The Italian Verb Offrire (To Offer) – Your Complete Guide On Conjugation, Usage and Examples

What does offrire mean in Italian

Written by Federica  in Italian language

The meaning of offrire

Offrire in Italian means to offer. It can be used in the sense of to pay for (foods or drinks), to offer a gift, help, services or opportunities.

What conjugation does offrire belong to?

Offrire belongs to the third Italian conjugation. Its infinitive form ends in -ire (offrire), the participle form is offerto and the gerund ends in -endo (offrendo).

Is offrire regular or irregular?

Offrire is a regular verb, so it does not vary throughout its conjugation in line with standard third-conjugation verb endings. This might make it a little trickier to memorize its conjugation.

Does offrire 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

Offrire is a transitive verb, that is, a verb that takes an object (for example offriamo in omaggio dei campioncini di profumo – we offer complimentary perfume samples). A transitive verb does not make sense on its own, without an object.

The verb offrire takes the avere auxiliary in compound tenses (for example le ho offerto un caffè – I offered her a coffee).

Offrire can also be used reflexively (offrirsi) to mean to offer oneself / to volunteer to do something (for example, mi sono offerta di aiutare – I offered to help). In this case, like all other Italian verbs when used reflexively, it wants an essere auxiliary in compound tenses.

Uses of offrire

Here are the different ways in which you can use the verb offrire:

  • Dopo il tirocinio le hanno offerto un lavoro – after the apprenticeship they offered her a job
  • Ti offro un caffè – I’ll buy you a coffee/ I’ll get you a coffee
  • Offro io! – I’ll get it!/ I’ll pay!
  • Mi ha offerto una sigaretta ma ho rifiutato – he/ she offered me a cigarette, but I refused
  • Come aperitivo, possiamo offrire delle bruschette – as an appetizer, we can offer some bruschettas (offrire can be used as to serve in situations such as preparation of a reception or a party)
Uses of offrire in Italian
Uses of the verb offrire in Italian: Come aperitivo, possiamo offrire delle bruschette – as an appetizer, we can offer some bruschettas
  • Questa agenzia offre un servizio di alta qualità – this agency offers a high-quality service
  • Hanno preparato delle scorte essenziali da offire alle vittime del terremoto – they prepared some essential supplies to offer to the earthquake victims
  • Si è offerto di aiutare perchè non c’era nessun altro – he offeret to help because there was nobody else
  • Mi dispiace, non posso offrire di più – I’m sorry, I can’t offer more (for example, in a negotiation)
  • Ti offro in dono questa braccialetto – I present you with this bracelet (this use of offrire is quite formal and more suitable for literature and ceremonies)

Offrire is often followed by the preposition di + a verb in the infinitive, to say what you are offering. 

For example:

  • Mi sono offerta di aiutare – I offered to help (note that, in this case, the verb offrire is used reflexively to convey the idea that I put myself forward). The non-reflexive version ho offerto di aiutare would also work.

Italian set phrases with offrire

There are two useful set phrases in Italian that use the verb offrire:

  • Offrire il fianco – this literally means to offer your side (a metaphor which likely comes from fighting) and it means to make yourself vulnerable.

Questa teoria offre il fianco alle critiche

This theory lends itself to criticism
  • Offresi – here the verb offrire, literally “it is offered”, means wanted/ vacancy available. Offrire is used in this way in advertisements and announcements of different kinds.

Offresi posto di badante

Carer wanted

Synonyms of offrire

Synonyms that you can use for offrire can vary depending on the original meaning of offrire:

  • When offrire is used in the sense of to get/ to buy, you can use comprare (to buy) as a synonym, although Italians prefer offrire because comprare is too directly related to money.
  • When offrire means to gift, you can use dare (to give) or donare (to gift) as alternatives, although its important to bear in mind that these do not have the same meaning as to offer. For example mi ha donato una collana (he/ she gifted me a necklage) or mi ha dato una collana (he/she gave me a necklace).
Synonyms of the verb offrire in Italian
When the verb offrire means to gift you can use dare or donare as alternatives.
  • If you wanted an alternative for a sentence such as mi sono offerto di aiutare (I offered to help) you could say ho proposto di aiutare (I proposed to help).

The noun that is most closely related to offrire is offerta (an offer). It is used as follows:

  • Hanno fatto un’ offerta sulla casa – they made an offer on the house

It’s important to bear in mind that offerta is also the participle tense (feminine) of offrire. You would find this in a sentence such as la ragazza si è offerta di lavare i piatti the girl offered to wash the dishes.

The complete conjugation of offrire

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

Present indicativeoffrooffrioffreoffriamooffriteoffrono
Present perfect indicativeho offertohai offertoha offertoabbiamo offertoavete offertohanno offerto
Imperfect indicativeoffrivooffrivioffrivaoffrivamooffrivateoffrivano
Past perfect indicativeavevo offertoavevi offertoaveva offertoavevamo offertoavevate offertoavevano offerto
Remote past indicativeoffriioffristioffrìoffrimmooffristeoffrirono
Preterite perfect indicativeebbi offertoavesti offertoebbe offertoavemmo offertoaveste offertoebbero offerto
Simple future indicativeoffriròoffriraioffriràoffriremooffrireteoffriranno
Future perfect indicativeavrò offertoavrai offertoavrà offertoavremo offertoavrete offertoavranno offerto
Present conditionaloffrireioffrirestioffrirebbeoffriremmooffriresteoffrirebbero
Past perfect conditionalavrei offertoavresti offertoavrebbe offertoavremmo offertoavreste offertoavrebbero offerto
Present gerundoffrendooffrendooffrendooffrendooffrendooffrendo
Past gerundavendo offertoavendo offertoavendo offertoavendo offertoavendo offertoavendo offerto
Present subjunctiveoffraoffraoffraoffriamooffriateoffrano
Present perfect subjunctiveabbia offertoabbia offertoabbia offertoabbiamo offertoabbiate offertoabbiano offerto
Imperfect subjunctiveoffrissioffrissioffrisseoffrissimooffristeoffrissero
Past perfect subjunctiveavessi offertoavessi offertoavesse offertoavessimo offertoaveste offertoavessero offerto
Table showing the complete conjugation of the verb offrire in all Italian tenses