Dire Conjugation could surely be very helpful to you when starting a conversation with someone coming from Italy. 

Dire is one of the most well-known Italian verbs you can’t do without: it’s primarily employed to report what people say or just said, to tell stories and so on. Moreover, it is considered as a verb of third conjugation because it ends in -ire. Apart from being an irregular verb, it also has various equivalents in English: to say, tell, recite and even talk

To better understand what we are talking about, look at the following examples:  

Perché non mi hai detto dell’audizione?
Why didn’t you talk to me about the audition? 

Allora, che ti ha detto? È ancora arrabbiata con me, non è vero? 
So, what did she tell you? She’s still mad at me, isn’t she?  

Dire Conjugation – Presente 

Presente Indicativo of the Italian Verb Dire

First of all, we have to say that dire has an irregular conjugation. For this reason, you should learn it by heart. Let’s begin with the Presente, one of the most used Italian tenses to indicate habits or actions that are happening right now:   

Io dico 
Tu dici 
Lui / Lei dice 
Noi diciamo 
Voi dite 
Loro dicono 


Dico solo che dovresti essere più gentile con il tuo patrigno. 
I’m just saying you should be kinder to your stepfather.  

Margot dice che stasera verrà a cena con il suo nuovo ragazzo.
Margot says that she is coming for dinner tonight with her new boyfriend. 

Fun fact: did you know that Italians sometimes get confused when they have to employ dite in a sentence? Some of them often make a mistake by saying dicete instead of dite. As you can see, in the conjugation of dire in the present tense, the consonant c occurs in every person, except in the second plural. For this reason, you might be mistaken. Therefore, pay attention when using the verb in the Presente!       

Dire Conjugation – Passato Prossimo 

Io ho detto 
Tu hai detto 
Lui / Lei ha detto 
Noi abbiamo detto 
Voi avete detto 
Loro hanno detto 

Going on, we can bump into Passato Prossimo, tense employed when mentioning actions that happened in the recent past. Like many other verbs, dire also requires the auxiliary to have.    


Che cosa ti ha detto quando vi siete rivisti?
What did he tell you when you ran into each other again?  

Matthew mi ha detto che trascorrerà le vacanze di Natale con noi.
Matthew told me he is spending Christmas holidays with us.  

Dire Conjugation – Imperfetto 

Io dicevo 
Tu dicevi 
Lui / Lei diceva 
Noi dicevamo 
Voi dicevate 
Loro dicevano 

Instead, you resort to Imperfetto in Italian when wanting to report past habits or actions in progress in the past.   


I tuoi genitori dicevano che sarebbe venuto a trovarci.
Your parents said they would come to visit us. 

Diceva sempre la verità ma comunque nessuno gli credeva.
He always used to tell the truth but no one believed him anyway.

Dire Conjugation – Trapassato Prossimo 

Dire Conjugation - Trapassato Prossimo
Io avevo detto 
Tu avevi detto 
Lui / Lei aveva detto 
Noi avevamo detto 
Voi avevate detto 
Loro avevano detto 

Concerning Trapassato Prossimo, this tense is basically applied when referring to an event that occurred before another one in the past. To form it, you need the simple past of avere, together with detto, the past participle of dire.   


Non mi avevi detto che sarebbe venuto anche Lea a Roma.
You hadn’t told me that Lea would come to Rome, too.  

Si rattristava pensando a quello che le avevano detto.  
She got sad when she thought about what they said to her.    

Dire Conjugation – Passato Remoto 

Io dissi 
Tu dicesti 
Lui / Lei disse 
Noi dicemmo 
Voi diceste 
Loro dissero 

Let’s move now to Passato Remoto, one of the less appreciated and vanishing tenses in Italian grammar. You are required to employ it in case you wish to talk about facts that happened a long time ago.  


Dicesti di volerti trasferire all’estero. Perché non l’hai fatto?
You told me you wished to move abroad. Why didn’t you do that? 

Le dicemmo di rivolgersi a Maurizio in caso di necessità. 
We told her to address Maurizio if she needed to.   

Dire Conjugation – Trapassato Remoto 

Io ebbi detto 
Tu avesti detto 
Lui / Lei ebbe detto 
Noi avemmo detto 
Voi aveste detto 
Loro ebbero detto 

Before using this tense, you need to know that Trapassato Remoto has almost disappeared in the spoken language. Nowadays, you can find it only in documentaries, literature and novels. Being a compound tense, it is composed by the auxiliary (in this case to have) in the Passato Remoto and the past participle of the main verb.    


Dopo che gli ebbe detto che era finita, incominciò a piangere. 
After she had told him they were done, he started to cry. 

Dopo che avemmo detto a tutti quello che era successo, nessuno osò ribattere.
After we had said to everyone what had happened, no one dared to reply.  

Dire Conjugation – Futuro Semplice 

Future Tense of the verb Dire
Io dirò 
Tu dirai 
Lui / Lei dirà 
Noi diremo 
Voi direte 
Loro diranno 

On the contrary, Italian Futuro is often replaced by the present tense. Anyway, you are suggested to employ it when pointing out events that have yet to happen (Futuro Semplice) or a fact that will be finished before another one takes place (Futuro Anteriore).   


Se gli chiedessi di accompagnarti, sono certo che ti dirà di sì! 
If you asked him to accompany you, I’m sure he’ll tell you yes!

Credi che ti dirà la stessa cosa anche questa volta?
Do you believe she will tell you the same thing once again?  

Dire Conjugation – Futuro Anteriore 

Io avrò detto 
Tu avrai detto 
Lui / Lei avrà detto 
Noi avremo detto 
Voi avrete detto 
Loro avranno detto 


Carole e Stephan vi avranno certamente detto che si sposeranno l’anno prossimo. 
Carole and Stephan definitely told you they are getting married next year. 

Ti avrà detto del suo nuovo vicino di casa, no?  
He must have talked to you about his new neighbor, right?

As you can notice, in the second example dire has been used in the place of the verb to talk. This mostly happens on informal occasions.    

Dire Conjugation – Congiuntivo Presente 

Similarly, Italians avoid employing Congiuntivo in favor of the present and past tenses of the indicative mood. This happens because its formation is quite complex. In addition, its use is less and less frequent, especially among youngsters. However, it still appears in the written language (chiefly in formal contexts) and the educational field. Furthermore, its main feature is the conjunction che preceding the conjugated verb.

Che io dica 
Che tu dica 
Che lui / lei dica 
Che noi diciamo 
Che voi diciate 
Che loro dicano 


Vuole che tu gli dica chi verrà alla festa di Christopher. 
He wants you to tell him who is coming to Christopher’s party.  

Spero che ci dicano dove andranno questo weekend.
I hope they will tell us where they are going this weekend.  

Dire Conjugation – Congiuntivo Passato 

Congiuntivo Passato of the verb Dire
Che io abbia detto 
Che tu abbia detto 
Che lui / lei abbia detto 
Che noi abbiamo detto 
Che voi abbiate detto 
Che loro abbiano detto 


Penso che abbia detto di non voler essere disturbata. 
I think she said she didn’t want to be bothered. 

Dubito seriamente che glielo abbiano detto. 
I seriously doubt that they said it to him.  

Dire Conjugation – Congiuntivo Imperfetto

Che io dicessi 
Che tu dicessi 
Che lui / lei dicesse 
Che noi dicessimo 
Che voi diceste 
Che loro dicessero 


E se ti dicessi che ieri sono uscito con la tua ex?
What if I tell you yesterday I hung out with your ex?    

Speravo che ce lo dicessero i nostri amici, non i nostri genitori!
I hoped that our friends told it to us, not our parents!   

Dire Conjugation – Congiuntivo Trapassato

Che io avessi detto 
Che tu avessi detto 
Che lui / lei avesse detto 
Che noi avessimo detto 
Che voi aveste detto 
Che loro avessero detto 


Mi pareva che avesse detto di essere nato in Australia.
It seems to me that he said he was born in Australia.   

Pensavo che avessero detto che sarebbero passati più tardi.
I thought they had said that they would come over later.  

Dire Conjugation – Condizionale Presente 

Speaking about Italian Condizionale, you are suggested to apply it when expressing wishes, intentions, and polite requests. In most cases, you can employ it in combination with Congiuntivo to build hypothetical sentences.    

Io direi 
Tu diresti 
Lui / Lei direbbe 
Noi diremmo 
Voi direste 
Loro direbbero 


Cosa direbbe se sapesse che in questo momento sei qui con me?
What would he say if he knew that you are here with me now?  

Direi che Cristina è la persona più adatta a ricoprire questo ruolo.
I would say that Cristina is the right person to cover this role.   

Dire Conjugation – Condizionale Passato 

Dire Conjugation - Condizionale Passato
Io avrei detto 
Tu avresti detto 
Lui / Lei avrebbe detto 
Noi avremmo detto 
Voi avreste detto 
Loro avrebbero detto 


Mi hai promesso che lo avresti detto prima a noi, poi agli altri!
You promised me you would mention it to us first, then to the others! 

Se non vi avesse invitato al suo addio al celibato, che cosa avreste detto?
If he hadn’t invited you to his bachelor party, what would you have told? 

Dire Conjugation – Imperativo

In case you want to give orders, instructions, suggestions, or advice to someone, you are called to apply Imperativo. Since dire doesn’t follow the general rules of conjugation, you need to resort to its forms.  

Dì (tu)
Dica (Lei) 
Diciamo (Noi)
Dite (Voi)
Dicano (Loro) 


Dì quello che devi dire e poi vai via! 
Just say what you have to say and then leave! 

Dica quello che Le pare! Non posso farla accomodare comunque!
She can say whatever she wants! I can’t make her sit by the  way! 

Remember that you need a further –m / –c when employing the indirect object pronouns mi / ci at the second person singular.  


Dimmi che mi amerei per sempre e che non mi tradirai mai. 
Tell me you will always love me and you will never cheat on me. 

Dicci che andrà tutto bene e che staremo meglio.
Tell us that it will be ok and we’ll be better off.  

Dire Conjugation – Infinito 

Present tense Past tense 
Dire Aver detto 


Un antico proverbio recita: “tra il dire e il fare c’è di mezzo il mare”. 
As an old saying goes: “easier said than done”. 

Dopo averle detto come stavano realmente le cose, sorrise.
After telling her how things really were, she smiled. 

Dire Conjugation – Participio 

Present tense Past tense 
Dicente Detto 


Chi è il prete dicente messa stamattina? 
Who’s the priest officiating at mass this morning? 

Detto ciò, possiamo andare a dormire e riparlarne domani. 
After saying that, we can go to sleep and talk about it again tomorrow. 

Note that the form dicente is quite obsolete.

Anyway, it is mainly employed in very formal contexts. If not necessary, you better not use it! 

Dire Conjugation – Gerundio 

Finally, we can find Gerundio, another tense you don’t use in Italian very often. Generally, it occurs in sentences in the present progressive.  

Present tense Past tense 
Dicendo Avendo detto 


Ma che cosa stai dicendo? Sei matto?
What are you saying? Are you insane? 

Avendo detto a Piero che sto male, è passato a trovarmi. 
Having told Piero I’m sick, he came to visit me. 

Now that you are able to conjugate and use dire properly, dimmi qualcosa and let’s start talking to each other!  

By: Alfonso Di Somma

Born and raised in Italy, he is an Italian professional translator and a tireless traveler. His main passion? Foreign languages!

If your goal is to know the Italian language, Sapere Conjugation is certainly the thing you have to keep in mind. Sapere is a verb in Italian that means exactly that, to know. As we have said in this previous article, there is another verb that translates to know in Italian: the verb conoscere. They have different uses and meanings, and today we will focus on sapere.

Sapere means to know something and it is an irregular verb of the second conjugation. It can also have the meaning of to know how to do something and in that case it has a similar meaning but different use of conoscere. Sapere is also used in intransitive way and in that case it can also mean to have the taste / smell of . Also, sapere can have the meaning of to think / to suspect something.

Now, I know you are really curious about all these meaning and uses…
But, before starting to see all of them, let’s learn how to change it through the italian tenses!

Sapere Conjugation – Presente Indicativo

Sapere Conjugation - To know in Italian - Presente Indicativo
Io so
Tu sai 
Lui/lei sa 
Noi sappiamo 
Voi sapete 
Loro sanno

As an irregular verb, sapere doesn’t follow typical rules for the present tense. It has a unique form that you’ll need to learn by heart. 


Sappiamo tutti che Mario si è innamorato di Alice.
We all know that Mario has fallen in love with Alice.

Sai suonare la chitarra?
Can you play the guitar?

Questi turisti sanno parlare benissimo l’italiano .
These tourists can speak Italian very well.

Sapere Conjugation – Passato Prossimo 

Io ho saputo 
Tu hai saputo 
Lui/lei ha saputo
Noi abbiamo saputo
Voi avete saputo
Loro hanno saputo

Sapere is a transitive verb. Consequently, in the compound tenses it uses the verb avere as an auxiliary verb. Passato Prossimo is the first compound tense you’ll learn in your Italian journey. It’s the tense of the actions that happened in the recent past. Use this tense when you want to talk about what happened this morning, yesterday or a year ago etc.


Ho appena saputo la notizia, mi dispiace.
I just heard the news, I’m sorry. 

Hanno saputo che non ero a casa.
They heard that I wasn’t home.

Hai saputo qualcosa di Gianni?
Have you heard something about Gianni?

Sapere Conjugation – Imperfetto 

Io sapevo
Tu sapevi
Lui/lei sapeva
Noi sapevamo
Voi sapevate
Loro sapevano

Imperfetto is another important past tense in the Italian language. It’s used to express the habits from the past, to talk about emotions you had and to describe something in the past. 


Sapevo bene che non dovevo andare là, ma ci sono andato comunque.
I knew very well that I didn’t have to go there, but I went anyway.

Hai detto che sapevi come aiutarla.
You said you knew how to help her.

Tutti sapevano che era innocente.
Everyone knew he was innocent.

Sapere Conjugation – Trapassato Prossimo 

Sapere Conjugation - To know in Italian - Trapassato Prossimo
Io avevo saputo
Tu avevi saputo
Lui/lei aveva saputo
Noi avevamo saputo
Voi avevate saputo
Loro avevano saputo

Another compound tense you’ll need is Trapassato Prossimo. It’s formed by the verb avere in Imperfetto and Past Participle of the verb sapere. You’ll use this tense when you want to express the action that had happened before another one.


Avevo saputo che era tornata a Londra.
I had heard that she was back in London.

Ha già sentito che avevamo saputo del suo rapporto con Matteo.
She has already heard that we had found out about her relationship with Matteo.

Sapere Conjugation – Passato Remoto 

Io seppi
Tu sapesti
Lui/lei seppe
Noi sapemmo
Voi sapeste
Loro seppero

The verb sapere has irregular forms also in Passato Remoto. This tense is used to express actions that happened a long time ago in the past. It’s almost never used in the spoken language, but you’ll see it in the novels. 


Appena la vidi, seppi di essere nei guai.
As soon as I saw her, I knew I was in trouble.

