HOME > Course Materials > Grammar - Verbs 3
VERBS - part 3

Verbs are 'action words'! The verb is the element that conveys information on what the subject does or is and what actions he/she/it accomplishes or undergoes.

 

CONDIZIONALE PASSATO

The past conditional has the same function of the present conditional but it refers to the past. It suggests, proposes, expresses a desire, a doubt, a gentle request or it expresses an action that could have occured "on condition that...".
The past conditional is often used when reporting a rumor, or in an indirect discourse after verbs of "feeling, knowing, saying..." in the past.
The past conditional is also used to express the future in the past.

"Avrei voluto... Si sarebbe insinuato che... Disse che l'indomani avrebbe finito il lavoro." (I would have liked... One would have suggested that... He said the following day he would have finished the work).

 

The "condizionale passato" is a "compound tense" (like the "passato prossimo") because it is formed with one of the auxiliary verbs ("essere" or "avere") plus the past participle of a verb. Whether it requires "essere" or "avere", depends on the verb.

If the verb is a transitive verb, it requires the auxiliary "avere". If the verb is intransitive (like most verbs that express movement or state of being) or if the verb is reflexive, it requires the auxiliary "essere".

 

CONDIZIONALE PASSATO of TRANSITIVE VERBS Lesson i_8 back button

 

Transitive verbs may be followed by an object to complete their meaning "leggo la lettera" (I read the letter) I read what? I read the letter.

 

The past conditional of transitive verbs is formed with the present conditional of "AVERE" + the past participle of the verb.

 

"Mangiare, Leggere, Aprire" - Condizionale passato

 

Pronoun Mangiare Leggere Aprire
io avrei mangiato
(I would have eaten)
avrei letto
(I would have read)
avrei aperto
(I would have opened)
tu avresti mangiato avresti letto avresti aperto
lui avrebbe mangiato avrebbe letto avrebbe aperto
lei avrebbe mangiato avrebbe letto avrebbe aperto
Lei avrebbe mangiato avrebbe letto avrebbe aperto
noi avremmo mangiato avremmo letto avremmo aperto
voi avreste mangiato avreste letto avreste aperto
loro avrebbero mangiato avrebbero letto avrebbero aperto

 

 

CONDIZIONALE PASSATO of INTRANSITIVE VERBS Lesson i_8 back button

 

Intransitive verbs don't need an object to complete their meaning.

 

The past conditional of most intransitive verbs is formed with the present conditional of "ESSERE" + the past participle of the verb (if you are not sure whether a verb requires "essere" or "avere" check the dictionary.) With "essere", the past participle must agree in gender and number with the subject of the verb.

 

"Andare, Rimanere, Venire" - Condizionale passato

 

Pronoun Andare Rimanere Venire
io sarei andato/a
(I would have gone)
sarei rimasto/a
(I would have remained)
sarei venuto/a
(I would have come)
tu saresti andato/a saresti rimasto/a saresti venuto/a
lui sarebbe andato sarebbe rimasto sarebbe venuto
lei sarebbe andata sarebbe rimasta sarebbe venuta
Lei sarebbe andato/a sarebbe rimasto/a sarebbe venuto/a
noi saremmo andati/e saremmo rimasti/e saremmo venuti/e
voi sareste andati/e sareste rimasti/e sareste venuti/e
loro sarebbero andati/e sarebbero rimasti/e sarebbero venuti/e

 

Essere Avere
io sarei stato/a
(I would have been)
tu saresti stato/a...
io avrei avuto
(I would have had)
tu avresti avuto...

 

Remember:

  • "dormire"(to sleep), "rispondere" (to answer), "viaggiare" (to travel), "vivere" (to live) though intransitive require the auxiliary "avere" ("ho dormito, ho risposto, ho viaggiato, ho vissuto...")
  • verbs that express movement, like "venire" (to come), "andare" (to go), "uscire" (to go out)... require the auxiliary "essere"
  • verbs that express state of being, like "essere" (to be), "stare" (to stay), "rimanere" (to remain), "nascere" (to be born)... require the auxiliary "essere"
  • reflexive verbs require the verb "essere"
  • the verb "piacere" requires the auxiliary "essere"
  • for the position of the pronouns with compound tenses, please refer to the pronouns section

 

IMPERATIVO

The imperative is used to order, command or exhort. It does not present the first and third singular persons ("io, lui, lei"): "Scrivi quella lettera!" (Write that letter!) With the polite forms "Lei" and "Loro" it is used mostly as an exhortation: "Signora, scriva quella lettera!" (Madame, write that letter!)

 

 

MODO IMPERATIVO

Dà ordini, esorta

 

ama!
(love!)

amiamo!

...

 

 

IMPERATIVO of REGULAR VERBS Lesson i_10 back button

 

The imperative of regular verbs is formed by replacing the ending of the infinitive with the endings of the imperative.

 

"Cantare, Leggere, Dormire" - Imperativo

 

Pronoun Cantare Leggere Dormire
io _ _ _ _ _ _
(tu) cant-a!
(sing!)
non cantare!
(don't sing!)
legg-i!
(read!)
non leggere!
(don't read!)
dorm-i!
(sleep!)
non dormire!
(don't sleep!)
(lui) _ _ _ _ _ _
(lei) _ _ _ _ _ _
(Lei) cant-i! legg-a! dorm-a!
(noi) cant-iamo! legg-iamo! dorm-iamo!
(voi) cant-ate! legg-ete! dorm-ite!
(Loro) cant-ino! legg-ano! dorm-ano!

 

Remember:

  • The polite form "Loro" is rarely used
  • In the negative form, the second singular person uses "non + infinitive"
  • With the first and second persons, the pronouns follow the imperative and are attached to it ("leggimi la lettera, cantatemi una canzone, compriamole un regalo")
  • In a formal approach, with "Lei" or "Loro", the pronoun remains in front of the verb (Signora, mi mandi due righe!)

 

IMPERATIVO of IRREGULAR VERBS Lesson i_10 back button

 

Some verbs may be irregular in the imperative but not in the present (or viceversa).

 

To help you memorizing some of them, we created four categories:

 

"Andare, Avere, Essere" - Imperativo

 

This category presents a change in the stem

 

And-are Avere Essere

_ _

va-i
(go)
vad-a
and-iamo
and-ate
vad-ano

_ _

abb-i
(have)
abbi-a
abb-iamo
abb-iate
abb-iano

_ _

sii
(be)
si-a
s-iamo
s-iate
s-iano

 

 

"Rimanere, Tenere, Venire" - Imperativo

 

This category presents a contraction and a change of stem

 

Riman-ere Ten-ere Ven-ire

_ _

riman-i
(stay)
rimang-a
riman-iamo
riman-ete
rimang-ano

_ _

tien-i
(keep)
teng-a
ten-iamo
ten-ete
teng-ano

_ _

vien-i
(come)
veng-a
ven-iamo
ven-ite
veng-ano

 

 

"Dare, Dire, Fare, Stare" - Imperativo

 

This category presents a contraction

 

Da-re Di-re Fa-re Sta-re

_ _

da' (dai)
(give)
di-a
d-iamo
d-ate
d-iano

_ _

di' (dici)
(say)
dic-a
dic-iamo
d-ite
dic-ano

_ _

fa' (fai)
(do)
facci-a
facc-iamo
f-ate
facc-iano

_ _

sta' (stai)
(stay)
sti-a
st-iamo
st-ate
st-iano

 

IMPORTANT: whenever a pronoun is attached to the familiar singular form (tu) of the imperative of "dare, dire, fare, stare" the initial consonant is doubled (e.g. "di'+mi = dimmi; di'+ci = dicci; fa'+le = falle; fa'+ci = facci...").

The pronominal particles "ne" and "ci" follow the same rule ("da'+mi = dammi; sta'+lì = stacci..."). The only pronoun that does not double is "gli" (e.g. "da'+gli = dagli").

