The present tense in Italian belongs to the indicative mood and it is called presente indicativo.
The presente indicativo refers to an action that takes place in the present.
In English you have to use personal pronouns to express the subject. In Italian, the subject of a sentence is often indicated by the ending of the verb so there is no need to use personal pronouns.
e.g. (Io) vado a Bologna (I go to Bologna)
(Gianni) suona il pianoforte (Gianni plays the piano)
In Italian the presente indicativo is also used to indicate the present progressive tense (present continuous).
e.g. Giulia canta una canzone (Giulia is singing a song)
Riccardo manda un messaggio ad un amico (Riccardo is texting a friend)
There are other situations in which it is possible to use the presente indicativo:
|Presente pro futuro|
*In Italian the verb "to be born" can be used in the present tense because of the historical present, but in English it is impossible to express the same concept using the present tense. In this case it is necessary to say Giotto was born in 1267.
There are some words that can help you to indicate that you have to use the presente indicativo.
The most common marker words are:
|Ogni giorno/mese/anno||Every day/month/year|
|Due volte alla settimana||Twice a week|
|Tra tre ore/giorni||In three hours/days|
|In questo momento||In this moment/Right now|
The presente indicativo is formed as follows:
Regular verbs form the presente indicativo by adding the following endings to the root of the verb.
Verbs of the first conjugation add the following endings: -o, -i, -a, -iamo, -ate, -ano.
Example amare (to love):
|Io||am||o||Io amo il calcio||I love football|
|Tu||am||i||Tu ami il calcio||You love football|
|Egli/Ella||am||a||Egli ama il calcio||He loves football|
|Noi||am||iamo||Noi amiamo il calcio||We love football|
|Voi||am||ate||Voi amate il calcio||You love football|
|Essi/Esse||am||ano||Essi amano il calcio||They love fotball|
Verbs of the second conjugation add the following endings: -o, -i, -e, -iamo, -ete, -ono.
Example correre (to run):
|Io||corr||o||Io corro intorno al parco||I run around the park|
|Tu||corr||i||Tu corri intono al parco||You run around the park|
|Egli/Ella||corr||e||Egli corre intorno al parco||He runs around the park|
|Noi||corr||iamo||Noi corriamo intorno al parco||We run around the park|
|Voi||corr||ete||Voi correte intorno al parco||You run around the park|
|Essi/Esse||corr||ono||Essi corrono intorno al parco||They run around the park|
Verbs of the third conjugation add the following endings: -o, -i, -e, -iamo, -ite, -ono.
Example partire (to leave):
|Io||part||o||Io parto per la Grecia||I leave to (go to) Greece|
|Tu||part||i||Tu parti per la Grecia||You leave to (go to) Greece|
|Egli/Ella||part||e||Egli parte per la Grecia||He leaves to (go to) Greece|
|Noi||part||iamo||Noi partiamo per la Grecia||We leave to (go to) Greece|
|Voi||part||ite||Voi partite per la Grecia||You leave to (go to) Greece|
|Essi/Esse||part||ono||Essi partono per la Grecia||They leave to (go to) Greece|
The majority of Italian verbs are irregular.
There are no grammatical rules to follow in order to conjugate such verbs.
Irregular verbs have to be studied by heart.
Here you can find a list of the main irregular verbs based on the conjugation they belong to.
The main irregular verbs in the presente indicativo are:
Here is the conjugation for the irregular verbs andare, fare and dare:
|Andare (To go)||Fare (To do/make)||Dare (To give)|
Here is the conjugation for the irregular verbs bere, dovere, potere, sapere, vedere, volere:
|Bere (To drink)||Dovere (Must/have to)||Potere (Can)||Sapere (To know)||Vedere (To see)||Volere (To want)|
Here is the conjugation for the irregular verbs finire, venire, uscire, dire:
|Finire (To finish)||Venire (To come)||Uscire (To exit)||Dire (To say)|
Please, keep in mind that the auxiliary verbs (essere and avere) are irregular verbs!
Auxiliary verbs are irregular verbs so their conjugation has to be studied by heart.
Here is the conjugation for essere and avere
|Essere (to be)||Avere (to have)|
Now it is time you try to do our exercises on the presente indicativo!
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My name is Daniela and I am a qualified Italian language teacher! I teach Italian and English at school, and Spanish and French as a freelancer. I love foreign languages, translating, reading and listening to music. Are you ready to start your language learning path with me? We are going to learn many things and to talk a lot! Don’t worry if you’ve never studied the language before: everyone can attend my classes – from beginner to advanced students. You just need passion for what you're going to do and... a good Internet connection. Materials are provided by me!
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