The Italian present gerund: Italian grammar lesson 234

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Summary

Dive into the charming world of the Italian language and master the art of the present gerund! From expressing ongoing actions with stare to adding nuance to your sentences, this guide has got you covered. 🇮🇹✨

  • Spot the Gerund: Look for those –ando and –endo endings to identify the Italian gerund in action. It’s a dead giveaway! 🕵️‍♂️
  • Stare + Gerund: Combine stare with the gerund to talk about what’s happening right now, like “Sto mangiando” for “I’m eating.” It’s the Italian way to do the present continuous! 🍝
  • Gerund on Its Own: Drop stare and use the gerund solo to explain the ‘why’ or ‘how’ of things, like “Ho imparato leggendo” – “I learned by reading.” 📚
  • Regular Gerund Formation: For verbs ending in –are, swap it with –ando, and for –ere or –ire, use –endo. Regular as clockwork! ⏰
  • Irregular Gerunds: Watch out for the rebels like bere becoming bevendo. They don’t follow the rules, but they’re few and far between. 😎
  • Conjugate Stare: Nail down the present and imperfect forms of stare to pair with gerunds. It’s your golden ticket to sounding like a native. 🎫
  • Gerund for Past Actions: Use the imperfect tense of stare with the gerund to chat about what was happening in the past, like “Stavano cucinando” for “They were cooking.” 🔙
  • Gerund as ‘While’: Convey simultaneous actions with the gerund, such as “Ho incontrato Pietro tornando a casa” – “I met Pietro while going back home.” It’s multitasking in grammar form! 🏃‍♂️💬
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The Italian present gerund

The gerund is a verbal mood. You’ll spot it very easily because it ends in -ando or in -endo.

We use the gerund in two cases:

  1. With the verb stare

Sto mangiando.

I’m eating.

Sta piovendo.

It’s raining.

2. Without the verb stare

Ho imparato il francese leggendo libri.

I learned French by reading books.

Let’s find out more about the Italian gerund!

Present gerund in Italian

How to form the Italian present gerund?

The gerund follows a pattern and is pretty regular.

Basically, the verbs that end in -are in the infinitive end in -ando in the gerund.

And the verbs that end in -ere and -ire in the infinitive end in -endo in the gerund.

Easy, right?

Here are some examples:

  • Mangiare (to eat): mangiando
  • Cantare (to sing): cantando
  • Leggere (to read): leggendo
  • Scendere (to go down): scendendo
  • Dormire (to sleep): dormendo
  • Finire (to finish): finendo

However, there are some verbs that have an irregular gerund. These are the most common ones:

  • Bere (to drink): bevendo
  • Dire (to say): dicendo
  • Fare (to do): facendo

Italian gerund

How to form the gerund with stare?

We use the gerund with the verb stare to talk about actions in progress either in the present or in the past.

These two tenses are what we call in English present continuous and past continuous.

Italian present continuous

We use the Italian present continuous to describe an action that happens at the time of speaking. It’s formed with the present tense of the verb stare + gerund, like in the examples below:

A: Cosa stai facendo?
B: Sto leggendo.

A: What are you doing?
B: I’m reading.

Italian past continuous

We use the Italian past continuous to talk about an action that happened at the time of speaking. It’s formed with the imperfect tense of the verb stare + gerund:

A: Cosa stavano facendo?
B: Stavano cucinando.

A: What were they doing?
B: They were cooking.

The conjugation of the verb stare

You basically need to remember the conjugation of the verb stare in the present tenseand in the imperfect:

Here’s the conjugation  in the present tense:

Io sto
Tu stai
Lei/ Lui sta
Noi stiamo
Voi state
Loro stanno

Here’s the conjugationin the imperfect tense:

Io stavo
Tu stavi
Lei/ Lui stava
Noi stavamo
Voi stavate
Loro stavano

 

Italian gerund in the present

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

How to form the gerund without stare?

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As we mentioned previously, you can also use the gerund without the verb stare even if it’s less common.

We mainly use it to say why, how, and while something happens or happened.

The Italian gerund to talk about why

We could translate the gerund with because or since. It will all depend on the context and what you want to say.

Studiando molto, è riuscita ad entrare in quell’università.

Because she studied a lot, she was able to get into that university.

Non avendo molto tempo, prenderò un taxi per l’aeroporto.

Because I don’t have a lot of time, I will take a taxi to the airport.

Essendo stanchi, abbiamo deciso di tornare subito a casa.

Since we were tired, we decided to return home.

The Italian gerund to talk about how

We can also use the Italian gerund to talk about how something happens or happened.

Mi sento molto meglio correndo ogni giorno.

I feel much better by running every day.

Ho imparato l’italiano vivendo in Italia.

I learned Italian by living in Italy.

Sono dimagrito mangiando solo frutta e verdura.

I lost weight by eating only fruit and vegetables.

The Italian gerund to talk about while

We can also use the Italian gerund to talk about an action that is happening or was happening at the same time as another action.

Cammina, parlando al telefono.

She walks while speaking on the phone.

Cucinando, Luca pensa al suo futuro.

While cooking, Luca thinks about his future.

Tornando a casa, ho incontrato Pietro.

Going back home, I met Pietro.

How to form the present gerund Italian

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FAQs on The Italian present gerund: Italian grammar lesson 234

How to form the Italian present gerund?

Basically, the verbs that end in -are in the infinitive end in -ando in the gerund. And the verbs that end in -ere and -ire in the infinitive end in -endo in the gerund.

How to form the gerund with stare?

Using the present continuous (present tense of the verb stare + gerund verb)or the past continuous (imperfect tense of the verb stare + gerund verb).

How to use the gerund with stare?

For talking about actions in progress either in the present or in the past.

How to use the gerund without stare?

To say why, how, and while something happens or happened.

Italian word of the day
cappuccino
Example
Vorrei un cappuccino, per favore.
I’d like a cappuccino, please.
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