Lezione 5-'To be' and 'To have'

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Verbs! Or in Italian: Verbi

We may now finally start with simple verb conjugation! In the present tense, of course ;)

It's actually a lot funner than you would think, so cominciamo con (let's start with):

il verbo (the verb): avere-to have e il verbo: essere-to be.

They are auxillary verbs because they help build sentences in both English and Italian.




I have-io ho

You have-tu hai

He/She/It has-lui/lei/esso ha

We have-noi abbiamo

You (plural) have-voi avete

They have-loro hanno


I am-io sono

You are-Tu sei

He/she/it is-Lui/lei/esso/a è

We are-Noi siamo

You are (pl.)-Voi siete

They are-Loro sono


I gave you these verbs first because they are irregular verbs-they don't follow any particular pattern in conjugation.

So the good news is that most other verbs do!

We will be looking at them in the next lesson =)

Primo dialogo (first dialogue)

Emma from London has gone on a journey to Rome and will be staying at her penfriend's, Anna. Anna's family has picked Emma up from the airport and taken her to their home, where she finally greets Anna for the first time.

Anna: Ciao e benvenuta! (shakes hands)

Emma: Piacere! Io sono Emma.

Anna: Certo che lo sei. Io invece mi chiamo Anna.

Emma: Lo so. Come stai?

Anna: Bene, grazie! E tu?

Emma: Bene però sono stanca!

Anna: Capisco. Vieni pure!

Emma: Grazie... (is motioned to sit across Anna in the living room). Quanti anni hai? Non mi ricordo!

Anna: Ho diciott'anni. Tu, invece? Diciassette, giusto?

Emma: Giusto!

Anna: Parli bene l'italiano!

Emma: Grazie ma non so molto.

Anna: Imparerai!


How much did you understand? I added new words and expressions to help you learn quicker-let's take a look at them:

Io sono Emma. (I am Emma).

Certo che lo sei! = Of course you are!

Io invece mi chiamo Anna. = Instead (In this case it is translated as: I, on the other hand, am Anna or simply And I'm Anna)

Lo so. =I know.

Sono stanca! = I'm tired! (Stanco means tired for males ONLY, stanca for females)

Capisco. = I understand.

Vieni pure! = Please come in!/Do come in!(By adding pure-POO-reh-to the end of a command, the sentence becomes By all means...)

Non mi ricordo! = I don't remember!

Diciott'anni/diciassette anni. =Guess these ones! Check if you're right in Lezione 10.

Tu, invece? = And you? (You, on the other hand?)

Giusto?/Giusto. = Right? Right (correct).

Parli bene...! = You speak...well!

...non so molto. = I don't know much.

Imparerai! = You'll learn! (Future tense, explained in Intermediate-advanced level).


Negative verbs

If you want to make a verb negative, simply add non before it:

Sono felice-I am happy

Non sono felice-I'm not happy

Siete simpatici!-You lot/guys are nice/funny!

Non siete simpatici!-You lot/guys are not nice/funny!

Lo so.-I know.

Non lo so.-I don't know)

Capisco italiano-I understand Italian

Non capisco italiano

Asking questions

If you want to ask a question, there is no 'do' auxilary in Italian. Simply state the verb and necessary complements, then add a question mark, obviously making the intonation rise:

Sei italiano-You're Italian.

Sei italiano?-Are you Italian?

No, non sono italiano.


No, non lo sono (No, I'm not). Lo means 'it', in this case regarding being 'Italian'.

*N.B (Nota bene-take notice): the intonation comes at the end of the sentence in the last few letters of the last word:

sei italiANO? siete di qUI? (Are you from here?)

Sono sempre fel-ICI? (Are they always happy?)


Expressing the subject

In reference to the last piece of information I gave you in the previous lesson on subject pronouns, the subject doesn't necessarily need to be expressed in Italian, unlike in English where it must always be used.

For example: are a boy. Who is? You, we, you (plural) or they? OK, even though the right one would naturally be You (singular) are a boy, in Italian you will often see this form.

Why? Each person (1st, 2nd or 3rd) changes in conjugation and with the help of context (like the plural of the noun you are referring to), you can instantly guess who you're talking about.

Esempio (example): Sei una ragazza. You are a girl. Sei is used only for tu (tu sei), so expressing the subject would be unnecessary.

You only express the subject when emphasizing who did what- Who ate the apple? I ate the apple/I did. (Chi ha mangiato una mela? Io ho mangiato una mela/Io).


I hope you're understanding this! Please PM me if anything isn't clear! I will gladly reply :)

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