Verb (Verbo)
 
 
Italian follows pretty well the pattern of the Latin verbal system. The verbs are classified according to the  pattern of their infinitive endings into 3 groups or conjugations (q.v.): contemporary grammarians have unified the 2nd and 3rd Latin conjugations into one, the 2nd, in Italian, as their endings have coincided in the evolution of the language (the infinitives have, however, preserved the different position of the stress, just as in Latin). The most verbs of the 3rd conjugation of Italian (i.e. the 4th of Latin) have incorporated the inchoative suffix -sc- in the present tense (see Latin inchoative verbs). The Latin -io verbs were absorbed into the -i conjugation (in Latin it was the 4th and in Italian it is the 3rd conjugation).

See also the Latin verbal endings.

The conjugations are as follows:
 
I conjugation:
-are
II conjugation: -ere
III conjugation: -ire
stressed on the
penultimate syllable
stressed on the
antepenultimate syllable
plain stems
+sc
amare to love
tenere to hold
correre  to run
partire to part, go
finire to finish
comprare  to buy
temere to fear
rendere   to render
salire   to get in
udire  to hear
parlare  to speak
volere   to want
vivere to live
venire  to come
uscire   to get out
 
The 1st conjugation contains 3 irregular verbs (andare to go, dare to give, and stare to stay). The 2nd conjugation contains a lot of irregular verbs, especially those stressed on the antepenultimate syllable (i.e. on the stem). Note that verbs ending in –arre (like trarre to drag), –orre (like porre to put), and –urre (like tradurre to translate), as also the verbs fare to make / do and dire to say, are considered second conjugation verbs since they derive from contractions of Latin verbs of the athematic conjugation (in Latin grammar it was 3rd): trahere, ponere, traducere, facere, dicere. The 3rd conjugation also contains many irregular verbs.

See the Irregular verbs.

See the Lists of the Verbs of the 3rd conjugation without  -sc, with -sc and with or without -sc.

In modern Italian the development of the 2nd and 3rd conjugation is practically frozen, while the 1st conjugation is permanently expanding by new derivatives.

There are 4 simple tenses (q.v.) in Italian: the Present (q.v.), the Past (q.v.), the Imperfect (q.v.) and the Future (q.v.). The compound tenses are constructed with the auxiliary (q.v.) avere to have and the past passive participle; a few intransitive verbs (as venire to come, andare to go, partire to part, morire to die etc.) and all the reflexive (pronominal) verbs are conjugated in the compound tenses with essere to be; in this Italian is similar to French.

Italian has 5 verbal moods (q.v.) -- indicative (q.v.), subjunctive (q.v.), imperative (q.v.), infinitive (q.v.) and potential (q.v.) (or conditional) mood. As compared with Latin, Italian lost the Future Imperative. The Latin present participles were preserved, while the future ones have only sporadically survived as verbal adjectives (like futuro future).

The passive voice (q.v.) is formed analytically with the auxiliary essere to be and the past passive participle.

The polite address requires the verb to be used in the 3rd p. sg. with the feminine pronoun lei she or in the 2nd p. pl. (the latter construction is considered now old-fashioned).

See the Forms of Address.
 
 


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