Regular actions in the Present

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What we did in the past and what we are doing in the present can be combined into one concept – gaining life experience. It is what makes us interesting and wise individuals. Today we’ll look at some grammar rules to help us talk about this.

As we know, there can be many options for action. We do some actions once in our life, others rarely or daily. We had been doing something for a very long time in the past and still have been doing something. Some of our classes are quite fresh and started recently, and some are just planning to start. Most of these actions have a specific grammatical structure, and today we will look at some of them.

Regular actions in the Present

Habitual actions

There is nothing more effective than actions that we repeat constantly. What we make our habit we do in the best way. The meaning, as you understand, can be both positive and negative.

We can describe habitual actions not only using the Present Tense (Presente do Indicativo), but also using the verb “costumar(to get used to).

Costumo fazer exercícios físicos às manhãs. (I do exercise in the morning.)

Costumamos comer saladas e carne aos almoços. (We eat salads and meats for lunch.)

Quite grammatically, we can legally convey the same meaning, but in an ordinary way:

Normalmente faço exercício físico de manhã. (Usually I do exercise in the morning.)

Habitualmente comemos salada e carne ao almoço. (Usually we eat salad and meat for lunch.)

This expression is convenient in that we only conjugate the auxiliary verb “costumar“, and the main verb goes in the infinitive. It helps us get out of the situation when we forget how to conjugate verbs with different endings, and we need to react quickly.

Repetitive actions

In Portuguese, you can emphasize not only our habits, but also actions that began in the past and are repeated with some frequency. To do this, we need the following construction: andar + the preposition “a” + the verb infinitive.

Ando a fazer um curso de português. (I am taking a Portuguese course.)

Eles andam a praticar Jiu Jitsu. (They practice Jiu Jitsu.)

Here we can conclude that these classes have already begun and are permanent. In addition, only the verb “andar(to walk) is conjugated, which once again simplifies the use of this expression.


In addition, the verb “andar” is involved in an expression that describes the state. This state began in the past and continues up to this point.

Ando muito triste. Estou deprimido. (I’m sad. I’m depressed.)

Here, an adjective follows the verb “andar“.

Thus, we can describe our state recently and for this we do not need to specify additional conditions – when and for how long.


There is another way to tell about what we started doing sometime and continue to this day. The description of our state recently can also be expressed using this grammatical construction. Namely, we need the verb “ter” and a special ending of the main verb. So, we change the ending of the verb “-ar” to “-ado”, and the endings “-er” and “-ir” – to “-ido”. We conjugate the verb “ter” according to the pronouns in the present tense – Presente do Indicativo.

Ultimamente tenho trabalhado muito. (I’ve been working a lot.)

Ultimamente temos comido muitos legumes porque queremos emagrecer. (We’ve been eating a lot vegetables lately because we want to lose weight.)

Note that the endings of –ado/-ido do not change depending on the gender and number of the noun. This knowledge will be useful to us in the future.

Timing questions

As part of this topic, we want to tell you how to find out when an action began. In this we will be helped by such a combination of words as “desde quando(since when) and “há quanto tempo(how long ago). Also in the examples, we will immediately see how to ask and how to answer such questions:

A: Desde quando trabalhas aqui na Escola Caravela? (Since when have you been working at the Caravel School?)

B: Desde que me mudei para as Caldas! (Since I moved to Caldas!)

A: Há quanto tempo moras nas Caldas? (How long have you been living in Caldas?)

B: Moro cá seis meses. um ano eu mudei-me para as Caldas. (I live there for one year. A year ago I moved to Caldas.)

After “desde quando” and “há quanto tempo”, both the present and the past tense are used. That is, meaning and context are important. Moreover, we can use the word “desde” to indicate when an action began. If this action or condition is still ongoing, we can use the expression from the previous paragraph.

Desde que a crise começou, tenho tido muita tensão por causa do dinheiro. (Since the beginning of the crisis, I have been under a lot of stress over money.)

Desde que nós recebemos a herança, temos estado muito felizes. (Since we received the inheritance, we are very happy.)

Desde que comprarem o carro novo um mês, têm dormido mal. (Since they bought a new car a month ago, they haven’t slept well.)

These grammatical constructions allow very subtle details to be described. There is no need to supplement sentences with qualifying words. The form itself already explains some of the circumstances of the time.

And also, we can combine different grammatical constructions in one sentence, which we proved in the last examples.


Today we have learned the details from the depths of the Portuguese language. It is impossible to say that this information is not needed for simple communication. It makes your Portuguese language beautiful and original. We are delighted to immerse you in the Portuguese language, so come to our school for a dose of exceptional knowledge.

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