How to Form First-Conjugation (-are) Verbs in Italian

Learn how to conjugate -are verbs

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Infinitives of all regular verbs in Italian end in –are, –ere, or –ire and are referred to as first-, second-, or third-conjugation verbs, respectively. In English, the infinitive (l'infinito) consists of to + verb.

What are First-Conjugation Verbs?

Verbs with infinitives ending in –are are called first-conjugation, or –are, verbs. The present tense of a regular –are verb is formed by dropping the infinitive ending –are and adding the appropriate endings to the resulting stem.

There is a different ending for each person.

Characteristics of the First Conjugation

Verbs ending in -care and -gare

With verbs ending in –care (cercare - to try, caricare - to charge) and –gare (litigare - to fight, legare - to bond), add an “h” immediately after the root when declinations start with “e” or “i” to maintain the hard “c” or hard “g” sound.

Cercare - To try, to look (for)

io cerco

noi cerchiamo

tu cerchi

voi cercate

lui, lei, Lei cerca

loro, Loro cercano

The spelling also changes with the first person in the future with “io cercherò - I will try.”

Legare - To bond, to tie

io lego

noi leghiamo

tu leghi

voi legate

lui, lei, Lei lega

loro, Loro legano

The spelling also changes with the first person in the future with “io legherò - I will tie.”

Verbs ending in -ciare and -giare

With verbs ending in –ciare (baciare - to kiss), –giare (mangiare - to eat), and –sciare (lasciare - to leave), drop the “i” of the root when declinations start with “e” or “i.”

Cominciare - To start

io comincio

noi cominciamo

tu cominci

voi cominciate

lui, lei, Lei comincia

loro, Loro cominciano

The spelling also changes with the first person in the future with “io comincerò - I will start.”

Mangiare - To eat

io mangio

noi mangiamo

tu mangi

voi mangiate

lui, lei, Lei mangia

loro, Loro mangiano

The spelling also changes with the first person in the future with “io mangerò - I will eat.”

Strisciare - To crawl

io striscio

noi strisciamo

tu strisci

voi strisciate

lui, lei, Lei striscia

loro, Loro strisciano

The spelling also changes with the first person in the future with “io striscerò - I will crawl.”

Verbs ending in -iare

With verbs ending in –iare (inviare, studiare, gonfiare), the “i” of the root stays, except for with the declinations –iamo and –iate.

The “i” of the root is dropped with declinations that start with i (–i, –iamo, –iate, –ino) or in the first person singular of the present indicative (io stùdio).

Spiare - To spy

io spio

noi spiamo

che tu spii

voi spiate

lui, lei, Lei spia

loro, Loro spiano

Studiare - To study

io studio

noi studiamo

che tu studii

voi studiate

lui, lei, Lei studia

loro, Loro studiano

Verbs ending in –gliare

Verbs ending in –gliare (tagliare - to cut, pigliare - to take): drop the i of the root only before the vowel i.

Tagliare - To cut

io taglio

noi tagliamo

tu tagli

voi tagliate

lui, lei, Lei taglia

loro, Loro tagliano

Pigliare - To take

io piglio

noi pigliamo

tu pigli

voi pigliate

lui, lei, Lei piglia

loro, Loro pigliano

Verbs ending in -gnare

Verbs ending in –gnare are regular, therefore the “i” of the endings –iamo (indicative and present conjunctive) and –iate (present conjunctive) is maintained.

Regnare - To rule

io regno

noi regniamo

tu regni

voi regnate

lui, lei, Lei regna

loro, Loro regnano

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Filippo, Michael San. "How to Form First-Conjugation (-are) Verbs in Italian." ThoughtCo, Feb. 25, 2018, thoughtco.com/first-conjugation-italian-verbs-2011675. Filippo, Michael San. (2018, February 25). How to Form First-Conjugation (-are) Verbs in Italian. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/first-conjugation-italian-verbs-2011675 Filippo, Michael San. "How to Form First-Conjugation (-are) Verbs in Italian." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/first-conjugation-italian-verbs-2011675 (accessed May 20, 2018).