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Mi e Zollo, Alan


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1 Verbs
1.1.1 1.1.2 1.1.3 1.1.4 1.1.5
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Talking about what you do About verbs: what is the infinitive? Groups of verbs Irregular verbs Th 'persons' of the vrb Fast track: v rbs Talking about what you are doing now: the present tense Talking abo It what you are doing at thi moment: the pres nt continuous tense Talking about yourself: io Talking to someone younger or som on you know well: tu Talking about someone or omething I : lui/lei/Lei Talking about your elf and som on ) : noi Talking to marc than one per on you know w 11:voi Talking about other people and thing: loro/Loro Fast track: the pre ent tense Nega:tives, interrogatives and imperatives Negatives: how to say what you don't do Interrogatives: a king question Imp ratives: giving order, direction r in tructions Fast track: negative, interrogative and imp ratives The past tenses The p rfeet tens : it passaic prossimo How to form the past participle

4 5 7 10 12

13 14 24 29

1.2.1 1.2.2 1.2.3 1.2.4 1.2.5 1.2.6 1.2.7 1.2.8


our other litles, please


British Library CatalOf)uing

in Publication Data

A catologue record for this tille is available from the British library ISBN· 10: 0 340904 976 ISBN-J 3: 978 0 340 904 978 First Edilion Published 2005 Impression number 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Year 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Copyright


39 41 44 50 50 50

2005 Mike Zollo, Alan Wesson


1.3.1 1.3.2 1.3.3 1.3.4

All rights reserved. No rt of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any farm or by any means, eleclronic or mechanical. including photocopy, recording, or any informotion storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or under licence from the Copyright licensing Agency limited. Further details of such licences [lor reproqrophic reproduction) may be obtained from the Copyright licensing Agency limited, of 90 Tonenhorn Court Rood, london WlT 4LP. All illustrations drown by Chris Blythe/Daedalus Studio Typeset in 10.5/12pt New Baskerville by Servis FilmseNing ltd, Manchester Printed and bound in Malta for Hodder Arnold, on imprint of Hodder Education, a member of the Hodder Heodline Group, 338 Euston Rood, London NW I 3BH.

52 60
62 63 67

1.4.1 1.4.2


... r:

o u



1.4.3 1.4.4 1.4.5 1.4.6 1.4.7 1.4.8

R flexive v rbs in the perfect t n e The imp rfect t nse: when to u e it How to form the imperfect ten Perf ct or imperfect? The past d finite tense: il pas aio remoto Fast track: the past t n s The future tense and the conditional The future tense: 'J wi]] .. .' The conditional: '1 would ... How to form th conditional Fast track: the future and conditional


74 74
77 78

2 Nouns and Determiners

2.1' 2.2 2.3 2.4
Nouns and gender Nouns and the words for 'the': ingular noun 114


iI, 10 etc .

115 115 116

... e

.! r:


Nouns in the plural: i, gli, and Ie Nouns and the word for 'a': un, un', uno and uno How to tell if a noun is masculine or feminine How to say 'my', 'you', 'his', 'her', etc.
'My': it mio, Lamia, i miei, If mie 'Your': it tuo, La tua, i tuoi, le tue 'His' and 'h r': it suo, La sua, i suoi, le ue 'Our': it nostro, la nostra; i nostri, le nostre 'Your': it uostro, la uostra; i oostri le uostre , heir: il loro La loro, i [oro, le loro 'Your' (formal): it suo, La ua, i uoi, le sue, il loro,


1.5.3 1.5.4

82 86 86 89 90 91 93
94 95

119 ] 21 123 123 12 125

2.6.1 2.6.2 2.6.3 2.6.4 2.6.5 2.6.6 2.6.7 2.6.8

1.6.1 1.6.2 1.6.3 1.6.4

The subjunctive How to form the subjun tive Expressions which tak the 'ubjunctive R cogni in the subjun tive Fast track: the subjunctiv

. ]26 ]26

]27 ]27


Other tenses Fast track: verbs

96 97

La Ioro, i 10'1"0,le loro Fast track: nouns and determin



2.7.1 2.7.2

Useful expressions using verbs 1.9.1 Essere and stare 1.9.2 'There i /are': c'e, ci sono 1.9.3 'To have'; peciaJ us s of auere 1.9.4 'To know; sapere or conoscerel 1.9.5 Irnper onal verbs 1.9.6 'Sa k-to-Iront' erbs 1.9.7 'To take', 'to bring' and 'to look for/fetch/meet' a person 1.9.8 'To remember' and 'to forget' egative e _pr ssions 1.9.9 Question word and word ord r 1.9.10 1.9'.11 'Since', 'ago' and 'to have ju t': da, fa a~d appena 1.9.12 Fast track: mol' on auere and th rueful verbs

]00 101 101 104 105 106 107 107 108


More determiners 'This', 'the e', 'that' and 'thos ': questo/questa/questi/ quesle/quel/ quelio/ quella/ quell '/ quei/ quegli/ quelle 'How much?', 'How many?': quanro/quanta/ouarui/

129 129 130 130


• om " 'other', 'all', 'any', ' very' etc.


