Regular — AR Verbs

There are four main categories of verbs in Portuguese, and the first and most important one of them is the group of verbs that end in — ar in the infinitive (for example, falar [to speak]). The infinitive can be understood as the “default” form of the verb, or the form that can change depending on the grammatical person. In English, this is comparable to the “to” form, as in “to walk” or “to speak.” The other categories are the verbs that end in — er (comer [to eat]), — ir (dormir [to sleep]), and a smaller category of verbs that end in — or (compor [to compose]). We will review these other categories in the next chapters. For now, look at the conjugation below which is the model that should be followed for all verbs that end in — ar, in the present tense.

TRACK 50

Falar (to speak) in the Present Tense

Portuguese

English

eu falo

I speak

você fala

you speak [one person]

ele/ela fala

he/she speaks

nós falamos

we speak

vocês falam

you (all) speak [more than one person]

eles/elas falam

they speak

Notice that elas refers to “they” as in all females, and eles refers to all males or a mixed group of persons. The conjugation for the tu is not mentioned above (tu falas [you speak]) because if you use você (you) in order to address one person you will be understood by all speakers. You might hear the tu form, and people will probably conjugate it using the você ending: tu fºala (you speak), though this is considered ungrammatical by many educated speakers. Here is a list of common verbs that end in — ar:

TRACK 51

Common Verbs Ending in — AR

Portuguese

English

acabar

to finish

achar

to find, to think

ajudar

to help

colocar

to put, to place

começar

to start

comprar

to buy

descansar

to rest

estudar

to study

ficar

to be (situated), to stay

jogar

to play (a sport or a game)

morar

to live

pagar

to pay

tocar

to play (an instrument), to touch

tomar

to drink

trabalhar

to work

viajar

to travel

In order to learn these verbs, try to first memorize them by putting the verbs into lists or categories. Can you divide the above list into “things that I do often” and “things that I rarely do”? How about dividing the list into “action verbs” and “mental verbs”? Whatever categories you chose to organize the verbs, the important thing is that you find a way to process and arrange these new pieces of information in your brain. Once you have done this, it will be easier to retrieve the information later.

Exercise: Fill in the Blank

Complete the blanks with the correct form of the verb, depending on the subject. Check your answers in Appendix C.

  • A criança________________________________futebol. (The child plays soccer.)

  • Os jovens________________________________clarinete. (The youngsters play clarinet.)

  • Nós________________________________português e inglês. (We speak Portuguese and English.)

  • Você________________________________pão todo dia? (Do you buy bread every day?)

  • Vocês________________________________no Brasil? (Do you (pl.) live in Brazil?)

Exercise: Make a Match

Match the sentence with its missing verb by writing the letter in the blank space.

  • O concerto_________________________às cinco horas.   (a) estudam (study)

  • Você_________________________basquetebol?     (b) pago (pay)

  • Nós_________________________em Ipanema.     (c) joga (play)

  • Eu_________________________a conta, sempre!     (d) moramos (live)

  • Os alunos_________________________muitas horas por dia. (e) começa (starts)

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