I verbi in -are, -ere, -ire al presente

Verbs ending in –are, –ere, –ire in the present tense

The present tense indicates activities that you normally do, i.e.: canto in un coro [I sing in a choir]. In Italian the present tense also indicates:

  • Activities that are taking place right now, i.e.: mangio un panino [I’m eating a sandwich].
  • Activities that will take place in the near future, i.e.: domani parto per la Svezia [Tomorrow I’m leaving for Sweden].

There are three groups of verbs in Italian:

Verbs ending in -are Verbs ending in -ere Verbs ending in –ire
ordinare [to order] prendere [to have; to take] aprire [to open]

Ordinare, prendere and aprire are infinitives. The infinitive is the base form of the verb, the form that you would find in the dictionary (analogous to the English to order; to take; to open). To conjugate the verb according to which subject performs the action, drop the are, –ere, or ire and add the following endings:

ordinare prendere aprire finire*
[io] ordino [io] prendo [io] apro [io] finisco
[tu] ordini [tu] prendi [tu] apri [tu] finisci
[lui, lei, Lei] ordina [lui, lei, Lei] prende [lui, lei, Lei] apre [lui, lei, Lei] finisce
[noi] ordiniamo [noi] prendiamo [noi] apriamo [noi] finiamo
[voi] ordinate [voi] prendete [voi] aprite [voi] finite
[loro] ordinano [loro] prendono [loro] aprono [loro] finiscono

* Someire verbs add isc to the io, tu, lui, lei and loro forms:  preferire [to prefer]   capire [to understand]  pulire [to clean]  obbedire [to obey]  restituire [to return something]

  • Some verbs, like mangiare [to eat] and studiare [to study], have an i in the stem that is pronounced. You do not need an additional i in the tu and noi forms:
[io] mangio
[tu] mangi      [not: mangii]
[lui, lei, Lei] mangia
[noi] mangiamo      [not: mangiiamo]
[voi] mangiate
[loro] mangiano



Sciare [to ski] is an exceptional case: it adds i in the tu form: tu scii.




  • Verbs ending in care and gare add an h to the tu and noi forms for phonetic reasons (to maintain the same sound):
cercare pagare
[io] cerco [io] pago
[tu] cerchi [tu] paghi
[lui, lei, Lei] cerca [lui, lei, Lei] paga
[noi] cerchiamo [noi] paghiamo
[voi] cercate [voi] pagate
[loro] cercano [loro] pagano







  • Pay attention to how the pronunciation of c and g changes in the verbs leggere: io leggo, tu leggi; conoscere: io conosco, tu conosci.


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Spunti: Italiano elementare 1 by Daniel Leisawitz and Daniela Viale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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