Conjugation of Avere (To Have) in Italian

Conjugating avere is extremely useful for everything from talking about ownership to saying you’re hungry.

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Avere is the Italian verb for “to have”. Knowing the conjugation of avere is very useful in daily conversations. Just as we do in English, Italians use it to show possession or ownership of something, and there are endless uses for avere ! It’s also an auxiliary verb, like essere (to be).

But before you begin conjugating avere in Italian, you should know it’s very irregular. It doesn’t follow the typical -ere verb endings. With that, let’s take a look at conjugating avere in the most common tenses and moods.

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How to use avere in Italian

Generally, Italian’s avere means the same thing as “to have” in English but Italians also use it to say:

  1. “To own”
  2. “To get” or “to receive”
  3. Hunger or thirst
  4. Feelings of hot or cold
  5. Fear
  6. How old they are
  7. Polite requests (“Would you have…?")

Otherwise, it’s mostly the same as in English. Now, let’s look at how to conjugate avere.

Indicativo presente

It’s always good to start learning a verb conjugation (that is, how it changes according to who is the subject) with the present tense. Any time you want to say “I have…” or even “I’m afraid” or “I’m 22 years old,” this is the tense you will use.

Below are the six Italian subject pronouns and how avere conjugates to each of them. If you need to review Italian pronouns, check out our complete guide first. The “to have” verb is in bold:

How to conjugate avere in the indicativo presente

Italian pronoun + avere verb English translation
Io ho I have
Tu hai You have
Lui / Lei ha He / She has
Noi abbiamo We have
Voi avete You have
Loro hanno They have

Remember: The “h” letter in Italian is silent, so ho will sound like “o”, while ha will sound like “ah”, and so on.

While English only has one conjugation that’s different from the rest (“has” versus “have”), Italian’s avere will change for each pronoun.

Pro-tip: Italians often don’t say the pronoun so long as it’s understood who the subject is. For instance, you can say “Io ho un fratello” (I have a brother) without io, becoming “Ho un fratello.”

Here are some examples of avere in the indicativo presente in a sentence:

  • Ho 30 anni. (I am 30 years old.)
  • Ha una sciarpa rossa. (She / He has a red scarf.)
  • Ha freddo. (She /He is cold.)
  • Abbiamo una macchina. (We have a car.)
  • Hai fame? (Are you hungry?)

For more on how to conjugate verbs in the indicativo presente, read Busuu’s complete guide!

Passato prossimo

Passato prossimo is the first of the three Italian past tenses you’ll learn today, and it’s also the most common one. Passato prossimo indicates the action has already happened by the time of speaking, and it occurred relatively recently.

This tense is a compound tense, meaning it is formed by two verbs: the auxiliary verb and the past participle avuto. Most verbs in passato prossimo will take either essere (to be) or avere as its auxiliary, and avere will take itself in the present perfect tense. To learn more about passato prossimo, read our complete guide!

Here’s how we conjugate avere in the passato prossimo.

How to conjugate avere in the passato prossimo

Italian pronoun + avere verb English translation
Io ho avuto I have had
Tu hai avuto You have had
Lui / Lei ha avuto He / She has had
Noi abbiamo avuto We have had
Voi avete avuto You have had
Loro hanno avuto They have had

Let’s take a look at some examples of avere in il passato prossimo:

  • Ho avuto paura per una settimana dopo aver visto il film dell’orrore. (I was afraid for a week after watching the horror movie.)
  • Hai già avuto la notizia? (Have you got the news yet?)
  • Hai sempre avuto un buon senso dello stile. (You have always had a good sense of style.)
  • Non abbiamo fatto colazione, quindi abbiamo avuto fame tutto il giorno. (We didn’t have breakfast, so we were hungry the whole day.)


L'imperfetto is the second past tense we’ll cover today. It’s used for past actions that continued for a long or undefined amount of time in the past. While passato prossimo generally indicates a recent past action that happened once, l'imperfetto is used for past actions that happened many times.

Luckily, avere is regular in the imperfect tense, so the normal verb endings of -evo, -evi, -eva, -evamo, -evate, and -evano will apply.

How to conjugate avere in the imperfect tense

Italian pronoun + avere verb English translation
Io avevo I had
Tu avevi You had
Lui / Lei aveva He / She had
Noi avevamo We had
Voi avevate You had
Loro avevano They had

Take a look at l'imperfetto of avere in some examples:

  • Da piccola avevo un orso di peluche. (When I was little, I had a stuffed bear.)
  • Non aveva idea che tu fossi malato. (She/He had no clue you were sick.)
  • Avevamo solo 19 anni. (We were only 19 years old.)
  • Avevano un ristorante giapponese a Parigi. (They owned a Japanese restaurant in Paris.)

