The verb to have. Il verbo avere.
The verb avere means to have and it is used for express that someone possesses something
In Italian the verb avere is also used as an auxiliary verb for past tenses as the verb essere is. So we strongly recommend you to learn it before all others verbs.
You have bought a car. You are talking to a friend…
– Ho una macchina. (I have a car)
You and your wife have a dog. You are talking to a friend…
– Noi abbiamo un cane. (We have a dog)
Note that the person could be omitted as ‘ho’ is specific to the person ‘Io’ (I) and thus can not be used to another person.
Conjugation of the verb avere
In 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 the sentence. The verb to have – avere – is an irregular verb which means that there is not a general and applicable pattern of conjugation. Study the conjugation of the verb avere below:
|Tu||hai||(You – informal) have|
|Lui / lei / Lei||ha||(He / she / you – formal) has|
Pronunciation! Don’t forget that the letter ‘H’ in Italian is silent which means that the pronunciation of ‘ho’, ‘ha’, ‘hai’, ‘hanno’ is exactly the same of ‘o’, ‘a’, ‘ai’, ‘anno’. If you have any doubt, go to the alphabet page where you can hear how each sound is pronounced.
- Io ho una casa. (I have a house.)
- Ho una casa. (I have a house.) 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.
- Ho ventotto anni. (Literally ‘I have twenty eight years’ – I am twenty eight years old). Note that in Italian you express your age using the verb ‘avere’, not the verb ‘essere’ (to be)
- Lei ha la fortuna di essere bella. (She is lucky for being beautiful). ‘Ha’ could be used for either he or she, so in order to specify who has is lucky, usually the person should be referred)
- Abbiamo una bella casa. (We have a beautiful house)
- Loro hanno una fattoria. (They have a farm)