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Italiano 1o1: Lezione #15- To be or not to be… Basic auxiliary verbs

October 18, 2011

P1080297 Hello again, my dear students! I have prepared something very interesting for you today. Ok, maybe not so much interesting as INDISPENSABLE when it comes to learning a foreign language. Auxiliary verbs. You, know those are the verbs you use when you want to make complex tenses, like present continuous, or past perfect. In case you need refreshing your memory, complex tenses consist of more than one verbs. (I am sleeping-see? 2 verbs! complex tense). This of course means, that Lezione #15 is our first tackle at la grammatica!

Anyway, the verbs we are talking about today are ESSERE (to be) and AVERE (to have) and just like their matches is English, they are used alongside other verbs to form tenses, as well as on their own.

When learning a new verb like this, we need to cover the Present Simple tense first, as the most basic one there is-Indicativo Presente in Italian. I will explain the “indicativo” part later on, we will cross that bridge when we come to it-don’t worry. For now, “presente” will do.

So here we go:

*we remember the personal pronouns from the last time, of course…


Io sono Noi siamo
Tu sei Voi siete
Lui/lei è Loro sono



Io ho Noi abbiamo
Tu hai Voi avete
Lui/lei ha Loro hanno

***always keep in mind that you never-ever pronounce H in Italian (so it sounds like o, ai, a) So why write it, you’re probably wondering? Well, some things remain from the olden days, as a reminder of the glorious times of the Roman Empire and Latin. yay!

Let’s see what that actually means when speaking:

  • Example: I am tired/ Io sono stanco.
  • She has a cute friend./ Lei ha un’amica carina.
  • Marc is gorgeous!/ Marco è bellissimo!

That’s it for now, feel free to write in case I’ve forgotten something, and if there is anything you need clarifying-about this grammar section, or any other.

Check in regularly for our new posts on the Italian language.


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