 

"Dimenticare, Pagare" - Imperativo

 

The category of verbs whose infinitive end with "c+are" or "g+are" ("hard sound" as Karl, Carlo), adds an "h" in front of "i" (to maintain the "hard sound effect")

 

Dimenti-c-are Pa-g-are

_ _

dimentic-a
(forget)
dimentich-i
dimentich-iamo
dimentic-ate
dimentich-ino

_ _

paga
(pay)
pagh-i
pagh-iamo
pag-ate
pagh-ino

 

Remember:

  • The polite form "Loro" is rarely used
  • In the negative form, the second singular person uses "non + infinitive"
  • With the first and second persons, the pronouns follow the imperative and are attached to it ("leggimi la lettera, cantatemi una canzone, compriamole un regalo")
  • In a formal approach, with "Lei" or "Loro", the pronoun remains in front of the verb (Signora, mi mandi due righe!)

 

INFINITO

The present infinitive is the form of the verb presented in dictionaries and it expresses the meaning of a verb (e.g.: "ballare" = to dance).

 

The infinitive" has a present form (infinito presente) and a past form (infinito passato). The characteristic of the infinitive, as well as the "gerundio", is that it doesn't change form: "Mi piace mangiare" (I like to eat). "Dopo avere mangiato lavo i denti" (After eating I brush my teeth).

 

 

MODO INFINITO

Contiene la radice del verbo e per questo offre "infinite possibilità" di esprimersi

 

Tempo Presente Tempo Passato
amare
(to love)
avere amato
(to have loved)

 

 

INFINITO PRESENTE Lesson i_10 back button

The infinitive may end in "are", "ere" or "ire", the three classes of Italian verbs: first class: verbs ending with "are" (e.g.: "ballare" = to dance);

second class: verbs ending with "ere" (e.g.: "ridere" = to laugh);

third class: verbs ending with "ire" (e.g.: "dormire" = to sleep.)

Remember: "avere, essere, dire, bere, fare" have an irregular infinitive.

 

"Cantare, Ridere, Dormire" - Infinito presente

 

Cantare Ridere Dormire

 

Remember, the present infinitive can be used also:

  • as a noun; "mangiare bene è importante" (it is important to eat well)
  • to express an order or an instruction instead of the imperative; "versare il latte e cuocere per due minuti" (pour the milk and cook for two minutes)
  • to express a negative command; "non fare così!" (don't do that!)
  • following another verb in a dependent clause; "desidero scrivere una lettera" (I'd like to write a letter.) The present infinitive in this case indicates that the action of the dependent clause happens at the same time or subsequently to the action of the main clause
  • With the infinitive, (dropping its last vowel), the pronouns follow the verb ("lavarmi, scrivergli, parlarci...")

 

INFINITO PASSATO of TRANSITIVE VERBS Lesson a_2 back button

 

The "infinito passato" of transitive verbs is formed with the "infinito" of "AVERE" + the past participle of the verb.

 

"Cantare, Ridere, Dormire" - Infinito passato

 

Avere cantato Avere riso Avere dormito

 

 

INFINITO PASSATO of INTRANSITIVE VERBS Lesson a_2 back button

 

The "infinito passato" of INtransitive verbs is formed with the "infinito" of "ESSERE" + the past participle of the verb.

 

"Andare, Rimanere, Venire" - Infinito passato

 

Essere andato Essere rimasto Essere venuto

 

Remember, the past infinitive can be used:

  • following another verb in a dependent clause; "mi sarebbe piaciuto avere scritto una lettera" (I would have liked to write a letter.) The past infinitive in this case indicates that the action of the dependent clause happens prior to the action of the main clause

 

GERUNDIO

In a sentence, the "gerundio" expresses the time, cause or condition of an action that happens at the same time or prior to the action expressed by the main verb. The subject of the "gerundio" must be the same of the one expressed by the other verb; "io, andando a scuola, ho incontrato il mio amico" (while I was going to school I met my friend).

