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Nessuno - Nobody

'Nessuno' means 'nobody' and it's used to express negative forms. Unlike in English, a double
negative is not only possible, but necessary in Italian.
e.g.

Non conosco nessuno.


(I don't know anyone.)

'Nessuno' can also function as an adjective and in this case it means 'any.' Like any adjective
in Italian, it must agree in number and gender with the noun it modifies.
e.g.
Non faccio nessuno sport.
(I don't do any sport.)
Non conosco nessuna ragazza.
(I don't know any girls.)
L'altezza - Height
'L'altezza' (height) is described as follows:
e.g.
Mario alto 1,80 m, Cristina alta 1,60 m.
(Mario is 1m 80 tall. Cristina is 1m 60 tall.)
In spoken language:
Mario alto un metro e ottanta.
or:
Mario alto uno e ottanta.
L'articolo partitivo - The partitive
The partitive is used to express an indefinite quantity. In English, it corresponds to 'some' or 'any'. It is
formed using 'di' + article:
di + il
del
di + i
dei
di + lo
dello
di + gli
degli
di + la
della
di + le
delle
di + l'
dell'
e.g.

Compro del latte.


(I buy some milk.)
Vorrei dello zucchero.
(I would like some sugar.)
Vedo dei gatti.
(I see some cats.)
Hai degli amici?
(Have you got any friends?)
Scrivo delle frasi.
(I write some sentences.)

Una 'd' fra due vocali - A 'd' between two vowels


When 'e' (and) and 'a' (at, to) precede a word that begins with a vowel, a 'd' is often added to
make the pronunciation easier. Therefore, 'e' and 'a' change to 'ed' and 'ad'. 'Od' instead of 'o'
also exists, but it is not used very often in spoken Italian.

e.g.

Tu e io.
Va a Ancona

or Tu ed io.
or Va ad Ancona.

(You and I.)


(He goes to Ancona.)

The partitive is used to express an indefinite quantity. In English, it corresponds to 'some' or


'any'. It is formed using 'di' + article:
di + il
di + lo
di + la
di + l'
e.g.

del
dello
della
dell'

di + i
di + gli
di + le

dei
degli
delle

Compro del latte.


(I buy some milk.)
Vorrei dello zucchero.
(I would like some sugar.)
Vedo dei gatti.
(I see some cats.)
Hai degli amici?
(Have you got any friends?)
Scrivo delle frasi.
1. 'Avere' + 'lo', 'la', 'li', 'le'

The particle 'ce' is placed before 'lo', 'la', 'li' or 'le' when they are used with the verb 'avere'.
e.g.

Hai il libro?
S, ce l'ho.
Hai la borsa?
S, ce l'ho.
Hai i libri?
S, ce li ho.
Hai le matite?
S, ce le ho.

(Have you got the book?)


(Yes, I have it.)
(Have you got the bag?)
(Yes, I have it.)
(Have you got the books?)
(Yes, I have them.)
(Have you got the pencils?)
(Yes, I have them.)

1. Le frasi relative - The relative clauses


In Italian, subordinate clauses are introduced by the conjunction 'che' (that).
e.g.

Lo so che lei bella.


(I know that she's beautiful.)

'Che' can also be a relative pronoun; it can be used as the subject or object of a verb.
e.g.
La donna che ho visto ieri molto bella.
(The woman that I saw yesterday is very beautiful.)
L'uomo che parla un poeta.
(The man who is talking is a poet.)

'Che' corresponds to the English relative pronouns 'that', 'who', 'which' or 'whom'. Unlike in English, the
Italian relative pronoun 'che' can never be omitted.
1. La negazione - Negative forms
A sentence is made negative in Italian by placing the word 'non' before the conjugated verb. In Italian,
unlike in English, it is possible to form a double negative.
non...nessuno
(nobody)
non...niente / nulla
(nothing)
non...mai
(never)
non...n...n
(neither ...nor)
e.g.

Non bevo mai vino.

(I never drink wine.)

If the words 'nessuno', 'niente' or 'mai' precede the verb, then the 'non' is no longer used.
e.g.

Nessuno dorme.

(Nobody sleeps.)

1. 'Niente'
Niente means 'nothing or anything'. Unlike in English, sentences in Italian can contain a
double negative.
e.g.
Non ho niente.
(I haven't got anything.)
Non so niente.
(I don't know anything.)
The words 'per' and 'proprio' add intensity to the negative sentence.
e.g.
Non ho proprio niente.
(I really haven't got anything.)
Non per niente buono.
(That's not good at all.)
1. Sapere - To know, to know how
'Sapere' (to know, to know how) is an irregular verb and is conjugated as follows:
so
sai
sa

sappiamo
sapete
sanno
1. I verbi 'cominciare' e 'finire' - The verbs 'cominciare' and 'finire'

'Cominciare' (to begin, to start) is a regular -are verb and it is conjugated by adding the -are
endings to the verb stem. When 'cominciare' is followed by an infinitive, the preposition 'a' is
placed between the two verbs.
e.g.
Comincio a pulire alle due.
(I start cleaning at 2 o'clock.)
'Finire' (to finish) is conjugated like 'preferire' or 'capire.' In other words, -isc- must be

inserted between the stem and ending for all persons except the 'noi' and 'voi' forms.
e.g.
A che ora finisci di pulire?
(What time do you finish cleaning?)
1. Andare - To go
'Andare' means 'to go' and it's an irregular verb.
io
tu
lui, lei, Lei
noi
voi
loro

vado
vai
va
andiamo
andate
vanno

A preposition always follows the verb 'andare.' The preposition 'a' is used after 'andare' when
the next word is a noun like 'pranzo,' 'casa' or 'colazione' or a verb in the infinitive form.
e.g.
Vado a pranzo.
(I'm going to lunch.)
Vado a mangiare.
(I'm going to eat.)
To say that you're going to someone's house or office, the preposition 'da' is used.
e.g.
Vai da Milena?
(Are you going to Milena's?)
Vai dal dottore?
(Are you going to the doctor?)
1. 'Chi', 'che'
'Chi' (who) refers to people.
e.g.

Chi sei?
A chi scrivi?
Chi vedi?
Con chi giochi?
Di chi ?

(Who are you?)


(Who are you writing to?)
(Who do you see?)
(Who are you playing with?)
(Whose is it?)

'Che' (what) before a noun asks about the kind of person or thing.
e.g.

Che macchina ?
(What kind of car is it?)
Di che colore il tuo piano?
(What colour is your piano?)
Che uomo ?
(What kind of man is that?)

1. 'Quando', 'dove'

'Quando' means 'when' and 'dove' means 'where'.


e.g.

Quando arrivi?
Quando studiate?
Dove sono?
Dove vai?
Da dove vieni?

(When do you arrive?)


(When do you study?)
(Where am I?)
(Where are you going?)
(Where do you come from?)

1. 'Quanto', 'quale'
'Quanto' (how much, how many) agrees in number and gender with the noun.
e.g.

Quanto vino?
Quanta birra?
Quanti amici?
Quante lingue?

(How much wine?)


(How much beer?)
(How many friends?)
(How many languages?)

'Quale' (which) has the plural form 'quali'.


e.g.

Quale vino?
Quale amica?
Quali amici?
Quali amiche?
Qual ...?

(Which wine?)
(Which friend (fem.)?)
(Which friends?)
(Which friends (fem)?)
(Which / What is ...?)

Tip:
The contracted form 'qual' is written without an apostrophe.
1. I pronomi diretti: forma atona - The direct object pronouns: unstressed form
The unstressed direct object pronouns are only used in connection with verbs. Unlike in English, they
precede the conjugated verb.
mi
ti
lo
la
La
ci
vi
li
le
e.g.

(me)
(you)
(him / it)
(her / it)
(formal. you)
(us)
(you)
(them - masculine)
(them - feminine)
Vedi Paolo?
Lo vedo.
Vedi i bambini?
Li vedo.

(Do you see Paolo?)


(I see him.)
(Do you see the children?)
(I see them.)

1. 'Avere' + 'lo', 'la', 'li', 'le'


The particle 'ce' is placed before 'lo', 'la', 'li' or 'le' when they are used with the verb 'avere'.
e.g.

Hai il libro?
S, ce l'ho.

(Have you got the book?)


(Yes, I have it.)

Hai la borsa?
S, ce l'ho.
Hai i libri?
S, ce li ho.
Hai le matite?
S, ce le ho.

(Have you got the bag?)


(Yes, I have it.)
(Have you got the books?)
(Yes, I have them.)
(Have you got the pencils?)
(Yes, I have them.)

1. 'Questo'
'Questo' (this), like the article and adjective, agrees in number and gender with the noun.
e.g.

questo ragazzo
questa donna
questi uomini
queste bambine

(this boy)
(this woman)
(these men)
(these children - female)

'Questo' becomes quest' when it precedes a word that starts with a vowel.
e.g.

quest'orologio
(this clock)
1. Il dimostrativo 'quello' - The demonstrative adjective 'quello'

When 'quello' (that) directly precedes a noun, it takes over the role of the definite article:
e.g.
quello un tavolo
(that is a table)
quello uno zoo
(that is a zoo)
quella una borsa
(that is a bag)
quelli sono dei tavoli
(those are some tables)
quelli sono alberi
(those are trees)
quelle sono mele
(those are apples)

quel tavolo rosso


(that table is red)
quello zoo nuovo
(that zoo is new)
quella borsa cara
(that bag is expensive)
quei tavoli sono rossi
(those tables are red)
quegli alberi sono alti
(those trees are big)
quelle mele sono rosse
(those apples are red)

'Quello' and 'quella' are contracted before a vowel.


e.g.
quell'albero
(that tree)
1. L'uso di 'questo' e 'quello' - The use of 'questo' and 'quello'
'Questo' (this) is used to point to people and things that are near the speaker, and 'quello' (that) for
things that are far away.
e.g.
Questo gatto qui nero.
(This cat here is black.)
Quel gatto l bianco.
(That cat there is white.)
'Quello' (that one) and 'questo' (this one) are also used to avoid repeating a noun.
e.g.
Quale libro prendi? Quello rosso.
(Which book are you taking? That red one.)

1. Questo e quello - This and that

'Questo' or 'questa' (this) refers to people or objects that are near the speaker, or that the
speaker considers to be nearby.
e.g.
Questo signore alto.
(This man is tall.)
'Quello' or 'quella' (that) refers to people or objects that are not near the speaker, or that the
speaker doesn't consider to be in his immediate vicinity.
e.g. Prendi il maglione blu o quello verde?
(Are you going to take the blue sweater or that green one?)
'Quello' and 'questo' must agree in number and gender with the words they modify.
e.g.
Prendo quello rosso.
Compro quelli rossi.
Conosci quella signora?
Parlo con quelle ragazze.
1. Gli aggettivi dimostrativi - The demonstrative adjectives
The demonstrative adjectives are 'questo' (this, these) and 'quello' (that, those). Like articles and
adjectives, they agree in number and gender with the noun.
The forms of 'questo' are:
questo ragazzo
questa donna
questi uomini
queste bambine

(this boy)
(this woman)
(these men)
(these children - female)

'Questo' and 'questa' are often contracted before a vowel.


e.g.

quest'anno
(this year)
quest'amica
(this friend - female)
1. 'Quello' davanti al sostantivo - 'Quello' before a noun

When 'quello' precedes a noun, it takes on the endings of the definite article:
singular:
quel
quell'
quello
quella
quell'

(il)
(l')
(lo)
(la)
(l')

plural:
quei
quegli
quegli
quelle
quelle

1. Quello - That
When the demonstrative adjective 'quello' precedes a noun, it follows the same rules as the
definite articles.
quel
quello
quell'

(il)
(lo)
(l')

quei
quegli
quegli

(i)
(gli)
(gli)

quella
e.g.

(la)

quelle

(le)

Quel signore alto.


(That man is tall.)
Chi quell'uomo?
(Who is that man?)
1. Sostantivi particolari - Particular nouns

Some nouns have an irregular feminine counterpart. The majority of these nouns refer to professions
and have a masculine form that ends in -ore.
e.g.

scrittore
(writer - male)
dottore
(doctor - male)

scrittrice
(female)
dottoressa
(female)

1. L'imperfetto - The imperfect


In Italian, the imperfect is used to describe habitual actions, actions in progress, the duration
of an action and states of being in the past tense.
'Essere' is irregular in the imperfect. 'Avere', however, is regular.
1. L'imperfetto dei verbi in -are - The imperfect of verbs ending in -are
The endings for regular -are verbs are as follows:
e.g.
parlare
io
parlavo
tu
parlavi
lui / lei / Lei
parlava
noi
parlavamo
voi
parlavate
loro
parlavano

(to talk)

(Note: The imperfect has several English equivalents: I talked, I was talking, I used to talk)
Fare (to make, to do) has an irregular stem in the imperfect.
io
facevo
tu
facevi
lui / lei / Lei
faceva
noi
facevamo
voi
facevate
loro
facevano
1. L'imperfetto dei verbi in -ere e -ire - The imperfect of -ere and -ire verbs
The -ere and -ire verbs take the following endings in the imperfect:
e.g.
vedere
io
vedevo
tu
vedevi
lui / lei / Lei
vedeva
noi
vedevamo
voi
vedevate
loro
vedevano

(to see)

e.g.
io
tu
lui / lei / Lei
noi
voi
loro

partire
partivo
partivi
partiva
partivamo
partivate
partivano

(to leave)

1. L'imperfetto - The imperfect


The imperfect of regular verbs is formed by attaching the imperfect endings to the verb stem:
amare
vedere
sentire
(to love)
(to see)
(to hear)
io
amavo
vedevo
sentivo
tu
amavi
vedevi
sentivi
lui
amava
vedeva
sentiva
noi
amavamo
vedevamo
sentivamo
voi
amavate
vedevate
sentivate
loro
amavano
vedevano
sentivano
e.g.

Mentre dormivi.

(While you were sleeping.)

1. 'Tanto', 'molto'
'Tanto' and 'molto' have the same meaning regardless of whether they function as adjectives or
adverbs. In general, they are interchangeable.
e.g.

Ho tanti soldi. /
Ho molti soldi.
(I've got lots of money.)
Sono tanto stanco. /
Sono molto stanco.
(I am very tired.)

1. erbi irregolari - Irregular verbs


The stem of the verbs 'dire', 'bere' and 'porre' (to say, to drink, to place / set) changes in the
imperfect, but the conjugations remain regular.
e.g.

dire
bere
porre

io dicevo
io bevevo
io ponevo

Verbs ending in -urre, like 'tradurre' (to translate) follow the same pattern.
e.g.

tradurre
1. 'Come', 'perch'

io traducevo

'Come' means 'how' or 'what ... like'.


e.g.

Come si scrive?
Com' Milano?

(How do you spell that?)


(What's Milan like?)

'Perch' means both 'why' and 'because'.


e.g.

Perch bevi?
Perch ho sete.

(Why are you drinking?)


(Because I'm thirsty.)

1. Lo sapevi? - Did you know?


The expression 'film giallo' or 'romanzo giallo' does not mean 'yellow film' or 'yellow novel':
'Un giallo' is actually a detective film or novel.
1. Una buona giornata - A nice day
The word 'giornata' means 'day' and it refers to the whole day. So, when you want to wish
someone a nice day, you say 'Buona giornata!'
The same applies to 'serata' (evening).
e.g.
Ho passato una bella serata.
(I had a nice evening.)
Buona serata!
(Have a nice evening!)
1. L'imperfetto dei verbi irregolari - The imperfect of irregular verbs
The following verbs have irregular imperfect forms:

io
tu
lui
noi
voi
loro

dire
(to say)
dicevo
dicevi
diceva
dicevamo
dicevate
dicevano

fare
(to do)
facevo
facevi
faceva
facevamo
facevate
facevano

bere
(to drink)
bevevo
bevevi
beveva
bevevamo
bevevate
bevevano

Note: The imperfect of reflexive verbs is formed in exactly the same way.
e.g.

Io mi alzavo.
(I was getting up / I used to get up.)
1. L'avverbio pronominale e locale 'ci' - The pronominal adverb 'ci'

1. As an adverb of place, 'ci' means 'there'.


e.g.
Vai a Roma?
(Are you going to Rome?)
S, ci vado.
(Yes, I'm going there.)

2. As a pronominal adverb 'ci' means 'it' or 'about it'.


e.g.
Ci penso domani.
(I'll think about it tomorrow.)
3. 'Ci' provides a certain emphasis and is also part of fixed expressions.
e.g.
Non ci vedo.
(I can't see.)
Ci vuole un'ora.
(It takes an hour.)

1. Vacanza - Holiday
You can either say 'la vacanza' or 'le vacanze', but only 'in vacanza'.
e.g.
Dove passi le vacanze?
(Where are you spending the holidays?)
Dove vai in vacanza?
(Where are you going on vacation?)
1. Ci' e 'ne' - 'Ci' and 'ne'
'Ci' and 'ne' have several English equivalents.
'Ci':
1. there
e.g.

Ci vado.

2. it / about it
e.g.
Ci penso io.

(I go there.)
(I'll do it.)

3. 'ci' provides emphasis and is also found in fixed expressions.


e.g.
Non ci vedo.
(I can't see.)
'Ne':
1. of it / of them
e.g.
Ne ho due.

(I've got two of them.)

2. of it / about it
e.g.
Che ne pensi?

(What do you think of it?)

3. 'Ne' provides emphasis and is also used in fixed expressions.


e.g.
Me ne vado.
(I'm leaving.)
1. L'avverbio pronominale 'ne' - The pronominal adverb 'ne'
'Ne', as a pronominal adverb, means 'of it', 'about it', 'with it'.
Che cosa ne pensi?
(What do you think of it?)
Che cosa ne dice?
(What does he say about it?)

Che ne faccio?

(What do I do with it?)

When talking about quantities, 'ne' means 'of it' or 'of them'.
Quanti figli hai?
Ne ho due.
Quanti libri ha?
Ne ha tanti.
C' ancora vino?
Ce n' un litro.
Ce ne sono due litri.
1. Ogni', 'qualche'

(How many children have you got?)


(I've got two.)
(How many books has he got?)
(He's got lots of them).
(Is there still some wine?)
(There's one litre.)
(There are two litres.)

In Italian, 'ogni' and 'qualche' are indefinite adjectives. They are invariable and always precede the
noun.
e.g.

ogni uomo
ogni donna
qualche uomo
qualche donna

(every man)
(every woman)
(some men)
(some women)

'Ogni' and 'qualche' are only used with singular nouns.

1. L'imperativo dei verbi in -are - The imperative form of -are verbs


The imperative is used to give orders or advice. Here are the imperative forms for -are verbs.
e.g.

parlare
parla!
parli!
parliamo!
parlate!
parlino!

(to talk)
(informal: talk!)
(formal: talk!)
(Let's talk!)
(informal:pl. talk!)
(formal: pl. talk!)

