Italian Future and Conditional Tenses

In Italian the Future tense covers situations where we would use the word ‘will’ or ‘shall’ in English. By contrast the Conditional Tense covers situations where we use the word ‘would’ in English.

Stage one: Form the Future/Conditional Stem

For both the Italian Future Tense and Italian Conditional Tense the stem of the verb (i.e. start of the verb before the ending is added) is always the same:

For –ire and –ere verbs take the infinitive form of the verb and take off the final –e, so….

  • Partire becomes partir
  • Leggere becomes legger

By contrast, for –are verbs you take the “are” ending and replace it with “er”, so….

  • Parlare becomes parler
  • “Partir”, “legger” and “Parler” are known as the verb stems for forming the conditional tense.

As explained above, the future tense stem and the conditional stem are always identical are formed in the same way.

Stage two: Add the ending to the stem

At this stage you add the following endings if you wish to form the future tense (i.e. say ‘will’ or ‘shall’):

  • For ‘io’ (I) add ò
  • For ‘tu’ (You, speaking to one friend) add ai
  • For ‘lui’ (He), ‘lei’ (She) and ‘Lei’ (polite you, speaking to one stranger) add à
  • For ‘noi’ (We) add emo
  • For ‘voi’ (You, speaking to two or more people) add ete
  • For ‘loro’ (They) add anno

Alternatively add the following endings if you wish to form the conditional tense (i.e you want to say ‘would’):

  • For ‘io’ (I) add ei
  • For ‘tu’ (You, speaking to one friend) add esti
  • For ‘lui’ (He), ‘lei’ (She) and ‘Lei’ (polite you, speaking to one stranger) add ebbe
  • For ‘noi’ (We) add emmo
  • For ‘voi’ (You, speaking to two or more people) add este
  • For ‘loro’ (They) add ebbero

Example of Future Tense Verbs

Person/ InfinitiveParlare = To talkPartire = To leaveLeggere = To read
ioParlerò = I will talkPartirò = I will leaveLeggerò = I will read
tuParlerai = You will talk (informal & singular)Partirai = You will leave (informal & singular)Leggerai = You will read (informal & singular)
lui/lei/LeiParlerà = He/She will talk/ You will talk (formal & singular)Partirà = He/She will leave/ You will leave (formal & singular)Leggerà = He/She will read/ You will read (formal & singular)
noiParleremo = We will talkPartiremo = We will leaveLeggeremo = We will read
voiParlerete = You will talk (plural)Partirete = You will leave (plural)Leggerete = You will read (plural)
loroParleranno = They will talkPartiranno = They will leaveLeggeranno = They will read

Example of Conditional Tense Verbs

Person/ InfinitiveParlare = To talkPartire = To leaveLeggere = To read
ioParlerei = I would talkPartirei = I would leaveLeggerei = I would read
tuParleresti = You would talk (informal & singular)Partiresti = You would leave (informal & singular)Leggeresti = You would read (informal & singular)
lui/lei/LeiParlerebbe = He/She would talk/ You would talk (formal & singular)Partirebbe = He/She would leave/ You would leave (formal & singular)Leggerebbe = He/She would read/ You would read (formal & singular)
Parleremmo = We would talkPartiremmo = We would leaveLeggeremmo = We would read
voiParlereste = You would talk (plural)Partireste = You would leave (plural)Leggereste = You would read (plural)
Parlerebbero = They would talkPartirebbero = They would leaveLeggerebbero = They would read

Irregular Future/Conditional Future/Conditional Stems

Note: Most future and conditional stems are formed in the normal way, but unfortunately there are some irregular stems which need to be learnt the main ones are below….

InfinitiveFuture/Conditional Stem
Andare = To goAndr…
Avere = To haveAvr…
Dare = To giveDar…
Dovere = To have toDovr…
Essere = To beSar…
Fare = To do/To makeFar…
Potere = To be ablePotr…
Rimanere = To remainRimarr…
Sapere = To knowSapr…
Stare = To stay/to beStar…
Tenere = To holdTerr…
Vedere = To seeVedr…
Venire = To comeVerr…
Volere = To wantVorr…

Even though there are irregular stems the endings are always the same as regular ones, for example:

  • Sarò = I will be
  • Sarei = I would be
  • Andremo = We will go
  • Andremmo = We would go

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I hope that the above has helped you to understand how to form the future and conditional tenses in Italian.

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