Placing Actions into Words: A Comprehensive Guide to the Conjugation of the Portuguese Verb 'Colocar'

May 24th, 2023 - Vera

In the rich tapestry of the Portuguese language, the verb “colocar” (to place/to put) holds a prominent position. “Colocar” allows us to express actions related to placing or putting objects or people in specific locations. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the conjugation of “colocar” across various tenses and moods, accompanied by example sentences to illustrate their practical use. By mastering the conjugations of “colocar,” you will gain the ability to describe and discuss placement actions with confidence in Portuguese.

Present Indicative Tense

  1. Eu coloco - I place/put
    • Eu coloco os livros na estante. (I place the books on the shelf.)
  2. Tu colocas - You place/put (informal singular)
    • Tu colocas o prato na mesa. (You place the plate on the table.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você coloca - He/She/You place/put (formal singular)
    • Ele coloca as flores no vaso. (He places the flowers in the vase.)
  4. Nós colocamos - We place/put
    • Nós colocamos os sapatos no armário. (We put the shoes in the closet.)
  5. Vós colocais - You place/put (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós colocais os documentos na gaveta. (You place the documents in the drawer.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês colocam - They/You place/put (plural)
    • Eles colocam as malas no porta-malas do carro. (They put the suitcases in the car trunk.)

Imperfect Indicative Tense

  1. Eu colocava - I used to place/put
    • Eu colocava a cadeira perto da janela. (I used to place the chair near the window.)
  2. Tu colocavas - You used to place/put (informal singular)
    • Tu colocavas as roupas no armário todas as noites. (You used to put the clothes in the closet every night.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você colocava - He/She/You used to place/put (formal singular)
    • Ele colocava o livro na estante após ler. (He used to put the book on the shelf after reading.)
  4. Nós colocávamos - We used to place/put
    • Nós colocávamos a comida na mesa antes de comer. (We used to put the food on the table before eating.)
  5. Vós colocáveis - You used to place/put (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós colocáveis os brinquedos no armário depois de brincar. (You used to put the toys in the closet after playing.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês colocavam - They/You used to place/put (plural)
    • Eles colocavam as chaves na prateleira da entrada. (They used to put the keys on the entry shelf.)

Preterite Indicative Tense

  1. Eu coloquei - I placed/put
    • Eu coloquei o quadro na parede. (I placed the painting on the wall.)
  2. Tu colocaste - You placed/put (informal singular)
    • Tu colocaste o livro na mesa. (You put the book on the table.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você colocou - He/She/You placed/put (formal singular)
    • Ele colocou a xícara na pia. (He put the cup in the sink.)
  4. Nós colocamos - We placed/put
    • Nós colocamos os presentes embaixo da árvore de Natal. (We put the gifts under the Christmas tree.)
  5. Vós colocastes - You placed/put (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós colocastes as roupas no armário. (You put the clothes in the closet.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês colocaram - They/You placed/put (plural)
    • Eles colocaram os pratos na mesa de jantar. (They put the dishes on the dining table.)

Future Indicative Tense

  1. Eu colocarei - I will place/put
    • Eu colocarei as chaves na bolsa antes de sair. (I will put the keys in the bag before leaving.)
  2. Tu colocarás - You will place/put (informal singular)
    • Tu colocarás a roupa no armário quando chegar em casa. (You will put the clothes in the closet when you get home.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você colocará - He/She/You will place/put (formal singular)
    • Ele colocará os documentos na gaveta do escritório. (He will put the documents in the office drawer.)
  4. Nós colocaremos - We will place/put
    • Nós colocaremos os ingredientes na panela para cozinhar. (We will put the ingredients in the pot to cook.)
  5. Vós colocareis - You will place/put (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós colocareis as malas no porta-malas do carro. (You will put the suitcases in the car trunk.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês colocarão - They/You will place/put (plural)
    • Eles colocarão as flores no vaso antes da festa. (They will put the flowers in the vase before the party.)

