As we have already seen with the verb essere (to be), auxiliary verbs can be used to form compound tenses. If you have already mastered the most common compound tenses of the verb essere, you will find very easy to learn also the ones in which the verb avere is used. Otherwise, reading this article will be a good point of start to study how to use the verb avere as a true Italian!
1. Passato prossimo (Past Tense)
Avere (present form) + any target verb in its participio passato form
- Ho mangiato abbastanza, sono pieno! (I have eaten enough, I am full!)
While with the verb essere the past participle always agrees with the gender and the number of the subject of the verb, when the verb avere is used as an auxiliary you do not need to take care of that.
- Maria ha avuto un po’ difficoltà (Maria struggled a bit – feminine)
- Stefano ha avuto molta fortuna! (Stefano got very lucky! – masculine)
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2. Trapassato prossimo (Past Tense)
Verb avere (imperfetto tense) + any participio passato
- Ho finalmente letto il libro che avevo comprato lo scorso anno (I finally read the book that I bought last year)
- Avevo avuto dei dubbi fin dall’inizio (I have had my doubts from the start)
3. Futuro anteriore (Future Perfect tense)
Verb avere (futuro semplice) + any participio passato
Remember that we use the futuro anteriore to describe actions that may happen in the future or that may have already happened in the past. In English, to translate this compound tense, “May”, “maybe” and “might” are often used.
- Il prossimo anno vedremo chi avrà avuto ragione! (We will see next year whoever was right)
- Ti chiamerò quando avrò finito di lavorare (I will call you when I will have finished to work)
Potrei aver avuto dei dubbi in passato (I may have had some doubts in the past)