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Lição 6


Learning Objectives – Objetivos da Lição

Lição 6 presents:

  • the imperfect tense and irregular verbs that occur in it,
  • the progressive tenses, 
  • how to describe weather phenomena and
  • relevant vocabulary.

After completing this lesson, the student will be able to:

  • recognize and produce forms of both regular and irregular verbs in the imperfect and progressive tenses.
  • describe general weather situations using fazer and estar.

Grammar – Gramática

The imperfect tense – O pretérito imperfeito

Regular verbs following the following conjugation patterns:

Eu falava Nós falávamos
Você, ele, ela falava Vocês, eles, elas falavam
Eu comia Nós comíamos
Você, ele, ela comia Vocês, eles, elas comiam
Eu abria Nós abríamos
Você, ele, ela abria Vocês, eles, elas abriam

Irregular Verbs in the Imperfect – Verbos irregulares no imperfeito

The imperfect tense is irregular in only 4 verbs. The following are the irregular imperfect forms of verbs studied thus far.

Eu era Nós éramos
Você, ele, ela era Vocês, eles, elas eram
Eu punha Nós púnhamos
Você, ele, ela punha Vocês, eles, elas punham
Eu tinha Nós tínhamos
Você, ele, ela tinha Vocês, eles, elas tinham
Eu vinha Nós vínhamos
Você, ele, ela vinha Vocês, eles, elas vinham
6.1 Practice – Prática

6.1 A.

6.1 B.

Use of the imperfect tense – O uso do imperfeito

In general terms the imperfect is a tense used to describe what was going on in the past. In more specific terms:

The imperfect is used to express the idea that the action or state of being in the past was habitual or that it continued over a period of time. In such instances the translation may be “used to,” “would,” or the simple past tense of the verb.

Quando eu era pequeno, íamos à praia todos os domingos. [When I was little, we used to go (or would go, or went) to the beach every Sunday.]
Quando os meus pais ainda viviam, sempre jantávamos juntos. [When my parents were still living. we always used to have (would have or had) dinner together.]

The imperfect is used to describe actions that were going on in the past and not completed at any definite time.

Ele lia enquanto eu ouvia o rádio. [He was reading while I was listening to the radio. (or: He read while I listened to the radio.)]

The imperfect is used to describe an action which was going on in the past when another event occurred.

Chovia quando ela saiu. [It was raining when she went out.]
Íamos jantar quando eles chegaram. [We were going to dine when they arrived.]

It is often difficult to decide whether to use the imperfect or the preterite tense in your translation into Portuguese when the English sentence uses the simple past tense.

If the action is definitely completed, use the preterite.

Saltaram para dentro da água. [They jumped into the lake.]
Fomos ao cinema ontem. [We went to the movies yesterday.]

If a verb is describing a past situation, use the imperfect.

O mar estava calmo. [The sea was calm.]
Fazia muito calor naquela tarde. [It was very hot that afternoon.]

A number of verbs and expressions are generally used in the imperfect tense because it is difficult to tell exactly when the action began and ended. Among these are poder, saber, querer, sentir, ter/estar com vontade de, etc.

Note the following examples and translations:

Ele sabia que não podia fazê-lo e por isso desistiu. [He knew he couldn’t do it, so he gave up.]
  • Sabia and podia are not limited by a definite time, so they are expressed in the imperfectdesistiu is a completed action, and therefore is expressed in the preterite.
Eu queria falar com ele porque ele parecia ter tanto medo. [I wanted to speak with him because he seemed to be so afraid.]
  • No definite time limit is expressed, but a description in past time is being made so the imperfect tense is used.

Always use the imperfect when telling time or age in a past context.

Era uma hora quando saímos da farmácia. [It was one o’clock when we left the drugstore.]
Quando começou a chover eram nove e meia. [When it began to rain it was 9:30.]
João tinha só 9 anos quando seu pai morreu. [John was only 9 years old when his father died.]
6.2 Practice – Prática

6.2 A.  Answer these questions:

1. Que horas eram quando você se deitou ontem à noite?
2. Fazia muito calor no seu quarto enquanto vocês estavam dormindo?
3. O Fábio tinha medo da água quando era pequeno?
4. O que a Sônia fazia quando a Teresa chegou?
5. Fazia muito calor quando eles resolveram pular na água?
6. Quantos anos você tinha quando viajou de avião pela primeira vez?
7. Onde os seus pais moravam quando eles se casaram?

