the Preterite Indicative: AR verbs

15 you need to know

preterite-indicative-ar-verbs

Once you've gotten comfortable conjugating verbs in the present tense, the next tense to know is called the Preterite. It's officially referred to as the preterite perfect, indicative mood. That's what a linguist would call it. It's commonly known as the simple past. By now you've come to realize that there nothing is very simple about the past tense in Portuguese, but this tense is clear: we're talking about action that is over and done.

Just remember that: over & done.

Yesterday, I had dinner with my girlfriend.
We went to the movies.
I kissed her.
She liked it.

Over & done. Simple.

Let's review the conjugation:

Forming

-ar regular verbs

I worked eu trabalh ei
he worked ele trabalh ou
we worked nós trabalh amos
they worked eles trabalh aram

Nice and consistent.
There are several irregulars you need to know.

chegar
Chegar is only irregular in the first person, singular: cheguei (pronounced shə-gaā)
Don't be tricked by the "u". It does nothing to affect the pronunciation.

dar
Dar is hopelessly irregular. In the preterite it almost gets conjugated as if it were an er verb.

eu dei
você ele, ela deu
nós demos
vocês, eles, elas deram

Here's our list of the top 20. While not all of them are essential for survival Portuguese, they are all ar-verbs that you will hear all the time in Brazil.

ajudar

She helped me a lot. > Ela me ajudou muito.

trabalhar

I worked all day yesterday. > Trabalhei o dia inteiro ontem.

demorar

It took a long time to get here. > Demorou muito tempo para chegar aqui.

transar

Did you guys already sleep together? > Vocês já transaram?

levantar

I got up early today. > Me levantei cedo hoje.

gritar

She yelled at me. > Ela gritou comigo.

xingar

He cursed at me! > Ele me xingou!

afastar

He backed-away from the relationship. > Ele se afastou do relacionamento.

namorar

We made out on the beach. > Namoramos na praia.

cozinhar

They cooked a big dinner. > Eles cozinharam um grande jantar.

quebrar

My motorcycle broke-down. > Minha moto quebrou.

lanchar

We got a snack at the bar. > Lanchamos no bar.

terminar

Did you guys break up? > Vocês terminaram?

combinar

We arranged a meeting. ? A gente combinou um reunião.

odiar

I hated the show! > Eu odiei o show!

From the learning series, INTENSIVO: