Top Italian Verbs – The Most Common Italian Verbs (With 5 Video Lessons!)

Last Updated on September 12, 2021 by KhunKal

Top Italian VerbsLearn top Italian verbs easily with short & easy video lessons.

In your home country, there are some expressions that are very common, and people use them every day.

The same is true in Italy too, so why not give your Italian an instant improvement by learning the most important verbs in the lesson below?

With the help of Desirèes, you’ll be sounding like a native Italian speaker very fast! So, here they are: the top 25 verbs that are used very often in Italy:

Top Italian Verbs List and Their Meaning

1. essere to be 2. avere to have
3. chiamare to call, to name 4. fare to do, make
5. stare to stay 6. potere to be able, can
7. incontrare to find, encounter 8. andare to go
9. passare to pass, to spend (time), to happen 10. dare to give
11. sapere to know 12. volere to want
13. arrivare to arrive 14. vedere to see
15. dovere to owe, must, should, ought to 16. mettere to put, place, set
17. sembrare to seem, appear 18. rimanere to stay, remain
19. lasciare to leave, abandon, to let, allow 20. parlare to speak
21. portare to carry, bring 22. credere to believe
23. seguire to follow, continue 24. dire  to say, tell

Out of the 24 Italian verbs described above 1 verbs is extremely important.

You have to master it quickly if you want to express yourself in Italian, even at a basic level. Here it is:

The Italian Verb Essere

The Italian verb “essere” can be used in 2 different ways:

  • alone with his meaning of being, existing
  • as an auxiliary, that is as a “helper” of other verbs.

The verb “essere” has an irregular conjugation.

How to recognize if it is the verb “to be” or another verb?

You have to ask yourself the right question:

“What action is it?

L’insegnante è entrato in classe

(The teacher entered the classroom.)

In this case “è entrato” (entered) indicates the action to enter, therefore the verb is not “to be” but “to enter”.

Here “essere” acts as an auxiliary verb!

The teacher is happy. (L’insegnante è felice.)

What action is it?

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Here “is” comes together with the adjective, it indicates a way of being
therefore the verb is “to be” and it’s the only verb in the phrase with the meaning of being.

Top Italian Verbs Conjugations – The Italian Verb Essere (to be):

Present Tense Imperfect Tense
Io sono (I am) Io ero (I used to be, was)
Tu seu (you are) Tu eri (you used to be, were)
Lui/lei/Lei è (he/she is) Lui/lei/Lei era (he/she was)
Noi siamo(we are) Noi eravamo (we used to be, were)
Voi siete (you are) Voi eravate  (we were)
Essi/loro sono  (they are) Essi/loro erano  (they were)

The Italian verb to be (essere) can be used to describe persons, professions, personality aspects, time, and nationalities. Each particular use for “essere” is explained below:

a. Express Physical traits of people and objects:

Elena era magra. (Helen was skinny.)
Il padre di Lisa è molto vecchio. (The Lisa’s father is very old.)
Questa chiesa è grande e vecchia. (This church is big and old.)
Firenze è una città italiana. (Florence is an Italian city.)
La mia macchina è bianca. (My car is white.)
Alessandro è giovane. (Alexander is young.)

Daniela è alta. (Daniela is tall.)

b. Express Nationality/Citizenship:

Io sono italiana. (I am Italian.)

Lui è inglese. (He isEnglish.)

Tony era americano (Tony was American.)

Loro sono francesi. (They are French.)

c. Express Personality traits:

Paolo e Bruno sono alti. (Paolo and Bruno are tall.)

Tu sei giovane. (You are young.)
I ragazzi erano stanchi. (The boys were tired.)

Maria era umile. (Maria was humble.)

d. Express Professions:

Tommaso è un avvocato famoso. (Thomas is a famous lawyer.)

Siamo ingegneri. (We are engineers.)
Mio padre era un insegnante. (My father was teacher.)

Loro sono idraulici.(They are plumbers.)


d. Express possession or the origin of an item:

With this particular use, the verb “essere” is usually followed by di (of).

