Lesson 9: Sicilian verbs

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Sicilian verbs have three conjugations the first with ending in ari:

Parràri                                   to speak

Manciàri                               to eat

Fumàri                                   to smoke

The second with the ending in iri short:

Ricìviri                                  to receive

Scrìviri                                   to write

Rispùnniri                             to answer

Finìri                                      to finish

Sippillìri                                 to bury

Durmìri                                  to sleep

Some of these verbs can be interchanged from short to long and viceversa:

Durmìri, dòrmiri (to sleep); suffrìri, sòffriri (to suffer); murìri, mòriri (to die); gudìri, gòdiri (to enjoy)

Iu parru Siciliànu                                                       I speak Sicilian

Tu  finìsci di parràri                                                   You finish talking

iddu dormi ora                                                          He sleeps now

nuiàtri manciàmu ancora                                          We are still eating

vuiàtri parràti cu idda                                               You talk to her

iddi finìscinu di travagghiàri

They finish working


Indicative Mode


Parru              I speak            dormu     I sleep

parri               you speak       dormi    you sleep

parra     he, she, it speaks   dormi  he, she, it sleeps

parràmu         we speak        durmèmu      we sleep

parràti            you speak      durmìti       you sleep

pàrranu          they speak     dòrminu      they sleep



Parràvu          I spoke     durmìvi            I slept

parràvi           you spoke   durmìvi      you slept

parràva   he, she, it spoke  durmìva he, she, it slept

parràvamu     we spoke  durmèvamu      we slept

parràvavu      you spoke  durmèvavu   you slept

parràvanu      they spoke  durmìanu  they slept


The future in Sicilian is never or very seldom used, in its place the Sicilian uses the present indicative:

Si Diu voli e campàmu dumàni nni vidèmu  

If God wants and we will live we will see each other tomorrow


Present Perfect

Aiu parràtu    I have spoken              

aiu durmùtu                I have slept



Parrài             I spoke    durmì    I slept

parràsti          you spoke   durmìsti   you slept

parro`       he, she, it spoke   durmìu  he,she,it slept

parràmu         we spoke   durmèmu     we slept

parràstivu      you spoke   durmìstivu  you slept

parràru           they spoke   durmèru     they slept


Past Perfect

Avia parràtu I had spoken                

avia durmùtu I had slept




See indicative present


Parràssi          I spoke, might speak                durmìssi,                    I slept, might sleep

parràssi                                                         durmìssi

parràssi                                                         durmìssi

parràssimu                                                    durmìssimu

parràssivu                                                     durmìssivu

parràssiru                                                     durmìssiru


Past Perfect

Avìssi parràtu I might have spoken                

avìssi durmùtu           I might have slept




Parrirìa           I would speak                          durmirìa                     I would sleep

Parrirìssi                                                       durmirìssi

Parrirìa                                                          durmirìa

Parrirìamu                                                     durmirìamu

Parrirìavu                                                      durmirìavu

Parrirìanu                                                      durmirìanu


Avirrìa parràtu          I would have spoken                

avirrìa durmùtu          I would have slept



Parra (tu)                    speak (sing.)                dormi                          sleep

parràti (vui)                speak (plur.)                durmìti                        sleep




Parràri                       to speak   

durmìri                       to sleep



Avìri parràtu to have spoken            

avìri durmùtu             to have slept




Parràtu                       spoken 

durmùtu                      slept




Parrànnu                    speaking 

durmènnu                   sleeping



Avènnu parràtu         having spoken 

Avènnu durmùtu        having slept


These are some of the verbs that are conjucated like parràri:

Manciàri to eat 

amàri                                                             to love

truvàri                                                           to find

sunàri                                                to play (an instrument)

ciatiàri                                                           to breath

fumàri                                                            to smoke

ammazzàri                                                     to kill

travagghiàri                                                  to work


These are some of the verbs that are conjugated like dormiri or durmiri:

Rìdiri                                                             to laugh

finìri                                                               to finish

gudìri                                                             to enjoy

murìri                                                 to die

esìstiri                                                           to exist

cògghiri                                                         to harvest

prèmiri                                                          to press

sèntiri                                                     to hear, to feel


In Sicilian, as in any other languge, we find irregular verbs. These verbs change the endings many times during the conjugation. The only way to know them is to memorize them.  We will list only a few here and conjugate a couple to give you the sense of their behavior during conjiugation:

Diri (to say), vèniri or vinìri ( to come), sapìri (to know), vulìri ( to want), putìri (to be able), didùciri (to deduce), iri (to go), dari (to do, make), vidìri (to see)etc.


Conjiugation of  vèniri or vinìri and vulìri:


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Vegnu                         I come                                     vogghiu                      I want

veni                            you come                     voi                              you want

veni                            he comes                     voli                              he, she, it wants

vinèmu                       we come                      vulèmu                        we want

vinìti                           you come                     vulìti                           you want

vennu                         they come                    vonnu                          they want



vinìa                           I came                         vulìa                            I wanted

vinèvi                         you came                     vulèvi                         you wanted

vinìa                           he, she it came                             vulìa                            he, she, it wanted

vinèvamu                   we came                      vulèvamu                   we wanted

vinèvavu                    you came                     vulèvavu                    you wanted

vinèvanu                    hey came                     vulèvanu                    they wanted


Present Perfect

Aiu vinùtu                  I have caome                                    aiu vulùtu                   I have wanted

ài vinùtu                     you have come                                   ai volùtu                     you have wanted

avi vinùtu                   he,she,it has come                             avi vulùtu                   he, she, it has wanted

avèmu vinùtu             we have come                                  avèmu volùtu             we have wanted

avìti vinùtu                 you have come                                    avìti volùtu                 you have wanted

