Chapter 12 - Present tense

The present tense is a complex tense in the Italian language, with many irregular forms and exceptions to general rules.  The present tense is used to describe actions which are in progress, or which are continuous.  The English expressions such as “I speak, I am speaking, I do speak” are translated using the present tense.  To make the Italian forms, endings are added to the verb stems.

General pronunciation note:   Verbs in the present tense keep the accent on the stem of the verb, that is the stress falls on the last vowel of the stem, except for the “noi” and “voi” forms which ALWAYS follow the usual rules.  Verb forms in the present tense are usually written without accent marks, but in this text, accent marks will be used when the pronunciation departs from the regular rules.

Pronunciation of Group 1 verbs
Rule 1 - With nine exceptions, verbs which have a double consonant before the group ending -are have standard pronunciation.
          examples:         allungare, to lengthen:  allungo, allunghi, allunga, allunghiamo, allungate, allụngano
                                    eclissare, to eclipse:  eclisso, eclissi, eclissa, eclissiamo, eclissate, eclịssano
                                    incantare, to enchant:  incanto, incanti, incanta, incantiamo, incantate, incạntano
                             offuscare, to obscure:  offusco, offuschi, offusca, offuschiamo, offuscate, offụscano
                                    ritornare, to return:  ritorno, ritorni,ritorna, ritorniamo, ritornate, ritọrnano

The exceptions are         arbitrare, to arbitrate (ạrbitro); calibrare, to calibrate (cạlibro); celebrare, to celebrate
                                    (cẹlebro), compenetrare, to permeate (compẹnetro); elucubrare, to scheme, (elụcubro);
                                    disintegrare, to disintegrate (disịntegro); integrare, to integrate ( ịntegro);
                                    penetrare, to penetrate (pẹnetro); reintegrare, to reintegrate (reịntegro)

Rule 2 - With one exception (the verb purificare), verbs which end in -icare are stressed on the second to last vowel of the stem.  In the following examples, the stems are underlined.
                      beneficare (to do good): benfico, benfichi, benfica, benefichiamo, beneficate, benficano
                        esplicare (to explain): splico, splichi, splica, esplichiamo, esplicate, splicano
                        fabbricare (to fabricate): fbbrico, fbbrichi, fbbrica, fabbrichiamo, fabbricate, fbbricano
                        masticare (to chew): mstico, mstichi, mstica, mastichiamo, masticate, msticano
                   significare (to signify, mean): signfico, signfichi, signfica, significhiamo, significate, signficano

Rule 3 - Verbs which end in -iare find the stress on the vowel which precedes the letter “i”.
          examples: alleviare, to alleviate:  allẹvio, allevi, allevia, alleviamo, allevate, allẹviano
                            affacciare, to show:  affạccio, affacci, affạccia, affacciamo, affacciate, affạcciano
                            alloggiare: to lodge, house:  allǫggio, allǫggi, allǫggia, alloggiamo, alloggiate, allǫggiano

Rule 4. - Verbs that end in -quiare (only 3) do not double the “i” when an ending begins with “i”.  The three verbs are colloquiare(to speak colloquially), ossequiare(to pay homage), and sproloquiare(to carry on, rant)

Rule 5 - Many of the group 1 verbs which have a single vowelfollowed by a single consonant before the group ending have regular pronunciation, that is they are stressed on the last vowel of the stem.  In the following example, the stem is underlined.
          bastonare (to cane): bastno, bastni, bastna, bastoniamo, bastonate, bastnano

However, approximately 45% of group 1 verbs of this type are stressed on the second to last vowel of the stem.  In the following examples, the stems are underlined.
            acclimatare (to acclimate): acclịmato, acclịmati, acclịmata, acclimatiamo, acclimate, acclịmatano
            esonerare (to exonerate): esǫnero, esǫneri, esǫnera, esoneriamo, esonerate, esǫnerano
            manipolare (to manipulate): manpolo, manpoli, manpola, manipoliamo, manipolate, manpolano
            ondulare (to undulate): ǫndulo, ǫnduli, ǫndula, onduliamo, ondulate, ǫndulano
            ventilare (to ventilate): vntilo, vntili, vntila, ventiliamo, ventilate, vntilano
All the verbs of this type are listed in the appendix.

