Italian verbs are essential components of sentences, expressing actions, states, and conditions. Understanding how Italian verbs work is essential for effective communication.

The Three Conjugations

Italian verbs undergo changes in their endings, called conjugations, to indicate different grammatical features such as tense, mood, person, and number. Verbs can be regular or irregular, and their conjugation patterns vary. The three main verb conjugation classes in Italian are as follows.

Conjugation Ending Example
First conjugation -are parlare - to speak
Second conjugation -ere leggere - to books
Third Conjugation -ire dormire - to sleep

Verbs that end in "-are", "-ere", or "-ire" are called their infinitive form. Which simply means the verb with "to" in front, i.e. the act of performing the action.

Verb Tenses

Italian verbs can be conjugated in various tenses, allowing speakers to express when the action took place.

There are actually over 12 tenses in italian! But do not worry about trying to learn all of them and instead focus just on the four most common ones.

  • Present tense: Expresses actions happening in the present.
    For example, "Io mangio" (I eat).
  • Future tense: Indicates actions that will occur in the future.
    For example, "Io mangerò" (I will eat).
  • Present Perfect | "Passato Prossimo" (Recent Past) tense: Refers to actions that have already happened, or just happened.
    For example, "Io ho mangiato" (I have eaten).
    The Present Perfect tense also requires the auxiliary verb "avere", "to have", to be used before the verb, just like in English.
  • Imperfect tense: Refers to actions in the past, but not at a specific time. In English, words like "used to ____" or "was _____", or sometimes "_____ed"
    For example, "Io mangiavo" (I used to eat | I ate).

Verb Agreement

Italian verbs agree with the subject in person and number. The endings change accordingly to match the subject and tense. Here's an example of the four basic tenses for "mangiare" - to eat.

This is also a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with Italian pronouns. "io"(i), "tu"(singular you), "lui/lei"(he/sh), "noi"(we),"voi"(plural you), and "loro"(they).


io mangio

i eat

tu mangi

you eat

lui/lei mangia

he/she eats

noi mangiamo

we eat

voi mangiate

you all eat

loro mangiano

they eat


io mangerò

i will eat

tu mangerai

you will eat

lui/lei mangerà

he/she will eat

noi mangeremo

we will eat

voi mangerete

you all will eat

loro mangeranno

they will eat


io mangiavo

i ate

tu mangiavi

you ate

lui/lei mangiava

he/she ate

noi mangiavamo

we ate

voi mangiavate

you all ate

loro mangiavano

they ate

Present Perfect

io ho mangiato

i have eaten

tu hai mangiato

you have eaten

lui/lei ha mangiato

he/she has eaten

noi abbiamo mangiato

we have eaten

voi avete mangiato

you all have eaten

loro hanno mangiato

they have eaten

Regular and Irregular Verbs

Similar to English, Italian also has the concept of regular verbs and irregular verbs. Regular verbs follow a certain set of rules which can be applied when conjugating. Irregular verbs do not follow any system. On this site, all verbs are marked as regular or irregular, so you know when to apply the normal conjugation rules and when it's required to memorize an irregular verb's various conjugations for each tense.

Regular Verbs Reference Table

Use the following table as a reference when studying or reviewing regular verbs. Although it may be tempting to commit the below table to memory, the best way to get started getting familiar with how verbs change from tense to tense is to jump right into the verb study decks and see how each verb looks and sounds across the various tenses.

Tense Subject Ends With Replace With
Present io are o
ere o
ire o
tu are i
ere i
ire i
lui/lei are a
ere e
ire e
noi are iamo
ere iamo
ire iamo
voi are ate
ere ete
ire ite
loro are ano
ere ono
ire ono
io are ato
ere uto
ire ito
tu are ato
ere uto
ire ito
lui/lei are ato
ere uto
ire ito
noi are ato
ere uto
ire ito
voi are ato
ere uto
ire ito
loro are ato
ere uto
ire ito
Future io are erò
ere erò
ire irò
tu are erai
ere erai
ire irai
lui/lei are erà
ere erà
ire irà
noi are eremo
ere eremo
ire iremo
voi are erete
ere erete
ire irete
loro are eranno
ere eranno
ire iranno
Imperfect io are avo
ere evo
ire ivo
tu are avi
ere evi
ire ivi
lui/lei are ava
ere eva
ire iva
noi are avamo
ere evamo
ire ivamo
voi are avate
ere evate
ire ivate
loro are avano
ere evano
ire ivano
© 2023 1000 Words, LLC