• Italian grammar
  • 1 Italian alphabet and pronunciation (letters,...)
  • 2 Function of Italian words (subject, object)
  • 3 Italian articles (the/a, an) [0/16]
  • 4 Italian numbers (cardinal, ordinal) [0/7]
  • 5 Italian nouns [0/13]
  • 6 Italian adjectives [0/17]
  • 6.1 Adjective agreement in Italian (endings) [0/2]
  • 6.2 Qualifying adjectives in Italian [0/3]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in Italian (my, your, his/her...) [0/3]
  • 6.4 Demonstrative adjectives in Italian (this, that) [0/2]
  • 6.5 Indefinite adjectives in Italian (some, any...) [0/3]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in Italian (one, the first...) [0/2]
  • 6.7 Interrogative adjectives in Italian (what/which,...) [0/2]
  • 6.8 List of adjectives in Italian (A-Z)
  • 7 Italian pronouns [0/28]
  • 7.1 Personal pronouns in Italian [0/6]
  • 7.2 Relative pronouns (who, that, which, ...) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.3 Possessive pronouns in Italian (mine, yours, his, ...) [0/4]
  • 7.4 Demonstrative pronouns (this, that, ...) in Italian [0/3]
  • 7.5 Indefinite pronouns (few, some, many, ...) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.6 Interrogative pronouns (who, what, which) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.7 Reflexive pronouns in Italian (myself, each other) [0/3]
  • 8 Italian prepositions [0/25]
  • 8.1 Italian simple prepositions [0/20]
  • 8.1.1 Italian preposition "di" (of, from,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.2 Italian preposition "a" (at, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.3 Italian preposition "da" (by, from,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.4 Italian preposition "in" (in, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.5 Italian preposition "con" (with) [0/1]
  • 8.1.6 Italian preposition "su" (on, over,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.7 Italian preposition "per" (for, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.8 Italian prepositions "tra/ fra" (between, among,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.9 "On" in Italian (su)
  • 8.1.10 "To" in Italian [0/4]
  • 8.1.11 Italian prepositions of place and time [0/3]
  • 8.1.12 Simple preposition chart - English to Italian [0/5]
  • 8.2 Italian articulated prepositions [0/3]
  • 8.3 Expressions with Italian prepositions [0/2]
  • 9 Italian adverbs [0/24]
  • 9.1 Italian adverbs of manner (good, bad, so) [0/4]
  • 9.2 Italian adverbs of frequency and time (always, now) [0/4]
  • 9.3 Italian adverbs of place (here, there) [0/4]
  • 9.4 Italian adverbs of quantity (more, nothing, enough) [0/3]
  • 9.5 Italian affirmation/negation adverbs (Yes, No, Neither) [0/4]
  • 9.6 Italian adverbs of doubt, interrogative/exclamative [0/5]
  • 10 Italian comparatives, superlatives (adjectives/adverbs) [0/7]
  • 11 Italian tenses and verb conjugation [0/17]
  • 11.1 Present tense in Italian (presente indicativo) [0/2]
  • 11.2 Past tenses in Italian [0/11]
  • 11.3 Future tenses in Italian [0/4]
  • 12 Italian verbs [0/94]
  • 12.1 Functions and classification of Italian verbs [0/1]
  • 12.2 Transitive and intransitive verbs in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.3 Active voice and passive voice in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4 Italian regular verbs [0/30]
  • 12.4.1 First conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -are) [0/16]
  • Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the first conjugation (Score -/-)
  • Conjugation of abitare (to dwell) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of amare (to love) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of giocare (to play) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of lavorare (to work) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of mangiare (to eat) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of parlare (to speak) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of studiare (to study) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of pagare (to pay) in Italian [0/1]
  • 12.4.2 Second conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -ere) [0/6]
  • 12.4.3 Third conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -ire) [0/8]
  • 12.5 Italian irregular verbs [0/38]
  • 12.5.1 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -are [0/8]
  • 12.5.2 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -ere [0/24]
  • Conjugation of sapere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of leggere (to read) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of mettere (to put) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of piacere (to like) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of rimanere (to remain, to stay) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of conoscere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of scrivere (to write) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of vivere (to live) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of chiudere (to close, to shut) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of prendere (to take, to catch) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of bere (to drink) in Italian [0/2]
  • Conjugation of tenere (to hold, to keep) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.3 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -ire [0/6]
  • 12.6 Italian modal verbs [0/6]
  • 12.7 Italian reflexive verbs [0/2]
  • 12.8 Verbi sovrabbondanti in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.9 Verbi difettivi in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.10 Verbi fraseologici in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.11 Verbi impersonali in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.12 Auxiliary verbs (essere, avere) in Italian [0/5]
  • 12.13 Verbs and prepositions in Italian
  • 13 Italian moods
  • 14 Indicative mood in Italian
  • 15 Subjunctive in Italian [0/9]
  • 16 Conditional in Italian [0/4]
  • 17 Infinitive in Italian [0/1]
  • 18 Imperative in Italian [0/3]
  • 19 Gerund in Italian [0/3]
  • 20 Present participle in Italian [0/1]
  • 21 Past participle in Italian [0/1]
  • 22 Italian sentences [0/15]
  • 23 Italian conjunctions [0/4]
  • Auxiliary verbs (essere, avere) in Italian

