The verb to be. Il verbo essere.
The verb to be – essere – is used for conditions or characteristics that are either permanent or transitory. It is important to mention that in Italian the verb essere is also one of the verbs that is used as an auxiliary verb for past tenses a. So, we strongly recommend you to learn this verb before all the others.
Your team has just won the championship. You are happy and talk to your friend…
– Io sono molto felice! (I am very happy!) You are happy now, the reason is because your team won the championship. This could be a transitory situation. Today you are happier because of a particular reason, event or situation.
Your friend Luciano is always in a good mood. He is always happy and you are talking about him to another friend
– Luciano č felice (Luciano is happy) Luciano is happy kind of person. Being always happy is a quality of him.
Conjugation of the verb essere
n Italian, the conjugation of the verb is the result of the root of the verb (stem) and a specific termination. For example, the conjugation of a verb for the person Io (I) is different from Tu (you), so usually the termination of the verb is enough to indicate which person the verb is related to, even when the person is omitted in a sentence. The verb essere is irregular which means that there is not a general pattern of conjugations that you can follow and apply for other verbs.
|Tu||sei||(You – informal) are|
|Lui / lei / Lei||č||(He / she / you – formal) is|
- Io sono ingegnere. (I am an engineer.)
- Sono insegnante. (I am a teacher.) The termination of the verb is enough to indicate which person the verb is related to, even when the person is omitted in the sentence. Sono is used just to refer to I
- Sono italiano. (I am Italian). Reading this sentence we know that the person who is speaking is a man, because the adjective italiano – is in the masculine form )
- Sono italiana. (I am Italian) Reading this sentence we know that the person who is speaking is a woman, because the adjective italiana is in the feminine form)
- Dove sei? (Where are you?). See the conjugated verb sei is related to the person you (tu)
- Lui č felice (He is happy) In this case ‘č felice’ could be referring to he or she, so in order to specify who is happy, usually the person is used before the verb)
- Siamo qui. (We are here). In this case the conjugated verb siamo is used just to refer to we (noi)
- Noi siamo qui. (We are here)This sentence has the same meaning than the sentence above, but theperson we – ‘noi’ was used to emphasize the sentence