 

 

MODO GERUNDIO

Indica un'azione in corso (dal latino "gerendus" = agire)

 

Tempo Presente Tempo Passato
amando
(loving)
avendo amato
(having loved)

 

 

GERUNDIO PRESENTE Lesson a_2 back button

The "gerundio presente" of regular verbs is formed by replacing the ending of the infinitive with the endings of the "gerundio presente."

 

The "gerundio presente" expresses an action that happens at the same time of the action expressed by the main verb.

 

"Cantare, Ridere, Dormire" - Gerundio presente

 

Cant-ando Rid-endo Dorm-endo

 

 

 

GERUNDIO PASSATO Lesson a_2 back button

 

The "gerundio passato" expresses an action that happens prior to the action expressed by the main verb.

 

GERUNDIO PASSATO of TRANSITIVE VERBS

 

The "gerundio passato" of transitive verbs is formed with the "gerundio" of "AVERE" + the past participle of the verb.

 

"Cantare, Ridere, Dormire" - Gerundio passato

 

Avendo cantato Avendo riso Avendo dormito

 

 

GERUNDIO PASSATO of INTRANSITIVE VERBS

 

The "gerundio passato" of INtransitive verbs is formed with the "gerundio" of "ESSERE" + the past participle of the verb.

 

"Andare, Rimanere, Venire" - Gerundio passato

 

Essendo andato Essendo rimasto Essendo venuto

 

Remember:

  • "avere, essere, dire, bere, fare" are irregular and have the following form of "gerundio presente": "avendo, essendo, dicendo, bevendo, facendo"
  • With the "gerundio" the pronouns follow the verb ("lavandomi, parlandomi...")

 

PASSATO REMOTO

Il "passato remoto" (remote-past tense) is rarely used in conversation (except for some regions). It expresses an action completed in the past, that no longer has reference in the present: "Leonardo da Vinci nacque nel 1452" (Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452). Mostly, it is a past tense widely used in writing for historical or literary narrations.

 

PASSATO REMOTO of REGULAR VERBS Lesson a_5 back button

The "passato remoto" (remote past) of regular verbs is formed by replacing the ending of the infinitive with the endings of the "passato remoto".

 

"Amare, Temere, Dormire" - Passato remoto

 

Pronoun Amare Temere Dormire
io am-ai
(I loved)
tem-ei ("tem-etti")
(I feared)
dorm-ii
(I slept)
tu am-asti tem-esti dorm-isti
lui am-ò tem-ette dorm-ì
lei am-ò tem-ette dorm-ì
Lei am-ò tem-ette dorm-ì
noi am-ammo tem-emmo dorm-immo
voi am-aste tem-este dorm-iste
loro am-arono tem-erono ("tem-ettero") dorm-irono

 

 

PASSATO REMOTO of IRREGULAR VERBS Lesson a_5 back button

 

Some verbs may be irregular in the "passato remoto" but not in the present conjugation (or viceversa.)

 

In order to help you memorize some of them, we created six categories:

 

"Chiedere, Chiudere, Correre, Decidere, Perdere, Piangere, Ridere, Rimanere, Sorridere, Vincere" - Passato remoto

 

In the first singular person and third persons, this category changes the last consonant of the stem into "s" before adding the endings of the "passato remoto"

 

Chied-ere Chiud-ere Corr-ere Decid-ere Perd-ere
chies-i
(I asked)
chied-esti
chies-e
chied-emmo
chied-este
chies-ero
chius-i
(I closed)
chiud-esti
chius-e
chiud-emmo
chiud-este
chius-ero
cors-i
(I ran)
corr-esti
cors-e
corr-emmo
corr-este
cors-ero
decis-i
(I decided)
decid-esti
decis-e
decid-emmo
decid-este
decis-ero
pers-i
(I lost)
perd-esti
pers-e
perd-emmo
perd-este
pers-ero

 

