When you start learning Italian, you’re taught that there are three conjugations to Italian verbs: -are, -ere and -ire. But have you ever come across any verbs ending in -arre, -orre and -urre? Well, these verbs are a group of irregular verbs that need to be learnt separately. 

As a general rule, the infinitive is shorter than the conjugated form. They’re called contracted infinitive verbs. They are considered part of the second conjugation, as they are derived from Latin -ere verbs. 

You may have seen or heard the verb ‘tradurre’ before. It means ‘to translate’ in English. Let’s look at how it is conjugated:

 

Tradurre

Io traduco – I translate

Tu traduci – You translate

Lui/lei traduce – He/she translated

Noi traduciamo – We translate

Voi traducete – You (pl) translate

Loro traducono – They translate

 

As you can see, once you have the root ‘traduc’, you add the regular present tense -ere endings to the verb. This is the case for other -urre verbs, such as:

 

condurre – to lead, bring, carry, accompany

dedurre – to deduce, infer, gather

produrre – to produce, make, manufacture

 

Here are some sentences:

 

Traduco il testo – I translate the text

Vi conduce in sala da pranzo – She’ll accompany you to the dining room

Si può dedurre il risultato – You can work out the result

Produci molta birra in casa – You make a lot of beer at home

 

Next let’s look at verbs ending in -arre, such as ‘trarre’, which means to pull or to draw:

 

Trarre

Io traggo – I pull

Tu trai – You pull

Lui/lei trae – He/she pulls

Noi traiamo – We pull

Voi traete – You (pl) pull

Loro traggono – They pull

 

In this grouping, some parts of the verb have the letter ‘g’ inserted, whereas others do not. Other verbs that follow a similar pattern are:

 

Contrarre – to contract, tense

Detrarre – to deduct

Sottrarre – to subtract

 

Let’s look at some sentences:

 

I ragazzi traggono le conclusion – The boys draw conclusions

Contraggo i muscoli – I contract my muscles

Detraete le spese dalle tasse? – Do you deduct your expenses from your taxes?

Se si sostrae dieci, quanto rimane? – If we subtract ten, how much is left?

 

The last of this irregular type of verb ends in -orre, like ‘porre’, which means to put or to place:

 

Porre

Io pongo – I put

Tu poni – You put

Lui/lei pone – He/she puts

Noi poniamo – We put

Voi ponete – You (pl) put

Loro pongono – They put

 

As you can see, the ‘io’ and ‘loro’ parts have an ‘ng’ added, and the rest of the verb just has the letter ‘n’. Other verbs like this are:

 

Esporre – to exhibit, display, show

Imporre – to impose, oblige

Comporre – to compose, put together

 

Here are some sentences using these verbs:

 

Devi porre il livello orizzontalmente – You have to put the level horizontally

La galleria espone un nuovo quadro famoso – The art gallery is displaying a new famous painting 

I miei genitori impongono le regole – My parents impose the rules

Componiamo delle frasi in italiano – Let’s put together some sentences in Italian

 

These can be quite tricky to remember but it’s well worth the effort!