Root verbs are in the present tense. Verbs may be changed by the addition of particles and/or participles to make them active, reflexive infinite, past, future or present, as well as some conditions not found in English.

Tetun has no verb "to be", therefore care should be taken when transposing to English; OAN FETO MOE, the girl is shy, literally 'girl shy'.

Verbs beginning with H and O change with person. Other verbs prefix K for the first person singular; HA'U KBA, I go.

1st pers. sing., use letter K, HA'U KA I eat HA'U KBA I go
2nd pers. sing., use letter M, O MA you eat
2nd pers. sing. (polite)., use letter H, ITA HA you eat
3rd pers. sing., use letter N, NIA NA he eats
1st pers. pl. (inc)., use letter H, AMI HA
2nd person. pl. (exc)., use letter H, ITA HA we eat
3rd person pl., use letter R, SIRA RA they eat
3rd person pl. (Belu), use letter R, SIA RA they eat