Not all third-conjugation verbs are conjugated like sentire. The majority of them are conjugated like finire, which takes an –isc– between the stem and the ending. This occurs in all persons except the first and second plural.
finire– “to finish”
The following are some fairly common third-conjugation verbs which are conjugated like finire.
agire to act obbedire to obey
applaudire to applaud preferire to prefer
capire to understand reagire to react
costituire to constitute
Compare the present tense endings of regular verbs.
III (model finire)
what (literally, what which)
devoid of, lacking in
*tra (also fra)
II. True imperatives
Some true imperative verb conjugations:
Second person singular
speak, sell listen, finish
First person plural
let’s speak, etc.
Second person plural
speak, sell, etc.
Except for the second person singular of the first-conjugation verbs, the three forms of the imperative given above are exactly like the corresponding forms of the present indicative.
NOTE: The negative imperative is formed by placing non before the affirmative imperative in all cases except the second person singular, in which case non is placed before the infinitive.
parliamo– “let’s speak” parlate– “speak”
non parliamo– “let’s not speak” non parlate– “don’t speak”
BUT: parla– “speak”
non parlare– “don’t speak”
Imperative sentences usually end in an exclamation mark.
still, yet; again
who, whom, which, that, what
to leave (behind)
therefore, then; hence
(la) sua, (il) suo
his, her, its
III. Reflexive use of verbs
A verb is said to be used reflexively when it has a pronoun object, direct or indirect, which refers to the subject (I see myself, he talks to himself, etc.). In English relatively few verbs are used reflexively; in Italian a great many are. Indeed, almost any Italian verb that normally needs an object to complete its meaning (i.e. a transitive verb) can be used reflexively.
The reflexive verbal construction consists of two parts: the verb itself and the reflexive pronoun. In the infinitive form, the reflexive pronoun is attached to the end of the verb: alzarsi (to get up- cf. alzare, to raise), divertirsi (to enjoy one’s self, to have a good time- cf. divertire, to amuse, to entertain).
The reflexive verbs are conjugated as follows:
alzarsi– to get [oneself] up divertirsi– to have fun
mi alzo ci alziamo mi diverto ci divertiamo
ti alzi vi alzate ti diverti vi divertite
si alza si alzano si diverte si divertono
Observe that the verb itself is conjugated just like any other verb, according to the conjugation to which it belongs (thus, alzarsi, first conjugation; divertirsi, third conjugation). How would you conjugate offendersi (to be offended)?
Note the difference between alzarsi (to get oneself up / to arise) and svegliarsi (to wake up / to awaken).
1 Depending on the context, such a sentence may be interpreted reflexively: “Do you love yourselves?” The same thing is true for the three sentences that follow.
IV. Meaning of verbs used reflexively
Many Italian verbs may be used reflexively in the plural to express reciprocal action.
Vi amate? –“Do you love each other?”1
Ci vediamo spesso. –“We see each other often.”
Loro si ammirano. –“They admire each other.”
Si parlano? –“Do they speak to each other?”
The reflexive is often used for the passive (especially when inanimate objects are involved).
Le medicine si vendono all farmacia. –“Medicines are sold at the drugstore.”
Questi libri si pubblicano in Italia. –“These books are published in Italy.”
Come si pronunzia questa parola? –“How is this word pronounced?”
The reflexive may render the impersonal idea of “one,” “they,” “people,” “we,” “you.”
Come si dice “good morning” in italiano? –“How do you (does one) say good morning in Italian?”
Si dice che è molto ricca. –“They say she is very rich.” (=”It is said….”)
Quando si studia, s’impara. –“When one studies, one learns.”
The reflexive may mean “oneself” (“myself,” “yourself,” “himself,” etc.).
Mi lavo. –“I wash myself.”
The reflexive pronoun often need not or cannot be translated.
Si divertono. –“They have a good time (amuse themselves).”
Mi alzo. –“I get up.”
Come si chiama questo signore?—“What is this man’s name?”
As may be seen in the above examples, the reflexive pronoun precedes the verb in most cases. One exception to this has already been mentioned: it is attached to the end of the infinitive. A second exception is the imperative, where the reflexive pronoun is also attached to the end of the verb” Divertitevi! (“Have fun!“or “Have a good time!”), Alziamoci (“Let’s get up”), etc.
1 In present-day Italian, quello che or ciò che would be usual here.