11 moods and tenses verbs in italian

The 11 most used moods and tenses verbs in Italian




Italian verbs have four main moods:

italian main moods
Italian Main Moods: Infinitive – Imperative – Indicative – Subjunctive

1. INFINITIVE

the infinitive is the unconjugated verb expressing the action itself, with no reference to time or person. This is the form found in a dictionary.


2. INDICATIVE

The indicative expresses something as a fact. It is the most commonly used mood.


3. IMPERATIVE

The imperative is the command form, used to give orders.


4.SUBJUNCTIVE

The subjunctive expresses possibility, hope, feelings, and wishes and is almost always preceded by che, such as

  • Lui vuole che io dorma (He wants me to sleep).

Want to learn more about Subjunctive?

Una Ricetta per il Congiuntivo – A Recipe for the Subjunctive


1. MODO INDICATIVO PRESENTE 

 

 

The present indicative expresses a fact, tells what usually happens, what is happening now, and general truths.

In addition, the Italian present tense is often used to refer to the immediate future and also refers to the past, which is called the historic present.

linea del tempo presente
The TIMEline (the present)

 

Examples:

  • Lava i piatti. (He/She washes the dishes. He/She is washing the dishes.)
  • Mangio la pizza (I eat a pizza/I’m eating a pizza)
  • Non guardo la televisione (I don’t watch TV.)

When the verb is showing the action taking place at the moment, it is possible to use the

present tense of stare + the gerund of the verb.

 

One can say:

Io ascolto la radio. (I am listening to the radio.)

Io sto ascoltando la radio. (I am listening to the radio)

Examples:

  • Sto mangiando la pizza (I am eating a pizza)
  • Sto guardando la televisione (I am watching TV)

2. MODO INDICATIVO PASSATO PROSSIMO

 

The passato prossimo is one of the two most used past tenses of the indicative in Italian (the other is the imperfetto).

 

The passato prossimo (present perfect) is the past tense of a verb used to express an action developed and completed in the past.

 

linea del tempo passato
The Timeline (the past)

It is made of the present tense of the auxiliary verbs avere (to have) or essere (to be) + the past participle of the main verb representing the action.

 

Examples:

  • Ieri sera ho mangiato la pizza (Last night I ate pizza)
  • Ieri Anna è andata al supermercato (Yesterday Anna went to the supermarket)
  • L’estate scorsa siamo andati in vacanza sul lago di Garda. (Last summer we went to Lake Garda for our/a holiday.)

3. MODO INDICATIVO FUTURO SEMPLICE

In Italian as in English, the future tense is used to indicate an action which will take place at a future time.

linea del tempo futuro
The timeline (the future)


In Italian the future is a simple tense, you do not need an auxiliary as in English (will-shall).

To form the regular futuro semplice add to the stem of the verbs the appropriate endings.

 

In Italian, the future tense is used to make promises, to forecast events, to make plans.

In Italian the future can also be used to express a probable fact, something that the person speaking feels is probably true. This is called the future of probability.

 

Examples:

  • Domani mangerò la pizza (Tomorrow I’ll eat pizza)
  • Domani andrò a Venezia (Tomorrow I’ll go to Venice)

 





4. MODO INDICATIVO FUTURO COMPOSTO (ANTERIORE)

The futuro composto/anteriore (future perfect) is used to express an action that will take place before another one in the future.

linea del tempo futuro anteriore
Timeline (the future in the past)

 

As in English, it is a compound tense formed by the future of the verbs avere or essere + the past participle of the main verb.

 

Examples:

 

  • Mangerò la pizza dopo che avrò mangiato le verdure (I’ll eat pizza after I have eaten vegetables)
  • Tornerò al mio paese quando avrò dato l’esame di italiano (I’ll return after I have taken the Italian exam)

5. MODO INDICATIVO IMPERFETTO

 

The imperfetto (imperfect) is one of the most used past tenses in Italian.

 

 

 

linea del tempo imperfetto
The Timeline (the imperfetto)

 

It is called ‘imperfetto’ because there is no reference to the beginning or end of the action it expresses.

In Italian, the imperfetto is a simple tense.

