Common Verbs taking auxiliary AVERE and ESSERE in Italian language

In this article, you’ll learn some common verbs taking both auxiliary AVERE and ESSERE in Italian Language.

The choice between avere and essere as the auxiliary verb is not straightforward in Italian.


All transitive verbs take avere.

All reflexive verbs take essere.

The problem lies with intransitive verbs.

Some take avere, some take essere, and some can take either.



auxiliary verbs transitiv intransitiv
The choice between avere and essere as the auxiliary verb – Transitive or Intransitive Verbs

We can say that:

If the subject takes an object, the verb is transitive takes avere.

If the subject cannot take an object, then it is intransitive takes essere.







Verbs that take either avere and essere

While the basic meaning of these verbs remains the same,

they take :

–> avere (as the auxiliary) when used transitively, and

–> essere when used intransitively.


Examples of Common Verbs taking auxiliary AVERE and ESSERE.



Used intransitively: Il film è cominciato tardi.

Used transitively: Maria ha cominciato il libro nuovo



Used intransitively: L’estate è passata in fretta

Used transitively: Mario ha passato l’estate al mare



Used intransitively: Il tempo è cambiato.

Used transitively: Carlo ha cambiato lavoro



Used intransitively: Il film è finito alle 10

Used transitively: Ho finito la scuola

Verbs conveying weather conditions, such as

piovere (to rain),

nevicare (to snow), and

grandinare (to hail)

can take both essere o avere without differences.



È/Ha piovuto

You see them only in the third-person singular without any subject.

Common Verbs taking auxiliary AVERE and ESSERE:

  1. salire (to climb up)
  2. scendere (to climb down)
  3. cominicare/iniziare (to begin)
  4. continuare (to continue)
  5. finire /terminare (to end)
  6. seguire (to chease)
  7. vivere (to live)
  8. invecchiare (to age)
  9. migliorare (to improve)
  10. peggiorare (to worsen)
  11. cambiare (to change)
  12. crescere (to grow)
  13. girare (to turn)
  14. passare/trascorrere (to pass)
  15. guarire (to cure/get better)
  16. correre (to run)
  17. saltare (to jump)
  18. volare (to fly)
  19. durare (to last)
  20. cuocere (to cook)

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Auxiliary: Essere - Avere

Insert the auxiliary + past participle – For the third person of verbo essere use “e” with the apostrophe ‘ –> e’

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