Hello everybody! Here I will show you basic topics about Portuguese structure of verb forms. If you already know another Latin language, the concepts discussed in this post are familiar to you and you can skip to the Part II of this series: Portuguese Regular Verbs (Present Tense) - Part II .
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I guess you already realized that there’s no magic trick on learning all the flexions for moods, tenses, persons, numbers and voices that a verb can have in Portuguese. Well the legend says that a single verb can have 52 different forms in Portuguese... This article will help you to understand some basic concepts of all these verbal agreement rules.
Like in English, Portuguese verbs have some basic parts. I heard that English verbs have 4 basic parts: 1) base form (e.g. "work"), 2) -ing form (e.g. "working"), 3) past tense (e.g. "worked"), 4) past participle (e.g. "worked").
So, you are already used to this concept of verb conjugation. In Portuguese, verbs also follow a structure. In simple words, verbs have the following parts (let's use as example the verb FALAR that means "to talk"):
1) root: FALAR
It's the invariable part, which expresses the essential meaning of the verb;
2) theme: FALAR
It's the vowel that indicates the conjugation to which the verb belongs - AR, ER, IR/OR;
3) mode-time indicator: FALÁVAMOS
It's the element that designates the time and mode of the verb;
4) number-person indicator: FALÁVAMOS
It's the element that designates the person of speech - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person in singular or plural
Well... one step at time... First, let's apply the information about the parts 1 and 2 by grouping some examples of popular regular verbs (yes, let's start with regular verbs, because they are more simple):
|1st conjugation - verbs ending in "AR"||2nd conjugation - verbs ending in "ER"||3rd conjugation - verbs ending in "IR"/"OR"|
An interesting exercise is trying to guess the meaning of these verbs and search the meaning of the ones which the meanings are not so obvious using online dictionaries or translators. After your research, if you could not find all the answers you can check by clicking the button bellow:
The table above shows the elements "root" (raiz) and "theme" (tema) of a verb. The ending vowel of a verb is very important to know how you will conjugate a verb. Once you master this simple concept you will choose the proper conversation instinctively during your conversation or writing, like you do in English. Now, you can advance to the part II of these series.