Avere (to have). Meaning and Conjugation

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Welcome to our Italian grammar course for beginners! Today we`re going to talk about the verb "avere".

The verb "avere" is an important and frequently used verb in Italian. It means "to have" in English.
Since it is the most commonly used verb in the language, learning the verb essere is essential in Italian.
"Avere" is also an irregular verb. That`s why we have to learn all its forms by heart because we have to use it when we want to use other tenses (eg Passato Prossimo - Present Perfect). Let`s see how "avere" is used in general phrases and conjugated in the present tense.


Here`s an overview of its conjugation in the present tense:

Subject Avere (It.) To have (Eng.)
Io ho I have
Tu hai You have
Lui / Lei ha He/She/It has
Noi abbiamo We have
Voi avete You have
Loro hanno They have

Io ho una macchina (I have a car);
Tu hai una sorella (You have a sister);
Lui ha fame (He is hungry);
Lei ha tre gatti (She has three cats);
Noi abbiamo una casa nuova (We have a new house);
Voi avete un cane simpatico (You all have a nice dog);
Loro hanno molti amici (They have many friends).

Usage of "Avere"

1. Possession: "Avere" is used to indicate possession or ownership of something.
Ho una penna (I have a pen);
Hai una casa (You have a house).

2. Age: In Italian, the phrase "avere [number] anni" is used to express one`s age.
Ho vent`anni (I am twenty years old);
Hai cinquant`anni (You are fifty years old).

3. Feelings and Emotions: "Avere" is used to express certain feelings or emotions.
Ho paura (I am scared/fearful); Hai ragione (You are right).

4. Expressions: Some expressions in Italian use "avere" to convey specific meanings.
Ho fame (I am hungry);
Hai freddo (You are cold).
5. Compound Tenses: "Avere" is also used as an auxiliary verb to form various compound tenses, such as Passato Prossimo - Present Perfect Tense.
Ho visto un film ieri (I watched a movie yesterday).

In this sentence, "ho visto" is the Passato Prossimo form of "avere" (io ho) combined with the past participle of the verb "vedere" (visto).

Common expressions with "Avere"

Here are some common phrases with the word "avere" in Italian that you can use in conversation:

1. Ho fame / sete (I am hungry / thirsty).
"Ho fame, possiamo mangiare qualcosa?" (I am hungry, can we eat something?).

2. Ho freddo / caldo (I am cold / hot).
"Ho freddo, possiamo chiudere la finestra?" (I am cold, can we close the window?)

3. Ho vent`anni (I am twenty years old).
"Ho vent`anni e studio all`università." (I am twenty years old, and I study at the university).

4. Abbiamo una festa / una riunione (We have a party / a meeting).
"Abbiamo una festa sabato sera" (We have a party on Saturday evening).

5. Ho bisogno di aiuto (I need help). Example:
"Ho bisogno di aiuto con questo compito" (I need help with this task).

6. Ho paura / sonno (I am afraid / sleepy).
"Ho paura dei ragni" (I am afraid of spiders);
"Ho sonno, vado a letto presto" (I am sleepy; I am going to bed early).

7. Ho fretta / tempo (I am in a hurry / have time).
"Ho fretta, devo prendere il treno" (I am in a hurry; I need to catch the train);
"Non ho tempo adesso, possiamo parlare più tardi?" (I don`t have time now, can we talk later?).

8. Ho un problema / una domanda (I have a problem / a question).
"Ho un problema con il computer" (I have a problem with the computer);
"Ho una domanda da farti" (I have a question to ask you).

"Avere" is a versatile and crucial verb in Italian, and mastering its conjugation and usage will significantly enhance your ability to communicate effectively in the language. Practice using it in various contexts to become more comfortable with its application. Happy learning!