Italian verbs are divided in 3 patterns distinguished by the endings of the infinitive form:
  1. -are (e.g. 'parlare', to speak / talk)
  2. -ere (e.g. 'vedere', to see)
  3. -ire (e.g. 'dormire', to sleep

The most common moods and tenses are:

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In Italian the verb is always conjugated to match the subject, and the subject is only specified for clarity or emphasis.

The presente is used for:

  • events happening in the present
  • habitual actions
  • current states of being and conditions
  • actions planned to occur in the future

To get the stem of the verb take off the endings of the infinitive form –are, -ere or -ire and add the right ending for the person you're talking about:
* Many verbs belonging to 3rd conjugation like capire (to understand), preferire (to prefer), finire (to finish), costruire (to build) or tradire (to betray) insert the particle -isc when conjugating the indicativo presente and the congiuntivo.
Let's conjugate three regular verbs: parlare (to speak / talk), vedere (to see) and dormire (to sleep):
Test what you have learned
Indicativo presente
Choose the correct option
I eat an apple
You watch tv
They sleep on the couch
She reads a book
We speak Italian
Matteo plays the guitar
Grace works at the university
You (plural) write a letter
They take the bus
You better study again
Devi ripassare questo argomento
You should go over this topic
Ottimo lavoro!
Excellent job!
The present progressive in Italian is formed this way:
presente of stare + gerundio of the verb, as follows:

Passato prossimo
The passato prossimo is one of the two most used past tenses in Italian (the other one is the imperfetto).

Sometimes it can be translated with the English past simple, other times it is similar to the present perfect.

    The passato prossimo is formed with the present tense of the auxiliary verb followed by the participio passato (past participle) of the verb.

    To get the past participle of regular verbs change the ending of the infinitive as follows:
    Unlike English, Italian has two auxiliars, 'avere' and 'essere'.

    As a fast rule: transitive verbs (verbs which can have a direct object) use avere, reflexive verbs use essere.

    When essere is used, the past participle behaves like an adjective and it must agree in gender and number with the subject.
    Let's conjugate three verbs with different endings: 'amare' (to love, transitive), 'cadere' (to fall, intransivive), 'finire' (to finish, transitive):
    The imperfetto is, together with the passato prossimo, one of the two most used past tenses.

    The Italian imperfetto corresponds to several different English forms and is used for:

    • repeated or habitual actions in the past
    • ongoing actions in the past and ongoing actions in the past that are eventually interrupted
    • weather, time and age in the past
    • states of being and conditions in the past.

    The forms of the imperfect are very regular:
    Futuro semplice
      The futuro semplice is used:

      • to refer to events which will happen in the future
      • to express probability, or a guess
      • as the English present progressive ('I'm going to ', etc.)

      The forms of the futuro semplice are:
      It is also possible to use the presente when we are almost sure that something is going to happen:
      Futuro anteriore
      The futuro anteriore is used for events that will have happened when or before something else happens in the future.

      It is formed the same as the passato prossimo, but with the auxiliary verb in the futuro semplice form.
      Condizionale presente
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      Viene utilizzato il condizionale presente:
      • per parlare di cose che accadrebbero o che sarebbero vere a certe condizioni
      • in richieste e offerte

      The condizionale presente is used:
      • to talk about things that would happen or would be true under certain conditions
      • in requests and offers

      Per formare il condizionale presente prendi la radice del futuro semplice e aggiungi le opportuni desinenze:

      To form the simple conditional take the root of the futuro semplice and add the appropriate endings:
      Le forme irregolari del condizionale sono le stesse del futuro:

      The irregular forms of the conditional are the same as those of the future:
      Condizionale passato
      The condizionale passato is used:

      • for events that would, could or should have occurred
      • to express the future in the past
      • to express a regret
      • to express disbelief, incredulity
      • to report not verified news, or information that we have doubts about.

      The condizionale passato is formed as the passato prossimo, but with the auxiliary verb in the condizionale presente.
      In Italian, unlike in English, the condizionale passato is used to report what somebody said in the past:
      The congiuntivo mood is used to express doubt, possibility, feelings, desire, or suggestions.

      It is almost always preceded by the conjunctive word 'che' or its compounds, such as 'perché', 'affinché', etc.

      Typical phrases that call for the subjunctive tense include:
      Congiuntivo presente
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      The congiuntivo presente is used to express opinion, possibility, feelings, desire, or doubt.

      The forms of the congiuntivo presente are very regular:
      Congiuntivo imperfetto
      The congiuntivo imperfetto is used:

      • to talk about what you wanted someone to do in the past, or about how you wanted things to be
      • to talk about what you would do in an imagined situation.

        To form the congiuntivo imperfetto add this endings to the verb stem:
        Congiuntivo passato
        The congiuntivo passato is used in sentences expressing an emotion, a thought or an opinion about something in the past.

        The congiuntivo passato is formed the same as the passato prossimo, but with the auxiliary verb in the congiuntivo presente.
        The gerundio is used to express contemporaneity, causation, conditionality and hypothesis.

        Gerundio presente
        The gerundio presente is also used in the present progressive and it is formed as follows:
        Gerundio passato
        The gerundio passato is formed as follows:
        gerundio presente of essere / avere + participio passato of the main verb
        The imperativo mood is used for giving orders and offering advice or suggestions.

        In Italian, we use a different form of the imperative depending onwhether you are:
        • telling someone to do something
        • telling someone not to do something
        • speaking to one person or more than one person
        • speaking informally
        • speaking formally

        The imperative of regular verbs is made by adding the following endings to the verb stem:
        Some of the commonest verbs in Italian have irregular imperative forms:
        In the tu and voi forms pronouns come after the imperative and they join with the verb to make one word:
        If there are more than a pronoun, always put the indirect object pronoun first.
        When the pronouns mi, ti, ci, vi are followed by another pronoun they become me-, te-, ce-, ve-, and gli and le become glie-:
        Pronouns come before the lei formal and the loro imperative, and do not join onto it:
        In the negative imperative:
        - in the tu form, pronouns join the infinitive or go before it
        - in the noi and voi forms, pronouns join the verb
        - in the lei and loro forms, pronouns come before the verb
        Made on