Intendere with Intention: Mastering the Italian Verb with Clarity


Welcome, language enthusiasts, to a delightful journey through the enchanting realm of Italian verbs! Today, we are here to unravel the mysteries and nuances of the versatile verb “intendere,” which encapsulates the essence of understanding and intention. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate Italian learner, this blog post will guide you through the various ways to use “intendere” with intention and flair. Prepare to dive into the world of communication and comprehension in Italian!

Understanding the Basics:

Before we delve deeper into the applications of “intendere,” let’s grasp its fundamental meaning. Derived from the Latin word “intendere,” meaning “to stretch toward,” the Italian verb “intendere” is defined as “to understand,” “to mean,” or “to intend.” This multifaceted verb allows you to express your comprehension, intentions, and the meaning behind your words.

Expressing Understanding and Comprehension:

In its most common usage, “intendere” conveys the idea of understanding or comprehending something. Let’s explore its application in everyday contexts:

  • Capisco cosa intendi. (I understand what you mean.)
  • Non riesco a intendere le tue parole. (I can’t comprehend your words.)
  • Intendi dire che… (You mean to say that…)

Indicating Intentions and Purposes:

Another significant usage of “intendere” is to express intentions or purposes. By employing this verb, you can effectively communicate your plans and objectives:

  • Intendo imparare l’italiano per motivi personali. (I intend to learn Italian for personal reasons.)
  • Lei intende lavorare come insegnante. (She intends to work as a teacher.)
  • Noi intendiamo visitare l’Italia l’anno prossimo. (We intend to visit Italy next year.)

Using “Intendere” in Legal and Formal Situations:

In legal and formal contexts, “intendere” is employed to indicate legal intent or the formal meaning of a term:

  • L’accusa non ha inteso diffamarmi. (The accusation did not mean to defame me.)
  • Nel presente contratto, “validità” intende… (In this contract, “validity” means…)

Indirect Uses of “Intendere”:

Apart from its primary applications, “intendere” can be used in various idiomatic expressions and phrases:

  • Intendere bene (to understand clearly)
  • Intendere per (to mean by)
  • Non intendere ragioni (to be unreasonable)


Now, my dear language-loving friends, armed with the knowledge of “intendere,” you can confidently navigate the realms of understanding, intention, and meaning in the Italian language. From expressing comprehension to conveying intentions or delving into formal contexts, “intendere” enables you to communicate your thoughts with precision and fluency. So, embrace the power of “intendere” and let your Italian conversations flourish with clarity! Buona fortuna! (Good luck!)