Italian Lesson #68

Buongiorno a tutti!

Last week we ended by taking a look at Italian “full verbs,” which are called infinitives. In order to form any verb tense in Italian, you have to start with the infinitive. Accordingly that is what we will do today to form the present tense.

Here are some examples of Italian infinitives, or as I like to call them, “full verbs”: guardare (to watch/look at; think of what a “guard”
does, he “watches” something)

  • mandare (to send);
  • ascoltare (to listen to)
  • aiutare (to help)

Present tense for regular –are verbs

To form the present tense of any regular “-are” verb, you will cut off the ending (the “-are” in this case) and put in the following endings:

-o -iamo
-i -ate
-a -ano

Let’s practice this again with another regular –are verb trovare (to find).


(io) trovo (noi) troviamo
(tu) trovi (voi) trovate
(lui, lei, Lei) trova (loro) trovano


Try it yourself with these four verbs:  aspettare, ballare, ritornare, cucinare

Last week’s answers:  Exercise One:

1.  Ecco la frutta.

2.  Ecco i camerieri

3.  Ecco la macchina.

4.  Ecco le forchette.

5.  Ecco il caffè.

Regarding why “full verbs” are called infinitives, a teacher of mine once said, “Because it is infinite; it doesn’t say who visited or when anyone visited. It goes on forever with no person or time attached to it.” Non c’e’ male, eh?

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