Italian present tense for regular verbs

Italian present tense for regular verbs

ItalianItalian A1

Hello and welcome to our Italian course for beginners! We continue to talk about Italian grammar and today we will learn the Present Tense of Italian verbs.

Verbs are basic elements in any language. Italian is no exception. We describe actions, feelings, possessions, etc. using verbs.

The Present Tense is the most commonly used verb tense in Italian, as in English. Understanding the Present Tense will allow you to use other tenses in Italian without any problem.

Regular verb conjugation in Present Tense

The Present Tense describes actions that are happening at the current moment or are habitual in nature. Regular verbs follow specific patterns when conjugated in the Present Tense in Italian. There are three main classes of verbs, which have the endings -are, -ere and -ire. So verbs are conjugated based on the subject pronoun to indicate who or what is performing the action. Let's go through the basics of the Present Tense.

Subject Pronouns:
Io (I)
Tu (You, informal singular)
Lui (He), Lei (She), Lei (You, formal)
Noi (We)
Voi (You all)
Loro (They)

More about pronouns you can read here.

As it has been written before, the most of Italian verbs can be divided into three main conjugation classes based on their infinitive endings: -are verbs (e.g., abitare - to inhabit), -ere verbs (e.g., vivere - to live), -ire verbs (e.g., partire - to start)

To conjugate regular verbs in the Present Tense, simply drop the -are, -ere, or -ire ending and add appropriate endings for each subject pronoun. Now let's look at the verb endings for each class of Italian regular verbs.

For -are verbs the endings are -o, -i, -a, -iamo, -ate, -ano. So we need to remove the -are ending and replace it with the appropriate ending.
Example: abitare - to inhabit.
Io abito - I inhabit
Tu abiti - You (informal) inhabit
Lui / Lei abita - He/She or You (formal) inhabits
Noi abitiamo - We inhabit
Voi abitate - You (all) inhabit
Loro abitano - They inhabit

For -ere verbs the endings are -o, -i, -e, -iamo, -ete, -ono. We also need to remove the -ere ending and replace it with the appropriate ending.
Example: vivere - to live.
Io vivo - I live
Tu vivi - You (informal) live
Lui / Lei vive - He/She or You (formal) lives
Noi viviamo - We live
Voi vivete - You (all) live
Loro vivono - They live

For -ire verbs the endings are -o, -i, -e, -iamo, -ite, -ono. We remove the -ire ending and replace it with the appropriate ending.
Example: partire - to start.
Io parto - I start
Tu parti - You (informal) start
Lui / Lei parte - He/She or You (formal) starts
Noi partiamo - We start
Voi partite - You (all) start
Loro partono - They start

As you can see, the endings change for the pronouns Voi (You all) and Lui / Lei (He / She or You formal).

Irregular verbs

Keep in mind that there are some irregular verbs in the present tense that do not follow these patterns. The most common irregular verbs in the present tense include essere (to be), avere (to have), fare (to do, to make), andare (to go), dire (to say/tell), and others. We will cover them in other articles.


We hope that now you know how to conjugate different verbs in the present tense in Italian. This will give you the opportunity to use verbs in different contexts and situations. As you study, you will become proficient in using Italian verbs and remember new ones. Take the time to practice with verbs (essere, avere, Fare, Partire, Vivere, Abitare) that you are familiar with. Just listen and repeat new words out loud and pay attention to the pronunciation of native speakers. You can also use flashcards to help you remember new words faster.

Language learning takes time, so be consistent in your practice and don't be afraid to make mistakes. We are waiting for you in the next lesson, where we will talk about the most frequently used irregular verbs in Italian. Good luck!