The uses of the verb stare

The verb stare (to be, to stay, to remain) has several different uses, such as:

  • To indicate that you are staying somewhere, with the same meaning as the verbs rimanere (to remain) or restare (to stay, to remain)

Cosa fai questa sera? – Sto a casa.

-What are you doing this evening? -I'm staying home.

Sto in ufficio fino alle 22 per finire il progetto.

I'm staying at the office until 10 p.m. to finish the project.

  • To give orders regarding behavior

Stai zitto!

Be quiet!

State ferme!

Stay still!

  • To express a temporary physical or psychological state, with the same meaning as sentirsi (to feel). In this case, it needs to be followed by an adverb like bene (well), male (unwell, poorly), splendidamente (extremely well), etc.

– Come stai? – Sto bene.

-How are you? -I'm well.

Sto malissimo oggi, credo di avere la febbre.

I'm very unwell today. I think I have a fever.

  • To introduce an action that is about to take place in the very near future, using the structure stare stare, presente + per + another verb in the infinitive

Sto per uscire di casa.

I'm just about to leave the house.

Stavo per cadere nel lago.

I was about to fall in the lake.

  • To describe an action that is taking place right at the moment of speaking, using the appropriate conjugation of stare stare, presente + the gerundio (“-ing” form equivalent)

Sto andando al supermercato.

I'm going to the supermarket.

Mentre tu fai la doccia, io sto preparando la cena.

I'm making dinner while you have a shower.

Note: if we are describing a physical characteristic or a temporary psychological state using an adjective, like alto (tall), bello (handsome), contento (happy, content), etc., we need to use the verb essere (to be), not stare (to be, to remain).  

Io sono felice e tu sei soddisfatta.

I am happy and you are satisfied.

Still facing difficulties with 'The uses of the verb stare'? Enhance your grammar and learn Italian through our online Italian lessons.
Start with a free test and improve today!

What our users say:



I enjoy doing my online Italian lessons. Only ten minutes daily are enough...Thank you!



I love your innovative method which allows me to learn a new language and have fun at the same time!



Your method is unique! Your courses have helped me to progress and gain confidence during my travels.



Gymglish has allowed me to improve my Italian. A daily routine I wouldn't miss for anything in the world!

More testimonials.

Improve your Italian further and test Saga Baldoria, online Italian course.