Exploring regular and irregular Italian verbs -ire

By Go! Go! Italia staff
07 Mar 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Photo of student learning Italian verbs

In our previous article, we explored the regular Italian verb ending in -are and -ere, which are fundamental components of Italian verb conjugations.

Today, we’ll have a look at another set of Italian verbs, those ending in -ire. We’ll introduce both regular and irregular verbs to expand your vocabulary and further develop your Italian language skills. 

Understanding and mastering these conjugations can be quite challenging, given the diverse groups of verbs in the Italian language. But worry not! It is not an impossible task!

Let’s start and broaden our understanding of Italian verb conjugations!

Regular -ire verb conjugation in present tense

Regular -ire verbs follow a predictable pattern in their conjugation. Let’s take the verb partire (to leave/depart) as an example:

Image of Italian verb -ire

You can notice that this conjugation series is quite simple. You drop the -ire ending and add -o, -i, -e, -iamo, -ite, and -ono endings, to the verb stem part-. Easy peasy.

Other examples:

Scrivere (to write)

  • Io scrivo
  • Tu scrivi
  • Lui/lei scrive
  • Noi scriviamo
  • Voi scrivete
  • Loro scrivono

Dormire (to sleep)

  • Io dormo
  • Tu dormi
  • Lui/lei dorme
  • Noi dormiamo
  • Voi dormite
  • Loro dormono

Irregular -ire verbs conjugation in present tense

Type 1: “predictable” irregular -ire verbs

-ire verbs form a category of Italian verbs where you’ll find some of the most irregular ones. Despair not, there’s a common irregular conjugation pattern for -ire verbs that’s easily predictable, often involving sc in the conjugation. For instance:

Capire (to understand)

  • Io capisco
  • Tu capisci
  • Lui/lei capisce
  • Noi capiamo
  • Voi capite
  • Loro capiscono

Preferire (to prefer)

  • Io preferisco
  • Tu preferisci
  • Lui/lei preferisce
  • Noi preferiamo
  • Voi preferite
  • Loro preferiscono

Finire (to finish)

  • Io finisco
  • Tu finisci
  • Lui/lei finisce
  • Noi finiamo
  • Voi finite
  • Loro finiscono

Pulire (to clean)

  • Io pulisco
  • Tu pulisci
  • Lui/lei pulisce
  • Noi puliamo
  • Voi pulite
  • Loro puliscono

Costruire (to build)

  • Io costruisco
  • Tu costruisci
  • Lui/lei costruisce
  • Noi costruiamo
  • Voi costruite
  • Loro costruiscono

Type 2: the “real” irregular verbs

While some regular and irregular -ire verbs follow a predictable pattern, there are several common irregular verbs that require a bit more special attention. Below an example:

Image of Italian verbs -ire

The present tense conjugations of these -ire verbs do not follow the typical pattern. Instead, each form has its own distinct conjugation. These verbs are used very frequently in daily conversations which helps memorizing them. Some other examples can be:

Uscire (to go out)

  • Io esco
  • Tu esci
  • Lui/lei esce
  • Noi usciamo
  • Voi uscite
  • Loro escono

Venire (to come)

  • Io vengo
  • Tu vieni
  • Lui/lei viene
  • Noi veniamo
  • Voi venite
  • Loro vengono

Understanding Italian verbs irregularities

Irregular verbs deviate from the standard conjugation patterns due to historical reasons or phonetic changes. Common irregularities include stem changes, irregular endings, and completely irregular conjugations. For instance, in the above verb uscire, notice the stem change from usc- to esco in the first person singular form.

How to recognize Italian irregular verbs -ire

Recognizing irregular verbs requires memorization and practice. Pay attention to verbs that don’t follow the regular –ire conjugation pattern and practice their conjugations regularly.

Learning conjugation in general for any language requires consistent practice, repetition, and memorization. Regularly engage with conjugation exercises and drills, review Italian verb forms and you will be able to reinforce your understanding and memorize more effectively.

And if you’re eager to take your Italian learning journey to the next level, why not consider studying Italian in Italy? Contact us and we will provide comprehensive support for applying to Italian language schools in Italy. Open the doors to excellent Italian language learning and cultural richness by immersing yourself in the vibrant Italian language and culture firsthand.

With dedication and the right resources, you’ll soon find yourself confidently navigating the intricacies of Italian verbs and enjoying meaningful interactions in Italian. Buon apprendimento! (Happy learning!)

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