Verbs are essential to communicating in any foreign language, and Italian verbs have a consistent, logical pattern of conjugation. These quick, step-by-step instructions will explain the three Italian verb categories, suggest ways to begin your studies, and teach you how to conjugate verbs like a native.
Time Required: one year
- Learn the present tenses of avere (to have) and essere (to be) first. They form the keystone to all other Italian verb conjugations.
- Although it may be seem tedious, memorize the endings for each class of verbs to facilitate conjugation skills.
- Understand that Italian verbs fall into three conjugations depending on the endings of the infinitive: 1) -are, 2) -ere, and 3) -ire. The stem of regular verbs is obtained by dropping the infinitive ending.
- Recognize that Italian verbs are conjugated in the various persons, numbers, and tenses by adding the proper ending to the stem.
- In English the infinitive (l'infinito) consists of to + verb.
- Note that in the third person plural the stress falls on the same syllable as in the third person singular form.
- Consult a table of verb endings to determine the correct tense.