Irregular verbs - TER and DAR

Irregular Verbs in Portuguese – TER and DAR

Today I am continuing with the list of irregular verbs in Portuguese. As I said in my last article, throughout the course of the following posts, I will continue to describe and give the conjugations of these kind of verbs. If you are interested in the topic, just keep coming back to find out more about them!

For today, I have chosen the verbs TER and DAR, which translate into English as to have and to give. You know, if you have something, just share and give it to others too…I just figure they are related…or they should be! =)

As in the previous post, I will be telling you about the Present tense of these verbs. In future posts I will also focus on other tenses – like the future or the past tenses. Keep posted =)

So, here they come!

Irregular Verbs in Portuguese – Presente Simples

Irregular verbs - TER and DAR
This is an irregular wall too!
Eu tenho
Tu tens
Ele/Ela/Você tem
Nós temos
Vocês têm
Eles/Elas têm


Eu dou
Tu dás
Nós damos
Vocês dão
Eles/Elas dão


These two verbs are not just “semantically” related, but they are also related in the way they are conjugated in the Present tense. Both have irregular persons, except for “nós”. Can you see it on the tables above?

Pay attention – almost every person is irregular

As I already mentioned in my previous post, regular verbs ending in “er” form the first person by adding “o” to the stem of the verb (like COMER –> eu como). The same happens to verbs ending in “ar”. TER and DAR, however, form it by changing some letters. In TER, we add a “nh” before adding the “o” and in DAR, we not only add an “o”, but also a “u”. At the end, we end up with “Eu tenho” and “Eu dou“.

The second person is different in TER, because the “m” transforms into “ns”. In DAR it is somehow similar to the regular verbs. The only difference is that we add a stress mark. The same happens with the third person of this verb.

The third person of TER is completely irregular. If you want a reminder of how to form the regular form of the third person of verbs in the Present Tense, check it out here.

The second and third persons plural are also quite different from those of the regular verbs. Check out the link above, to have a look at how different they are =)

Again, practice!

Irregular Verbs - TER and DAR

I know I keep repeating myself, but the way to achieve success in a language is by practicing and applying the things you learn in the real world. I am sharing with you some of the most important irregular verbs, and as hard as they may seem to remember, if you are consistent and you keep practising, you will succeed!

So, take my tips from the previous post, and apply them! You will be rocking those verbs in no time!

Below I give you some exercises, so you can start your journey! Take a look and enjoy it! It can be fun too 😉 It is all a question of being positive.

Remember: DAR can be mixed and match with a preposition

I want you to take a look (if you haven’t already) at my post about Portuguese verbs with prepositions. There you will find out with which preposition DAR mixes, to convey the meaning “Give something to someone”. Prepositions are another hard thing to tackle in Portuguese, so just be patient and never give up. At the end, it will be worth it! =)

Remember: TER is used to say “Tenho frio”.

Irregular verbs - TER and DAR

In Portuguese, when we want to say something like “I am cold”, in fact we say “I have cold”. We can use it with words like cold, warm, sleepy, hungry or thirsty!

  • Tenho frio –> I am cold
  • Tens calor –> You are warm/hot.
  • Temos sono –> We are sleepy.
  • Tem fome –>He/She/You (formal) are hungry.
  • Têm sede –> They/You (pl.) are thirsty.

Another thing you should remember, is that in Portuguese, we use TER to say our age, as you can check out here.

  • Tenho 30 anos –> I am 30 years old.
  • Tens 35 anos –> You are 35 years old.

and so on…

So, ready to test your knowledge?

Irregular Verbs in Portuguese – Exercises with TER and DAR

Completa com os verbos FAZER e DIZER

  1. Eu _________(ter) frio.
  2. Ele _________(dar) um beijo à mãe.
  3. Nós _________(ter) 18 anos.
  4. Eles às vezes _________(dar) abraços.
  5. Tu ________________(ter) uma festa hoje.

Completa com os verbos regulares e irregulares. (If you need consult the post about the regular forms, click here ; if you need to check the post about DIZER and FAZER, click here; you can also check the post about SER vs ESTAR here.)

  1. A Joana ___________ (dar) as notícias ao irmão.
  2. Nós ______________ (comer) pão.
  3. Elas ______________(fazer) anos hoje.
  4. O José e o Gonçalo ____________ (tocar) piano.
  5. Eu _______________ (fazer) o teste.
  6. O António ________(gostar) da Maria.
  7. Vocês _______________ (atender) o telefone.
  8. Ela _________________ (ser) bonita.
  9. Elas ________________ (ter) muita fome.
  10. As meninas ____________(estar) juntas.

As before, you can check the answers to the exercises above, here. If you did not have everything right, don’t panic. Just read the rules once more and try it again! 😀

Hopefully, you found this post helpful. Remember, practice is the key for success! Little by little, you will get there.

How is your journey through the irregular verbs going? Let me know on the comments section below. I am curious to hear about it.

See you again soon in the next post about the irregular verbs in Portuguese!



PS – Check more about the verbs here:

Portuguese Verbs and Conjugations

Portuguese Verbs with Prepositions

Portuguese Verbs and Conjugations – Perfect vs Imperfect

Ser vs Estar Conjugation 


Categories: Grammar

4 thoughts on “Irregular Verbs in Portuguese – TER and DAR

  1. Olá. Peço desculpa se estou errado, mas quando andei na escola usávamos eu, tu ele, nós, VÓS, eles. Não existia vocês. Como tal, a conjugação vocês têm/ dão, é sempre uma repetição do eles. Fica a faltar o Vós tendes/ dais.


    1. Olá João!
      Tem toda a razão. Eu também aprendi o VÓS quando andei na escola.
      No entanto, hoje em dia o VÓS caiu em desuso, pelo menos em grande parte do território Português e foi substituído pelo VOCÊS.
      Sendo assim, hoje em dia, os professores de Português como Língua Estrangeira optam por não ensinar o VÓS, já que é pouco usado e só iria confundir mais as pessoas estrangeiras que estão a aprender Português. Se fosse muito usado, faria sentido ensiná-lo, mas como não é, opta-se por mencioná-lo (eu menciono em algumas aulas e alguns dos meus blog posts, e se o aluno quiser, também ensino a conjugação) mas deixando de fora quando se ensina as conjugações dos verbos.
      É um pouco triste para o VÓS, confesso. Não gostaria que deixasse de existir, mas as línguas são dinâmicas e parece-me que é para isso que caminha.
      Agradeço a nota e espero ter respondido à questão.

      Muito obrigada,

  2. Olá! I’m still a beginner, and I have a question about using ter for saying “is hungry/thirsty.” I was taught to say “estar com fome/sede” for this. Are the two interchangeable?

    1. Hello =)
      You are absolutely right, they are interchangeable. You can either say “Tenho fome/sede” or “Estou com fome/sede”. In the same way, you can also say “Tenho frio/calor” (I am warm/cold) or “Estou com frio/calor”. Other adjectives can also go along with “ter” or “estar com”.
      Thanks for the question!

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