    Italian language uses mainly to auxiliary verbs, namely essere (to be) and avere (to have).

    Function of essere and avere

    The auxiliary verbs are characterized by two main aspects:

    • they have their own meaning: essere expresses the state of being and the existence of someone or of something; avere expresses possession;
    • they are used to form the compound tenses of the verbs.


    Verbs Proper meaning Auxiliary value
    Essere Io sono suo figlio. (I am her son) Loro sono uscite insieme. (They went out together)
    Avere Voi avete una bellissimo gatto. (You have a beautiful cat) Noi non avevamo capito nulla. (We didn't understand nothing)


    How to choose the correct auxiliary verb

    Usage of avere

    Avere as auxiliary is used with:

    • transitive verbs in its active voice;
      e.g. Io ho visto un bel film ieri. (I saw a good movie yesterday);
    • intransitive verbs with an agent as its subject;
      e.g. Tu hai parlato con loro. (You talked with them); Voi avete camminato per ore. (You walked for hours).


    List of verbs with avere as auxiliary

    Infinitive verb Example Translation
    Lavorare Tu hai lavorato fino a tardi. You worked till late.
    Camminare Egli ha camminato per arrivare a casa tua. He walked to reach your house.
    Ridere Perché avete riso così tanto? Why did you laugh so much?
    Dormire Il bambino ha dormito tutto il pomeriggio. The child slept for all the afternoon.


    Usage of essere

    Essere as auxiliary is used with:

    • intransitive verbs as movingstative and changing verbs:
      e.g. La nonna è rimasta a casa. (Grandma stayed at home).
    • reflexive verbs: e.g. Mi sono lavato. (I washed myself);
    • impersonal verbs: e.g. Si era capito che non aveva studiato. (It was clear he hasn't studied).


    List of verbs with essere as auxiliary

    Infinitive form Example Translation
    Arrivare Mia zia è arrivata ieri mattina. My aunt arrived yesterday morning.
    Scoppiare Sono scoppiati tutti i palloncini. All the baloons have burst.
    Cadere Il bambino è caduto mentre correva. The boy has fallen while he was running.
    Andare Come è andato il tuo esame? How was your exam?
    Venire Ieri è venuta con noi. She came with us yesterday.
    Stare Credevo saresti stata a casa di tuo fratello. I thought you would have stayed at your brother's.
    Tornare Come mai siete tornate qui? Why did you come back here?
    Nascere Ieri è nata mia cugina. Yesterday my cousin is born.
    Chiamarsi Quella città è chiamata la Città del Sole. That city is called the City of Light.
    Arrabbiarsi Voi vi siete arrabbiati molto. You really got angry.
    Lavarsi Tu ti sei sempre lavato la sera. You have always washed yourself in the evening.


    Verbs with both essere and avere

    There are some verbs that don't follow strictly this distinction.

    enlightenedRemember! You could find verbs with both essere and avere.

    Unfortunately, there are not a clear way to identify these verbs.

    The presence of essere or avere could depend on:

    • the subject, if it's animate or inanimate:
      e.g. L'uomo ammalato è migliorato. (The sick man is getting better); Il tempo è migliorato. (The weather cleared).
    • the meaning:
      e.g. L'aereo ha volato per ore. (The plane has flown for hours); L'aereo è volato a Los Angeles. (The plane flew to Los Angeles).


    List of some verbs with both avere and essere as auxiliary verbs

    Infinitive form Example Translation
    Vivere Ho vissuto in Inghilterra.
    Sono vissuto in Inghilterra.
    I lived in England.
    Correre Sono corso alla fermata dell'autobus.
    Ho corso una maratona.
    I ran to the bus station.
    I ran the marathon.
    Finire Hai finito presto i compiti.
    Il film è finito tardi.
    You have finished your homework soon.
    The movie finished late at night.


    Choose the correct form between essere or avere for the following verbs

    Next lessons

    1 Conjugation of essere (to be) in Italian A lesson on the Italian auxiliary verb essere (to be).
    2 Conjugation of avere (to have) in Italian A lesson on the Italian auxiliary verb avere