3.1.3 3.1.4 3.1.5 3.1.6 3.1.7 3.1.8 3.1.9



he,' she,' esso/ / esso, 'I! ,you, 'it': subject pronouns lo, '[': first P rson ingular Tu, 'you': second person singular, familiar form Lei, 'you': se ond per on singular polit form Lui (egli), lei (fllet), anclesso/essa, 'he-., 'sh ','it': third p rson ingular oi, 'we': first per 'on plural, Voi, 'you': econd I er on plural, familiar form Loro, 'you': and person plural, polite form Loro, 'they': third per on plural Fast track: ubject pronouns
I 0, t u, L·el,
J I J !


IUI, Iel,. .

133 134 134 134 134 135 135 135 135 136


6.3 6.4 6.5

Fast track: prepositions Other useful prepositions Expressions of time



7 Coniunctions and other useful



Verb Tables


Italian Grammar Made Easy is an Italian grammar workbook aim d at adult non-linguists, that is adults with orne rudimentary knowledg of Italian, who do not n cessarily knox anything about grammar, but need to I am about it a they can progress beyond phras book Italian. In the past, grammar has be n seen as a barrier to languag Ie rning. It has put mar people off learning a language than it ha help d. Becaus of the way grammar has b en portray d tudents were oft n mad to feel that only thos who could master 'conju ation ' and 'd d nsions' could learn a language. In fact, you can drive a car without mastering til principl of the int mal combustion engine but if au do 1 arn where to put the oil.and how to ch ck the tyres and fill up the wind creen wash, it do s 11lp! Grammar is about re 0 nising word patterns which gi.v you a framework to a language; if you know the framework, au can 'build' new language of your own inst ad of having to learn verything by heart. For tho e who already know some Italian grammar, short cuts are mark d with ........ to nable you to go straight to the information you need. If you fe I you would like to have mol' in-depth knowledge about a particular grammar point, pI a e refer to Azione Grammatico D. Aust with M. Zollo, 1997/2000, 2.d edition. An interactive CO-ROM accompanies this book for use with a PC, Th CD-ROM contains exercises from the book. Most ex rcises are recorded so that you can list n to a native speaker aying the sent nces and there is a 'click on' facility to allow you to read the English translation. Th r is also some additional listening' material which provides a us ful resource and brings the language to life.


A simple quide to the ports of speech

I'f you know what verbs, nouns, pronouns, adverbs, etc. are, go on to 1.1. Th rno

4 Adj ctive
Adjectives are 'describing' something or som one.
th - new house, the red

words. They are used to de cribe

ar, a tiny flat, a wet day, a buS)'


secretary useful at g ries of word to recogni e are: or s m thing i doing.

i -

5 Adverbs
Adverbs ar words which usually d scrib a verb, .. . they g d escribe how something is done. They often answer the question How? and in English they oft nnd in -l)l. He runs fast. h ats slowly. It com s naturally!

1 Verb - 'doing' words

Verb' tell you wh t
meon I am going to ltaly. My friend booked the flight. I am going to a meeting.

You al a u e them to
Have you seen th

k questi n ...

6 Pr po ition
Prepositions ar words whi h usually tell you wh re som thing is, .g. in, under, on. Words such as to, Jar, with, and unthoui ar also P" positions. a th ection me fir t in the

film? Are you all right?

... and to give in tru tions.

Fetch itl Slow down!

Help me! Wail!

Verb I ually pre nt the mo t P" bl m, dealing with them i he lange t n and book.

2 Noun - 'naming' words

olin are the word which tell y u: • what omething i : a timetable, a train, a station, a town, a secret • who omeone is: a teuiard; a bank clerk, a baker, a tudent

Pronoun are word which' tal d in' for a noun. ign r Bianchi liv in Rome. ignor Bianchi i Italian. Instead of repeating

ignor Bianchi, you can

y he.

ignor Bianchi i Italian. He livesin Rom . In the same way, you can ay she in lead of rep ating Marisa in the following senten e. Marietta works in Pi mbin The e are al

ferry porl.


: I, you it, one we, lhey, me,


~ ~

About verbs: what is the infinitive?

Ilf you know whotth.e infinitive is, go on to 1"1.2. When you look up a verb in a dictionary, you wilt find the infinitive form of it listed first. This is the 'name' of the verb.





about what you do

If you know who,t

In English, the infinitive consists of 'to' + verb, e.g. 'to eat', 'to build', 'to paint'. Here are some Italian infinitives. You probably know some of them already or can guess what they mean. ill ee how many you can match up with their English ,counterparts:
a pcrlore

verb is, go on to 1.1.1.

You use a verb to talk about what someone or something does, is doing, has done, or intends to do or is being, ha been or intends to be. A verb can be called a doing or being word.
To find out if a word is a verb ask yourself if someone could do it.

preparare 'C organizzare d entrare

to wash to travel

tudy at/' check

to look to invite

Which of these words are thing YOllcan do?

a walk b train rs

e viaggiare f portore
controllare h invitore i lavore

ornpuaer behind listen

to pr pare to speak

carry/tak Iwear enter

c ShOUl d inv 'c.nt

e loud

h red

to organise



Som words can be used as verbs and nouns or adjectives. e.g. 'Drink' can be a drink in a cur or part of the verb 'to drink'.
Ask: Are they 'doing' it? If Ihey ore it is a verb.

These are usually referred to as -are verbs be ause their infinitive form ends ill -are:
Try to look for similorities between Italian and English. Some ore obvious: for example entrare means to enter. Others ore less obvious, such as vioggiare which means to travel (or to go on a voyage); another is control/are meaning to check, similar to the idea of 'control', which is of course another meaning for this verb. Don't be afraid to try out these lillie 'leaps of faith', thinking oround the areas of possible meaning: yaur guesses will usually be correct.


