“Sentire” – Conjugation of the Italian Verb

Italian grammar can be both fascinating and intricate, especially when it comes to verb conjugations. One such verb that holds significance in everyday conversation is “sentire”, which translates to “to hear” or “to feel” in English. In this article, we’ll look into the conjugation of “sentire” in Italian, exploring its various forms and usage.

Present Tense Conjugation

In the present tense, “sentire” follows the regular conjugation pattern for -ire verbs. Here’s how it conjugates:

  • Io (I) – sento
  • Tu (You, informal) – senti
  • Lui/Lei (He/She) – sente
  • Noi (We) – sentiamo
  • Voi (You all) – sentite
  • Loro (They) – sentono

Past Tense Conjugation

In the past tense, “sentire” can be conjugated using the passato prossimo tense, which requires the auxiliary verb “avere” (to have) or “essere” (to be) followed by the past participle of “sentire”, which is “sentito.”

  • Io ho sentito
  • Tu hai sentito
  • Lui/Lei ha sentito
  • Noi abbiamo sentito
  • Voi avete sentito
  • Loro hanno sentito

Imperfect Tense Conjugation

The imperfect tense of “sentire” is formed by dropping the -ire ending and adding the appropriate endings:

  • Io sentivo
  • Tu sentivi
  • Lui/Lei sentiva
  • Noi sentivamo
  • Voi sentivate
  • Loro sentivano

Future Tense Conjugation

To express the future tense of “sentire”, you add the appropriate endings to the infinitive stem “sentir-“:

  • Io sentirò
  • Tu sentirai
  • Lui/Lei sentirà
  • Noi sentiremo
  • Voi sentirete
  • Loro sentiranno

Subjunctive Mood Conjugation

The subjunctive mood is used to express doubt, desire, or uncertainty. Here’s how “sentire” is conjugated in the subjunctive mood:

  • Che io senta
  • Che tu senta
  • Che lui/lei senta
  • Che noi sentiamo
  • Che voi sentiate
  • Che loro sentano

Conditional Mood Conjugation

The conditional mood is used to express hypothetical situations or polite requests. Conjugating “sentire” in the conditional mood follows this pattern:

  • Io sentirei
  • Tu sentiresti
  • Lui/Lei sentirebbe
  • Noi sentiremmo
  • Voi sentireste
  • Loro sentirebbero

Gerund and Participle Forms

The gerund form of “sentire” is “sentendo,” while the past participle, as mentioned earlier, is “sentito.”

Usage of “Sentire”

Beyond its literal translation of “to hear” or “to feel,” “sentire” is also commonly used to express the sense of “to smell” when referring to odors or scents. Additionally, it can convey the meaning of “to taste” in certain contexts, especially when discussing food or beverages.

Understanding the conjugation of “sentire” is essential for mastering Italian grammar and fluency in conversation. Whether you’re discussing what you heard, felt, smelled, or tasted, knowing how to properly conjugate this verb will greatly enhance your ability to express yourself in Italian.

Examples of Usage

Here are some examples of how the verb “sentire” can be used in different contexts:

  1. Hearing:

    • Non sento bene quello che dici. (I don’t hear what you’re saying well.)
    • Sentiamo la musica da lontano. (We hear the music from afar.)
  2. Feeling:

    • Sento freddo qui dentro. (I feel cold in here.)
    • Quando parla, si sente la sua emozione. (When he speaks, you can feel his emotion.)
  3. Smelling:

    • Sento l’odore di pane fresco. (I smell the scent of fresh bread.)
    • Non sento nessun odore di fumo. (I don’t smell any smoke.)
  4. Tasting:

    • Sentiamo il sapore dolce delle fragole. (We taste the sweet flavor of strawberries.)
    • Ho sentito un retrogusto amaro nel caffè. (I tasted a bitter aftertaste in the coffee.)

These examples illustrate how versatile the verb “sentire” is in expressing sensory experiences in Italian.