Italian Language Blog

Il Verbo Venire Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Grammar, Italian Language

A short while ago I wrote a couple of blogs about il verbo andare (to go). Let’s have a look now at its companion venire (to come), beginning with the common conjugations.

Il presente (The present tense):

io vengo = I come

tu vieni = you (informal) come

lui/lei/Lei viene = he/she/you formal comes

noi veniamo = we come

voi venite = you (plural) come

loro vengono = they come

N.B. we also use the present tense to talk about the future. Here are a couple of examples:

veniamo qui molto spesso (we very often come here) – veniamo a trovarti venerdì prossimo, va bene? (we’ll come to visit you next Friday, o.k.?)

vieni all festa stasera? (are you coming to the party this evening?)


Il passato prossimo (The present perfect):

As with andare, we use the verb essere (to be) with the past participle of venire when we talk about the past in the passato prossimo, e.g.:

sono venuto ieri mattina ma non c’eri (I (masculine) came yesterday morning but you weren’t in)

siamo venuti qua in vacanza anche l’anno scorso (we came here on holiday last year as well)


Other common uses of the verb venire:

with the meaning of – to be (used instead of essere): i funghi della Valdantena vengono considerati i migliori (the Valdantena mushrooms are considered the best), lo zucchero viene estratto dalla barbabietola (sugar is extracted from sugar beet)

with the meaning of – to cost: quanto vengono queste scarpe? (how much are these shoes?), quanto mi viene a costare? (how much will it cost me?)

with the meaning of – to get/to become: mi sta venendo fame (I’m getting hungry), ti sta venendo freddo? (are you getting cold?)

with the meaning of – to feel like: mi viene da ridere (I feel like laughing), ci è venuto da piangere (we felt like crying)

with the meaning of – to have: mi è venuta un’idea! (I’ve had an idea!), mi è venuto un dubbio (I’ve had a doubt)

with the meaning of – to catch an illness: mi è venuta l’influenza (I’ve caught the flu), mi sta venendo il mal di schiena (I’m getting a back ache)

with the meaning of – to turn out: dopo un  brutto inizio è venuta una bella giornata (after a bad start it turned out to be a lovely day), com’è venuta la torta? (how did the cake turn out?)

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  1. Adam:

    Thank you again!
    The “Other common uses of the verb venire” part make me think I’ll never learn this language though 🙁

    • Geoff:

      @Adam Caio Adam, sì che ce la farai! (of course you’ll be able to learn Italian), however, unless you’re able to spend long periods of time in Italy it’s pretty difficult to move beyond the more obvious stuff that you learn in classes. You really need to be immersed in the language to pick up all the idioms that don’t have any particular rules, or seem to break the rules that you’ve learn from books. E di questi ce ne sono in abbondanza! 🙂

      Alla prossima, Geoff

  2. Bill Rohwer:

    Reading through the “Other common uses . . .” section, I wondered whether you’ve divined any essence that connects the various usages with one another or with the core meaning? For example, they all seem to be muscular versions of essere.

    • Geoff:

      @Bill Rohwer Ciao Bill, to be honest, not really. These are the ‘difficult’ bits that you only really learn from living in Italy and hearing them used constantly. I know it’s much easier to learn things according to rules and categories, but much of colloquial Italian has to be accepted as it is and absorbed by osmosis, fidati!

      Alla prossima, Geoff

  3. Charles Laster:

    Again, an incredibly lucid and useful hints, helping me to learn the italian language.

  4. Phil Columbus:

    The other uses section is interesting. The “common thread” of these appears to be in the nature of “it has come to me” rather than the English “I got”. That is, the bad back has come to me; to me, how much cost will come; to me has come laughter; etc. It’s an interesting change in perspective, isn’t it?

  5. Kishor Dabke:

    Can you please provide a reference or explanation of the idiomatic expression “viene licenziato” to mean ‘sacked’, ‘dismissed’ etc.?

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