeito

    pluperfect indicative

    pretérito mais-que-perfeito composto

    compound pluperfect indicative

    futuro do presente

    future indicative

    futuro do presente composto

    compound future indicative

    futuro do pretérito

    preterite future indicative

    futuro do pretérito composto

    compound preterite future indicative

  3. Subjunctive mood - Modo subjuntivo 
  4. Portuguese



    present subjunctive

    pretérito perfeito

    perfect subjunctive

    pretérito imperfeito

    imperfect subjunctive

    pretérito mais-que-perfeito

    pluperfect subjunctive


    future subjunctive

    futuro composto

    compound future subjunctive

  5. Imperative mood - Modo imperativo 
  6. Portuguese


    imperativo afirmativo

    affirmative form

    imperativo negativo

    negative form

Verbals - Formas nominais

There are three nominal forms of the verb (infinitive, gerund and past participle), which are called formas nominais. The infinitive can be personal or impersonal, and the gerund can be simple or compound.



infinitivo impessoal simples

impersonal infinitive

infinitivo impessoal composto

compound impersonal infinitive

infinitivo pessoal

personal infinitive

infinitivo pessoal composto

compound personal infinitive



gerúndio composto

compound gerund


past participle

Types of verbs

There are different types of verbs, but principally, these are divided into:
  • Verbos regulares (regular verbs)
    These verbs preserve their roots throughout their conjugation and substitute “ar”, “er” or “ir”.
  • Verbos irregulares (irregular verbs)
    The irregular verbs change through their conjugation.

Other form to classify verbs is according to the role they play in a sentence:
  • Verbos auxiliares (auxiliary verbs)
    These verbs form compound tenses (tempos verbais compostos), the passive voice and also verb phrases. The most important verb is verb to be (in Portuguse: ser and estar). Other auxiliary verbs are ter (to have), haver (there to be) and ir (to go).
  • Verbos principais (major verbs)
    These verbs hold the most significant information of the discourse.

And other categories are:
  • Verbos anômalos (anomalous verbs)
    These verbs present so many irregularities that go below this special category.
  • Verbos abundantes (abundant verbs),
    These verbs present more than one verb form, particularly double participles.

box Regular verbs
box Irregular verbs

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