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Portuguese grammar - present tenses

azulejos4.1 

Just like in English there are two types of present tenses.

  • The first (present simple) refers to things that you do habitually. (Eg I sing in the bath. He listens to the radio).
  • The second (the present continuous) refers to things happening right now. (eg I'm singing in the bath / He's listening to the radio).

The formation of the present continuous differs in European/African Portuguese and in Brazilian Portuguese.

 

European/African Portuguese
Use the appropriate present tense form of the verb to be ("estar") and add "a" + the main verb in the infinitive:
Example:

  • I am speaking = Estou a falar 
  • He is opening = Está a abrir 

 

Brazilian Portuguese

Use the appropriate present tense form of the verb to be (estar) as above and add the verb with the final "r" omitted and with ending "ndo".

 Example

  • I am speaking = estou falando
  • he is opening = está abrindo

 

You will notice that the Brazilian version is more similar to the English.