The present participle

The present participle is often used instead of a phrase introduced by che (that) to describe a characteristic.

Alessandro è un bambino che sorride molto → Alessandro è un bambino molto sorridente

Alessandro is a child who smiles a lot → Alessandro is a very smiley child (literally, a very smiling child). 

The present participle is formed as follows:

  • -are verbs → -ante 

Parlare → parl + ante = parlante

To speak → speaking

  • -ere and -ire verbs →  -ente 

Insistere → insist + ente = insistente

To insist → insisting

Servire → serv + ente = servente

To serve → serving

The present participle doesn't vary by gender, and the final -e becomes -i in both the masculine and feminine plural forms.

Lucia è molto divertente.

Lucia is very entertaining.

Sono dei dispositivi parlanti. ♂♂

They are devices that communicate with each other (literally “talking devices”).

The following are some of the irregular present participles.

Soddisfare → soddisfacente

To satisfy → satisfying

Ubbidire → ubbidiente

To obey, to comply → obedient, compliant

Cuocere → cocente

To cook → cooking

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