E nessuno seppe mai che lo amavo.
And no one ever knew I loved him.

Tutti i parenti furono sorpresi quando seppero che loro due si sarebbero sposati.
All the relatives were surprised when they learned that they were getting married.

Sapere Conjugation – Trapassato Remoto 

Io ebbi saputo
Tu avesti saputo
Lui/lei ebbe saputo
Noi avemmo saputo
Voi aveste saputo
Loro ebbero saputo

Trapassato Remoto is made of the auxiliary verb in the passato remoto and the past participle. It’s always used in the sentences with the passato remoto to express action that happened before another one in the past. 


Dopo che ebbe saputo dove abitava Maria, andò a visitarla.
After he found out where Mary lived, he went to visit her.

Appena ebbero saputo il tuo indirizzo ti vennero a cercare.
As soon as they heard your address they came looking for you.

Sapere Conjugation – Futuro Semplice 

Sapere Conjugation - To know in Italian - Future Tense

Io saprò
Tu saprai
Lui/lei saprà
Noi sapremo 
Voi saprete
Loro sapranno

In Italian we can speak about the future in two ways. We use Futuro Semplice when we want to describe something that is going to happen at some point in the future. If you want to talk about your plans you can use Futuro Semplice


Se mi dici dove vuoi andare saprò dove portarti.
If you tell me where you want to go I’ll know where to take you.

Quando lo vedi, saprai cosa dirgli.
When you see him, you’ll know what to say.

Appena sapranno cosa è successo, verranno qua.
As soon as they know what happened, they will come here. 

Sapere Conjugation – Futuro Anteriore 

Io avrò saputo
Tu avrai saputo
Lui/lei avrà saputo
Noi avremo saputo
Voi avrete saputo
Loro avranno saputo

Another way to talk about the future is to use Futuro Anteriore. Use it when you want to talk about the action that will be finished in the future before another one starts. It’s also used to express assumptions about something that happened in the past but has consequences in the present. 


Ti telefono appena avrò saputo qualche novità.
I’ll call you as soon as I know something new.

Sono sicura che ormai l’avranno saputo.
I’m sure they must have heard by now.

Come avrete saputo, ci trasferiremo a New York.
As you may have heard, we are moving to New York City.

Sapere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Presente 

Sapere Conjugation - To know in Italian - Congiuntivo
Che io sappia
Che tu sappia
Che lui/lei sappia
Che noi sappiamo
Che voi sappiate
Che loro sappiano

The Subjunctive in Italian is called Congiuntivo. You have to use Congiuntivo when expressing your opinion, or when you talk about something that is not certain. Before the verb you will usually see the conjunction che

The Subjunctive is very used in Italian and it has 4 different tenses: Congiuntivo Presente, Congiuntivo Passato, Congiuntivo Imperfetto and Congiuntivo Trapassato


Immagino che tu sappia perché sei qui.
I guess you know why you are here.

Non voglio che sappiano dove mi trovo.
I don’t want them to know where I am. 

Credo che sappiate perché è andato via.
I think you know why he left.

Sapere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Passato 

Che io abbia saputo
Che tu abbia saputo
Che lui/lei abbia saputo
Che noi abbiamo saputo
Che voi abbiate saputo
Che loro abbiano saputo


Sembra che mio figlio abbia saputo dell’incidente.
It seems that my son heard about the incident.

Non so quanti di voi l’abbiano saputo, ma abbiamo delle buone notizie.
I don’t know how many of you have heard this, but we have some good news.

Credo che abbiate già saputo cosa era successo a Marco.
I think you already heard what had happened to Marco.

Sapere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Imperfetto 

Che io sapessi
Che tu sapessi
Che lui/lei sapesse
Che noi sapessimo
Che voi sapeste
Che loro sapessero


Pensavo che sapessi suonare il pianoforte.
I thought you knew how to play the piano.

Sembrava che non ne sapesse niente.
He didn’t seem to know anything about it.

Mario voleva che tutti sapessero del suo ritorno.
Mario wanted everyone to know about his return.

Sapere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Trapassato 

Che io avessi saputo
Che tu avessi saputo
Che lui/lei avesse saputo
Che noi avessimo saputo
Che voi aveste saputo
Che loro avessero saputo


Anche se l’avessi saputo, non avrei reagito diversamente.
Even if I had known, I wouldn’t have reacted differently.

Perché vi comportate come se aveste saputo qualcosa di molto brutto?
Why do you act like you’ve heard something really bad?

Pensavo che avessero già saputo tutto.
I thought they had heard it all before.

Sapere Conjugation – Condizionale Presente 

Sapere Conjugation - To know in Italian - Condizionale

Io saprei
Tu sapresti
Lui/lei saprebbe
Noi sapremmo 
Voi sapreste
Loro saprebbero

To express yourself in the polite and gentle mode you will need Condizionale. It’s also used to express wishes, hypothesis, doubt and regret. 


Non saprei cosa dire.
I wouldn’t know what to say.

Scusi, mi saprebbe dire dove si trova via Roma?
Excuse me, could you tell me where is via Roma?

Se fossi come tua madre, sapresti cucinare.
If you were like your mother, you would know how to cook. 

Sapere Conjugation – Condizionale Passato 

Io avrei saputo
Tu avresti saputo
Lui/lei avrebbe saputo
Noi avremmo saputo
Voi avreste saputo
Loro avrebbero saputo

Conditional in Italian has two tenses. It can be in the present and in the past. Condizionale Passato is also used to express the future action from the viewpoint of the past.


L’avresti saputo se fosse tornato in Italia.
You would have known if he had returned to Italy.

Gli ho assicurato che avremmo saputo cosa fare in quella situazione.
I assured him that we would know what to do in that situation.

Sapere Conjugation – Imperativo 

Sappi (Tu)
Sappia (Lei)
Sappiamo (Noi)
Sappiate (Voi)
Sappiano (Loro)

The Imperative of the verb sapere is irregular and it has its own forms. You use Imperativo in Italian, as in English, when you want to give orders, instructions or advice. 


Sappi che ti appoggerò, qualsiasi decisione prenderai.
Just know that I will support you, whatever decision you make.

Sappiate che vi vorremmo bene, per sempre.
Please know that we will love you, forever.

Sapere Conjugation – Infinito 

Present TensePast Tense
SapereAver saputo 


Ho bisogno di sapere dove hai dormito stanotte.
I need to know where you slept last night.

Dopo aver saputo che sono stata qui, mi ha chiamato.
After he heard I was here, he called me. 

Sapere Conjugation – Participio 

Present TensePast Tense

The present participle of the verb sapere is sapiente. It’s used as an adjective and means wise. Past participle of sapere is used in every compound tense in sapere conjugation. 


Era considerata una donna sapiente e molto in gamba.
She was considered a wise and very accomplished woman.

Ho saputo che il ragazzo che mi piace si è sposato.
I found out that the guy I like got married.

Sapere Conjugation – Gerundio

Present TensePast Tense
SapendoAvendo saputo

Gerundio in italian has a lot of uses. It can be in the present and in the past. You form it with the suffixes -endo or -ando


Supererò qualsiasi ostacolo, sapendo che sei al mio fianco.
I’ll get through any obstacles, knowing that you are by my side.

Avendo saputo della cattiva salute del padre, Alberto ha deciso di tornare a casa.
Having heard about his father’s ill health, Alberto decided to return home.

Different Uses Of Sapere In Italian

Sapere Conjugation - Different uses of sapere in Italian

1. Sapere Meaning to know (something)

The verb sapere literally means to know. More precisely, it means to know something, to know some fact or a situation

Unlike in English, in Italian we can’t use the verb sapere to say that we know someone. For that purpose we use the verb conoscere.


Sai cosa è successo ieri alla festa?
You know what happened at the party yesterday?

Sapevate che lei non è italiana?
Did you know that she is not Italian?

2. Sapere Meaning to find out, to become aware 

Sapere, when used in Passato Prossimo, means to find out, to hear about something.

Pay attention when you put the verb sapere in the past tenses. When it’s used in Imperfetto it means to know, but with Passato Prossimo it means to find out.

Let’s see some examples:

Ho saputo che Anna si è sposata con Marco.
I found out that Anna got married to Marco. 

Sapevo che loro non vengono alla festa.
I knew they don’t come to the party.

3. Sapere Meaning To be able to do something / Can 

Followed by an infinitive it’s used to express knowing how to do something, having some skill.


Mia sorella sa suonare la chitarra.
My sister can play the guitar.

Sai parlare la lingua italiana?

Can you speak Italian?

4. Sapere + di Meaning to taste like something else

Followed by preposition di it means to taste like something, or to give the impression of something.


Questo vino sa di aceto.
This wine tastes like vinegar.

Questa storia mi sa falsa.
This story sounds fake to me.

5. Sapere Meaning to think, to suspect

Sapere can also be translated as to think, to suspect but only when it refers to the speaker, in the first person. In that case we use the construction Mi sa che.

Let’s see some examples: 

Mi sa che non passa l’esame.
I think he won’t pass the exam.

Mi sa che domani piove.
I think it’s going to rain tomorrow.

With all this in your mind you are one step closer to finally sapere l’italiano. 

By: Lucia Aiello

Lucia Aiello is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. Born and raised in Italy, she is a passionate Italian teacher and language enthusiast.

You should know Conoscere Conjugation if you want to master all Italian irregular verbs. To translate the english verb to know In Italian, we can say conoscere or sapere. Because they have different uses and meanings, for now we will focus on the first one: conoscere

Conoscere literally means to know. You can use it with people or places that you know very well. Conoscere also means to experience something, when you have knowledge gained from your life experiences. Also we can have the form ri-conoscere, with the meaning of to recognise someone (or something). With the verb fare, conoscere has also the meaning of to introduce or to meet someone (or a place). 

Here are some examples: 

Conosco questa ragazza che sta parlando con Matteo. 
I know this girl who is talking to Matteo.

Ieri ho finalmente conosciuto un ragazzo che mi è piaciuto molto. 
Yesterday I finally met a guy that I really liked.

Lo riconosco dalla voce.
I recognise him from his voice.

Mia madre mi ha fatto conoscere un suo amico.
My mother introduced me to a friend of hers. 

Now that you are starting to understand its meaning, let’s see in detail the Conjugation of the verb conoscere in all its tenses.

Conoscere Conjugation – Presente Indicativo

Conoscere Conjugation - Presente Indicativo
Io conosco
Tu conosci
Lui/lei conosce
Noi conosciamo
Voi conoscete
Loro conoscono

Conoscere is a verb of the second conjugation. Presente in Italian is the same as Present Simple in English. It’s used to express a present action or state. 


Quando conosce una persona, per lei è molto importante il contatto fisico. 
When she meets someone, physical contact is very important to her.

Non conosco l’artista, ma questa scultura mi piace un sacco. 
I don’t know the artist, but I really like this sculpture.

Conosciamo una ragazza che si chiama come te.
We know a girl with the same name as you.

Before going any further, if you want to repeat Italian tenses here is a useful books for you:

Conoscere Conjugation – Passato Prossimo

Io ho conosciuto
Tu hai conosciuto
Lui/lei ha conosciuto
Noi abbiamo conosciuto
Voi avete conosciuto
Loro hanno conosciuto

Conoscere is a transitive verb followed by a direct object. Which means that in passato prossimo we use the verb avere as an auxiliary verb. The Passato Prossimo of conoscere is conosciuto. We use Passato Prossimo to indicate the action that happened in the past. 


Ieri alla festa ho conosciuto un ragazzo molto simpatico.
Yesterday at the party I met a very nice guy.

Quando hai conosciuto Anna?
When did you meet Anna?

Abbiamo conosciuto una ragazza coreana che ci ha parlato molto del suo paese. 
We met a Korean girl who told us a lot about her country.

Conoscere Conjugation – Imperfetto

Conoscere Conjugation - Imperfetto
Io conoscevo
Tu conoscevi
Lui/lei conosceva
Noi conoscevamo
Voi conoscevate
Loro conoscevano

Another tense to express the past is Imperfetto. Do not confuse it with Passato Prossimo: If you are not sure about the difference read this article first. Use Imperfetto when you want to express habits or feelings from the past or when you want to describe something in the past. 


Non conoscevo il nome dei fiori che avevo visto nel suo giardino.
I didn’t know the name of the flowers I had seen in his garden.

Durante la festa sono entrati due ragazzi che nessuno conosceva.
During the party, two guys that nobody knew walked in.

Ho incontrato dei ragazzi che conoscevano mio fratello.
I met a few guys who knew my brother.

Conoscere Conjugation – Trapassato Prossimo

Io avevo conosciuto
Tu avevi conosciuto
Lui/lei aveva conosciuto
Noi avevamo conosciuto
Voi avevate conosciuto
Loro avevano conosciuto

Trapassato prossimo is the compound tense. You form it with an auxiliary verb, essere or avere, in Imperfetto plus Participio Passato of the main verb. Use this tense when you want to express an action that happened before another one in the past. 


Non avevo mai conosciuto qualcuno di così intelligente.
I had never met anyone as smart as him.

Ha finalmente incontrato quel ragazzo che aveva conosciuto online.
She finally met that guy she met online.

Giorgio era un ragazzo che avevamo conosciuto all’Università.
Giorgio was a guy we had met in college.

Conoscere Conjugation – Passato Remoto

Conoscere Conjugation - Trapassato Remoto
Io conobbi
Tu conoscesti
Lui/lei conobbe
Noi conoscemmo
Voi conosceste
Loro conobbero

If you love reading you’ll probably become familiar with this tense. Otherwise, you’ll hardly encounter Passato Remoto. We use it to express an action that happened a long time ago and it is mostly used in novels and historic books. 


Quando Gigi conobbe Alice si innamorò a prima vista.
When Gigi met Alice he fell in love at first sight.

Lo conobbi quando vivevo a Napoli.
I met him when I lived in Naples.

I miei genitori si conobbero durante un viaggio all’estero.
My father and mother met on a trip abroad.

Conoscere Conjugation – Trapassato Remoto

Io ebbi conosciuto
Tu avesti conosciuto
Lui/lei ebbe conosciuto
Noi avemmo conosciuto
Voi aveste conosciuto
Loro ebbero conosciuto

You will never ever hear someone using Trapassato Remoto in the spoken language. It’s a compound tense, formed by an auxiliary verb in Passato Remoto and Participio Passato. For the verb conoscere we use avere as an auxiliary verb. 


Dopo che ebbe conosciuto Alice Gigi si divorziò.
After he met Alice Gigi, he got divorced.

Cominciai a imparare l’italiano dopo che ebbi conosciuto una ragazza italiana.
I started learning Italian after I met an Italian girl.

Conoscere Conjugation – Futuro Semplice 

Io conoscerò
Tu conoscerai
Lui/lei conoscerà
Noi conosceremo
Voi conoscerete
Loro conosceranno

The Future tense in Italian is Futuro Semplice. We use it to indicate an action that will happen at some point in the future. 


