PODER in Portuguese

portuguese-verb-poder

PODER in Portuguese

Surely one of the most powerful verbs. Nothing happens without it. Why then you ask, does it have to be so tricky? It doesn't have to be. Let's de-construct poder by looking at how it's most commonly used.

Standard use in the simple present tense looks like this.

Can you go? >> Voc锚 pode ir?
Yes, I can go. >> Sim, posso ir.

But in everyday conversation, people often throw in an extra IR (eu vou) like this...

Yes, I can go. >> Sim, vou poder ir.

Confusing.
This is just like saying "I'm not going to be able to go." The meaning is the same, but it's a different approach. A Brazilian learning English would say -why don't you just say "I can't go" -?! 馃槈 I'm pointing this out because this is an intermediate level post and you are going to start noticing lots of variations in standard sentence structure, and it's going to cause you confusion.

Now let's try saying, "Eu n茫o vou poder" -- This time without the final verb so it just means, "I'm not going to be able to." This is really useful to use in lots of situations and is very聽easy to remember.

Voc锚 vai jogar t锚nis amanh茫?" >> N茫o vou poder, n茫o.

In the past tense, the conjugation is (of course!) irregular.

Eu pude. > I was able.
Voc锚 p么de. > You were able.
Ele, ela p么de. > He, she was able.
N贸s pudemos. > We were able.
Eles, elas puderam. > They, you all were able.

Eu ia para a festa mas n茫o pude. » I was going to go to the party but I couldn't.
Ontem ela n茫o p么de sair. » Yesterday she couldn't go out.

Lastly let's do the conditional tense: could.

Eu poderia. > I could.
Voc锚 poderia. > You could.
Ele, ela poderia. > He, she could.
N贸s poder铆amos. > We could.
Eles, elas poderiam > They, you all could.

O hotel 茅 bom mas, poderia ficar melhor. » The hotel is good but it could be better.
Tudo poderia ser diferente. » Everything could be different.
Mas tarde, poder铆amos passar no bar para um drink. » Later we could drop by a bar for a drink.

*Don't forget the accent!

N茫o Pode, from advanced dialogs: