Portuguese Verbs – Past imperfect tense

Portuguese past imperfect tense

“A movie in the past”. Portuguese past imperfect tense

Hi there, welcome to the Portuguese Basic Tips in which we are going to keep talking about Portuguese verbs, specifically about verbs in the past imperfect tense.

When we talk about Portuguese verbs, we have some differences to other languages, of course. For example, if we compare them with the English language, we don’t have something similar to Portuguese past imperfect tense.

So, what now?

In this podcast, I tried to compare the meaning of the term “used to” in English with the combination of the verbs in Portuguese past imperfect tense.

For instance, if you want to say that “he used to eat something”, in Portuguese you just have to say “ele comia algo”.  This is not a literal translation, but both sentences have the same meaning.  I’ll put a few tables below, so that you’ll better understand it.

In our previous episode, in which I spoke about verbs in the past perfect tense, I said that some scholars usually define them as “a picture in the past”. On the other hand, if you are referring to verbs in the past imperfect tense, you can define them as “a movie in the past”.

While the first one indicates a situation that occurred only once, the second one indicates an action that occurred over and over. Because of that, we have several “pictures”, we have “an entire movie”.

I took care of using examples with regular verbs in Portuguese ending with “ar”, “er” and “ir”. This way, if you learn how to combine them, you will learn to combine most verbs in the past imperfect tense.

Portuguese Verbs – Ajudar verb (to help) – Past imperfect tense

Portuguese verb conjugation. Past imperfect tense

Ajudar verb. Past imperfect tense

Portuguese Verbs – Comer verb (to eat) – Past imperfect tense

Past imperfect tense. Comer verb

Comer verb. Past imperfect tense

Portuguese Verbs – Partir verb (to leave) – Past imperfect tense

Partir verb. Portuguese verb conjugation. Past imperfect tense

Partir verb. Portuguese past imperfect tense

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Here’s a link to a Brazilian website (only in Portuguese) containing a few explanations about Portuguese past imperfect verb tenses. 

Listen to one of our first episodes about “interrogative sentences in Portuguese.”

I hope you like it.

See you next time.


Marcos Sales

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