Which of the italicized words are being used as verbs?

a Jack and Jill are to appear b They will i}iay th I ading c Th y 1UOlfi during the day d An r wor-Ii the- go to r h in a I)lay at the loca] th au: '. parts .. in an off e. arsals ..

e T night the ar having a meeting to dis uss th production, f The- ar meeting in the theatr bar ..

The Italian infinitive is often used to give commands, especially on public notices, and especially when telling people not to do something: Aprire can attenzione. Vietato calpestare l'erbo Open car fully Don't walk on the grass!

They need to dis us finance.

h Local. sponsors usually finance the produ lions .. The produc r reports that this tim there will b no sponsorship. J According to n wspaper reports the sponsor hav gon bankrupt.


Here are some more -are verbs. How many of them do you know already? They all have to do with food and eating. Try to pair them off corr cdy with their meanings in English.


a cucinore b cenore

to sprinkle to thaw to eat to mix to dine to lunch to to to to



Groups of verbs
Group 1': -,are,verbs
porlore mongiare

'Group 3: -ire verbs
dormire servire



tagliore i mangiare j pranzore k mescolore

d ,e f g h

spruzzore congelore sgelare brasare versare

Group 2: -ere verbs

prendere scrivere

llnlre preferire

fre ze cook braise to pOllr

I:fyou know how to find the 'stem' or 1roo,' of a verb, go on to 1.1.3,.


If you find it difficult to learn new words, try to lind a 'hook' to hong them on: e.g. cucinare based on cueino - kitchen, which is like cuisine in French. Similarly, if you know 109liolelle, which means posto cut into strips, you can easily remember that rag lime must be to cuI.

In English, wejust have regular and irregular verbs. A v rb like 'to dance' is regular: 'dance', 'dances', 'dane d', 'danced' ,and a verb like 'to fly' is irregular: 'fly', 'flies', 'new', 'flown'.
As you have probably already noticed, Italian v rbs are more complicated ..Italian school hildren have to spend

More than 50% 01 English words derive from Latin, as do more than 90% of Italian words; indeed, one could say that Italian is modern Latin. Of course this means that if you don't know a verb, you can just say the English verb with an Italian accenl: you have a 50% chance of being understood.

years learning all about Italian verbs, but we can find some shortcuts. Italian also has regular and irregular vrbs, but we usually divide Italian regular verbs into three main groups to make them easier to learn, depending on whether the infinitive ends in (1) -are, (2) -ere or (3) -ire; this last group has two sub-groups, as we shall see later. The stem, 0Dr root, of the verb is that part which is left after you take off the nding. It is used in ma imlgthe other parts of the verb which you use to talk about the past and the future. VI Whi.ch group does each verb belong to and what is its stem? (Remember: take off the -are; -ere or -ire to find the stern.)
a vendere b moslrare
to to

What do you think the Italian for these verbs would be? Cover up the Italian and see ltfyou can work it out, or join the corre t pairs with a line.
a to b to C to d to e to f to begin accept separate evaluate steal sail terminare valutare pubblicare navigare girare cominciare separare rubore continuore acceltare


(2) vend


c e

cantore lavare concludere

to sil1lg to go up to wash to end to listen to lose to leave to take to choose to carry, wear LO return LO come to sleep

d solire

g h j

to publish
to turn
La La

continue end

g a scoltare
h chiudere

Most verbs based on a naun or an cdieclive, and based on 'imported' from other languages, are -ote verbs
pronzo film fox

j k


lunch film fax risk

pronzore film ore faxore rischiare

to have lunch to film to fax to risk


prendere scegliere portare tornare venire dormire

8 of 11.1

Fortunately, the majority of Italian verbs belong 10 group 1 I-ore verbs) and they are mastly regular. When we say they are regular, we mean they follow the same pattern, so if you learn one, you can work out the endings you need for all the others.

Some verbs with example' only): dovere sedersi

tern sp llingchanges

(the forms given are


to hav to. it to hold


lrrepulor verbs
really fit into any verbs. This means that you have to learn them separately, and, of cours ,they are the v rbs you are likely to want to u e rno t. Fortunate! , Oll probably know quite a lot of them already, although you might not be aware of it: for e ample, you probably know that 'I know' is (io) so or 'I don't know' is (io) non so but the infinitiv is sapere. Som v rbs are awkward and don't

tenere uscire venire

pan rn. Th yare called irregular

to go out to om

devo dobbiama mi siedo ci sediamo tengo tieni eseo usciamo vengo vieni change'

I, I have to


w have to I sit w sit I hold you hold I go out we go out

l com you come


Some v rbs with pecial spelling xamples only): to took for, to try to pay


forms given
I look for

ot person spoken

that in Italian, endings forms.

emphasis or clarity is needed,

the p rson word i only used when because th different verb aT dear and di tinctiv in both written and verbs to I. am, andare - to go vado - I am going

eereare pogare



pogo paghi

I pay you pay

Thes ar th most important irregular becaus they ar th most u ed:


io form: om

essere - to b sana - [am

avere - to have ho - J hay

If you know th rul s of spelling and pronoun ing Italian, you might notic that in each of these verbs the -h- is being used to keep th sound of th clg. Note also that verbs based on an irr gular v rb follow the sam irregular pattern, for xampl : solire tenere venire cercore to to to to go up hold come look for s. volere andare essere sapere dovere fare potere avere prendere vedere risalire

verbs are only irr gular in certain f rms, and others irregular. Many have predi table spelling changes only in some forms, often imply to pre erve th ound of a consonant or to 'strengthen' the ound of a vow l.