The formal form 'Parlino' is hardly ever used in Italian today. It is more common to use the
informal form 'parlate' when referring to more than one person.
1. L'imperativo dei verbi in -ere e -ire - The imperative form of -ere and -ire verbs
e.g.
(tu)
(Lei)
(noi)
(voi)
(Loro)

credere (to believe)


credi!
creda!
crediamo!
credete!
credano!

partire (to leave)


parti!
parta!
partiamo!
partite!
partano!

The 'tu' imperative is made negative by placing 'non' before the infinitive form.
e.g.
Non mangiare!
(Don't eat!)
1. Il verbo 'stare' - The verb 'stare'
'Stare' (to be, to stay) is a regular verb ending in -are. The meaning of 'stare' changes according to the
way in which it is used.
'Stare' is used to ask how someone is.

e.g.

Come stai?
(How are you?)
Sto bene.
(I'm fine.)
Come sta?
(How is he? / How is she? / formal: How are you?)
Come state?
(How are you two?)
Stiamo bene.
(We're fine.)
Come stanno?
(How are they?)
1. L'uso dei pronomi personali - The use of personal pronouns

The verb is usually used without a personal pronoun, unless an emphasis is to be placed on the
subject pronoun.
e.g.

Parliamo italiano.
(We speak Italian.)
Io lavoro, lui invece canta.
(I work, but he sings.)

If a special emphasis is to be placed on the pronoun, then it comes at the end of the sentence.
e.g.

Oggi pago io, non tu.


(Today I'm paying, not you.)

1. Verbi in -care, -gare - Verbs ending in -care, -gare


Verbs like 'pagare' (to pay for) or 'giocare' (to play) have some irregularities: They take an h
between the verb stem and ending in the 2nd person singular and 1st person plural.
e.g.

io
pago
tu
paghi
lui / lei / Lei
paga
noi
paghiamo
voi
pagate
loro
pagano
This preserves the hard -g and -c sound found in the infinitive
1. I verbi in -ere - Verbs ending in -ere
Regular verbs ending in -ere, like 'scrivere' (to write), are conjugated in the indicative as follows:
e.g
io
tu
lui / lei / Lei
noi
voi
loro
1. Verbi irregolari in -ere - Irregular -ire verbs

scrivere
scrivo
scrivi
scrive
scriviamo
scrivete
scrivono

Some verbs belonging to the second conjugation have a double -r in the infinitive.
e.g.

tradurre
produrre
porre

(to translate)
(to produce)
(to place, to set)

'Tradurre' and 'produrre' both require a -c between the stem and the ending. 'Porre', however, requires
an -n and in the first and last person also a -g.

io
tu
lui /
lei /
Lei
noi
voi

produrre
produco
produci

porre
pongo
poni

produce

pone

produciamo poniamo
producete ponete
Pongono

1. I verbi in -ire - Verbs ending in -ire


Some verbs ending in -ire take the suffix -isc between the stem and ending in
all forms except 'noi' and 'voi'.
e.g.
io
tu
lui/ lei / Lei
noi
voi
loro producono loro

partire
(to leave)
parto
parti
parte
partiamo
partite
partono

capire
(to understand)
capisco
capisci
capisce
capiamo
capite
capiscono

Unfortunately, there is no set rule to help you recognise which verbs require
-isc. However, verbs that have two consonants preceding the '-ire', like
sentire (to hear, to feel) or dormire (to sleep) are conjugated like 'partire'.
Verbs that have a vowel and consonant before the 'ire', like 'finire' (to finish)
are conjugated like 'capire'.
1. L'imperfetto di 'stare' - The imperfect of 'stare'
The construction 'stare' + gerund is also used in the imperfect. 'Stare' is conjugated
in the imperfect and the gerund form remains the same.
e.g.
Mentre stavo mangiando mi ha telefonato Carlo.
(While I was eating, Carlo called me.)
Mentre stavo parlando con Alessandra lui giocava.
(While I was talking to Alessandra, he was playing.)

1. I verbi riflessivi - Reflexive verbs


Some verbs are reflexive verbs and require reflexive pronouns, which are placed in front of
the conjugated verb. Not all verbs that are reflexive in Italian are reflexive in English too.
e.g.

Mi alzo alle sei poi mi lavo e mi vesto.


(I get up at six, then I have a wash and get dressed.)
It's easy to recognise a reflexive verb as its infinitive form ends in -si. Reflexive verbs follow
the same patter as other regular verbs; the only difference is that the correct reflexive pronoun
must be placed in front of the conjugated form. Note how 'lavarsi' is conjugated just like
'lavare.'
e.g.
lavarsi
(to have a wash)
io
mi
lavo
tu
ti
lavi
lui, lei, Lei
si
lava
noi
ci
laviamo
voi
vi
lavate
loro
si
lavano
1. Abitudini - Habits
The following expressions are useful when talking about routines and habits.
di solito
normalmente
ogni giorno
ogni volta
tutti i giorni
tutte le volte

(usually)
(normally)
(every day)
(every time)
(every day)
(every time)

'Ogni' (every) is invariable.


e.g.
Ogni giorno vado in ufficio.
(I go to the office every day.)
Ogni settimana compro una rivista.
(I buy a magazine every week.)
However, 'tutto' must agree in number and gender with the word it modifies.
e.g.
Tutti i giorni vado in ufficio.
Tutte le settimane compro una rivista.
1. Se - If, whether
'Se' (if) is used to introduce a conditional clause.
e.g.
Se vuoi aprire un conto devi andare in banca. (If you want to open an account, you have to go
to the bank.)
'Se' also means 'whether'.
e.g.

Non sapevo se andare o no.


(I didn't know whether or not to go.)
1. I pronomi indiretti - Indirect object pronouns
If a verb is followed by the preposition 'a,' then the object that follows is an indirect object.
When using pronouns, an indirect object pronoun replaces an indirect object. The direct and
indirect object pronouns are the same for all persons except the 3rd person singular and plural.
direct
mi
ti
lo
la
La
ci
vi
li
le

(me)
(you)
(him, it)
(her, it)
(you)
(us)
(you)
(them, m.)
(them, f.)

indirect
mi
ti
gli
le
Le
ci
vi
gli
gli

(to/for me)
(to/for you)
(to/for him)
(to/for her)
(to/for you)
(to/for us)
(to/for you)
(to/for them, m.)
(to/for them, f.)

e.g.
A chi dai il biscotto? Lo do a Paolo.
(Who are you giving the biscuit to? I'm giving it to Paolo.)
Gli do subito il biscotto.
(I'll give the biscuit to him immediately.)
1. L'orario - The time
To enquire about the time, you ask:
A che ora?

(At what time?)

The preposition 'a' + article is used before the number to express time. The preposition 'a' and the
definite article are combined to form one word.
e.g.
Mangio all'una.
(I eat at 1 o'clock.)
Arrivo alle tre.
(I arrive at 3 o'clock.)
Parto alle due.
(I leave at 2 o'clock)
But:
a mezzogiorno
a mezzanotte

(at 12.00 noon)


(midnight)

1. Modi di dire - Idiomatic expressions


You probably already know the expression 'al dente.' Here are some more expressions:
e.g.
Ti do una mano.
(I'll give you a hand.)
Sei sempre in mezzo ai piedi!

(You're always in the way!)


Costa un occhio della testa!
(It costs a fortune!)
Ne ho fin sopra i capelli.
(I've had enough.)
1. Qualcosa fa male - Something hurts
The structure required to say that something hurts in Italian is very different to that in English.
In Italian, you need an indirect object pronoun and the verb 'fare male' (to hurt, to be painful).
e.g.

Gli fa male un piede.


(His foot hurts.)
Mi fanno male i piedi.
(My feet hurt.)

Another way of saying that something hurts is to use the expression 'avere mal di ' (to have
pain).
e.g.
Ho mal di testa.
(I have a headache.)
1. L'imperativo negativo - The negative form of the imperative
The negative form of the informal imperative (the 'tu' imperative) is formed by placing 'non'
before the infinitive.
e.g.

Non mangiare il gelato!


(Don't eat the ice cream!)
1. L'imperativo con i pronomi atoni - The imperative with unstressed pronouns

The unstressed pronouns, 'ci' and 'ne' are attached to the 2nd person singular and the 1st and 2nd
person plural imperative forms.
e.g.

Portami il giornale!
(Bring me the newspaper!)
Compratelo!
(Buy it!)

When the pronouns are attached to the imperative form of 'dare', 'dire', 'fare', 'andare' and 'stare', the
first consonant of the pronoun is doubled. (This rule does not apply to 'gli'.)
e.g.

Dammi tempo!
Dimmelo!
Falle posto!
Vacci subito!
Stacci!

1. I pasti - The meals

(Give me time!)
(Tell me it!)
(Make room for her!)
(Go there immediately!)
(Stay there!)

In everyday speech, colazione refers to breakfast and pranzo to lunch.


In certain social circles, however, it is more correct to say 'la prima colazione' for breakfast
and 'la colazione' for lunch.
'La merenda' is a small snack, usually eaten by school children. Another word for this is 'uno
spuntino'.
1. Esprimere un bisogno - Expressing a need
There are lots of ways to express a need in Italian. Here are some of them:
ci vuole / ci vogliono
necessario / -a
sono necessari / -e
e.g.

(you need / it takes)


(it's necessary)
(... are necessary)

necessario dormire otto ore.


(It's necessary to sleep eight hours.)

The use of the singular or plural form depends on the object. Note: 'necessario' always agrees
in number and gender.
e.g.
Il libro necessario.
(The book is necessary.)
I libri sono necessari.
(The books are necessary.)
La macchina necessaria.
(The car is necessary.)
Le macchine sono necessarie.
(The cars are necessary.)
1. Esprimere un bisogno - Expressing a need
Another expression used to express a need is 'bisogna' (to have to). 'Bisogna' is invariable and is
followed by an infinitive verb.
e.g.

Bisogna partire subito.


(You have to leave immediately.)

'Avere bisogno di' means to need someone or something.


e.g.

Ho bisogno di te.
(I need you.)

'Avere' is conjugated and 'di' is variable.


e.g.

Per il caff ho bisogno dello zucchero.


(I need some sugar for the coffee.)

1. Per favore - Please

When asking someone for something, it's polite to say 'per favore' or 'per piacere' (please).
'Prego' also means 'please' but in this case, it is used as an invitation to do something. 'Prego'
is also the reponse to 'grazie' and in this situation it means 'you're welcome.'
e.g.
Mi aiuti per favore?
(Will you help me, please?)
Entri, prego!
(Please, come in!)
Grazie! Prego!
(Thanks! You're welcome!)
1. Il condizionale - The conditional tense
The 'condizionale' (conditional tense) is used to express polite requests, wishes and
preferences.
e.g.
Io comprerei un mazzo di fiori.
(I would buy a bouquet of flowers.)
The endings in the 'condizionale' are the same for -are, -ere and -ire verbs. Note: Verbs ending
in -are change the -a to -e.
e.g.
parlare
mettere
uscire
parlerei
metterei
uscirei
parleresti
metteresti
usciresti
parlerebbe
metterebbe
uscirebbe
parleremmo
metteremmo
usciremmo
parlereste
mettereste
uscireste
parlerebbero
metterebbero
uscirebbero
1. Il migliore - The best
The adjective 'buono' (good) has an irregular superlative form: 'il / la migliore' (the best). The
plural form is 'i / le migliori.'
e.g.
Questo vino il migliore.
(This wine is the best.)
Questa la marca migliore.
(This is the best brand.)
Sono i miei migliori amici.
(They are my best friends.)
Sono le mie migliori amiche.
(They are my best (female) friends.)
1. Condizionali particolari - Unusual conditional forms

Here are some verbs that have an irregular stem in the conditional tense.
e.g.
avere:
andare:
venire:
sapere:
volere:
dovere:
potere:

avrandrverrsaprvorrdovrpotr-

avrei
andrei
verrei
saprei
vorrei
dovrei
potrei

1. Avere - To have
When a direct object pronoun is used with the verb 'avere,' then very often 'ce' is added. This
'ce' carries no meaning, but it rolls off the tongue.
e.g.

Il berretto non ce l'ho.


(I haven't got a cap.)
1. Per favore - Please

When asking someone for something, it's polite to say 'per favore' or 'per piacere' (please).
'Prego' also means 'please' but in this case, it is used as an invitation to do something. 'Prego'
is also the reponse to 'grazie' and in this situation it means 'you're welcome.'
e.g.
Mi aiuti per favore?
(Will you help me, please?)
Entri, prego!
(Please, come in!)
Grazie! Prego!
(Thanks! You're welcome!)
1. Il condizionale - The conditional tense
The 'condizionale' (conditional tense) is used to express polite requests, wishes and
preferences.
e.g.
Io comprerei un mazzo di fiori.
(I would buy a bouquet of flowers.)
The endings in the 'condizionale' are the same for -are, -ere and -ire verbs. Note: Verbs ending
in -are change the -a to -e.
e.g.
parlare
mettere
uscire
parlerei
metterei
uscirei

parleresti
parlerebbe
parleremmo
parlereste
parlerebbero

metteresti
metterebbe
metteremmo
mettereste
metterebbero

usciresti
uscirebbe
usciremmo
uscireste
uscirebbero

1. Il migliore - The best


The adjective 'buono' (good) has an irregular superlative form: 'il / la migliore' (the best). The
plural form is 'i / le migliori.'
e.g.
Questo vino il migliore.
(This wine is the best.)
Questa la marca migliore.
(This is the best brand.)
Sono i miei migliori amici.
(They are my best friends.)
Sono le mie migliori amiche.
(They are my best (female) friends.)
1. Condizionali particolari - Unusual conditional forms
Here are some verbs that have an irregular stem in the conditional tense.
e.g.
avere:
andare:
venire:
sapere:
volere:
dovere:
potere:

avrandrverrsaprvorrdovrpotr-

avrei
andrei
verrei
saprei
vorrei
dovrei
potrei

1. Avere - To have
When a direct object pronoun is used with the verb 'avere,' then very often 'ce' is added. This
'ce' carries no meaning, but it rolls off the tongue.
e.g.

Il berretto non ce l'ho.


(I haven't got a cap.)
1. Sostantivi maschili in -a - Masculine nouns ending in -a

Some masculine nouns actually end in -a.

e.g.

singular
il panorama
(the panorama)
il problema
(the problem)

plural
i panorami
i problemi

Nouns that end in -a and refer to professions remain unchanged in the feminine form.
e.g.

masculine
il dentista
(the dentist - male)
l'artista
(the artist - male)

The plural form is regular.


e.g.
i pianisti
(the pianists - male)

feminine
la dentista
(the dentist - female)
l'artista
(the artist - female)
le pianiste
(the pianists - female)

1. I sostantivi - Nouns
In Italian, nouns have a gender. They are either masculine or feminine.
Nouns ending in -o are usually masculine.
e.g.
burro

(butter)

Nouns ending in -a are usually feminine.


e.g.
scuola

(school)

Nouns ending in -e can be masculine or feminine.


e.g.
insegnante
(teacher - masc./fem.)
1. La forma femminile delle parole in -e - The feminine form of words ending in -e
Masculine nouns that end in -e and describe a profession or state of being can have a variety
of feminine forms:
Nouns ending in -tore
masculine:
l'attore (actor)
feminine:
l'attrice (actress)

il lettore (editor)
la lettrice (editor)

Nouns ending in -ante remain unchanged in the feminine form


masculine:
il cantante (singer)
l'aiutante (helper)
feminine:
la cantante (singer)
l'aiutante (helper)
But note:
masculine

feminine

il dottore (doctor)
il professore (professor)
lo studente (student)
il conte (count)
il duca (duke)
il barone (baron)
il principe (prince)
il re (king)
l'elefante (elephant)

la dottoressa
la professoressa
la studentessa
la contessa
la duchessa
la baronessa
la principessa
la regina
l'elefantessa

00 Grammatica
1. Genere - Gender
Italian nouns are either masculine or feminine. Most of the masculine nouns end in -o or -e. Feminine
nouns usually end in -a or -e.
e.g.

il tavolo
il padre

(the table)
(the father)

la mela
la madre

(the apple)
(the mother)

There are some masculine nouns that end in -a.


e.g.

il panorama

(the panorama)

Some nouns, like those denoting professions, have a masculine form for men and a feminine form for
women.
e.g.

l'attore (the actor)

l'attrice (the actress)

Nouns ending in -ista or -ante that describe a profession or state are the same in both the masculine
and feminine forms.

e.g.

masc.
il dentista
il cantante

(the dentist)
(the singer)

fem.
la dentista
la cantante

(the dentist)
(the singer)

Nouns that end in -ore in the masculine end in -rice in the feminine:

e.g.

masc.
l'attore
il pittore

(the actor)
(the painter)

The following words are exceptions to the rule:


il dottore
(the doctor)
il professore
(the professor)

fem.
l'attrice
la pittrice

(the actress)
(the painter)

la dottoressa
(the doctor)
la professoressa
(the professor)

1. Sostantivi particolari - Particular nouns


Some nouns have an irregular feminine counterpart. The majority of these nouns refer to professions
and have a masculine form that ends in -ore.
e.g.

scrittore
(writer - male)
dottore
(doctor - male)

scrittrice
(female)
dottoressa
(female)

1. La forma femminile delle parole in -e - The feminine form of words ending in -e


Masculine nouns that end in -e and describe a profession or state of being can have a variety
of feminine forms:
Nouns ending in -tore
masculine:
l'attore (actor)
feminine:
l'attrice (actress)

il lettore (editor)
la lettrice (editor)

Nouns ending in -ante remain unchanged in the feminine form


masculine:
il cantante (singer)
l'aiutante (helper)
feminine:
la cantante (singer)
l'aiutante (helper)
But note:
masculine
il dottore (doctor)
il professore (professor)
lo studente (student)
il conte (count)
il duca (duke)
il barone (baron)

feminine
la dottoressa
la professoressa
la studentessa
la contessa
la duchessa
la baronessa

il principe (prince)
il re (king)
l'elefante (elephant)

la principessa
la regina
l'elefantessa

1. Sostantivi maschili in -a - Masculine nouns ending in -a


Some masculine nouns actually end in -a.
e.g.

singular
il panorama
(the panorama)
il problema
(the problem)

plural
i panorami
i problemi

Nouns that end in -a and refer to professions remain unchanged in the feminine form.
e.g.

masculine
il dentista
(the dentist - male)
l'artista
(the artist - male)

The plural form is regular.


e.g.
i pianisti
(the pianists - male)

feminine
la dentista
(the dentist - female)
l'artista
(the artist - female)

le pianiste
(the pianists - female)

1. Sostantivi particolari - Irregular nouns


Monosyllabic nouns remain the same in the plural.
e.g.
il re
(the king)

i re
(the kings)

Nouns ending in -o, -isma, -ema, -ore or -are are masculine.


e.g.
il dolore
i dolori
(the pain)
(the pains)
Nouns ending in -a, -si or -zione are feminine.
e.g.
la protesi
(the prosthesis)

le protesi
(the prostheses)

Nouns ending in -ista or -ante may be masculine or feminine.


e.g.
il cantante
i cantanti
(the singer - male)
(the singers - male)
la cantante
le cantanti
(the singer - female)
(the singers - female)
Some exceptions are:
il papa
i papi
il poeta
i poeti
2 Numero - Number

(the Popes)
(the poets)

The plural of most Italian nouns and adjectives is formed by changing the word's ending. Words
ending in -o or -e in the singular end in -i in the plural. Similarly, words ending in -a in the singular end
in -e in the plural.
e.g.

il tavolo rosso
la donna alta
il fiore giallo
la mela grande

i tavoli rossi
le donne alte
i fiori gialli
le mele grandi

(the red tables)


(the tall women)
(the yellow flowers)
(the big apples)

However, monosyllabic words, words ending in a consonant or in an accented vowel or words that end
in -i or -ie have the same form in the singular and plural.
e.g.
la citt
le citt
(the cities)
il film
i film
(the films)
il re
i re
(the kings)
la specie
le specie
(the species)
Words ending in -co or -go also follow special rules. If the stress falls on the second to last syllable,
then an h is inserted before the final vowel (chi or ghi). If the stress falls on the third to last syllable
however, then no h is required.
e.g.
tedesco
tedeschi
(Germans)
albergo
alberghi
(hotels)
medico
medici
(doctors)
Words ending in -ca and -ga also take an h before the plural ending.
e.g.
amica
amiche
(friends - female)
collega
colleghe
(colleagues - female)
Words ending in -cia and -gia lose the -i when the preceding syllable ends in an consonant.
e.g.
arancia
arance
(oranges)
camicia
camicie
(shirts)
Finally, verbs also have singular and plural forms.
sing.
pl.
e.g.

sono
1. Il plurale dei sostantivi - Plural nouns

(is / are)

In Italian, the majority of masculine nouns end in -o or -e.


e.g.

il tavolo
il padre

(the table)
(the father)

In the plural, the -o or -e changes to an -i.


e.g.

i tavoli
i padri

(the tables)
(the fathers)

The majority of feminine nouns end in -a or -e.


e.g.

la donna
la madre

(the woman)
(the mother)

In the plural, the -a changes to an -e and the -e changes to an -i.


e.g.

le donne
(the women)
le madri
(the mothers)
1. Plurali particolari - Particular plural forms

Many nouns referring to nationalities end in -e in the singular and i in the plural. The masculine and
feminine noun forms, both in the singular and plural, are identical. Only the articles change.
e.g.

masc. sing.
l'inglese
fem. sing.
l'inglese

masc. pl.
gli inglesi
fem. pl.
le inglesi

The corresponding adjectives follow the same rule.

