Italian, Lesson 5: Verbs of 2 type, -ere

Ciao a tutti! Sono professore d’Italiano :) He-he, I’m kidding.

Roman Forum
Roman Forum

As we know, verbs in italian change their’s form in conjunction with different pronouns. We already know how to change the verbs ending on -are: parlare, studiare, amare. But, not all italian verbs end on -are!

There are 3 types of verbs in Italian:

  1. ending on -are (parlare – to speak, studiare – to study, amare – to love)
  2. -ere (scrivere – to write, vivere – lo live, prendere – to take)
  3. -ire (partire – to leave, dormire – to sleep, aprire – to open)
  4. +irregular special cases. But they also end on -are, -ere and -ire.

Each type has it’s own transformation rules. And this is something that we need to remember.

Type 1 verbs re-play: parlare (to speak)
  • io parlo – I speak
  • tu parli – you speak (singular)
  • lei/lui parla – she/he speaks
  • noi parliamo – we speak
  • voi parlate – you speak (plural)
  • loro parlano – they speak

-are: -o, -i, -a, -iamo, -ate, -ano

Type 2 verbs: scrivere, vivere, prendere

Let’s go and see how Type 2 verbs change. Scrivere – to write.

  • io scrivo – I write
  • tu scrivi – you write (singular)
  • lui/lei scrive – he/she writes
  • noi scriviamo – we write
  • voi scrivete – you write (plural)
  • loro scrivono – they write (here stress shifts to beginning – scrivono)

-ere: -o, -i, -e, -iamo, -ete, -ono.

Obviously, -ere very similar to -are – in third person (parlare – lui parla — scrivere – lui scrive) a changed to e. In plular form, -are is now became -ete. And in plural third person -ano -> -ono.

Vivere – to live
  • io vivo – I live
  • tu vivi – you live (singular)
  • lui/lei vive – he/she lives
  • noi viviamo – we live
  • voi vivete – you live (plural)
  • loro vivono – they live
Prendere – to take
  • io prendo – I take
  • tu prendi – you take (singular)
  • lui/lei prende – he/she takes
  • noi prendiamo – we take
  • voi prendete – you take (plural)
  • loro prendono – they take

Stress as usual on the second to last vowel (prendo, prendi, prende, prendiamo, prendete), except prendono. -ano and -ono in verbs are never under stress. So stress shifts to beginning.


Cool, we know the rules, now let’s try to make some real examples we’ll be able to use in our communication. For example to say where you are from. In Italian you use vivere for city and vivere in for country.

vivere a <city> – to live in <city>

vivere in <country> – to live in <country>

Let’s add countries and theirs capitals:

  • Italia – Roma
  • Spagna – Madrid
  • Germania – Berlino
  • Russia – Mosca
  • Inghilterra – Londra (yep, this is England :)
  • Francia – Parigi

And now real sentences:

  • Vivo a Roma – I live in Rome
  • Lei vive in Italia – She lives in Italy
  • Vivono a Mosca? – Do they live in Moscow?
  • Noi non viviamo in Francia – We don’t live in France.

Now try to say few sentences about yourself:

Io sono <name>. Parlo l’Italiano. Parlo l’Italiano molto bene (very well). Sudio l’Italiano. Studio l’Italiano ogni giorni (every day). Vivo a <city>. Vivo in <country>.

Try to play with all the verbs we learned.