ànnu vinùtu                they have come                            ànnu vulùtu                they have wanted



Vinni               I came                         vosi          I wanted

vinìsti             you came                     vulìsti      you wanted

vinni               he, she, it came       vosi     he, she, it wanted

vìnnimu          we came                 vòsimu         we wanted

vinìstivu         you came         vulìstivu           you wanted

vìnniru            they came               vòsiru         they wanted

Past perfect

Avìa vinùtu    I had come    avìa volùtu        I had wanted




Vinìssi            I might come              vulìssi     I might want

vinìssi                  you                   vulìssi                  you

vinìssi            he, she it                vulìssi            he, she, iti

vinìssimu        we                         vulìssimu                    we

vinìssivu         you                      vulìssivu                     you

vinìssiru         they                      vulìssiru                     they


Past perfect

Avìssi vinùtu I might have come        

avìssi volùtu               I might have wanted




Vinirrìa           I would come               

vurrìa                         I would want

vinirrìssi         you                              

vurrìssi                       you

vinirrìa           he, she, it                     

vurrìa                         he, she, it

vinirrìamu      we                               

vurrìamu                    we

vinirrìavu       you                              

vurrìavu                     you

vinirrìanu       they                             

vurrìanu                     they



Avirrìa vinùtu            I would have come       

avirrìa volùtu             I would have wanted



Veni                come (you)                  

voi                              want (you)

Vegna                         come (he)                    vògghia                      want (he)

Vinèmu           come (we)                   

vulèmu                       want (we)

Vinìti              come (you)                  

vulìti                            want (you)

Vègnanu         come (they)                 

vògghianu                  want (they)





Vèniri                         to come                       vulìri                           to want


`           Avìri vinùtu    to have come               

avìri vulùtu                 to have wanted




Vinùtu            come                           vulùtu             wanted




Vinènnu          coming             vulènnu                      wanting



Avènnu vinùtu           having come     

avènnu vulùtu            having wanted


Intrrogatve Forms

The interrogative forms, most of the time, place the subject at the end of the sentence:


Ci §u a scola Maria?                 Did Mary go to school?

Unni sta Rosa ?              Where does Rose live?

M’ascùti fìgghiu?                   Are you listening to me, son?


Interrogative forms chi (what), cui, cu (who, whom):

Cu vinni a tô casa?             Who came to your house?

Chi fai ddocu?                     What are youy doing there?

Cu ti lu dissi accussì?         Who told you so?

A chi servi chistu?              What’ is the pourpose of this?

A cui la dugnu la l’acqua?To whom should I give the water?


Interrogative c’è (there is) and ci sunnu (thre are):

C’è la televisiòni a sô casa?

Is there a television at his house?

Ci sunnu li lampi nta scala?                             

Are there lights in the stairway?

C’è lu telèfunu nni tô soru?                              

Is there a telephone at you sister’s?

Ci sunnu li utti pi lu vinu?                               

Are there barrels for the wine?


The Sicilian language uses two forms of addressing people, the familiar, with peers friends and family members, and the polite with strngers, older people or people to whom one wants to show respect.  In the first case is used the second person singular of the verb, in the second case is used the second person plural of the verb.


Pìgghiami ssu pani                            Get me that bread

Attàcca sta corda.                             Tie this rope

Chiàma lu cani                                   Call the dog



Vossìa chiàma a me frati                               Call my brother

Ci parràssi vossìa cu iddu                             You talk to him

Vossìa mi fa n favùri                                      Do me a favor


A sentence is made negative by adding nun or the contracted un before the verb:

Un sacciu nenti                               I do not know anything

Nun capìsciu chiddu chi dici                            

I do not understand what you are saying

Un parru bonu lu Siciliànu                I do not speak Sicilian well

Pi cummintari ha trasiri Trasi



Liggi Rigiunali Lingua siciliana. Chi ni pensi?

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bibliografia pi lu studiu du sicilianu Select Section Briscula 'n-cincu Carta Europea delle lingue regionali e minoritarie sicilia Corso di lingua e letteratura sicilianaCORSO di LINGUA e LETTERATURA SICILIANA Coordinato da Salvatore Di Marco Il dialetto siciliano fra le lingue dei popoli. conferenze tematiche. 1 - LINGUA E DIALE cultura popolare siciliana Cunta un cuntu detti siciliani dialetto Diffirenzi principali ntra i parrati siciliani: Varii diffirenzi fonuloggichi ibridismo e tautologia ibrida nel siciliano IL PROGETTO ABRACADABRA PER LA DIFFUSIONE DELLE LINGUE NON DOMINANTI NELLA SCUOLA Il Siciliano: Dialetto o lingua?lingua La lingua siciliana attraversu li seculi leggi per la tutela del siciliano Libbra in sicilianu Lingua madre Lingua Siciliana lingua siciliana propria Lingua Siciliana Unificata (LSU) linguistica NAT SCAMMACCA nel siciliano di Marco Scalabrino nuovo gruzzoletto di voci arabo - sicule Nutizii odissea traduzione in siciliano old french medeme in sicilian Per lo studio del siciliano e...chi vò cchiù? POEMS proverbi siciliani proverbs PUISII Select Category Select Section sicilia Sicilian language: an overview siciliano Si vutassi pi mia...inchiesta supra a pulitica linguistica in Siciliapolituca Siziuni Culturali Studi siciliani: lu discursu pi na cattrida univirsitaria teatro siciliano Tiatru i tradizioni culturali Tu i u sicilianu Ultimi nutizii Un cumpenniu di ortugrafia siciliana Compendio di lingua siciliano Universal declaration of linguistic rights

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