1. Le professioni - Professions
In Italian, many job titles, both masculine and feminine, end in -a in the singular form. In the
plural, the feminine titles end in -e as expected, but the masculine titles end in -i.
e.g.
il giornalista
(the journalist - male)
i giornalisti
(the journalists -male)
il dentista
(the dentist - male)
i dentisti
(the dentists - male)

la giornalista
(the journalist -female)
le giornaliste
(the journalists - female)
la dentista
(the dentist - female)
le dentiste
(the dentists - female)

1. Plurali particolari - Irregular plural forms


singular
la mano
il dito
l'orecchio
il braccio
il ginocchio
l'uomo
l'uovo

plural
le mani
le dita
le orecchie
le braccia
le ginocchia
gli uomini
le uova

(the hand)
(the finger)
(the ear)
(the arm)
(the knee)
(the man)
(the egg)

1. I sostantivi - The nouns


Italian nouns are either masculine or feminine.
In general, nouns ending in -o are masculine. The -o changes to -i in the plural.
e.g.

il tavolo
(the table)

i tavoli
(the tables)

Most nouns ending in -a are feminine. The -a changes to -e in the plural.

e.g.

la donna
(the woman)

le donne
(the women)

Nouns ending in -e may be masculine or feminine. The -e changes to -i in the plural.


e.g.

il fiore
(the flower)
la chiave
(the key)

i fiori
(the flowers)
le chiavi
(the keys)

1. Plurali particolari - -Special plural forms


Nouns ending in -co, -ca, -go and -ga take an 'h' between the stem and ending.
e.g.
masc.:
fem.:

singular
il lago
(the lake)
la barca
(the boat)

plural
i laghi
le barche

Nouns that refer to professions form the plural with -ci.


e.g.

il meccanico
(the mechanic)

i meccanici

1. Particolarit dei sostantivi - Some irregular nouns


Some nouns remain unchanged in the plural:
1. nouns that have an accent on the final vowel,
e.g.
la citt
(the city)
2. nouns the end in -i,
e.g.
l'analisi
(analysis)

le citt
(the cities)
le analisi
(analyses)

3. nouns that end in a consonant (usually of foreign origin),


e.g.
il film
i film
(the film)
(the films)
4. the short form of nouns.
e.g.
la foto(grafia)
(the photo)
il cinema(tografo)
(the cinema)

le foto
(photos)
i cinema
(the cinemas)

1. Sostantivi femminili in -cia e -gia - Feminine nouns ending in -cia and -gia
If the stress falls on the i of the final syllable, the plural is formed with -cie or -gie.

e.g.

singular
la farma'cia
(the chemist)
la bu'gia
(the lie)

plural
le farmacie
le bugie

If a vowel precedes the -c or -g, the plural form remains -cie or -gie even if the i is not
stressed.
e.g.
singular
plural
la ca'micia
le camicie
(the shirt)
If a consonant precedes the -g or -c, or if the final syllable is not stressed, the i is dropped
from the plural form.
e.g.
singular
plural
la pioggia
le piogge
(the rain)
3

Formazione delle parole - Word formation

Suffixes can significantly alter the meaning of nouns, adjectives or adverbs. They are generally
classified under four headings: diminutive, endearment, augmentative, and pejorative.
diminutivo
-ino, -ina
vezzeggiativo
-etto, -etta
-uccio, -uccia
-ello, -ella
accrescitivo
-one, -ona
dispregiativo
-accio, -accia

fratellino

casetta
boccuccia
storiella

nasone

(diminutive)
(little brother)
(endearment)
(cute little house)
(sweet little mouth)
(cute story)
(augmentative)
(big nose)
(pejorative)
(bad weather)

tempaccio

Verbs can be transformed into adjectives by forming a present participle. The present participle is
formed by adding -ante onto the stem of -are verbs and -ente onto the stem of -ire and -ere verbs.
e.g.

interessare
interessante
credere
credente
divertire
divertente
1. Suffissi - Suffixes

(to interest)
(interesting)
(to believe)
(believing)
(to amuse)
(amusing)

You can modify nouns, adjectives or adverbs by attaching a suffix. There are several suffixes in Italian:
1. diminutivo
(diminutive)
-ino, -ina
fratellino (little brother)
2. vezzeggiativo
-etto, -etta

(of endearment)
casetta (cute little house)

-uccio, -uccia
-ello, -ella

boccuccia (cute little mouth)


storiella (cute little story)

3. accrescitivo
-one, -ona

(augmentative)
nasone (big nose)

4. dispregiativo
(pejorative)
-accio, -accia
tempaccio (awful weather)
1. I nomi alterati - Modified nouns
Adding a suffix to nouns, adjectives or adverbs changes the meaning.
1. diminutivo
-ino, -ina

(diminutive)
fratellino (little brother)

2. vezzeggiativo
-etto, -etta
-uccio, -uccia
-ello, -ella

(of endearment)
casetta (cute little house)
boccuccia (cute little mouth)
storiella (cute little story)

3. accrescitivo
-one, -ona
4. dispregiativo
-accio, -accia

(augmentative)
nasone (big nose)
(pejorative)
tempaccio (awful weather)

Gli articoli - The articles

The definite articles are:


masc. sing.
il
before consonants
lo
before s + consonant
before gn, pn, ps, z
before x, y
before iol'
before vowels
fem. sing.
la
before consonants
l'
before vowels
The indefinite articles are:
masc.
un
before vowels or consonants
uno
before s + consonant
before gn, pn, ps, z
before x, y, io
fem.
una
before consonants
un'
before vowels

masc. pl.
i
gli

gli
fem. pl.
le
le

The partitive article:


masc. sing.
del
dello

dell'
fem. sing.
della
dell'

masc. pl.
dei
degli

before consonants
before s + consonant
before gn, pn, ps, z
before x, y
before vowels

degli
fem. pl.
delle
delle

before consonants
before vowels

1. 'Ecco'
'Ecco' can be translated as 'here is / are', 'there is / are'. However, its meaning quite often
depends on the context in which it is used.
e.g.

Ecco il libro.
Ecco i colori.
Ecco Nina.
Ecco come si fa.

(Here is the book.)


(Here are the colours.)
(Here's Nina.)
(That's how you do it.)

1. L'articolo determinativo al plurale - The plural definite article


The article il changes to i in the plural.
e.g.

il tavolo
i tavoli

(the table)
(the tables)

The articles l' and lo change to gli.


e.g.

l'amico
gli amici
lo zio
gli zii

(the friend - male)


(the friends - male)
(the uncle)
(the uncles)

The articles la and l' change to le.


e.g.

la strada
le strade
l'amica
le amiche

(the street)
(the streets)
(the friend - female)
(the friends - female)

1. L'articolo indeterminativo - The indefinite article

Masculine:
un
before a vowel, a consonant and the letter j.
e.g.
un tavolo (a table)
un uomo (a man)
un jolly (a joker)
uno

before s + consonant, before gn, ps, z,


before x, y and io.
uno zio (an uncle)
uno gnomo (a gnome)
uno yogurt (a yogurt)

e.g.

Feminine:
una
e.g.
un'
e.g.

before consonants.
una donna (a woman)
before a vowel.
un'amica (a friend - female)

1. L'articolo partitivo - The partitive


The partitive is used to express an indefinite quantity. In English, it corresponds to 'some' or 'any'. It is
formed using 'di' + article:
di + il
di + lo
di + la
di + l'
e.g.

del
dello
della
dell'

di + i
di + gli
di + le

dei
degli
delle

Compro del latte.


(I buy some milk.)
Vorrei dello zucchero.
(I would like some sugar.)
Vedo dei gatti.
(I see some cats.)
Hai degli amici?
(Have you got any friends?)
Scrivo delle frasi.
(I write some sentences.)

1. Plurali particolari - Irregular plural forms


singular
la mano
il dito
l'orecchio
il braccio
il ginocchio
l'uomo

plural
le mani
le dita
le orecchie
le braccia
le ginocchia
gli uomini

(the hand)
(the finger)
(the ear)
(the arm)
(the knee)
(the man)

l'uovo

le uova

(the egg)

1. L'articolo determinativo singolare - The singular definite article


Masculine:
il
before consonants and words beginning with j.
e.g.
il tavolo (the table)
il jolly (the joker)
lo

e.g.

before s + consonant,
before gn, ps, z,
before x, y,
with words beginning with io.
lo studente (the student - male)

l'
e.g.

before a vowel.
l'orologio (the clock)

Feminine:
la
e.g.
l'
e.g.

before consonants.
la strada (the road)
before a vowel.
l'arca (the ark)

Nouns that end in -o are usually masculine, and those that end in -a are usually feminine.

1. L'articolo determinativo plurale - The plural definite article


Masculine:
i
e.g.
gli

e.g.

before consonants.
i tavoli (the tables)

before s + consonant, and before the letter j


before gn, pn, ps, z
before x, y,
before a vowel.
gli studenti (the students)
gli alberghi (the hotels)
gli gnocchi (the gnocchi)
gli zii (the uncles)

Feminine:
le
always.
e.g.
le strade (the streets)
le amiche (the friends - female)
1. Gli articoli determinativi - The definite article
Here is an overview of the definite article:

singular
il
lo
la

masc.:
fem.:
e.g.

il tavolo
lo specchio
l'amico
la donna
l'amica
i tavoli
gli specchi
gli amici
le donne
le amiche

plural
i
gli
le
(the table)
(the mirror)
(the friend - male)
(the woman)
(the friend - female)
(the tables)
(the mirrors)
(the friends - male)
(the women)
(the friends - female)

1. L'articolo determinativo singolare - The singular definite article


Masculine:
il
before consonants and words beginning with j.
e.g.
il tavolo (the table)
il jolly (the joker)
lo

e.g.

before s + consonant,
before gn, ps, z,
before x, y,
with words beginning with io.
lo studente (the student - male)

l'
e.g.

before a vowel.
l'orologio (the clock)

Feminine:
la
e.g.
l'
e.g.

before consonants.
la strada (the road)
before a vowel.
l'arca (the ark)

Nouns that end in -o are usually masculine, and those that end in -a are usually feminine.

1. L'articolo indeterminativo - The indefinite article


Masculine:
un
before a vowel, a consonant and the letter j.
e.g.
un tavolo (a table)
un uomo (a man)
un jolly (a joker)
uno

before s + consonant, before gn, ps, z,


before x, y and io.

e.g.

uno zio (an uncle)


uno gnomo (a gnome)
uno yogurt (a yogurt)

Feminine:
una
e.g.
un'
e.g.

before consonants.
una donna (a woman)
before a vowel.
un'amica (a friend - female)

1. L'articolo partitivo - The partitive


The partitive is used to express an indefinite quantity. In English, it corresponds to 'some' or 'any'. It is
formed using 'di' + article:
di + il
di + lo
di + la
di + l'
e.g.

del
dello
della
dell'

di + i
di + gli
di + le

Compro del latte.


(I buy some milk.)
Vorrei dello zucchero.
(I would like some sugar.)
Vedo dei gatti.
(I see some cats.)
Hai degli amici?
(Have you got any friends?)
Scrivo delle frasi.
(I write some sentences.)
1. L'uso del partitivo - The use of the partitive

The partitive can be used as the plural form of the indefinite article.
e.g.
Ho un amico italiano.
(I've got an Italian friend.)
Ho degli amici italiani.
(I've got some Italian friends.)

1. Senza articolo partitivo - Without the partitive article


The 'partitive' is not used:
1. with enumerations,
e.g.
Compro mele, pere e banane.
(I buy apples, pears, and bananas.)
2. in negative sentences,
e.g.
Non ho amici.

dei
degli
delle

(I haven't got any friends.)


3. after quantities.
e.g.
Ho molti libri.
(I've got lots of books.)
1. Sostantivi particolari - Irregular nouns
Monosyllabic nouns remain the same in the plural.
e.g.
il re
(the king)

i re
(the kings)

Nouns ending in -o, -isma, -ema, -ore or -are are masculine.


e.g.
il dolore
i dolori
(the pain)
(the pains)
Nouns ending in -a, -si or -zione are feminine.
e.g.
la protesi
(the prosthesis)

le protesi
(the prostheses)

Nouns ending in -ista or -ante may be masculine or feminine.


e.g.
il cantante
i cantanti
(the singer - male)
(the singers - male)
la cantante
le cantanti
(the singer - female)
(the singers - female)
Some exceptions are:
il papa
il poeta

i papi
i poeti

(the Popes)
(the poets)

1. Un po' - A little
The expression un po' di (a little bit of) or the partitive 'di + article' (some) is used to express
an unspecified quantity.
masc. sing.: del
fem. sing.: della
e.g.
Prendo del formaggio.
(I'll take some cheese.)
Prendo della marmellata.
(I'll take some jam.)
5

Aggettivi - Adjectives

Adjectives describe people, places or things. Generally, Italian adjectives fit into three categories:
Adjectives that end in -o:
masc.:
fem.:

sing.
bello
bella

pl.
belli
belle

Adjectives that end in -e:


masc.:
fem.:

sing.
verde
verde

pl.
verdi
verdi

Adjectives that end in -co or -go:


sing.
masc.:
bianco
fem.:
bianca

pl.
bianchi
bianche

Adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify. Unlike in English, they
usually come after the noun.
e.g.

un uomo alto
una donna alta

(a tall man)
(a tall woman)

If a sentence contains a masculine and feminine subject, the adjective takes the masculine plural form.
e.g.

Giorgio e Marina sono biondi.


(Giorgio and Marina are blond.)
1. Gli aggettivi - The adjectives

In Italian, adjectives fit into three categories:


1. adjectives ending in -o:
masc.:
fem.:

singular
bello
bella

plural
belli
belle

singular
verde
verde

plural
verdi
verdi

2. adjectives ending in -e:


masc.:
fem.:

3. adjectives ending in -co or -go:


singular
masc.:
bianco
fem.:
bianca

plural
bianchi
bianche

The adjective ending always agrees with the noun.


e.g.
un ragazzo bello
(a handsome boy)
una donna bella
(a beautiful woman)
1. L'aggettivo 'bello' - The adjective 'bello'
The adjective 'bello' (handsome / beautiful) has different forms when it comes before a noun. Its forms
correspond to those of the definite articles.
Singular
(il) il bel giardino
(the beautiful garden)
(lo) il bello stivale
(the beautiful boot)
(l') il bell'amico
(the handsome friend - male)
(la) la bella rosa
(the beautiful rose)
(l') la bell'amica
(the beautiful friend - female)

Plural
(i) i bei giardini
(gli) i begli stivali
(gli) i begli amici
(le) le belle rose
(le) le belle amiche

1. La posizione degli aggettivi - The position of the adjective


Unlike in English, the adjective in Italian comes after the noun.
e.g.

Una ragazza simpatica.


(A nice girl.)
Un prato verde.
(A green meadow.)
1. Gli aggettivi e le desinenze - The adjectives and their endings

Adjectives always agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify.
e.g.

Giorgio biondo.
(Giorgio is blond.)
Giorgio e Carlo sono biondi.
(Giorgio and Carlo are blond.)
Marina bionda.
(Marina is blond.)
Marina e Carla sono bionde.
(Marina and Carla are blond.)

If the sentence contains a masculine and feminine noun, the adjective takes the masculine plural form.
e.g.

Giorgio e Marina sono biondi.


(Giorgio and Marina are blond.)
1. Aggettivi e avverbi - Adjectives and adverbs

The adjectives 'molto', 'poco' and 'troppo' (many / a lot of, a few / a little, too many) can also be used
as adverbs. If they are used as adjectives, they agree in number and gender with the nouns they
modify. On the other hand, if they are used as adverbs, they are invariable.
e.g.

adjective
molto vino
(a lot of wine)
poca acqua
(a little water)
troppi libri
(too many books)

adverb
molto bello
(very beautiful)
poco caro
(not very expensive)
troppo caro
(too expensive)

'Abbastanza' (fairly) is always invariable.


e.g.
dei libri abbastanza cari
(fairly expensive books)
1. Il superlativo assoluto - The absolute superlative
Adjectives ending in -co or -go take an 'h' between the word stem and ending.
e.g.
largo
larghissimo
(very wide)
poco
pochissimo
(very little)
The absolute superlative may also be expressed by repeating the adjective,
e.g.
Sono solo solo.
(I'm very lonely.)
or with the help of a second adjective.
e.g.
Sono stanco morto.
Sei bagnato fradicio.

(I'm dead tired.)


(You're soaking wet.)

