By Prof. Claudia
Sooner or later students ask about verbs. The truth is verbs are not easy in Portuguese. They can be regular, irregular, exceptional such as the verb haver (there to be), and more…There are thirteen basic verb tenses, and four basic cases: indicative, subjunctive, imperative, and noun forms. To smooth the journey, we’ll use the help of my favorite Brazilian writer. Meanwhile, I’ll show you a bit of our literature.

Activity 1
Read this poem by Mrio Quintana.

Sentir primeiro, pensar depois feeling at first, thinking after
Perdoar primeiro, julgar depois forgiving at first, judging after
Amar primeiro, educar depois loving at first, educating after
Esquecer primeiro, aprender depois forgetting at first, learning after
Libertar primeiro, ensinar depois releasing at first, teaching after
Alimentar primeiro, cantar depois feeding at first, singing after
Possuir primeiro, contemplar depois having at first, contemplating after
Agir primeiro, pensar depois acting at first, thinking after
Navegar primeiro, aportar depois sailing at first, arriving after
Viver primeiro, morrer depois.” living at first, dying after.

Activity 2
There are 20 verbs in the poem, and many are regular. What makes a verb regular in Portuguese? Observe and understand Presente do Indicativo simple present

Pronoun Amar Bater Partir
Eu Amo Bato Parto
Voc, ele, ela Ama Bate Parte
Nós Amamos Batemos Partimos
Vocs, eles, elas Amam Batem Partem

A regular verb keeps its root and terminations accordingly to its conjugation model.

Activity 3
Try to complete: more regular verbs in the simple present.

Pronoun Estudar Resolver Cobrir
Eu . . .
Voc, ele, ela . . .
Nós . . .
Vocs, eles, elas . . .

Activity 4
To practice both grammar and context, try to write a short poem, as in Activity 1. Write about what comes first and what comes after in your life, as Mario Quintana did.

See you next class!
Prof Cludia

To read previous articles by Prof. Claudia click below
Portuguese Tips: Comparative and Superlative
Portuguese Tips: Adverbs in Portuguese
Portuguese Tips
Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes

Prof. Claudia is available for private classes in São Paulo. She can be contacted at

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