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  5. "Eu tive um carro."

"Eu tive um carro."

Translation:I had a car.

May 20, 2016



Would "Eu tinha um carro" work here as well?


Yes! It's also right.


What is the difference between, "Eu tive um carro" and "Eu tinha um carro"?


Paulenrique is right, it is not an easy question! I have found it and maybe it helps... "Pretérito Perfeito vs. Imperfeito"


=( Isn't there an easier question?

It depends on the context....

  • Eu tive um carro uma vez, e nós decidimos ir com ele até Santiago.
  • Eu tinha um carro, e nós decidimos ir com ele até Santiago.
  • Eu tinha um carro azul, mas ele dava muito problema...

"Tinha" is mainly used ot talk about an ongoing action in the past (used to have).


Ohh, so 'eu tive' is the perfect tense and 'eu tinha' is the imperfect tense? Obrigada!


There are some verbs that really change and that I do not even know in present tense. I don't know the verbs 'do', 'say', 'see' and 'have' in their forms. Does anyone know if some of these have individual lessons? I don't even know their present forms :(


Yeah, it is tough isn't it? I have said it before, and I will take this opportunity again to say that Duo would be a lot better if it taught the infinitive with the form of the verb they are using in the exercise. Maybe in the drop-down hints.

Well the good news, at least for now, at least for web users (I have no idea if the apps support this feature) but the on again off again Duo feature of being able to click on the word at the top of the discussion is back on and way improved. Not only do we get a conjugation table but links to similar discussions! :) :)

Here is what we get when we click on "tive" above:


The bad news is that the verbs you listed are irregular verbs (in both languages) and the only good way to learn these is to study them and use them. There is a reason why conjugating verbs is a popular homework assignment in language classes. Writing things down, again and again is helpful to planting them in our heads.

Anyway, if we know the infinitive we can also use this site to get us started:



I typed "I got a car" which in Spanish (Tuve un carro) could definitely be translated as such. Is this not the same in Portuguese?


I don't think "I got a car" is a good translation for "tuve" (but I'm not sure if "tuve" can have other meanings besides "tive").

  • I have = I have got = eu tenho (tengo)
  • I had / I used to have = eu tinha (tenía)
  • I had = eu tive (tuve)

"Got" can have a lot of different meanings. Informally, "I got a car" can be the same as "I've got a car" (which is already informal). It means "tenho" in present tense.

It can also mean "Eu consegui / obtive / recebi / etc.", mas não "tive".


"Got" can have a lot of different meanings. Informally, "I got a car" can be the same as "I've got a car" (which is already informal). It means "tenho" in present tense.

I do not agree that, "I got a car" is equivalent to "I have got a car". The first means I procured/obtained/received/found/was given/acquired, while the second is to already have/own with "got" being unnecessary but adds emphasis (though it is so overused these days I think there can be more emphasis now in leaving it off).

Personally (and I hesitate to say this since I received some abusive missives from another user here last time I did so, but this is just my – albeit strong – opinion) but I think "got" is an abomination of a word and there is always another way to say whatever it is without it. Maybe I would not mind so much if it had not taken over the world. It used to be casual and as such it was never used in news (more formal), but now all the reporters, even the national newscasters are uttering/writing it.

These were not me (cause I am not alone in my despising :D):




In Spanish I am 100% sure that "tuve" can absolutely mean "I got" in the sense of "I received." As the preterite emphasizes the beginning or end of an action, "got" is a sort of beginning of "had."

Just not sure if this works in Portuguese. Duo certainly doesn't seem to think so.


Good to know :)

"Ter" cannot mean "receive" in Portuguese.


This is one of the frustrations of using dictionaries to get a handle on a word: the dictionary says one thing and a native speaker disagrees. The very first entry in this dictionary definition of "ter" is "receber": http://www.dicio.com.br/ter/

One of the other entries particularly caught my attention:

Conseguir por meio de pagamento: "tive o carro por uma pechincha"

If I understood that correctly, I'd say "I got the car for a bargain (price)" is a reasonable translation and much better than one with "had" instead of "got".


Ouch.... For Portuguese dictionaries, the only one I trust so far is Priberam.

It is often European oriented, but it talks about Brazilian usages too.

In this case, it does mention "receber" as well, but at least its first meaning is the most common/correct meaning: "possuir / to have/own/possess".

I have never seen it mean "receber" in my life, except for a few special cases such as "ele teve o que merecia = ele recebeu o que merecia = he got what he deserved".

I often use Word Reference too. Most common and simple word translations with a little context, although made by the public.

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