Group 1 verbs end in -are.  The model for this group is the verb parlare, to speak; its stem is parl-.  The endings are shown in italics, and they are the same for all regular verbs in this group
            I speak                         Io                     parl + o            parlo                (pAHr-loh)
            You speak                   Tu                    parl + i             parli                 (pAHr-lee)
            He, she, it speaks        Lei, Lui           parl + a            parla                (pAHr-lah)
            We speak                     Noi                  parl + iamo      parliamo          (pahr-lyAH-moh)
            You speak                   Voi                  parl + ate         parlate             (pahr-lAH-tay)
            They speak                  Loro                pạrl + ano        pạrlano                        (pAHr-lah-noh)

In group 1, the following verbs are irregular in the present tense
accecare, to blind:  accieco, acciechi, accieca, accechiamo, accecate, acciẹcano
andare, to go:  vado, vai, va, andiamo, andate, vanno
                Like andare:         riandare, to go back
arenare, to run aground:  arẹno, arẹni, arẹna, areniamo, arenate, arẹnano
dare, to give:  do, dai, dạ, diamo, date, danno
esaminare, to examine:  esạmino, esạmini, esạmina, esaminiamo, esaminate, esạminano
                                These verbs are irregular because, although the infinitives are pronounced regularly, the
                                accent is changed in the stem (esamin-) from the last vowel to the second to last vowel.  Using
                                esaminare as an example, the infinitive is pronounced ay-zah-mee-nAH-ray.  Thus, under the
                                regular rule, the io form would be pronounced ay-zah-mEEn-oh, but it is actually pronounced
                                ay-zAH-mee-noh.  There are too many of these verbs to be listed here. Please consult the
                                appendix for information.
fare, to do, make:  faccio, fai, fa, facciamo, fate, fanno
                Like fare:assuefare, to accustom, inure          contraffare, to counterfeit                 disassuefare, to give up a habit
                disfare, to undo                                                   liquefare, to liquify                             putrefare, to putrify
                rarefare, to rarefy                                               rifare, to do over, repeat                    sfare, to undo, to thaw, melt
                soddisfare, to satisfy                                          soprafare, to overwhelm                    strafare, to do too much, overdo
                stupefare, to stupefy                                           torrefare, to roast                                                tumefare, to swell
ridare, to give back:  ridò, ridai, ridà, ridiamo, ridate, ridanno
ristare, to stop, desist:  ristò, ristai, ristà, ristiamo, ristate, ristanno
sonare, to sound, to play:  suono, suoni, suona, soniamo, sonate,suǫnono
                Like sonare:                                                          dissonare, to be dissonant                 risonare, to resound, to play again
                rotare, to rotate                                                   tonare, to thunder
stare, to stand:  sto, stai, sta, stiamo, state, stanno

Pronunciation of Group 2 verbs
The pronunciation of group 2 verbs is more regular than group 1 verbs.  Verbs in the present tense keep the accent on the last vowel of the stem, except for the “noi” and “voi” forms, which ALWAYS follow the usual rules.  In the loro form, the accent falls on the third to last vowel.  Verb forms are generally written without accent marks, but in this text, accent marks will be used whenever the pronunciation departs from the regular rules.

