How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules


In this article, you’ll find the best strategies to master and how to easily remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules.

When you discover a new verb in Italian, you realize this “raw” form.

To use the verb effectively, you must first understand the conjugation rules.

Conjugating Italian verbs have the same difficulties as conjugating verbs in other Romance languages due to the richness and diversity of the verb forms used but conjugation in Italian is not as tough as it appears.

The key is to divide the language down into little chunks and memorise the ends for each verb tense.

The process by which a verb changes to indicate a different person, tense, number, or mood is known as verb conjugation.

PERSON

There are six different types of person in Italian:

  • IO (I) – first person singular,
  • TU (you) second-person singular,
  • LUI/LEI (he/she/it/one) third-person singular ,
  • NOI (we) first-person plural,
  • VOI (you) second person plural
  • LORO (they) third-person plural (you).

For each person, we must conjugate a verb.

TENSE

Verbs are conjugated according to their tenses as well. The verb tense of a sentence indicates when the event in the phrase is taking place:

  • In the present,
  • In the future,
  • In the past.

When conjugated according to tense, regular verbs follow a standard pattern. 

MOOD

In grammar, mood refers to a verb category or form that specifies whether the verb represents:

A fact ☞ INDICATIVO (indicative mood)

A command ☞ IMPERATIVO (imperative mood)
It’s used to order or ask someone to do something, to offer advice or encouragement, to give instructions, or to make suggestions:

A condition ☞ CONDIZIONALE (conditional mood)
It’s used to make requests and to refer to situations that are uncertain or which depend on something else happening or being the case:

A wish or potential ☞ CONGIUNTIVO (the subjunctive mood)
This mood is used to express a wish, doubt, demand, or hypothetical situation.


What is conjugation?

In Italian, a verb is identified by the last three letters of the infinitive (the form used in dictionary entries):
In Italian there are 3 of these conjugations:

  • 1st conjugation of verbs ending in -are as parl-are (to speak)
  • 2nd conjugation of verbs ending in -ere as cred-ere (to believe)
  • 3rd conjugation of verbs ending in -ire as dormire (to sleep)

Each verb includes an invariable element (the stem) that holds the meaning and a conjugated part (the ending) that indicates the person, tense, mood, and other characteristics.

verb amare How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules

Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules.

To conjugate verbs, you need to know who or what the subject is, the tense and the mood.
The subject tells you what to add to the verb stem, which you get by removing the –are, –ere, or –ire.

✏️ For example, the stem of parlare is parl-.
To this stem, you add endings based on the subject.
Each subject calls for a specific ending.

In the present tense:
Io (I) means that you add an -o to the verb stem: Io parlo, (I speak).
Noi (we) gets the ending -iamo, as in Noi parliamo (We eat).

verb parlare How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules

⚠️ Regular verbs do not change their stems or roots so the stem remains the same when conjugated.

⚠️ Irregular verbs change their stems so they may change form once it has been conjugated.

They don’t follow a pattern of standard endings. Therefore, you need to memorize them.
Most irregular verbs belong to the second conjugation.


The Anatomy of ITALIAN Verb

ConjugationInfinitiveVerb in EnglishStemInfinitive Ending
Firstparlareto speakparl-are
Secondrispondereto respondrispond-ere
Thirdpartireto departpart-ire

Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules for Regular -are verbs

Verbs of the first conjugation end in -are are the most common verbs in Italian.
The subject of a regular -are verb is indicated by the ending, which is added to the stem.

To use an -are verb, first, you remove the letters –are from the infinitive, which leaves you with the stem:
infinitive → parlare
stem: parl-

1 conjugation parlare How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules

To the stem, you add the ending (-o, -i, -a, -iamo, -ate, or -ano) that reflects the subject (io, tu, lui, lei, Lei, noi, voi, loro)  (example of ending for the present tense) 

present tens How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules

Common regular -are verbs

  • abitare (to live)
  • amare (to love)
  • ballare (to dance)
  • cambiare (to change)
  • cantare (to sing)
  • compare (to buy)
  • domandare (to ask a question)
  • giocare (to play a sport or game) (adds -h- in the tu and noi forms)
  • guardare (to look at)
  • lasciare (to leave)
  • mangiare (to eat) (drops the -i- in the tu and noi forms)
  • pagare (to pay) (adds -h- in the tu and noi forms)
  • studiare (to study) (drops the -i- in the tu and noi forms)
  • suonare (to play an instrument)
  • trovare (to find)

Where to place the stress of a conjugated -ARE verb?

When pronouncing all forms of the verbs, note that—except for noi and voi — stress should be placed on the stem of the verb, not the ending. Although there are exceptions, this is particularly helpful to recall when you’re pronouncing the third-person plural (loro).

1 conjugation - parlare
Click For the VIDEO

Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules for Regular -ere verbs

Verbs of the second conjugation end in -ere.

This is the second-largest category of Italian verbs.
In regular -ere verbs, the person, or subject, is indicated by the ending, which is added to the stem.