Stasera finalmente conoscerete il mio nuovo ragazzo Andrea.
Tonight you will finally meet my new boyfriend Andrea

Non conosceranno Matteo perché non vengono.
They won’t meet Matthew because they don’t come

Il mondo ti conoscerà presto.
The world will know you soon

Conoscere Conjugation – Futuro Anteriore

Conoscere Conjugation - Futuro
Io avrò conosciuto
Tu avrai conosciuto
Lui/lei avrà conosciuto
Noi avremo conosciuto
Voi avrete conosciuto
Loro avranno conosciuto

Another Future Tense in Italian is Futuro Anteriore. It reveals the action that will be finished before another future action. 


Quando tornerò ti porterò il regalo che ti avrò comprato.
When I will return, I’ll bring you a gift I will have bought you.

Conoscere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Presente

Io conosca
Tu conosca
Lui/lei conosca
Noi conosciamo
Voi conosciate
Loro conoscano

When you want to express your thoughts, opinions and something that is not certain, you have to use Congiuntivo. It’s like Subjunctive mode in English, but unlike in English, the subjunctive mode in Italian is used very often. There are four Subjunctive modes in Italian: Congiuntivo Presente, Congiuntivo Passato, Congiuntivo Imperfetto and Congiuntivo Trapassato


Credo che nessuno lo conosca veramente.
I don’t think anyone really knows him

Non credo che loro conoscano dottor Rossi.
I don’t think they know Dr. Rossi

Immagino che conosciate bene vostro padre.
I guess you know your father well.

Conoscere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Passato 

Conoscere Conjugation - Congiuntivo
Io abbia conosciuto
Tu abbia conosciuto
Lui/lei abbia conosciuto
Noi abbiamo conosciuto
Voi abbiate conosciuto
Loro abbiano conosciuto


E’ uno dei migliori scrittori che abbia mai conosciuto.
He is one of the best writers I have ever met

Mi spiace che i tuoi figli non abbiano conosciuto il nonno.
I’m sorry your children didn’t meet their grandfather.

Sembra che abbiate già conosciuto la sorella di Carla.
Looks like you’ve already met Carla’s sister.

Conoscere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Imperfetto

Io conoscessi
Tu conoscessi
Lui/lei conoscesse
Noi conoscessimo
Voi conosceste
Loro conoscessero


Pensavo che conoscessero le nostre regole.
I thought they knew our rules.

Vorrei che conoscessi il mio nuovo vicino, Stefano.
I would like you to meet my new neighbor, Stefano.

Se conoscessimo la verità, non ci piacerebbe.
If we knew the truth, we wouldn’t like it.

Conoscere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Trapassato 

Io avessi conosciuto
Tu avessi conosciuto
Lui/lei avesse conosciuto
Noi avessimo conosciuto
Voi aveste conosciuto
Loro avessero conosciuto


Se avessi conosciuto Marco, ti sarebbe piaciuto.
If you had met Marco, you would have liked him.

Credevo che lo aveste già conosciuto alla festa di Anna.
I thought you had already met him at Anna’s party.

Non ce l’avremmo fatta se non avessimo conosciuto lei.
We wouldn’t have made it if we hadn’t met her.

Conoscere Conjugation – Condizionale Presente 

Conoscere Conjugation - Condizionale
Io conoscerei
Tu conosceresti
Lui/lei conoscerebbe
Noi conosceremmo
Voi conoscereste
Loro conoscerebbero

Condizionale is used to express polite requests, advice, wishes and hypotheses. It can be in the present (Condizionale Presente) and in the past (Condizionale Passato). It’s equal to English form would + verb


Se leggessi più libri in inglese conoscerei meglio la lingua.
If I read more books in English I would know the language better

Tu conosceresti Eros Ramazzoti se avessi l’opportunità?
Would you meet Eros Ramazzoti if you had the opportunity?

Conosceremmo volentieri la tua nuova ragazza!
We would love to meet your new girlfriend!

Conoscere Conjugation – Condizionale Passato 

Io avrei conosciuto
Tu avresti conosciuto
Lui/lei avrebbe conosciuto
Noi avremmo conosciuto
Voi avreste conosciuto
Loro avrebbero conosciuto


Se non foste venuti in Italia, non avreste conosciuto Mario.
If you hadn’t come to Italy, you wouldn’t have met Mario.

Mi ha detto che avrebbe conosciuto i miei amici.
He told me that he was going to meet my friends.

Conoscere Conjugation – Imperativo 

Conosci (Tu)
Conosca (Lei)
Conosciamo (Noi)
Conoscete (Voi)
Conoscano (Loro)

The Imperativo is a mode you use when you want to express command or request. By the way it is rarely used in modern Italian. 

Conoscere Conjugation – Infinito 

Conoscere Conjugation - Infinito
Present TensePast Tense
ConoscereAver conosciuto

The Infinito is the basic form of a verb. In italian verbs in infinito have 3 forms: the one that ends in -are, the one that ends in -ere, and the one with -ire. Infinito can be in the present and in the past.


Prima di conoscere Andrea non sapevo cosa fosse il vero amore.
Before I met Andrea, I didn’t know what true love was. 

Sono molto felice di aver conosciuto una persona così gentile.
I am very happy to have met such a nice person.

Conoscere Conjugation – Participio 

Present TensePast Tense

Participio in the present of the verb conoscere it’s mostly used as a noun, meaning a person whom one knows slightly, an acquaintance. The form Conosciuto, which is the Participio Passato of conoscere, is a part of every compound tense in conoscere conjugation. It can also be used as an adjective and in that case it means well-known, famous. 


Conoscere Conjugation – Gerundio

Un nostro conoscente ha detto che parteciperà al prossimo concorso culinario.
One of our acquaintances said he will be entering the next cooking competition.

È un dato poco conosciuto, ma è la verità.
It’s a little-known fact, but it’s the truth.

Present TensePast Tense
ConoscendoAvendo conosciuto

Gerundio is the mood you can easily recognise. It ends in -ando or in -endo.


Conoscendo mia madre, non partirà senza salutarsi.
Knowing my mother, she won’t leave without saying goodbye.

Avendo conosciuto il tuo ragazzo, direi che avete una relazione splendida.
Having met your boyfriend, I would say you have a wonderful relationship.

Conoscere Vs Sapere 

Conoscere Conjugation - Conoscere VS Sapere

As we already said at the beginning, the verb conoscere literally means to know. If you already started learning Italian you are probably familiar with the verb sapere which also means to know. However, these two verbs are not quite synonyms and there’s a difference between them. 


Basically, sapere means to know something, and conoscere means to know someone. Sapere refers to the knowledge about a fact or a situation. Also it means to be able to do something.

Here are some examples for you: 

So suonare la chitarra.
I can play the guitar. 

It means that I know how to play the guitar, I’m able to play it. 

Sappiamo che Anna è uscita con Marco.
We know that Anna went out with Marco.

It means that we know the fact that Anna went out with Marco. 


Conoscere refers to knowing someone, meeting someone for the first time or being familiar with some place. 

Let me show you some examples: 

Conosci Andrea, il ragazzo di Alice? Certo che lo conosco, è il mio compagno di scuola.
Do you know Andrea, Alice’s boyfriend? Of course I know him, he’s my schoolmate.

It means that I know Andrea, I know that person.

Abbiamo finalmente conosciuto tua madre.
We finally met your mother.
It means that we met your mother for the first time.

Non conosco bene questa zona, forse è meglio chiedere a qualcun altro.
I’m not familiar with this area, so maybe it’s better to ask someone else.
It means that I’m not familiar with this place

Now that you know all Conoscere Conjugations and you know the exact meaning of the verb, you are ready to dive into the Italian language.

In bocca al lupo! 

By: Lucia Aiello

Lucia Aiello is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. Born and raised in Italy, she is a passionate Italian teacher and language enthusiast.

Uscire Conjugation will be quite useful on your next trip to Italy. Wanna know how?

Let’s find out!

What does Uscire means?

The verb uscire means to leave, to exit but can have different uses and meanings such as to come out, to emerge, to publish, to go out, to date. Also, you will encounter the word uscita (exit) at every public place in Italy and it is very important not to mix up with the sign entrata (entry.)  Uscire is a verb of the third conjugation that ends in -ire but it is also an irregular verb which don’t follow the rules for constructions of the tenses.

So, you should learn all tenses and uses of Uscire Conjugation.

As we have said, irregular verbs are mostly the reason why students think that Italian grammar is difficult, but I promise you that it’s not.

Let’s break that prejudice and see how to use uscire in different tenses. 

Uscire Conjugation – Presente

Uscire Conjugation – How to Say to Leave In Italian
Io esco
Tu esci
Lui/lei esce
Noi usciamo
Voi uscite
Loro escono

As an irregular verb, uscire has its own forms in Present Simple. In italian Presente is used to express the present moment. 


Stasera esco con Giulia, vieni con noi?
I’m going out tonight with Giulia, are you coming with us? 

Ogni sera usciamo e incontriamo nuova gente.
Every night we go out and meet new people.

Rimane asciutto anche quando esce dall’acqua.
It stays dry even when it comes out of the water.

Uscire Conjugation – Passato Prossimo 

Io sono uscito/a
Tu sei uscito/a
Lui/lei è uscito/a
Noi siamo usciti/e
Voi siete usciti/e
Loro sono usciti/e

Uscire is a verb of movement. That means that in compound tenses it has to use the auxiliary verb essere. Passato Prossimo is the first compound tense you’ll learn in Italian. It’s used to describe the actions that happened and finished in the recent past.

Passato Prossimo of the verb uscire is formed by the auxiliary verb essere in the present and past participle of uscire.

Don’t forget to change past participle in gender and number!


Ieri sera sono uscita con i miei amici e mi sono divertita un sacco.
I went out with my friends last night and had a great time.

Quando siete usciti avete visto Marco?
When you went out did you see Marco? 

Mi dispiace, non è qui, è appena uscito fuori.
Sorry, he’s not here, he just came out.

Uscire Conjugation – Imperfetto 

Io uscivo
Tu uscivi
Lui/lei usciva
Noi uscivamo
Voi uscivate
Loro uscivano

Along with Passato Prossimo, Imperfetto is one of the most used past tense in Italian. When you want to describe something that happened in the past you’ll need this tense. You’ll use Imperfetto also when you want to talk about your past habits or the actions occurring at the same time. 


Da bambina uscivo di nascosto quasi ogni giorno .
I used to sneak out almost every day as a child.

La luce usciva in ogni direzione.
Light was coming out in every direction.

Li ho visti mentre uscivano da casa.
I saw them leaving the house.

Uscire Conjugation – Trapassato Prossimo 

Uscire Conjugation – Trapassato Prossimo
Io ero uscito/a
Tu eri uscito/a
Lui/lei era uscito/a
Noi eravamo usciti/e
Voi eravate usciti/e
Loro erano usciti/e

Another past tense you’ll use while speaking is Trapassato Prossimo. Use it when you want to talk about an event that happened before another one in the past. To form it, put the verb essere in the Imperfetto and add past participle of verb uscire


Mi ha chiamato ma ero già uscito fuori.
He called me but I had already gone outside.

Sapevo che era uscito da prigione, ma non mi aspettavo di vederlo qua.
I knew he was out of prison, but I didn’t expect to see him here.

Sapevi che erano usciti insieme già due volte?
Did you know they had dated twice before? 

Uscire Conjugation – Passato Remoto 

Io uscii
Tu uscisti
Lui/lei uscì
Noi uscimmo
Voi usciste
Loro uscirono

On the other hand, you won’t use Passato Remoto while speaking. But if you are a booklover, get familiar with this tense because you will see it in the novels, for sure. 


Quando uscii mi dissero che non potevo più giocare.
When I got out they told me I couldn’t play anymore.

La famiglia reale uscì sul balcone.
The royal family came out onto the balcony.

Entrambi i libri uscirono nel 1795.
Both books came out in 1795.

Uscire Conjugation – Trapassato Remoto 

Io fui uscito/a
Tu fosti uscito/a
Lui/lei fu uscito/a
Noi fummo usciti/e
Voi foste usciti/e
Loro furono usciti/e

Trapassato Remoto is a compound tense. It’s made by the passato remoto of an auxiliary verb and the past participle of the main verb. It’s always used in the sentence with Passato Remoto to express an action that happened before. 


Dopo che fui uscito con Aurora, la sposai.
After I dated Aurora, I married her.

Quando furono usciti per strada, videro il loro vicino.
When they were out on the street, they saw their neighbor.

Dopo che fummo usciti, decisi di non chiamarlo più.
After we dated, I decided not to call him again.

Uscire Conjugation – Futuro Semplice 

Uscire Conjugation – Futuro Semplice
Io uscirò
Tu uscirai
Lui/lei uscirà
Noi usciremo
Voi uscirete
Loro usciranno

To talk about the future in Italian you’ll need Futuro Semplice. The future tense in Italian is formed by modifying the verb endings, unlike in English where it is formed by adding will


Quando uscirà il tuo libro?
When is your book coming out?

Un giorno usciremo insieme e lei vedrà che sono simpatico.
One day we’ll hang out and she’ll see that I’m nice.

Cosa hai deciso? Uscirai con Federico?
What have you decided? Will you go out with Federico?

Uscire Conjugation – Futuro Anteriore 

Io sarò uscito/a
Tu sarai uscito/a
Lui/lei sarà uscito/a
Noi saremo usciti/e
Voi sarete usciti/e
Loro saranno usciti/e

Futuro Anteriore is another future tense in Italian. It’s a compound tense, made by the verb essere in Futuro Semplice and past participle of the verb uscire. You have to use this tense to express anteriority in the future or when you want to make an assumption or hypothesis of something that could have happened in the past. 


Dopo che sarai uscito di casa, mi telefonerai e mi spiegherai cosa è successo.
After you leave the house, you will call me and explain what happened. 

Appena che sarete usciti, chiamateci.
As soon as you are out, call us. 

Quando saranno usciti, potrò vestirmi.
When they come out, I can get dressed. 

Uscire Conjugation – Congiuntivo Presente 

Io esca
Tu esca
Lui/lei esca
Noi usciamo
Voi usciate
Loro escano

Subjunctive is a mode that links subordinate clauses and main clauses when in the main clause we have the verbs that express doubts, opinions, emotions, hopes and so on. Rarely used in English, but in Italian you will encounter on Congiuntivo very frequently. 

There are four different tenses in Italian Congiuntivo: Congiuntivo Presente, Congiuntivo Passato, Congiuntivo Imperfetto and Congiuntivo Trapassato

Let’s start with Congiuntivo Presente.


Mio padre non vuole che io esca con lui.
My dad doesn’t want me to date him.

Speriamo che usciate presto da questa brutta situazione.
We hope you get out of this bad situation soon.

Aspettiamo che il sole esca.
We just wait for the sun to come out.

Uscire Conjugation – Congiuntivo Passato 

Uscire Conjugation – How to Say to Leave In Italian
Io sia uscito/a
Tu sia uscito/a
Lui/lei sia uscito/a
Noi siamo usciti/e
Voi siate usciti/e
Loro siano usciti/e


La tua ragazza pensa che tu sia uscito con il tuo collega ieri.
Your girlfriend thinks you went out with your coworker yesterday.

