5 Tips on how to learn Italian verbs
How to learn Italian verbs? Learning Italian verbs is easier with the right techniques.
Verbs perform different functions in the sentence: they can indicate a state (stare/to stay), an action (camminare/to walk), a change (diventare/ to become) or an event (piovere/ to rain).
It is necessary to distinguish and learn different types of verbs that have variations, the famous conjugations. Conjugations are the forms that the verb takes to express the tense (present, past, future), the mode (indicative, subjunctive, etc.), the number (singular or plural) and the person (who acts).
At the word conjugation, the mind goes to pages full of tables of regular and irregular verbs to be memorized with repetitive exercises. But there are funnier ways to learn Italian verbs and start speaking Italian quickly.
Italian verb to learn
The first thing you need to learn to be able to speak Italian quickly is the most common irregular verbs, such as essere (to be), avere (to have), fare (to do), andare (to go) e stare (to stay).
You don’t need to learn all the Italian irregular verbs right away. With practice, you will begin to remember the various conjugations of irregular verbs a little and memorize them more quickly.
Fare is a very versatile verb, it is used to describe many activities, both physical and creative. Here are some examples:
- Say what you do for work: Faccio l’insegnante di italiano/ I am an Italian teacher
- Making plans: What time shall we meet tomorrow? Facciamo alle 15.00./ Let’s meet at 3.00 pm.
- Indicate the sensation that something causes you (add the pronoun “mi” before the verb): – L’ananas non mi piace, mi fa schifo./ I don’t like pineapple. It disgusts me. – Giacomo è simpatico, mi fa sempre ridere. / Giacomo is funny, he always makes me laugh.
- Describe the weather: Fa caldo oggi. /It is hot today.
The verb stare (to stay) also allows you to say a lot with little effort. Here are some examples:
- To describe a temporary condition: -Come stai? Sto bene. /How are you? I’m fine. – Stiamo qui ancora un po’./Let’s stay here a little longer.
- To say where someone or something is in place of the verb rimanere o restare/to remain: – Cosa fai stasera? Sto a casa. /What are you doing tonight? I stay at home.
- To tell if something is suitable: -Come mi sta questa gonna? Ti sta bene. /How does this skirt fit me? Looks good on you
- To say if there is enough space:: Vieni in macchina con noi? Ci stiamo tutti. /Are you coming by car with us? There’s enough space for all.
- Express agreement or disagreement: – Prendiamo i biglietti per il concerto, tu ci stai (sei d’accordo con noi)? We are buying tickets for the concert, are you in?- Luca vuole copiare il mio esame, ma io non ci sto!/ Luca wants to copy my exam, but I won’t put up with it.
- Say what will happen soon (add the preposition “per”/for after the verb): Sta per piovere./It’s about to rain.
The conjugation of regular verbs
Fortunately, most Italian verbs use regular conjugations, that is, they always follow the same pattern.
Instead of memorizing each voice, with regular verbs, you need to learn a pattern that you can apply to all the verbs you come across with ease.
Infinite forms of Italian regular verbs always end with:
When you conjugate a regular verb, you must remove the ending of the infinitive and replace it with that of the tense and the required manner.
As you can see in the conjugation table of Italian verbs above, you have to pay particular attention to the third person singular and the second plural.
If you want to improve your Italian quickly and have fun, discover our standard Italian courses 20.
5 Tips for learning Italian verbs
- Focus on the “I”, “you” and “we” first
If you pay attention, you will realize that the forms you use the most to communicate in everyday life are the first two singulars (io, tu) and plural (noi, voi) people.
If you want to simplify the study of verbs, focus on first learning these forms you need most to express yourself in Italian.
If you are comfortable with these first conjugations, you will feel more comfortable speaking in Italian at the bar, asking for information and in other everyday situations. Practice is the key ingredient for learning Italian.
- Learn some key verbs.
There are easy to memorize expressions that allow you to express yourself in different situations even if you don’t know the conjugation of all tenses.
We have seen some of them just before. Copy them and try to make them yours with personal examples. It will be easier to remember them when you need them.
Other very useful Italian verbs to learn to juggle in different situations are the verbs: potere (to can), volere (to want), dovere (to must), sapere (to know but also used as to be able to), prendere (to take).
- Listen to Italian music
Listening to music is always useful for learning a language. Rhythm, melody, and the emotional aspect associated with certain songs are the most powerful tools to facilitate memorization.
Have you ever looked for the right word in the middle of a speech and found the answer in the lyrics of a song?
This happens in particular with the songs that are most dear to us, or with the summer hits that get stuck in our heads.
If you don’t have a playlist of favourite Italian songs yet, let yourself be guided by our tips with 5 songs to learn Italian.
Choose some songs that you particularly like so the repetition will be enjoyable, find the lyrics and highlights the verbs. You will see that it will be easier to do the right conjugation next time.
- Find the right balance between study and practice
Taking every possible opportunity to speak Italian is one of our quintessential tips. However, if you practice without studying, you run the risk of reiterating certain errors and not being able to correct yourself. Likewise, if you focus only on grammar exercises it is difficult to let yourself go in real situations.
The secret is to find the right balance between study and practice. Try setting up different routines and see which one you feel best with.
Even if you are not in Italy, there are several ways to find opportunities to speak Italian.
If you already have Italian friends, insist on communicating in Italian at least a few hours a week. Or you can get in touch with other Italian students around the world via specialist forums or online apps. With an app like Speaky, you can even find native Italians and make a language exchange.
You can offer to teach your language in exchange for a few hours of conversation in Italian.
- Risk it for a biscuit
You freeze and are unable to finish a sentence when you are stuck by indecision between one conjugation and another.
Sometimes your brain suggests a form that relates to the general rule but another one sounds better. In these cases, trust your guts and follow your instinct. The worst that can happen is to create a funny and nice new word in Italian.
Remember that the main purpose is to communicate and a small grammatical error does not affect the result. You can always correct yourself next time.
Continue to expose yourself to the language as much as possible and pay attention to the forms of verbs you read and hear. Listening to Italian podcasts, reading the news in Italian and watching films in Italian can be of great help.