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10 Useful Italian Verbs

Updated on February 9, 2013
Roma at Night
Roma at Night | Source

Italian Verbs

Knowing some useful Italian verbs and how to conjugate them correctly is key to effectively communicating and understanding Italian. True, there are many other components to learning a language but conjugating verbs is a great place to start.

Learning how to conjugate verbs allows you to understand a bit more about how the Italian language works and are huge building blocks when putting together a phrase or trying to ask a question.

While there are many verbs in the Italian language, there are some used more often than others so I choose 10 I felt I heard and used most as I was beginning to learn Italian myself.

All the verbs are conjugated for present tense.

I will be honest it took a bit of work on my end to become fluent in Italian, but very worthwhile. There are many different ways, techniques and courses one can take to accomplish learning another language. Find one that works best for you and stick with it, learning to speak another language is a beautiful thing.

Subject Pronouns

In order to correctly conjugate a verb it must correspond to a subject pronoun - I, You, He, She, We, They, You plural like "you guys" and in the Italian language You Formal singular and plural.

io - I

tu - you

lui - he

lei - she

Lei - you formal - it is the same as she

noi - we

voi - you plural

loro/Loro - they/you formal plural

The Romance of Venice
The Romance of Venice | Source

To Be or To Have That is the Question...

Here is an extremely helpful tip - if you would like to say

"I am hungry"

Italians use the verb Avere - to have not Essere - to be, as we do in the English language. They say -

"I have hunger" - Io ho fame


"I have thirst" - Io ho sete

They use Essere when they are tired or happy

"I am tired" - Io sono stanco/a

"I am happy" - Io sono contento/a

If you notice, the words hunger and thirsty do not require being modified as masculine or feminine, whereas tired and happy do. For the most part, if you need to use masculine or feminine Essere is the way to go.

To Have, To Be - Avere and Essere Conjugation

Two of the most useful and important verbs in the Italian language is Avere and Essere, To Have and To Be. They are used often and are a great place to start in learning Italian Verbs. Below is their conjugation in present tense.

Avere - To Have

io ho - I have

tu hai - you have

lui/lei/Lei ha - he/she/you formal has

noi abbiamo - we have

voi avete - you plural have

loro/Loro hanno - they/you formal plural have

Essere - To Be

io sono - I am

tu sei - You are

lui/lei/Lei e - the 'e' actually has an accent on the top of it - he/she/you formal are

noi siamo - We are

voi siete- You guys

loro/Loro sono - it is conjugated the same as I am - They are


Andiamo! Let's go!
Andiamo! Let's go! | Source

To Go- Andare Conjugation

Andare - To Go

io vado- I go

tu vai - You go

lui/lei/Lei va - he/she/you formal goes

noi andiamo - We go

voi andate - You plural goes

loro/Loro vanno - they/you plural formal go

You will often hear - Andiamo! Which means Lets go!

To Do, Make - Fare Conjugation

Fare - To do or make

io faccio - I do/make

tu fai

lui/lei/Lei fa

noi facciamo

voi fate

loro/Loro fanno

What are you doing this evening? - Che fai sta sera?

Eating in Italy
Eating in Italy | Source

Mangia! Mangia!

A beautiful antipasti plate
A beautiful antipasti plate | Source

To Eat - Mangiare Conjugation

Mangiare - To Eat

io mangio

tu mangi

lui/lei/Lei mangia

noi mangiamo

voi mangiate

loro/Loro mangiano

Hopefully you will be eating a lot in Italy. It is a central part of the Italian culture and it does not disappoint, the food is amazing.

Don't be surprised if you hear often - Mangia! Mangia! - Eat! Eat! As they love to feed people.

How are You?

Stare is a bit unique in that they use this verb to ask how one is -

How are you? - Come stai?

I am good - Sto bene

It is also used in its literal form

You stay here - Tu stai qui

To Stay - Stare Conjugation

Stare - To Stay

io sto

tu stai

lui/lei/Lei sta

noi stiamo

voi state

loro/Loro stanno

To Speak, Talk - Parlare Conjugation

Parlare - To Speak, Talk

io parlo

tu parli

lui/lei/Lei parla

noi parliamo

voi parlate

loro/Loro parlanno

The Duomo in Florence
The Duomo in Florence | Source

To Be Able, Can, May - Potere Conjugation

Potere - To be able, can

io posso

tu puoi

lui/lei/Lei puo

noi possiamo

voi potete

loro/Loro possono

You will often hear people say - Posso? - which means May I?

A Statue of Shakespeare's Juliet in Verona, Italy
A Statue of Shakespeare's Juliet in Verona, Italy | Source

To Call, Name - Chiamare Conjugation

Chiamare - To Call, Name

io chiamo

tu chiami

lui/lei/Lei chiama

noi chiamiamo

voi chiamate

loro/Loro chiamano

To Buy- Comprare Conjugation

Comprare - To Buy

io compro

tu compri

lui/lei/Lei compra

noi compriamo

voi comprate

loro/Loro comprano

This is a great verb to know for all of the wonderful shopping you can do in Italy. Take advantage of their fabulous outdoor markets where great deals can be found and made.

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    • Sonia Perozzi profile image

      Sonia Perozzi 5 years ago from California

      I know, how funny it must be to read something that every young child in Italy knows. That is part of the beauty of language I suppose, everyone has to start somewhere, preferably at the beginning in the case of language. Puts things in a fun perspective:)

    • Glass-Jewelry profile image

      Marco Piazzalunga 5 years ago from Presezzo, Italy

      Ah Ah !!!

      This article is a lot of fun for me because I'm Italian.

      eehhm... sorry, I'll try to recompose myself.