There are three...

Italian has three conjugations (le coniugazioni):

  • first: -are verbs

  • second: -ere verbs

  • third: -ire verbs1

Verbs that end in -arre, -irre, and -urre belong to the second conjugation of verbs.

The stress on the infinitive:

  • Falls on the suffix of the verb: amàre, cadère, preferìre

  • But, for some -ere verbs, the stress falls within the stem: crèdere, prèndere, difèndere

Sometimes students ask me how can you tell, and the only way to know is to look up the verb in a dictionary to see, ask a native speaker, or make a guess and wait to be corrected!

On Wednesday, I’ll talk about le desinenze or endings for verbs in the present tense for all three conjugations.


Some -ire verbs may have an infixed conjugation or what you probably have seen as -isc- verbs, like finire or preferire.