Olá! Como vai? The next tense I want to look at is the preterite tense – the simple past. And yes, that does mean there is more than one past tense. But don’t let that bother you now – it’s pretty straight forward.
This tense is used to talk about something that happened in the past which has finished. For example – Yesterday I bought a dress. However, it is also used to translate the past perfect tense (I have done, you have bought, he has finished).
Let’s look at the endings which we will add to the stem of the infinitive.
-Ar verbs: -ei, -aste, -ou, -ámos, -astes, aram
-Er verbs: -i, -este, -eu, -emos, eram
-Ir verbs: -i, -iste, -iu, -imos, -iram
It might look like a lot but with practice, you will be conjugating without even realising!
Falar (to speak)
falei (I spoke) /fal-ay/
falaste (you spoke) /fa-lash-te/
falou (he/she/it spoke) /fa-loo/
falámos (we spoke) /fa-la-moosh/
falaram (they spoke) /fa-la-ram/
And now let’s try the -er verbs.
Comer (to eat)
comi (I ate) /ko-mee/
comeste (you ate) /ko-mesh-te/
comeu (he/she/it ate) /ko-mayoo/
comemos (we ate) /ko-me-moosh/
comeram (they ate) /ko-mer-ram/
And finally the -ir verbs…
Partir (to leave, depart)
parti (I left) /part-ee/
partiste (you left) /par-tish-te/
partiu (he/she/it left) /par-tee-oo/
partimos (we left) /par-tee-moosh/
partiram (they left) /par-teer-ram/
And finally, once you’ve got the hang that, some more useful time expressions to aid you with your conversation.
Ontem – yesterday
O ano passado – last year (literally – the passed year)
O fim de semana passada – last weekend
Ontem à noite – last night
So how would you say to your cool Brazilian friend, ‘We didn’t dance enough last night!’
Belleza…ontem à noite não dançámos bastante!