Advanced tip: To make the past perfect tense (“I had had”, “you had had”, etc.) with avere, you can combine these imperfetto conjugations with the past participle avuto. So, “I had had” would look like “Io avevo avuto.”

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Passato remoto

The last past tense for today is the passato remoto, which refers to events that happened a long time ago. We don’t have an exact equivalent in English, so the translation is just “had”.

You won’t find this tense very often in spoken conversation – Italians prefer to use passato prossimo in everyday speech. But if you want to read Italian novels, then this tense is very useful as it’s commonly found in literature or as an important building block for other tenses, like the trapassato remoto (preterite perfect).

How to conjugate avere in passato remoto

Italian pronoun + avere verb English translation
Io ebbi I had
Tu avesti You had
Lui / Lei ebbe He / She had
Noi avemmo We had
Voi aveste You had
Loro ebbero They had

Here are some examples of passato remoto:

  • Durante la guerra ebbi paura. (During the war, I was scared.)
  • I romani ebbero un governo complesso. (The Romans had a complex government.)
  • Ebbe un’impresa negli anni ‘40. (He owned a business in the 40s.)
  • Avemmo tanta fame. (We were so hungry.)

Il futuro semplice

Now, let’s learn how to say what someone will have. The simple future in English looks like “will have” or “going to have”. Italians use the future tense not only for future actions, but also to express doubt or speculation about the future.

How to conjugate avere in the simple future tense

Italian pronoun + avere verb English translation
Io avrò I will have
Tu avrai You will have
Lui / Lei avrà He / She will have
Noi avremo We will have
Voi avrete You will have
Loro avranno They will have

Let’s see how this tense looks in action:

  • Avrò maggiori notizie domani. (I’ll have more news tomorrow.)
  • Avrai il vestito? (Are you going to get the dress?)
  • Quando avremo una casa nostra, ascolteremo la musica ad alto volume. (When we have our own house, we’ll listen to music loudly.)
  • Avranno sete se mangiano tutti quei popcorn. (They’re going to be thirsty if they eat all that popcorn.)

Pro-tip: If you combine the simple future with the past participle avuto that we saw earlier, it forms the future perfect (“I will have had”, “you will have had”). Unlike English, in Italian the future tense can be used in subordinate clauses. Example: Quando avrò avuto il mio stipendio, comprerò una macchina nuova. (When I get my paycheck, I’ll buy a new car.)


The condizionale translates to “would have” in English; Italians also use avere in this tense to ask polite questions or make requests.

How to conjugate avere in the condizionale

Italian pronoun + avere verb English translation
Io avrei I would have
Tu avresti You would have
Lui / lei avrebbe He / she would have
Noi avremmo We would have
Voi avreste You would have
Loro avrebbero They would have

Here’s how the condizionale works in sentences:

  • Avresti una gomma da cancellare? (Would you have an eraser?)
  • Sei partissi prima, avrei più tempo. (If I leave earlier, I would have more time.)
  • Avrebbero una villa con piscina se l’investimento non fosse andato male. (They would have a villa with a swimming pool if the investment had not gone wrong.)
  • Avreste fame se non mangiaste prima. (You would be hungry if you don’t eat first.)


The final conjugation of avere for today is the gerundio. In English, the gerund is the “-ing” form, so it translates to “having.” It expresses an action that is happening or continuing at the moment of speaking or having consequences on another action.

How to conjugate avere in the gerund form

Present English translation Past English translation
Avendo having Avendo avuto having had

Examples of avere in its gerund form:

  • Avendo sentito parlare del nuovo musical, sono andata a vederlo dopo il lavoro. (Having heard of the new musical, I went to see it after work.)
  • Avendo quattro figli, non hanno molto tempo per stare da soli. (Having four kids, they don’t get much alone time.)
  • Avendo avuto un’intossicazione alimentare in quel ristorante, non volle mai più mangiarci. (Having had food poisoning from that restaurant, he/she never wanted to eat there again.)

These aren’t all the tenses or moods of avere, but with these you’ve learned today, you’ll be ready to begin speaking and understanding Italian conversations in no time. Because avere is so irregular, the only way to truly learn it is to commit it to memory.

But don’t worry – with Busuu, learning tricky conjugations is easier than ever. With support from our online community and language courses, you’ll have it down fast.

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