Words by Pat Eggleton

We’ve looked at regular verbs in – are and –ere so now we need to look at regular verbs with an infinitive in – ire.

There are two sets of endings for – ire verbs.

The first set takes the following endings:
- isco
- isci
- isce
- iamo
- ite
- iscono
You pronounce the second and third ones like “eeshe” and “eeshay”.

So the conjugation of finire is:
[io] finisco – I finish / am finishing
[tu] finisci – you [familiar] finish / are finishing
[Lei/lei/lui] finisce – you [formal] / she / he finishes / is finishing
[noi] finiamo – we finish / are finishing
[voi] finite – you finish / are finishing
[loro] finiscono – they finish / are finishing

These endings sound difficult to pronounce but they are not too bad when you get used to them!

The stress is on -is and – isc in the first three persons of the verb, on the “a” of the ending in the noi form and the i of the ending in the voi form. It is on –is in the loro form.

The other type of – ire verb is easier, with the endings:
- o
- i
- e
- iamo
- ite
- ono

So the conjugation of partire is:
[io] parto – I leave / am leaving
[tu] parti – you [familiar] leave / are leaving
[Lei/lei/lui] parte – you [formal] / she / he leaves / is leaving
[noi] partiamo – we leave / are leaving
[voi] partite – you leave / are leaving
[loro] partono – they leave / are leaving

The stress is on the first syllable in the first three persons of the verb. It is on the a of the ending in the noi form, the i of the ending in the voi form and the first syllable in the loro form.

How do you know which set of endings a verb takes? A good dictionary should give you an indication if the verb goes like finire. Other than that, as with everything else, you learn as you go along!

Now see if you can insert the verb correctly in these sentences. We have indicated the –isco type of verb.

1. Ma [io] non [capire] ________! [like finire]
2. Giorgio [Partire] __________ alle tre.
3. Oggi loro [pulire] __________ la casa. [like finire]
4. Mario [offrire] _________ un caffè a Maria.
5. Tu [seguire] _________ il calcio?
6. Quando [finire] __________ la lezione?
7. Cosa fanno i ragazzi? [Dormire] ___________.
8. [Noi] [aprire] __________ la finestra.
9. Voi [capire] __________ l’italiano? [like finire]
10. Gli uomini [costruire] __________ le case. [like finire]

Enjoy this video where Nek sings "Andare, Partire, Tornare":

In this other song "Contromano", Nek mentions a well known Italian town, guess which one!