Italian Gerund Mode

The gerund mode is used to express the time, cause or condition of an action that is happening at the same time or before than the action expressed by the main verb. It has a present tense and a past tense.

Modo Gerundio | (Gerund Mode)

The gerund mode has both a present form (gerundio presente) and a past form (gerundio passato). The interesting characteristic of this mode, similarly to the infinito, is that it never changes form.

Present TensePast Tense
avendo parlato
(having spoken)
  • Parlando con il professore ho capito di aver sbagliato – (While speaking with the professor I realized I made a mistake)
  • Ieri, avendo parlato di cibo, mi sono messo a cucinare – (Yesterday, having spoken about food, I started cooking)

Presente | (Present Tense)

The gerund present expresses an action that happens at the same time of the action expressed by the main verb. The present tense for regular verbs is formed by replacing the ending of the infinitive with one of the two gerundio endings: -ando and -endo.

For Example:
  • Mi sono strozzato mangiando la pasta – (I choked eating pasta)
  • Ho imparato molto leggendo libri di grammatica – (I learned a lot reading grammar books)
  • Sbrigati! Stanno già partendo – (Hurry! They’re already leaving)

Passato | (Past Tense)

The gerund past tense varies depending on whether the verb is transitive or intransitive. If the verb is transitive then the past tense would be formed with the auxiliary verb avere, while if it is intransitive then it would use the the essere auxiliary verb. This tense is used to express an action that happened before the action expressed by the main verb.

Transitive Verbs

The past gerund of transitive verbs is formed with the gerundio of avere + the past participle of the verb.

Avendo mangiatoAvendo lettoAvendo dormito
For Example:
  • Fabio non ha più fame, avendo mangiato tutte le caramelle – (Fabio is not hungry anymore, having eaten all the candy)
  • Avendo letto il libro, posso dire che hai ragione – (Having read the book, I can say that you are right)
  • Non avendo dormito la scorsa notte, sono proprio stanco – (I’m really tired, not having slept last night)

Intransitive Verbs

The past gerund of intransitive verbs is formed with the gerundio of essere + the past participle of the verb.

Essendo andatoEssendo piaciutoEssendo partito
For Example:
  • Essendo andato a letto presto, mi sento riposato – (Having gone to bed early, I feel rested)
  • Essendo piaciuto a tutti, lo consiglio volentieri – (Having been liked by all, I gladly recommend it)
  • Simone non vede l’ora di tornare a casa, essendo partito da più di un mese – (Simone can’t wait to go back home, having left more than one month ago)

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