There are also some prefixes that fulfill the role of the absolute superlative.
e.g.
Paolo straricco.
(Paolo is extremely rich.)
1. L'aggettivo 'buono' - The adjective 'buono'
The adjective 'buono' (good) also has particular forms when it comes before a noun. Its forms
correspond to those of the indefinite article:
singular
(un) il buon vino
(the good wine)
(uno) il buono zio
(the good uncle)
(un) il buon amico
(the good friend - male)
(una) la buona cena
(the good dinner)
(un') la buon'anima
(the good soul)
1. L'aggettivo 'grande' - The adjective 'grande'

plural
i buoni vini
i buoni zii
i buoni amici
le buone cene
le buone anime

'Grande' (big, great) also has the short form 'gran' when it precedes a noun. Both forms may be used;
however, when it precedes a noun that begins with a vowel, a z or s + consonant, then the form
'grande' must be used.
e.g.
il gran libro
or il grande libro
(the big book)
la gran casa
or la grande casa
(the big house)
la grande amica
(the great friend - female)
il grande studente
(the great student)
il grande zoo
(the big zoo)
1. Gli aggettivi 'buono' e 'cattivo' - The adjectives 'buono' and 'cattivo'
Some adjectives and adverbs have both a regular and an irregular comparative and superlative form:
'Buono' (good) and 'cattivo' (bad) are two examples.
positive
buono
(good)
cattivo
(bad)

comparative
migliore
(better)
peggiore
(worse)

relative superlative
il migliore
(the best)
il peggiore
(the worst)

absolute superlative
ottimo
(very good)
pessimo
(very bad)

1. Gli aggettivi - The adjectives


In Italian, adjectives must agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify.
e.g.
masc.
fem.
il pomodoro rosso
la banana gialla
(the red tomato)
(the yellow banana)
However, adjectives ending in -e remain unchanged.
e.g.
masc.
fem.
il vestito verde
l'insalata verde
(the green dress)
(the green salad)

Of course, there are also exceptions. For example, the colour 'blu' (blue) is invariable.
1. Maschile e femminile - Masculine and feminine
Masculine adjectives usually end in - o and feminine adjectives in - a. If an adjective ends in
-e, it can be either masculine or feminine.
e.g.
Antonio italiano.
Antonia italiana.
Jacques francese.
Jacqueline francese.
1. Finali particolari - Special endings
When 'grande' precedes a noun that begins with a consonant, it can be shortened to 'gran.'
e.g.
Ho una gran voglia di vedere il film.
(I really feel like seeing the film.)
When the adjective 'buono' precedes a noun, it follows the same pattern as the indefinite
article (un, uno, una, etc.).
e.g.
Conosci un buon sito internet?
(Do you know a good Internet site?)
Che buon' idea!
(What a good idea!)
6

Possessivi - Possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives are used to express possession. They agree in number and gender with
the nouns they modify.
e.g.
Maria non trova il suo libro.
(Maria can't find her book.)
(In the example above, the masculine singular form is required because the possessive
adjective modifies the word 'libro' - not Mary.)
il mio libro
il tuo
il suo
il nostro
il vostro
il loro
i miei zii
i tuoi

(my book)
(your)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)
(my uncles)
(your)

la mia isola
la tua
la sua
la nostra
la vostra
la loro
le mie zie
le tue

(my island)
(your)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)
(my aunts)
(your)

i suoi
i nostri
i vostri
i loro

(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)

le sue
le nostre
le vostre
le loro

(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)

No article is used before family members in the singular.


e.g.
Mia moglie, mia madre, mio figlio.
(my wife, my mother, my son.)
Indefinite articles, numbers, or pronouns can also be used with possessive adjectives.
e.g.
Un suo amico ha telefonato.
(A friend of his called.)
Quella tua cugina di Milano carina.
(That cousin of yours from Milan is cute.)
In some cases, the possessive adjective comes after the noun.
e.g.
Andiamo a casa tua?
(Shall we go to your house?)
1. Gli aggettivi possessivi - The possessive adjectives
The possessive adjectives agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify. They are
generally used with the definite article.
e.g.
libro
il mio libro
il tuo libro
il suo
il nostro
il vostro
il loro
zii
i miei zii
i tuoi
i suoi
i nostri
i vostri
i loro

(book)
(my book)
(your book)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)
(uncles)
(my)
(your)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)

isola
la mia isola
la tua isola
la sua
la nostra
la vostra
la loro
zie
le mie zie
le tue
le sue
le nostre
le vostre
le loro

(island)
(my island)
(your island)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)
(aunts)
(my)
(your)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)

1. Importante! - Important!
The article is not used with the possessive pronoun when it modifies a noun that refers to a family
member.
e.g.

mio padre
mia madre

(my father)
(my mother)

However, the definite article is used in the following cases:


1. with 'loro',
e.g.
il loro zio
la loro sorella
2. when referring to relatives in the plural,

(their uncle)
(their sister)

e.g.

mio fratello
i miei fratelli
mia zia
le mie zie

(my brother)
(my brothers)
(my aunt)
(my aunts)

3. when the noun referring to the family member is modified by an adjective.


e.g.
la mia cara nonna
(my dear grandmother)
1. Gli aggettivi possessivi - The possessive adjectives
The possessive adjectives agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify. They are
generally used with the definite article.
e.g.
libro
il mio libro
il tuo libro
il suo
il nostro
il vostro
il loro
zii
i miei zii
i tuoi
i suoi
i nostri
i vostri
i loro

(book)
(my book)
(your book)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)
(uncles)
(my)
(your)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)

isola
la mia isola
la tua isola
la sua
la nostra
la vostra
la loro
zie
le mie zie
le tue
le sue
le nostre
le vostre
le loro

(island)
(my island)
(your island)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)
(aunts)
(my)
(your)
(his/her)
(our)
(your)
(their)

1. 'Suo', 'sua'
Unlike in English, the Italian possessive adjectives agree in number and gender with the noun
they accompany and not with the subject.
e.g.

la sua casa
il suo libro

(his / her house)


(his / her book)

The formal 'your' is always capitalized in Italian. It is formed using the 3rd person singular
possessive adjective.
e.g.

la Sua casa, Sig. Rossi?


(Is that your house, Mr Rossi?)
Questo il Suo libro, Sig.ra Verdi.
(This is your book, Mrs Verdi.)
1. Gli aggettivi possessivi - The possessive adjectives

The possessive pronouns can also be used with the indefinite article, a number or a pronoun.
e.g.
Un suo amico ha telefonato.
(A friend of his called.)
Tre tuoi amici sono arrivati.
(Three of your friends arrived.)
Quella tua cugina di Milano carina.
(That friend of yours from Milan is pretty.)

In some cases, the possessive pronoun comes after the noun.


e.g.
A casa mia non c' nessuno.
(There's nobody home.)
Andiamo a casa tua?
(Shall we go to your house?)
Molto gentile da parte tua!
(Very kind of you!)
Non ho mai mentito in vita mia.
(I've never told a lie in my life.)
7 Dimostrativi - Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns
Demonstrative adjectives accompany nouns. Demonstrative pronouns replace them. 'Questo' (this) is
used to describe people or objects in close proximity to the speaker. For people and objects further
away, 'quello' (that) is used.
e.g.

Questo gatto qui nero.


(This cat here is black.)
Quel gatto l bianco.
(That cat there is white.)

To avoid repeating a noun, the demonstrative pronouns are used.


e.g.
Quale libro leggi? Quello rosso.
(Which book are you reading? That red one.)
When 'questo' and 'quello' directly precede the noun, they function as demonstrative adjectives. They
also take over the role of the definite article.
sing.
pl.
masc.:
il
quel
quei
lo
quello
quegli
l'
quell'
quegli
fem.:
la
quella
quelle
l'
quell'
quelle
sing.
questo
questa

masc.:
fem.:
e.g.

pl.
questi
queste

Conosci quel signore, quello alto, seduto vicino a lei?


(Do you know that man, that tall one, who is sitting next to her?)
1. 'Questo'

'Questo' (this), like the article and adjective, agrees in number and gender with the noun.
e.g.

questo ragazzo
questa donna
questi uomini
queste bambine

(this boy)
(this woman)
(these men)
(these children - female)

'Questo' becomes quest' when it precedes a word that starts with a vowel.
e.g.

quest'orologio
(this clock)
1. Gli aggettivi dimostrativi - The demonstrative adjectives

The demonstrative adjectives are 'questo' (this, these) and 'quello' (that, those). Like articles and
adjectives, they agree in number and gender with the noun.

The forms of 'questo' are:


questo ragazzo
questa donna
questi uomini
queste bambine

(this boy)
(this woman)
(these men)
(these children - female)

'Questo' and 'questa' are often contracted before a vowel.


e.g.

quest'anno
(this year)
quest'amica
(this friend - female)
1. Il dimostrativo 'quello' - The demonstrative adjective 'quello'

When 'quello' (that) directly precedes a noun, it takes over the role of the definite article:
e.g.
quello un tavolo
(that is a table)
quello uno zoo
(that is a zoo)
quella una borsa
(that is a bag)
quelli sono dei tavoli
(those are some tables)
quelli sono alberi
(those are trees)
quelle sono mele
(those are apples)

quel tavolo rosso


(that table is red)
quello zoo nuovo
(that zoo is new)
quella borsa cara
(that bag is expensive)
quei tavoli sono rossi
(those tables are red)
quegli alberi sono alti
(those trees are big)
quelle mele sono rosse
(those apples are red)

'Quello' and 'quella' are contracted before a vowel.


e.g.
quell'albero
(that tree)
1. L'uso di 'questo' e 'quello' - The use of 'questo' and 'quello'
'Questo' (this) is used to point to people and things that are near the speaker, and 'quello' (that) for
things that are far away.
e.g.
Questo gatto qui nero.
(This cat here is black.)
Quel gatto l bianco.
(That cat there is white.)
'Quello' (that one) and 'questo' (this one) are also used to avoid repeating a noun.
e.g.
Quale libro prendi? Quello rosso.
(Which book are you taking? That red one.)
1. Quello - That
When the demonstrative adjective 'quello' precedes a noun, it follows the same rules as the definite
articles.
quel
quello
quell'
quella

(il)
(lo)
(l')
(la)

quei
quegli
quegli
quelle

(i)
(gli)
(gli)
(le)

e.g.

Quel signore alto.


(That man is tall.)
Chi quell'uomo?
(Who is that man?)
1. Questo e quello - This and that

'Questo' or 'questa' (this) refers to people or objects that are near the speaker, or that the speaker
considers to be nearby.
e.g.
Questo signore alto.
(This man is tall.)
'Quello' or 'quella' (that) refers to people or objects that are not near the speaker, or that the speaker
doesn't consider to be in his immediate vicinity.
e.g.
Prendi il maglione blu o quello verde?
(Are you going to take the blue sweater or that green one?)
'Quello' and 'questo' must agree in number and gender with the words they modify.
e.g.
Prendo quello rosso.
Compro quelli rossi.
Conosci quella signora?
Parlo con quelle ragazze.
8 Indefiniti - Indefinite pronouns, adjectives and adverbs
Italian indefinite pronouns, adjectives and adverbs can be invariable or variable.
Invariable:
ogni
(every)
qualche
(some, a few)
qualcuno
(someone)
qualche cosa/qualcosa
(something)
chiunque
(whoever)
qualunque/qualsiasi
(whatever)
niente/nulla
(nothing)
e.g.

Bevi il caff ogni giorno o solo qualche volta?


(Do you drink coffee every day or just sometimes?)

variable:
masc. sing.
alcuno
tutto
ognuno
nessuno
e.g.

fem. sing.
alcuna
tutti
ognuna
nessuna

masc. pl.
alcuni
tutta
/
/

fem. pl.
alcune
tutti
/
/

(some)
(all)
(everyone)
(no one)

Alcuni pensano di essere furbi.


(Some people think they're very smart.)
Non ho nessuna voglia di uscire.
(I don't feel like going out.)

Indefinite adjectives agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify. Indefinite adverbs
modify verbs and are invariable.
masc. sing.
molto/tanto

fem. sing.
molta/tanta

masc. pl.
molti/tanti

fem. pl.
molte/tante

(very, a lot)

troppo
poco
e.g.

troppa
poca

troppi
pochi

troppe
poche

(too, too many)


(little)

Non ho molta pazienza.


(I don't have a lot of patience)
La sua casa nuova mi piace molto.
(I like her new house a lot.)
1. 'Tanto', 'molto'

'Tanto' and 'molto' have the same meaning regardless of whether they function as adjectives or
adverbs. In general, they are interchangeable.
e.g.

Ho tanti soldi. /
Ho molti soldi.
(I've got lots of money.)
Sono tanto stanco. /
Sono molto stanco.
(I am very tired.)
1. 'Ogni', 'qualche'

In Italian, 'ogni' and 'qualche' are indefinite adjectives. They are invariable and always precede the
noun.
e.g.

ogni uomo
ogni donna
qualche uomo
qualche donna

(every man)
(every woman)
(some men)
(some women)

'Ogni' and 'qualche' are only used with singular nouns.


9

Avverbi - Adverbs

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. They do not agree in number and gender with the
words they modify.
e.g.

Marco parla bene l'inglese.


(Marco speaks English well.)

Many adverbs are formed by adding -mente onto the feminine form of adjectives:
e.g.
sicuro
sicuramente
(surely)
If the adjective ends in 'e', then the ending -mente is directly attached.
e.g.
veloce
velocemente

(quickly)

If the adjective ends in -re or -le and is preceded by a vowel, then the final 'e' is dropped before adding
-mente:
regolare
regolarmente
gentile
gentilmente
Adverbs are often replaced by prepositional phrases. Sometimes, in fact, there is only a prepositional
phrase.
e.g.
sicuramente, di sicuro
(surely)
certamente, di certo
(certainly)
a buon mercato
(cheaply)
ad alta voce
(loudly)
a bassa voce
(quietly)

The comparative form of adverbs follows the same pattern as that for adjectives:
e.g.
tardi
(late)
pi tardi
(later)
Some adverbs, however, have irregular comparative forms:
adverb
comparative
superlative
bene
meglio
benissimo / ottimamente
(well)
(better)
(the best)
male
peggio
malissimo / pessimamente
(badly)
(worse)
(the worst)
1. Aggettivo e avverbio - Adjective and adverb
An adjective describes a noun, but an adverb modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb. The
adverbs are formed as follows:
The ending -mente is attached to adjectives that end in -e.
e.g.
veloce
velocemente

(quickly)

If the adjective ends in -re or -le, then the final -e is dropped and the ending -mente is attached to the
-l or -r-.
e.g.
gentile
gentilmente
(kindly)
If the adjective ends in -o, then the feminine form, which ends in -a, is used as a base. The ending
-mente is then attached to it.
e.g.
certo
certamente
(certainly)
1. Aggettivi e avverbi - Adjectives and adverbs
The adjectives 'molto', 'poco' and 'troppo' (many / a lot of, a few / a little, too many) can also be used
as adverbs. If they are used as adjectives, they agree in number and gender with the nouns they
modify. On the other hand, if they are used as adverbs, they are invariable.
e.g.

adjective
molto vino
(a lot of wine)
poca acqua
(a little water)
troppi libri
(too many books)

adverb
molto bello
(very beautiful)
poco caro
(not very expensive)
troppo caro
(too expensive)

'Abbastanza' (fairly) is always invariable.


e.g.
dei libri abbastanza cari
(fairly expensive books)
1. Parole utili - Useful words
The following expressions are often used with verbs in the past tense:
'gi'
e.g.

'non ancora'
e.g.

'appena'
e.g.

(already)
Ho gi mangiato.
(I have already eaten.)
(not yet)
Non ancora partito.
(He has not left yet.)
(just)
appena arrivato.

(He has just arrived.)


'finora'
e.g.

(up to now)
Finora ho studiato tre verbi.
(Up to now, I've studied three verbs.)
1. Gli avverbi - The adverbs

Adverbs are formed by attaching the ending -mente to the feminine form of the adjective. If the
adjective ends in -le or -re, the final -e is dropped before adding the ending '-mente'.
e.g.

lento
(slowly)
possibile
(possibly)
ulteriore
(further)

lentamente
possibilmente
ulteriormente

Tip:
If 'e' (and), 'a' (to, at) or 'o' (or) is followed by a word that begins with a vowel, then a 'd' can be added
to facilitate pronunciation.
e.g.

Tu e io.
(You and I.)
10 Comparazione - Comparisons

or

Tu ed io.

The word 'come' (as) is needed to form a comparative sentence.


e.g.

Sei furbo come una volpe.


(You're as sly as a fox.)
Nuoti come un pesce.
(You swim like a fish.)

The 'comparativo di uguaglianza' (comparative of equality) corresponds to the English 'as ... as'
construction. There are several ways of forming this type of comparative, but the meaning is always
the same.
e.g.

Paolo ricco come Carlo.


Paolo cos ricco come Carlo.
Paolo ricco quanto Carlo.
Paolo tanto ricco quanto Carlo.
(Paolo is as rich as Carlo.)

Activities can also be compared using the constructions shown above.


e.g.

Nuotare bello come sciare.


(Swimming is just as nice as skiing.)

Note that when the comparison expresses an unreal condition, the imperfect subjunctive is needed in
the subordinate clause.
e.g.

Parli come se fossi gi vecchio.


(You talk as if you were already old.)
1. Comparativi e superlativi - Comparatives and superlatives

In Italian, the comparative is formed using 'pi' (more) or 'meno' (less).


e.g.
Chi pi alto, Paolo o Mario?
(Who is taller? Paolo or Mario?)

Vai a piedi, meno pericoloso.


(Walk! It's less dangerous.)
Comparisons are also formed using 'pi / meno ... di'. This 'di' corresponds to the English 'than'.
e.g.
Paolo pi alto di Mario. Mario pi ricco di me.
(Paolo is bigger than Mario. Mario is richer than me.)
If a definite article follows the 'di', then the two contract to form one word.
e.g.
Carlo pi alto degli altri.
(Carlo is bigger than the others.)
The construction 'pi / meno ... di' is used to to compare two different things. To compare two different
qualities of the same thing, however, the 'di' is replaced by a 'che'. (In comparisons with 'che', it should
be possible to swap the words either side of the 'che' and still have a sentence that makes sense. )
e.g.
L'equitazione pi costosa che difficile.
(Horseback riding is more expensive than difficult.)
pi facile nuotare che pattinare.
(It's easier to swim than to skate.)
There are two superlative forms in Italian. The absolute superlative and the relative superlative. The
relative superlative is formed using 'molto' and the absolute superlative is formed with the suffix
-issimo. The final vowel of the adjective is dropped and -issmo, -issima, -issimi, or -issimi is added.
The absolute superlative agrees in number and gender with the noun it modifies.
e.g.
un uomo molto ricco/ricchissimo
(a very rich man)
una donna molto alta/altissima
(a very tall woman)
The relative superlative can express an increase or decrease.
e.g. la donna pi alta della citt
(the tallest woman in the city.)
l'uomo meno furbo del mondo
(the least smart man in the world.)
1. Il comparativo - The comparative
The comparative is formed with 'pi...di' and 'meno...di'.
e.g.