E’ bello che siate uscite a passeggiare un po’.
It’s nice that you got out for a little walk.

Penso che il suo libro sia già uscito.
I think that her book is already out.

Uscire Conjugation – Congiuntivo Imperfetto 

Io uscissi
Tu uscissi
Lui/lei uscisse
Noi uscissimo
Voi usciste
Loro uscissero

Check out these examples:

Non volevo che uscissi di casa e dovessi scoprirlo da qualcun altro.
I didn’t want you to leave the house and have to find out from someone else.

Non volevi che Sofia uscisse con me.
You didn’t want Sofia to go out with me. 

Ho dovuto aspettare che i miei uscissero.
I had to wait until my parents went out.

Uscire Conjugation – Congiuntivo Trapassato 

Io fossi uscito/a
Tu fossi uscito/a
Lui/lei fosse uscito/a
Noi fossimo usciti/e
Voi foste usciti/e
Loro fossero usciti/e


Vorrei che fossimo usciti insieme.
I wish we had dated. 

Cosa fai qui? Pensavo che fossi già uscito.
What are you doing here? I thought you’d already left.

Sembrava che non fossero usciti dalla stanza da giorni.
They looked like they hadn’t left the room in days.

Uscire Conjugation – Condizionale Presente 

Io uscirei
Tu usciresti
Lui/lei uscirebbe
Noi usciremmo
Voi uscireste
Loro uscirebbero

Condizionale, or the italian conditional tense, is a mood you’ll need when you want to be polite. Also you have to use this mode to express wishes, assumptions and doubt. It can be in the past and in the present.

Let’s start with Condizionale Presente.


Ti sembra un tipo con cui uscirei?
Does he seem like a guy I’d go out with?

Secondo te tua sorella uscirebbe con me?
Do you think your sister would go out with me?

Se non ci fosse la pioggia, usciremmo.
If there wasn’t rain, we’d go out.

Uscire Conjugation – Condizionale Passato 

Io sarei uscito/a
Tu saresti uscito/a
Lui/lei sarebbe uscito/a
Noi saremmo usciti/e
Voi sareste usciti/e
Loro sarebbero usciti/e


Se avesse potuto, sarebbe uscita da questa brutta situazione.
If she could have, she would have gotten out of this bad situation.

E’ stato rilevato che il libro sarebbe uscito il 11 novembre.
It was revealed that the book would be released on November 11.

Pensavo che non ne saremmo usciti vivi.
I thought we wouldn’t get out of this alive.

Uscire Conjugation – Imperativo 

Esci (Tu)
Esca (Lei)
Usciamo (Noi)
Uscite (Voi)
Escano (Loro)

Imperative in Italian, as in English, is used to give commands and orders. If you want to require that some action be performed, use Imperativo


Usciamo, dai!
Let’s go out, come on!

Sono molto arrabbiata, esci dalla mia stanza!
I am very angry, get out of my room! 

Uscire Conjugation – Infinito 

Uscire Conjugation – How to Say to Leave In Italian
Present TensePast Tense
UscireEssere uscito


Scusa, non ce la faccio a uscire stasera.
Sorry, I can’t make it out tonight.

Sono felice di essere uscito da quel posto.
I’m glad I got out of that place. 

Uscire Conjugation – Participio 

Present TensePast Tense

The present participle in Italian of the verb uscire is uscente. It’s used as an adjective and means outgoing or ending. The past participle of uscire is uscito. It’s a part of every compound tense. When used in the feminine it means exit.


Il presidente uscente lascia il potere.
Outgoing president leaves power.

Potrebbe trattarsi di qualcuno uscito di recente di prigione.
This could be someone recently released from prison.

Uscire Conjugation – Gerundio

Present TensePast Tense
UscendoEssendo uscito

Gerund is used often in the Italian language. If you want to know everything about italian gerundio check out this article


Uscendo dalla stazione, ho visto un mio vecchio amico.
Coming out of the station, I saw an old friend of mine.

Essendo uscito dall’ufficio velocemente, Matteo ha dimenticato i documenti.
Having left the office quickly, Matteo forgot his papers. 

Different Uses Of the Verb Uscire In Italian

Uscire Conjugation – Different Uses of the Verb Uscire in Italian

Now that you have understood conjugation of all its tenses, let see different meanings of the verb uscire in Italian:

1. Uscire means to exit, to leave


Sono uscito dall’albergo e ho visitato il museo.
I left the hotel and visited the museum. 

2. Uscire means to come out, to emerge 


Da dove è uscito questo gatto?
Where did this cat come from?

Da questa fabbrica escono oltre 300 mila veicoli all’anno.
More than 300,000 vehicles per year come out of this factory. 

3. Uscire means to publish


Ragazzi, è uscito il mio nuovo libro.
Guys, my new book is published.

4. Uscire means to go out


Esci stasera con noi? Dai, andiamo al cinema.
Will you go out with us tonight? Come on, we are going to the cinema.

Stasera non mi va di uscire.
I don’t feel like going out tonight. 

5. Uscire means to date


Vuoi uscire con me?
Do you want to date me?

Sono uscita ieri con Stefano, ma non mi è piaciuto.
I dated Stefano yesterday, but I was not impressed.

Now when you know how to conjugate the verb uscire you are able to call your italian friends to go out. Or maybe to ask some italian girl or boy to go on a date. 

In bocca al lupo! Good luck!

By: Lucia Aiello

Lucia Aiello is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. Born and raised in Italy, she is a passionate Italian teacher and language enthusiast.

Dare conjugation is extremely important to learn because in Italy we use the verb dare very often in everyday conversation. 

The literal translation of the verb dare is to give. It also has other meanings, such as to show / to perform, to yield / to produce. In some context dare also means “to face”, “to look at”. When it’s used as a reflexive verb it means “devote yourself”. Also, there are a lot of Italian Idioms with dare, such as “dare un’occhiata”, “dare il cinque” or “dare i numeri”, that are used everyday in Italy.

So, if you want to know how use the verb dare, first you need to learn how to conjugate it in all its tenses!

Then keep reading this article until the end!

Dare Conjugation – Presente Indicativo

Dare Conjugation - Presente Indicativo
Io do
Tu dai
Noi diamo
Voi date 
Loro danno

We use Presente when we want to talk about the present. When we want to express actions or state that we’re experiencing right now. The equivalent of this verb in English would be Present Simple. It’s simple, right? 

Let’s see some examples: 

Ti do il mio numero di telefono, puoi scrivere?
I give you my phone number, can you write it down?

Diamo un’altra opportunità a tua sorella.
We give your sister another chance.

Mi dai un minuto, per favore?
Can you give me a minute, please?

And if you want to repeat all Italian tenses here is a useful books for you:

Dare Conjugation – Passato Prossimo 

Io ho dato
Tu hai dato
Lui/lei ha dato
Noi abbiamo dato 
Voi avete dato
Loro hanno dato

Passato prossimo is the first compound tense you’ll encounter in the Italian language. It’s like Past Simple in English. Use this tense when you want to talk about actions that happened in the past. As we said, it’s a compound verb, so we’ll need an auxiliary verb. In this case, e use the verb avere because the verb dare is a transitive verb and it takes a direct object. 


Mi hai dato un consiglio sincero, grazie.
You gave me honest advice, thank you.

Le abbiamo già dato dei soldi, cosa vuole adesso?
We already gave her money, what does she want now?

Gli hanno dato le medicine, e adesso sta meglio.
They gave him medication, and he’s better now.

Dare Conjugation – Imperfetto 

Dare Conjugation - Imperfetto
Io davo
Tu davi
Lui/lei dava
Noi davamo
Voi davate
Loro davano

Along with Passato Prossimo, Imperfetto is the most used past tense in Italian. You’ll need this tense when you want to describe something that happened in the past.


Ti davo buoni consigli, ma non ne hai seguito nessuno.
I gave you good advice, but you didn’t follow any of it.

Mentre davo il resto ad un cliente mi sono accorto che una moneta era falsa.
While giving change to a customer I realized that one coin was fake.

Alcuni davano la colpa all’inquinamento.
Some people blamed pollution.

Dare Conjugation – Trapassato Prossimo 

Io avevo dato
Tu avevi dato
Lui/lei aveva dato
Noi avevamo dato
Voi avevate dato
Loro avevano dato

To express an activity that happened before another one in the past you need to use Trapassato Prossimo. Like Passato Prossimo, this is a compound tense. You form it with the verb avere in Imperfetto and Participio Passato of the verb dare: dato.


Mi aveva dato la macchina e quindi potevo partire per le vacanze.
He had given me the car so I could leave for vacation.

Abbiamo scoperto che la risposta che avevi dato non aveva nessun senso.
We discovered that the answer you had given made no sense at all.

Dare Conjugation – Passato Remoto 

Dare Conjugation - Passato Remoto
Io diedi
Tu desti
Lui diede/dette
Noi demmo
Voi deste
Loro diedero/dettero

Passato Remoto is the past tense that describes the action that happened and finished in the past. This tense is the one that has many irregularities which make him look difficult. Don’t worry about that because it’s not very used in the spoken language. You’ll mostly find it in literature or newspapers. 


Mi desti cinque dollari per non dirlo a nessuno.
You gave me five dollars not to tell anyone.

Picasso diede forma alla tragedia dipingendo Guernica.
Picasso gave form to the tragedy by painting Guernica.

Dobbiamo solo darle una possibilità, come voi la deste a me.
We just need to give her a chance, like you gave me a chance.

Dare Conjugation – Trapassato Remoto 

Io ebbi dato
Tu avesti dato
Lui ebbe dato
Noi avemmo dato
Voi aveste dato
Loro ebbero dato

The Passato Remoto of the verb dare is formed in this way: the verb avere in the Passato Remoto + Participio Passato of the verb dare. It’s only used to express the action that happened before another action expressed in Passato Remoto

Look at these examples:

Dopo che la Spagna ebbe dato la sua approvazione, i documenti furono spediti da Madrid a Bruxelles.
After Spain had given its approval, the documents were sent from Madrid to Brussels.

Dopo che mi avesti dato questa terribile notizia, cominciai a pinagere.
After you told me this terrible news, I started to cry.

Dare Conjugation – Futuro Semplice 

Io darò
Tu darai
Lui/lei darà
Noi daremo
Voi darete
Loro daranno

Futuro Semplice or Future Simple in English it’s used to express future events. 


Quando starà meglio, le darò una bambola.
When she gets better, I’ll give her a doll.

Questo sforzo adesso darà sicuramente risultati positivi in futuro.
This effort now will surely give positive results in the future.

Questa è la descrizione che darete alla polizia.
This is the description you will give to the police.

Dare Conjugation – Futuro Anteriore 

Io avrò dato
Tu avrai dato
Lui/lei avrà dato
Noi avremo dato
Voi avrete dato
Loro avranno dato

There is another future tense in Italian. It’s called Futuro Anteriore. It’s used to make an assumption or to express the action that will be finished before another one takes place. 


Non aprirlo finché non ti avrò dato ulteriori istruzioni.
Do not open it until I give you further instructions.

Dopo che ti avrà dato le chiavi, potrai usare la macchina.
After he gives you the keys, you can use the car.

Gli avranno dato il farmaco sbagliato.
They must have given him the wrong medication.

Dare Conjugation – Congiuntivo Presente 

Dare Conjugation - Congiuntivo
Che io dia
Che tu dia
Che lui/lei dia 
Che noi diamo
Che voi diate
Che loro diano

It’s not that easy to express your opinion in Italian. You have to make some effort and put your sentences in Congiuntivo. It’s like Subjunctive mode in English, but unlike in English in Italian Congiuntivo is far more used. There are 4 different Subjunctive modes in Italian: Congiuntivo Presente, Congiuntivo Passato, Congiuntivo Imperfetto and Congiuntivo Trapassato. 

Let’s see some examples for Congiuntivo Presente: 

Non trova un lavoro che dia significato alla sua vita.
He can’t find a job that gives his life meaning.

Gli alunni vogliono che l’insegnante dia un esempio.
Students want the teacher to give an example. 

Voglio che diate un’occhiata al mio libro.
I want you to check out my book.

Dare Conjugation – Congiuntivo Passato 

Che io abbia dato
Che tu abbia dato
Che lui/lei abbia dato
Che noi abbiamo dato
Che voi abbiate dato
Che loro abbiano dato


Penso che tu gli abbia dato abbastanza soldi.
I think you gave them enough money.

E’ bello che mi abbiate dato qualche speranza.
It’s nice that you’ve given me some hope.

Nonostante che gli abbiamo dato il permesso, hanno deciso di non sposarsi.
Despite the fact that we gave them permission, they decided not to get married.

Dare Conjugation – Congiuntivo Imperfetto 

Che io dessi
Che tu dessi
Che lui/lei desse
Che noi dessimo
Che voi deste
Che loro dessero


Vorrei solo che gli dessi un’opportunità.
I just wish you would give him a chance.

Non era necessario che mi dessero i soldi.
They didn’t have to give me the money.

Se ci deste un po’ di tempo, potremmo preparare un bel pranzo.
If you give us some time, we could make a nice lunch.

Dare Conjugation – Congiuntivo Trapassato 

Che io avessi dato
Che tu avessi dato
Che lui/lei avesse dato
Che noi avessimo dato
Che voi aveste dato
Che loro avessero dato


Come se le avessi dato scelta.
As if you gave her a choice.

Se mi aveste dato l’opportunità, vi avrei spiegato tutto.
If you had given me the opportunity, I would have explained everything.

Pensavo che ti avessero dato già qualcosa da mangiare.
I thought they already gave you something to eat.

Dare Conjugation – Condizionale Presente 

Dare Conjugation - Condizionale
Io darei
Tu daresti
Lui/lei darebbe
Noi daremmo
Voi dareste
Loro darebbero

If you want to be polite in Italian you can use Condizionale. Use it also to express your wishes or hypothesis. Condizionale can be in the present: Condizionale Presente or in the past: Condizionale Passato. 


Darebbe tutto per poter stare accanto a lei.
He would give anything to be next to her.

Mi daresti una mano in cucina?
Would you help me out in the kitchen?

Darei qualsiasi cosa al mondo per vederla felice.
I would give anything in the world to see her happy.

Dare Conjugation – Condizionale Passato 

Io avrei dato
Tu avresti dato
Lui/lei avrebbe dato
Noi avremmo dato
Voi avreste dato
Loro avrebbero dato 


Mi ha detto che avrebbe dato tutto per lei.
He told me he would give everything for her.

Se avessimo avuto più tempo, vi avremmo dato una mano.
If we had more time, we would have helped you out.

Dare Conjugation – Imperativo 

Da’ / Dai (Tu)
Dia (Lei)
Diamo (Noi)
Date (Voi)
Diano (Loro)

On the other hand, if you don’t want to be polite anymore and you want to start giving orders you’ll need Imperativo

Take a look at these examples: 

Devo sapere dove sei, dammi l’indirizzo per favore.
I need to know where you are, give me the address please.

Datemi un’altra possibilità, questa volta non sbaglierò.
Give me another chance, this time I won’t fail.

