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 in the infinitive form. 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 the subject that performs the action, drop the are, –ere, or ire from the infinitive form 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 prefercapire [to understand]  pulire [to clean]  obbedire [to obey]  restituire [to return something].  For the different pronunciation of -sco  vs.  –sci/sce refer to La pronuncia in this Pressbook.

  • 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 g changes in the verb leggere: io leggo (sounds like gorilla) tu leggi (sounds like jeep).


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Spunti: Italiano elementare 1 Copyright © 2018 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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