Adventure into the world of the Potere conjugation in Italian

Brace yourselves and get ready: a deep dive into the conjugation of “Potere” is a crucial step to achieving fluency in Italian! Our detailed guide includes explanations of each potere conjugation as well as examples of each conjugation.  This fun irregular verb ca be found at position #5 on our 150 most commonly used verbs in Italian list .

The verb “potere” is one of the most common and valuable verbs in the Italian language. It is an irregular verb that means “to be able to” in English. Potere, as an irregular verb of the second conjugation, deviates from the regular pattern observed in verbs ending in -ERE. It is employed to convey an individual’s ability, freedom, or capacity to accomplish a certain action.



“Potere” Conjugation Indicative / Indicativo

The indicative tense (il modo indicativo) is one of the three grammatical moods used to express different attitudes or purposes in speech. The indicative mood is used to make factual statements, ask questions, and express opinions about actions or events that are considered real or certain.

Present Tense Potere Conjugation / Presente

The present tense is used to describe actions happening in the present or to express general truths or habitual actions.

Io  Posso
Tu  Puoi
Lui Può
Noi  Possiamo
Voi  Potete
Loro Possono


  1. Posso aiutarti con i compiti di matematica. (I can help you with your math homework.)
  2. Possiamo andare al cinema domani sera? (Can we go to the movies tomorrow evening?)
  3. Puoi chiamarmi più tardi? Sono occupato ora. (You can call me later? I’m busy now.)

​​Past Simple Tense Potere Conjugation / Passato Remoto

The simple past tense in Italian, often employed to recount past actions or events completed within a particular time frame, isn’t regularly used in casual conversation. Its usage can come across as formal or even literary to many native Italian speakers. The present perfect tense, on the other hand, is frequently used and favored as it is more fitting for everyday communication.

Io  Potei
Tu  Potesti
Lui Poté
Noi  Potemmo
Voi  Poteste
Loro Poterono


  1. Tu potesti vincere la gara grazie alla tua determinazione. (You were able to win the race thanks to your determination.)
  2. Noi potemmo visitare molti paesi durante il nostro lungo viaggio. (We were able to visit many countries during our long journey.)
  3. Michele poté finalmente realizzare il suo sogno di diventare un famoso attore. (Michele was finally able to fulfill his dream of becoming a famous actor.)

Imperfect Tense Potere Conjugation / Imperfetto

Italian imperfect tense is used to describe ongoing, repeated, or habitual actions in the past, as well as to set the stage or provide background information.

Io  Potevo
Tu  Potevi
Lui Poteva
Noi  Potevamo
Voi  Potevate
Loro Potevano


  1. Da bambino, potevo passare ore a leggere i libri nella mia stanza. (As a child, I could spend hours reading books in my room.)
  2. Durante le vacanze estive, potevamo fare lunghe passeggiate sulla spiaggia. (During the summer holidays, we could take long walks on the beach.)
  3. Mio nonno poteva raccontare storie incredibili della sua giovinezza. (My grandfather could tell incredible stories from his youth.)

Present Perfect Tense Potere Conjugation / Passato Prossimo

Italian present perfect tense (also known as “Passato Prosimo”) is used to express actions that have occurred in the past but have a connection to the present, emphasizing the result or consequences of those actions.

Io  Ho potuto
Tu  Hai potuto
Lui Ha potuto
Noi  Abbiamo potuto
Voi  Avete potuto
Loro Hanno potuto


  1. Abbiamo potuto trascorrere una settimana intera in vacanza senza preoccupazioni. (We were able to spend a whole week on vacation without any worries.)
  2. Avete potuto vedere l’eclissi solare con i vostri occhiali protettivi? (Were you able to see the solar eclipse with your protective glasses?)
  3. Ho potuto finire il mio progetto in tempo grazie all’aiuto dei miei colleghi. (I was able to finish my project on time thanks to the help of my colleagues.)

Past Perfect Tense Potere Conjugation / Trapassato Prossimo

In Italian, the trapassato prossimo is used to convey a past action that is completed and precedes another action in the past. It is formed by combining the imperfetto of the auxiliary verbs “avere” or “essere” with the past participle of the main verb.

Io  Avevo potuto
Tu  Avevi potuto
Lui Aveva potuto
Noi  Avevamo potuto
Voi  Avevate potuto
Loro Avevano potuto


  1. Erano già partiti quando ci siamo resi conto che avevamo potuto perdere il treno. (They had already left when we realized that we could have missed the train.)
  2.  Era rimasto ferito perché non aveva potuto evitare l’incidente. (He had been injured because he couldn’t have avoided the accident.)
  3. Eravamo stati invitati alla festa, ma non avevamo potuto partecipare a causa di un imprevisto. (We had been invited to the party, but we couldn’t have attended due to an unforeseen event.)

 Preterite Perfect Tense Potere Conjugation / Trapassato Remoto

The trapassato remoto is a tense primarily employed in literature to depict events that occurred shortly before the action described by the passato remoto, which took place a long time ago. It is formed by combining the passato remoto of the auxiliary verbs “avere” or “essere” with the past participle of the main verb.

Io  Ebbi potuto
Tu  Avesti potuto
Lui Ebbe potuto
Noi  Avemmo potuto
Voi  Aveste potuto
Loro Ebbero potuto

Future Tense Potere Conjugation / Futuro 

The Italian future tense is used to express actions or events that will happen in the future, indicating something that has not yet occurred.

