< Portuguese Grammar

Imperfect Indicative

Use the Imperfect Indicative when talking about actions that were continuous, habitual, or repeated over an unspecified period of time. Something that used to happen or, would (always) happen.

*Also called the Imperfect Past tense.

I used to work at the Bank of Brazil. ➜ Eu trabalhava no Banco do Brasil.


In those days I would always drink a few beers after work. ➜ Naqueles dias, eu sempre bebia algumas cervejas depois do trabalho.

-ar regular verbs

  • Eu trabalhava. ➜ I used to work.
  • Você, ele, ela trabalhava. ➜ You, he, she used to work.
  • Nós trabalhávamos. ➜ We used to work.
  • Vocês, eles, elas trabalhavam. ➜ They used to work.

-er regular verbs

  • Eu comia. ➜ I used to eat.
  • Você, ele, ela comia. ➜ You, he, she used to eat.
  • Nós comíamos. ➜ We used to eat.
  • Vocês, eles, elas comiam. ➜ They used to eat.

-ir regular verbs

  • Eu dormia. ➜ I used to sleep.
  • Você, ele, ela dormia. ➜ You, he, she used to sleep.
  • Nós dormíamos. ➜ We used to sleep.
  • Vocês, eles, elas dormiam. ➜ They used to sleep.


ar verbs ➜ Trabalhava nessa empresa. (I used to work at that company.)

er verbs ➜ Eu bebia todos os dias. (I used to drink every day.)

ir verbs ➜ Eu dormia bem. (I used to sleep well.)

Common Irregulars

ser : Quando eu era criança, eu era muito tímido. ➜ When I was a child, I used to be very shy.

ter : Ela tinha uma casa perto da praia. ➜ She used to have a house near the beach.

ver : Ele via o pôr do sol todas as tardes. ➜ He used to watch the sunset every afternoon.

vir : Ela vinha à cidade todas as semanas. ➜ She used to come to the city every week.