Italian Verbs

A verb is a part of speech that usually denotes action (bring, read), occurrence (to decompose (itself), to glitter), or a state of being (exist, live, soak, stand).

Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. It may also agree with the person, gender, and/or number of some of its arguments (what we usually call subject, object, etc.). Examples:

  • Vado in Italia con la mia famiglia    I will go to Italy with my family.
  • Il biglietto costa 2200 dollari australiani    The ticket costs 2200 australian dolars.
  • Faccio studiare i ragazzi    I make the boys study.
  • Noi studiamo sempre    We always study.
  • Vuole anche questo libro    He wants that book, too.
  • Le fragole sono dolcissime    Strawberries are very sweet.
  • Questa arancia molto buona    This orange is very good.
  • Lei parla piano piano    She speaks very softly

In Italian language, most verbs end in a common pattern, such as -are, -ere, and -ire. These are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd conjugations respectively. This classification method is very similar to spanish conjugation, where the pattern is -ar, -er and -ir for the three conjugations. Here some Italian conjugation examples:

Italian conjugation examples

ARE Means ERE Means
parlare to speak scrivere to write
cantare to sing vedere to see
lavorare to work vendere to sell
amare to love vivere to live
IRE Means IRE (*) Means
aprire to open costruire to build
servire to serve sparire to disappear
dormire to sleep finire to finish
partire to leave colpire to hit

Verb features

The features of the verbs are:

  • The Person:  (indicates the subject that does the action)
    The persons in Italian are io, tu, lui (masculine), lei (feminine), noi, voi, loro (masculine and feminine).
  • The Manner: (indicates how the action happens)
    In Italian there are seven manners or moods with different forms and functions: indicativo (indicative), congiuntivo (subjunctive), condizionale (conditional),imperativo (imperative), infinito (infinitive), gerundio (gerund), participio (participle).
  • The Time:  (indicates when the action happens)
    In Italian there are many different times: all the seven manners of the verb have different times.The times can be simple (only one word) or compound (two or more words).
  • The Form: (indicates the kind of action)
    In Italian the form can be active transitive, active intransitive, reflexive and passive.

(*) There are few verbs of the -ire conjugation in Italian that have different suffix.