Here are just a few: ir (to go), dar (to give), fazer (to do/make), ter (to have), chegar (to arrive), comer (to eat), comprar (to buy), encontrar (to find/meet), enviar (to send), falar (to speak), aprender (to learn), abrir (to open), ser / estar (to be).

The next piece of the puzzle is conjugating the verb. Each conjugated verb represents a surprising amount of information for just one single word. It tells you who is doing the action (you, her, they, etc.), the level of formality between you and that person, when the action takes place (past, present, future, etc.), the level of certainty, and, of course, the action itself.

This leaves you with over 50 different forms for each Portuguese verb! Luckily there are some patterns to help, and you don’t need to know every single form to start communicating effectively.

The 3 main groups of Portuguese verbs are named based on the last 2 letters of the infinitive form of the verb: -ar verbs, -er verbs, and -ir verbs. For example: falar, comer, and abrir.

Conjugating a regular verb just involves taking the verb stem (the part before ar/er/ir) and adding an ending. Each group has a particular set of endings for each tense. A verb is considered regular if it follows the typical patterns for its group. But keep an eye out for irregular verbs! These don’t follow consistent rules, so they have to be memorized.

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