Group 2 verbs end in -ere or -rre.  The model for this group is the verb credere, to believe; its stem is cred-.  The endings are shown in italics, and they are the same for all regular verbs in this group.
            I believe                      Io                     cred + o           credo               (crEH-doh)
            You believe                 Tu                    cred + i            credi                (crEH-dee)
            He, she, it believes      Lei, Lui           cred + e           crede               (crEH-day)
            We believe                  Noi                  cred + iamo     crediamo         (cray-dyAH-moh)
            You believe                 Voi                  cred + ẹte        credẹte                        (cray-dAY-tay)
            They believe                Loro                crẹd + ono       crędono           (crEH-doh-noh)

In group 2, the following verbs are irregular in the present tense
addurre, to adduce:  adduco, adduci, adduce, adduciamo, adducẹte, addụcono
                Like addurre:                                        condurre, to conduct                          dedurre, to deduce
                indurre, to induce                                                introdurre, to introduce                     produrre, to produce
                reintrodurre, to reintroduce              ricondurre, to bring, take, lead again
                ridurre, to reduce                                                riprodurre, to reproduce                    ritradurre, to retranslate
                sedurre, to seduce                               tradurre, to translate                          trasdurre, to transduce
astrarre,to abstract:  astraggo, astrai, astrae, astraiamo, astraẹte, astrạggano
                Like astrarre:                                                        attrarre, to attract                                               contrarre, to contract
                decontrarre, to relax                                           detrarre, to detract                              distrarre, to distract
                estrarre, to extract                                              protrarre, to protract                          ricontrarre, to contract again
                ritrarre, to retract                                                                sottrarre, to subtract                           trarre, to pull, draw toward
avere, to have:  hò, hai, ha, abbiamo, avẹte, hanno
cǫgliere, to gather:  colgo, cogli, coglie, cogliamo, cogliẹte, cǫlgono
                Like cǫgliere:                              accǫgliere, to welcome                      disciǫgliere, to dissolve
                distǫgliere, to withdraw                     equivalere, to be equivalent              invalere, to catch on, become fashionable
                prevalere, to prevail                            riaccǫgliere, to readmit someone    ritǫgliere, to take away again
                scẹgliere, to choose                            sciǫgliere, to untie, to loosen            tǫgliere, to take away
                valere, to be worth
conoscere, to know:  conọsco, conọsci, conọsce, conosciamo, conoscẹte, conọscono
                Like conoscere:                                    disconoscere, to disclaim                   riconoscere, to recognize
crẹscere, to grow:  crẹsco, crẹsci, crẹsce, cresciamo, crescẹte, crẹscono
                Like crescere:                                       nạscere, to be born                              ricrẹscere, to regrow
                rinạscere, to be reborn                       rincrẹscere, to regret
cuǫcere, to cook:  cuocio, cuoci, cuoce, cociamo, cocẹte, cuǫciono
                Like cuǫcere:                                        ricuǫcere, to recook                            scuǫcere, to overcook
                stracuǫcere, to overdo
divẹllere, to uproot:  divelgo, divelli, divelle, divelliamo, divellẹte, divẹlgono
                Like divẹllere:                                     eccẹllere, to excel                                espẹllere, to expel
                repẹllere, to repel                                                svẹllere, to tear out
dolere, to suffer, ache:  dǫlgo, duǫli, duǫle, dogliamo, dolẹte, dǫlgono
dovere, to be obliged to:  devo, devi, deve, dobbiamo, dovẹte, dẹvono
emẹrgere, to emerge:  emergo, emergi, emerge, emergiamo, emergẹte, emẹrgono
                These verbs are irregular because the soft g of the infinitive is hard in the “I” and “they”forms.
                Like emẹrgere:                                     accǫrgere, to perceive                        aggiụngere, to add
                aspẹrgere, to sprinkle                         attịngere, to attain                              cịngere, to surround