ar completely

Some verbs with irregularitie parre rimanere


in certain pongo pongono rimango rimangono solqo

:1 volgo I volgono

f rms only:
[ put they/you" put I remain th y/you r main. I go lip th y/you g up I am worth th y/you are worth pop!

convenire ricercore

go up again to 1I tain to agree LO s k


to put to remain to go up to be worth



the infinitiv


Ole: this form of yot! is used for two or mor know w II (the formal plural form).

do n.ot

how to b to see c to have d to go e to be able to f to have to g to want to h to take i to be j to do

a to know


1.1.4 The persons' of the verb


If you know aboutthe/persons'


of the v,er:b go to

ote 1. otic how the formal 'you' in the singular and plural is written with a capital L; this h Ips distinguish them from 'she' and 'they' in written form. form


Wh n w talk about our elve , it i called the 'fir t person'. When w talk about or to 'you', it i alled th 'se ond p rson '. When we talk about som one el e it is called the 'third person'. ole that in Italian, the formal forms of you, lei and loro, use th third pers n verbs. In English, we only change th nding when w ar about h Ish or it: 'I walk - h walks'. Singular first person second person third person
J talk

ote 2. Y u may om lim for 'he' and' h 'glv

ome aero s th n in bra k -LS.

alt mauve

10, tu; lui, lei t. are called pronoun be au e they' tand in' for, or represent, a person or thing. Mr Smith - 'he'; Mr and Mrs Smith - 'th -y';Jim Smith and 1- 'we', etc.
Tu. i only us d when talking to a hild, a r lation or v ry good friend. It impli s a certain degree of intimacy and should not b u ed to address an adult unless h or she invites you to use it; Lei is used for formal situations ...The arne i true in the plural with voi and LOrD, though this latter form is hardly ever used now, and voi is used insi ad. lui/ lei, 'h / he'. 3.1.4), as everything feminine; word i u ually u d for 'it' (but s e in Italian is either masculine or even wind w nd door ar . feminine words.


Plural we talk you talk they talk

you talk h I h lit talks

In many language the verb ending changes according to who i doing th action and yOLlhave to learn the pattern of th v rb. In Italian, the ending changes in c1 ar pattern to show who is doing the a tion. Fortunately, in Italian not only are the endings spell differently, but they all sound different, so there is never any confusion about who is doing what: it is worth learning them thoroughly. This is also why the 'person words' are usually not needed. Singular first person second person third person
[io] poria


lora is us d for any group mal ,femal or mix d.

of peopl

(or thing)


For more information on pronouns, go to chapter 3. Which pronoun would you us ? tu io noi lui tu Lei lui Ioro io voi lui lei noi voi lei lei lui lei lei noi voi tu lora noi about: lei lu lui Lora noi


[noi] porliamo [voi) parlate

[tul porh [lUi/lei) poria io tu Lei lui leglil lei [ello] noi voi Loro loro


a You are talking about yourself: 1 am speaking. b You are talking about a girlfriend: c You are talking about a male friend: d You are talking about your elf and a male friend: e You are talking to two little girls: f You are talking to a stranger: g You are talking about a group of women: h You are talking about a mixed group or a group of men: IX Which pronoun

you you (formal) he she we (111 friend and I) you you (plural formal) they

would you use when you ar noi Ioro voi loro Ioro noi tu lora noi lora

talking lui lei Lei lei lei voi voi voi voi noi

a your friend Paolo

b your friend Maria c Signor Bianchi d ignor e signors Larini e Signora Bianchi e signora Larini: f yourself and YOUl· male friend g yourself h Paolo, Guglielmo e Maria ignori Marino, Barilla e Ducati j yourself and YOlll' friends ilvia and Carla

io noi lora voi


11 ..1.5

.... Fast track: verbs

rb ar doing word: You use th m to say what you (or omeone/something else) are doing and to ask sam one what he/sh is doing .. In English when we look up a verb in th dictionary it is prec ded by the word 'to': 'to go', 'to dri e'. 'to eat' etc. Thi i called th infinitive. In Italian th ii finitive is identified by its last thre so it i the end of the verb which i important. letters,


Talking about what you are doing now: the present tense

13 ..a

If you know about the present tense and when to use it go on to section 1.2.8.



The pre ent tense is used:

cl ing now: to mak a gen ral nat meni about what happ ns: to ay what u ually happ n :
to ay what you ar

All Italian infinitiv s end in -are, -ere or -ire, xcept verbs lik trarre and porre, their ompound and tho e of dun-e. Ea h of the e is a sort of 'last name' for a large family of verb whi h hal' their behaviour and characteristics. In •ngl.ish we just hav two main arts of verbs: regular and irregular. In Italian th

talk about sorn thing whi .h will happ n '0 n:

'I am reading' 'It rarely rains in southern Ital ' 'We go out on Frida evenings' 'Mum arrives on the 7 o'clock train'

In English, we hav two way of talking about the PI' s nt. We an either u e 'am/is' or 'are' to say what we ar doing
11m-II: I amw rking. My fri -nel are going out. It i raining.

are thr c main groups or famili s of verbs:

-ote verbs which al-e regular and -ore v rb which are irregular
-ete verbs which are regular and -ere v rbs which are irregular -ite verbs which are regular (divided il l two main groups) and -ite verbs which are irregul, r

In English r gular and irregular verbs hange the ending only when talking about hel he/it:
I speak, he speaks 1 go, sh go s mfly, it flies

... or we can say what llsually/gen verb without the am, is or (poe:
[ read magazine
. Th yare egetarian. IL rains every day.

rally happens, using th

In Italian th verb ending hange for all the different peopl The differ nt p rsons are:

I io you (familiar) lu you (formal) lei h Ish '/iL lui/lei

we noi YOll (familiar) voi 1I (formal) lora th y loro

In Italian, there are the same two ways of xpre sing the pre ent tense, but the simple on -word form is usually nough to de cribe something g ing on at present unless au want a more vivid d ripti n, in which case the long r form i used. (See 1.2.1.)
leggo il giornale. lavorano oll'ceropono. I read/I am reading newspaper. the

II signor Loreto prende I 'outobus.

They work/The)' are working ;rti the airport. ignor Loreto is taking/lakes the bus.

Identify the verb you are going to u e wh n you say these in Italian:
a I am downloading my -mails. b M Iri nd i ringing m when sh geLS home. c Sh i. a ompanying h r parents to the airport.


d W ar e

g ing to the cinema


h is fet hing ITI . f he i taking h r parems' ar. g They ar flying with Alitalia. h Th yar vi iung th museum. i h i tudying in witz rland, j Aft rth cinema we ar dining at the Ristorante Dino.
accompagnare, lelefonare, cenare, volare scaricare, studiore, andare, prendere, porlare,


Talking about yourself: io

Remember in Italian the v rb ending who is doing th action .. If you know about the forms', p. 23. hanges a ording


;0 form go to Ichecklist: ;0


A 10


Talking about what you are doing at this moment: the present continuous tense
If you know about the present continuous tense and when to use it go on to 1.2.8. already mention d, Italian has a dir ct equivalent of the Engli h present with 'am/is/are', known as th present continuous ten . The appropriat part of th v rb stare in the pre ent ense i u ed with a part of th main verb whi h is equivalent to English '-iog' in this ns. This is aIled the gerund ( ornetim s the pres nt participl ). For -are verb, this ends in -an do, • nd for -ere and -ire verbs, it ends in -endo.

II and regular -are verbs V rbs which nd in -are in the infinitive ar called -are verbs. Th infiniLiv i the form you find in th di tionary when you look a erb up ..

very large proportion

of Iialian verbs end in -ore and are regular.

In the io form (or first per 00) of th pres nt tense, all -are v rb end in -0. Try reading them aloud ..

arrie listen to look at/watch to work to speak t carry/wear to e plain to take to play (mu ic) to vi it

First person
arrivo ascolto guardo lovoro parlo porto spiego studio suono visito

I arriv I list n I look at/watch I work I p ak I arry/wear I xplain I tak I play I visit

guardare lavorare


Here are e ampl " D reach p rson of th verb. Can you tran late them? a
b c d e f
sta cantando slai mangiando sta bevendo sliamo lavorondo slale viaggiando slanno salendo

portare spiegare

suonare visilare

There are a few verb with slightly irregular -ing forms which can be learnt asil . REMEMBER: Thi form is not u ed as much as in English. The normal pres nt i usuall nough.

R m mber 'am ... ing', going from continuous The IV

that all th e Italian forms can also translat and that it is not necessary to ranslate 'am' English into Italian unless YOLI use the pres nt for vivid descriptions (See] .2.1). all -ote verbs
ends in -0.

;0 Form of

Say what you are doing or somebody else is doing:

a I am working b you ar dreaming c w ar watching d you are reading e he is drinking
[lovorore] [tu - soqnore] (guordarel (Lei - leggerel

How would you ay th e in Italian? R me mber, io i onl needed for clarity or emphasi .
I P ak ngli ·h. I nudy to much. I am wearing jeans. ] work in an offi . Jam li t ning to th f I play th guitar. g J visit t.h town, a b c d e

10 __



(mangiare) [voi - vioggiore)

n w·.

in un ufficio. Ie notizie.

f th Y ar eating


011 011

are travelling ar laving

[lore - partire)

10 chitorro. to citto.


h ] am I J am

watching arriving explaining

the children. home. the firm's

i bambini.

coso. politico dell'azienda.


the overwhelming


of -are verbs are regular.


.B >


j I am



The io forms of all


verbs end in -0.

policies .

ow cover up the right-hand side of th

page and see if you


can do them again.

a b c d e f __

ay them aloud.
] work

omplete the e enten e with th bra ket and read them al ud. a 10 __ b __
c e __ __

right f.


of the verb in

These are all -are v rbs ..Fill in the gap.

in un ufficio. aile otto,




off .e.


in treno. (viaggiore) uno nolte a Ramo. [possore] un taxi. (chiamare)

10 macchina.
nell'edlhcto. il custode. l'oscensore piano. Ie chiavi in ufficio. i documenti nella in tasca. per solire

1 arriv at 'lock. [orrivore] I park my ·ar. (parcheggiore) 1 ! ter th . building. [entrare)

I gr
l th

d __

0110 stozlone,
un biglietto

(orrivore) (entrore) (comprore) per il Pendolino. ristoronte.




