I saw the picture above on Facebook and it inspired me to create this Portuguese lesson. The picture uses two very useful idiomatic expressions in Portuguese: Perder a hora and Perder tempo. In this lesson I will give you a tip about the conjugation of the verb Perder and will show you how to use the expressions above. I will also teach you an additional great expression.
The Verb Perder: Meaning and Conjugation
The literal translation of perder is to lose.
Perder has an interesting conjugation. It is irregular for the simple present tense (present indicative) of “eu”:
- Eu perco
Notice that we have a C in place of the D that we have in the infinitive.
The rest of the present tense conjugation is regular:
- Você/ele/ela perde
- Nós perdemos
- Vocês/eles/elas perdem
That little change in the present tense indicative carries on to the present subjunctive:
- Espero que eu não perca meu celular de novo. = I hope I do not lose my cell phone again.
- Espero que você não perca seu celular de novo. = I hope you do not lose your cell phone again.
- Espero que nós não percamos nossos celulares outra vez. = I hope we do not lose our cell phones again.
- Espero que vocês não percam seus celulares novamente. = I hope you guys do not lose your cell phones again.
To practice the present subjunctive conjugation, check out our Flashcard App for Android devices.
Idiomatic Expression: Perder a hora
The expression perder a hora means to lose track of time and to be late for an appointment as a result. It can also translate as to oversleep.
1. Melissa usually wakes up at 7am to go to work. Today she overslept and woke up at 7:45am. She calls her manager to say that she is running late:
- Desculpe. Eu trabalhei até tarde ontem à noite e hoje perdi a hora.
- = I’m sorry. I worked until late last night and today I overslept.
2. Reginaldo is having lunch with a friend. He checks the time and says:
- Tenho que ir. Tenho uma reunião importante. Não posso perder a hora.
- = I have to go. I have an important meeting. I cannot be lose track of time and be late.
3. Diego is late to meet his girlfriend. She is upset. He tells her:
- Desculpa. Eu estava estudando e perdi a hora.
- Sorry. I was studying and lost track of time.
Idiomatic expression: Perder tempo
The expression perder tempo means to waste time.
1. Cristiano has been trying to go out on a date with Maria. Maria however keeps rejecting him. Cristiano’s friend finally tells him:
- Você está perdendo seu tempo. Ela não quer nada com você.
- = You are wasting your time. She does not want anything to do with you.
2. Joana is giving Mário her opinion about the movie she watched last night:
- O filme é horrível. Não perca seu tempo.
- = The movie is terrible. Don’t waste your time.
3. Paula spent almost an hour in line at the bank today. She says:
- Perdi um tempo enorme na fila do banco.
- = I wasted a lot of time in line at the bank.
Premium phrase: Uma perda de tempo
The noun for “perder” is perda = a loss, a waste.
The phrase uma perda de tempo means a waste of time.
Gustavo spends hours playing games at his computer. His girlfriend says:
- Não entendo como você passa tantas horas jogando. Que perda de tempo!
- = I don’t understand how you spend so many hours playing. What a waste of time!
The Opening Picture
Based on what you just learned, you can now translate the opening picture. It says:
“Choose people who make you lose track of time, not waste your time.”
The picture came from 89 A Radio Rock’s Facebook page.