Italian All-in-One For Dummies
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In Italian, the present indicative tense works much like the present tense in English. To conjugate Italian verbs in the present indicative tense, you first need to understand that Italian infinitives (the "to" form, as in to die, to sleep, to dream) end in one of three ways — and that you conjugate the verb based on that ending:

  • Verbs that end in -are

  • Verbs that end in -ere

  • Verbs that end in -ire

The endings of regular verbs don't change. Master the endings for each mode and tense, and you're good to go! Keep in mind that verbs agree with subjects and subject pronouns (io, tu, lui/lei/Lei, noi, voi, loro/Loro):

Common Regular Italian Verbs in the Present Indicative Tense
Subject Pronoun Lavorare (to work) Prendere (to take; to order) Partire (to leave) Capire (to understand)
io lavoro prendo parto capisco
tu lavori prendi parti capisci
lui/lei/Lei lavora prende parte capisce
noi lavoriamo prendiamo partiamo capiamo
voi lavorate prendete partite capite
loro/Loro lavorano prendono partono capiscono

Unfortunately, there are also irregular verbs, which you have to memorize. You'll find that the more you practice them, the easier it is to use them in conversation:

Common Irregular Italian Verbs in the Present Indicative Tense
Subject Pronoun Andare (to go) Bere (to drink) Dare (to give) Fare (to do) Stare (to stay) Venire (to come)
io vado bevo do faccio sto vengo
tu vai bevi dai fai stai vieni
lui/lei/Lei va beve fa sta viene
noi andiamo beviamo diamo facciamo stiamo veniamo
voi andate bevete date fate state venite
loro/Loro vanno bevono danno fanno stanno vengono

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Antonietta Di Pietro is a coauthor of Italian All-in-One For Dummies. Francesca Romana Onofri lived several years abroad and has worked as an Italian and Spanish teacher, as well as a translator and interpreter at cultural events. She was an Italian coach and teacher at the Opera Studio of the Cologne Opera House. In Italy, Francesca has edited several Berlitz Italian books and is working as a translator of art books, as well as a cultural events organizer and educator. Teresa L. Picarazzi, PhD, teaches Italian at The Hopkins School and has lived and worked in Cortona, Florence, Ravenna, Siena, and Urbino. Karen Antje Möller is a veteran language teacher and author. She has worked with Berlitz Publishing on German-Italian projects and Italian exercise books. Daniela Gobetti is a coauthor of Italian All-in-One For Dummies. Beth Bartolini-Salimbeni is a coauthor of Italian All-in-One For Dummies.

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