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How To Use The Italian Present Tense: The Regular Verbs

How To Use The Italian Present Tense: The Regular Verbs

How To Use The Italian Present Tense: The Regular Verbs

How is your Italian grammar going?

Italian grammar is definitely not the easiest part and you are probably thinking "But why do I need to learn it?!" ...

Well, my friend I hate to be the one to tell you but you can't really learn Italian without doing some grammar...Don't panic! I am not saying that you should do only grammar, absolutely not! I am just telling you that you should definitely add it to your study plan, that's all!

Where to start?

Il Presente Indicativo is one of the most used verb tenses in Italian and here is how to use the regular verbs in the Present Indicative Italian tense...

Il Presente Indicativo: Everything That You Need To Know

The most important thing to know is that when conjugating the verbs in Italian, you have to pay attention to the person and the number: in English the verb doesn't really change, except when using it for the 3rd person singular. In Italian, it changes every time - for each person and number.

Another very important thing to consider is that there are both regular and irregular verbs. The regular verbs are a bit more easy to remember because they are divided in 3 patterns of conjugation, depending on their ending: -are, -ere and -ire verbs. The irregular verbs don't really have a pattern, you just have to memorise them. In today's lesson we are going to look at the regular verbs:

Italian Verbs Ending in -are

The first verbs that we are going to look at are the ones that end in -are:

lavorare (to work)

io lavor-o

tu lavor-i

lui/lei/Lei lavor-a

noi lavor-iamo

voi lavor-ate

loro lavor-ano

So, in order to use the -are verbs in a correct way, first you have to "take away" the -are of the infinitive lavorare , then when you are left only with the stem lavoryou add the the correct ending (the ones in bold from the example above). The endings never change and they are all the same: -o  for io; -i for tu; -a for lui,lei,Lei; -iamo for noi; -ate for voi; -ano for loro.

Italian Verbs Ending in -ere

Same story, just slightly different endings: 

vedere (to see)

io ved-o

tu ved-i

lui/lei/Lei ved-e

noi ved-iamo

voi ved-ete

loro ved-ono

Here are the endings for the -ere verbs: -o  for io; -i for tu; -e for lui,lei,Lei; -iamo for noi; -ete for voi; -ono for loro.

Italian Verbs Ending in -ire (1st Group)

Here things are a bit more complicated...There are two different ways of conjugating the verbs that end in -ire, so we can divide them in two different groups. This is how we conjugate the first group:

aprire (to open)

io apr-o

tu apr-i

lui/lei/Lei apr-e

noi apr-iamo

voi apr-ite

loro apr-ono

Basically the endings are pretty much the same as the ones for the -ere verbs, just the 2nd person plural voi is different: -ite

Italian Verbs Ending in -ire (2nd Group)

We can call this group the -isc verbs. So in order to conjugate these verbs, you "take away" the -ire from the infinitive and you add the following endings: -isco for io; -isci for tu; -isce for lui,lei,Lei; -iamo for noi; -ite for voi; -iscono for loro. Here is an example:

finire (to finish)

io fin-isco

tu fin-isci

lui/lei/Lei fin-isce

noi fin-iamo

voi fin-ite

loro fin-iscono


verbs like aprire: dormire, offrire, partire, sentire;

- verbs like finire: capire, preferire, spedire, unire, pulire, chiarire, costruire;

*Useful tip: when learning italian online you can check the verb conjugator of WordReference, it's really good and it can be really helpful!

How And When To Use The Italian Present Tense

The Present Indicative Tense is used when you are talking about:

- all present events: example: "Lavoro come insegnante" (I work as a teacher); "Adesso vado in pausa, ti chiamo dopo" (I am going on a break now, I will call you later) ;

- events happening in the near future: example: "Domani mattina devo andare dal dentista" (I have to go to the dentist tomorrow morning); "La settimana prossima partiamo per la Spagna" (We are leaving for Spain next week);

- events that are happening regularly: example: "Chiamo i miei genitori ogni giorno" (I call my parents every da); "Vado al mercato ogni sabato mattina" (I go to the market every Saturday morning). 

Buon studio!

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