Questa casa pi grande di quella.


(This house is bigger than that one.)
Questa foto meno bella di quella.
(This photo is less beautiful than that one.)
1. Il comparativo di uguaglianza - The comparative of equality

The comparative of equality is formed with 'quanto' (as...as) or 'come' (as ...as). 'Tanto' may be used
with 'quanto' and 'cosi' can be used with 'come' to add emphasis.
e.g.

Sei alto quanto tuo fratello. /


Sei tanto alto quanto tuo fratello.
(You are as tall as your brother.)
Tu sei alto come me. /
Tu sei cos alto come me.
(You are as tall as me.)

Therefore, you can choose to use only 'quanto' or 'come', or 'tanto...quanto' or 'cos...come'.
1. I superlativi - The superlative
There are two superlative forms in Italian: the 'superlativo relativo' (relative superlative) and the
'superlativo assoluto' (absolute superlative). The relative form can also express superiority using
'pi...di' or inferiority using 'meno...di'.
e.g.

Il giorno pi bello della mia vita.


(The most beautiful day of my life.)

Il giorno meno bello della mia vita.


(The worst day of my life.)
To form the 'superlativo assoluto', you drop the final vowel of an adjective and add on the ending
-issimo.
e.g.

bello
bellissimo
(very beautiful)
facile
facilissimo
(very easy)
1. Il comparativo di uguaglianza - The comparative of equality

The comparative of equality is formed with 'quanto' (as...as) or 'come' (as ...as). 'Tanto' may be used
with 'quanto' and 'cosi' can be used with 'come' to add emphasis.
e.g.

Sei alto quanto tuo fratello. /


Sei tanto alto quanto tuo fratello.
(You are as tall as your brother.)
Tu sei alto come me. /
Tu sei cos alto come me.
(You are as tall as me.)

Therefore, you can choose to use only 'quanto' or 'come', or 'tanto...quanto' or 'cos...come'.
1. Il comparativo di maggioranza e minoranza - The comparatives of superiority and inferiority
Comparatives are formed with 'pi...di' (more ... than, ...-er ... than) and 'meno ... di' (less ... than).
e.g.

Bettina pi giovane di Maria.


(Bettina is younger than Maria.)
Maria meno giovane di Bettina.
(Maria is older than Bettina.)

If a definite article comes before 'di', then 'di' is combined with the article to form one word:
di + il
del
di + i
dei
di + la
della
di + le
delle
di + lo
dello
di + gli
degli
di + l'
dell'
e.g.

Carlo pi alto degli altri bambini.


(Carlo is taller than the other children)

'Pi' on its own means 'more'.


1. Altri comparativi - Other comparative forms
Other comparatives are formed using 'pi...che' and 'meglio...che' or 'meno...che' and 'peggio ...che'
(instead of 'pi...di' or 'meno...di'). These forms must be used between:
1. two adjectives,
Lei pi elegante che bella.
(She's more elegant than practical.)
2. two nouns,
Conosco pi citt che paesi.
(I know more cities than villages.)
3. two verbs,
pi facile vincere che perdere.
(It's easier to win than to lose.)
4. two adverbs.

Parli pi istintivamente che saggiamente.


(lit:You talk more instinctively than wisely.)
1. Il superlativo: relativo e assoluto - The relative and absolute superlative
The relative superlatives can also express inequality.
e.g.
la donna pi intelligente della citt.
(She's the most intelligent woman in the city.)
l'uomo meno intelligente del mondo.
(He's the least intelligent man in the world.)
The absolute superlative expresses the maximum grade of a quality. To form the absolute superlative,
drop the final vowel of the masculine plural form of the adjective and add the suffix -issimo, -issima.
You can also use 'molto' or 'assai' (very) before the adjective.
e.g.
Un film lunghissimo.
Un film molto lungo.
Un film assai lungo.
1. Aggettivi irregolari - Irregular adjectives
buono
pi buono / migliore
il pi buono / il migliore
buonissimo / ottimo
cattivo
pi cattivo / peggiore
il pi cattivo / il peggiore
pessimo
grande
pi grande / maggiore
il pi grande / il maggiore
massimo

(A very long film.)

(good)
(better)
(the best)
(very good)
(bad)
(worse)
(the worst)
(very bad)
(big)
(bigger)
(the biggest)
(very big)

piccolo
(small)
pi piccolo / minore
(smaller)
il pi piccolo / il minore
(the smallest)
minimo
(very small)
1. Il comparativo di uguaglianza - The comparative of equality
In Italian, the comparative of equality is formed with 'quanto' (as...) and 'come' (as...). 'Quanto' and
'come' gains more emphasis when used with 'tanto' (as...) and 'cos' (as...).
e.g.

Sei alto quanto tuo fratello. /


Sei tanto alto quanto tuo fratello.
(You're as big as your brother.)
Tu sei alto come me. /
Tu sei cos alto come me.
(You're as tall as me.)

You can, therefore, choose to use 'quanto', 'come' or 'tanto...quanto' or 'cos...come'.


1. Il comparativo di maggioranza e minoranza - The comparatives of superiority and inferiority
Comparatives are formed with 'pi...di' (more ... than, ...-er ... than) and 'meno ... di' (less ... than).

e.g.

Bettina pi giovane di Maria.


(Bettina is younger than Maria.)
Maria meno giovane di Bettina.
(Maria is older than Bettina.)

If a definite article comes before 'di', then 'di' is combined with the article to form one word:
di + il
del
di + i
dei
di + la
della
di + le
delle
di + lo
dello
di + gli
degli
di + l'
dell'
e.g.

Carlo pi alto degli altri bambini.


(Carlo is taller than the other children)

'Pi' on its own means 'more'.


1. I comparativi - The comparative forms
You can also form the comparative using 'pi...che' or 'meno...che' instead of 'pi...di' or 'meno...di'.
'Pi...che' is used:
1. in a comparison with two adjectives,
e.g.
Lei pi elegante che bella.
(She is more elegant than beautiful)
2. with two nouns,
e.g.
Conosco pi citt che paesi.
(I know more cities than villages.)
3. with two actions or verbs,
e.g.
pi facile vincere che perdere.
(It's easier to win than to lose.)
4. with two adverbs.
e.g.
Parli pi istintivamente che razionalmente.
(lit:You speak more instinctively than rationally.)
1. Il superlativo: relativo e assoluto - The relative and absolute superlative
The relative superlatives can also express inequality.
e.g.
la donna pi intelligente della citt.
(She's the most intelligent woman in the city.)
l'uomo meno intelligente del mondo.
(He's the least intelligent man in the world.)
The absolute superlative expresses the maximum grade of a quality. To form the absolute superlative,
drop the final vowel of the masculine plural form of the adjective and add the suffix -issimo, -issima.
You can also use 'molto' or 'assai' (very) before the adjective.
e.g.
Un film lunghissimo.
Un film molto lungo.
(A very long film.)
Un film assai lungo.
1. Gli aggettivi 'buono' e 'cattivo' - The adjectives 'buono' and 'cattivo'
Some adjectives and adverbs have both a regular and an irregular comparative and superlative form:
'Buono' (good) and 'cattivo' (bad) are two examples.

positive
comparative
relative superlative
buono
migliore
il migliore
(good)
(better)
(the best)
cattivo
peggiore
il peggiore
(bad)
(worse)
(the worst)
1. Gli avverbi 'bene' e 'male' - The adverbs 'bene' and 'male'

absolute superlative
ottimo
(very good)
pessimo
(very bad)

The adverbs 'bene' (well) and 'male' (badly) also have a regular and irregular comparative and
superlative form:
positive
comparative
superlative
bene
meglio
benissimo/ottimamente
(well)
(better)
(very well)
male
peggio
malissimo/pessimamente
(badly)
(worse)
(very badly)
1. Gli aggettivi 'grande' e 'piccolo' - The adjectives 'grande' and 'piccolo'
'Grande' (big, great) and 'piccolo' (small) also have irregular comparative and superlative forms. They
are also often used to refer to age:
positive
comparative
superlative
grande
maggiore
il maggiore
(big, great)
(bigger/older)
(the biggest/oldest)
piccolo
minore
il minore
(small)
(small/ younger)
(the smallest/youngest)
1. Avverbi irregolari - Irregular adverbs
bene
meglio
ottimamente / benissimo

(well)
(better)
(very well)

male
peggio
pessimamente / malissimo

(badly)
(worse)
(very badly)

molto
pi
moltissimo

(much /a lot)
(more)
(very much)

poco
meno
pochissimo
e.g.

absolute superlative
massimo
(maximum, utmost)
minimo
(minimum, least)

(little)
(less)
(very little)
Maria cucina bene.
(Maria cooks well.)

11 Interrogativi - Interrogatives
The most common Italian interrogative pronouns are 'chi' (who), 'che', 'cosa' and 'che cosa' (what).
'Chi' refers to people.
e.g.
Chi sei?
Di chi parli?
Per chi ?

(Who are you?)


(Who are you talking about?)
(Who is that for?)

When 'che' precedes a noun, it refers to characteristics or qualities.

e.g.

Che tipo ?

(What kind of a guy is he?)

'Che cosa' refers to general things. In colloquial Italian, 'cosa' or 'che' is often used instead of 'che
cosa'.
e.g.
Che cosa c'? /
(What's up?)
Che c'? /
Cosa c'?
Here are some other very common interrogative pronouns:
come
(how)
dove
(where)
di dove
(where ... from)
quando
(when)
perch
(why)
'Quanto' (how much) must agree in number and gender with the noun.
e.g.
Quanto vino?
(How much wine?)
Quanta birra?
(How much beer?)
Quanti anni?
(How many years?)
Quante donne?
(How many women?)
'Quale' (which) changes to 'quali' when it precedes plural nouns. It is also shortened to 'qual' before ''.
e.g. Quale romanzo hai letto?
(Which book did you read?)
Quali capitoli conosci?
(Which chapters do you know?)
Di quale pagina parli?
(Which page are you talking about?)
Qual il tuo parere?
(What's your opinion?)
1. Frasi interrogative - Questions
Questions are usually introduced by interrogative pronouns.
e.g.

Dove vai in vacanza?


(Where are you going on vacation?)

Not all questions, however, require an interrogative pronoun. With a question mark and the correct
intonation, a statement can also be a question.
e.g.

Statement:
Ha telefonato qualcuno.
(Someone called.)
Question:
Ha telefonato qualcuno?
(Did someone call?)

The order of the words in both the statement and question is identical.
The point of a question is not always to obtain information. Rhetorical questions, for example, often
just express a conviction.
e.g.

Mi consegna la macchina entro le due?


(You'll deliver the car within the next two hours?)
Domani venite tutti da noi, no?
(You're all coming to our house tomorrow, right?)
1. Gli interrogativi - Interrogatives

'Chi' only refers to people. 'Che' before a noun refers to the characteristics or features of the noun.

e.g.

Chi Paolo?
Che tipo ?

(Who is Paolo?)
(What kind of a guy is he?)

'Che cosa' refers to general things. In everyday speech, it is often shortened to 'cosa' or 'che' instead
of 'che cosa'.
e.g.

Che cosa c'? / Che c'? / Cosa c'?


(What's up?)

These interrogative pronouns are invariable.


dove
(where)
quando
(when)
perch
(why/because)
'Quanto' (how much, how many), however, must agree in number and gender with the noun it
modifies.
e.g.

Quanto vino?
Quanta birra?
Quanti anni?
Quante donne?
1. 'Chi', 'che'

(How much wine?)


(How much beer?)
(How many years?)
(How many women?)

'Chi' (who) refers to people.


e.g.

Chi sei?
A chi scrivi?
Chi vedi?
Con chi giochi?
Di chi ?

(Who are you?)


(Who are you writing to?)
(Who do you see?)
(Who are you playing with?)
(Whose is it?)

'Che' (what) before a noun asks about the kind of person or thing.
e.g.

Che macchina ?
(What kind of car is it?)
Di che colore il tuo piano?
(What colour is your piano?)
Che uomo ?
(What kind of man is that?)
1. 'Che cosa'

'Che cosa' (what) refers to things.


e.g.
Che cosa vedi?
A che cosa pensi?
Di che cosa parla?

(What do you see?)


(What are you thinking about?)
(What is he talking about?)

In everyday speech, you often say 'che' or 'cosa' instead of 'che cosa'.
e.g.
Che dice?
(What is he saying?)
Cosa mangiamo?
(What shall we eat?)
1. 'Come', 'perch'
'Come' means 'how' or 'what ... like'.
e.g.

Come si scrive?
Com' Milano?

(How do you spell that?)


(What's Milan like?)

'Perch' means both 'why' and 'because'.


e.g.

Perch bevi?
Perch ho sete.
1. 'Quando', 'dove'

(Why are you drinking?)


(Because I'm thirsty.)

'Quando' means 'when' and 'dove' means 'where'.


e.g.

Quando arrivi?
Quando studiate?
Dove sono?
Dove vai?
Da dove vieni?
1. 'Quanto', 'quale'

(When do you arrive?)


(When do you study?)
(Where am I?)
(Where are you going?)
(Where do you come from?)

'Quanto' (how much, how many) agrees in number and gender with the noun.
e.g.

Quanto vino?
Quanta birra?
Quanti amici?
Quante lingue?

(How much wine?)


(How much beer?)
(How many friends?)
(How many languages?)

'Quale' (which) has the plural form 'quali'.


e.g.

Quale vino?
Quale amica?
Quali amici?
Quali amiche?
Qual ...?

(Which wine?)
(Which friend (fem.)?)
(Which friends?)
(Which friends (fem)?)
(Which / What is ...?)

Tip:
The contracted form 'qual' is written without an apostrophe.

12 Pronomi personali - Personal pronouns


Italian subject pronouns don't actually have to be included in a sentence. In fact, they are usually only
included for emphasis.
e.g.

Parliamo italiano.
Io lavoro mentre lui canta.

The subject pronouns are:


io
(I)
tu
(you)
lui
(he)
lei
(she)
Lei
(you - formal)

(Let's speak Italian.)


(I work while he sings.)
noi
voi
loro

(we)
(you - plural)
(they)

Objects may be replaced by object pronouns. Italian object pronouns have two forms: the 'forma
tonica' (the stressed form) and the 'forma atona' (the unstressed form). The stressed forms are:
me
(me)
noi
(us)
te
(you)
voi
(you - plural)
lui
(him)
loro
(them)
lei
(her)
Lei
(you - formal)

These stressed pronouns are used after prepositions, after verbs (to give emphasis to the object) or
when there are two objects in the sentence.
e.g.

per te.
Cercavo proprio te.
Vado con lui e sua zia.
A me non scrivi mai!

(It's for you.)


(I was looking just for you.)
(I'm going with him and his aunt.)
(You never write to me!)

Stressed pronouns are also used in exclamations and in comparative sentences after 'di' (than) and
'come' or 'quanto' (as).
e.g.

Fai come me.


(Do as I do.)
Povero te!
(Poor you!)
1. Pronomi personali atoni - Unstressed personal pronouns

A direct object is the direct recipient of the action of the verb. It answers the question 'what?' or 'who?'
The indirect object is the indirect recipient and answers the questions 'to whom?' or 'for whom?'
e.g.

Direct obj.:
Indirect obj.:

Vedi il signore?
Scrivo a mia zia.

(Do you see the man?)


(I write to my aunt.)

Direct- and indirect-object pronouns replace the direct and indirect objects. The unstressed pronouns
in Italian are placed before the verb.
direct
mi
ti
lo
la
La
ci
vi
li
le

(me)
(you)
(him, it)
(her, it)
(you - formal)
(us)
(you)
(them, masc.)
(them, fem.)

indirect
mi
ti
gli
le
Le
ci
vi
gli
gli

(to/for me)
(to/for you)
(to/for him)
(to/for her)
(to/for you - formal)
(to/for us)
(to/for you)
(to/for them, masc.)
(to/for them, fem.)

The direct object pronouns must agree in number and gender with the nouns they replace.
e.g.
Il signore, lo conosco.
(The man. I know him.)
La signora, la conosco.
(The woman. I know her.)
I signori, li vedo.
(The men. I know them.)
Le signore, le vedo.
(The women. I know them.)
In Italian, the preposition 'a' (or 'per') is used before an indirect object.
e.g.
Mandi il libro a Pino?
(Are you sending the book to Pino?)
S, gli mando il libro.
(Yes, I'm sending the book to him.)
When both objects are replaced by pronouns, then the indirect object pronoun always precedes the
direct one before the verb. The indirect pronouns change their 'i' to an 'e' when combined.
e.g.
Te lo do domani.
(I'll give it to you tomorrow.)
1. I pronomi personali diretti - The direct object pronouns
The personal pronouns in the object form correspond to the pronouns 'me', 'you', 'him', 'her', 'it', 'us',
'you' and 'them' in English. In Italian, there is a 'forma tonica' (stressed form) and a 'forma atona'
(unstressed form).
The stressed form is the same for both direct and indirect object pronouns.

me
te
lui
lei
Lei

(me)
(you)
(him)
(her)
(formal. you)

The stressed form must be used after prepositions.


e.g.
per me.

noi
voi
loro

(us)
(you)
(them)

(It's for me.)

The stressed form may also be used to give emphasis to the object pronoun.
e.g.
Ama me, non te!
(He loves me, not you!)
1. I pronomi diretti: forma atona - The direct object pronouns: unstressed form
The unstressed direct object pronouns are only used in connection with verbs. Unlike in English, they
precede the conjugated verb.
mi
ti
lo
la
La
ci
vi
li
le
e.g.

(me)
(you)
(him / it)
(her / it)
(formal. you)
(us)
(you)
(them - masculine)
(them - feminine)
Vedi Paolo?
(Do you see Paolo?)
Lo vedo.
(I see him.)
Vedi i bambini?
(Do you see the children?)
Li vedo.
(I see them.)
1. I pronomi e l'infinito - The pronouns and the infinitive

It's also possible to attach the pronouns to the infinitive form. Notice that the final -e of the infinitive is
dropped.
e.g.

Lo devi salutare.
Devi salutarlo.
(You have to greet him.)
1. I pronomi diretti - The direct object pronouns

The object form of the personal pronouns corresponds to the English pronouns 'me', 'you', 'him', 'her',
'it', 'us', 'you', and 'them'. In Italian, there is a 'forma tonica' (stressed form) and a 'forma atona'
(unstressed form). The unstressed object pronouns precede the verb. Here are the unstressed forms:
mi
ti
lo
la
La
ci
vi
li
le
e.g.

(me)
(you)
(him / it)
(her / it)
(formal: you)
(us)
(you)
(masc. them)
(fem. them)
Vedi Paolo? Lo vedo.
(Do you see Paolo? I see him.)

1. La forma tonica dei pronomi diretti - The stressed form of direct object pronouns
The following pronouns are stressed object pronouns:
me
te
lui
lei
Lei

(me, myself)
(you, yourself)
(him / it)
(her / it)
(formal: you)

noi
voi
loro

(us, ourselves)
(you, yourselves)
(them)

These stressed forms are used:


1. after prepositions,
e.g.

per me.
(It's for me)

2. to emphasize the object.


e.g.

