Avere (to have)

Avere (to have)

ItalianItalian A1

Hello again. If you're here, it means you're still learning Italian. So, today we will tell you about the verb "avere".

The verb avere (to have) is one of the two most important verbs in Italian. We mostly use it to mean possession, in the same way that English speakers use the verb "to have." On the other hand, as in many Romance languages, Italian complex tenses are formed by combining the conjugated form of the word "avere" and the past participle of the verb. This is very important for expressing the actions Past, Present Perfect, Past Perfect and Future Perfect. That's why we need to pay attention to this verb and remember all its forms.
First of all, let's see how to conjugate the verb "avere" with examples.


Subject Avere (It.) To have (Eng.)
Io ho I have
Tu hai You have
Lui / Lei ha He/She/It has
Noi abbiamo We have
Voi avete You have
Loro hanno They have

Io ho una macchina (I have a car);
Tu hai una sorella (You have a sister);
Lui ha fame (He is hungry);
Lei ha tre gatti (She has three cats);
Noi abbiamo una casa nuova (We have a new house);
Voi avete un cane simpatico (You all have a nice dog);
Loro hanno molti libri (They have many books).

Usage of "Avere"

1. Possession: If you own something, feel free to use the verb "avere" to indicate possession or ownership.
Ho una penna (I have a pen);
Hai una casa (You have a house).

2. Age: The phrase "avere [ number ] anni" means how old you are.
Ho vent'anni (I am twenty years old);
Hai cinquant'anni (You are fifty years old).

3. Feelings and Emotions: Use the verb when you need to express certain feelings or emotions.
Ho paura (I am scared/fearful);
Hai ragione (You are right).

4. Expressions: The Italian language is rich in idiomatic expressions with the word "avere". Often the meaning of a verb does not correspond to its translation. It is better to remember these expressions because they are vital for fluent communication in Italian.
Ho fame (I am hungry);
Hai freddo (You are cold).

5. Compound Tenses: "Avere" is also an auxiliary verb. We use it in Passato Prossimo (Present Perfect Tense).
Ho visto un film ieri (I watched a movie yesterday).

In this sentence, "ho visto" is the Passato Prossimo form of "avere" (io ho) combined with the past participle of the verb "vedere" (visto).

Common expressions with "Avere"

And to finally remember the forms of the verb “avere”, we suggest looking at some common phrases with this verb in Italian that you can use in everyday conversations:

1. Ho fame / ho sete (I am hungry / thirsty).
Ho fame, possiamo mangiare qualcosa? (I am hungry, can we eat something?).

2. Ho freddo / ho caldo (I am cold / hot).
Ho freddo, possiamo chiudere la finestra? (I am cold, can we close the window?)

3. Ho vent'anni (I am twenty years old).
Ho vent'anni e studio all'università. (I am twenty years old, and I study at the university).

4. Abbiamo una festa / una riunione (We have a party / a meeting).
Abbiamo una festa sabato sera (We have a party on Saturday evening).

5. Ho bisogno di aiuto (I need help). Example:
Ho bisogno di aiuto con questo compito (I need help with this task).

6. Ho paura / ho sonno (I am afraid / sleepy).
Ho paura dei ragni (I am afraid of spiders);
Ho sonno, vado a letto presto (I am sleepy, I am going to bed early).

7. Ho fretta / ho tempo (I am in a hurry / have time).
Ho fretta, devo prendere il treno (I am in a hurry, I need to catch the train);
Non ho tempo adesso, possiamo parlare più tardi? (I don't have time now, can we talk later?).

8. Ho un problema / ho una domanda (I have a problem / a question).
Ho un problema con il computer (I have a problem with the computer);
Ho una domanda da farti (I have a question to ask you).


We remind you once again that the verb “avere” is vital for constructing correct sentences in the Present and Past Tense in Italian. They use it in expressions of possession and condition. There are many idiomatic expressions in Italian with this verb. If you are describing what you have, what you feel, remembering the past, “avere” will help you do this.
Don't forget to pay attention to the new words and phrases you came across in the lesson:
Macchina (car)
Sorella (sister)
Gatti (cats)
Casa (house)
Penna (pen)
Anni (years)
Nuova (new)
Paura (scared)
Ragione (reason, right)
Fame (hungry)
Sete (thirsty)
Freddo (cold)
Caldo (hot)
Università (university)
Festa (party)
Sabato (Saturday)
Sera (evening)
Aiuto (help)
Compito (task)
Ragni (spiders)
Letto (bed)
Presto (early)
Treno (train)
Tempo (time)
Più tardi (later)
Domanda (question)
Don't hesitate to repeat previous lessons if you need and try to remember the new words from this lesson. We are waiting for you in the next lesson, where we will talk about an Italian verb fare (to do). Good luck!