For example:

Questa casa è di Mario. (This house is Mario’s.)
Il libro è di Valentina. (The book is Valentina’s.)
Quella borsa è della signora. (That bag belongs to the lady.)

e. Express the time:

Che ore sono? (What time is it?)

Sono le sette e un quarto. (It is seven fifteen.)

F. In Italian “Essere” is also used for common impersonal expressions related to time:

É tardi. (It is late.)

É presto. (It is early.)

É notte. (It is night.)

Top Italian Verbs – 4 Video Lessons

Below are some great video lessons about the Italian verb “essere“, “fare” & “avere” by Marta (Passione Italiana):

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Top Italian Verbs: “Essere”

Top Italian Verbs: “Avere”

Top Italian Verbs: “Fare”

Top Italian Verbs: Andare (To Go)

Top Italian Verbs: Adriano Celentano – “L’emozione non ha voce”

Learn some common Italian verbs listening to “L’emozione non ha voce”, by Adriano Celentano, and then read the language notes at the page bottom.

Io non so parlar d’amore, l’emozione non ha voce
I don’t know how to talk about love, emotion has no voice
e mi manca un po’ il respiro, se ci sei c’è troppa luce…
and I’m a bit breathless, if you are here, there’s too much light…

La mia anima si spande come musica d’estate,
My soul expands itself like music in Summer,
poi la voglia sai mi prende e mi accende con i baci tuoi.
and then the passion gets me and it lights me up with your kisses.

Io con te sarò sincero resterò quel che sono,
I’ll be sincere with you, I’ll be what I am,
disonesto mai, lo giuro, ma se tradisci non perdono.
never dishonest, I swear it, but if you betray me, I don’t forgive.

Ti sarò per sempre amico, pur geloso come sai,
I’ll always be your friend, even jealous, as you know,
io lo so mi contraddico, ma preziosa sei tu per me.
I know I’m contradictory, but you are precious to me.

Tra le mie braccia dormirai, serenamente
In my arms, you will sleep, serenely
ed è importante questo sai
and this is important you know.
per sentirci pienamente noi.
to feel completely ourselves.

Un’altra vita mi darai che io non conosco,
You’ll give me another life that I don’t know,
la mia compagna tu sarai, fino a quando so che lo vorrai…
my soulmate you will be ’till i know you’ll be wanting to…

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Due caratteri diversi prendon fuoco facilmente,
Two different temperaments burn easily,
ma divisi siamo persi, ci sentiamo quasi niente…
but divided we are lost, we feel as we hardly are anything…

Siamo due legati dentro da un amore che ci dà
We are two, linked inside by a love that gives us
la profonda convinzione che nessuno ci dividerà…
the deep belief that nobody will separate us…

Tra le mie braccia dormirai, serenamente
In my arms, you will sleep, serenely
ed è importante questo, sai,
and this is important, you know,
per sentirci pienamente noi.
to feel completely ourselves.

Un’altra vita mi darai che io non conosco,
You’ll give me another life that I don’t know,
la mia compagna tu sarai, fino a quando so che lo vorrai…
my soulmate you will be ’till you’ll be wanting to…

Poi vivremo come sai solo di sincerità,
Then we’ll live on as you know, only in all sincerity,
di amore e di fiducia, poi sarà quel che sarà…
in love and trust, then it will be what is to be…

Tra le mie braccia dormirai, serenamente
In my arms, you will sleep, serenely
ed è importante, questo sai
and this is important, you know.
per sentirci pienamente noi.
to feel completely ourselves.

Italian Verbs in “L’emozione non ha voce” by Adriano Celentano

In this song by Adriano Celentano, you can find a lot of Italian verbs. Check below the right English translation of some of these verbs:

Io non so: I don’t know
Parlar d’amore: to speak of love,
L’emozione non ha voce: emotion has no voice

Mi manca un po’ il respiro: I’m a little short of breath. “Manca” (from infinite “mancare”) means “to be missing, to be lacking, to be absent”
Se ci sei: if you are here
C’è troppa luce: there is too much light
Io con te sarò sincero: I will be sincere with you
Quel che sono: what I am
Lo giuro: I swear it
Non perdono: I don’t forgive
Dormirai: you will sleep
Ed è importante questo, sai: and this is important, you know

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