Today we’ll be learning about verbs andare vs venire. While andare equals the English verb “to go”, venire would be the Italian translation for “to come”. However, there are subtle details that help keep the usage of Italian verbs as very peculiar.
As you can see in the sentence Devo andare al supermercato – I need to go to the supermarket, andare (to go) means -that there is- a movement toward a certain place. In this case, the speaker needs to go to the supermarket, because they have probably noticed that there’s a deficit of household products at home.
Now let us see the venire meaning in English to understand better how to use andare vs venire.
È la prima volta che vieni in Italia? – Is this the first time you come to Italy?
In the sentence above, you can rest assured somebody has moved toward the one who asked the question – in this case, the person has come to Italy. So, we use the verb venire when there is a movement toward the person who is speaking.
But now suppose someone asks:
Puoi venire qui, per favore? – Can you come here please?
You could think “Well, andare and venire work exactly like in English” and come up with an Sì, vado tra un minuto – Yes, I’ll go/be there in a minute. And here’s is when the magic stops if you answer so. It turns out, Italians would reply in quite a different way. The answer would be:
Sì, vengo tra un minuto (the literal translation would be “I’m coming in a minute”).
This happens because the Italian verb venire is used not only when there is a movement toward the speaker as it occurs in English, but also when there is a movement toward the listener.
You can also switch verbs when replying if mom or dad won’t find you home:
Dove sei andato? – Where did you go? / Sono venuto dalla zia Stefania – I’ve gone to aunt Stefania’s home.
OTHER USES OF ANDARE AND VENIRE:
We can use andare in other situations, for example:
- You may ask someone about their current situation -if you randomly run into each other on the street:
Come va? – How is it going?
- And also, to show agreement on a certain plan:
Va bene per te se ci vediamo per bere una cosa dopo la lezione? Sì, va bene per me! – Is it OK for you if we meet after the class for a drink? Yes, it is OK with me!
- Andare is also used to express willingness:
Ti va di guardare questo film a casa? Sì, va benissimo! – Do you feel like watching this movie at home? Yes, great!
- At times, andare + a past participle in Italian gets a sense of obligation’s tinge:
Questo compito va fatto entro tre giorni. – This task must be done within three days.
- Interestingly, andare + giù, su, via, etc., implies a shift in the meaning of the verb, very much as in English:
- La situazione dell’economia è andata proprio giù dopo le ultime elezioni. – The economic situation has just gone down (sunk) after the last election.
- Va via! – Go away!
- On the other hand, venire is also used to speak about somebody’s national origins:
Da dove vieni? Vengo dall’Italia. – Where are you from? I’m from Italy.
CONJUGATING ANDARE VS VENIRE
Here we display them in the indicative form of present tense for practical purposes. Notice how irregular these two verbs happen to be:
|Io vado||Io vengo|
|Tu vai||Tu vieni|
|Lui/Lei va||Lui/Lei viene|
|Noi andiamo||Noi veniamo|
|Voi andate||Voi venite|
|Loro vanno||Loro vengono|
We hope this article has been enlightening and from now on you use andare and venire -in a more proficient way. The most important thing is to keep in mind that slight difference when a situation for saying or writing either andare or venire arises.