Ama me, non te!


(He loves me, not you!)
1. I pronomi indiretti - The indirect object pronouns

Here are the Italian indirect object pronouns:


mi
ti
gli
le
Le

(to /for me)


(to /for you)
(to /for him)
(to /for her)
(formal: to /for you)

ci
vi
loro

(to /for us)


(to /for you)
(to /for them)

With the exception of 'loro', all these pronouns precede the verb.
e.g.

Ti scrivo.
Scrivo loro.

(I write to you.)
(I write to them.)

Note: In everyday speech, 'gli' is often used instead of 'loro'.


e.g.

Gli scrivo.
(I write to them.)
1. Due pronomi personali atoni - Two unstressed personal pronouns

When two object pronouns are needed (a direct and indirect object pronoun), the indirect object
pronoun changes its form.
mi
+ lo, la, li, le
ti
+ lo, la, li, le
gli
+ lo, la, li, le
le
+ lo, la, li, le
Le
+ lo, la, li, le
ci
+ lo, la, li, le
vi
+ lo, la, li, le
gli
+ lo
or
loro
+ lo
e.g.
Mi dai i giornali?
Te li do.

me lo, me la, me li, me le


te lo, te la, te li, te le
glielo, gliela, glieli, gliele
glielo, gliela, glieli, gliele
Glielo, Gliela, Glieli, Gliele
ce lo, ce la, ce li, ce le
ve lo, ve la, ve li, ve le
glielo, gliela, glieli, gliele
lo...loro, la...loro, le...loro, li...loro
(Will you give me the newspapers?)
(I'll give them to you.)

1. I pronomi personali diretti - The direct object pronouns


Here are the direct object pronouns again.
Vuoi il libro? S, lo voglio.
(Do you want the book? Yes, I want it.)
Vuole la rivista? S, la vuole.
(Does he want the magazine? Yes, he wants it.)
Vuoi i libri ? S, li voglio.
(Do you want the books? Yes, I want them.)
Vuoi le matite? S, le voglio.
(Do you want the pencils? Yes, I want them.)
1. I pronomi diretti: forma tonica - The direct object pronouns: stressed
The object form of the personal pronouns corresponds to 'me', 'you', 'him', 'her', 'it', 'us', 'you', and
'them' in English. There are two forms in Italian: a 'forma tonica' (stressed) and a 'forma atona'
(unstressed).
The stressed form is the same for direct and indirect pronouns.
me
te
lui
lei
Lei

(me, to/for me)


(you, to/for you)
(it, him, to/for him)
(it, her, to/for her)
(formal. you, to/for you)

noi
voi
loro

(us, to/for us)


(you, to/for you)
(they, to/for them)

This form is used after prepositions and to place a certain emphasis on the object.
e.g.

per me.
(It's for me.)
Ama me, non te!
(He loves me, not you!)
1. I pronomi diretti: forma atona - The direct object pronouns: unstressed form

The unstressed direct object pronouns are only used in connection with verbs. Unlike in English, they
precede the conjugated verb.
mi
ti
lo
la
La
ci
vi
li
le
e.g.

(me)
(you)
(him / it)
(her / it)
(formal. you)
(us)
(you)
(them - masculine)
(them - feminine)
Vedi Paolo?
(Do you see Paolo?)
Lo vedo.
(I see him.)
Vedi i bambini?
(Do you see the children?)
Li vedo.
(I see them.)
1. Verbi con i pronomi indiretti - Verbs with indirect object pronouns

The verb 'piacere' (to like, to be pleasing to) and 'interessare' (to interest) are usually used in the 3rd
person singular und plural. In Italian, the thing or person liked is the subject of the sentence; the
person who likes it is the indirect object. The preposition 'a' or the indirect object pronouns must be
used with these verbs.

e.g.
A Paolo piace leggere il giornale?
(Does Paolo like reading the newspaper?
(Is reading the newspaper pleasing to Paolo?)
S, gli piace. (or Leggere il giornale gli piace.)
(Yes, he likes it.)
(Yes, it is pleasing to him.)
A Maria piacciono i libri?
(Does Maria like the books?)
(Are the books pleasing to Maria?)
S, le piacciono.
(Yes. she likes them.)
(Yes, they are pleasing to her.)
A Maria interessa la fotografia?
(Is Maria interested in photography?)
S, le interessa.
(Yes, she is interested in it.)
1. Tutti i pronomi personali atoni - All the unstressed personal pronouns
Here is an overview of all the unstressed personal pronouns:
subject
io
tu
lui
lei
Lei
noi
voi
loro
loro

(I)
(you)
(he)
(she)
(form. you)
(we)
(you)
(they)
(they)

direct
mi
ti
lo
la
La
ci
vi
li
le

(me)
(you)
(him, it)
(her, it)
(you)
(us)
(you)
(them)
(them)

indirect
mi
ti
gli
le
Le
ci
vi
gli
gli

(to/for me)
(to/for you)
(to/for him)
(to/for her)
(to/for you)
(to/for us)
(to/for you)
(to/for them)
(to/for them)

The direct and indirect object pronouns differ only in the third person singular and plural.
e.g.

Lo vedo e gli dico buongiorno.


(I see him, and I say hello to him.)
1. Due pronomi personali atoni - Two unstressed personal pronouns

When two object pronouns are needed (a direct and indirect object pronoun), the indirect object
pronoun changes its form.
mi
+ lo, la, li, le
me lo, me la, me li, me le
ti
+ lo, la, li, le
te lo, te la, te li, te le
gli
+ lo, la, li, le
glielo, gliela, glieli, gliele
le
+ lo, la, li, le
glielo, gliela, glieli, gliele
Le
+ lo, la, li, le
Glielo, Gliela, Glieli, Gliele
ci
+ lo, la, li, le
ce lo, ce la, ce li, ce le
vi
+ lo, la, li, le
ve lo, ve la, ve li, ve le
gli
+ lo
glielo, gliela, glieli, gliele
or
loro
+ lo
lo...loro, la...loro, le...loro, li...loro
e.g.
Mi dai i giornali?
(Will you give me the newspapers?)
Te li do.
(I'll give them to you.)
1. L'ordine dei pronomi personali - The sequence of the personal pronouns
An indirect and direct object pronoun may be used together. In this case, the indirect object pronoun

precedes the direct object pronoun. Both pronouns come before the verb.
e.g.
Mi dai il libro?
Dai la tazza a Mario?
(Will you give me the book?)
(Will you give the cup to Mario?)
Te lo do.
Gliela do.
(I'll give it to you.)
(I'll give it to him.)
1. I pronomi e l'infinito - The pronouns and the infinitive
The combined pronouns (direct and indirect) can also be attached to the infinitive of the verb.
e.g.

Devo scrivere a Marco.


(I have to write to Marco.)
Gli devo scrivere.
or:
Devo scrivergli.
(I have to write to him.)
Tu mi puoi dare il libro.
(You can give me the book.)
Me lo puoi dare.
or:
Puoi darmelo.
(You can give it to me.)
1. I pronomi tonici - Stressed pronoun forms

You already know the unstressed pronoun forms.


e.g.
Lo conosci?
(Do you know him?)
The stressed forms are used to emphasize the person.
e.g.
A me la macchina non la d pi.
(He won't give me the car anymore.)
The stressed forms are also used after prepositions.
e.g.
Non pu vivere senza te.
(He can't live without you.)
Vieni da me?
(Are you coming to my place?)
The stressed pronoun forms are as follows:
me
(me)
noi
te
(you)
voi
lui
(him)
loro
lei
(her)
Lei
(you)
1. I pronomi indiretti - The indirect object pronouns

(us)
(you)
(them)

Here are the Italian indirect object pronouns:


mi
ti
gli
le
Le

(to /for me)


(to /for you)
(to /for him)
(to /for her)
(formal: to /for you)

ci
vi
loro

With the exception of 'loro', all these pronouns precede the verb.

(to /for us)


(to /for you)
(to /for them)

e.g.

Ti scrivo.
Scrivo loro.

(I write to you.)
(I write to them.)

Note: In everyday speech, 'gli' is often used instead of 'loro'.


e.g.

Gli scrivo.
(I write to them.)
1. I pronomi indiretti - The indirect object pronouns

Here are the Italian indirect object pronouns:


mi
ti
gli
le
Le

(to /for me)


(to /for you)
(to /for him)
(to /for her)
(formal: to /for you)

ci
vi
loro

(to /for us)


(to /for you)
(to /for them)

With the exception of 'loro', all these pronouns precede the verb.
e.g.

Ti scrivo.
Scrivo loro.

(I write to you.)
(I write to them.)

Note: In everyday speech, 'gli' is often used instead of 'loro'.


e.g.

Gli scrivo.
1. I pronomi doppi - Combined pronouns

(I write to them.)

Both the direct object and indirect object may be replaced by pronouns. Both pronouns then precede
the verb. When two pronouns are used together, they change form as follows:
mi + lo
=
me lo
ti + lo
=
te lo
gli, le, Le + lo
=
glielo
ci + lo
=
ce lo
vi + lo
=
ve lo
gli + lo
=
glielo
The pronouns 'la', 'le' and 'li' follow the same rules:
e.g.
Te la spiego dopo.
(I'll explain it to you later.)
Te li spiego subito.
(I'll explain them to you immediately.)
1. L'imperativo con i pronomi atoni - The imperative with unstressed pronouns
The unstressed pronouns, 'ci' and 'ne' are attached to the 2nd person singular and the 1st and 2nd
person plural imperative forms.
e.g.

Portami il giornale!
(Bring me the newspaper!)
Compratelo!
(Buy it!)

When the pronouns are attached to the imperative form of 'dare', 'dire', 'fare', 'andare' and 'stare', the
first consonant of the pronoun is doubled. (This rule does not apply to 'gli'.)
e.g.

Dammi tempo!
Dimmelo!
Falle posto!

(Give me time!)
(Tell me it!)
(Make room for her!)

Vacci subito!
Stacci!
1. Particolarit - Alternate word order

(Go there immediately!)


(Stay there!)

If a part of a sentence has a special stress, the normal word order of subject-verb-object can change.
You can, for example, start a sentence with a direct object pronoun.
e.g.

La vedo, la signora.
(lit. I see her, this woman.)
Lo conosco, questo romanzo.
(lit. I know it, this novel.)

1. 'Avere' + 'lo', 'la', 'li', 'le'


The particle 'ce' is placed before 'lo', 'la', 'li' or 'le' when they are used with the verb 'avere'.
e.g.

Hai il libro?
S, ce l'ho.
Hai la borsa?
S, ce l'ho.
Hai i libri?
S, ce li ho.
Hai le matite?
S, ce le ho.

(Have you got the book?)


(Yes, I have it.)
(Have you got the bag?)
(Yes, I have it.)
(Have you got the books?)
(Yes, I have them.)
(Have you got the pencils?)
(Yes, I have them.)

1. Per favore - Please


When asking someone for something, it's polite to say 'per favore' or 'per piacere' (please).
'Prego' also means 'please' but in this case, it is used as an invitation to do something. 'Prego'
is also the reponse to 'grazie' and in this situation it means 'you're welcome.'
e.g.
Mi aiuti per favore?
(Will you help me, please?)
Entri, prego!
(Please, come in!)
Grazie! Prego!
(Thanks! You're welcome!)
13 - Avverbi pronominali

10

11

12

Leggi le spiegazioni grammaticali e gli esempi.


Grammatica
?
Avverbi pronominali
Guarda che bella mozzarella. Ne vuoi un po'?
Che ne dici di andare a fare una bella gita?
Vorremmo andare da Ugo e Udo, ci vieni anche tu?
Oggi non ci sento bene.
Sei andata a fare la spesa? No, ci vado dopo.
13 Avverbi pronominali - Pronominal adverbs
The Italian pronominal adverbs 'ci' and 'ne' replace longer prepositional and noun phrases. Both 'ci'
and 'ne' are invariable.
'Ci' (there) substitutes places preceded by the prepositions 'a', 'in', 'su' and 'da'.
e.g.
Vai in Italia?
(Are you going to Italy?)
S, ci vado.
(Yes, I'm going there.)
'Ci' can also replace 'a' + noun. Here, the meaning of 'ci' varies.
e.g.
Credi agli UFO?
(Do you believe in UFOs?)
No, non ci credo.
(No, I don't believe in them.)
'Ci' is also used in some expressions for emphasis.
e.g.
Al buio non ci vedo.
(I see absolutely nothing in the dark.)
Non ci capisco niente.
(I don't understand a thing.)
'Ne' (of it, of them, about it, about them) replaces 'di' + noun phrases.
Giorgio parla sempre di
(Giorgio always talks about religion.) Marco
e.g.
religione.
non ne parla mai.

(Marco never talks


about it.)

'Ne' is also used to replace nouns accompanied by a number or an expression of quantity.


e.g.
Ne compro un chilo.
(I'll buy a kilo of them.)
Ne prendo due.
(I'll buy two of them.)
1. L'avverbio pronominale e locale 'ci' - The pronominal adverb 'ci'
1. As an adverb of place, 'ci' means 'there'.
e.g.
Vai a Roma?
(Are you going to Rome?)
S, ci vado.
(Yes, I'm going there.)
2. As a pronominal adverb 'ci' means 'it' or 'about it'.
e.g.

Ci penso domani.

(I'll think about it tomorrow.)

3. 'Ci' provides a certain emphasis and is also part of fixed expressions.


e.g.
Non ci vedo.
(I can't see.)
Ci vuole un'ora.
(It takes an hour.)
1. L'avverbio pronominale 'ne' - The pronominal adverb 'ne'
'Ne', as a pronominal adverb, means 'of it', 'about it', 'with it'.
Che cosa ne pensi?
(What do you think of it?)
Che cosa ne dice?
(What does he say about it?)
Che ne faccio?
(What do I do with it?)
When talking about quantities, 'ne' means 'of it' or 'of them'.
Quanti figli hai?
Ne ho due.
Quanti libri ha?
Ne ha tanti.
C' ancora vino?
Ce n' un litro.
Ce ne sono due litri.

(How many children have you got?)


(I've got two.)
(How many books has he got?)
(He's got lots of them).
(Is there still some wine?)
(There's one litre.)
(There are two litres.)

1. 'Ci' e 'ne' - 'Ci' and 'ne'


'Ci' and 'ne' have several English equivalents.
'Ci':
1. there
e.g.

Ci vado.

2. it / about it
e.g.
Ci penso io.

(I go there.)
(I'll do it.)

3. 'ci' provides emphasis and is also found in fixed expressions.


e.g.
Non ci vedo.
(I can't see.)
'Ne':
1. of it / of them
e.g.
Ne ho due.

(I've got two of them.)

2. of it / about it
e.g.
Che ne pensi?

(What do you think of it?)

3. 'Ne' provides emphasis and is also used in fixed expressions.


e.g.
Me ne vado.
(I'm leaving.)
1. Diversi significati di 'ci' e 'ne' - Various meanings of 'ci' and 'ne'

Ci:
1. there
e.g.

Ci vado.

(I go there.)

2. it / about it
e.g.
Ci penso io.

(I'll do it.)

3. 'ci' provides emphasis and is also found in fixed expressions.


e.g.
Non ci vedo.
(I can't see.)
Ne:
1. of it / of them
e.g.
Ne ho due.
2. about it / of it
e.g.
Che ne pensi?

(I've got two of them.)


(What do you think of it?)

3. 'Ne' provides emphasis and is also found in fixed expressions.


e.g.
Me ne vado.
(I'm going.)
1. La posizione di 'ci' e 'ne' - The position of 'ci' and 'ne'
'Ci' and 'ne' can - like other pronouns - precede the verb or be attached to the infinitive form. 'Ne' can
also be combined with the indirect object pronouns.
e.g.

Voglio andarci.
or Ci voglio andare.
(I want to go there.)
Voglio parlargliene.
or Gliene voglio parlare.
(I want to talk to him about it.)
Deve essercene uno.
or Ce ne deve essere uno.
(One of them has to be there.)
14 Frasi e pronomi relativi - Relative clauses and pronouns

A relative clause provides extra information about a person, object or fact. Relative clauses are
introduced by relative pronouns. The relative pronoun 'che' (that, who) refers to people or things, both
masculine and feminine, and singular and plural. 'Che' is invariable and can function as the subject or
object of the sentence. Note: In Italian it is not possible to drop the relative pronoun.
e.g.

L'uomo che arriva mio fratello.


(The man who's coming is my brother.)
L'uomo che vedi mio zio.
(The man you see is my uncle.)

The relative pronoun 'cui' is used instead of 'che' after prepositions.


e.g.

Ecco il libro di cui ti ho parlato.


(Here's the book I was telling you about.)
Paola la donna a cui scrivo spesso.
(Paola is the woman I often write to.)
Chi il ragazzo con cui esci?
(Who's the guy you're going out with?)
Questo il motivo per cui arrabbiato.
(This is the reason why he's angry.)

The relative pronouns 'il quale', 'la quale' 'i quali' and 'le quali' are not as common in spoken Italian.
They refer to people and places and must agree with the nouns they refer to. They usually follow
prepositions.
Ecco l'uomo con il
quale esco.
(Here's the man I'm
going out with.)
Ecco la donna alla
quale telefono spesso.
(Here's the woman I
call often.)
Ecco i signori dei quali
ti ho parlato.
(Here are the men I
talked to you about.)
Ecco le signore con le
quali esco.
(Here are the women
I'm going out with.)
1. Le frasi relative - The relative clauses
In Italian, subordinate clauses are introduced by the conjunction 'che' (that).
e.g.

Lo so che lei bella.


(I know that she's beautiful.)

'Che' can also be a relative pronoun; it can be used as the subject or object of
a verb.
e.g.
La donna che ho visto ieri molto bella.
(The woman that I saw yesterday is very beautiful.)
L'uomo che parla un poeta.
(The man who is talking is a poet.)
'Che' corresponds to the English relative pronouns 'that', 'who', 'which' or
'whom'. Unlike in English, the Italian relative pronoun 'che' can never be
omitted.

1. Il pronome relativo 'cui' - The relative pronoun 'cui'


'Cui' corresponds to 'whose' or 'of which' in English. It is positioned between the article and noun.
e.g.

Questa Paola, il cui marito all'estero.


(This is Paola, whose husband is abroad.)
Questo Marco, la cui cucina famosa.
(This is Marco, whose cooking is famous.)
1. Il pronome relativo 'il che' - The relative pronoun 'il che'

The relative pronoun 'il che' (which) is used in relative clauses to refer to the entire contents of the
preceding clause.
e.g.
Paga sempre tutto lui, il che piacevole.

(He always pays for everything, which is nice.)


In colloquial Italian, 'il che' is often changed to 'cosa che'.
e.g.
Dice che ha vinto una macchina, cosa che dubito.
(He says he won a car, which I doubt.)
1. Il pronome relativo 'che' - The relative pronoun 'che'
The relative pronoun 'che' (that, who, which, whom) refers to people and things. It is invariable and
can be used as the subject or object of the verb. Unlike in English, the Italian relative pronoun 'che' is
never omitted.
e.g.

