Pretérito Imperfeito e Pretérito Perfeito do Indicativo

27 03 2012

I have a Portuguese written test this week and I thought it might be useful to share what I’ve learned. Of all the topics the most challenging one is the past perfect tense and the past imperfect tense.

So you might be asking yourself  .. What’s the difference between them?

The Past Perfect Tense ( Pretérito Perfeito) verbs are used to indicate that an action happened and was completed in the recent past. That action had a beginning and an end.

The verbs in Portuguese have the following ending: “ar”, “er” and “ir” -> Example: Trabalhar, Esquecer, Partir.

Now, when conjugating the verbs preserve the prefix and exchange the ending for the terminations in bold.


  • Márcia vendeu a casa de campo, mas comprou uma nova na praia /Marcia sold her country house and bought a new one on the beach/
  • Não fui à sua festa porque não recibi o seu convite /I didn’t go to the party because i didn’t not receive the invitation/
  • Ontem dormi até ás onze horas /Last night I slept until eleven o’clock/

Past Imperfect Tense (Pretérito Imperfeito) are actions that were not completed, the action does not have a beginning or end. It gives the idea that´s in progress


  • Meu marido estava conzinhando quando o telefono tocou. /My husband was cooking when the phone rang /
  • Enquanto Paulo comia uma goiaba, ela estudava para a prova.

To learn more about conjugating verbs in the past perfect and imperfect tense you can utilize and to practice click here




2 responses

27 03 2012
gringa feliz

thanks for the mini-lesson! how long have you been learning Portuguese, do you have plans to travel eventually? good luck on your test 🙂

27 03 2012
Sherry Anderson

Thank you for your comment gringa feliz… Right now I do not have concrete plans, but hopefully I can travel soon. My interest for Portuguese started 2 years ago, but I had to stop for a while. I picked it up last year and my goals are to continue until I grasp it. 🙂 Thanks!!!!!!

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