Imagine this conversation:
Maria: What were you going to say?
Lúcia: Let’s catch a movie today.
Maria: I was going to suggest the same thing!
In this Portuguese lesson you will learn how to say things such as I was going to do it in Portuguese. You will need this language structure anytime you want to say that you were going to do something or if you want to ask what someone was going to say or do.
It’s easy and useful to use this language structure in Portuguese.
How to Say that You Were Going to Do Something in Portuguese
Here is the Portuguese version of the dialogue above:
Maria: O que você ia dizer?
Lúcia: Vamos ao cinema hoje?
Maria: Eu ia sugerir a mesma coisa!
Here’s the structure to say this:
- Subject +
- Imperfect past (pretérito imperfeito do indicativo) of the verb Ir +
- Infinitive of the main verb
In the sentence: “Eu ia sugerir a mesma coisa!” you have:
- Subject: Eu
- Imperfect past of the verb Ir: ia
- Infinitive of the main action verb: sugerir
Imperfect past tense of the verb Ir
The verb Ir is an irregular verb that you should really know well.
I have a Portuguese lesson about the present tense of the verb Ir with tips for you to avoid common mistakes.
I also have a lesson about the easiest way to use the future tense of any verb by using the verb Ir in the present tense. It is the most common way to use the future tense in spoken Brazilian Portuguese.
Below is the conjugation of the verb Ir in the imperfect past tense (pretérito imperfeito do indicativo):
- Eu ia
- Você/Ele/Ela ia
- Nós íamos
- Vocês/Eles/Elas iam
Additional Examples: Saying you were going to do something in Portuguese
Ontem eu ia jantar com Mauro, mas acabei tendo que trabalhar até tarde.
= Yesterday I was going to have dinner with Mauro, but I ended up having to work until late.
Eu não ia dizer nada, mas já que você insiste…
= I wasn’t going to say anything, but since you insist…
Clara ia pedir demissão, mas mudou de ideia.
= Clara was going to quit her job, but changed her mind.
Eu ia dizer isso.
= I was going to say so.
Eu ia fazer isso.
= I was going to do this.
João ia atravessar a rua quando o sinal fechou.
= João was going to cross the street when the light turned red.
In Brazil, when the traffic light is red, we say that it is closed. When the light is green, it is open.
I went through a funny situation with this. Years ago, my husband Carl was driving and we were stopped at a red light. The light turned green and I told him: “It’s open”. Carl turned to me puzzled: “What’s open?” That’s how I learned that you can’t say that in English 🙂
I hope this Portuguese lesson will allow you to feel confident when you need to say “I was going to do” it in Portuguese or when you need to say that anyone was going to do something.
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