                congiụngere, to join, unite                                cospạrgere, to scatter, sprinkle         costrịngere, to compel
                convẹrgere, to converge                     dipịngere, to depict                             dirịgere, to direct
                disgiụngere, to disjoin, separate      disụngere, to degrease                        divẹrgere, to diverge
                emụlgere, to soften                             ẹrgere, to raise, lift up                         erịgere, to erect
                esịgere, to demand                             espụngere, to expunge                       fịngere, to feign, pretend
                frạngere, to break                                               fụngere, to act as someone                               giụngere, to join
                immẹrgere, to immerge                       indụlgere, to indulge                           ingiụngere, to enjoin, to order
                interpụngere, to punctuate                               mụngere, to milk                                  neglịgere, to neglect
            piạngere, to cry, weep                        pịngere, to paint                                  pǫrgere, to hand something to someone
                predilịgere, to be particularly fond of something                                         pụngere, to prick, sting, bite, nip
                raggiụngere, to catch up, up to, up with                                                        redịgere, to draw up, draft
                ricongiụngere, to reconnect              riemẹrgere, to re-emerge                    rifrạngere, to refract
                rifụlgere, to shine                                                rimpiạngere, to regret                         rinvǫlgere, to rewrap
                ripịngere, to repaint                            risǫrgere, to rise again                        risospịngere, to push again
                ritịngere, to redye                               sconvǫlgere, to upset, throw into confusion
                scǫrgere, to make out, distinguish   smụngere, to bleed, milk, squeeze    soggiụngere, to add
                sommẹrgere, to submerge                  sopragiụngere, to appear or arrive suddenly
                sǫrgere, to rise, get up                         spạrgere, to scatter, strew                  spịngere, to push, shove
                spǫrgere, to stick out, protrude         stịngere, to fade, lose color               strịngere, to clasp, hold tightly
                svǫlgere, to unwind                             tẹrgere, to wipe clean, away             tịngere, to dye, tint
                vǫlgere, to wrap                                   ụngere, to oil, lubricate
ęssere, to be:  sọno, sei, è, siamo, siete, sọno
                                Like essere:                                                                           rięssere, to be again
giacere, to lie down:  giaccio, giaci, giace, giacciamo, giacẹte, giạcciono
                Like giacere:                                         dispiacere, to displease                      piacere, to please
                scompiacere, to be unkind                 soggiacere, to be subject to              spiacere, to be sorry, to regret
                tacere, to be silent
lęggere, to read:  leggo, leggi, legge, leggiamo, leggẹte, lẹggono
                These verbs are irregular because the soft gg of the infinitive is hard in the “I”and “they” forms.
                Like lęggere:                                         affịggere, to affix                                               afflịggere, to afflict
                corrẹggere, to correct                         distrụggere, to destroy                       elęggere, to elect
                figgere, to fix, stick                             frịggere, to fry                                     infịggere, to drive, thrust
                inflịggere, to inflict                             prefịggere, to arrange in advance    protẹggere, to protect
                rẹggere, to hold                                   rielęggere, to re-elect                          rifrịggere, torefry
                rilęggere, to read again                      sconfịggere, to defeat, vanquish      strụggere, to melt, thaw
                trafịggere, to transfigure
muǫvere, to move:  muovo, muovi, muove, moviamo, movẹte, muǫvono
                Like muovere:                                      commuǫvere, to move emotionally
                percuǫtere, to strike                            promuǫvere, to promote                    rimuǫvere, to remove
                riscuǫtere, to collect a salary            scuǫtere, to shake                                               smuǫvere, to budge
