Our social lives are full of Woulds and Coulds. Would you like to go out for dinner on Friday? Could you help me, please? What would you do in this situation? That’s what you will learn in this lesson: How to use Would and Could in Portuguese . You will also be able to answer invitations and say “I’d love to.”
It is easy to use Would and Could in Portuguese. We use a verb tense called Conditional. The conjugation is easy.
I will show you how to conjugate verbs in the Conditional tense and will give you examples using real-life situations.
Conditional Tense Conjugation in Portuguese
I think you will be happy with how simple this conjugation is.
Simply add the following verb endings to the infinitive form of the verb:
- Eu –> ia
- Você, Ele, Ela –> ia
- Nós –> íamos
- Vocês, Eles, Elas –> iam
The stress is always on the “i” of the above terminations.
Let’s see the conjugation for the verb Gostar:
- Eu gostaria
- Você gostaria
- Nós gostaríamos
- Vocês gostariam
Regarding the verb Gostar in Portuguese, there are several details that you need to know in order to use it correctly. I tell you what you need to know in this Portuguese lesson.
The Conditional conjugation is the same for almost every irregular verb. Let’s look at the verb Poder:
- Eu poderia
- Você poderia
- Nós poderíamos
- Vocês poderiam
The Only Exceptions to the Rule
This conjugation pattern will work for almost all verbs in Portuguese, except those whose infinitive form end in –zer, such as Fazer, Dizer, and Trazer for example.
For these verbs, you do the following:
- Remove the final syllable –zer
- Add the following verb endings:
- Eu –> ria
- Você, Ele, Ela –> ria
- Nós –> ríamos
- Vocês, Eles, Elas –> riam
The funny thing is that the verb endings above are the same as the imperfect past tense conjugation of the verb Rir (to laugh) 🙂
The Conditional tense of Fazer is:
- Eu faria
- Você faria
- Nós faríamos
- Vocês fariam
How to use the verb Querer in Brazil
In Brazil we tend to not use the verb Querer in the Conditional tense. It follows the general conjugation rule, but sounds pretty strange. Look:
- Eu quereria
- Você quereria
- Nós quereríamos
- Vocês quereriam
So, instead of using the conditional tense, we use an alternative structure to say the same thing. Let me show you:
André: O que você faria se o proprietário do seu apartamento fosse desonesto?
Melissa: Eu ia querer me mudar.
André: What would you do if your landlord were dishonest?
Melissa: I was going to want to move out.
The English translation may sound a bit awkward, but in Portuguese that is a great structure. To learn all about it, visit my Portuguese lesson about how to say that you were going to do something.
Making Requests and Invitations in Portuguese
Now you are able to invite friends out, ask for favors, and answer to invitations in Portuguese. Below are useful phrases from real-life situations.
At the restaurant:
Garçom: Gostariam de algo para beber?
Você: Poderia trazer duas águas com gás, com gelo e limão, por favor?
Garçom: É pra já.
Server: Would you like something to drink?
You: Could you bring two sparkling waters, with ice and lime, please?
Server: Right away.
João is picking up Cristina for their first date. She invites him to come in for a cup of coffee before they head out.
João: Joia, obrigado. Também gostaria de um pouco de água, por favor.
Cristina: Make yourself at home. I will make some coffee for us.
João: Cool, thanks. I’d also like a bit of water, please.
A few days after the first date, João calls Cristina to invite her out again.
João: Oi, Cris, eu adoraria te ver. Que tal jantar amanhã?
Cris: Poxa, João, eu adoraria, mas não posso. Amanhã é o aniversário da minha irmã.
João: Hi, Cris, I’d love to see you. How about dinner tomorrow?
Cris: Bummer, João, I’d love to, but I can’t. Tomorrow is my sister’s birthday.
At the office:
Susana: Você poderia me dar uma mão com esse relatório?
Adriana: Sinto muito, Susana. Eu ficaria feliz de ajudar você, mas estou sobrecarregada no momento.
Susana: Could you give me a hand with this report?
Adriana: I’m sorry, Susana. I’d be happy to help you, but I am feeling overwhelmed at the moment.
At a job interview:
Entrevistador: O que você faria se um cliente fosse grosseiro com você?
Candidate: Eu manteria a calma para resolver o problema do cliente.
Entrevistador: What would you do if a client were rude with you?
Candidato: I’d remain calm in order to solve the client’s problem.
Could Doesn’t Always Translate as Poderia
Just a final note. When Could is used to express a past ability – something that you could do in the past – we use the imperfect past tense (pretérito imperfeito do indicativo) in Portuguese. For example:
- Eu podia falar francês quando era criança. = I could speak French when I was a child.
Also good to know: We often use podia instead of poderia to ask for favors.
- Você poderia me ajudar? Or: Você podia me ajudar? = Could you help me?
I hope you have fun using the Conditional tense in Portuguese with your friends and saying would and could in Portuguese.
Practice is the key to speaking the language with confidence. Street Smart Brazil has been teaching Brazilian Portuguese via video meetings since 2008, helping learner around the globe speak Portuguese with ease.