To use an -ere verb, first, you remove the letters –ere from the infinitive, which leaves you with the stem:
infinitive → leggere
stem: legg-

The stress pattern in -ere verbs can be of two types.

In the infinitive form, some verbs have the stress on the penultimate syllable (vedere,temere) similar to the -are verbs, but most have the stress on the stem (vendere, prendere, spendere), or the third-to-last syllable.

2 conjugation - leggere
Click For the VIDEO

Remember ItalianCommon regular -ere verbs

  • accendere (to light)
  • cadere (to fail)
  • chiedere (to ask)
  • chiudere (to close)
  • credere (to believe)
  • leggere (to read)
  • mettere (to put)
  • prendere (to have/to take)
  • riceveer (to receive)
  • ripetere (to repeat)
  • rispondere (to aswer)
  • scendere (to go down)
  • scrivere (to write)
  • spendere (to spend)
  • vedere (to sea)
  • vincere ( to win)
  • vivere (to live)

Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules for Regular -ire verbs

Verbs of the third conjugation end in -ire.

In regular -ire verbs, the person, or subject, is indicated by the ending, which is added to the stem.

To use an -ire verb, first, you remove the letters –ire from the infinitive, which leaves you with the stem:
infinitive → dormire
stem: dorm-

Click For the VIDEO

There are two groups of –ire verbs.

The first group follows conjugation rules (for the present tense) that are similar to those for the –ere verbs except for the voi form.

♦ dormire (to sleep)

  • (io) dorm-o
  • (tu) dorm-i
  • (lei/lui) dorm-e
  • (noi) dorm-iamo
  • (voi) dorm-ite
  • (loro) dorm-ono

The second is known as an”isc” verb because all the conjugated forms, except for noi and voi, insert the letters -isc between the stem and the endings.

Group of IRE verb with –isc adds

This group of the –ire verbs adds -isc between the stem and the ending in first, second, and third-person singular and third-person plural.
The most of of these verbs (capire, finire, ferire, preferire, pulire) include one consonant and one vowel just before the -ire ending.

How do you know which verbs take “isc” in their conjugation?
You don’t. You have to refer to the dictionary, which shows the conjugation right after the infinitive.

verb capire How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules

Common type 1 -ire verbs

  • aprire to open
  • dormire (to sleep)
  • fuggire (to escape)
  • offrire (to offer)
  • partire to depart
  • seguire to follow
  • sentire to hear

Common type 2 -ire verbs

  • capire (to understand)
  • finire (to finish)
  • preferire (to prefer)
  • pulire (to clean)
  • colpire (to hit)
  • costruire (to build)
  • guarire (to cure)
  • sparire (to disappear)
  • suggerire (to suggest)
verb capire How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules


How to easily remember all these rules of verb conjugations.

Here some examples for the present tense.

1st person singular ⇒ IO (I)

See the three conjugations together and notice that the endings for this IO it’s always -O for all the conjugations.

IO lavoro

IO vedo

IO sento

prima persona singolare How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules

2nd person singular ⇒ TU (YOU sing)

See the three conjugations together and notice that the endings for this TU it’s always -I for all the conjugations.

TU lavori

TU vedi

TU senti

seconda persona singolare How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules

3rd person singular ⇒ LUI/LEI (HE/SHE)

See the three conjugations together and notice that the endings for this LUI/LEI  are different for the conjugation ARE from ERE and IRE

LUI/LEI lavora

LUI/LEI  vede

LUI/LEI  sente

terza persona singolare How to Easily Remember Italian Verb Conjugations Rules

1st person plural ⇒ NOI (WE)

See the three conjugations together and notice that the endings for this NOI it’s always -IAMO for all the conjugations.

NOI lavoriamo

NOI vediamo

NOI sentiamo

1 persona plurale

2nd person singular ⇒ VOI (YOU plur.)

See the three conjugations together and notice that the endings for this VOI it’s different for all the conjugation ARE/ ERE/IRE

VOI lavorate

VOI  vedete

VOI  sentite

2 persona plurale

3rd person plural ⇒ LORO (THEY)

See the three conjugations together and notice that the endings for this LORO are different for the conjugation ARE from ERE and IRE

LORO lavorano

LORO  vedono

LORO  sentono

3 persona plurale

Activities

ITALIAN practice makes progress

Verbi in -ARE -

Conjugate the verb in the Present Tense

Verbi in -ERE -

Conjugate the verb in the Present Tense


Verbi in -IRE – Conjugate the verb in the Present Tense


Verbi in -ARE - ERE - IRE

Conjugate the verb in the Present Tense


join our newsletter


Follow Italian Tutor for Easitalian:

Your coach to learn and improve Italian language

5 Responses

  1. Leslie Kinn

    I think this site is going to be great for me! I think I have a new found understanding of how to proceed and become more fluid in speaking.

    Thank you for the insights.

    Leslie

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.