L'uomo che arriva mio fratello.


(The man who is coming is my brother.)
La donna che vedi sua figlia.
(The woman that you see is his daughter.)

When referring to people, 'che' can be replaced by 'il quale', 'la quale', 'i quali' or 'le quali'. In this case,
however, the relative pronoun must agree in number and gender with the antecedent.
e.g.

Conosco una donna la quale attrice.


(I know a woman who is an actress.)
1. 'Cui' con l'articolo - 'Cui' with the article

If a definite article precedes the relative pronoun 'cui', then 'cui' fulfills the role of a possessive
pronoun.
e.g.
Il signore, il cui figlio marinaio, morto.
(The gentleman, whose son is a sailor, is dead.)
So, 'il cui', 'la cui', 'i cui', 'le cui' mean 'whose' or 'of which'.
1. Il pronome 'chi' - The pronoun 'chi'
'Chi' corresponds to 'he/she who', 'those who', 'the one(s) who', 'whoever', 'whomever.' 'Chi' may also
be replaced by the following forms:
chi
chi
chi
chi
e.g.

=
=
=
=

colui che
colei che
coloro che
le persone che

Chi scrive cos, sbaglia. /


Colui che scrive cos, sbaglia. /
Le persone che scrivono cos, sbagliano.
(Whoever writes like that makes mistakes. /
He who writes like that makes mistakes. /
Those who write like that make mistakes.)

'Le persone che' and 'coloro che' are interchangeable. The use of 'colui' (he who) or 'colei' (she who)
depends on the gender of the subject.
1. I pronomi relativi: 'che' e 'cui' - The relative pronouns 'che' and 'cui'
The relative pronoun 'che' (that, who, which, whom) refers to people and things. It is invariable and
can be used as the subject or object of the verb. Unlike in English, the relative pronoun 'che' is never
omitted.

e.g.
L'uomo che arriva mio fratello.
(The man who is coming is my brother.)
La donna che vedi sua figlia.
(The woman that you see is his daughter.)
Like 'che', 'cui' is invariable and refers to people and things. 'Cui' is used after prepositions.
e.g.
L'uomo con cui parlo mio padre.
(The man I'm speaking to is my father.)
La donna a cui scrivo mia zia.
(The woman I'm writing to is my aunt.)

1. L'uso di 'chi' - The use of 'chi'


'Chi' means 'who.' 'Di chi' means 'whose.' (In formal English, when used with the prepositions
'a,' 'per,' or 'da,' it corresponds to 'whom.')
e.g.
Chi parla?
(Who's talking?)
Per chi la prenotazione?
(Who is the reservation for?)
A chi scrivi?
(Who are you writing to?)
Di chi la valigia?
(Whose is the suitcase?)
Da chi cantata questa canzone?
(Who is this song by?)
1. Il pronome relativo 'il quale' - The relative pronoun 'il quale'
The relative pronoun 'il quale' (to/for/with/of whom/which) is not used very often in spoken
Italian. It refers to people and things and must agree in number and gender with the
antecedent. In English, it is more common to avoid the 'preposition + whom or which'
construction by placing the preposition at the end of the sentence.
e.g.
Ecco l'uomo con il quale esco.
(Here is the man I'm going out with.)
Ecco la donna con la quale esco.
(Here is the woman I'm going out with.)
Ecco i signori con i quali esco.
(Here are the gentlemen I'm going out with.)
Ecco le singore con le quali esco.
(Here are the ladies I'm going out with.)
15 Preposizioni - Prepositions
Prepositions show the relationships between words in a sentence. Here are the Italian prepositions:

di
da
a
in
con
su
per
tra
fra
sopra
sotto
davanti a
di fronte a
dietro
accanto a
vicino a

(of, from, about, by, than)


(from, since, at, by, to, in)
(to, at, in)
(in)
(with)
(on)
(for)
(in, between, among)
(in, between, among)
(over)
(under)
(in front of)
(opposite)
(behind)
(beside)
(near)

When prepositions are followed by the definite article, they contract to form one word:
il
lo
la
i
gli
le
di
del
dello
della
dei
degli
delle
a
al
allo
alla
ai
agli
alle
da
dal
dallo
dalla
dai
dagli
dalle
in
nel
nello
nella
nei
negli
nelle
su
sul
sullo
sulla
sui
sugli
sulle
e.g.

Vado dal dottore.


(I'm going to the doctor.)
1. Le direzioni e le preposizioni - Directions and prepositions

dietro
accanto
davanti
di fronte

(behind)
(beside)
(in front of)
(opposite)

These four prepositions can be used with other prepositions after verbs of movement or before
pronouns.
e.g.

Correre dietro a qualcuno.


(To run behind someone.)
Davanti alla fermata.
(In front of the bus stop.)
Dietro di voi.
(Behind you.)
Di fronte alla chiesa.
(Opposite the church.)

1. La preposizione 'a' - The preposition 'a'


The preposition 'a' is used in a variety of situations:
1. direction,
e.g.

a casa

(to / at home)

2. time,
e.g.

alle due

3. place.
e.g.
al cinema
alla stazione

(at two o'clock)


(in / at the cinema)
(in / at the train station)

1. La preposizione 'in' - The preposition 'in'


The preposition in corresponds to the English 'in' or 'at'. When in comes before the definite article, the
two join together to form one word.
in + il
in + lo
in + l'
in + la
in + i
in + gli
in + le
e.g.

nel
nello
nell'
nella
nei
negli
nelle

nella casa (in the house)


1. La preposizione 'su' - The preposition 'su'

The preposition su means 'on' or 'about' in English. Like 'in', the preposition 'su' can also be joined to
the definite article to form one word.
su + il
su + lo
su + l'
su + i
su + gli
su + le
e.g.

sul
sullo
sull'
sui
sugli
sulle

sul tavolo (on the table)


1. La preposizione 'da' - The preposition 'da'

Da can mean 'from', 'by', 'of', 'at', 'with', 'since', 'through' and 'for'. Like 'in' and 'su', it is combined with
the definite article to form one word.
da + il
da + lo
da + l'
da + la
da + i
da + gli
da + le

dal
dallo
dall'
dalla
dai
dagli
dalle

e.g.
dalla Svizzera
(from Switzerland)
1. La preposizione 'di' - The preposition 'di'
Di means 'of' or 'by' in Italian. It is also used to form the possessive. Like 'in' and 'su', it is combined
with the definite article to form one word.
di + il

del

di + lo
di + l'
di + la
di + gli
di + le
e.g

dello
dell'
della
degli
delle
dell'uomo

(of the man/the man's)

1. Le preposizioni - The prepositions


Here are the Italian prepositions:
di
da
a
in
con
su
per
tra
fra
sopra
sotto
davanti a
di fronte a
dietro
accanto a
vicino a

(of, from)
(at, from, since, to, by)
(to, in, at)
(in)
(with)
(on)
(for)
(between)
(in, between)
(over)
(under)
(in front of)
(opposite)
(behind)
(beside)
(near)

1. Le preposizioni articolate - The articolated prepositions


When prepositions are followed by the definite article, they join to form one word:
il
del
al
dal
nel
sul

di
a
da
in
su

lo
dello
allo
dallo
nello
sullo

la
della
alla
dalla
nella
sulla

i
dei
ai
dai
nei
sui

1. La gente - People
The word 'gente' (people) only exists in the singular form.
e.g.
In ufficio c' tanta gente.
(There are a lot of people in the office.)
nel =in + il

gli
degli
agli
dagli
negli
sugli

le
delle
alle
dalle
nelle
sulle

1. Indicazioni di luogo e direzione - Places and directions


il nord
l'est

(north)
(east)

il sud
l'ovest

(south)
(west)

The directions are usually used with the preposition 'a.'


e.g.
Devi andare a nord.
(You have to go north.)
Maria abita al sud.
(Maria lives in the south.)
The preposition 'in' is used together with countries and regions.
e.g.
Lidia abita in Lombardia e Marco abita a Parigi in Francia. (Lidia lives in Lombardy and
Marco lives in Paris, France.)
To talk about the distance between two points, the prepositions 'a' and 'da' are used.
e.g.
Abito a cinquanta metri da Piazza Verdi.
(I live 50 metres away from Piazza Verdi.)
Il parco a 100 metri dalla stazione.
(The park is 100 metres from the station.)
1. Indicazioni di luogo e direzione - Places and directions
il nord
l'est

(north)
(east)

il sud
l'ovest

(south)
(west)

The directions are usually used with the preposition 'a.'


e.g.
Devi andare a nord.
(You have to go north.)
Maria abita al sud.
(Maria lives in the south.)
The preposition 'in' is used together with countries and regions.
e.g.
Lidia abita in Lombardia e Marco abita a Parigi in Francia. (Lidia lives in Lombardy and
Marco lives in Paris, France.)
To talk about the distance between two points, the prepositions 'a' and 'da' are used.
e.g.
Abito a cinquanta metri da Piazza Verdi.
(I live 50 metres away from Piazza Verdi.)
Il parco a 100 metri dalla stazione.
(The park is 100 metres from the station.)
16 - Congiunzioni

Leggi le spiegazioni grammaticali e gli esempi.


Grammatica
?
Congiunzioni
Allora, questa sera che facciamo: cinema o discoteca?
Andiamo al cinema, per non a vedere un film d'azione.
Vengono anche Marco e Maria.
Oggi non ho la macchina, quindi dobbiamo prendere il bus.
Senti, o prendiamo un taxi o restiamo a casa.
16 Congiunzioni - Conjunctions
Conjunctions connect words, phrases and clauses in a sentence. Here are some of the Italian
conjunctions:
e / ed
inoltre
o / od
oppure
o ... o
n ... n
ma
per
dunque
quindi
perci
cos ... come
tanto ... quanto

(and / 'and' before a vowel)


(besides)
(or / 'or' before a vowel)
(or)
(either ... or)
(neither ... nor)
(but)
(however, but)
(so)
(therefore)
(therefore, that is why, hence)
(as ... as)
(as ... as)

Subordinate conjunctions introduce subordinate clauses. The following conjunctions are followed by
verbs in the indicative:
dopo che
(after)
da quando
(since)
quando
(when)
mentre
(while)
siccome / poich
(since / as)
cos ... che
(so that)
dato che
(given that)
visto che
(seeing that)
Verbs that follow these conjunctions are in the subjunctive:
prima che
(before)
affinch
bench / sebbene
(although)
quasi / come se
malgrado che
(even though)

(so that)
(as if)

Some conjunctions may be followed by verbs in the indicative or subjunctive:


appena
(as soon as)
finch
(until, as long as)
perch
(because)
se
(if)
in modo che
(so that)
che
(that)

1. Congiunzioni - Conjunctions
Conjunctions join words or sentences (main clauses and subordinate clauses) together.

e.g.

Marco e Maria mangiano


(Marco and Maria are eating.)
Vuoi t o caff?
(Do you want tea or coffee?)
Va a scuola bench sia malato.
(He is going to school although he is sick.)
17 Essere e avere - To be and to have

The verbs 'essere' and 'avere' are irregular. They are usually accompanied by a complement.
e.g.

Sono un po' stanco.


(I'm a little tired.)
Ho due fratelli.
(I have two brothers.)

'Essere' and 'avere' also function as auxiliary verbs in compound tenses.


e.g.
Sono andato a Roma.
(I went to Rome.)
Non ho ancora mangiato.
(I haven't eaten yet.)
'Essere' and 'avere' are conjugated as follows in the present indicative tense:
io
tu
lui, lei, Lei
noi
voi
loro

sono
sei

siamo
siete
sono

ho
hai
ha
abbiamo
avete
hanno

If the pronouns 'lo', 'la', 'li' or 'le' are used together with the verb 'avere', then the particle 'ce' is usually
placed before them.
e.g.

Hai il libro?
(Do you have the book?)
S, ce l'ho.
(Yes, I have it.)
1. La coniugazione di 'essere' - The conjugation of 'essere'

The Italian verb 'essere' is irregular and an auxiliary just like the verb 'to be' in English.
In Italian, the personal pronouns io, tu, lui, lei, Lei, noi, voi, loro (I, you, he, she, you (formal) we,
you, they) are usually only used for emphasis.
e.g.

Sono di Roma.
(I'm from Rome.)
1. Il verbo 'avere' - The verb 'avere'

Io sono di Roma, non lui.


(I'm from Rome, he's not.)

'Avere' (to have) is another auxiliary verb that is used to form the different past tenses.
1. La forma di cortesia - The polite form
The pronouns 'tu' and 'voi' are informal forms of address used with family members, friends and
children. 'Lei' and 'Loro' are polite or formal forms that are used to address strangers.
In Italian, the 'Lei' form is expressed using the 3rd person singular of the verb. The corresponding
personal pronoun 'Lei' (formal you) is capitalized.
e.g.

Tu, sei di Roma?


Lei, di Roma?
Lei, come sta?

(informal: Are you from Rome?)


(formal: Are you from Rome?)
(formal: How are you?)

As already mentioned, in Italian the personal pronouns are usually only used for emphasis.
1. L'et - Age
The verb 'avere' is used to ask someone's age.
e.g.

Carlo, quanti anni hai?


(Carlo, how old are you?)
Signor Congo, quanti anni ha?
(formal: Mr Congo, how old are you?)

And the reply:


e.g.
Ho quindici anni.
(I'm fifteen years old.)
Lei ha trentun'anni.
(She's thirty-one years old.)
Numbers ending in -uno are contracted to -un' before the word 'anni' (years). The word 'anni' is never
dropped.

1. L'imperfetto - The imperfect


In Italian, the imperfect is used to describe habitual actions, actions in progress, the duration
of an action and states of being in the past tense.
'Essere' is irregular in the imperfect. 'Avere', however, is regular.
1. 'Essere' e 'avere'
'Essere' and 'avere' (to be / to have) are auxiliary verbs.
The personal pronouns 'lui / lei' accompany the 3rd person singular of the verb. Occasionally, the old
forms 'egli', 'ella' and 'essi' are used instead of 'lui', 'lei' and 'loro'.

1. 'Dove'
'Dove' means 'where'.
e.g.

Di dove sei?
Sono di Roma.
Dove sei?
Sono qui.
Sono di qui.

(Where are you from?)


(I'm from Rome.)
(Where are you?)
(I'm here.)
(I'm from here.)

1. 'Avere'
'Avere' (to have) is an auxiliary verb and its conjugation is irregular.

1. 'Cosa', 'che cosa'

'Cosa' can be shortened to cos' before the verb 'avere'. This is possible but not obligatory:
e.g.

Cos'hai? / Cosa hai?


(What's wrong with you?)
Cos'ha? / Cosa ha?
(What's wrong with him?)

It's more common to use the shortened form with the 2nd and 3rd person singular than with
the other forms.
1. Il futuro semplice - The future simple
The future simple is used to describe future actions or states.
e.g.

Domani sar a Milano.


(I'll be in Milan tomorrow.)

You can also express assumptions with the future tense.


e.g.
Dov' Maria? Non lo so, sar a casa.
(Where's Maria? I don't know. She's probably at home.)
1. Il congiuntivo imperfetto - The imperfect subjunctive
The imperfect subjunctive is used to express wishes or assumptions. The verb in the main clause is in
the past tense, usually in the imperfect.
e.g.
Pensavo che tu venissi a cena.
(I thought you were coming to dinner.)
Credevo che tu venissi a trovarmi.
(I thought you were coming to visit me.)
1. Il congiuntivo imperfetto: coniugazione - The imperfect subjunctive: conjugation
The imperfect subjunctive is formed using the first person singular of the indicative imperfect. The
imperfect ending -vo is replaced by imperfect subjunctive endings. The endings for all three
conjugations (-are, -ere and -ire) are all the same.
e.g.
Imperfect, 1st pers. sing.:
Imperfect subjunctive:

e.g.
che io
che tu
che lui
che noi
che voi
che loro

amare
amassi
amassi
amasse
amassimo
amaste
amassero

amare
io amavo
che io amassi
(that I loved)
vedere
vedessi
vedessi
vedesse
vedessimo
vedeste
vedessero

capire
capissi
capissi
capisse
capissimo
capiste
capissero

1. 'Avere' + 'lo', 'la', 'li', 'le'


The particle 'ce' is placed before 'lo', 'la', 'li' or 'le' when they are used with the verb 'avere'.
e.g.

Hai il libro?
S, ce l'ho.
Hai la borsa?
S, ce l'ho.
Hai i libri?
S, ce li ho.
Hai le matite?
S, ce le ho.

(Have you got the book?)


(Yes, I have it.)
(Have you got the bag?)
(Yes, I have it.)
(Have you got the books?)
(Yes, I have them.)
(Have you got the pencils?)
(Yes, I have them.)

1. Il condizionale presente - The present conditional


The present conditional is formed by attaching the conditional endings to the future stem.
e.g. andare (go / drive)
future
conditional
io andr
io andrei
tu andrai
tu andresti
lui andr
lui andrebbe
noi andremo
noi andremmo
voi andrete
voi andreste
loro andranno
loro andrebbero
1. Il passato remoto - The 'passato remoto'
The 'passato remoto' is used to describe an action that was completed (not ongoing) in the past.
e.g.

And in America e divent ricco.


(He went to America and became rich.)

The 'passato remoto' is used in formal writing, but rarely in spoken Italian. The 'passato prossimo' is
usually used instead.
e.g.

Dante scrisse la Divina Commedia.


(Dante wrote The Divine Comedy.)
18 Verbi riflessivi - Reflexive verbs

Reflexive verbs refer back to the subject of the sentence. They are accompanied by reflexive
pronouns.
e.g.
not reflexive:
Maria lava la macchina.
(Maria washes the car.)
reflexive:
Maria si lava.
(Maria has a wash.)
Unconjugated reflexive verbs may easily be identified by the -si attached to the infinitive. Reflexive
verbs follow the same rules as other regular verbs. The only difference is that they must be
accompanied by the appropriate reflexive pronouns.
e.g.
io
tu
lui, lei
Lei
noi

mi
ti
si
si
ci

lavarsi
lavo
lavi
lava
lava
laviamo

(to wash - oneself)


(I have a wash)
(you have a wash)
(he/she has a wash)
(you have a wash - formal)
(we have a wash)

voi
loro

vi
si

lavate
lavano

(you have a wash)


(they have a wash)

Reflexive verbs form the present perfect with the auxiliary verb 'essere'. The past participle must agree
in number and gender with the subject.
e.g.

Lui si lavato.
(He had a wash.)
Lei si lavata.
(She had a wash.)
I bambini si sono lavati.
(The children had a wash.)

