The Power of Possibility: A Comprehensive Guide to the Conjugation of the Portuguese Verb 'Poder'

May 23rd, 2023 - Vera

In the captivating realm of the Portuguese language, the verb “poder” (to be able to, can) holds a position of great significance. “Poder” empowers us to express ability, permission, and potentiality. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the conjugation of “poder” across various tenses and moods, accompanied by example sentences to illustrate their practical use. By mastering the conjugations of “poder,” you will unlock the ability to communicate potential, permissions, and capabilities in Portuguese.

Present Indicative Tense

  1. Eu posso - I can/am able to
    • Eu posso falar duas línguas. (I can speak two languages.)
  2. Tu podes - You can/are able to (informal singular)
    • Tu podes tocar piano muito bem. (You can play the piano very well.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você pode - He/She/You can/is able to (formal singular)
    • Ele pode resolver problemas matemáticos complexos. (He can solve complex mathematical problems.)
  4. Nós podemos - We can/are able to
    • Nós podemos realizar nossos sonhos. (We can achieve our dreams.)
  5. Vós podeis - You can/are able to (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós podeis aprender rapidamente. (You can learn quickly.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês podem - They/You can/are able to (plural)
    • Eles podem nadar muito bem. (They can swim very well.)

Imperfect Indicative Tense

  1. Eu podia - I could/was able to
    • Eu podia correr por quilômetros sem me cansar. (I could run for miles without getting tired.)
  2. Tu podias - You could/were able to (informal singular)
    • Tu podias resolver problemas complicados com facilidade. (You could solve complicated problems easily.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você podia - He/She/You could/was able to (formal singular)
    • Ele podia ler vários livros por semana. (He could read several books per week.)
  4. Nós podíamos - We could/were able to
    • Nós podíamos visitar nossos avós todos os verões. (We could visit our grandparents every summer.)
  5. Vós podíeis - You could/were able to (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós podíeis entender a matéria com facilidade. (You could understand the subject matter easily.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês podiam - They/You could/were able to (plural)
    • Eles podiam construir casas com as próprias mãos. (They could build houses with their own hands.)

Preterite Indicative Tense

  1. Eu pude - I could/was able to
    • Eu pude ajudar meus amigos quando eles precisaram. (I could help my friends when they needed it.)
  2. Tu pudeste - You could/were able to (informal singular)
    • Tu pudeste resolver o problema sozinho. (You could solve the problem on your own.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você pôde - He/She/You could/were able to (formal singular)
    • Ele pôde viajar para o exterior no último ano. (He could travel abroad last year.)
  4. Nós pudemos - We could/were able to
    • Nós pudemos alcançar nossos objetivos com muito esforço. (We could achieve our goals with a lot of effort.)
  5. Vós pudestes - You could/were able to (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós pudestes participar do evento especial. (You could attend the special event.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês puderam - They/You could/were able to (plural)
    • Eles puderam encontrar uma solução para o problema. (They could find a solution to the problem.)

Future Indicative Tense

  1. Eu poderei - I will be able to
    • Eu poderei alcançar meus sonhos no futuro. (I will be able to achieve my dreams in the future.)
  2. Tu poderás - You will be able to (informal singular)
    • Tu poderás fazer o que quiseres se te esforçares. (You will be able to do whatever you want if you make an effort.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você poderá - He/She/You will be able to (formal singular)
    • Ele poderá realizar grandes conquistas na carreira. (He will be able to achieve great accomplishments in his career.)
  4. Nós poderemos - We will be able to
    • Nós poderemos contribuir para um mundo melhor. (We will be able to contribute to a better world.)
  5. Vós podereis - You will be able to (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós podereis tomar as decisões certas para o futuro. (You will be able to make the right decisions for the future.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês poderão - They/You will be able to (plural)
    • Eles poderão desenvolver novas habilidades. (They will be able to develop new skills.)

