The Italian Verb Ballare (To Dance)

The Italian verb ballare

What does ballare mean in Italian?

The Italian verb ballare means to dance and, more rarely, in a figurative sense, to wobble, to rock or to shake, for example when talking about a flight with turbulences, you could say l’ aeroplano balla.

What conjugation does ballare belong to?

Ballare belongs to the first conjugation, where the infinitive form ends in -are (ballare), the participle form ends in -ato (ballato) and the gerund ends in -ando (ballando).

Is ballare regular or irregular?

Ballare is a regular verb, so it varies in a regular way throughout its conjugation. If you are able to conjugate ballare, then you’ll be able to conjugate all other regular verbs of the first conjugation (-are).

Does ballare use an essere or avere auxiliary?

Italian compound tenses such as the present perfect (passato prossimo) require the main verb to be preceded by an auxiliary, essere or avere. Ballare takes the avere auxiliary all the time (for example ho ballato – I danced) and never the essere auxiliary.

What prepositions are used with ballare?

The most common prepositions found with ballare is con (with).

  • Dave balla con sua moglie (Dave is dancing with his wife)
The Italian verb ballare (to dance)'
The Italian verb ballare (to dance)

Uses of ballare

Here are some of the most common ways to use ballare in Italian:

  • Si è offerto di ballare con sua figlia (he offered to dance with his daughter)
  • Andiamo a ballare in quella nuova discoteca vicino alla spiaggia (let’s go dancing in that new club by the beach)
  • Qualche volta l’ aereo balla per le turbolenze (sometimes the plane shakes because of turbolences)

Italian proverbs with ballare

One Italian proverb with the verb ballare says:

Quando il gatto non c’è i topi ballano

Literally: when the cat isn’t there the rats dance

This proverb is used to refer to when people aren’t being checked upon, managed, or controlled and they decide to behave how they prefer.

Two examples of when this saying would be suitable could be a classroom misbehaving because the teacher has left, or staff in an office not doing their work because the boss is not in the office.

Proverb with the Italian verb ballare
Proverb with the Italian verb ballare: Quando il gatto non c’è i topi ballano

Synonyms of ballare

Danzare (to dance) is a synonym of ballare. Danzare is associated with classical dance and ballroom dance. In fact, we say danza classica to refer to ballet but we say le ragazze ballano alla festa (the girls are dancing at the party) to refer to a more casual, or untrained, way of dancing.

One useful noun related to the verb ballare is il ballo. This means the ball or the dance. For example un corso di ballo (a dance course/ dance classes).

The complete conjugation of ballare

In the table below you can see the complete conjugation of ballare in all tenses and moods.

Present indicativeballoballiballaballiamoballateballano
Present perfect indicativeho ballatohai ballatoha ballatoabbiamo ballatoavete ballatohanno ballato
Imperfect indicativeballavoballaviballavaballavamoballavateballavano
Past perfect indicativeavevo ballatoavevi ballatoaveva ballatoavevamo ballatoavevate ballatoavevano ballato
Remote past indicative ballaiballastiballòballammoballasteballarono
Preterite perfect indicativeebbi ballatoavesti ballato ebbe ballatoavemmo ballatoaveste ballatoebbero ballato
Simple future indicativeballeròballeraiballeràballeremoballereteballeranno
Future perfect indicativeavrò ballatoavrai ballatoavrà ballatoavranno ballatoavrete ballatoavranno ballato
Present conditionalballereiballerestiballerebbeballeremmoballeresteballerebbero
Past perfect conditionalavrei ballatoavresti ballatoavrebbe ballatoavremmo ballatoavreste ballatoavrebbero ballato
Present gerundballandoballandoballandoballandoballandoballando
Past gerundavendo ballatoavendo ballatoavendo ballatoavendo ballatoavendo ballatoavendo ballato
Present subjunctiveballiballiballiballiamoballiateballino
Present perfect subjunctiveabbia ballatoabbia ballatoabbia ballatoabbiamo ballatoabbiate ballatoabbiano ballato
Imperfect subjunctiveballassiballassiballasseballassimoballasteballassero
Past perfect subjunctive avessi ballatoavessi ballatoavesse ballatoavessimo ballatoaveste ballatoavessero ballato
Table showing the complete conjugation of the verb ballare in all Italian tenses