Learn 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?
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).
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 – 3 Video Lessons
Below are some great video lessons about the Italian verb “essere“, “fare” & “avere” by Marta (Passione Italiana):
Top Italian Verbs: “Essere”
Top Italian Verbs: “Avere”
Top Italian Verbs: “Fare”
Top Italian Verbs: Andare (To Go)