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Enhanced Beginner's Italian Level 1 - Lesson # 8

Regular ERE verbs, direct object pronouns and sapere

After this class you should;
be able to conjugate and use regular ERE verbs.
understand and be able to read, write, speak, understand and use direct object pronouns.
be able to conjugate and use the verb sapere (to know).


Conjugating regular Italian verbs ending with ERE in the present tense

Infinitive – “…A verb form that functions as a substantive while retaining certain verbal characteristics, such as modification by adverbs, and that in English may be preceded by to, as in To go willingly is to show strength or We want him to work…” 1

There are three main categories of Italian Verbs known as 1st, 2nd and 3rd conjugation. Here is the most obvious, initial difference;

1st Conjugation verbs are verbs that end with the letters ARE in the infinitive form.
2nd Conjugation verbs are verbs that end with the letters ERE in the infinitive form.
3rd Conjugation verbs are verbs that end with the letters IRE in the infinitive form.
(These ending are “Infinitive endings”)

To illustrate how to conjugate an ERE verb, I like to use a math equation as an example but first here are the conjugated endings for ERE verbs;

Subject Pronoun



To conjugate = infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + conjugated ending = conjugated verb. Example;
Vedere (To See) - ere = Ved + iamo (ending for we) = Vediamo (We see)

Vedere conjugated in the present tense
I see
You see
He/She/It sees
We see
Y'all see
They see

1 The definitions or portions thereof were taken from thefreedictionary.com

Direct Object Pronouns in Italian

What are direct object pronouns? Well, to answer that let's first look at a direct object in a sentence. We know that a verb represents an action or some type of state of being. We also know that the subject is the doer of that action or the one "being" something. As a result the subject pronouns are a type of subject. They are a subject where one word (the pronoun) has been used in place of a noun (a person, place or thing). The direct object simply put, is the direct recipient of the verb and can be identified by asking who or what. Here are a few examples (for the sake of clarity and having a visible subject in the sentence, I am also including subject pronouns);

Io ho scritto un libro. - I wrote a book.
(who or what did I write?) "a book". A book is the direct object.
Tu aiuti mia sorella. - You help my sister.
(who or what do you help?) "my sister". My sister is the direct object.
Noi giochiamo calcio. - We play soccer.
(who or what do we play?) "soccer". Soccer is the direct object.

Now all we have to do is replace the direct object nouns with direct object pronouns and look at how to use them.

This chart shows the basic direct object pronouns

Italian Direct Object Pronouns
Weak form Strong form English
you all

How to use the Italian direct object pronoun!

The weak form is most often used so we will start there. The weak form of the direct object pronoun is usually found in 1 of 3 places. First, it is found just before the verb, secondly it is found attached to the end of an infinitive verb and third it is found attached to the end of a conjugated verb in certain instances. We will start by looking at it appearing just before the verb.

Loro hanno chiamato il nostro gruppo. - They called our group.
Loro ci hanno chiamato. - They called us.
Tu vedi mia sorella. - You see my sister.
Tu la vedi - You see her.
Tu porti i bambini qui. - Bring the children here.
Tu li porti qui. - Bring them here.

Here are a few more examples without a subject pronoun.

Mi aiuti molto. - You help me a lot.
Ti chiamerò. - I will call you.
Lo abbiamo portato. - We brought him.
Ci sentiranno. - They will hear us.
Le hanno visto. - They saw them.

Now lets look at a couple of instances when a direct object pronoun being attached to the end of an infinitive.

There are many instances where we have an infinitive verb in our phrases such as when we use modal verbs like volere, dovere or potere and also in various subjunctive clauses where the subject is the same in both clauses.

Vuole vederci. - He wants to see us.
Spero di sentirti presto! - I hope to hear (from) you soon!
Devi studiarlo. - You have to study it.

And finally lets take a look at the strong form of the direct object pronoun which can be used to add emphasis to that direct object and/or can be used for stylistic reasons.

Ha spinto me. - He pushed me.
Ascolterete noi. - You will listen to us.
Porti loro. - Bring them.

The present tense of the irregular Italian ERE verb Sapere (to know)

This verb does not follow the regular conjugation pattern of the Italian ERE verbs and thus will be looked at separately here. There are still more irregular ERE verbs but this one is also extremely important to know as it can be used often in everyday conversation. This verb, "to Know" is not "to Know" as in to know or to be acquainted with a person, town or show, etc. It is "to Know" as in to know a fact.

