• Stefano Chiaromonte

The most common verb in Italian (FARE) + useful expressions

Learn the conjugation of the verb FARE in Italian and a handful list of Italian expressions with this verb!



Every language has at least one verb that is used all the time and means a bunch of different things. Italian is no different!


The verb FARE is used a lot in everyday conversations and it has several meanings. Plus, the verb FARE can be found in many common Italian expressions.


Let’s understand how to conjugate it, what it means, and all the expressions that contain the verb FARE in it!


The first thing that you need to know about this verb is that, unfortunately, it is an irregular verb. Its conjugation is different from that of regular verbs. However, it’s not that hard! Let’s see how FARE is conjugated in the present tense!


Io faccio - I do

Tu fai - You do

Lui/Lei fa - He/she does

Noi facciamo - We do

Voi fate - You guys do

Loro fanno - They do


Pay attention to the pronunciation of this verb. For the forms io and noi, you have a soft C sound. So, the pronunciation would be FACCIO (fa-ch-eeo) and FACCIAMO (fa-ch-ee-amo).


Many students get confused with this because they assume that since you have a double c, then the sound is hard (k). The c is actually pronounced as a soft sound (ch like ciao) because the vowel following the two Cs is an “i”.


If you’re struggling with the pronunciation of the C and the G in Italian you can check out this article: How to pronounce the C and the G in Italian correctly.


Now that we know how FARE is conjugated in the present, let’s try to understand what it means.


FARE has two main meanings: to do and to make. Let’s see a few examples:


  • Faccio una torta → I make a cake

  • Facciamo un caffè! → Let’s make a coffee!

In this sentence, we are using the "noi" form of the imperative that in English translates as “let’s”.

  • Che fai stasera? → What are you doing tonight?

As you can see in this example, we are using the present tense (fai) to translate the English progressive form (doing). This is very common in Italian when we are talking about an imminent or planned future. In this case, the action of you doing something tonight will happen in an imminent future and I am also assuming you have something planned. That’s why the present is used in Italian!


However, FARE can be used in many different expressions that you should learn as they are very common in conversational Italian. The list is very long but I am going to give you the most important and used ones! Let’s get started!


Do you want to take your Italian to the next level? Check out my Online Italian course for beginners "Be Italiano" and start learning today to become a real Italiano, like me!

1. Fare la doccia

To shower


Faccio la doccia tutte le mattine prima di andare a lavoro → I take a shower every morning before I go to work.


Here, the reflexive version of the verb is also very common, as we are both the subject and object of the action. It’s very common to hear something like "Mi faccio la doccia tutte le mattine".


2. Fare colazione

To have breakfast


Facciamo colazione alle 8 di mattina → We have breakfast at 8 in the morning.


In this case, fare means to actually “have breakfast”, to “eat it”! If you want to say that you’re making breakfast, then, I would use the verb preparare: preparo la colazione (I am making breakfast).


Some students then think that fare might be used also for pranzo (lunch) and cena (dinner). Unfortunately, it’s not like that. This is because we have two verbs in Italian for “to have lunch” and “dinner” that are pranzare e cenare respectively.


Pranzo a casa dei miei nonni → I have lunch at my grandparents’ house

Ceniamo a casa tua stasera → We have dinner at your house tonight


However sometimes we just use the verb mangiare when we’re referring to having lunch or dinner.


3. Fare una domanda

To ask a question


Fatemi una domanda se non capite Ask me a question if you don’t understand


Note the position of the pronoun mi with the verb fare: fatemi!(you guys) ask me!


The reason why we put the pronoun there, attached to the end of the verb, is because we are using an imperative.


4. Fare una foto

To take a picture


We don’t take pictures, we make them!


I turisti fanno le foto al colosseo → Tourists take pictures of the colosseum

Puoi farci una foto? → Can you take a picture of us?


5. Fare una passeggiata

To go for a walk


Gli italiani amano fare una passeggiata nel centro della città Italians love to go for a walk in the city center


P.S. You could also use the expression “fare un giro”.


6. Fare la spesa

To buy the groceries/to go food shopping


Vado a fare la spesa per la cena del mio compleanno → I am going grocery shopping for my birthday’s dinner


Note that fare la spesa is used only for food shopping! If you are buying anything else, you could just say “fare shopping”.


Yes! We do use the word shopping in Italian, a lot actually!


For example, you could say something like: "Devo fare shopping, il mio armadio e’ vuoto!" (I need to go shopping, my wardrobe/closet is empty!)



7. Fare un viaggio

To go on a trip, to travel


Non vedo l’ora di fare un viaggio! → I can’t wait to go on a trip!


Here we have two beautiful Italian expressions: non vedo l’ora and fare un viaggio.


"Non vedo l’ora" literally translates I don’t see the time, but it actually means something very different. It means that you can’t wait, you are looking forward to doing something and you’re very excited about it! In this case, you can’t wait to fare un viaggio, go on a trip!



8. Fare attenzione

To pay attention


Gli studenti devono fare attenzione mentre il professore parla → Students must pay attention while the professor is talking


Another way to say the same expression, that is very common as well, is "stare attento". We could rephrase the sentence above and say: "Gli studenti devono stare attenti mentre il professore parla".


Of course, don't forget to change the adjective "attento" according to the gender and number of the subject (attent-o/a/i/e).



Perfetto! We are done for today’s article. I hope you liked it! Make sure to check out my YouTube Channel (click here) to learn more about the Italian language and culture. If you have any questions about this topic you can send me an email at hello@teacherstefano.com or contact me on Facebook and Instagram @teacherstefano. Ciao!


Do you want to take your Italian to the next level? Check out my Online Italian course for beginners "Be Italiano" and start learning today to become a real Italiano, like me!

24 views