Avere Conjugation – Infinito 

Dare Conjugation - Infinito
Present TensePast Tense
DareAver dato

Dare is the basic form of the verb. Aver dato is the infinitive in the past. 


Non è facile dare un’altra chance a una persona che ti ha tradito.
It is not easy to give another chance to someone who has betrayed you.

Non posso perdonarti per aver dato il mio posto ad Alice.
I can’t forgive you for giving my position to Alice. 

Avere Conjugation – Participio 

Present TensePast Tense

The Participio Presente of the verb dare is dante, but probabily you will never use it. In fact, Dante it’s only used as a proper name: have you ever heard about Dante Alighieri? He is considered the father of the Italian language!

On the other hand, the Participio Passato of the verb dare is dato and it’s very used as the part of every compound tense in the conjugation of dare


Dante Alighieri è stato un poeta, scrittore e politico italiano.
Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet, writer and politician.

Il capo mi ha dato un ordine preciso.
The boss gave me a specific order.

Avere Conjugation – Gerundio

Present TensePast Tense
DandoAvendo dato

Gerundio has different uses. It’s rarely used in the spoken language, except in the present progressive. To clarify this, check out this article


E’ ora di insegnarli dando un buon esempio.
It’s time to teach them by setting a good example.

Avendo dato tutto ai poveri, non aveva più niente.
Having given everything to the poor, he was left with nothing.

Different Meanings Of Dare In Italian:

Dare Conjugation - Meanings of dare in Italian

The literal translation of the verb dare is to give


Ti darò un regalo.
I’ll give you a gift.

But, as we have said, the verb dare in Italian also has other meanings and uses, such as:

  1. to show /to perform
  2. to yield / to produce
  3. to face / to look at
  4. to devote yourself

Let’s see some of these eamples. 

1. Dare Meaning “To Show / To Perform”


Danno ancora quel film al cinema?
Do they still show that movie in the cinema?

2. Dare Meaning “To Yield / To Produce”


Gli investimenti hanno dato un rendimento positivo del 2,5%.
Investments yielded a positive return of 2.5%.

Quest’anno il frutteto di Carlo ha dato molti frutti.
This year, Carlo’s orchard bore a lot of fruit.

3. Dare Meaning “To face / To look at”


La mia camera ha una splendida vista che dà sul mare.
My room has a beautiful view that looks onto the sea.

4. Dare Meaning “devote yourself”


Angela ha deciso di darsi alla scuola.
Angela decided to dedicate herself to the school.

Italian Idioms With Dare  

Italian Idioms with dare

Italians often use idiomatic expressions in the spoken language. The verb dare also appears in many of them. Let’s see which ones are the most popular:

dare un’occhiatato have a look
dare fastidioto annoy
dare il cinqueto give a high five
dare i numerito go crazy
dare fuocoto light a fire
dare ragioneto agree with someone
dare tortoto disagree with someone 
dare un esameto take an exam
dare da mangiareto feed
dare il viato initiate
dare per scontatoto take something or someone for granted
darsi per vintoto give up
dare la colpato blame

Dare is one of the essential verbs you’ll need to start speaking italian. So don’t waste anymore time and learn all the dare conjugations! If you like to learn with music listen up this classic italian song: 

By: Lucia Aiello

Lucia Aiello is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. Born and raised in Italy, she is a passionate Italian teacher and language enthusiast.

Learning to say why in Italian is one of the first things to keep in mind when starting a conversation.

In fact, you realize that you could sometimes bump into incomplete sentences in case this word is missing. 

The most popular term to express why in Italian is perché. Perché can be intended as an interrogative adverb when making questions; on the contrary, it becomes a causal conjunction in presence of answers. It is basically used when you hope to get more information about something that happened to you or someone else. According to the type of words preceding or following perché, you are able to stress more or less what you mean. In other cases, you can resort to different but still valid options like come mai, per quale motivo, a che scopo and so on.    

Soon I’ll show you some of the most common ways to translate why in Italian. 

Shall we begin? 

before going any further, I also suggest you to refresh Italian Grammar with one of these useful books:

10 Common Ways to Say Why in Italian:

Here below you can find a list of 10 common ways of saying why in Italian and all different uses of perché in context: 

  1. Perché?
  2. Perché no! / Perché no?
  3. E perché?
  4. Perché mai?
  5. Come mai?
  6. Per quale motivo? / Per quale ragione?
  7. A che scopo? / A che pro?
  8. Il perché
  9. Ma dai! / Suvvia!
  10. Beh / Che dire

Let’s see them together more closely:

1. Perché?

Why in Italian - Perché?

Let’s start with perché, which is one of the most widespread expressions to translate why in Italian. Generally, we use it when seeking explanations about someone’s actions or finding the reason why something is happening or just occured. 


Perché Giada non è venuta? La stavamo aspettando. 
Why didn’t Giada come? We were waiting for her. 

Perché non mi hai detto nulla? Avrei potuto aiutarti! 
Why didn’t you tell me anything? I could have helped you! 

Fun fact: do you know the famous song La partita di pallone by Italian singer Rita Pavone? Well, try to guess how many times the word perché repeats itself in the song! Did you manage? Almost 14 times! 

2. Perché no! and Perché no?

Secondly, you need to know that perché can be followed by no in two specific cases.

  • In the first one, it appears when you support someone’s proposal/idea of doing something. As you can see, this is the case we use an exclamation: perché no!
  • In the second one, it occurs when you ask for explanations about something you were not allowed to do. Its equivalent in English is why not and as you can notice we use question mark: perché no?


Ma perché non andiamo in centro più tardi? – Sì, perché no!
Why don’t we go downtown later? – Sure, why not! 

Ti ho già detto che non puoi uscire stasera. – Uffa, perché no? 
I already told you that you cannot go out tonight. – Ugh, why not?  

3. E perché?

Furthermore, perché meaning why in Italian can be preceded by the conjunction e when expressing interest in something or somebody’s choices.    


Antonio ti ha chiesto di incontrarlo? E perché?
Did Antonio ask you to meet him? Why?

Isabella ha deciso di lasciare il lavoro? E perché? 
Did Isabella decide to leave her job? Why? 

Make sure not to confuse e as conjunction with è as the third person singular of the verb essere (to be) 

4. Perché mai?

Perché mai? - Italian translation of Why

On the contrary, perché followed by the adverb mai (never) conveys the idea that you are investigating the reason for what they just told you. When uttering this expression, a sense of wonder usually arises.    


Perché mai Jackson ci avrebbe mentito? Non ha senso! 
Why would Jackson lie to us? It makes no sense!  

Perché mai lo avrebbe cacciato di casa? Che ha fatto di male?
Why would she kick him out? What did he do wrong? 

As you may have noticed, the conditional tense has been employed in both sentences. On this occasion, you can just make assumptions about what happened since you don’t know the truth yet. 

5. Come mai?

As you can see, in this expression come (how) takes the place of perché. Despite that, the meaning and the use of come mai are pretty much the same as in the preceding case of saying Why in Italian. 


Come mai non sei venuta alla festa di Gianna ieri sera? 
Why didn’t you come to Gianna’s party yesterday night?

 Come mai non ti ha voluto dire quello che è successo? 
Why didn’t she want to tell you what happened? 

Fun fact: in the popular song Come mai by the Italian band 883, you can hear come mai occurring over and over again. 

6. Per quale motivo? / Per quale ragione?

Instead, per quale motivo or per quale ragione are great alternatives to indicate why in Italian. Both translate as for which reason. Plus, they are mainly employed when you specifically ask for more information about something that you struggle to understand.   


Per quale motivo non hai chiamato prima di venire?
Why didn’t you call me before coming over?  

Per quale ragione Marika pensa che ce l’abbia con lei? 
Why does Marika think I’m mad at her?

7. A che scopo? / a che pro?

Similarly, a che scopo and a che pro can be considered as other important ways to say why in Italian. They mean respectively for what purpose? and what’s the point?. In addition, they are mostly applied in very informal contexts when questioning the reason for someone’s decisions.     


Vuole vendere la casa e trasferirsi in Canada. Ok, ma a che scopo?
He wishes to sell his house and move to Canada. Ok, but why? 

Ti darà il tuo regalo di Natale a Capodanno. Sì, ma a che scopo?
She is going to give you her Christmas present on New Year’s Eve. Yeah, but why?   

8. Il perchè 

Il Perchè - Italian Why

Going on, it’s time to mention another interesting statement standing for why in Italian: il perché. As you can see, it is combined with a definite article. Regarding its usage, it is employed in the same way as the other expressions we saw until now.


Oggi la lavastoviglie non funziona e non capisco il perché. 
Today the dishwasher doesn’t work and I have no idea why. 

Non ha risposto ai miei messaggi e vorrei sapere il perché. 
He didn’t reply to my messages and I would like to know why.

Note that:

  • You can even find il perché in combination with the preposition di (of) in certain circumstances.  


Non si spiegano il perché della nostra scelta. 
They can’t explain the why of our decision. 

  • Other possible solutions imply that perché may be replaced by the nouns motivo e causa meaning reason in English. 


Non ho ancora capito il motivo del loro litigio. 
I still don’t understand the why of their argument. 

9. Ma dai! / Suvvia! 

Equally important are the following translations of why in Italian: ma dai and suvvia. These two Italian exclamations are required when you want to highlight the senselessness of what your speaker has just told you. 

In English, this concept is clearer since why might be intended as why are you making this obvious question?. Naturally, the question is incomplete and what remains is just why containing the whole meaning. 


Stai insinuando che ho copiato durante il test? Ma dai, certo che no!
Are you implying that I cheated on the test? Why, of course not!

Ci ha provato con tua moglie? Suvvia, non dire stupidaggini! 
Did he flirt with your wife? Why, don’t be silly! 

Note that suvvia has now become an old-fashioned word. Indeed, you can find it only in very formal contexts. Nevertheless, the most widespread form is su which lost a part of its components over the years. This interjection is used to exhort somebody to do something by the way.  

10. Beh / Che dire 

Also beh and che dire have the same meaning and use of the exclamations mentioned earlier. Besides that, they still remain valid alternatives to why in Italian when you are sick of employing why repeatedly.


Se sono favorevole al matrimonio omosessuale? Beh, certo! 
Am I in favor of same-sex marriage? Why, yes! Of course, I am! 

Devono venire anche loro con noi? Che dire, mi sembra ovvio!
Are they coming with us, too? Why, absolutely! It’s pretty clear!   

Why in Italian: the indirect interrogative clauses

Why and Because in Italian: the indirect interrogative clauses

Perhaps you already know that some words like how and why must be repeated when replying to questions. In this regard, we are talking about indirect interrogative clauses, primarily existing in the reported speech. 

To better understand, this type of subordinate indirectly reports the question word in the answer.   


Non so perché se ne siano andati via così presto.
I don’t know why they left so early. 

Dimmi perché hai disdetto la prenotazione all’ultimo minuto!
Tell me why you canceled our reservation at the last minute!   

How to reply to questions: Why and Because in Italian.

This last paragraph might be unuseful to you. Apart from that, I’d like to say a few words on the topic in question anyway. As you know, one of the differences between the English and Italian languages is the use of why and because. In English, why is applied in questions, whereas because in answers. On the contrary, why in Italian is used both in questions and answers. For this reason, Italians usually make mistakes concerning the proper use of why and because in English.  


Perché stai piangendo, piccolina? – Perché mi manca mamma!
Why are you crying, sweetheart? – Because I miss my mum! 

Perché non sei partito con lei? – Perché ieri ci siamo lasciati.
Why didn’t you go with her? – Because we broke up yesterday.  

Learned how to build sentences with why in Italian? Well, now try to ask your Italian friend come mai you haven’t heard from him recently!    

By: Alfonso Di Somma

Born and raised in Italy, he is an Italian professional translator and a tireless traveler. His main passion? Foreign languages!

To learn Stare Conjugation can be very useful for you if you want to master Italian language because the verb stare is widely used in Italy.

In fact, after essere and avere, the verb stare is the third most popular verb. If you have already learnt the first two, good job: now it’s time to learn the verb stare!

The verb stare literally means to stay, to be in a place (without moving) or to be in a particular condition, but also to live in a place or to be in a relationship. Depending on the situation, it can be translated as: to be, to remain, to stand, to be situated, to sit. Related words to stare are restare (remain), sottostare (submit to someone) and sovrastare (dominate someone). Also, to express what you are doing at the moment, it is used the verb stare and the Italian Gerund.

Usually the students don’t like to study stare conjugation because it’s irregular. But if you want to speak Italian fluently you have to learn all irregular verbs, including stare! Note also that another difficulty is that the verb stare can be confused with the verb essere. If you want to learn what is the difference between essere and stare check this article out carefully.

So, as you have seen, stare it’s a pretty important verb. Now it’s time to learn how to conjugate it:

Stare Conjugation – Presente

Stare Conjugation - how to say to stay in Italian

As we mentioned before, the verb stare is irregular. We already know what to do in that case. We should learn the conjugation stare by heart, because it’s not following generic rules of the tense. 

Io sto
Tu stai
Lui/ Lei sta 
Noi stiamo 
Voi state 
Loro stanno 

The present tense (or simply ‘the present’) is used to state that an action is occurring at the present time. Same as in English. 

Let’s see some examples:

Come stai?
How are you?

Sto bene, grazie.
I’m fine thanks.

Mio nonno sta male.
My grandfather isn’t well. 

Stefano sta a casa.
Stefano is at home. 

La casa sta sulla collina
The house is on the hill.

You may need one of this vocabulary in order to repeat Italian Verbs:

Stare Conjugation – Passato Prossimo

Io sono stato/a 
Tu sei stato/a
Lui/lei è stato/a
Noi siamo stati/e
Voi siete stati/e 
Loro sono stati/e

Passato Prossimo is the tense we use to talk about actions we did in the recent past. It’s the main past tense in Italian. It’s compound, which means that you’ll need to use the auxiliary verb essere or avere and past participle. In this case we will use the auxiliary verb essere because stare is an intransitive verb.  


Sono stata a Napoli due settimane fa.
I was in Naples two weeks ago.

Siamo stati molto preoccupati per voi.
We have been very concerned about you.

Don’t forget to modify past participles according to the gender and number of the subject! 

Stare Conjugation – Imperfetto

Io stavo
Tu stavi 
Lui/lei stava 
Noi stavamo 
Voi stavate
Loro stavano 

If you want to describe something in the past, talk about feelings or habits in the past you’ll need Imperfetto


Stavo per uscire quando mi ha detto che dovevamo parlare.
I was about to leave when he said we needed to talk.

Quando sono entrato in ufficio, lei non stava scrivendo la mail.
When I entered the office, she wasn’t writing the email.

Che stavate facendo?
What were you doing?

Stare Conjugation – Trapassato Prossimo

Stare Conjugation - how to say to stay in Italian
Io ero stato/a
Tu eri stato/a
Lui/lei era stato/a
Noi eravamo stati/e 
Voi eravate stati/e 
Loro erano stati/e

Another compound tense you have to know is Trapassato prossimo. You’ll need this tense when talking about an event that happened in the past before another event in the past. 


Non ero mai stato in Francia prima.
I had never been to France before.

