How to say “to spend time”: Italian grammar lesson 114


Key Takeaways

Get ready to master the versatile Italian verb passare! From spending time to passing exams, this guide will unlock the secrets of using passare in various contexts like a native speaker. 🇮🇹✨

  • Conjugation is key: Learn how to bend passare to your will in any tense. Whether it’s present or past, knowing these forms is your first step to fluency. 📚
  • Time’s a charm: Use passare il tempo to express how you enjoy spending your moments. It’s about making every second count in Italian style! ⏳
  • Seasonal vibes: Swap out tempo for holidays or weekends to share your festive plans or relaxation goals. Passare il Natale with family sounds perfect, right? 🎄
  • Passing the baton: When passare goes transitive, it’s all about passing things around. From olive oil to exams, you’re moving things forward. 🔄
  • Travel tales: In its intransitive mood, passare takes you places. Literally. Use it to chat about your latest trip or that river winding through Rome. 🌍

Quick facts

How can "passare" be used to indicate the passage of time?

"Passare il tempo" translates to "to spend time," commonly used to describe activities like spending time with family or during holidays.

What is the present tense conjugation of "passare" for "noi"?

In the present tense, "noi passiamo" means "we pass" or "we spend."

How do you say "I would like to spend Christmas" using "passare"?

"Vorrei passare il Natale" translates to "I would like to spend Christmas."

What is the future tense of "passare" for "loro"?

The future tense for "loro" is "passeranno," meaning "they will pass" or "they will spend."

How is "passare" used to discuss success in exams?

The phrase "Hai passato l'esame?" means "Did you pass the exam?"

Can "passare" mean to physically pass an object?

Yes, for example, "Passami l'olio d'oliva" translates to "Pass me the olive oil."

How can "passare" describe a legislative action?

"Il parlamento ha passato una nuova legge" means "The Parliament passed a new law."

What does "passare per" imply in geographical contexts?

"Passare per" means to travel through or pass by a location, like "Il Tevere passa per Roma" (The Tevere river passes through Rome).

How can "passare" be used to describe a casual visit?

"Sono passata a salutare Lucia" means "I passed by Lucia's to say 'hi'."

What is an example of using "passare" to describe a travel route?

"Siamo passati per la Francia" means "We traveled through France."

My Thoughts

What is passare in Italian?

In this lesson, we will have a look at the verb passare, which can often be translated with the English to pass.

Passare is a very common verb in the Italian language, and it can be used in a variety of contexts and with many different meanings.

One of the uses of the verb passare  is to express the passing of time:

Passare il tempo.

To spend time.

First of all let’s have a look at how to conjugate passare  which follows a regular conjugation.

How are the conjugation of passare in Italian?


io passo
tu passi
lui / lei passa
noi passiamo
voi passate
loro passano

Futuro semplice

io passerò
tu passerai
lui / lei passerà
noi passeremo
voi passerete
loro passeranno

Passato prossimo

io ho passato
tu hai passato
lui / lei ha passato
noi abbiamo passato
voi avete passato
loro hanno passato


io passavo
tu passavi
lui / lei passava
noi passavamo
voi passavate
loro passavano

What does passare il tempo mean?

Now that you know how to conjugate the verb passare , let’s see how to use it to talk about time in Italian.

As we’ve already seen above, in Italian, we use the expression passare il tempo to say to pass or spend time.

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Mi piace passare il tempo con i miei nonni.

I love spending time with my grandparents.

Passi più tempo con Franco che con me!

You spend more time with Franco than you do with me!

Vi piacerebbe passare più tempo insieme?

Would you like to spend more time together?

Sometimes, we can also change the direct object from the word tempo to any other word that indicates a period of time. Have a look at the sentences below:

Vorrei passare il Natale con i miei genitori quest’anno.

I would like to spend Christmas with my parents this year.

Giacomo vorrebbe passare il fine settimana in montagna.

Giacomo would like to spend the weekend in the mountains.

What other meanings passare has?

As we mentioned before, the verb passare in Italian can also be used in other ways and not just to talk about time.

Free Guide
How to Learn Languages Fast

If we use it in a transitive way (with a direct object) the verb passare almost always means to pass.

Here we have some examples:

Hai passato l’esame?

Did you pass the exam?

Passami l’olio d’oliva per favore.

Pass me the olive oil please.

Il parlamento ha passato una nuova legge.

The Parliament passed a new law.

If you use the same verb in an intransitive mode (without a direct object) it can mean many different things such as passor go through, to pass by, to travel through, etc.

Take a look at the following examples:

Il Tevere passa per Roma.

The Tevere river passes through Rome.

Sono passata a salutare Lucia stamattina.

I passed by Lucia’s to say “hi” this morning.

Se vai in Croazia puoi passare da Trieste, è bellissima!

If you go to Croatia, you can go through Trieste; it is very nice.

Siamo passati per la Francia per arrivare in Spagna.

We traveled through France to get to Spain.

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

What is "passare"?

Is a very common verb that is used in a variety of contexts and with many different meanings. One of the uses is to express the passing of time.

What other meanings has the verb "passare"?

When used in a transitive way it always means to pass but when is used in an intransitive way it can mean pass, go through, pass by, or travel through.

Italian word of the day
Hai la febbre! Sì, mi è venuta l’influenza.
You have a fever! Yes, I got influenza.
Follow me to fluency​

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free courses and other resources.

Leave a Reply

Try my courses for free​
[TheChamp-Login redirect_url=""]
Click to learn Italian words in the text

Click any highlighted Italian word to hear its pronunciation, see its translation, and ask the AI assistant to explain it.

clickable sentence
clickable sentence 2
How long to fluency?

Find out how long it will take you to master Italian!
Get on the right track in 3 minutes.

dolce vita logo

We're already friends!

Coming from Luca and Marina?
Here's a special deal for you!
Just tell me where I should send the coupon.

50% OFF
all language resources

We're already friends!

Coming from All Language Resources?
Here's a special deal for you!
Just tell me where I should send the coupon.

50% OFF
50% OFF

To receive free resources once a week together with my best offers, just tell me where to send everything. Opt out at any time.

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free lesson and other resources.