Regular present tense: Italian grammar lesson 7

Progress
Takeaways
Facts
Article
Quiz
FAQs

Key Takeaways

Dive into the heart of Italian verbs with this comprehensive guide! Learn the secrets of conjugating verbs in the present tense, discover the nuances of regular and irregular verbs, and find out how to boost your speaking skills without a partner.

  • Verb Groups: Italian verbs are a breeze once you know the three amigos: -are, -ere, and -ire. They’re the key to unlocking verb conjugations. 🗝️
  • Conjugation Basics: Conjugating verbs is like a wardrobe change for words. Swap the endings to match the subject and tense. It’s the Italian fashion for verbs! 👗
  • Regular Verbs: Regular verbs are the reliable friends in your Italian journey. They follow patterns, making them easier to predict and use. 🛤️
  • Irregular Verbs: Watch out for the rebels! Irregular verbs don’t always play by the rules, so they’ll need some extra attention. 🕶️
  • Present Tense Uses: The present tense isn’t just for now—it’s a multitasker, handling current actions, general truths, and even future plans when the context is clear. 🎯
  • Progressive Tense: Want to emphasize something happening right this second? The progressive tense is your go-to for that live-action feel. 🎥
  • AI Tutor: No partner? No problem! An Italian AI tutor can be your 24/7 conversation buddy, giving you real-time feedback and helping you nail that pronunciation. 🤖
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Use an AI tutor to focus on present tense conversations, and watch your Italian speaking skills soar without ever leaving your couch. 🚀

Quick facts

How are Italian verbs classified?

Italian verbs are classified into three groups based on their infinitive endings: -are, -ere, and -ire, which determine their conjugation patterns.

Why is verb group classification crucial in Italian?

Verb group classification is crucial because it dictates how verbs conjugate in different tenses, essential for accurate communication.

How do you form the present tense for first conjugation verbs?

For first conjugation verbs ending in -are, you remove -are and add specific endings like -o, -i, -a, -iamo, -ate, -ano.

How do second conjugation verbs differ in the present tense?

Second conjugation verbs ending in -ere replace -ere with endings like -o, -i, -e, -iamo, -ete, -ono to form the present tense.

What is unique about third conjugation verbs in Italian?

Third conjugation verbs ending in -ire sometimes add the suffix -isc in the present tense for subjects io, tu, lui/lei, and loro.

How do you denote ongoing actions in Italian?

Use the present tense to denote ongoing actions, but for emphasis on 'right now,' use the progressive tense (-ing form).

Can the present tense indicate future actions in Italian?

Yes, the present tense can indicate future actions if other elements in the sentence clearly refer to a future time.

What are examples of habitual actions in the present tense?

Examples include "Mangio due piatti di pasta al giorno" (I eat pasta twice a day) and "Tutte le sere leggo" (Every evening I read).

How do irregular verbs affect learning Italian?

Irregular verbs do not follow regular conjugation patterns, making them less predictable and requiring more memorization.

How can AI tutors assist in learning Italian?

AI tutors offer conversation practice, instant feedback, and allow switching between Italian and English, helping improve grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

My Thoughts

Italian Verbs: An Introduction

All Italian verbs can be divided into three groups.

They are classified according to the ending of their infinitive forms into three groups (conjugations): – are, – ere, or – ire.

Distinctions between these groups are important to learn how to form verb tenses in Italian, such as the regular present tense.

  • First conjugation verbs end in – are. For example: mangiare (= to eat), lavorare (= to work), studiare (= to study), imparare (= to learn).
  • Second conjugation verbs end in – ere. For example: leggere (=to read), perdere (= to lose), vivere (= to live).
  • Third conjugation verbs end in – ire. For example: dormire (= to sleep), capire (= to understand), preferire (= to prefer).

How do you conjugate verbs in Italian? Conjugation is simply the act of changing a verb to suit the way it’s being used inside the sentences

It is in the same way that the verb “to be” in English changes according to the subject and verb tense and becomes “I am”, “you are”, “he is”, or “I was”, “they were”, and so on.

Italian regular verbs conjugate according to:

  • The subject
  • The verb tenses
  • The verb group (or conjugation): – are, – ere, or – ire

When you conjugate a regular verb, you take the first part of the infinitive version of the verb and then add on the ending that correlates to the subject, the tense, and the ending of the infinitive version.

Depending on the groups of verbs you’re conjugating (– are, – ere, or – ire) the endings will be different.

Most Italian verbs use regular conjugations, which means that most verbs from each of the three groups follow a pattern that is the same every time.

Still, some very common verbs in Italian are irregular verbs, which means they do not exactly follow these rules.

Regular Present Tense: Conjugation

First conjugation regular verbs (ending in – are) conjugate as follows by adding different endings to the verb root, depending on the subject.

Please note that the verb root is what is left after the suffix “– are” is removed from the infinitive form.

