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Italian Auxiliary Verbs

In Italian, the verbs essere (to be) and avere (to have) are auxiliary verbs with the function of "helping" other verbs in compound tenses. Essere is also used to form the passive form.

Examples:

    Io ho mangiato.
    (compound tense) I've eaten/ I ate.

    Io sono andato.
    (compound tense) I've gone./ I went.

    Io amo.
    (active form) I love.

    Io sono amato.
    (passive form) I am loved.

The verbs essere and avere are also used with verbs that indicate movement, although there is a slight difference:

    - An action verb accompanied by the verb essere expresses an action that is directed towards something or someone.

    Example:

    Io sono andato a Roma.
    I went to Rome.
    (Rome is the place where the person is going to)

    A verb of movement accompanied by the verb "avere" doesn't express movement to a place. It doesn't say where you go it just says that you go.

    Examples:

    Ieri ho corso tantissimo.
    I ran a lot yesterday.

    Io ho
    viaggiato in treno.
    I travelled by train.

    Ho visitato un museo molto interessante.
    I visited a very interesting museum.

 

 

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