01 sesto g __

1 1I th lift to go to the sixth flo r. [usore] I look for m keys in Illy po keto

f __ g __
h __

nella biglietteria.

il treno.

(aspettore) (cenore) [chiocchierore]

nel vagone

I go into my office. (entrare) I look fOI- the documents in my

j __ k __ I __
m __
n __

un fox. (mandore) un po' con il mio vicino. il vicino a prendere un coffEl. [invitore] di 200 km/h. (guardore)

bri fcase.
fino aile dodici. ] work

[cercore] twelve. (Iavorore)

01 mio migliore ornico. [Ielefonore)

il paesoggio che posso 0110 velccito


Choose forgotten) down



the verbs which

you didn't

know before (or had

10 and regular -ere verbs

If you already know about regular -ere verbs, go on to '10 and irregular verbs' on p, 21.
Most verbs are -ore verbs, so there aren't so mony of these -ete verbs.

and which

you think would

be useful to leorn. Write

the meoning

and the first letter of the verb. See how many

you can remember.


How wOllld you say ....?


r am


into this shop.

10 __

in questa negozio. una macchina nuovo.

b ] am I u ing a new car. c ] am alJing my secretary. trying paying. a letter .. to answer out the the this beer.


v rb

In the io form (or fir t p ron) f th pre ent t n e, all -ere nd in -0, Try radii g tl. n aloud. Infinitive Meaning
to drink to ask for to run to believe Zthink to read to put to take to reply LO see to rli

__ __ __ __ __ __ (buttare)


mia segretaria. (provore)

First person
bevo chiedo carro credo leggo mello prendo rispondo vedo venda in that th infinitive simplifies




quesla birro. io! (pagare)

bere"' chiedere correre credere leggere mettere prendere rispondere vedere vendere

e I'm

I ask for
[ run [ believe/think [ read


I am sending
1 am trying

una letlera. (mandare) che faccia [cerccre] vecchi. caldo. (sperare) di rispondere via i giornali I (amare)

g 1 hop

it'll be hot.

0110 .




[ put
[ take

I I am

throwing you!

old papers.


Ti __
any verbs which you think would


I reply I see I sell

the stem used

Highlight sometime.

be useful for you to use

"' Bere



for most form .: beo- ,.,



Which verb would you



dormire offrire partire seguire sentire servire capire

to to to to to to sleep offer leave follow hear serve

a You have to take this medicine. b He has to ask for his m a1. c She has to run. d He has to r spond. e YOIl have La sell your hall e. f We have LOread this book. g You must .rlrink Italian win ! h You have to see what it is like! iJ YOIl have to Jlll! your narn Olll the form.

First person
dormo offra porto seguo sento servo copisco




-ire verbs

J sleep :I offer I leave I follow I hear I serve ] understand :I finish ] prefer J send

to understand to finish to prefer to send



ve thatl

-isc- verbs

linire prelerire spedire


Match the English and the Italian.

a b c d e f
I drink/am

preferisco spedisco



r lake/am Laking .
I run/am running . I readyam reading . (sell/am selling ... (ask for/am asking for ... E put/am putting . E believe/am belie ving ... J see/am seeing .... ] reply/am replying ... The io lorm

vendo chiedo vedo rnetto bevo corro rispondo prendo leg90 credo

Ho,w would you say the foHowing?

a Jam sleeping at my parents'
horne .. b ] am following you. ___ dai miei genitori. (dormire) [seguire) oggi. [portire] 10 musica. (sentire) un regalo 01 mio ornico. niente! [capire) elettronica 01


g h j

e J am leaving today. d I hear the music. J am offering a present to my friend. f I don't understand a thing! g ] prefer e-mail to the telephone. h ] am sending a message to my friend.

___ [offrire) Non ci


10 peste

01 -ete

verbs always ends in

telelono. (preferire) . un messaggio amico. (spedire)



Some have a special spelling or pronunciotion change to 'reinforce' or preserve their sound (see p. 20, '10 and verbs which change their spelling in the io [orrn'], The main ones are

Now cover up the right-hand side of the page and see If you can still do them.

conoscere, tenere and rimanere.


to open to cover to discover to suffer to con tribu te to construct to gllaranLe·e to accept (with thanks) to clean to suggest

10 and regular -ite verbs

If you already k.now about regulalr -;,.everbs, go on to 1"0 an.d irregular verbs' on p.21.

First person
apro copro scopro soffro




-ire verbs

coprire scoprire solfrire contribuire costruire garontire grodire pulire suggerire

I cover I dis over I suffer I contribut I con struct I guarantee I accept (with thanks)

Most verbs are -ate verbs, so there aren't many of these -tte verbs.

Like almost a~lverbs in the pre ent tense, thes end in -0 when you are talking about yourself (in the first person singular). Practise saying them aloud, as it will help you to remember th m.

-lsc- verbs

costruisco garantisco gradisco pulisco suggerisco

I clean
I suggest



How would you say the following?

a I open me door. b I sugg 51 a visit to

As 10 porto

___ (suggerirel

always, compound same way, e.g.

ritenere - ritengo pervenire - pervengo risolire - risalgo

verbs based on these behave in the

I think/believe/consider I r achz'arriv at I go up again


una visilo a Napoli. che sara buono,

L guarame

it will be good. ___



cover my call' when it rains.

10 mio mccchino
(coprirel ogni giOfno, uno coso.