6.2 B. 

6.2 C.

Formation of the present participle/gerund – A formação do particípio presente/gerúndio

(The present participle in English is the -ing form of the verb). To form the present participle in Portuguese, drop the final –r of the infinitive and add –ndo. There are no exceptions.

falar: falando [speaking]
comer: comendo [eating]
abrir: abrindo [opening]
pôr: pondo [placing, setting]
6.3 Practice – Prática

6.3 A.

The progressive tenses – Os progressivos

These tenses are used to describe more emphatically and vividly an action that is or was in progress at a given moment. They are formed by using the correct tense of the auxiliary verb estar followed by the present participle/gerund of the main verb.

The present progressive – O presente do progressivo

Eu estou estudando Nós estamos estudando
Você, ele, ela está estudando Vocês, eles, elas estão estudando
(1) O que vocês estudam na universidade? (1) [What are you studying at the university?]
Estudamos francês e português. [- We are studying French and Portuguese.]
(2) O que vocês estão fazendo agora? (2) [What are you doing now?]
Estamos ouvindo música. [ – We are listening to music.]
*Notice that the verbs in the examples given above can be translated into English by using the same tense. However, in example (1) we have a general statement; whereas the use of the progressive tense in example (2) emphasizes and more vividly describes the action that is taking place.

The past progressive – O passado do progressivo

Eu estava estudando Nós estávamos estudando
Você, ele, ela estava estudando Vocês, eles, elas estavam estudando
(1) Eu preparava o jantar quando me chamaram. (1) [I was preparing dinner when they called me.]
(2) Eu estava preparando o jantar quando me chamaram. (2) [I was preparing dinner when they called me.]
6.4 Practice – Prática

6.4 A. 

6.4 B.

6.4 C.

An Alternate Construction for the Progressive Tenses – Uma construção alternativa para os tempos progressivos

An alternate construction that substitutes for the present participle is formed by using the preposition a + infinitive. This form is used almost exclusively in continental Portuguese in the progressive tenses.

falando = a falar [speaking]
ouvindo = a ouvir [hearing, listening]
Ela estava a falar comigo. [She was speaking with me.]
Você está a ouvir? [Are you listening?]

Expressing weather – Para expressar o tempo

To express certain weather phenomena in Portuguese the verbs fazer and estar are used. Fazer is followed by a noun and estar by an adjective.

Faz calor. / Está quente. [It is hot.]
Fazia tempo bom. / O tempo estava bom. [The weather is fine.]
Faz um dia lindo. / O dia está lindo. [It’s a beautiful day.]

Vocabulary – Vocabulário

Verbs – Verbos

Expressions – Expressões

6.5 Practice – Prática

6.5 A. Write in Portuguese:

1.     Paul was thirsty and we were hungry.
2.     It was a beautiful day. The weather was fine.
3.     I am freezing! Let’s go home.
4.     He used to know how to do that.
5.     They forgot to make the sandwiches.
6.     Where did your brother go?
7.    It was only 6:00 PM and already they were sleepy.
8.     John got hungry while he was swimming.
9.     We used to go for a bike ride every Sunday.
10.    I was watching TV when you called.
11.    Peter was running in the park when he saw Lúcia.
12.   It was very hot and suddenly I felt like going to the beach.

6.5 B. Answer the following questions:

1.     Você pretende fazer um piquenique com os seus amigos no sábado?
2.     O que você faz quando quer beber cerveja e não tem copo?
3.     Que tempo fez ontem?
4.     O que você fazia hoje quando o professor entrou na sala?
5.     O café que você tomou hoje de manhã estava frio?
6.     Vocês estão com calor agora?



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Lição 6 by Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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