                sommuǫvere, to incite, stir up.
nuǫcere, to harm:  noccio, nuoci, nuoce, nociamo, nocẹte, nǫcciono
parere, to seem:  paio, pari, pare, pariamo, parẹte, pạiono
pọrre, to put, place:  pọngo, pọni, pọne, poniamo, ponẹte, pọngono
                Like pọrre:
                antepọrre, to place or put before                     appọrre, to append                             compọrre, to compose
                contrappọrre, to oppose; to contrast              contropropọrre, to counterpropose decompọrre, to decompose
                depọrre, to put, set, lay down                           dispọrre, to dispose                             espọrre, to expose
                fotocompọrre, to photocompose                      frappọrre, to interpose                       giustappọrre, to juxtapose
                impọrre, to impose                                              indispọrre, to irritate; to annoy        interpọrre, to interpose
                oppọrre, to oppose                                              pospọrre, to postpone                        predispọrre, to predispose
                prepọrre, to place before, to set above           presuppọrre, to presuppose               propọrre, to propose
                ricompọrre, to reassemble, to recompose       ridispọrre, to rearrange                      riespọrre, to expound again
                ripọrre, to replace                                               ripropọrre, to repropose                    scompọrre, to take apart, dismantle
                sottoespọrre, to underexpose                            sottopọrre, to place underneath       sovraespọrre, to overexpose
                sovrappọrre, to superimpose                            sovrimpọrre, to overlay                      suppọrre, to suppose
                traspọrre, to transpose
potere, to be able, can:  pǫsso, puǫi, può, possiamo, potẹte, pǫssono
riavere, to have again, recover:  riò, riai, rià, riabbiamo, riavẹte, rianno
rimanere, to remain:  rimango, rimani, rimane, rimaniamo, rimanẹte, rimạngono
sapere, to know:  sò, sai , sa, sappiamo, sapẹte, sanno
sedere, to sit:  siẹdo, siẹdi, siẹde, sediamo, sedẹte, siẹdono
                                Like sedere:                          possedere, to possess          risedere, to reseat, to sit down again
solere, to be in the habit of:  sǫglio, suǫli, suǫle, sogliamo, solẹte, sǫgliono
                Like solere:                                                                           volere, to want
spẹgnere, to extinguish:  spengo, spegni, spegne, spegniamo, spegnẹte, spẹngono
tenere, to hold:  tengo, tieni, tiene, teniamo, tenẹte, tẹngono
                Like tenere:                                           appartenere, to belong to                  contenere, to contain
                detenere, to detain                              mantenere, to maintain                      ottenere, to obtain
                ritenere, to retain                                 sostenere, to sustain                            trattenere, to restrain
tǫrcere, to twist:  torco, torci, torce, torciamo, torcẹte, tǫrcono
                These verbs are irregular because the soft c of the infinitive is hard in the “I”and “they” forms.
                Like torcere:                                         contǫrcere, to contort                         contǫrcersi, to writhe
                distǫrcere, to distort                            ritǫrcere, to twist again
trarre, to draw:  traggo, trai, trae, traiamo, traẹte, trạggono
                Like trarre:                                            attrarre, to attract                                               astrarre, to abstract
                contrarre, to contract                         detrarre, to detract                              distrarre, to distract
                estrarre, to extract                              protrarre, to protract                          ritrarre, to retract
                sottrarre, to subtract
vịncere, to win:  vinco, vinci, vince, vinciamo, vincẹte, vịncono
            These verbs are irregular because the soft c of the infinitive is hard in the “I”and “they” forms.
                Like vincere:                                         avvịncere, to charm                            convịncere, to convince
                convịncersi, to convince oneself      evincere, to be evident                       stravincere, to win overwhelmingly, trounce
volẹre, to want:  vǫglio, vuǫli, vuǫle, vogliamo, volẹte, vǫgliono
                Like volere:                                           benvolere, to like someone                                disvolere, to stop liking someone
                malvolere, to dislike someone           rivolere, to want someone or something back