How would . 0'1.1 say the following? Use the verbs in brackets.
a ram holding a pen in myhand. b r am going to go upstairs. c I know Romeo and Giuli ttal
___ (tenerel __ di sopra. uno penna in mono.

e 'I suffer every day. f I am building a house.

[am discov ring tile truth, h I am cornributmg ten euros.




10 verita, [scoprirel
dleci euro. [contribuire]

Romeo e Giulietlo! [conoscere] ___ Ie moni in tasco. a coso lutte Ie domeniche. [rirnonere] rag a zzc. ___ ___ (venire) ___ bene quello [tenerel

i ] clean th house once

per week.

10 coso uno volta 0110 settimona. [pulire]


ill my pocket. e I stay at home 'every unday,

have my hands

Now cover up the right-hand side of the page and se if you can still do them.

r know

that girl very well.



How would you say the following?

a I am discovering the news.
, Ie notizie. [scoprire] [pulire]

10 mio rnocchino.
un conto in banco.

I come home every day.

a coso ogni 9iorno. in mocchina. [ritenerel [risclire] rnolto

b 1 am cleaning my car.
c Lam op ning a bank account. d Lam guaranteeing this chequ e



r am getting r believe she



il bambino.

(garontirel (capri rei

back into the car. is a very woman.

che sio una donna inlelligente.

am covering

f 'I sugg st

w· meet

the baby. there.

Cover up th . Italian.

an you tin do them?


di trovorci li. (suggerirel

Soy them aloud sound

to get used to the sound of the words:



liltle like Ihe English?

irregular verbs Ne dIes to ay, Italian has a few irregular verbs which have to be learnt because they are u ed 0 much. Here are the mot useful ones In the io form in the pre ent tense.
ondare - vodo avere - ho dare - do dire - dico dovere - devo/debbo essere - sana fa:re - foccio morire - muoio potere - posso sopere - so store - 510 uscire - esco volere - voglio

10 and

verbs which change their spelling in the io form Some verbs in each of the three verb families modify their spelling ill the first person. This is to make tin verb easier to pronounce or to give it a stronger ound, However they all still end ]n -0 a you would expect. Here are the most useful examples:
rimonere - rimongo

10 and

I go I have I giv I ay [both are u d) I hav I am


I remain

I do I die
I can/am able I know/know how to I stay, am (location, state) I go om I want

tenere - ten90 venire - vengo scllre - solgo


Lcome I go up

ote al




in which the io form is pronounced with a hard -L~, though most of the other form ar pronounced with the 'sh' sound before -e and -i-.

Choose a verb from the list above and complete each sentence with the correct form.
a I want to play tennis with you. b I have an old rack t.
___ giocare a tennis can teo vecchio. una rocchetla




clam gi.ving you my good rack L d 1 hav to book the court, e I can bring some tennis balls.


10:mia roccheno buona. prenotare il compa.

portore delle palle do


How would you say the following?

a I wake lip at s ven o'clock.



b I get up straight away. c Firsl,] shave•

d Then [wash mys If.

f I an (1 know how to) play quit w Il.


giocare obbastonzo bene. in buone condizioni


aile sette. subito. Per prima coso, __ Poi __ davanti

e g

[am not very fiLl

I comb m hair in front of the mirror. [sit down in the lounge.

0110 specchio.

h [ am going h me afterwards.

Non fisiche! Dopa __

f [get dressed in my b droom.

h [get bored waiting for my fri nd. i [get angry with my Friend. j [fall asleep in my armchair. __ __

in camera, in solotio. aspeftando il mio omico. can il mio ornico. in paltrono.


10 and reflexive verbs

If you know about reflexive verbs, go on to p. 23, 'checklilst.: ;0 forms' o:r p. 23, 'saying you like something' .

Checklist: -io forms When talking about your If in th present tense, au u io (but only wh n necessary) and th right part of th verb. To find th -ire ending. right part of the verb, you take off the -are/-ere/

We don't hav an quivalent form in English but you probably already know the reflexive verb chiamar. i, 'to b call d', Mi chiamo mans 'I am called' Or literall 'I II mys If. otic how th reflexive' elf word is stu k onto th end of the infinitive, The e are usually kn wn a reflexive v rbs b caus most involve the idea of ding something to yourself, but they are al 0 ornetime known as pronominal verbs. When choosing a peclflc part of one of these verbs, start with the appropriate 'self word: when you are talking about yourself, you u e mi and th fir t person of the verb, just as normal. There are mor refl xive verbs in Italian than in English, many of which at not expr ssed with 'self in English. Notice how rno t of the following have the id a of doing omethu g to y ur elf:
addormentarsi alzorsi annoiorsi

You then add

The most important

andare - to go - vado avere - to hav - ho essere - t be - sana fore - to do - faccio

irregular io forms to r memb


Ch ck you know th se oth


ueful irregular verb:

to fall asleep to gel up to to to to to gel bored gel angry shave wash (oneself) comb one's hair

First pe.rson
mi addormento mi alzo mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi annoio orrobbio faccio 10 barba lava pettino ripaso siedo* sveglio vesta

I Meaning
I fall asleep I gel up J gel bored

conoscere - to know- conosco - I know (a person or place) sapere - toknow - so - I know (a fact, how to do something) dire - La sa - dice - ] say venire - to orne - vengo - I come/am coming

J gel angry
I shave I wash (myself) 1 comb my hair I r st , sit down I wake lip I get dressed

farsi 10 barbo lavarsi pettinarsi ripasarsi sedersi svegliorsi vestirsi

Saying you like something Italian d not r ally have a verb for 'to like'. Instead, it use 'to pI a e' a a ort of 'back-to-front' way of conveying th idea of liking:
mi piace questa coso

to rest to sit down to wake up to get dressed

literally mean

'thi hou e plea e me'.