Piang-ere Rid-ere Riman-ere Sorrid-ere Vinc-ere
pians-i
(I cried)
piang-esti
pians-e
piang-emmo
piang-este
pians-ero
ris-i
(I laughed)
rid-esti
ris-e
rid-emmo
rid-este
ris-ero
rimas-i
(I stayed)
riman-esti
rimas-e
riman-emmo
riman-este
rimas-ero
sorris-i
(I smiled)
sorrid-esti
sorris-e
sorrid-emmo
sorrid-este
sorris-ero
vins-i
(I won)
vinc-esti
vins-e
vinc-emmo
vinc-este
vins-ero

 

"Piovere, Tenere, Venire, Volere" - Passato remoto

 

In the first singular person and third persons, this category doubles the last consonant of the stem before adding the endings of the "passato remoto"

 

Piov-ere Ten-ere Ven-ire Vol-ere



piovve
(it rained)

piovv-ero
tenn-i
(I kept)
ten-esti
tenn-e
ten-emmo
ten-este
tenn-ero
venn-i
(I came)
ven-isti
venn-e
ven-emmo
ven-iste
venn-ero
voll-i
(I wanted)
vol-esti
voll-e
vol-emmo
vol-este
voll-ero

 

"Accendere, Prendere, Rispondere" - Passato remoto

 

In the first singular person and third persons, this category changes the consonant "nd" of the stem into "s" before adding the endings of the "passato remoto"

 

Accend-ere Prend-ere Rispond-ere
acces-i
(I switched on)
accend-esti
acces-e
accend-emmo
accend-este
acces-ero
pres-i
(I took)
prend-esti
pres-e
prend-emmo
prend-este
pres-ero
rispos-i
(I answered)
rispond-esti
rispos-e
rispond-emmo
rispond-este
rispos-ero

 

"Dire, Leggere, Scrivere, Vivere" - Passato remoto

 

In the first singular person and third persons, this category changes the last consonant or consonants of the stem into "ss" before adding the endings of the "passato remoto"

 

Dire (Dic-ere) Legg-ere Scriv-ere Viv-ere
diss-i
(I said)
dic-esti
diss-e
dic-emmo
dic-este
diss-ero
less-i
(I read)
legg-esti
less-e
legg-emmo
legg-este
less-ero
scriss-i
(I wrote)
scriv-esti
scriss-e
scriv-emmo
scriv-este
scriss-ero
viss-i
(I lived)
viv-esti
viss-e
viv-emmo
viv-este
viss-ero

 

"Nascere, Piacere" - Passato remoto

 

In the first singular person and third persons, this category changes stem and adds a "q" before adding the endings of the "passato remoto"

 

Nasc-ere Piac-ere
nacqu-i
(I was born)
nasc-esti
nacqu-e
nasc-emmo
nasc-este
nacqu-ero
piacqu-i
(I liked/was liked)
piac-esti
piacqu-e
piac-emmo
piac-este
piacqu-ero

 

"Avere, Bere, Conoscere, Dare, Fare, Mettere, Sapere, Spegnere, Stare, Vedere " - Passato remoto

 

In the first singular person and third persons, this category changes stem before adding the endings of the "passato remoto"

 

Av-ere Bere Conosc-ere Dare Fare
ebbi
(I had)
av-esti
ebbe
av-emmo
av-este
ebbero
bevv-i
(I drank)
bev-esti
bevv-e
bev-emmo
bev-este
bevv-ero
conobb-i
(I knew/learned)
conosc-esti
conobb-e
conosc-emmo
conosc-este
conobb-ero
died-i
(I gave)
d-esti
died-e
d-emmo
d-este
died-ero
fec-i
(I did/made)
fac-esti
fec-e
fac-emmo
fac-este
fec-ero

 

Mett-ere Sap-ere Spegn-ere St-are Ved-ere
mis-i
(I put)
mett-esti
mis-e
mett-emmo
mett-este
mis-ero
sepp-i
(I knew/learned)
sap-esti
sepp-e
sap-emmo
sap-este
sepp-ero
spens-i
(I switched off)
spegn-esti
spens-e
spegn-emmo
spegn-este
spens-ero
stett-i
(I stayed)
st-esti
stett-e
st-emmo
st-este
stett-ero
vid-i
(I looked/whatched)
ved-esti
vid-e
ved-emmo
ved-este
vid-ero

