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 that you were going to do something, such as when you ask someone: What were you going to say? Or when you say: I was going to suggest the same thing. It’s easy and very useful.
Here’s the video:
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:
- 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 of the Verb Ir
The verb Ir is an irregular verb that you should really know well.
I have a lesson on the present tense of the verb Ir with tips for you to avoid common mistakes. See it here.
I also have a lesson on how to express the future tense using the verb Ir in the present tense. It is the most common way to use the future tense in spoken Brazilian Portuguese. Visit the lesson here.
Below is the conjugation of the verb Ir in the imperfect past (pretérito imperfeito do indicativo):
- Eu ia
- Você/Ele/Ela ia
- Nós íamos
- Vocês/Eles/Elas iam
Additional Examples Using the Structure
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.
João ia atravessar a rua quando o sinal fechou.
= João was going to cross the street when the light turned red.
This last example has something that I find very interesting. 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, 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 don’t say the same thing in English 🙂
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