• Speaking Brazilian

Perfect or Imperfect? [Portuguese Test - Intermediate Level]



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Do you know how to conjugate verbs in the past perfect and imperfect tense? And when to use one or the other?


Today, we are going to have a test on verb conjugation in the past perfect and imperfect tense for you to review and assess your knowledge of the Portuguese language.


To help you with verb conjugation, I've created a series of lessons about the main tenses we use. This is the third lesson of this series.


This test will be on verbs in the past perfect and imperfect tense, which is recommended for intermediate-level students.


Before taking the test, I recommend studying and reviewing the conjugation of verbs in the past perfect and imperfect tense.


Are you ready for the test? Let's go!


Complete the sentences below in the past perfect or imperfect tense. Then check your answers at the end of the exercise.


1. Quando eu era criança, eu (gostar) __________ de brincar com minhas primas.

2. Maria (acordar) __________ cedo hoje.

3. Maria (dormir) __________ tarde quando estava na faculdade.

4. Eu (ter) __________ 10 anos quando me (mudar) __________ ao Sul do Brasil.

5. Quando Maria e João estavam na faculdade, eles (morar) __________ em São Paulo.

6. Maria e João (morar) __________ em São Paulo por 5 anos.

7. Eu (estar) _________ dormindo quando você (ligar) __________.

8. A casa da minha avó (ser) __________ grande e (ter) __________ muitos quartos.

9. Carolina (estudar) __________ na França por 2 anos.

10. Você (assistir) __________ desenhos na TV quando era criança?


Check your answers:


1. Quando eu era criança, eu gostava de brincar com minhas primas. (When I was a child, I liked to play with my cousins.)

2. Maria acordou cedo hoje. (Maria woke up early today.)

3. Maria dormia tarde quando estava na faculdade. (Maria used to go to bed late when she was in college.)

4. Eu tinha 10 anos quando me mudei ao sul do Brasil. (I was 10 years old when I moved to southern Brazil.)

5. Quando Maria e João estavam na faculdade, eles moravam em São Paulo. (When Maria and João were in college, they lived in São Paulo.)

6. Maria e João moraram em São Paulo por 5 anos. (Maria and João lived in São Paulo for 5 years.)

7. Eu estava dormindo quando você ligou. (I was asleep when you called.)

8. A casa da minha avó era grande e tinha muitos quartos. (My grandmother's house was big and had many rooms.)

9. Carolina estudou na França por 2 anos. (Carolina studied in France for 2 years.)

10. Você assistia desenhos na TV quando era criança? (Did you watch cartoons on TV when you were a child?)


Now, let's review each exercise:


1. Quando eu era criança, eu gostava de brincar com minhas primas.

I used the imperfect tense because I’m referring to a habit I had in the past.

A tip: the phrases: “quando eu era...” (“when I was...”), “quando eu estava...” (“when I was...”), “quando eu morava...” (“when I lived...”) suggest the use of the imperfect tense.


2. Maria acordou cedo hoje.

I used the past perfect tense because it was an action that happened only once at a defined time.

Maria didn't wake up several times this morning, right? She woke up once. It was a one-off action, so we use the past perfect tense.


3. Maria dormia tarde quando estava na faculdade.

I used the imperfect tense because I'm talking about a habit. It was not an action that happened just once, but several times. For that reason, we use the imperfect tense.


4. Eu tinha 10 anos quando me mudei ao sul do Brasil.

I used both tenses.

Eu tinha (I had) - imperfect tense

There are few rules that are clear on this subject, but this rule is very clear: whenever you talk about your age in the past tense, you must use the verb TER (to have) in the imperfect tense.

- Eu tinha 10 anos. (I was 10 years old.)


Eu me mudei (I moved) - past perfect tense

In this case, I'm referring to an action that happened only once in the past, so I must use the past perfect tense.


5. Quando Maria e João estavam na faculdade, eles moravam em São Paulo.

As I said before, this kind of phrase, “quando eu era” (“when I was”), “quando eu estava (“when I was”) suggests the use of the imperfect tense.


6. Maria e João moraram em São Paulo por 5 anos.

Many students make mistakes in conjugating the verb MORAR (to live) in this type of sentence. Pay attention: if you say FOR (POR) how long you did something in the past, you must use the past perfect tense.

- Eu morava em São Paulo quando era mais jovem. (I used to live in São Paulo when I was younger). (imperfect tense)

- Eu morei em São Paulo por 10 anos. (I lived in São Paulo for 10 years). (past perfect tense)


7. Eu estava dormindo quando você ligou.

I used both tenses in the same sentence. Let's look at each verb separately.


“Eu estava dormindo” (“I was sleeping”) – In this case, we use the imperfect tense. Whenever we use the verb ESTAR (to be) with the gerund (-ing form) in the past tense, we use the imperfect tense to indicate an action that was happening, that was in progress when something else happened.


“Quando você ligou” (“When you called”) – In this case, we use the past perfect tense because it was an action that happened only once.


8. A casa da minha avó era grande e tinha muitos quartos.

I used the imperfect tense because I'm describing the house. There is no action. The house did nothing. My grandmother didn't do anything. It's a description in the past tense. Therefore, I must use the imperfect tense.

- A casa da minha avó era grande e tinha muitos quartos. (The house was bid and had many rooms).


9. Carolina estudou na França por 2 anos.

This case is similar to the verb “morar” (“to live”) I mentioned earlier. If you say FOR (POR) how long you did something in the past, you must use the past perfect tense.


10. Você assistia desenhos na TV quando era criança?

I used the imperfect tense because I'm talking about a habit in the past tense. Again, I used the phrase “quando você era...” ("when you were...") which suggests the use of the imperfect tense.


That's it, everybody! This was a quick review of the conjugation of verbs in the two main past tenses.


I would like to know how you did on the test. How many questions did you get right? Write a comment below with your score.


Até a próxima!


Your teacher,


Virginia

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