Even though I’m a native Portuguese speaker, every day I find out a new word or something I say wrong.
When you read vimos, a Portuguese verb, you probably thing of it as the past of ver (to see). And that’s correct, but did you know this tiny word can mean another thing?
In Portuguese conjugating a verb is not as easy as in English. Portuguese verbs change through the 6 personal pronouns it has and through 11 time tenses; so let’s say you’d have to memorize 66 different verb forms (besides their gerund and participle forms) while in English you’re all set by memorizing just 3 forms (he/she/it, I/you/we/they, past). But relax, not even native speakers know how to do it all and even smart ones make mistakes every now and then.
Last week I saw the verb vir (to come) conjugated in a weird (IMO) way: vimos.
I thought: well, this is wrong, it was supposed to be viemos; what a terrible book, making silly Portuguese mistakes. Then I found out I was the one who was wrong, ouch! The sentence was something like “Nós vimos para casa às 17h.” (We come home at 5 p.m.).
It turns out vimos is also the past form of ver (to see) when used with nós (we) so I had a point. What I didn’t know is that it was also the present form of vir (to come) when used with nós (we). I would say viemos was the correct present form; but it’s actually the past form of vir. I was indeed making a grammar mistake when speaking, and I didn’t know.
Anyway, that made me thing about vamos which is the present form of ir (to go, a completely irregular verb) when used with nós (we). I thought: well, maybe there is someone out there that mix up vamos, vimos, and viemos. That’s why I decided to write this post.
ir (to go)
Nós vamos para a praia. – We go to the beach. (present)
ver (to see)
Nós vemos cachorros na praia. – We see dogs on the beach. (present)
Nós vimos cachorros na praia. – We saw dogs on the beach. (past)
vir (to come)
Nós sempre vimos para a praia. – We always come to the beach. (present)
Nós viemos para a praia ontem. – We came to the beach yesterday. (past)
Espero que você tenha entendido! – Hope you got it!