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Special Verbs: cercare di, provare a, and riuscire a

When it comes to trying and succeeding and expressing these concepts in Italian, you have a number of options at your disposal. Following is a list of verbs which express a variety of ways to communicate success and attempts to achieve it!

  1. To Succeed / Success
    1. riuscire a + infinitive --> to succeed in doing something, to be able to do something

      Insieme riusciremo a farlo.
      Together we will succeed in doing it.

      Ero molto tesa e non sono riuscita a parlare.
      I was feeling very tense and I couldn’t speak.

      Andrea non riesce mai a finire i compiti prima di cena.
      Andrea is never able to finish his homework before dinner.

      Antonio è riuscito a capire la situazione.
      Antonio was able to understand the situation.

      NB: This verb-preposition combination is used in all persons. As you can see in the above examples, the subject of the verb is the person who succeeds or is able to do something.

      It is less common to hear riuscire di... This construction is only used in the third person singular and the person who is succeeding is expressed by using an indirect object. In the following examples, the verb and preposition combination is in bold and the indirect object is in italics.

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