In this tutorial we’re going to start looking at Italian verbs. We can use verbs together with the personal pronouns that we learned in the last tutorial.

In Italian, the verb itself changes depending on who it refers to (I, you, she, etc).

This means that it’s usually not necessary to use the pronoun too, except sometimes for emphasis. But we’ll use it here, for the sake of clarity.

The infinitive of a verb is the form you find in the dictionary. In English, Italian infinitive forms have to be translated as “to … [verb]”. For example, mangiare in Italian translates into English as the words “to eat”. Mangiare is the infinitive form of the Italian verb used to indicate eating.

Italian regular verbs have infinitives that can end in any of three different ways. These endings are:

  • -are
  • -ere
  • -ire

Each of these three types of verb changes in a different characteristic pattern depending on who they refer to.

In this lesson we’ll start by looking at the verb mangiare which means “to eat” in Italian. So in this lesson we will learn the pattern of regular -are verbs, of which mangiare is a good example.

The root of the verb mangiare is “mang”. We add various endings to this root, depending on how the verb is being used. The endings we add are the same for all regular -are verbs.

Important note: personal pronouns are used less frequently in Italian than in English. You can use them, but often you don’t have to. This is because the person the verb refers to is already included in the ending of the verb.

For example, you can say io mangio (I eat), but just mangio by itself has the same meaning and is valid Italian.


We’re going to be showing you lots of examples of verbs that are regular in the present tense (we’re only looking at the present tense here!).

So if this information seems a bit much now, don’t worry, because you’ll get lots of practice in this and subseqent articles.

Some of these verbs are irregular in the past or future or other tenses, but that needn’t concern us yet.

Conjugation of Regular -Are Verbs

Personal Pronoun Verb Ending
Io -o
Tu -i
Lui -a
Lei -a
Noi -iamo
Voi -iate
Loro -iano

“To Eat” in Italian

Mangiare in Italian means to eat.

Mangiare

“I eat” in Italian

Io mangio in Italian means I eat.

Io mangio

“You eat” in Italian

Tu mangi in Italian means you eat.

Tu mangi

“He eats” in Italian

Lui mangia in Italian means he eats.

Lui mangia

“He eats” in Italian

Lei mangia means she eats.

Lei mangia

“We eat” in Italian

Noi mangiamo means we eat.

Noi mangiamo

“You eat” in Italian

Voi mangiate is the Italian plural form of you eat.

Voi mangiate

“They eat” in Italian

Loro mangiano is Italian for they eat.

Loro mangiano

Exercises

Translate the following sentences into English.

Click the link below to view the answers.

  1. Loro mangiano la torta.
  2. Tu mangi la pizza.
  3. Noi mangiamo troppo.
  4. Mi piace mangiare.
  5. Voi siete grandi.
  6. Sei tu Marco?
  7. Questa pizza è rossa
Show answers »
  1. They eat the cake.
  2. You eat the pizza.
  3. We eat too much.
  4. I like to eat.
  5. You (plural) are big.
  6. Are you Mark?
  7. This pizza is red.

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