Learn Romance Languages Verb Conjuations Together - French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Vocabulary Side-by-Side

Romance Languages Verbs: Conjugations of Be able to / Can (pouvoir / potere / poder / poder / poder)

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English French Italian Catalan Spanish Portuguese
Infinitive: to be able to / can pouvoir potere poder poder poder
Present: am, is, are able to / can peux / puis posso puc puedo posso
peux puoi pots puedes podes
peut può pot puede pode
pouvons possiamo podem podemos podemos
pouvez potete podeu podéis podeis
peuvent possono poden pueden podem
Imperfect: was, were able to/could pouvais potevo podia podía podia
pouvais potevi podies podías podias
pouvait poteva podia podía podia
pouvions potevamo podíem podíamos podíamos
pouviez potevate podíeu podíais podíeis
pouvaient potevano podien podían podiam
Preterite: was, were able to/could pus potei / potetti poguí pude pude
(rare in French or Italian speech) pus potesti pogueres pudiste pudeste
(alternative Catalan below) put poté / potette pogué pudo pôde
pûmes potemmo poguérem pudimos pudemos
pûtes poteste poguéreu pudisteis pudestes
purent poterono / potettero pogueren pudieron puderam
Future: will be able to pourrai potrò podré podré poderei
pourras potrai podràs podrás poderás
pourra potrà podrà podrá poderá
pourrons potremo podrem podremos poderemos
pourrez potrete podreu podréis podereis
pourront potranno podran podrán poderão
Conditional: would be able to/could pourrais potrei podria podría poderia
pourrais potresti podries podrías poderias
pourrait potrebbe podria podría poderia
pourrions potremmo podríem podríamos poderíamos
pourriez potreste podríeu podríais poderíais
pourraient potrebbero podrien podrían poderiam
Present Subjunctive: can/may puisse possa pugui pueda possa
puisses possa puguis puedas possas
puisse possa pugui pueda possa
puissions possiamo puguem podamos possamos
puissiez possiate pugueu podáis possais
puissent possano puguin puedan possam
Imperfect Subjunctive: was, were able to/could pusse potessi pogués pudiera pudesse
(rare in French speech) pusses potessi poguessis pudieras pudesses
(alternative Spanish below) pût potesse pogués pudiera pudesse
  pussions potessimo poguéssim pudiéramos pudéssemos
  pussiez poteste poguéssiu pudierais pudésseis
  pussent potessero poguessin pudieran pudessem
Gerund: being able to
Present Participle: being able to
en pouvant
podent podiendo podendo
Past Participle: was, were able to/could pu potuto pogut podido podido
Auxiliary verb in perfect tenses avoir avere haver haber ter

The periphrastic past in Catalan is an alternative to the preterite. It is formed by using anar as an auxiliary verb followed by the infinitive.

vaig poder
vas poder
va poder
vam poder
vau poder
van poder

There is an alternative form of the imperfect subjunctive in Spanish, which is more similar to Portuguese. Simply replace -ra- with -se- for all conjugations:

pudiera / pudiese
pudieras / pudieses
pudiera / pudiese
pudiéramos / pudiésemos
pudierais / pudieseis
pudieran / pudiesen

The future subjunctive is only used in formal or literary Spanish, but it is easy to conjugate since it is nearly identical to the imperfect subjunctive forms. The future subjunctive in Portuguese is very common and the same endings are used for the personal infinitive (see below).

Spanish Portuguese
pudiere puder
pudieres puderes
pudiere puder
pudiéremos pudermos
pudiereis puderdes
pudieren puderem

The personal infinitive in Portuguese uses the infinitive as the stem + the endings of the future subjunctive.


There is an alternative form of the past perfect in Portugueuse which only uses one word rather than an auxiliary verb + past participle. These conjugations are quite similar to the imperfect subjunctive conjugations using -ra- in Spanish. However, this simple form is only used in formal or literary Portuguese. (Note that the imperfect subjunctive in Spanish using -ra- can also be used in formal or literary language as an alternative to the compound past perfect.)



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