Portuguese past subjunctive tense

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Portuguese past subjunctive tense – Podcast

Portuguese past subjunctive tense

Hello there and welcome to our Portuguese Basci Tips number 49 called Portuguese past subjunctive tense.

Listen to the first episode of this series called Portuguese present subjunctive tense

Listen to our third episode of this series calledo Portuguese future subjunctive tense

On today’s podcast, we are going to speak about Portuguese past subjunctive tense. I think if you are here is because you have already listened to our first episode called Portuguese present subjunctive tense. If not, please, click on the link on this episode’s page to hear that.

As I said there, we use subjunctive tense in Portuguese when we want to indicate kind of a possibility. We use it to indicate something that could happen, but that you are not so sure of it.

Referring to the past subjunctive, it is used to indicate something that occurred after to the other ‘past’

Let’s make it simple:

  • Eu esperava que ele vencesse o jogo – I expected him to win the game

Here we have the first fact: eu esperava (I expected). Our goal will be finding the subjunctive in the sentence. In this case, we are looking for the verb “vencer”, which is the ‘second’ past in the phrase.

The Portuguese past subjunctive is also used when we want to say that we “wish” something.

For instance:

– Eu gostaria que você estivesse aquiI wish you were here. In this case, the word “estivesse” is our guy.

Note, you can identify this verbal tense by searching for the double “ss” (in written Portuguese) or by hearing the sound it produces.

For instance: vencesse (to win), viesse (to come), fizesse (to do / to make) and so forth.

As it indicates some kind of possibility, it’s natural to us when we use this kind of verb accompanied by the word “se” – meaning “if”.

For instance: se eu soubesse (If I knew).

To finish this, let’s conjugate a few verbs using Portuguese past subjunctive tense, in order to practice a little bit. Repeat with me:

Cantar Verb (To Sing) – Portuguese past subjunctive tense

Cantar Portuguese past subjunctive
(Se) eu Cantasse
(Se) tu Cantasses
(Se) ele Cantasse
(Se) nós Cantássemos
(Se) vós Cantásseis
(Se) eles Cantassem


Now, repeat with me the verb “vender”, so you can practice it with other verbs.

Vender Verb  (To sell) – Portuguese past subjunctive tense

Vender (To sell) Portuguese past subjunctive
(Se) eu Vendesse
(Se) tu Vendesses
(Se) ele Vendesse
(Se) nós Vendêssemos
(Se) vós Vendesseis
(Se) eles Vendessem

And to finish this, let’s try the verb “partir”, ending with “ir”. Repeat with me:

Partir verb (To leave) – Portuguese past subjunctive tense

Partir (to leave) Portuguese past subjunctive
(Se) eu Partisse
(Se) tu Partisses
(Se) ele Partisse
(Se) nós Partíssemos
(Se) vós Partísseis
(Se) eles Partissem

That’s enough for today! I hope you like this series about subjunctive in Portuguese.

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See you next time!


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