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Portuguese Irregular Verbs Students Need to Learn as Soon as Possible

Have you noticed that some of the most frequently used verbs in Portuguese happen to be irregular?

These verbs are not only high-frequency but they also tend to have a wide usage – they mean different things in different contexts. If you develop a good grasp of their conjugation and usage you will considerably improve your speaking skills and idiomatic feel for Portuguese.

I will walk you through 8 must-know Portuguese irregular verbs while explaining how and when to use them.  Read on.

Idiomatically Rich Verbs

* Note that although these verbs are irregular in the Present tense, some are regular in the Past tense. Learn more about regular conjugation in Portuguese:
Portuguese Regular Verbs in the Present Tense
Portuguese Regular Verbs in the Past Tense


In Portuguese, we have two equivalents of the English verb to beser and estar


Here’s what ser’s conjugation in the Present and Past tenses * looks like:

Pretérito perfeito
Pretérito imperfeito
ele, ela
eles, elas

* In Portuguese, there are two aspects of the Past tense: Perfeito and Imperfeito. Learn more about it:  Portuguese Perfect vs. Imperfect Tense: Know When to Use Either.

Permanent states

Unlike the verb estarser normally refers to permanent states – things that prevail in time. Here are some examples:

Paris é em França. * 
Paris is in France.  

Eles são pessoas alegres. 
They are cheerful people.  

Eu sou Português. 
I am Portuguese.

* concerning geographic location, another verb is often used instead of ser, namely ficar. Learn more about it: Making the Most of the Portuguese Verb “Ficar”: Verb Usage and Conjugation.

As you see, the sentences above express facts and traits that wouldn’t change overnight – they are long-lasting.

Passive voice

Also, the Portuguese verb ser, like to be in English,  is used to form passive-voice sentences:

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Olá! This is Pedro and I'm the founder of Portuguesepedia, a platform created to support and accelerate your Portuguese learning journey. Até já, p

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