Verb to be 1/4

Welcome to my VERB TO BE series!
The meanings included in the verb ‘to be’ is expressed in Portuguese by two independent verbs: ‘ser’ and ‘estar’. On the four posts about verb to be, a complete yet simple analysis of these verbs will be presented.

Topics of Verb to be 1/4:

Verb ‘estar’:
1) expressing current feeling/condition
2) present continuous.

If you are not familiar with personal pronouns and other basic Portuguese vocabulary, you can learn it here.

Shall we start? 🙂


‘Estar’ is an irregular verb, therefore won’t follow the rules for regular verbs mentioned here.

Eu estou
I am
Tu estás
You are
Ele/Ela está (Você está)*
He/she/is (You are)*
Nós estamos
We are
Eles/Elas/Vocês estão
They/You(pl.) are

‘Estar’ is a descriptive verb and associated with temporary circumstances and states such as one’s mood or physical conditions; also locations and ongoing activities.

How are you?

Como você está?
Como – interrogative pronoun; how
Você – you (=tu)
Está – 3rd person singular of ‘estar’ conjugated in the present tense

Observing the question structure, we have:
Question: [inter. pronoun]>>[noun]>>[estar]
The answer to this question will always be an adjective or equivalent. When you ask ‘como está?’ something, you are asking for the current status of it.
Answer: [noun]>>[estar]>>[adjective]
Eu estou doente.
I am sick.

Moving on to some…


Q. Como você está hoje?
How are you today?
A. Eu estou feliz hoje.
I am happy today.

Q. Como ele está ultimamente?
How is he lately?
A. Ele está preocupado com o comportamento do seu filho.
He is worried with his son’s behavior.

Q. Como vocês estão?
How are you (pl.)?
A. Nós estamos animados para a festa.
We are excited to the party.

Ela está afim de comer pizza.
She is in the mood for eating pizza.

O apartamento está em boas condições.
The apartment is in good conditions.

What are you doing?

The second use of this verb we are going to discuss is as a auxiliar verb in the present continuous structure.

What are you doing?
O que você está fazendo?
O que – interrogative pronoun (what)
Você – you (=tu)
Está – 3rd person singular of ‘estar’ conjugated in the present tense
Fazendo – gerund form of the verb ‘fazer’ (=to do)

NOTE: The gerund of a verb goes like this:

  1. Verb in the infinitive;
  2. Replace the stem -ar, -er or -ir for -ando, -endo or -indo, respectively.
  3. Examples: falar >> falando; cantar >> cantando; comer >> comendo; beber >> bebendo; abrir >> abrindo; ouvir >> ouvindo.

Question: [inter. pronoun]>>[noun]>>[estar]>>[verb+ing]

O que você está comendo?
What are you eating?

O que eles estão comprando?
What are they buying?

The expected answers to these questions would be like this:
Answer: [estar]>>[verb+ing]>>[complement]

Eu estou comendo bolo.
I am eating cake.

Eles estão comprando roupas.
They are buying clothes

You can continue learning about verb to be HERE.

Best wishes on your journey learning Portuguese. 

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