Ricordi quando eravamo stati in quell’albergo?
Remember when we had stayed at that hotel?

Ieri sei andata alla Galleria degli Uffizi, non ci eri mai stata prima e ti è piaciuta un sacco.
Yesterday you went to the Uffizi Gallery, you had never been there before and you loved it.

Stare Conjugation – Passato Remoto 

Io stetti 
Tu stesti
Lui/lei stette 
Noi stemmo 
Voi steste 
Loro stettero

What perhaps confuses students the most is choosing the appropriate past tense. Maybe there are a lot of past tenses in italian language, but there is one you don’t have to worry about. It’s Passato Remoto. This tense is mainly used in literature and in the written language, and almost not used while speaking. 


Nel capanno stemmo tutta la notte.
In a shed we stood all night long.

Da quel giorno in poi, stettero in contatto l’uno con l’altro durante il corso degli anni successivi.
From that day forward, they stayed in touch with each other over the next few years.

Steste qualche mese insieme.
You were a few months together.

Stare Conjugation – Trapassato Remoto 

Io fui stato/a
Tu fosti stato/a
Lui/lei fu stato/a
Noi fummo stati/e
Voi foste stati/e
Loro furono stati/e

If stare conjugation in Trapassato Remoto stirs you up, don’t worry! This is the rarest tense in Italian language. You’ll encounter Trapassato Remoto only if you are a bookworm and you want to dive into italian literature. 

Stare Conjugation – Futuro Semplice 

Io starò
Tu starai 
Lui/lei starà
Noi staremo
Voi starete 
Loro staranno 

On the other hand, Futuro Semplice is quite an important tense. There is no tomorrow without this tense, so don’t miss it! Futuro Semplice is used to describe a future event. 


Non so ancora quanto tempo starò a Napoli
I don’t know yet how long I will stay in Naples.

Ti starà accanto tutta la serata.
He’ll be by your side all night.

Se domani piove, staremo a casa.
If it rains tomorrow, we’ll stay home.

Stare Conjugation – Futuro Anteriore 

Stare Conjugation - how to say to stay in Italian
Io sarò stato/a
Tu sarai stato/a
Lui/lei sarà stato/a
Noi saremo stati/e
Voi sarete stati/e
Loro saranno stati/e

A future action can also be expressed with Futuro Anteriore. But in this case the action will happen before the Futuro Semplice. Also, we use this tense to express an assumption. 

Let’s see some examples: 

Il giorno in cui sarà stata a Firenze, le scriverò.
I’m going to write to her once she has arrived in Florence.

Sarò stato un bambino, la prima volta in cui ho visto una partita.
I must have been a kid the first time I watched a game.

Perché Anna e Marco non c’erano alla festa? Saranno stati al lavoro.
Why weren’t Anna and Marco at the party? They must have been at work.

Do you know that in Italian there’s one tense you use when you want to express your opinion, uncertainty, hopes, and fears? Well, it’s Subjunctive Mood or Congiuntivo in italian. It usually comes after che

Stare Conjugation – Congiuntivo Presente

Che io stia
Che tu stia
Che lui/lei stia
Che noi stiamo
Che voi stiate
Che loro stiano


Penso che Anna non mi stia dicendo la verità.
I think Anna is not telling me the truth.

Sembra che stia soffrendo molto.
He seems to be in a lot of pain.

E’ bello che stiano leggendo quel libro insieme.
It’s nice that they’re reading that book together.

Stare Conjugation – Congiuntivo Passato

Che io sia stato/a
Che tu sia stato/a
Che lui/lei sia stato/a
Che noi siamo stati/e
Che voi siate stati/e
Che loro siano stati/e


Penso che lui sia stato bravo in matematica.
I think he was good at math.

Non credo che siano stati molto felici all’estero.
I don’t think they were very happy abroad.

Spero che non sia stato un’incidente grave.
I hope it wasn’t a serious accident.

Stare Conjugation – Congiuntivo Imperfetto 

Che io stessi
Che tu stessi
Che lui/lei stesse
Che noi stessimo
Che voi steste
Che loro stessero


Vorrei che tu non stessi per partire.
I wish you weren’t leaving.

Pensavo che stessimo andando al supermercato.
I thought we were going to the grocery store.

Credo di sapere dove stessero andando.
I think I knew where they were going.

Stare Conjugation – Congiuntivo Trapassato 

Stare Conjugation - how to say to stay in Italian
Che io fossi stato/a
Che tu fossi stato/a
Che lui/lei fosse stato/a
Che noi fossimo stati/e
Che voi foste stati/e
Che loro fossero stati/e


Mi avevi detto di chiamarti, se fossi stato in città.
You told me to call you if I was in town.

Se fossimo stati come loro, avremmo vinto la guerra.
If we had been like them, we would have won the war.

Come se fossimo stati sposati un milione di anni fa.
Like we were married a million years ago.

Stare Conjugation – Condizionale Presente

Io starei
Tu staresti
Lui/lei starebbe
Noi staremmo
Voi stareste
Loro starebbero

When you want to express polite requests, advice, wishes or regret, use Condizionale in italian. In English we use would + verb for the same reason. 


E comunque staresti bene anche con un sacchetto in testa.
And you’d look good with a bag over your head anyway.

Se avessero voluto aiutarci, non staremmo qui a parlarne adesso.
If they had wanted to help us, we wouldn’t be talking about it now.

Magari starei meglio con i nuovi amici.
Maybe I’d be better with new friends.

Stare Conjugation – Condizionale Passato

Io sarei stato/a
Tu saresti stato/a
Lui/lei sarebbe stato/a
Noi saremmo stati/e
Voi sareste stati/e
Loro sarebbero stati/e

Condizionale Passato is the same thing but in the past. It’s a compound tense, used with avere or essere in Condizionale plus past participle. 


Sarei stato un avvocato terribile.
I would have been a terrible lawyer.

Sapevo che sarebbe stato più difficile senza lui.
I knew it would be harder without him.

Senza te non sarei mai stato in grado di affrontarlo.
Without you I would never have been able to deal with it.

Stare Conjugation – Imperativo 

Sta’/stai (tu)
Stia (Lei)
Stiamo (Noi)
State (Voi)
Stiano (Loro)

If you are a person who likes to give orders and instructions you’ll need Imperativo. We already mentioned that stare is an irregular verb, also here it has its own forms.


Sta’ zitto, non sento nulla!
Shut up, I can’t hear anything!

State attenti, ragazzi! Questa lezione è importante!
Be careful, kids! This lesson is important!

Sta’ fermo e tieni in vista le mani.
Stand still and keep your hands in view.

Stare Conjugation – Infinito 

Stare Conjugation - how to say to stay in Italian
Present TensePast Tense
StareEsser stato

Infinitive is the basic form of a verb. It can be in the present tense or in the past tense.


Dobbiamo decidere dove stare a Palermo.
We have to decide where to stay in Palermo.

Il messaggio può esser stato frainteso.
The message may have been misunderstood.

Stare Conjugation – Participio

Present TensePast Tense

You probably won’t encounter Stante very often. On the other hand, Stato is already familiar to you, as the part of the compound tenses in all stare conjugations. 


Stante alle tue dichiarazioni mi aspetto un aumento di stipendio a partire dal prossimo mese.
According to your statements I expect a salary increase starting next month.

Mai stato così vicino a raggiungere l’obiettivo.
Never been so close to achieving the goal.

Stare Conjugation – Gerundio 

Present TensePast Tense
StandoEssendo stato


Stando più attenti alle spese, risparmieremmo più soldi.
By being more careful about spending, we would save more money.

Essendo stato di recente in Francia, posso dirti che è bellissima.
Having recently been to France, I can tell you that it is beautiful.

8 Different Uses Of Stare In Italian

Stare Conjugation - how to say to stay in Italian

Stare is a very common verb in Italian. Literally can be translated as “to stay” but it has other meanings as well. On some occasions it also means “to be” (same as essere). This can be very confusing, so check out this article to clear up your mind. 

Let’s see when we use the verb stare in italian:

1. To ask someone how is he or she:


Come stai? Sto bene, grazie.
How are you? I’m fine, thank you.

2. To indicate a location:


Staremo in Italia questo weekend, ci visitate?
We are staying in Italy this weekend, are you visiting us?

La sede della società sta a Londra.
The company is headquartered in London.

3. To say what are you doing in this moment:


Cosa stai facendo? Sto leggendo il libro.
What are you doing? I’m reading the book.

Stavo pulendo la casa quando mi ha chiamato
I was cleaning the house when he called me.

4. To talk about health:


Oggi sto proprio male, non posso uscire.
Today I feel really bad, I can’t go out.

Ieri aveva la febbre ma oggi per fortuna sta meglio.
Yesterday he had a fever but today fortunately he is better.

5. As a synonym for the verbs to fit, to suit:


Questo vestito ti sta benissimo.
This dress looks great on you.

Non sta più niente nella valigia, è piena!
Nothing more fits in the suitcase, it’s full!

6. To say “I’m in!”, to say that you agree to do something:


Andiamo al mare domani? Certo, ci sto!
Are we going to the beach tomorrow? Sure, I’m in!

Ci stai a cenare insieme stasera?
Are you in for dinner tonight?

7. To be about to do something – stare + per + infinito:


Sta per piovere.
It’s going to rain.

Sto per uscire, dammi le chiavi della macchina.
I’m about to leave, give me the car keys.

8. To say “leave it”:


Ti serve aiuto? Lascia stare, riposati pure.
Do you need help? It’s not necessary. Take a rest.

I also suggest to you these books to improve your vocabulary:

Italian Idioms With Stare  

As we said before, the verb stare is very important in Italian language. Therefore, there are a lot of idiomatic expressions with this verb. Let’s see the most used ones: 

  • stare come le sardine be crowded 
  • stare a bocca chiusakeep quiet 
  • stare a cuore care for 
  • stare a distanzakeep at a distance 
  • stare a pane e acquabe living on bread and water 
  • stare al proprio posto do your thing 
  • stare comodobe at ease 
  • stare con i piedi per terra be realistic 
  • stare con il cuore in golabe anxious about 
  • stare con le orecchie tesekeep your ears open 
  • stare fuori dal mondobe out of this world 
  • stare in gamba keep doing well 
  • stare insieme be in a relationship 
  • stare in guardia be careful 

Now when you read all the conjugations of stare, with all this in your mind, you will start to “stare comodo” with italian language, too. 

Let’s repeat it all with music! 

By: Lucia Aiello

Lucia Aiello is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. Born and raised in Italy, she is a passionate Italian teacher and language enthusiast.

Avere conjugation is one of the most important Italian Conjugation to keep in mind. The second one is Essere Conjugation (to be).

If you want to know Italian language you must know both verbs in order to improve your skills.

But let’s see what does avere means?

Avere is the equivalent form of the English verb to have. It generally indicates possession or ownership (abstract or matherial things); to have certain physical characteristics or moral or intellectual qualities or it is used to indicate age. Also, avere is an auxiliary verb used to create the compound tenses of regular and irregular verbs


Mia sorella ha gli occhi blu e i capelli biondi. 
My sister has blue eyes and blonde hair.  

Hai mangiato tu l’ultima fetta di pizza?
Did you eat the last slice of pizza? 

As you can notice, the use of avere can meaningfully vary according to the context where it is applied. 

Before proceeding, if you want to practice Italian tenses here is a useful books for you:

Avere Conjugation – Presente

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian

The first thing to know is that avere has an irregular conjugation, meaning that you cannot look at regular verbs’ general rules. On the contrary, you need to learn it by heart:  

Io ho 
Tu hai 
Lui / Lei ha 
Noi abbiamo 
Voi avete
Loro hanno 

Remember that the “h” is silent in Italian!


Ho delle uova e anche un pò di farina. Facciamo una torta?
I have some eggs and some flour, too. Shall we bake a cake?  

Mandy ha due criceti, una tartaruga e un cane di nome Skippy.
Mandy has two hamsters, a turtle, and a dog named Skippy.   

Avere Conjugation – Passato Prossimo 

Io ho avuto 
Tu hai avuto 
Lui / Lei ha avuto 
Noi abbiamo avuto 
Voi avete avuto 
Loro hanno avuto 

Passato Prossimo is the tense of actions that happened in the recent past. It is essentially employed when indicating what you have done this morning, yesterday, one month ago, and so on.   


Non ha avuto la forza di dirle cosa stesse realmente accadendo. 
He didn’t have the strength to tell her what was really going on.  

Povero Chris! Oggi ha avuto proprio una giornataccia! 
Poor Chris! Today he really had a pretty rough day! 

Avere Conjugation – Imperfetto 

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian

Io avevo 
Tu avevi 
Lui / Lei aveva
Noi avevamo 
Voi avevate 
Loro avevano 

You make use of Imperfetto in Italian in case you want to talk about past habits, feelings, and actions in progress in the past.   


Quando ero piccolo, i miei avevano una casa in campagna vicino Frascati.
When I was young, my parents used to have a house in the country near Frascati. 

Per caso avevate bisogno di qualcosa? Va tutto bene?
Did you guys need anything? Is everything ok?  

Avere Conjugation – Trapassato Prossimo 

Io avevo avuto 
Tu avevi avuto 
Lui / Lei aveva avuto 
Noi avevamo avuto 
Voi avevate avuto 
Loro avevano avuto 

Instead, to speak about an event occurring before another one in the past, you need to look at the Trapassato Prossimo. To form it, just take the simple past of avere and its past participle (avuto).      


Non avevi avuto già la tua paghetta? Perché sei di nuovo qui? 
Hadn’t you already gotten your allowance? Why are you here again? 

Dennis aveva avuto in regalo una costosissima chitarra elettrica. 
Dennis had had as a gift a very expensive electric guitar. 

Avere Conjugation – Passato Remoto 

Io ebbi 
Tu avesti 
Lui / Lei ebbe 
Noi avemmo 
Voi aveste 
Loro ebbero 

Going on, we can find Passato Remoto. Generally present in literature and history books, it is chiefly employed to expess actions that happened a long time ago. Considered as an “endangered” tense, it is largely replaced by the Passato Prossimo in everyday language. 


Dopo aver scoperto il tradimento di suo marito, ebbe una crisi nervosa. 
After she found out her husband cheated on her,  she had a mental breakdown. 

Qualche anno fa si sposarono ed ebbero due splendide bambine. 
Some years ago they got married and had two beautiful little girls. 

Avere Conjugation – Trapassato Remoto 

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian
Io ebbi avuto 
Tu avesti avuto 
Lui / Lei ebbe avuto 
Noi avemmo avuto 
Voi aveste avuto 
Loro ebbero avuto 

Similarly, although it has almost disappeared in the spoken language, Italian Trapassato Remoto still occurs in the written language, especially in documentaries, novels and newspapers. Being a compound tense, it is formed by avere conjugated in the Passato Remoto and its past participle.  


Dopo che ebbe avuto modo di scusarsi, decise di restare. 
After she had had the chance to apologize, she decided to stay. 

Ci ringraziarono solo dopo che avemmo avuto quella brillante idea.
They thanked us only after we had had that brilliant idea.   

