TOP Italian Mistakes – #9 – PRONOUNCING VERBS (Imperfetto)

By Manu Venditti | Advanced

Italian Verbs: Pronouncing them right! (Imperfect Tense)

One of the essential aspects of being able to speak Italian correctly is being able to conjugate verbs right.
You probably are doing that right, but are you pronouncing those verbs correctly?

Many English speakers don't, usually when it comes to the Imperfect Tense (Imperfetto) of verbs with NOI (we) as the subject.

The standard endings for regular verbs for the NOI subject (in the imperfect tense) are:
– AVAMO (for -ARE verbs)
– EVAMO (for -ERE verbs)
– IVAMO (for -IRE verbs)

(we attach endings to the “stem” of verbs, that is what is left from the infinite form, once the -ARE, -ERE, -IRE part is removed).

A common mistake when pronouncing these verbs is to stress the first vowel of the ending (Avamo, Evamo, Ivamo).
This is ALWAYS incorrect.

For example:
NOI PARLAVAMO (we were speaking)
NOI PRENDEVAMO (we were taking)
WE WERE FINISHING (we were finishing)

The stress is NOT on “parlAvamo” but on “parlavAmo
NOT on “prendEvamo” but on “prendevAmo
NOT on “finIvamo” but on “finivAmo

RULE: The stress for regular verbs in the Imperfect tense for the NOI subject is always on the VA part of the ending.

Try my Pronunciation course: “Speak Italian Like an Italiano”

More examples?

“We were playing” is pronounced “giocavAmo

“We were thinking” is pronounced “pensavAmo

“We were sleeping” is pronounced “dormivAmo



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