Today we speak about the Italian Verbs MOODS and TENSES. You know what a TENSE is, it indicates WHEN the the action happens. The MOOD instead tells you HOW the speakers understands the action. It specifically indicates the ATTITUDE of the speaker toward what he or she is saying.

If I say that “Marco è al Cinema” (Marco is at the theatre), I’m saying something real and I use the MOOD INDICATIVO (Marco è, he is). Instead if I say “Credo che Marco sia al Cinema (I believe that Marco is at the theatre), I am expressing a personal point of view on a fact – my belief – not something necessarily real. In this second case I use the MOOD CONGIUNTIVO (sia, he is).

There are 7 MOODS in Italian, 4 are FINITE (Indicativo, Congiuntivo, Condizionale, Imperativo), 3 are INDEFINITE (Infinito, Gerundio e Participio). Why 4 ITALIAN MOODS  are DEFINITE, and 3 ITALIAN MOODS are INDEFINITE?

The INDEFINITE MODDS do not specify the person that acts the action. So you never find any person (Io, Tu, Lui, Lei, Noi, Voi, Loro) explicitly combining with them. This is an example: “Marco è arrivato a casa cantando sotto la pioggia” (Marco came home singing in the rain). “Cantando” is an invariable part of the speech that does not contain any explicit mention to the subject of the action.

Watching at this video you will have a general overview about all the Italian Verbs System Moods and Tenses.

Here below instead you find a schema of the Italian Verbs Moods and Tenses.

Italian Verbs Moods and Tenses



Indicative / Indicativo

present / presente => Io leggo
present perfect / passato prossimo  => Io ho letto
imperfect / imperfetto => Io leggevo
past perfect / trapassato prossimo => Io avevo letto
absolute past / passato remoto => Io lessi
preterite perfect / trapassato remoto => Io ebbi letto
future / futuro semplice => Io leggerò
future perfect / futuro anteriore => Io avrò letto


Subjunctive / Congiuntivo

present / presente => Che io legga
past / passato => Che tu abbia letto
imperfect / imperfetto => Che io leggessi
past perfect / trapassato => Che tu avessi letto


Conditional / Condizionale

present / presente => Io leggerei
past / passato => Io avrei letto


Imperative / Imperativo

present / presente => Leggi!


Italian Verbs Moods and Tenses



Infinitive / Infinitivo

present / presente => Leggere
past / passato => Avere letto

Participle / Participio

present / presente => Leggente
past / passato => Avente letto

Gerund / Gerundio

present / presente => Leggendo
past / passato => Avendo letto.

This post is part of a Full Italian Course for beginners available here: Best way to learn Italian.


Italian Verbs Moods and Tenses

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