Conditional Mood

  1. Eu colocaria - I would place/put
    • Eu colocaria as cadeiras na varanda para aproveitar o sol. (I would put the chairs on the balcony to enjoy the sun.)
  2. Tu colocarias - You would place/put (informal singular)
    • Tu colocarias a comida na geladeira para mantê-la fresca. (You would put the food in the fridge to keep it fresh.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você colocaria - He/She/You would place/put (formal singular)
    • Ele colocaria o livro na estante se tivesse espaço. (He would put the book on the shelf if there was space.)
  4. Nós colocaríamos - We would place/put
    • Nós colocaríamos a caixa no sótão para guardar as lembranças. (We would put the box in the attic to store the memories.)
  5. Vós colocaríeis - You would place/put (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós colocaríeis a mesa no jardim para o almoço ao ar livre. (You would put the table in the garden for the outdoor lunch.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês colocariam - They/You would place/put (plural)
    • Eles colocariam os brinquedos na caixa depois de brincar. (They would put the toys in the box after playing.)

Subjunctive Mood

Present Subjunctive Tense

  1. Que eu coloque - That I place/put
    • É importante que eu coloque os documentos no lugar certo. (It’s important that I put the documents in the right place.)
  2. Que tu coloques - That you place/put (informal singular)
    • Espero que tu coloques o dinheiro no cofre. (I hope you put the money in the safe.)
  3. Que ele/ela/você coloque - That he/she/you place/put (formal singular)
    • É fundamental que ele coloque os óculos para enxergar melhor. (It’s essential that he puts on glasses to see better.)
  4. Que nós coloquemos - That we place/put
    • É necessário que nós coloquemos o lixo na lixeira. (It’s necessary that we put the garbage in the bin.)
  5. Que vós coloqueis - That you place/put (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Não é justo que vós coloqueis as responsabilidades sobre os outros. (It’s not fair that you put the responsibilities on others.)
  6. Que eles/elas/vocês coloquem - That they/you place/put (plural)
    • É recomendável que eles coloquem as roupas no guarda-roupa após lavar. (It’s advisable that they put the clothes in the wardrobe after washing.)

Imperfect Subjunctive Tense

  1. Que eu colocasse - That I placed/put
    • Eu gostaria que eu colocasse a xícara no armário corretamente. (I wish I placed the cup in the cupboard correctly.)
  2. Que tu colocasses - That you placed/put (informal singular)
    • Seria bom que tu colocasses as flores no vaso com cuidado. (It would be good if you placed the flowers in the vase carefully.)
  3. Que ele/ela/você colocasse - That he/she/you placed/put (formal singular)
    • Era importante que ele colocasse o livro na estante após ler. (It was important that he placed the book on the shelf after reading.)
  4. Que nós colocássemos - That we placed/put
    • Eu preferiria que nós colocássemos as chaves em um lugar seguro. (I would prefer if we placed the keys in a safe place.)
  5. Que vós colocásseis - That you placed/put (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Eu desejava que vós colocásseis os pratos na mesa de maneira organizada. (I wished that you placed the dishes on the table in an organized manner.)
  6. Que eles/elas/vocês colocassem - That they/you placed/put (plural)
    • Seria bom que eles colocassem os sapatos no armário depois de usar. (It would be good if they placed the shoes in the closet after use.)

Imperative Mood

  1. Coloca - Place/Put (informal singular)
    • Coloca as chaves na bolsa antes de sair. (Put the keys in the bag before leaving.)
  2. Coloque - Place/Put (formal singular)
    • Coloque o livro na estante após ler. (Put the book on the shelf after reading.)
  3. Coloquemos - Let’s place/put
    • Coloquemos os objetos no lugar adequado. (Let’s put the objects in the appropriate place.)
  4. Colocai - Place/Put (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Colocai os documentos na pasta. (Put the documents in the folder.)
  5. Coloquem - Place/Put (formal plural)
    • Coloquem as malas no porta-malas do carro. (Put the suitcases in the car trunk.)


By familiarizing yourself with the conjugations of the verb “colocar,” you gain the ability to accurately express placement and positioning actions in Portuguese. Whether it’s putting objects in specific locations or placing people in certain situations, “colocar” serves as a versatile tool for effective communication. With the conjugation examples provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently navigate the intricacies of “colocar” across different tenses and moods. Embrace the power of “colocar” and allow it to enhance your ability to describe and discuss placement actions in the captivating world of the Portuguese language.

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