Irregular First-Conjugation Italian Verbs

Three irregular -are verbs

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Many important Italian verbs, like “fare - to do / to make” or “essere - to be,” are irregular, which means they don’t follow the regular conjugation patterns (infinitive stem + endings). They may have a different stem or different endings.

Three Irregular First-Conjugation Verbs

There are only three irregular first-conjugation verbs (verbs ending in –are):

FUN FACT: The verb “fare” is derived from facere, a Latin verb of the second conjugation, so it’s considered an irregular second conjugation verb.


In the present tense, “dare” is conjugated as follows:

dare - to give

io do

noi diamo

tu dai

voi date

lui, lei, Lei dà

essi, Loro danno


In the present tense, “stare” is conjugated as follows:

stare - to stay, to be

io sto

noi stiamo

tu stai

voi state

lui, lei, Lei sta

essi, Loro stanno

The verb “stare” is used in many idiomatic expressions. It has different English equivalents according to the adjective or adverb that accompanies it.

  • stare attento/a/i/e—to pay attention
  • stare bene / male—to be well/not well
  • stare zitto/a/i/e—to keep quiet
  • stare fresco—to get in trouble, be in for it
  • stare fuori—to be outside
  • starsene da parte—to stand aside, to be on one side
  • stare su—to stand (sit) up straight / to cheer up
  • stare a cuore—to matter, to have at heart
  • stare con—to live with
  • stare in piedi—to be standing
  • stare in guardia—to be on one's guard

Here are some other examples:

  • Ciao, zio, come stai?—Hi Uncle, how are you?
  • Sto bene, grazie.—I'm fine, thanks.
  • Molti studenti non stanno attenti.—Many students don't pay attention.


In the present tense, “andare” is conjugated as follows:

andare - to go

io vado

noi andiamo

tu vai

voi andate

lui, lei, Lei va

essi, Loro vanno

If the verb “andare” is followed by another verb (to go dancing, to go eat), the sequence andare + a + infinitive is used.

“Andare” is conjugated, but the second verb is used in the infinitive. Note that it’s necessary to use the preposition “a” even if the infinitive is separated from the form of andare.

  • Quando andiamo a ballare?  - When are we going dancing?
  • Chi va in Italia a studiare? - Who's going to Italy to study?

When you’re talking about means of transportation, you would use the preposition “in” after the verb “andare.”

  • andare in aeroplanoto fly
  • andare in biciclettato ride a bicycle
  • andare in trenoto go by train
  • andare in automobile (in macchina)to drive, to go by car

Exception: andare a piedi - to walk

As a general rule, when andare is followed by the name of a country or a region, the preposition “in” is used. When it’s followed by the name of a city, the preposition “a” is used.

  • Vado in Italia, a Roma. - I'm going to Italy, to Rome.
  • Vai a Parma… in Emilia Romagna, vero? - You’re going to Parma… in Emilia Romagna, right?
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Filippo, Michael San. "Irregular First-Conjugation Italian Verbs." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Filippo, Michael San. (2023, April 5). Irregular First-Conjugation Italian Verbs. Retrieved from Filippo, Michael San. "Irregular First-Conjugation Italian Verbs." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 29, 2023).