Italian Grammar 104 – To Be/To Have

Italian verbs “essere” – to be and “avere” – to have

The verbs “essere” and “avere” are both irregular in Italian. They are used on their own or as auxilliary verbs to make the past tense.


Essere – to be

Io sono – I am
tu sei – You are
lui/lei è – He/she/it is
noi siamo – we are
voi siete – You are (plural)
loro sono – They are

Avere – to have

Io ho – I have
tu hai – You have
lui/lei ha – He/she/it has
noi abbiamo – We have
voi avete – You have (plural)
loro hanno – They have

Attention! Sometimes “essere” and “avere” are used in a different way compared to their use in English:

Maria ha fame – Maria is hungry
Tommaso ha sete – Tommaso is thirsty
Paolo ha sonno – Paolo is sleepy
Sofia ha caldo – Sofia is hot
Carlo ha freddo – Carlo is cold

To say “there is/are”, use “c’è/ci sono”:

Ci sono due panini in frigorifero – There are two sandwiches in the fridge
Nella borsa c’è il mio telefono – There’s my phone in the bag

EXERCISE: 104 To Be/To Have | LISTEN: 104 To Be/To Have | NEXT: 105 Regular Present