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Essere and Avere - Present Tense 

The present tense is, as the word says, the tense we use to talk about things that are happening in the present as we speak.

In Italian the present tense can also be used instead of the present continuous (I am eating), and it is often used instead of the future, especially when talking about things that we know are going to happen.


Before launching into studying the verb, let's first take a look at subjects pronouns.
Pronouns  replace the nouns in a sentence.  So, instead of saying 'the boy is happy', if it is clear enough whom we are talking about, we can say:'he is happy', . 

Subject pronouns can either be the subject or the direct object of the sentence. 
Here is a list of them with their English equivalent:

Io  (I)

Tu  (You - used only when talking to one person)

Lui  (He)

Lei  (She)

Lei (You - formal)

Noi  (We)

Voi  (You - used only when talking to more than one person)

Loro  (They)

Essere (to be) and Avere (to have), as in most languages, are irregular verbs.  That means that the root of these two verbs change sometimes quite substantially from the infinitive.  This will become clearer once we take a look at regular verbs.  In the mean time just go with the flow. 


VERBO ESSERE (to be) - Present Tense

Io sono (I am)
tu sei (you are)
lui è (he is)
lei è (she is)
Lei è (You are - formal)
noi siamo (we are)
voi siete (you pl. are)
loro sono  (they are)


In Italian, very often subject pronouns are omitted. Since conjugations change significantly from person to person, it is usually clear who the subject of a sentence is even when the subject pronoun is not present.  So instead of saying:

"Io sono italiana."  (I am Italian)

I can say:

"Sono italiana."    

This still means exactly the same thing: (I am Italian)


VERBO AVERE (to have) - Present Tense

Io ho   (I have)
tu hai   (you have)
lui ha   (he has)
lei ha   (she has)
Lei ha   (You have - formal)
noi abbiamo (we have)
voi avete    (you pl. have)
loro hanno   (they have)

Remember:
H is silent in Italian.