Present tense: conoscere, leggere and other peculiar verbs

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In our lesson the Italian present tense we learned the regular formation, the usage, and some irregular verbs. In this lesson, we will learn some peculiarities of verbs in the present tense, including the verbs conoscere, leggere, giocare, and mangiare.

Verbs in -care, -gare

Verbs ending in -care, -gare, such as giocare to play, cercare to search, and pagare to pay, insert an h before an ending with i (tu, noi). This makes c, g consistently pronounced hard [k], [g] for all persons:

GIOCARECERCAREPAGARE
iogiococercopago
tugiochicerchipaghi
lui, leigiocacercapaga
noigiochiamocerchiamopaghiamo
voigiocatecercatepagate
lorogiocanocercanopagano

Verbs in -iare

Verbs that end in -iare, such as mangiare to eat, studiare to study, and cominciare to begin, and thereby end their verb stem in i (mangi-, studi-, cominci-), do not add another i to endings that begin with i (tu, noi), so there is no double i.

MANGIARESTUDIARECOMINCIARE
iomangiostudiocomincio
tumangistudicominci
lui, leimangiastudiacomincia
noimangiamostudiamocominciamo
voimangiatestudiatecominciate
loromangianostudianocominciano

Verbs in -cere, -gere

For verbs in -cere, -gere like conoscere to know, vincere to win and leggere to read you have to pay attention to the pronunciation.

  • With o, the consonants sc, c and g are pronounced hard: [sk], [k], [g];
  • For i, e, the consonsants sc, c, and g are pronounced soft: [ʃ], [tʃ], [dʒ].

Listen to the pronunciation.

CONOSCEREVINCERELEGGERE
ioconoscovincoleggo
tuconoscivincileggi
lui, leiconoscevincelegge
noiconosciamovinciamoleggiamo
voiconoscetevinceteleggete
loroconosconovinconoleggono

Esercizio

1. Verbi particolari al presente

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