Io  Potrò
Tu  Potrai
Lui Potrà
Noi  Potremo
Voi  Potrete
Loro Potranno


  1. Tra qualche settimana, Sara potrà trasferirsi nella nuova casa. (In a few weeks, Sara will be able to move into the new house.)
  2. Quando saranno più grandi, i bambini potranno partecipare a sport più impegnativi. (When they are older, the children will be able to participate in more challenging sports.)
  3. Nei prossimi mesi, potremo pianificare una vacanza rilassante. (In the coming months, we will be able to plan a relaxing vacation.)

Future Perfect Tense Potere Conjugation / Futuro Anteriore

The futuro anteriore tense is utilized to describe an action that will have already been completed prior to another action taking place in the future.

Io  Avrò potuto
Tu  Avrai potuto
Lui Avrà potuto
Noi  Avremo potuto
Voi  Avrete potuto
Loro Avranno potuto


  1. Dopo che avrai potuto risolvere il problema tecnico, potremo procedere con l’implementazione del software. (After you will have been able to solve the technical issue, we can proceed with the software implementation.)
  2. Una volta che avrà potuto prendere la decisione, sapremo quale strada seguire. (Once he/she will have been able to make the decision, we will know which path to take.)
  3. Una volta che avrete potuto completare la formazione, sarete pronti per assumere nuove responsabilità. (Once you will have been able to complete the training, you will be ready to take on new responsibilities.)

Conditional Potere Conjugation / Condizionale

The conditional tense is used to express hypothetical or speculative actions or events that would happen under certain conditions in the present or future.

Present Tense Potere Conjugation / Presente

Io  Potrei
Tu  Potresti
Lui Potrebbe
Noi  Potremmo
Voi  Potreste
Loro Potrebbero


  1. Potrei provare a cucinare quel piatto complicato se avessi la ricetta. (I could try to cook that complicated dish if I had the recipe.)
  2. Potresti venire al cinema con me stasera? (Could you come to the movies with me tonight?)
  3. Se avessi più esperienza, potrei ottenere quel lavoro desiderato. (If I had more experience, I could get that desired job.)

Past Tense Potere Conjugation / Passato

Io  Avrei potuto
Tu   Avreste potuto
Lui Avrebbe  potuto
Noi  Avremmo  potuto
Voi  Avreste potuto
Loro  Avrebbero potuto


  1. Avrei potuto finire il lavoro in tempo se non mi fossi ammalato. (I could have finished the work on time if I hadn’t gotten sick.)
  2. Avrebbero potuto evitare l’incidente se avessero guidato con più prudenza. (They could have avoided the accident if they had driven more cautiously.)
  3. Se avessi saputo suonare uno strumento musicale, avrei potuto suonare con la band. (If I had known how to play a musical instrument, I could have played with the band.)

Subjunctive Tense Potere Conjugation / Congiuntivo

The subjunctive tense (Congiuntivo) is one of the three grammatical moods used to express different attitudes or purposes in speech. The subjunctive mood is used to express doubt, uncertainty, subjectivity, emotion, and hypothetical situations.


Present Tense / Presente

The subjunctive present tense is used to express subjective actions, desires, doubts, recommendations, or possibilities, often introduced by certain triggers such as expressions of doubt, necessity, or influence.

Io  Possa
Tu  Possa
Lui Possa
Noi  Possiamo
Voi  Possiate
Loro Possano


  1. È importante che lui possa esprimere liberamente la sua opinione. (It is important that he can freely express his opinion.)
  2. Mi dispiace che voi non possiate partecipare all’evento. (I’m sorry that you cannot attend the event.)
  3. Spero che tu possa raggiungere i tuoi obiettivi. (I hope that you can achieve your goals.)

Imperfect Tense/ Imperfetto

This tense is used to express hypothetical or unreal actions, desires, doubts, or recommendations in the past, often introduced by certain triggers such as expressions of doubt, uncertainty, or unreal conditions.

Io  Potessi
Tu  Potessi
Lui Potesse
Noi  Potessimo
Voi  Poteste
Loro Potessero


  1. Se potessi, ti aiuterei in ogni momento. (If I could, I would help you at any time.)
  2. Se noi potessimo tornare indietro nel tempo, eviteremmo quell’errore. (If we could go back in time, we would avoid that mistake.)
  3. Se loro potessero ottenere il finanziamento, avvierebbero il loro progetto. (If they could secure the funding, they would start their project.)

Perfect Tense / Passato

The past tense is used to express hypothetical or unreal actions, desires, doubts, or recommendations in the past.

Io  Abbia potuto
Tu  Abbia potuto
Lui Abbia potuto
Noi  Abbiamo potuto
Voi  Abbiate potuto
Loro Abbiano potuto


 Pluperfect Tense / Trapassato 

This tense is used to express hypothetical or unreal actions, desires, doubts, or recommendations in the past with a connection to a previous past event, indicating actions that would have been completed before that past event.

Io  Avessi potuto
Tu  Avessi potuto
Lui Avesse potuto
Noi  Avessimo potuto
Voi  Aveste potuto
Loro Avessero potuto


  1. Sarebbe stato bello se avessimo potuto partecipare al concerto del nostro cantante preferito. (It would have been nice if we could have attended the concert of our favorite singer.)

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