Io So I know
Tu Sai You know
Lui/Lei Sa He/She knows
Noi Sappiamo We know
Voi Sapete Y’all know
Loro Sanno They know

Io so = I know / Tu sai = You know / Lui sa = He knows / Lei sa = She knows
Noi sappiamo = we know / Voi sapete = Y'all know / Loro sanno = They know

Printable Homework

Basic Exercise on regular ERE verbs and sapere
Exercise on regular ERE verbs
Conjugating sapere (Italian to English)
Conjugating sapere (English to Italian)


to believe
to discuss
to live
to win
to see
to smile
to laugh
to write
to reply
to claim or pretend
to cry
to lose
to read
to grow
to run
to correct
to know or be acquainted with
to close
to ask
to fall
to turn on
to happen
you all
them (masculine)
them (feminine)

Printable Vocabulary
Printable large flash cards (English Side)
Printable large flash cards (Italian Side)
Printable small flash cards (English Side)
Printable small flash cards (Italian Side)
Downloadable Podcast
basic online exercise

Exercise (Italian to English)
Exercise (English to Italian)
printable crossword


Conosci Roberto?
Sì, lo conosco e lo vedo spesso. Lui corre sempre!
Lo vedi spesso con il cane?
No, non con il cane ma di solito Roberto è con una bambina.
Sai se lui e’ il padre della bambina?
Non lo so. Lo devi chiedere a lui.
Che cosa leggi ?
È un libro sul teatro.
Compri i libri?
Sì, li compro spesso.
Non ti credo che li compri.
Perché non mi credi?
Perché non ti vedo mai leggere un libro.
Non leggo spesso perché non leggo bene.
Dove li leggi.
Io leggo con Maria perché lei mi aiuta.
Chi è Maria?
È una mia amica americana che ha un gatto.
Bene! Ora devo andare. Ciao
Va bene, arrivederci.

Printable Video Dialog
Printable Practice Sheets
printable crossword
Useful Italian question;
Perché ... ?
Why ... ?

It is important to note the perché can also mean because.

Class Dialog

Using only the vocabulary we have learned so far, learn how to say everything below in Italian (except what is in " "), print out and bring the printable form of this dialog and be prepared to say the dialog below for one of the persons in class.

Person #1 – Hi _________,
Person #2 – Hi __________, how are you?
Person #1 – I am well, And you? How are you?
Person #2 - I am well, what are you doing?
Person #1 – Eating dinner. I need to find a photograph.
Person #2 – What photograph do you need to find?
Person #1 – That photo of Mom with Dad. Do you know where it is?
Person #2 – Yes I know where it is. I have it on the table.
Person #1 – Please give it to me.
Person #2 – Why do you need it?
Person #1 – I need to make a present for Mom.
Person #2– What present are you making with the picture?
Person #1 – How do you say wooden box in Italian.
Person #2– You say “scatola di legno”?
Person #1 – I am making a wooden box for the picture.
Person #2 – A photo in the wooden box?
Person #1 – Yes, you are right.
Person #2– Ok, I give it to you.
Person #1 – Thank you, good-bye .
Person #2 – You are welcome, good-bye.

printable class dialog

You can learn more about regular ERE verbs, direct object pronouns and sapere on these pages of the following books.

152 - 155 of the book "English Grammar for Students of Italian" by Sergio Adorni and Karen Primorac, copyright 1995.
80 - 81, 104 - 105 and 170 - 171 (page #'s may vary as I have an older edition) of "Ciao" by Carla Federici & Carla Larese Riga, copyright 1986.
57 - 60, 107 - 108 and 113 of the book "Complete Italian Grammar" by Marcel Dansesi, copyright 1976.
52 - 58 and 207 - 212 of the book "Italian Grammar Drills" by Paola Nanni-Tate, copyright 2007.
13 - 19 of the book "Italian Verb Drills" (Third Edition) by Paola Nanni-Tate, copyright 2011.
15 - 28 of the book "Italian Pronouns & Prepositions" by Daniela Gobetti, copyright 2006.

If you do not own these books, don't worry, it is not mandatory that you do unless you were instructed to buy them at the beginning of the class. However, they can be very useful in a lot of ways and if you would like to know more about these books and where to buy them, simply go to our online bookstore or quicker yet, just click on the appropriate book below.

Did you know? - A bit of Italian Trivia

“Italy’s museum heritage is the largest in the world with something in the region of 1,500 museums; this is due to the fact that Italy itself possesses almost half of the world’s entire artistic heritage. Italy is indeed a unique phenomenon in world terms, not only for its vast numbers of works, but also for a sort of uninterrupted continuity that links those works, as one style era follows on smoothly to the next, from the Stone Age onwards, with no breaks or gaps, as if every artistic invention and art form had been tried out to begin with in Italy. And what’s more, beneath the ground are buried works as yet unrecovered, and endless amounts of riches lie beneath the sea. Italian art has made its way into Italy’s finest and most beautiful museums whose collections include some of the world’s most prestigious artworks e.g. the Pinacoteca of Brera, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Vatican Museums in Rome…." -
Source - italianculture.net

Have you heard? - Some good Italian Music

Wrapping up a sampling of slower music I have to remain true to my roots and share with you one of my favorite types of slower music. The Rock Ballad! For this, we go back to Vasco Rossi who has mastered the art of starting with a seemingly harmless and innocent slow paced song only to end up with those dramatic guitar solos at the end that made the air guitar famous the world over. Italian passion at it's best in Rock and Roll!

This and many other
great songs are available on --->

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