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First Conjugation Italian Verbs

–Are Verbs in Italian

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The infinitives of all regular verbs in Italian end in –are, –ere, or –ire and are referred to as first, second, or third conjugation verbs, respectively. In English the infinitive (l'infinito) consists of to + verb.

amare to love   temere to fear   sentire to hear

Verbs with infinitives ending in –are are called first conjugation, or –are, verbs. The present tense of a regular –are verb is formed by dropping the infinitive ending –are and adding the appropriate endings to the resulting stem. There is a different ending for each person.

Characteristics of the First Conjugation

  • Verbs ending in –care (cercare, caricare) and –gare (litigare, legare): add an h immediately after the root when declinations start with e or i to maintain the hard c or hard g sound.
  • cercare
    tu cerchi
    noi cerchiamo
    io cercherò

    legare
    tu leghi
    noi leghiamo
    io legherò

  • Verbs ending in –ciare (baciare), –giare (mangiare), and –sciare (lasciare): drop the i of the root when declinations start with e or i.
  • cominciare
    tu cominci
    noi cominciamo
    io comincerò

    mangiare
    tu mangi
    noi mangiamo
    io mangerò

    strisciare
    tu strisci
    noi strisciamo
    io striscerò

  • Verbs ending in –iare (inviare, studiare, gonfiare):
  • the i of the root is conserved, except for the declinations –iamo and –iate, when the accent is tonic on the first person singular of the present indicative (io invìo).

  • the i of the root is dropped when the declinations that start with i (–i, –iamo, –iate, –ino) when the accent is not tonic on the first person singular of the present indicative (io stùdio).
  • espiare
    io espio
    che tu espii
    noi espiamo
    voi espiate

    studiare
    io studio
    che tu studii
    noi studiamo
    voi studiate

  • Verbs ending in –gliare (tagliare, pigliare): drop the i of the root only before the vowel i.
  • tagliare
    io taglio
    tu tagli
    noi tagliamo
    voi tagliate

    pigliare
    io piglio
    tu pigli
    noi pigliamo
    voi pigliate

  • Verbs ending in –gnare are regular, therefore the i of the endings –iamo (indicative and present conjunctive) and –iate (present conjunctive) is maintained.
  • regnare
    noi regniamo
    che noi regniamo
    che voi regniate

    sognare
    noi sogniamo
    che noi sogniamo
    che voi sogniate

Note! The second person plural of the present indicative is formed regularly.

voi regnate   voi sognate

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