When a modal verb and reflexive verb are used together, the reflexive pronouns may be placed before
both verbs or be attached to the infinitive.
e.g.
Mi devo alzare.
or
Devo alzarmi.
(I have to get up)
1. I verbi riflessivi - The reflexive verbs
Reflexive verbs are conjugated like any other regular verb. They do, however, take a reflexive pronoun
which precedes the reflexive verb. Like the object pronouns, they can also be attached to the infinitive
or the imperative.
e.g.

lavare
lavarsi

mi
ti
si
si
si
ci
vi
si

(myself)
(yourself)
(himself)
(herself)
(oneself)
(ourselves)
(yourselves)
(themselves)

(to wash)
(to wash o.s. / to have a wash)
io
tu
lui
lei
Lei
noi
voi
loro

mi
ti
si
si
si
ci
vi
si

lavo
lavi
lava
lava
lava
laviamo
lavate
lavano

Many verbs are reflexive in Italian, but not in English.


1. I verbi riflessivi - Reflexive verbs
Some verbs are reflexive verbs and require reflexive pronouns, which are placed in front of the
conjugated verb. Not all verbs that are reflexive in Italian are reflexive in English too.
e.g.
Mi alzo alle sei poi mi lavo e mi vesto.
(I get up at six, then I have a wash and get dressed.)
It's easy to recognise a reflexive verb as its infinitive form ends in -si. Reflexive verbs follow the same
patter as other regular verbs; the only difference is that the correct reflexive pronoun must be placed in
front of the conjugated form. Note how 'lavarsi' is conjugated just like 'lavare.'
e.g.
lavarsi
(to have a wash)
io
mi
lavo
tu
ti
lavi
lui, lei, Lei
si
lava
noi
ci
laviamo
voi
vi
lavate
loro
si
lavano
19 Verbi servili - Modal verbs
Modal verbs are used to express possibility, intention, obligation and necessity. They usually

accompany an infinitive. The Italian modal verbs are 'potere' (be able to, can, may), 'dovere' (have to,
must), 'volere' (want).
e.g.

Oggi non posso uscire, non ho tempo.


(I can't go out today. I don't have time.)
Posso aprire la finestra?
(May I open the window?)
Devo essere l alle quattro.
(I have to be there at 4 p.m.)
Vuoi vedere il film?
(Do you want to see the film?)

The verb sapere can also function like a modal verb.


When a modal verb and reflexive verb are used together, the reflexive pronouns may be placed before
both verbs or be attached to the infinitive.
e.g.

Mi devo alzare.
(I have to get up.)

or

Devo alzarmi.

Modal verbs follow the same rules as regular verbs in the 'passato prossimo' (present perfect).
e.g.
Ho dovuto aspettare un po'.
(I had to wait a little.)
When combining modal verbs with verbs that use the auxiliary 'essere', then the modal verb must
agree in number and gender with the subject.
e.g.

Maria andata via.


(Maria went away.)
Maria dovuta andare via.
(Maria had to go away.)
1. Il verbo 'potere' - The verb 'potere'

The modal verb 'potere' means 'to be able to', 'to be allowed to' or 'may'. It is conjugated as follows:
io
tu
lui / lei/ Lei
noi
voi
loro
e.g.

posso
puoi
pu
possiamo
potete
possono

Puoi aprire la finestra?


(Can you open the window?)
Posso venire anch'io?
(May I come too?)
1. I pronomi e l'infinito - The pronouns and the infinitive

It's also possible to attach the pronouns to the infinitive form. Notice that the final -e of the infinitive is
dropped.
e.g.

Lo devi salutare.
Devi salutarlo.
(You have to greet him.)
1. Il verbo 'potere' - The verb 'potere'

The modal verb 'potere' means 'to be able to', 'to be allowed to' or 'may'. It is conjugated as follows:
io
tu
lui / lei/ Lei
noi
voi
loro
e.g.

posso
puoi
pu
possiamo
potete
possono

Puoi aprire la finestra?


(Can you open the window?)
Posso venire anch'io?
(May I come too?)
1. Il verbo 'volere' - The verb 'volere'

'Volere' (to want, to wish) is, like all the modal verbs, irregular. However, its endings are the same as
those found in any other verb ending in -ere.
1. Il verbo 'dovere' - The verb 'dovere'
'Dovere' (must, to have to, should) is, like all modal verbs, irregular. However, the endings are the
same as those found in any other verb ending in -ere.
1. Il verbo 'sapere' - The verb 'sapere'
'Sapere' is an irregular verb and means both 'to know' and 'to be able to' or 'to know how to'.
e.g.

Sai chi viene?

(Do you know who's coming?)

'Sapere' is used to express an ability.


e.g.
Sai parlare inglese?
(Can you speak English?)
So nuotare, ma oggi non posso perch non ho tempo.
(I know how to swim, but I can't today because I haven't got any time.)
1. Una 'd' fra due vocali - A 'd' between two vowels
When 'e' (and) and 'a' (at, to) precede a word that begins with a vowel, a 'd' is often added to make the
pronunciation easier. Therefore, 'e' and 'a' change to 'ed' and 'ad'. 'Od' instead of 'o' also exists, but it
is not used very often in spoken Italian.
e.g.

Tu e io.
or Tu ed io.
Va a Ancona
or Va ad Ancona.
1. Il verbo 'volere' - The verb 'volere'

(You and I.)


(He goes to Ancona.)

'Volere' (to want) is an irregular verb. In the present tense, it is conjugated as follows:
io
tu
lui / lei / Lei
noi
voi
loro

voglio
vuoi
vuole
vogliamo
volete
vogliono

Modal verbs are used to express a relationship to an action: want, can, may, should or must. There
are four modal verbs in Italian.
volere

(to want)

potere
(to be able / to be allowed)
dovere
(to have / should)
sapere
(to be able/ to know how)
1. Il verbo 'dovere' - The verb 'dovere'
Like all the Italian modal verbs, 'dovere' (to have to / should) is an irregular verb. In the present tense,
it is conjugated as follows:
io
tu
lui / lei / Lei
noi
voi
loro

devo
devi
deve
dobbiamo
dovete
devono
20 Coniugazione - Conjugation

Italian verbs are grouped into three conjugations: those whose infinitive form ends in -are, -ere and
-ire.
e.g.

parlare
vedere
partire

(to talk)
(to see)
(to leave)

The conjugation is the declension of the verb according to the person (e.g. 'io' is the first person, 'tu' is
the second person), the number (e.g. singular or plural), the tense (e.g. present, imperfect) and the
mood (e.g. indicative, subjunctive). There is therefore a specific ending for each person.
io
tu
lui, lei
Lei
noi
voi
loro

(I)
(you)
(he, she)
(you - formal)
(we)
(you)
(they)

1st pers. sing.


2nd pers. sing.
3rd pers. sing.
3rd pers. sing.
1st pers. pl.
2nd pers. pl.
3rd pers. pl.

Endings within a conjugation follow a regular pattern when the verb is a regular verb.
e.g
parlare
io parlo
(I speak)
cantare
io canto
(I sing)
It is usually the stem of irregular verbs that changes:
e.g.
andare

(to go)

io vado
(I go)
tu vai
(you go)
lui, lei va
(he, she goes)
Lei va
(you go - formal)
noi andiamo
(we go)
voi andate
(you go)
loro vanno
(they go)
1. Presente indicativo - Present indicative
The present indicative mood expresses facts and conveys certainty and objectivity. It comprises four
simple and four compound tenses:
The 'presente' (present) refers to actions and facts in the present.
e.g.
Oggi non lavoro.

(I'm not working today)


L'acqua del mare salata.
(The water in the sea is salty.)
The present tense in Italian can also be used instead of the future when it is clear that the action will
happen in the future.
e.g.
Domani non lavoro.
(I'm not working tomorrow.)
The present tense can also be used when recounting events that took place in the past. The use of
this 'presente storico' (historical present) is a stylistic choice. It conveys a sense of vividness or
immediacy. It can be used in both written and spoken Italian.
e.g.

Alessandro Manzoni nasce a Milano nel 1785.


(Alessandro Manzoni was born in Milan in 1785.)
Ieri ero in Galleria e chi incontro? La professoressa di inglese!
(I was in Galleria yesterday and who do I meet? The English professor!)
1. La coniugazione di 'essere' - The conjugation of 'essere'

The Italian verb 'essere' is irregular and an auxiliary just like the verb 'to be' in English.
In Italian, the personal pronouns io, tu, lui, lei, Lei, noi, voi, loro (I, you, he, she, you (formal) we,
you, they) are usually only used for emphasis.
e.g.

Sono di Roma.
(I'm from Rome.)
1. 'C'', 'ci sono'

Io sono di Roma, non lui.


(I'm from Rome, he's not.)

'C'' (there is) is used before singular nouns, and 'ci sono' (there are) before plural nouns.
e.g.

Qui c' un gatto.


(There is a cat here.)
Qui ci sono due gatti.
(There are two cats here.)
1. Il verbo 'avere' - The verb 'avere'

'Avere' (to have) is another auxiliary verb that is used to form the different past tenses.
1. La forma di cortesia - The polite form
The pronouns 'tu' and 'voi' are informal forms of address used with family members, friends and
children. 'Lei' and 'Loro' are polite or formal forms that are used to address strangers.
In Italian, the 'Lei' form is expressed using the 3rd person singular of the verb. The corresponding
personal pronoun 'Lei' (formal you) is capitalized.
e.g.
Tu, sei di Roma?
(informal: Are you from Rome?)
Lei, di Roma?
(formal: Are you from Rome?)
Lei, come sta?
(formal: How are you?)
As already mentioned, in Italian the personal pronouns are usually only used for emphasis.
1. I verbi - The verbs
In Italian, the verbs are divided into three conjugations: those that end in -are, -ere and -ire.
e.g.

amare
vedere
partire

(to love)
(to see)
(to leave)

finire

(to finish)

In general, the endings in each conjugation are the same. With irregular verbs, the stem of the
1. Alcuni verbi in -are - Some -are verbs
partecipare
telefonare
parlare
sognare
mangiare

(to participate)
(to call, to ring)
(to talk, to speak)
(to dream)
(to eat)

These verbs are regular.


1. La coniugazione dei verbi in -are - The conjugation of -are verbs
The endings are attached to the verb stem.
e.g.
io
tu
lui
lei
Lei
noi
voi
loro

cantare
canto
canti
canta
canta
canta
cantiamo
cantate
cantano
1. I verbi in -ire - Verbs ending in -ire

(to sing)
(I sing)
(you sing)
(he sings)
(she sings)
(formal: you sing)
(we sing)
(you sing)
(they sing)

When conjugating -ire verbs, keep the following rules in mind:


Verbs with two consonants before the -ire, as in 'sentire' (to hear / to feel) or 'dormire' (to sleep), are
conjugated like the verb 'partire'.
Verbs with a vowel and a consonant before the -ire, as in 'finire' (to finish / to end), are conjugated like
the verb 'capire'.
1. I verbi irregolari - Irregular verbs
Like most irregular verbs, it is the stem that is irregular, not the endings.
e.g.

tenere
venire
(to hold)
(to come)
io
tengo
vengo
tu
tieni
vieni
lui / lei / Lei
tiene
viene
noi
teniamo
veniamo
voi
tenete
venite
loro
tengono
vengono
1. Un'altra forma di cortesia - Another polite form

dire
(to say)
dico
dici
dice
diciamo
dite
dicono

The 2nd person plural is sometimes used instead of the 3rd person singular for the polite form.
e.g.

Come sta, Sig. Luzzo?


Come state, Sig. Luzzo?
(How are you, Mr Luzzo?)

This form is often used in Southern Italy, in old texts, in films and
1. I verbi 'dire' e 'dare' - The verbs 'dire' and 'dare'

Here you'll see how the verbs 'dire' (to say) and 'dare' (to give).
dire
io
dico
tu
dici
lui, lei, Lei
dice
noi
diciamo
voi
dite
loro
dicono
1. Verbi irregolari - Irregular verbs

dare
do
dai
d
diamo
date
danno

'Tenere' (to hold, to keep) and 'bere' (to drink) are irregular verbs. The endings are identical to those
found in any other -ere verb, but here the stem changes.
e.g.
bere
io
bevo
tu
bevi
lui / lei / Lei
beve
noi
beviamo
voi
bevete
loro
bevono
21 Coniugazione - Conjugation
Italian verbs are grouped into three conjugations: those whose infinitive form ends in -are, -ere and
-ire.
e.g.

parlare
vedere
partire

(to talk)
(to see)
(to leave)

The conjugation is the declension of the verb according to the person (e.g. 'io' is the first person, 'tu' is
the second person), the number (e.g. singular or plural), the tense (e.g. present, imperfect) and the
mood (e.g. indicative, subjunctive). There is therefore a specific ending for each person.
io
tu
lui, lei
Lei
noi
voi
loro

(I)
(you)
(he, she)
(you - formal)
(we)
(you)
(they)

1st pers. sing.


2nd pers. sing.
3rd pers. sing.
3rd pers. sing.
1st pers. pl.
2nd pers. pl.
3rd pers. pl.

Endings within a conjugation follow a regular pattern when the verb is a regular verb.
e.g
parlare
io parlo
(I speak)
cantare
io canto
(I sing)
It is usually the stem of irregular verbs that changes:
e.g.
andare
io vado
tu vai
lui, lei va
Lei va
noi andiamo
voi andate
loro vanno
1. Verbi in -are - Verbs ending in -are

(I go)
(you go)
(he, she goes)
(you go - formal)
(we go)
(you go)
(they go)

(to go)

A regular verb is conjugated by dropping the -are of the infinitive and adding the appropriate ending to
the stem of the verb.
Regular -are verbs in the present indicative are conjugated as follows:
e.g.
cantare
(to sing)
io
canto
(I sing)
tu
canti
(you sing)
lui, lei
canta
(he/she sings)
Lei
canta
(you sing - formal)
noi
cantiamo
(we sing)
voi
cantate
(you sing)
loro
cantano
(they sing)
Verbs ending in -care and -gare insert an -h- before the 'tu' and 'noi' endings to preserve the hard 'g'
and 'c' sounds found in the stem.
e.g.
dimenticare
(to forget)
io
dimentico
(I forget)
tu
dimentichi
(you forget)
noi
dimentichiamo
(we forget)
pagare
(to pay)
io
pago
(I pay)
tu
paghi
(you pay)
noi
paghiamo
(we pay)
1. Il verbo 'stare' - The verb 'stare'
'Stare' has a variety of meanings; for example, 'to be', 'to stay', or 'to live'. It is also used to describe a
state of being.
e.g.

Sto qui.
Come stai?

(I'm staying here.)


(How are you?)

'Stare in piedi' means 'to stand'.


'Stare seduto' means 'to sit'
e.g.

Io sto in piedi.
Io sto seduto.
1. I verbi - The verbs

(I'm standing.)
(I'm sitting.)

In Italian, the verbs are divided into three conjugations: those that end in -are, -ere and -ire.
e.g.

amare
vedere
partire
finire

(to love)
(to see)
(to leave)
(to finish)

In general, the endings in each conjugation are the same. With irregular verbs, the stem of the verb
often changes.
1. Alcuni verbi in -are - Some -are verbs
partecipare
telefonare
parlare
sognare
mangiare

(to participate)
(to call, to ring)
(to talk, to speak)
(to dream)
(to eat)

These verbs are regular.


1. La coniugazione dei verbi in -are - The conjugation of -are verbs
The endings are attached to the verb stem.
e.g.
io
tu
lui
lei
Lei
noi
voi
loro

cantare
(to sing)
canto
(I sing)
canti
(you sing)
canta
(he sings)
canta
(she sings)
canta
(formal: you sing)
cantiamo
(we sing)
cantate
(you sing)
cantano
(they sing)
1. L'imperativo dei verbi in -are - The imperative form of -are verbs

The imperative is used to give orders or advice. Here are the imperative forms for -are verbs.
e.g.

parlare
parla!
parli!
parliamo!
parlate!
parlino!

(to talk)
(informal: talk!)
(formal: talk!)
(Let's talk!)
(informal:pl. talk!)
(formal: pl. talk!)

The formal form 'Parlino' is hardly ever used in Italian today. It is more common to use the informal
form 'parlate' when referring to more than one person.
1. Il futuro semplice dei verbi in -are - The future simple of -are verbs
The future simple is used to express actions that will take place in the future. Verbs ending in -are are
conjugated as follows:
e.g.
cantare
(to sing)
canter
(I will sing / I'm going to sing)
canterai
canter
canteremo
canterete
canteranno
The future simple of 'essere' and 'avere' are:
essere
sar
sarai
sar
saremo
sarete
saranno
1. Le coniugazioni - The conjugations

avere
avr
avrai
avr
avremo
avrete
avranno

Italian verbs are divided into three conjugation groups: -are, (1st) -ere (2nd) and -ire (3rd) verbs.
Regular verbs ending in -are, like 'cantare' are conjugated as follows in the indicative present:
infinitive:
io

cantare
canto

(to sing)
(I sing)

tu
lui / lei / Lei
noi
voi
loro

canti
canta
cantiamo
cantate
cantano

(you sing)
(he / she / you sing)
(we sing)
(you sing)
(they sing)

The polite form of address corresponds to the 3rd person singular of the verb.
e.g.

Sig. Rossi, Lei parla inglese?


(Mr Rossi, do you speak English?)
1. Il verbo 'stare' - The verb 'stare'

'Stare' (to be, to stay) is a regular verb ending in -are. The meaning of 'stare' changes according to the
way in which it is used.
'Stare' is used to ask how someone is.
e.g.

Come stai?
(How are you?)
Sto bene.
(I'm fine.)
Come sta?
(How is he? / How is she? / formal: How are you?)
Come state?
(How are you two?)
Stiamo bene.
(We're fine.)
Come stanno?
(How are they?)
1. Il verbo 'stare' - The verb 'stare'

You can ask how someone is by using the verb 'stare'. It is conjugated like any other regular verb
ending in -are.
1. I verbi in -are - Verbs ending in -are
Regular verbs ending in '-are' are conjugated as follows:
e.g.
parlare
(to speak)
io
parlo
(I speak)
tu
parli
(you speak)
Lei
parla
(she speaks)
22 Coniugazione - Conjugation
Italian verbs are grouped into three conjugations: those whose infinitive form ends in -are, -ere and
-ire.
e.g.

parlare
vedere
partire

(to talk)
(to see)
(to leave)

The conjugation is the declension of the verb according to the person (e.g. 'io' is the first person, 'tu' is
the second person), the number (e.g. singular or plural), the tense (e.g. present, imperfect) and the
mood (e.g. indicative, subjunctive). There is therefore a specific ending for each person.
io
tu
lui, lei
Lei
noi
voi
loro

(I)
(you)
(he, she)
(you - formal)
(we)
(you)
(they)

1st pers. sing.


2nd pers. sing.
3rd pers. sing.
3rd pers. sing.
1st pers. pl.
2nd pers. pl.
3rd pers. pl.

Endings within a conjugation follow a regular pattern when the verb is a regular verb.
e.g
parlare
io parlo
(I speak)

cantare

io canto

It is usually the stem of irregular verbs that changes:


e.g.
andare
io vado
tu vai
lui, lei va
Lei va
noi andiamo
voi andate
loro vanno

(I go)
(you go)
(he, she goes)
(you go - formal)
(we go)
(you go)
(they go)

(I sing)
(to go)