Present Tense (First Conjugation)
io lavoro
tu lavori
lui/lei lavora
noi lavoriamo
voi lavorate
loro lavorano

Second conjugation regular verbs (ending in – ere) conjugate as follows by adding different endings to the verb root, depending on the subject.

Please note that the verb root is what is left after the suffix “– ere” is removed from the infinitive form.

Present Tense (Second Conjugation)
io vivo
tu vivi
lui/lei vive
noi viviamo
voi vivete
loro vivono

Third conjugation regular verbs (ending in – ire) conjugate as follows by adding different endings to the verb root, depending on the subject.

Please note that the verb root is what is left after the suffix “– ire” is removed from the infinitive form.

Important: some regular verbs in this group (ending in – ire) also add the suffix –isc between the root and the declination.

The suffix –isc is only added for the subjects: io, tu, lui/lei, loro, and not for noi and voi.

Present Tense (Second Conjugation)
Without suffix –isc With suffix –isc
io dormo capisco
tu dormi capisci
lui/lei dorme capisce
noi dormiamo capiamo
voi dormite capite
loro dormono capiscono

Learn more about Italian verb conjugation.

Present Tense: Explained

In Italian, the present tense is used in the following cases:

  • To talk about ongoing actions happening in the present:

Lucia vive a Bologna.

Lucia lives in Bologna.

Oggi lavoro da casa.

I’m working from home today.

  • To talk about general truths:

L’acqua bolle a 100 gradi.

Water boils at 100 degrees.

Le tigri non vivono in Africa.

Tigers don’t live in Africa.

  • To talk about habits and recurrent actions still happening in the present:

Mangio due piatti di pasta al giorno.

I eat pasta twice a day.

Tutte le sere leggo un po’ prima di andare a dormire.

Every evening I read for a bit before I go to sleep.

Sometimes, the present tense is used to talk about the future if the time of the action is clear from other elements in the sentence, meaning if other words refer to a future time or event.

Domani torno a casa.

I’m going back home tomorrow.

If you want to stress out that an action or event is occurring right now, you can use the progressive tense (-ing form).

Regular present tense: what you need to remember

Verbs are classified according to the ending of their infinitive forms into three groups: – are, – ere, or – ire.

This is an important distinction to make as it helps you to form regular tenses, like the present tense.

Conjugation is the process of changing the verb to suit the way it is used in the sentence.

Free Guide
How to Learn Languages Fast

For regular verbs, the conjugation follows a pattern that depends on the subject, the tense, and the ending of the infinitive form. The endings for the verbs will vary according to the group they belong to.

There are also irregular verbs, but these are less common.

The present tense is used to talk about ongoing actions and habits in the present, as well as future actions, if the time of the action is clear in the sentence.

Remember that if you want to emphasize that something is happening right now, you can use the progressive tense.

Practice with Quizlet

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

How to Improve Your Speaking if You Don’t Have a Speaking Partner?

Do you want to practice present tense and improve your speaking, but you don’t have a conversation partner?

If that’s the case, you can get an Italian AI tutor, powered by GPT technology, and engage in unlimited, beginner, intermediate or advanced conversations, based on your level, through both text or speech. You can choose to speak only in present tense and while you chat, you get instant feedback on your errors.

Plus, you can switch between Italian and English at any time. Not only you’ll be improving your written skills, grammar and vocabulary, but spoken skills and pronunciation as well. If you want to learn Italian with an AI Tutor, you can start by testing the app for free.

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

What are present tense verbs in Italian?

The Italian present tense (presente) is used to express actions that are occurring at the present moment. The verb form consists of only one word, and regular verbs are conjugated by dropping the infinitive ending and adding the appropriate endings to the stem.

What are the regular verbs in Italian?

Italian regular verbs can be classified into three groups based on the ending of their infinitive forms. The first group consists of verbs ending in -are, such as abitare, mangiare or lavare. The second group has verbs that end in -ere, like perdere and correre. The third group is composed of verbs ending in -ire, such as finite, aprire and vestire.

How do you know if an Italian verb is regular or irregular?

Verbs can be classified as either regular or irregular. Regular verbs have one stem, while irregular verbs are derived from multiple stems of Latin origin.

Italian word of the day
l’influenza
Example
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.

5 Responses

  1. For instance… Test asks for written translation of “Lui invita molti amici”. I said “he invites many friends”; but the correct answer given is “He is inviting many friends”. Per che?

  2. Caio Stefano,
    I really like using the grammar section quiz/flashcards to reinforce the lessons. Io ho una domanda, per che qualcuno present tense is used (we pay at the cash register)/ and other times progressive (we are paying at the cash register)… are they interchangeable??? Grazie, Rosemary

Leave a Reply

Try my courses for free​
Stefano
[TheChamp-Login redirect_url="https://www.thinkinitalian.com/app/"]
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
GRAB A COUPON NOW, REDEEM IT LATER
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.