 

"Essere" - Passato remoto

 

This verb changes stem in the "passato remoto"

 

Ess-ere
fui
(I was)
fo-sti
fu
fu-mmo
fo-ste
furono

 

 

TRAPASSATO REMOTO

The "trapassato remoto" expresses an action that happened prior to the one expressed by another past tense: "Garibaldi, dopo che ebbe radunato gli uomini, partì per la Sicilia" (After Garibaldi had grouped the men, they all left for Sicily).

 

The "trapassato remoto" is a "compound tense" (like the "passato prossimo") because it is formed with one of the auxiliary verbs ("essere" or "avere") plus the past participle of a verb. Whether it requires "essere" or "avere", depends on the verb.

If the verb is a transitive verb, it requires the auxiliary "avere".

If the verb is intransitive (like most verbs that express movement or state of being) or if the verb is reflexive, it requires the auxiliary "essere".

 

TRAPASSATO REMOTO of TRANSITIVE VERBS Lesson a_5 back button

Transitive verbs may be followed by an object to complete their meaning "leggo la lettera" (I read the letter) I read what? I read the letter.

 

The "trapassato remoto" of transitive verbs is formed with the "passato remoto" of "AVERE" + the past participle of the verb.

 

"Mangiare, Leggere, Aprire" - Trapassato remoto

 

Pronoun Mangiare Leggere Aprire
io ebbi mangiato
(I had eaten)
ebbi letto
(I had read)
ebbi aperto
(I had opened)
tu avesti mangiato avesti letto avesti aperto
lui ebbe mangiato ebbe letto ebbe aperto
lei ebbe mangiato ebbe letto ebbe aperto
Lei ebbe mangiato ebbe letto ebbe aperto
noi avemmo mangiato avemmo letto avemmo aperto
voi aveste mangiato aveste letto aveste aperto
loro ebbero mangiato ebbero letto ebbero aperto

 

 

TRAPASSATO REMOTO of INTRANSITIVE VERBS Lesson a_5 back button

 

Intransitive verbs don't need an object to complete their meaning. The "trapassato remoto" of most intransitive verbs is formed with the "passato remoto" of "ESSERE" + the past participle of the verb (if you are not sure whether a verb requires "essere" or "avere" check the dictionary.)

With "essere", the past participle must agree in gender and number with the subject of the verb.

 

"Andare, Nascere, Venire" - Trapassato remoto

 

Pronoun Andare Venire
io fui andato/a
(I had gone)
fui venuto/a
(I had come)
tu fosti andato/a fosti venuto/a
lui fu andato fu venuto
lei fu andata fu venuta
Lei fu andato/a fu venuto/a
noi fummo andati/e fummo venuti/e
voi foste andati/e foste venuti/e
loro furono andati/e furono venuti/e

 

Remember:

  • "dormire"(to sleep), "rispondere" (to answer), "viaggiare" (to travel), "vivere" (to live) though intransitive require the auxiliary "avere" ("ho dormito, ho risposto, ho viaggiato, ho vissuto...")
  • verbs that express movement, like "venire" (to come), "andare" (to go), "uscire" (to go out)... require the auxiliary "essere"
  • verbs that express state of being, like "essere" (to be), "stare" (to stay), "rimanere" (to remain), "nascere" (to be born)... require the auxiliary "essere"
  • reflexive verbs require the verb "essere"
  • the verb "piacere" requires the auxiliary "essere"
  • for the position of the pronouns with compound tenses, please refer to the pronouns section

To continue with the verbs page click here

 

For an automatic verb conjugator visit: Virgilio/Verbi

 

TESTIMONIAL (more...):

VIDEO: Introduction to the CyberItalian courses

CyberItalian is viewable with any browser (PC/Mac) and most smartphones (iOS/Android)