Mastering Italian verbs -are and -ere: a comprehensive manual

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

Italian verbs serve as the backbone of Italian sentences, breathing life into actions, states, and occurrences. The Italian language has three primary verb conjugations: –are, –ere, and –ire. In this article, we explore how to conjugate –are and –ere verbs in the present tense.

Conjugating regular Italian verbs in the present tense:

Italian verbs that end in -are

These verbs adhere to a specific pattern in the present tense. Begin with the infinitive form, discard the –are ending, and seamlessly append the appropriate endings for different subjects.

Let’s have a look at the Italian verb ballare (to dance) below. Drop the –are and add subject conjugations as follows:

Image of Italian verbs conjugation

Other examples of –are verb conjugation:

Parlare (to speak)

  • Io parlo italiano. (I speak Italian.)
  • Tu parli bene. (You speak well.)
  • Lui parla spagnolo. (He speaks Spanish.)
  • Noi parliamo con gli amici. (We speak with friends.)
  • Voi parlate troppo. (You all speak too much.)
  • Loro parlano italiano. (They speak Italian.)

Cantare (to sing)

  • Io canto in un coro. (I sing in a choir.)
  • Tu canti bene. (You sing well.)
  • Lui canta una canzone. (He sings a song.)
  • Noi cantiamo durante la festa. (We sing during the party.)
  • Voi cantate in italiano. (You all sing in Italian.)
  • Loro cantano musica pop. (They sing pop music.)

Italian verbs that end in -ere

Similar to –are verbs, –ere verbs carve their conjugation path. Drop the –ere ending and add the endings tailored for each subject.

Check the below conjugation of the Italian verb scrivere (to write).

Image of Italian verbs conjugation

Other examples of Italian verbs of –ere conjugation:

Vivere (to live)

  • Io vivo a Roma. (I live in Rome.)
  • Tu vivi in un appartamento. (You live in an apartment.)
  • Lei vive con la sua famiglia. (She lives with his/her family.)
  • Noi viviamo vicino al mare. (We live near the sea.)
  • Voi vivete in una città piccola. (You all live in a small city.)
  • Loro vivono in campagna. (They live in the countryside.)

Prendere (to take)

  • Io prendo sempre il caffè al mattino. (I always have coffee in the morning.)
  • Tu prendi il libro dalla mensola. (You take the book from the shelf.)
  • Lei prende l’autobus per andare al lavoro. (She takes the bus to go to work.)
  • Noi prendiamo appuntamento col dentista per domani (We get a dentist appointment for tomorrow.)
  • Voi prendete sempre l’ascensore invece delle scale. (You always take the elevator instead of the stairs.)
  • Loro prendono un gelato dopo cena. (They have ice cream after dinner.)

Conjugating irregular Italian verbs in the present tense

Italian is known for its rich and expressive language, which includes a variety of irregular verbs. These verbs don’t follow the usual patterns, so it takes some effort to memorize their unique conjugations. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of common irregular verbs.

Essere (to be)

  • Io sono (I am)
  • Tu sei (You are)
  • Lui/Lei è (He/She is)
  • Noi siamo (We are)
  • Voi siete (You all are)
  • Loro sono (They are)

Avere (to have)

  • Io ho (I have)
  • Tu hai (You have)
  • Lui/Lei ha (He/She has)
  • Noi abbiamo (We have)
  • Voi avete (You all have)
  • Loro hanno (They have)

Deepening your Italian verbs understanding through practice

To reinforce your grasp of Italian verb conjugations, practice is essential. Engage in conversations, write sentences, and immerse yourself in Italian media to solidify your understanding. Consider creating personalized sentences using both regular and irregular verbs to enhance your proficiency.

Watch movies in Italian, listen to podcasts in easy Italian and songs, have Italian karaoke parties, and sing in Italian. This will help you practice and get better at Italian.

Want to learn Italian in Italy in Italy? Go! Go! Italia offers support for applying to Italian language schools in Italy. Contact us and unlock the doors to linguistic excellence and cultural richness.

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