 

Pronunciation of Group 3 verbs
The pronunciation of group 3 verbs is generally regular.  Verb forms are usually written without accent marks, but in this text, accent marks will be used whenever the pronunciation departs from the regular rules.  In some texts, the authors divide this verb group into two parts, namely those verbs whose forms are like finire, and those whose forms are like partire.  Due to the fact that this group has 665 verbs of which 95 are formed like partire, this author treats the verbs like partireas irregular verbs.

Group 3 verbs end in -ire.  The model for this group is the verb finire, to finish or end; its stem is fin-.  The endings are shown in italics, and they are the same for all regular verbs in this group.
            I finish                         Io                     fin + isco         finisco             (fee-nEE-scoh)
            You finish                   Tu                    fin + isci          finisci              (fee-nEE-shee)
            He, she, it finishs        Lei, Lui           fin + isce         finsce               (fee-nEE-shay)
            We finish                     Noi                  fin + iamo       finiamo            (fee-nyAH-moh)
            You finish                   Voi                  fin + ite            finite                (fee-nEE-tay)
            They finish                  Loro                fin + ịscono     finịscono         (fee-nEE-scoh-noh)

In group 3, the following verbs are irregular in the present tense
aprire, to open:  apro, apri, apre, apriamo, aprite, ạprono
                Like aprire:                                           assentire, to assent                              avvertire, to advise, inform
                bollire, to boil                                      conseguire, to obtain                          consentire, to consent
                convertire, to convert                         coprire, to cover                                  discoprire, to discover
                disinvestire, to disinvest                     dissentire, to dissent                           divertire, to amuse
                dormire, to sleep                                  offrire, to offer                                     eseguire, to execute
                inseguire, to chase after                    invertire, to invert                               investire, to invest
                partire, to start                                     pentire, to repent                                 perseguire, to pursue
                pervertire, to pervert                           preavvertire, to forewarn                   presentire, to present
                proseguire, to prosecute                    reinvestire, to reinvest                        riaprire, to reopen
                riavvertire, to advise again                               ribollire, to reboil                                                riconvertire, to reconvert
                ricoprire, to cover again                    riscoprire, to rediscover                     rieseguire, to execute again
                risentire, to hear again                       rivestire, to dress again                      sbollire, to cool off
                scoprire, to discover, uncover           seguire, to follow                                 sentire, to feel
                servire, to serve                                    sobbollire, to simmer                         soffrire, to suffer
                sortire, to go out                                  sovvertire, to subvert                          susseguire, to follow, succeed
                svestire, to undress                              vestire, to dress                                    vestirsi, to dress oneself

These verbs are characterized by the presence of a double consonant or the letter pair "gu" before the group ending.

 

cucire, to sew:  cucio, cuci, cuce, cuciamo, cucite, cụciono
                Like cucire:                                           ricucire, to sew again                                         scucire, to unravel
fuggire, to flee, to escape:  fuggo, fuggi, fugge, fuggiamo, fuggite, fụggono
                [These verbs are irregular because the soft gg of the infinitive is hard in the “I”and “they” forms.]
                Like fuggire:                                         muggire, to moo                                                  rifuggire, to flee again, escape again
                ruggire, to roar, bellow                       sfuggire, to shun, avoid
dire, to say:  dico, dici, dice, diciamo, dite, dịcono
                Like dire:                                               benedire, to bless                                                 contradire, to contradict
                disdire, to retract                                 interdire, to interdict, prohibit                           maledire, to curse
                predire, to predict                                ridire, to repeat                                                    ribenedire, to bless again
empire, to fill, fill up, fill in:  empio, empi, empe, empiamo, empite, empịrono
                                Like empire:                                                         riempire, to refill
morire, to die:  muoio, muori, muore, moriamo, morite, muoịono
                                Like morire:                                            premorire, to die before, predecease
salire, to go forth, go up, climb:  salgo, sali, sale, saliamo, salite, sạlgono
                                Like salire:                            assalire, to assault                                              risalire, to go up again
udire, to hear:  odo, odi, ode, udiamo, udite, ǫdono
                                Like udire:                                                             riudire, to hear again
uscire, to go out:  esco, esci, esce, usciamo, uscite, ẹscono
                                Like uscire:                           fuoriuscire, to come out, leak                           riuscire, to go out again
venire, to come;  vẹngo, viẹni, viẹne, veniamo, venite, vẹngono
                Like venire:                                           addivenire, to come to                                       avvenire, to happen
                circonvenire, to circumvent              contravenire, to contravene                              convenire, to convene
                divenire, to become                            intervenire, to intervene                                     pervenire, to reach
                prevenire, to prevent                          provenire, to come from, originate                  riconvenire, to reconvene
                ridivenire, to become again              rinvenire, to rediscover, recover                       risoveniresi, to remember, recollect
                rivenire, to come back                 sconvenire, to be unbecoming                          sovvenire, to help
                svenire, to faint