Today we are going to look at some common irregular present tense verbs. A verb is a doing or action word and we need to use them to speak Italian well. Verbs are in fact used in all sentences. For example:


Amo l’Italia – I love Italy 

Parlo Italiano – I speak Italian


The words ‘love’ and ‘speak’ are both verbs. They are also both verbs in the present tense as they relate to an action in the present time. 


Italian verbs are grouped into three types, -are verbs, -ere verbs and -ire verbs. At Italy Magazine we have covered these regular present tense verbs so you can read all about them. Regular verbs follow a pattern which is helpful. But what about irregular verbs?


Unfortunately they don’t follow one pattern so often you just have to learn irregular verbs individually. You may already have done this with two very common irregular verbs – ‘essere’ (to be) and ‘avere’ – (to have). If you need a reminder, have a look here and here


I have also covered two other common irregular verbs: ‘fare’ (to do) and ‘stare’ (to be). Today we will look at another common irregular present tense verb: ‘andare’. ‘Andare’ means ‘to go’, here is the verb in full below:


Io vado – I go

Tu vai – You go

Lui / lei va – He / she goes

Noi Andiamo – We go

Voi andate – You (plural) go

Loro vanno – They go


Here are some sentences using the verb ‘andare’:


Io vado a Roma – I am going to Rome

Noi andiamo in Sicilia – We are going to Sicily

Loro vanno al mare – They are going to the beach

Tu vai in vacanza? - Are you going on holiday?

Voi andate in pizzeria? - Are you going to the pizzeria?

Maria va a lavoro – Maria is going to work

Lui va in biblioteca – He is going to the library

Cecilia va a scuola oggi – Cecilia is going to school today


One way to sound more like an Italian is to use some idiomatic expressions when talking in Italian. Idiomatic expressions often have a meaning which is different to the literal meaning of the words in the sentence, and so can’t be translated word for word in English. For example, one funny idiomatic expression with ‘andare is: ‘andare a letto con le galline’. The literal translation of this is ‘to go to bed with the hens’ however the real meaning is to go to bed early. Here are some more idioms with ‘andare’ that you can learn and use when speaking Italian:


Andare pazzo per qualcuno o qualcosa – to be crazy about something or someone, to really love something or someone

Vado pazzo per il cioccolato, lo mangerei ogni giorno! – I really love chocolate, I could eat it every day!


Andare all’aria – to be unsuccessful, to dissolve into thin air

Non abbiamo più soldi quindi il nostro piano è andato all’aria – We don’t have any money left so our plan has dissolved into thin air


Andare liscio – to go smoothly 

Se va tutto liscio, arriveremo in anticipo – If everything goes smoothly, we’ll get there early


Andare via – to leave, to go away

Vai via subito, non ti voglio più parlare! – Leave right now, I don’t want to speak to you anymore!


Andare a gonfie vele – to move forward in a good way, to go really well, to succeed, to go full steam ahead


Il loro progetto va a gonfie vele – Their project is going really well