Conditional Mood

  1. Eu poderia - I could/would be able to
    • Eu poderia ajudar se tivesse mais tempo. (I could help if I had more time.)
  2. Tu poderias - You could/would be able to (informal singular)
    • Tu poderias viajar para qualquer lugar do mundo. (You could travel anywhere in the world.)
  3. Ele/Ela/Você poderia - He/She/You could/would be able to (formal singular)
    • Ele poderia realizar grandes feitos se tivesse mais recursos. (He could achieve great feats if he had more resources.)
  4. Nós poderíamos - We could/would be able to
    • Nós poderíamos fazer uma diferença significativa na comunidade. (We could make a significant difference in the community.)
  5. Vós poderíeis - You could/would be able to (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Vós poderíeis ajudar mais se estivésseis disponíveis. (You could help more if you were available.)
  6. Eles/Elas/Vocês poderiam - They/You could/would be able to (plural)
    • Eles poderiam alcançar o sucesso se persistissem. (They could achieve success if they persisted.)

Subjunctive Mood

Present Subjunctive Tense

  1. Que eu possa - That I can/may be able to
    • É necessário que eu possa contar com a sua ajuda. (It is necessary that I can rely on your help.)
  2. Que tu possas - That you can/may be able to (informal singular)
    • Espero que tu possas realizar teus sonhos. (I hope you can achieve your dreams.)
  3. Que ele/ela/você possa - That he/she/you can/may be able to (formal singular)
    • É importante que ele possa expressar suas opiniões livremente. (It is important that he can express his opinions freely.)
  4. Que nós possamos - That we can/may be able to
    • É fundamental que nós possamos trabalhar em equipe. (It is crucial that we can work as a team.)
  5. Que vós possais - That you can/may be able to (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Não é justo que vós possais tomar essa decisão sozinhos. (It is not fair that you can make that decision alone.)
  6. Que eles/elas/vocês possam - That they/you can/may be able to (plural)
    • É recomendável que eles possam aproveitar essa oportunidade. (It is advisable that they can take advantage of this opportunity.)

Imperfect Subjunctive Tense

  1. Que eu pudesse - That I could/were able to
    • Eu gostaria que eu pudesse ajudar mais. (I wish I could help more.)
  2. Que tu pudesses - That you could/were able to (informal singular)
    • Seria bom que tu pudesses resolver esse problema. (It would be good if you could solve that problem.)
  3. Que ele/ela/você pudesse - That he/she/you could/were able to (formal singular)
    • Era importante que ele pudesse comparecer à reunião. (It was important that he could attend the meeting.)
  4. Que nós pudessemos - That we could/were able to
    • Eu preferiria que nós pudessemos trabalhar juntos nesse projeto. (I would prefer if we could work together on this project.)
  5. Que vós pudésseis - That you could/were able to (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Eu desejava que vós pudésseis entender a importância desse assunto. (I wished that you could understand the importance of this matter.)
  6. Que eles/elas/vocês pudessem - That they/you could/were able to (plural)
    • Seria bom que eles pudessem encontrar uma solução pacífica. (It would be good if they could find a peaceful solution.)

Imperative Mood

  1. Pode - Can/Be able to (informal singular)
    • Pode abrir a janela, por favor? (Can you open the window, please?)
  2. Pode - Can/Be able to (formal singular)
    • Pode me acompanhar até a sala de reuniões? (Can you accompany me to the meeting room?)
  3. Podemos - Let’s can/be able to
    • Podemos resolver esse problema juntos. (Let’s solve this problem together.)
  4. Podei - Can/Be able to (informal plural - rarely used)
    • Podei fazer o que achar melhor. (Can you do what you think is best.)
  5. Podem - Can/Be able to (formal plural)
    • Podem começar a reunião sem mim. (You can start the meeting without me.)


Mastering the conjugations of the verb “poder” is essential for expressing abilities, permissions, and potentialities in Portuguese. With its diverse range of conjugations across various tenses and moods, “poder” enables effective communication about what one can do, is allowed to do, or has the potential to do. By understanding and practicing the conjugations provided in this guide, you will unlock the ability to express potential, permissions, and capabilities with confidence in Portuguese. Embrace the power of “poder” and open up a world of possibilities in your Portuguese language journey.

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