The “ISC” conjugation (present conjugation)
Today I am writing again for the series absolute beginners Italian to discuss the verbs with which you use the “-isc” form to conjugate the present tense.
What’s a present tense?
It’s the most common verb and we use it to talk about
- what happens in the present when we are speaking – Vado a lezione
- habitual actions – finisco di lavorare ogni giorno alle 18
- general true – Gli italiani viaggino molto
As you already know, there are three groups of verbs.
- the verbs like cucinare and mangiare belong to the 1st group, the “are” group
- the verbs like scrivere and leggere belong to the 2nd group, the “ere” group
- the verbs like dormire and aprire belong to the 3rd group, the “ire” group
The “-isc” conjugation regards only the third group.
We can easily say that the “-isc” conjugation is a semi-irregular conjugation of the verbs of the 3rd grup (e.g. the verbs ending in -ire)
While most of the “ire” verbs follows a regular conjugation, like in the example
Regular conjugation of the 3rd group verbs
- io dorm-o
- io dorm-i
- lui dorm-e
- noi dorm-iamo
There are a bunch of verbs (not many of them, I have to say) that insert -isc – in the conjugation for all the persons, except “noi” e “voi” – who are conjugated regularly.
What is a “conjugation”?
it’s a list of six forms of the verb for a particular form. There are different endings for each tense (e,g. present, past, future). The ending of a verb gives away its subject (e.g., I, you, she, etc) – In English, the verbs change very little; that’s why it’s obligatory to say the subject with the verbs ( I work, you work).
IRREGULAR CONJUGATIONS OF THE 3rd GROUP VERBS
the 1st person singular (preferisco) and the 3rd person plural have a hard sound of the combination “sc”, which you should pronouns as in “skateboard.”
The other persons have a soft sound of the sc, so you should pronounce them as in “shoot.”
Other common verbs using the -ISC- conjugation are
finire – to finish (finisco, ..)
pulire – to clean (pulisco,..)
spedire – to ship (spedisco,)
costruire – to build (costruisco,..)
chiarire – to clear (chiarisco,..)
digerire – to digest (digerisco,..)
contribuire – to contribute (contribuisco,..)
fiorire – to blossom (fiorisco,..)
guarire – to recover (guarisco,..)
inserisci – to insert (inserisco,..)
reagire – to react (reagisco,..)
restituire – to return sth back (restituisco,..)
unire – to unite (unisco, ..)
Is there any way to tell when to use the -isc- conjugation?
Unfortunately, there is no rule but a trend.
The verbs whose fifth lase letter is a vowel in the infinite tends to use the -isc- conjugation, but it’s not always true.
- FINIRE – (to finish)
- PULIRE – (to clean)
- SPEDIRE – (to ship)
- PROIBIRE – (to prohibit)
However, if the fifth last letter in the infinite happens to a consonant, the verb follows the regular conjugation.
- APRIRE – (to open)
- DORMIRE – (to sleep)
- OFFRIRE – (to offer)
- SEGUIRE – (to follow)