Avere Conjugation – Futuro Semplice 

On the other hand, Italian Futuro is mainly applied when you aim to report events that have yet to happen (Futuro Semplice) or a fact that will be finished before another one takes place (Futuro Anteriore).   

Io avrò 
Tu avrai 
Lui / Lei avrà 
Noi avremo 
Voi avrete 
Lo avranno 


Avrete tutto quello che avete chiesto, non vi preoccupate!
You will have everything you asked for, don’t worry! 

Mi sa che nessuno di noi avrà le ferie quest’estate. 
I think none of us will go on holiday this summer.    

Avere Conjugation – Futuro Anteriore 

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian
Io avrò avuto 
Tu avrai avuto 
Lui / Lei avrà avuto 
Noi avremo avuto 
Voi avrete avuto 
Loro avranno avuto 


Melinda avrà avuto le sue buone ragioni per aver rotto con Milton.
Melinda will have had her reasons for breaking up with Milton.   

Avranno avuto tutto quello di cui hanno bisogno? Chissà!
Will they have had everything they need? Who knows! 

Avere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Presente 

Congiuntivo is mainly used when talking about something you are not sure of or expressing your opinion. Anyway, its main feature is the conjunction che preceding the conjugated verb. In addition, the simple and compound tenses of Congiuntivo can be translated with the tenses of present and past simple.   

Che io abbia 
Che tu abbia 
Che lui / lei abbia 
Che noi abbiamo 
Che voi abbiate 
Che loro abbiano 


Tuo padre vuole solo che tu abbia le stesse opportunità dei tuoi coetanei. 
Your dad just wants you to have the same chances as your peers. 

Ho paura che non abbia voglia di venire in vacanza con noi quest’anno. 
I fear he doesn’t feel like coming on holiday with us this year.  

Avere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Passato 

Che io abbia avuto 
Che tu abbia avuto 
Che lui / lei abbia avuto 
Che noi abbiamo avuto 
Che voi abbiate avuto 
Che loro abbiano avuto 


Nonostante abbia avuto un buon voto, Mason era ancora triste.
Although he got a good grade, Mason was still unhappy. 

Spero che abbiate avuto un buon motivo per non essere venute alla mia mostra.
I hope you had a good reason for not coming to my exhibition.    

Avere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Imperfetto 

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian
Che io avessi
Che tu avessi 
Che lui / lei avesse 
Che noi avessimo 
Che voi aveste 
Che loro avessero 


Credeva che avesse torto dopo quello che aveva detto. 
He thought she was wrong after what she said.

Se aveste più fiducia in me, mi lascereste lavorare in santa pace!
If you had more faith in me, you would let me work in peace!   

Avere Conjugation – Congiuntivo Trapassato 

Che io avessi avuto 
Che tu avessi avuto 
Che lui / lei avesse avuto 
Che noi avessimo avuto 
Che voi aveste avuto 
Che loro avessero avuto 


Se avesse avuto modo di aiutarla, non le avrebbe lasciato fare una simile stupidaggine. 
If she had had the chance to help her, she wouldn’t have let her do such a silly thing. 

Vorrei che avessimo avuto più tempo per stare insieme ieri sera.
I wish we had had more time to be together yesterday evening.  

Avere Conjugation – Condizionale Presente 

Io avrei 
Tu avresti 
Lui / Lei avrebbe 
Noi avremmo 
Voi avreste 
Loro avrebbero 

You resort to Italian Condizionale when you intend to express wishes, intentions, hypotheses, and polite requests. 


In realtà avrei qui con me qualcosa che fa al caso tuo. 
Actually, I’d have something here with me that’s right for you.  

Signor Draghi, quei ragazzi lì avrebbero una proposta da farle. 
Mr. Draghi, those guys there would like to lay a proposition before you. 

Avere Conjugation – Condizionale Passato 

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian
Io avrei avuto 
Tu avresti avuto 
Lui / Lei avrebbe avuto 
Noi avremmo avuto 
Voi avreste avuto 
Loro avrebbero avuto 


Sapevano che avrebbero avuto presto sue notizie.
They figured they’d be hearing from him soon. 

Si dice che avrebbe avuto una relazione con una famosa bulgara.
They say he would have a love affair with a famous Bulgarian actress.    

Avere Conjugation – Imperativo 

You build sentences in the Imperativo in case you want to give orders, instructions, or advice to somebody. Seen as it is an irregular verb, avere has its own forms, too.  

Abbi (tu) 
Abbia (lui / lei) 
Abbiamo (noi) 
Abbiate (voi) 
Abbiano (loro) 


Abbi pazienza e aspetta il tuo turno, per favore! 
Please be patient and get in line!   

Abbiate il coraggio di prendervi le vostre responsabilità, ragazzi!
Guys, be brave enough to take on your own responsibilities!  

Avere Conjugation – Infinito 

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian
Present tense Past tense 
avere aver avuto 


La maggior parte delle persone aspira ad avere una vita felice. 
Most people aim to live happy life. 

Devi aver avuto una giornata molto impegnativa, vero? 
It must have been a busy day for you, mustn’t it? 

Avere Conjugation – Participio 

Present tense Past tense 
avente avuto 

While avente is less common, avuto is basically employed in the compound tenses of avere, as you have seen until now.  


Sta cercando un appartamento avente tre stanze e due bagni.
He’s looking for an apartment having three rooms and two bathrooms.  

Avuto quello che desiderava, Mike non si è fatto più vivo.
After he had what he demanded, Mike didn’t show up anymore.   

Avere Conjugation – Gerundio 

Gerundio is another tense Italians don’t use very often. Anyway, you can easily find it in sentences in the present progressive.  

Present tense Past tense 
avendo avendo avuto 


Avendo tante cose da fare non ho tempo di andarlo a trovare.
Having a lot of things to do, I’m too busy to visit him. 

Avendo avuto l’influenza sono rimasto a casa la scorsa settimana.
Having had the flu, I stayed at home last week. 

Different uses of Avere in Italian

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian

Expressing feelings

Avere in Italian is widely applied in lots of expressions to express a feeling, a sensation, or a desire to be accomplished. Here is a list of the most important statements you probably could hear during a conversation with Italians:

Italian English 
avere voglia di to feel like 
avere freddo / caldo to be cold/hot 
avere sete / fame to be thirsty/hungry 
avere paura di to be scared/afraid of 
avere sonno to be sleepy 
avere fretta to be in a hurry 
avere bisogno di to need 
avere torto / ragione to be wrong/right 
avere piacere di to be pleased 


Si sa che tutti i bambini hanno paura del buio. 
Everyone knows that kids are afraid of the dark.  

Sai perfettamente che questa volta hai torto marcio.
You know exactly you are dead wrong this time.  

Devi dirmi qualcosa? Sbrigati che ho fretta! 
Is there anything you need to tell me? Come on, I’m in a hurry! 

Talking about your age 

One of the first things Italian students learn when studying English is talking about their age. Actually, you are required to use avere in Italian to say how old you are instead of essere as it happens in English. 


Maria ha 15 anni e viene da Milano. 
Maria is 15 years old and comes from Milan. 

Italian idioms with Avere  

Avere Conjugation - Learn the verb avere in Italian

The verb avere also occurs in lots of Italian idiomatic expressions. 

Since there are so many, we are going to mention the most used and popular ones:

Italian English 
avere l’aria di to seem 
avere (o non avere) a che fare con qualcosa o qualcunoto have something to do with something or someone 
avere a mente to remember 
avere importanza to be important 
avere luogoto take place 
avere inizio to begin 
avere da fare to be busy 
avere cura di qualcosa o qualcunoto take care of somebody and something 
avere un diavolo per capello to be furious 


Ha l’aria di sapere quello che sta facendo. Fidati di me!
He seems to know what he is doing. Trust me!  

Il concerto non ha avuto luogo a causa del maltempo.
The concert didn’t take place due to bad weather.  

Lasciami stare! Oggi ho un diavolo per capello! 
Leave me alone! I’m so furious today!   

Regional uses: Tenere vs Avere 

In some regions of Italy, especially in the South, avere is sometimes replaced by the verb tenere meaning to hold, maintain or keep


Papà, tengo fame! Mi porti qualcosa da mangiare? 
Dad, I’m hungry! Can you bring me anything to eat? 

At the end of this article, you should have learned the full conjugation of avere and its main uses according to the cases seen before.

Therefore, why don’t you open up a conversation with a simple question like “quanti anni hai?” or “hai fratelli o sorelle?“.

By: Alfonso Di Somma

Born and raised in Italy, he is an Italian professional translator and a tireless traveler. His main passion? Foreign languages!

One of the most frequent problems English speakers have when studying Italian is choosing between Passato Prossimo vs Imperfetto.

Passato Prossimo and Imperfetto are Italian Past Tenses used to talk about something that happened in the past, but they have different uses and purposes. Passato prossimo is made by the verb avere or essere in the present tense plus the past participle and it is used to indicate past events that happened once, but still have effects on the present. Imperfetto is formed dropping the -re of the infinitive and adding -vo, -vi, -va, -vamo, -vate, -vano and it is used to talk about past habits or repetitive actions that are no longer happening.

As you can see it is not very difficult to understand. In this article, we will focus on the main differences existing between these two tenses and when to use them in the right context. In particular we will see:

  1. One time vs Habit
  2. Description of the conditions and states
  3. Duration of the past actions
  4. Parallel Actions
  5. Interrupted Actions
  6. Storytelling
  7. Time Expressions

But, first, let’s quickly refresh the forms of these two tenses:

Passato Prossimo

Passato prossimo is made by the verb avere or essere in the present tense plus the past participle. You obtain the  past participle by changing the final endings of the infinitive form, in this way:

-are → -ato,

-ere → -uto,

-ire → -ito.

Remember that when you use the auxiliary essere, you need to change the final endings according to the subject.


Ho mangiato una torta buonissima.
I ate a very good cake.

Siamo andati in palestra.
We went to the gym.


Imperfetto is easy in its formation. You drop -re of the infinitive and simply add -vo, -vi, -va, -vamo, -vate, -vano.


Da piccola mangiavo tante caramelle.
When I was little, I used to eat a lot of candy.

Non dormiva mai quando la bambina piangeva.
She never slept when the baby cried.

Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto – Common Uses

In order to understand the main differences between the Passato Prossimo and the Imperfetto, I’m going to show you some of the most common uses of the two tenses in everyday life, compared to each other and explained through various examples.

Before proceeding, I also suggest you some useful books you can use to repeat Italian Grammar and Italian Tenses:

1. Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto – One time vs habit

We use the Imperfetto to talk about past habits or repetitive actions that are no longer happening. On the contrary, the Passato Prossimo is required when you want to indicate past events that happened once, but still have effects on the present. Look at the following examples.


Imperfetto Passato Prossimo
Da bambina andavo in piscina due volte a settimana.
When I was a child, I used to go to the swimming pool twice a week.
La scorsa settimana sono andata in piscina.
Last week I went to the swimming pool. 
Dopo ogni viaggio gli portava sempre un souvenir.
After each trip he always used to bring him a gift.
Antonio mi ha portato un souvenir dal Canada.
Antonio brought me a gift from Canada.
Mangiava tanto perché si annoiava.
He was eating a lot because he was getting bored.  
L’altro giorno ha mangiato tanto e si è sentito male.
The other day he ate a lot and he got sick.

As you can see, it’s not very complicated! Let’s see other examples:

Mio padre mi portava con sé in ufficio ogni volta che poteva.
My father used to take me with him to his office every time he could.  
Ieri mattina mio padre mi ha portato con sé in ufficio.
Yesterday morning my father took me with him to his office.  
Da piccolo io e i miei parenti ci riunivamo a Natale.
When I was young, my relatives and I used to meet on Christmas.  
Un anno fa io e i miei parenti ci siamo riuniti a Natale.
One year ago my relatives and I met on Christmas.  
A volte tornava dalla Sicilia con un vassoio di cannoli.
Sometimes, he used to come back from Sicily with a tray of cannoli.
Il mese scorso è tornato dalla Sicilia con un vassoio di cannoli.
Last month he came back from Sicily with a tray of cannoli.

2. Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto – Description of conditions and states

Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto - Italian Past Tenses

Also, we need to look at the typology of the description you provide when speaking about past conditions and states. Specifically, we employ the Imperfetto to describe the weather and physical or emotional states in the past. On the contrary, we apply the Passato Prossimo to point out physical and mental changes happened in a specific moment in the past, as events.


Imperfetto Passato Prossimo
Era una giornata fredda e nuvolosa.
It was a cold and cloudy day.
Oggi ha piovuto e non sono potuto andare al parco.
Today it rained so I didn’t manage to go to the park.
Dopo la caduta sentiva dolore alla caviglia.
After falling down, he felt pain in his ankle.   
Ha sentito dolore quando si è fatto male alla caviglia.
He was in pain when he hurt his ankle. 
Mi innervosiva il suo atteggiamento sfacciato.
His brush attitude made me nervous.
Mi ha davvero innervosito il suo modo di fare.
His way of acting really made me nervous.

3. Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto – Duration of past actions

Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto - Italian Past Tenses

In the third place, we focus on the duration of past actions . According to this principle, we resort to the Imperfetto when we relate to past actions or events whose start and end are basically unclear. Otherwise, we need the Passato Prossimo in case of past facts that started and ended at a specific point in time.


Imperfetto Passato Prossimo
Andava in Europa, più precisamente in Portogallo.
He was flying to Europe, more precisely to Portugal.
Sei anni fa sono andato in Europa, più precisamente in Portogallo.
Six years ago, I flew to Europe, more precisely to Portugal.  
Beveva con gli amici in un locale vicino la stazione.
He was drinking with his friends in a pub next to the station.
Ieri sera è andato a bere con gli amici.
Yesterday evening he went out for a drink with his friends.
Il fratello di Andrea veniva a trovarmi ogni volta che poteva.
Andrea’s brother used to come to visit me every time he could.
L’altro ieri mi è venuto a trovare il fratello di Andrea.
The day before yesterday, Andrea’s brother came to visit me.

4. Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto – Parallel Actions 

Generally, we use the Imperfetto to mention concurrent events, meaning facts that happened in the same moment or period of time in the past.

Instead, we apply the Passato Prossimo in case of actions in succession whose duration or moment of occurance in the past are not so relevant.


Imperfetto Passato Prossimo
Mentre pranzava, mio madre guardava “Un posto al sole”.
While having lunch, my mother was watching “Un posto al sole”.
Mia madre ha pranzato e poi ha guardato “Un posto al sole”.
My mother had lunch and then watched “Un posto al sole”.
All’università studiava e lavorava in un ristorante per pagarsi gli studi.
When she was at university, she used to study and work in a restaurant to pay her istruction.
Dopo l’università, si è laureata e in seguito ha trovato lavoro in uno studio medico.
After university, she graduated and later found a job in a doctor’s office.  
Lidia ascoltava “Resta in ascolto” di Laura Pausini, mentre pelava le patate.
Lidia was listening to “Resta in ascolto” by Laura Pausini, while peeling potatoes.   
Lidia ha pelato prima le patate e poi dopo ha ascoltato “Resta in ascolto” di Laura Pausini.
Firstly, Lidia peeled potatoes; after that she listened to “Resta in ascolto” by Laura Pausini.

5. Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto – Interrupted actions

Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto - Italian Past Tenses

There are some occasions where we require both the Imperfetto and the Passato Prossimo in a sentence built in the past. For this reason, we make reference to actions interrupted by others, namely reporting what we were doing when something occurred and interrupted what we were doing. In this specific case, you can find the presence of quando (when) and mentre (while).


Facevamo i compiti quando improvvisamente sono ritornati i nostri genitori.
We were doing our homework when suddenly our parents came back home.

Mentre mi preparavo per la scuola, mi ha chiamato Paolo.
While I was getting ready for school, Paolo called me.

Quando Maria viveva in Spagna, ha visitato sia Barcellona sia Madrid.
When Maria lived in Spain, she visited both Barcelona and Madrid.   

6. Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto – Storytelling

Finally, we find the last difference regarding the act of reporting something in a consequential way. Actually, you are asked to employ the Imperfetto to give information about the background, like the location or the context where the event takes place.  On the contrary, you make use of Passato Prossimo to let the story proceed onwards. 


Imperfetto Passato Prossimo
I bambini facevano il bagno in piscina e i genitori prendevano il sole.
Kids were taking a swim in the pool, while their parents were sunbathing.
Stamattina in spiaggia i bambini hanno fatto il bagno in piscina e i genitori hanno preso il sole.
This morning kids have taken a swim in the pool, while their parents have sunbathed.
Continuamente mi diceva che gli avrebbe parlato di quella faccenda quanto prima.
He was continually telling me he would talk to him about that matter as soon as possible.  
Mi ha detto che gli avrebbe parlato di quella faccenda quanto prima.
He told me he would talk to him about that matter as soon as possible.
Nel bosco di solito si imbatteva in cerbiatti e conigli.
In the woods he usually used to bump into fawns and rabbits.
Andando nel bosco, si è imbattuto in cerbiatti e conigli.
Going into the woods, he bumped into fawns and rabbits.  

7. Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto – Time expressions

Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto - Italian Past Tenses

Another way to distinguish cases where the Imperfetto is employed from situations where the Passato Prossimo is applied is by looking at time expressions. These ones are normally used to give more information about the type of action existing in the sentence in order to provide help when you are asked to choose between the two tenses.

Time expressions used with the Imperfetto

da piccolo / giovane (when I was a child / young )
sempre (always)
tutti i giorni / ogni giorno (every day)
mentre (while)
spesso (often)
continuamente (continually)
a volte (sometimes)
normalmente (normally)
solitamente (usually)
ogni volta che (every time that)
ogni tanto (once in a while)

Time expressions used with the Passato Prossimo

Passato Prossimo Vs Imperfetto - Italian Past Tenses
ieri (yesterday)
ieri mattina / ieri pomeriggio / ieri sera (yesterday morning) / (yesterday afternoon) / (last night)
l’altro ieri (the day before yesterday)
due giorni fa (two days ago)
una settimana fa (one week ago)
mercoledì scorso (last Wednesday)
un anno fa (one year ago)
Il mese scorso (last month)
l’anno scorso (last year)
un’ora fa / alcuni giorni fa (one hour ago) / (some days ago)


Imperfetto Passato Prossimo
Da piccolo giocava a scacchi con gli amici della chiesa.
When he was a child, he used to play chess with his friends from the church.
L’anno scorso ha giocato a scacchi con gli amici della parrocchia.
Last year he played chess with his friends from the church.  
Normalmente usciva nel weekend, non in settimana.
He normally used to go out on the weekend, not during the week.
Mercoledì scorso è uscito nel weekend, non in settimana.
Last Wednesday he went out on the weekend, not during the week. 
Tutti i giorni le regalava un cioccolatino per dimostrarle il suo affetto.
Every day he used to give her a chocolate as a present to prove that he was fond of her.
Alcuni giorni fa le ha regalato un cioccolatino per dimostrarle il suo affetto.
Some days ago he gave her a chocolate as a present to prove that he was fond of her.

Wrapping Up

After reading this article until the end, you should be able to understand when to use the Imperfetto or the Passato Prossimo according to the cases and tricks mentioned above. What you are suggested to do first is to look for time expressions in the Italian sentence you are about to translate. These indicators make you understand which tense is required in that specific context or situation.

Second, you can analyse the type of event that occured in the past, mostly focusing on the certainty or uncertainty related to the time of action.

Now that you have this further information, start speaking about events in the past in Italian and do not forget to make the best choice!    

By: Lucia Aiello

Lucia Aiello is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. Born and raised in Italy, she is a passionate Italian teacher and language enthusiast.


Italian Imperfetto is one of the most simple Past Tense, but it can be very confusing since most non-romance languages don’t use it. Also, it is one of the most used past tenses along with Passato Prossimo and it can be very tricky to understand when to use Italian Imperfetto or Passato prossimo learning their differences and uses in context.

By the way, once you master these Italian Past Tenses, you will find out that Italian Imperfetto is quite simple to study:

What is the Italian Imperfetto?

Italian Imperfetto is generally employed to mention events that happened regularly for a certain amount of time in the past, actions occurring at the same time or to describe something in the past.  It is formed dropping the -re of the infinitive and adding -vo, -vi, -va, -vamo, -vate, -vano. In English there are lots of ways to translate the Italian Imperfetto, for example using the expression used to, the past progressive, or the simple past.


Il Sig. Foster era sempre gentile con tutti.
Mr Foster was always kind to everyone.

Mentre mangiava, ascoltava le storie di suo nonno.
While he was eating, he listened to his grandfather’s stories.   

Quando vivevamo a Parigi, passeggiavamo spesso sugli Champs-Élysées.
When we lived in Paris, we often used to walk down the Champs-Élysées.       

Now that you are starting to understand its uses, let’s see how to use Italian verbs in the Imperfetto.

And if you want to learn more about Italian Grammar, here there are useful books I suggest you to read:

Now let’s dive in!

Italian imperfetto – Regular verbs

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses

In order to conjugate regular verbs in the Imperfetto, you need to take the root of the main verb and add the different endings of –are, –ere, –ire conjugations.

As you will notice, verbs simply keep the vowel that is before the -r and add -vo, -vi, -va, -vamo, -vate, -vano.

Let’s see them in detail, taking as an example the verbs cantare (to sing), leggere (to read) and dormire (to sleep).

Cantareto sing 

Io cantavo
Tu cantavi
Lui / Lei cantava
Noi cantavamo
Voi cantavate
Loro cantavano


Quando aveva 12 anni, mia mamma cantava nel coro della chiesa.
When she was 12, my mom used to sing in the church choir.

Leggereto read

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses
Io leggevo
Tu leggevi
Lui / Lei leggeva
Noi leggevamo
Voi leggevate
Loro leggevano


Mentre leggevo, ho sentito suonare il campanello.
While I was reading, I heard the bell ring.  

Dormireto sleep

Io dormivo
Tu dormivi
Lui / Lei dormiva
Noi dormivamo
Voi dormivate
Loro dormivano


Dormiva così profondamente che mi dispiaceva svegliarlo.
He was sleeping so soundly that I felt bad waking him up.   

Italian imperfetto – Irregular verbs

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses

Here are five common verbs following an irregular conjugation: fare (to do), bere (to drink), dire (to say) essere (to be) and also tradurre (to translate).

Fareto do  

Io facevo
Tu facevi
Lui / Lei faceva
Noi facevamo
Voi facevate
Loro facevano


Che facevano quando siete rientrati a casa?
What were they doing when you came back home?

Bereto drink

Io bevevo
Tu bevevi
Lui / Lei beveva
Noi bevevamo
Voi bevevate
Loro bevevano


Quando frequentavo l’università, bevevo ogni sera con gli amici.
When I was in college, I used to drink every night with my friends.

Direto say

Io dicevo
Tu dicevi
Lui / Lei diceva
Noi dicevamo
Voi dicevate
Loro dicevano


Non mi piaceva affatto quello che dicevano.
I didn’t like at all what they were saying.

Essereto be

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses
Io ero
Tu eri
Lui / Lei era
Noi eravamo
Voi eravate
Loro erano


Era davvero stanca di vederlo triste. 
She was really sick of seeing him sad.

Tradurre – to translate

Io traducevo
Tu traducevi
Lui / Lei traduceva
Noi traducevamo
Voi traducevate
Loro traducevano


In vacanza lui parlava sempre  in italiano e io traducevo in inglese.
On vacation he used to speak in Italian and I translated into English.

When to use Italian Imperfetto

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses

Here below are some of the most common situations where Italian Imperfetto is generally employed.

Habits in the past

When you want to speak about habits and repeated actions in the past you need to use Italian Imperfetto.


Quando erano fidanzati si vedevano ogni giorno a pranzo e a cena.
When they were engaged, they used to meet for lunch and dinner every day. 

Quando Jamie era piccolo giocava a calcio con i ragazzi del quartiere.
When Jamie was young, he used to play football with the neighbourhood boys.   

In inverno io e i miei parenti andavamo sempre a sciare a Saint Moritz.
In winter my relatives and I always used to go skiing in St.Moritz.

As you may have noticed, one of the several ways of translating Italian Imperfetto into English when talking about habits and repeated actions in the past is by resorting to the expression used to.  

Description of people, places and situations in the past

When you want to give a description of people, places and situations in the past you must use Italian Imperfetto.


Il nonno di Adele era davvero una persona buona e gentile.
Adele’s grandfather was such a good and kind man.  

Nella città di Katherine c’erano solo un cinema e una birreria per divertirsi.
In Katherine’s town there was only a cinema and a brewery where to have fun. 

Era una situazione strana che non riuscivo per niente a comprendere.
It was a weird situation that I wasn’t able to understand at all.

Description of the weather in the past

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses

Use the Italian Imperfetto when talking about the weather in the past.


Ieri c’era il sole, oggi invece piove.
Yesterday it was sunny, today it rains instead.

Faceva caldo quando ci siamo messi in viaggio per Sorrento.
It was hot while we were heading to Sorrento.  

Grandinava forte quel giorno e non si poteva uscire di casa.
That day it was hailing heavily and we didn’t manage to leave home. 

Description of feelings in the past

Furthermore, when your intention is to describe a physical or psychological state in the past, you need the Italian Imperfetto.


Aveva un mal di testa terribile che le impediva di stare in piedi.
She had a terrible headache that made her incapable of standing. 

Si sentiva davvero stanco dopo un’intensa giornata di lavoro.  
He felt really tired after an exhausting working day.

I bambini aspettavano con impazienza il ritorno dei loro genitori.
Kids were waiting impatiently for their parents to get home. 

With some verbs

You need to use the Italian Imperfetto when saying what people knew, thought or meant in the past, but not anymore.


Non sapeva cosa dire perché aveva paura di ferirlo.
She didn’t know what to say because he was afraid of hurting him.

Pensavo fosse lui il ragazzo per cui ti sei presa una cotta.
I thought he was the guy you had a crush on.

Volevi davvero dire quello che ho sentito? Sul serio?
Did you really mean what I heard? Seriously?

Parallel actions with the same length

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses

We use Imperfetto when referring to actions which happened at the same time in the past.

If the two actions have the same exact length, we use the Italian Imperfetto for both the events.


Mentre passeggiavo, ascoltavo la musica.
While I was walking, I was listening to music. 

Mentre cenavo, guardavo la TV.
While I was having dinner, I was watching TV.

Parallel actions with a different length

If an action is shorter than the other, you are required to use the Italian Imperfetto for the ongoing event and the Passato Prossimo for the action that “interrupts” the other.


Ragazze, ma cosa è successo esattamente mentre eravamo via?
Girls, what exactly happened while we were away?  

Cucinavamo quando abbiamo sentito uno strano rumore
We were cooking when we heard a strange noise.

As you can see, in English you need to apply the past continuous tense to translate sentences built with mentre + Imperfetto properly.    

Surroundings and Backgrounds

In this situation, the Italian Imperfetto is mostly applied in storytelling and narration, even in literature to set or describe a scene.


Quella sera tutti giocavano a carte e si divertivano molto.
Everybody was playing cards and having a lot of fun.

Intanto il sole sorgeva e gli uccellini cinguettavano sugli alberi.
Meanwhile, the sun rose and birds were chirping on the trees.  

Pensava a quello che gli era stato detto ed era sempre più paranoico.
He was thinking about what they told him and he was getting more and more paranoid.     

Time expressions with Italian Imperfetto

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses

Sometimes, it can be quite hard to know in which cases you need to apply Italian Imperfetto. For this reason, you can look for some indicators, like the following time expressions:

  • da piccolo/giovane (when I was a child/ young)
  • sempre (always)
  • tutti i giorni / ogni giorno (every day)
  • mentre (while)
  • often (spesso)
  • continuamente (continually)
  • a volte (sometimes)
  • normalmente (normally)
  • solitamente (usually)
  • ogni volta che (every time that)
  • ogni tanto (once in a while)


Da piccola, Gaia trascorreva le vacanze estive con i suoi nonni.
When she was a child, Gaia used to spend summer holidays with her grandparents.

Ogni volta che le mentiva si sentiva in colpa.
Every time he was lying to her he felt guilty. 

Marika si allenava tutti i giorni, poi ha smesso.
Marika used to exercise every day, then she stopped.

Imperfetto ipotetico

Italian Imperfetto - Studying Italian Past Tenses

On specific occasions, especially in the spoken language, Italian Imperfetto is widely used in place of other tenses to make daily conversations shorter and faster.

In the case of imperfetto ipotetico (hypothetical imperfect), it replaces the past tense of Condizionale to indicate unreal conditions or events that would have happened in the past.

Look at the following examples, focusing on the differences between the informal version using imperfetto, and the formal version using the Conditional and the Congiuntivo.


Imperfetto attenuativo

The Italian Imperfetto attenuativo (mitigating imperfect) is primarily employed with verbs like volere (to want) , desiderare (to wish) and preferire (to prefer) to express a polite request in place of the present conditional.


Scusami, volevo solo sapere se qui hai finito.
Sorry, I just wanted to know if you are done here.

Lucia desiderava uscire con le amiche anziché rimanere a casa.
Lucia wished to go out with her friends instead of staying at home.  

Giovanni e Marco preferivano andare in spiaggia nel weekend.
Giovanni and Marco preferred to go to the beach on the weekend.        

Wrap up

At the end of this article, you should be able to say in Italian which are your past habits or what you used to do when you were a child.

You can easily recognize the Italian Imperfetto by the final endings -vo, -vi, -va, -vamo, -vate, -vano.

You saw all the various situations where Imperfetto is required and also time expressions applied along with this tense.

Concerning irregular verbs, you are suggested to learn their conjugation by heart. When you are unsure about the conjugation, check verb conjugators online such as Il Coniugatore, or Scuola Elettrica.

By: Lucia Aiello

Lucia Aiello is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. Born and raised in Italy, she is a passionate Italian teacher and language enthusiast.