Tag Archives: Italian verb potere

Being Polite with “Potere”

Homes on Burano, Venice with a bench out front to talk in Italian

Potere means “to can” or “to be able to,” and is classified as a modal, or helping verb. This means that potere provides information about the ability of the speaker to “be able to” complete the  main action described in a sentence. When used in this way, potere is conjugated to reflect the speaker and the action verb follows directly after in its infinitive form — that is, the action verb is not conjugated! (Remember that Italian verbs are categorized into three infinitive forms by the following endings: -are, -ere, and -ire, and that English infinitive verbs are preceded by …

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