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The 20 Most Common Italian Verbs (And How To Use Them!)

With these 20 most common Italian verbs, you can already put together hundreds of sentences without much effort. Here’s where to start your Italian learning quest.
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The 20 Most Common Italian Verbs (And How To Use Them!)

Essere o non essere — to be or not to be? This question might be hard to answer, but it’s pretty easy to understand for new learners. And isn’t that nice? When you know the most common Italian verbs (in this case, essere — “to be”), you can even understand difficult philosophical questions!

In all seriousness, as soon as you know the most common words in a language, you can say a lot more than you might think. To help you on your quest to learn Italian, we’ve put together a list of the 20 most common Italian verbs, complete with their conjugations in the present tense and an everyday example. These are the verbs that you’ll see and hear all over, which will help you remember them quickly. You’ll be amazed at how many new sentences you can put together when you’ve mastered these verbs!

1. essere — “to be”

  • io sono — “I am”
  • tu sei — “you (sg., informal) are”
  • lui, lei è — “he, she is/you (sg., formal) are”
  • noi siamo — “we are”
  • voi siete — “you (pl., informal) are”
  • loro sono — “they are”

Example: Sei di nuovo in ritardo! (You’re late again!)

Heads up: Personal pronouns are only used in Italian when you want to emphasize them. That’s why they’re generally left out, and therefore largely left out in our examples.

2. avere — “to have”

  • io ho
  • tu hai
  • lui, lei ha
  • noi abbiamo
  • voi avete
  • loro hanno

Example: Hai voglia di un aperitivo? (Do you want [lit. have desire for] an aperitivo?)

3. fare — “to do, to make”

  • io faccio
  • tu fai
  • lui, lei fa
  • noi facciamo
  • voi fate
  • loro fanno

Example: Mi fai un piacere? (Can you do me a favor?)

4. dire — “to say”

  • io dico
  • tu dici
  • lui, lei dice
  • noi diciamo
  • voi dite
  • loro dicono

Example: Mi puoi dire l’ora, per favore? (Can you tell me the time, please?)

5. potere — “can”

  • io posso
  • tu puoi
  • lui, lei può
  • noi possiamo
  • voi potete
  • loro possono

Example: Purtroppo non posso, magari un’altra volta. (Unfortunately I can’t, maybe another time.)

6. volere – “to want”

  • io voglio
  • tu vuoi
  • lui, lei vuole
  • noi vogliamo
  • voi volete
  • loro vogliono

Example: Volete ancora qualcosa? (Do you want anything else?)

7. sapere — “to know”

  • io so
  • tu sai
  • lui, lei sa
  • noi sappiamo
  • voi sapete
  • loro sanno

Example: Boh, non lo so! (Hm, I don’t know!)

8. stare — “to be”

  • io sto
  • tu stai
  • lui, lei sta
  • noi stiamo
  • voi state
  • loro stanno

Example: Come stai? (How are you?)

Heads up: Stare has a few other meanings, like “to stand” or “to lie,” and is used in a lot of fixed expressions, as you can see in the example.

9. dovere — “must, to have to”

  • io devo
  • tu devi
  • lui, lei deve
  • noi dobbiamo
  • voi dovete
  • loro devono

Example: Devo scappare. A presto! (I have to go. See you soon!)

10. vedere — “to see”

  • io vedo
  • tu vedi
  • lui, lei vede
  • noi vediamo
  • voi vedete
  • loro vedono

Example: Vedo che vi divertite qui. (I see that you’re having fun here.)

11. andare — “to go”

  • io vado
  • tu vai
  • lui, lei va
  • noi andiamo
  • voi andate
  • loro vanno

Example: Perché non andiamo al cinema? (Why don’t we go to the cinema?)

12. venire — “to come”

  • io vengo
  • tu vieni
  • lui, lei viene
  • noi veniamo
  • voi venite
  • loro vengono

Example: Vieni a ballare stasera? (Are you coming to dance tonight?)

13. dare — “to give”

  • io do
  • tu dai
  • lui, lei dà
  • noi diamo
  • voi date
  • loro danno

Example: Mi dai un consiglio? (Can you give me some advice?)

14. parlare — “to speak”

  • io parlo
  • tu parli
  • lui, lei parla
  • noi parliamo
  • voi parlate
  • loro parlano

Example: Scusi, può parlare più lentamente? (Excuse me, can you speak more slowly?)

15. trovare — “to find”

  • io trovo
  • tu trovi
  • lui, lei trova
  • noi troviamo
  • voi trovate
  • loro trovano

Example: Dove trovo una farmacia? (Where can I find a pharmacy?)

16. sentire — “to hear, to feel”

  • io sento
  • tu senti
  • lui, lei sente
  • noi sentiamo
  • voi sentite
  • loro sentono

Example: Hai sentito le novità? (Have you heard the news?)

17. lasciare — “to leave, to let”

  • io lascio
  • tu lasci
  • lui, lei lascia
  • noi lasciamo
  • voi lasciate
  • loro lasciano

Example: Lasciami in pace! (Leave me in peace!)

18. prendere — “to take”

  • io prendo
  • tu prendi
  • lui, lei prende
  • noi prendiamo
  • voi prendete
  • loro prendono

Example: Prendiamo un caffè? (Shall we take a coffee?)

19. guardare — “to watch”

  • io guardo
  • tu guardi
  • lui, lei guarda
  • noi guardiamo
  • voi guardate
  • loro guardano

Example: Guardiamo un film stasera? (Are we watching a film tonight?)

20. mettere — “to put”

  • io metto
  • tu metti
  • lui, lei mette
  • noi mettiamo
  • voi mettete
  • loro mettono

Example: Dove metto la valigia? (Where do I put the suitcase?)

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Sara Grippo
Sara G. grew up at the foot of the Italian Alps. She spent her youth dreaming of the hidden courtyards of Dostoevsky's St. Petersburg, not knowing that life was actually planning to move her to Berlin, where she currently lives and works as an Editor at Babbel.
Sara G. grew up at the foot of the Italian Alps. She spent her youth dreaming of the hidden courtyards of Dostoevsky's St. Petersburg, not knowing that life was actually planning to move her to Berlin, where she currently lives and works as an Editor at Babbel.
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