Irregular verbs in Spanish and Portuguese


The irregular verbs of the Spanish (Castilian) and Portuguese language are very similar, but we also see differences. In the table below I put some of these differing forms side by side.


verbyoél verbeuele
andar  1  anduveanduvo andar  1  andei andou
decirdije dijo dizerdisse disse
traer traje trajo trazertrouxetrouxe
ser, irfui fue ser, irfui foi
estarestuveestuvo estarestiveesteve
tenertuve tuvo ter tive teve
haberhube hubo haver(houve)  4  houve
cabercupe cupo cabercoube coube
sabersupe supo sabersoube soube
 sepa sepa  saiba saiba
hacerhice hizo fazerfiz fez
poderpude pudo poderpude pôde
ponerpuse puso por pus pôs
quererquise quiso quererquis quis
ver vi vio ver vi viu
venirvine vino vir vim veio


  1. The verb “andar” is regular in Portuguese but irregular in Spanish.

  2. In Spanish, the first person of the perfect often ends in -e while the third person form has -o. In Portuguese however the first and third person conjugations are equal.

  3. Where Spanish has “j” (this is [x] phonetically), there is often an “x” in Portuguese. Although mostly a written “x” sounds the same as “ch” ([S] phonetically), this is not the case with these verbs: for example “trouxe” sound as if it were “trousse”.

    In the conjugation of “dizer” they indeed even write “disse”. Could it be that in old documents, this was written “dixe”? I think I have seen examples of this.

    And in fact they do exist, as becomes clear from this Googles search: +dixe site://

    This spelling was most notably used by the author Gaspar Correia. Gaspar Correia lived from 1495 to 1561. The work he wrote, Lendas da Índia, was first published as late as 1858/1864.

  4. “Houve” in the first person is only theoretical, it never occurs in the living language. See Eu houve? Doesn't exist!.

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