Using the verb ANDAR

Do you know the different meanings of the verb andar and how to use it in a sentence?

This is quite a common verb in Brazilian Portuguese and, although it can mean to walk it’s also used in relation to different types of transport as to get around. You can also use it to say that you’ve been a certain way, or that you’ve been doing something… Confused? Let’s have a closer look at the verb andar.

Andar is a regular verb, so it follows the same conjugation pattern, the same formula for regular verbs ending in -ar.


Full conjugation of the verb andar:


Conjugation of verb andar

With regards to its meaning, it’s normally used with a type of transport, meaning to travel, to move around, to get around.

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Você gosta de andar de ônibus? / Do you like getting around by bus?

Não. Prefiro andar de carro. / No, I prefer to get around by car.

verb andar - picture 1


Let’s see another example:

Você acha que andar de moto é perigoso? / Do you think that traveling by motorbike is dangerous?

verb andar - picture 2

Notice here that the preposition used with types of transport is de, which here can be translated as by.

verb andar - picture 3

But, if you want to say that you like getting around by foot you need to say a pé:
Eu adoro andar a pé. / I love getting around by foot.

verb andar - picture 5

Now – and this is very important – when we use the verb andar on its own, not specifying how we’re getting around, it means to walk, so it means the same thing as caminhar, or almost the same thing.

Let’s see these two sentences:

Ontem, andei no parque a tarde inteira.


Ontem, caminhei no parque a tarde inteira.

Although these two sentences can be translated as Yesterday, I walked in the park all afternoon, in the first one the emphasis is more on the act of moving around the park by foot, conveying a more leisurely time. In the second one, the emphasis is more on the physical activity of walking.

verb andar - picture 6The verb andar is also used to express to have been or to have been doing something.

A good example of using the verb andar in this way is the song Ando Meio Desligado.

Desligado literally means switched off, but it’s also used as a slang for absent-minded, so here the line Ando meio desligado… in the song can be translated as something like I’ve been a little absent-minded. When used in the sense of to have been doing something, the verb andar is followed by the gerund of the main verb – the thing that you have been doing. For example:
O que você anda fazendo ultimamente? / What have you been doing lately? 

Ando trabalhando muito. / I have been working a lot.

verb andar - picture 7



As always, if you’d like to practice and get my feedback, make up a sentence using the verb andar and write it in the comments. . Até a próxima! Tchau!

Other important verbs to learn:


Expressions with the verb DAR


4 Meanings of the verb FICAR


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