Portuguese Verbs Be & Have: Ser / Estar & Ter

Learn the verbs be and have in Brazilian Portuguese

Brazilian Portuguese Language Portuguese Language

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6. Be and Have in Portuguese

There are two verbs that mean to be: ser and estar. The verb ter means to have. Each subject pronoun requires a different form of the verb, called conjugations. Remember that nouns or names can also replace the third person pronouns he, she, it and they.

ser - to be      
eu sou I am nós somos we are
tu és you are (informal singular) vós estais you are (informal plural)

ele é
ela é
você é
o senhor é
a senhora é

he / it is (masculine)
she / it is (feminine)
you are (informal singular)
you are (formal masculine singular)
you are (formal feminine singular)
eles são
elas são
vocês são

os senhores são
as senhoras são
they are (masculine)
they are (feminine)
you are (informal plural)
you are (formal masculine plural)
you are (formal feminine plural)

 

estar - to be      
eu estou I am nós estamos we are
tu estás you are (informal singular) vós estais you are (informal plural)

ele está
ela está
você está
o senhor está
a senhora está

he / it is (masculine)
she / it is (feminine)
you are (informal singular)
you are (formal masculine singular)
you are (formal feminine singular)
eles estão
elas estão
vocês estão

os senhores estão
as senhoras estão
they are (masculine)
they are (feminine)
you are (informal plural)
you are (formal masculine plural)
you are (formal feminine plural)

 

ter - to have      
eu tenho I have nós temos we have
tu tens you have (informal singular) vós tendes you have (informal plural)

ele tem
ela tem
você tem
o senhor tem
a senhora tem

he / it has (masculine)
she / it has (feminine)
you have (informal singular)
you have (formal masculine singular)
you have (formal feminine singular)
eles têm
elas têm
vocês têm

os senhores têm
as senhoras têm
they have (masculine)
they have (feminine)
you have (informal plural)
you have (formal masculine plural)
you have (formal feminine plural)

Remember that tu and vos conjugations are not used in Brazil.

Ser is used to say when you are something (inherent characteristic), and estar is used to say when you are in/at somewhere (location):

Eu sou o novo aluno.     I am the new student.
Eu estou no meu novo carro.     I am in my new car.

Many common expressions that use the verb be in English use the verb ter in Portuguese:

to be afraid - ter medo
to be against - estar contra
to be at fault - ter culpa
to be careful - ter cuidado
to be cold - estar com frio
to be curious - ser curioso/a
to be happy - estar contente
to be hot - estar com calor
to be hungry - estar com fome
to be in a hurry - ter pressa, estar com pressa
to be jealous - ter ciúmes
to be lucky - ter sorte
to be patient - ser paciente
to be successful - ter sucesso
to be thirsty - estar com sêde
to be tired - estar cansado/a


 

Portuguese Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar with free audio



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