Lezione 6-Verb conjugation

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Welcome back! Are you enjoying this? Spero di sì! (I hope so!)


*Before we start, I'd just like to point out that the video corresponding to this lesson may not be the best or most helpful, but it's the best I could find on YouTube for now. :)*

First of all, in Italian there are three types of verbs:

the ones ending in -are, ones ending in -ere and those ending in -ire. Each one has its own particular pattern that really helps foreigners (and Italians) learn their verbs.

 Today I will teach you three simple verbs: mangiare (to eat), leggere (to read) e dormire (to sleep).

 There are two other ones in the video which you should be able to conjugate after this lesson ;).

Cominciamo con un verbo (a verb) that ends in -are and see how it is conjugated:

Mangiare (Man-JAH-reh)-to eat-

Io mangio-I eat; (The rule of thumb here is all verbs terminate in -o for the 1st person singular)

Tu mangi-You eat   -i for the second singular,

Lui/Lei mangia-He/She eats -a for the third singular ONLY for -are verbs,

Noi mangiamo-We eat -amo for the first plural,

Voi mangiate-You (plural) eat -ate for the second ONLY for -are verbs,

Loro mangiano-They eat and -ano for the third ONLY for -are verbs.

So the root/stem of the verb stays the same in conjugation.

Root/stem? It's the part of the verb that doesn't change :)

Ex.: Mangiare: the root Mangi- remains the same, -are doesn't BUT it gets cut off from the root.

Let's see with a verb ending in -ere

Leggere-to read (pronounced 'LEH-jeh-reh)

Io leggo-I read -o for the 1st singular,

Tu leggi-You read -i for the 2nd,

Lui/Lei legge-He/She reads -e for the 3rd ONLY for -ere and -ire verbs,

Noi leggiamo-We read -iamo for the 1st plural,

Voi leggete-You read (leh-JEH-teh) -ete for the 2nd ONLY for -ere verbs,

Loro leggono-They read and -ono for the 3rd ONLY for -ere and -ire verbs.

So what disappears from the root here? The termination: -ere.

Pronunciation is vital at this point: remember how the 'g' is pronounced like 'Got' before 'a', 'o' and 'u'? But pronounced as a 'J' like 'Jeans' when before 'e' and 'i?'

Exactly! So 'Leggo' and 'Leggono' are pronounced with a 'G' as in 'Lego', but longer.

However, with 'Leggi', 'Legge', 'Leggiamo' and 'Leggete' the g is like a 'J'. So noi abbiamo: Leh-jee, Leh-jjeh, Lej-jiamoh and leh-jeh-teh. (Think of 'Gone' and 'Gin' in English)

Done! Just one more set of verbs though-this time belonging to the -ire group.

Dormire-To sleep

Io dormo-I sleep -o for 1st singular

Tu dormi-You sleep -i for 2nd singular

Lui/Lei dorme-He/She sleeps -e for 3rd singular ONLY for -ere and -ire verbs,

Noi dormiamo-We sleep -iamo for 1st plural,

Voi dormite-You (plural) sleep -ite for 2nd plural ONLY for -ire verbs,

Loro dormono-They sleep and -ono for 3rd plural ONLY for -ere and -ire verbs.

And in this case we eliminate the -ere from the root.

Think you got the hang of it? Revise if you haven't, or try some exercises if you think you have:

*Conjugate the following verbs (without looking above!):


Mangiare-Noi ________











How much did you get out of 12? Write it down and correct your mistakes!

0-1 Message me! 2-3-revise, 4-6-not bad but need more revision, 7-9-good!, 10-12-BRAVISSIMI!!! (Well done! to more than one person).

P.S: Should you ever wish to see how any verb conjugates, but haven't found the right material yet, try buying a book on Italian verbs, or use http://www.italian-verbs.com/. Type in the selected verb in the 'CONIUGA' (conjugate) box then view the 'Indicativo' and underneath, 'presente'. This is the indicative present form of verbs.

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