The imperfetto is used to express:

past contemporary actions

past action interrupted by another

past routines and habits

description of persons, animals, situations and places

 

Examples:

 

  • Mentre mangiavo la pizza, guardavo la TV (While I was eating pizza I was watching TV)
  • Mentre mangiavo, ha suonato il telefono (While I was eating the telephone rang)
  • Quando è arrivato Gianni, studiavo. (When Gianni arrived, I was studying)
  • Da ragazzo (quando ero ragazzo) andavo al mare tutte le domeniche (When I was a boy I used to go to the seaside every Sunday)
  • Quando sono andata al mare il cielo era sereno e il mare era calmo (When I went to the seaside, the sky was clear and the sea was calm)

6. MODO INDICATIVO TRAPASSATO PROSSIMO

 

The trapassato prossimo is the equivalent of the English past perfect (I had seen).

It is used to express a completed action in the past that occurred before another past event.

 

the timeline for the past
the Timeline (the past trapassato prossimo)

 

The other past event can be in the passato prossimo, in the imperfetto.

The trapassato prossimo is formed with the imperfect form of the auxiliary verbs avere or essere + past participle (with essere the past participle always agrees with the subject in gender and number).

 

Examples:

 

  • Quando Marco è arrivato io avevo già mangiato la pizza (When Marco arrived I had already eaten pizza)
  • Oggi (in libreria) è arrivato il libro che avevo ordinato un mese fa (Today, the book I had ordered one month ago, arrived)




7. MODO INDICATIVO PASSATO REMOTO

 

The passato remoto (simple past) is a simple tense.

Verbs with an irregular conjugation (mostly second conjugation verbs) have irregular forms only in the first and third singular and in the third plural forms.

There is also a group of verbs completely irregular as the verb essere or the verb avere.

The passato remoto expresses an action developed and completed in the past (as the passato prossimo), but here the action has no continuing effect in the present (for the person speaking).

linea del tempo passato remoto
Timeline for the past (the past remoto)

 

It is used:

 

to tell about very past actions

Example:

Dante scrisse la Divina Commedia

 

to tell about historical events

Example:

Leonardo dipinse la Gioconda


8. MODO CONDIZIONALE SEMPLICE

 

The condizionale semplice (present conditional) expresses an action which depends on a condition.

This tense is often used even when the condition is not actually mentioned.

The condizionale semplice is a simple tense, you do not need an auxiliary verb like in English.

In Italian the conditional is mainly used to express wishes, to formulate polite requests and to give advice.

 

Examples:

  • Mangerei volentieri una pizza (I would like to eat a pizza)
  • Ti dispiacerebbe prestarmi i soldi? (Would you mind lending me some money?)

9. MODO CONDIZIONALE COMPOSTO

 

The condizionale composto (conditional perfect) is a compound tense and is formed by the condizionale semplice of the verbs avere or essere + the past participle of the main verb.  

It is used:

to express a wish or intention which could not be realized in the past, now or in the future.

Examples:

  • sarei andato volenitieri al cinema
  • Ieri avrei mangiato una pizza (Yesterday I would have eaten a pizza)

to give some information about what was supposed to happen in the past

Example:

  • La polizia avrebbe preso i criminali

to express the future in the past, that is to express a future action from a point of view in the past. 

Example:

  • Pensavo che sarei tornato in aprile invece sono tornato dopo un anno.
  • La settimana scorsa Andrea sarebbe andato a Firenze, ma ha dovuto lavorare (Last week Andrea would have gone to Florence, but she had to work)

10. MODO IMPERATIVO

The imperativo (imperative) is the command form of the verb and is used to give orders, directions, instructions, advice, permission.

 

Examples:

  • Mangia la pizza! (Eat your pizza!)
  • Paolo, va subito in camera tua e studia!  (Paolo go to your room and study!)
  • Prenda la prima strada a sinistra e poi vada dritto (Take the first street on the left and then go straight on)

11. MODO CONGIUNTIVO

 

The congiuntivo (subjunctive mood) expresses uncertainty, doubt, possibility or personal feelings rather than facts.

It conveys the opinions and the attitudes of the speaker.

 

With few exceptions, the congiuntivo occurs only in subordinate clauses usually preceded by the conjunction che.

 

Since the singular endings are the same, it is used singular subject pronouns to avoid confusion.

 

The congiuntivo mood can be: presente, passato, imperfetto, trapassato

 

Examples:

 

  • Spero che Marco mangi la pizza (I hope that Marco eats pizza)
  • Vado a trovare Michele prima che parta (I am going to visit Michele before he leaves)





italian/english verbs

Follow Italian Tutor for Easitalian:

Your coach to learn and improve Italian language

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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