You get to use the verb to call in Italian in two different situations:
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?
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.
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 important, 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 chiamo||I call|
|Tu chiami||You call (sg)|
|Lui chiama||He calls|
|Lei chiama||She calls|
|Noi chiamiamo||We call|
|Voi chiamate||You call (pl)|
|Loro chiamano||They call|
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 oneself.
Present tense of chiamarsi
|Io mi chiamo||I call myself|
|Tu ti chiami||You call yourself|
|Lui si chiama||He calls himself|
|Lei si chiama||She calls herself|
|Noi ci chiamiamo||We call ourselves|
|Voi vi chiamate||You call yourselves|
|Loro si chiamano||They call themselves|
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Come si chiama la moglie di Alberto?
What’s Alberto’s wife’s 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 the telephone, wave at them from across the street, etc.
You use chiamarsi when you need to introduce yourself or ask for somebody’s name.
I call Sofia
Mi chiamo Sofia
My name’s Sofia
Literally: I call myself Sofia
And that’s it with chiamare in Italian!
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