To call in Italian

You get to use the verb to call in Italian in two different situations.

To introduce yourself or ask for someone’s name.
To address someone or call them on the telephone.

We will address both cases of to call in Italian here. We will also take a look at the present tense conjugation of this verb in both its standard and reflexive form.


How do you translate to call in Italian?

Chiamare
To call

This is the infinitive form of the verb to call in Italian. Italian verbs in the infinitive form always end in either –are, –ere or –ire.

Chiamarsi
To be called, to call oneself

This, however, is the infinitive form of the reflexive verb to call in Italian. Italian reflexive verbs always end in either –arsi, –ersi or –irsi in the infinitive.

Italian verb conjugations take on different endings depending on which subject pronoun and mood you use. This is very importat, as it is completely different from English!

In our case, the present tense of chiamare, you must append to the root verb (chiam-) the specific present tense endings. Look at the table below.


Present tense of chiamare

Io chiamoI call
Tu chiamiYou call (sg)
Lui chiamaHe calls
Lei chiamaShe calls
Noi chiamiamoWe call
Voi chiamateYou call (pl)
Loro chiamanoThey call
to call in italian
To call
Chiamare

L’ho chiamato tre volte sul cellulare, ma non mi ha mai risposto.
I called him three times on his mobile phone, but he never picked up.

Chiama Marco sul telefono di casa!
Call Marco on his home phone!

Then, you do the same with chiamarsi. This is a reflexive verb though, as we’ve already seen, so you will have to add a specific reflexive pronoun to the sentence that serves to translate the English oneself.


Present tense of chiamarsi

Io mi chiamoI call myself
Tu ti chiamiYou call yourself
Lui si chiamaHe calls himself
Lei si chiamaShe calls herself
Noi ci chiamiamoWe call ourselves
Voi vi chiamateYou call yourselves
Loro si chiamanoThey call themselves

Come si chiama la moglie di Alberto?
What’s Alberto’s wife name?
Literally: How does Alberto’s wife call herself?


To recap, we’ll say that you use chiamare when you need to call someone on telephone, on the other side of the street, etc.

You use chiamarsi when you need to introduce yourself or ask somebody’s name.

Chiamo Sofia
I call Sofia

to call in italian
Mi chiamo Sofia.
My name’s Sofia.

Mi chiamo Sofia
My name’s Sofia
Literally: I call myself Sofia


What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to conjugate to call in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

You can also do some Italian interactive exercises!

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