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Sneaky Bilingual Trick to Master Italian Verb Stress

If you are studying Italian, you will soon discover the need to memorize where the stress falls on Italian infinitives that end in -ere (such as prendere, correre, vivere, mettere, leggere, credere, etc.). You have to know whether it is "crédere" or "credére". 

If you already know French, then you are in luck because this task is simplified thanks to the shared origin of the languages. Italian -ere verbs that have the stress on the next to the last syllable (ére) tend to correspond to French verb infinitives ending in -oir and Italian verbs ending in an unstressed -ere tend to correspond to French "re" verbs.

Here are some examples (remember that the stress mark is not written in Italian - otherwise it would be easy!): 
Stress on ére = French verb ending in -oir
sapére = savoir
avére = avoir
potére = pouvoir
volére = vouloir
sedére = asseoir
vedére = voir

Stress not on ere = French verbs ending in -re
pérdere = perdre
scéndere = descendre
rídere = rire
conóscere = connaitre
rómpere = rompre
méttere = mettre
préndere = prendre
léggere = lire
náscere = naitre
báttere = battre 
etc. etc. 

There are some exceptions (aren't there always) and some French verbs which are completely different from their Italian counterparts (temere = craindre), but this concept can be a great head start.

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