So, for a plural thing liked, the verb becomes the plural 'th 'form:
mi piocciono queste case

* - .ote (he spelling

change in the stem of sedersi.

ate that the verb agree with the thing liked, which is theubj t. The per on liking i therefore expressed b


a pronoun. Th r are other expre 'ion this; here ar th most useful one : Verb
piacere inleressore rimonere fare male

whi h work lik

'" ..

pronounced except for h (never pronounced), so th se endings are very clear and distinct, which is why the tu its If is not normally needed in front of th v rb. -ote: [io] perle - (luI porli -ete: [io] prendo - (Iu) prsndi
-ite, normal type [io] parlo - (Iu) parti -ite, -isc- type [io] preferisco - (tu) preferisci*


I ... (singular)
mi piace mi interessa mi rimane mi fa mole il/lo ...

I •.• (plural)
mi piocciono mi interessano mi rimangono mi ionno male Vie ...

Meaning J like ... J am interested in ...

I have ....left my ... hurtfs)



* Note


that with all th e -isc- verbs, forms with -isci or -isce ar d with -sh-, whilst -isco- is pronounc d with a hard -C-.


Say that:
your head hurts b you onl have two aspirins I It c you only hav . on' iro I ft d you like soluble aspirin e you lind th f-ilm quit int r sting f you love soap op ra g you are interest d in th characters h.... our eyes hurt a __ __ 10 testa solo due aspirine. solo un euro. l'ospirino solubile, abbastanza il film. rnolto Ie telenovele. . i personaggi. gli occhi.

What i the tu form of the e verb ? a bu b drink c live

d speak e we tch

f sell g list n h writ

j verbs

wash work


__ __

Tu and


change the spelling: of their stem


Talking to someone younger or someone you know well: tu

This i th 'you' form, r the ' nd p r on' of the verb. h re £II' a tually four form f 'you' in Italian: the familiar forms tu (singular) and voi (plural) and the formal forms Lei (singular) and Lora (plural). You us the tu form if you £II' talking to someone you know well - a fri nd, a child or an animal. You do not u it to stranger, a business acquaintan or an older per on unle invited to d so. i a pecial expression which m ans to address , e as tu. - dare del tu, more or I ss lik 'b ing on firstterm '. If sorneon say, Possiamo darci del tu, it mean the tu. form'.
The tu form is easy, as in all verbs in Ihe present tense, and in many other tenses, it ends in -j.

A f w v rbs modify the spelling of their stem in the second per on (tu) form to k ep th onsonant sound, or to tr ngth n the owel ound. Verb with a stem ending in -(Jor -g- u an -h- to pr serve the hard -c- or -g- sound. am rb with terns ending in -i:- 10 it b fore th -i of th tu form i added, and a few modif th vowel of the tern. h e changes al 0 occur in am oth r forms of the v rbs affe t d. Here are some xample of ach type, with the io, first p I' on form given to how th change dearly. T'Ylpeof change
Final consonant of stem Loss of final -i from stem Vowel. change e > ie

cercare pagare mangiare studiare sedere [sedersi] tenere venire

to look for to pa to to to to eat study sit hold

persen cerco pago mangio studio mi siedo tengo vengo

Secondl Meaningl person

cerchi paghi mongi sludi Ii siedi lieni vieni you look for you pay you you you you you eat study sit hold come

to come


If you are not going to need the tu form, go to


Chao e a verb from the list abov and complete each que tion or sentence with th carr ct form. Then, if you ar fe ling adventurou , translate them into English.
a __

regular verbs In -are, -ere, and -ire verb,

no exc ptions. Remember

Tu and

the tu f rm nd in -i; there are that in Italian, all 1 tter are

h Quale lingua __

a giocme a squash con me? lu? la carne?


d Che coso

nei negozi?

lu a devo pogare io? Che coso in mono? 01 bar can me? II, a vicino


to to to to to to fall asleep get lip get bored get angry be called shave

f g C

First person
Ii addormenti ti alzi ti onnoi ti arrabbi ti chiomi Ii lai 10 borbo Ii lavi Ii pettini ti riposi

you fall asle p you get lip you get bor d you you you you you you you get angry are call d shave wash (yours IE) comb your hair rest sit down


h Ti


and irregular verbs The Italian verb which are irregular in the io form ar al irregular in the tu form. Here are the mo t u eful one in the tu form in the present ten e.
andare - vai avere - hoi dare - doi dire - dici dovere - devi essere - sei fare - foi morire - muori polere - puoi sapere - sai stare - slai uscire - esci volere - vuoi you you you you you you you you you ou you you you go have give say have to are do die can Zare able know/know how to stay, are (location, state) go out want t


onnoiarsi orrobbiarsi chiomorsi lorsi 10 borbo lovorsi pettinarsi riposorsi sedersi svegliarsi veslirsi


'" ..

to wash (oneself) to comb one's hair to re t to sit down to wake lip to gel dressed

ti siedi* ti svegli ti vesti

you wake up you get dress d


ate the pelling change in the stem of sedersi.


Match the questions ..How would you ask a child:

a his or her name? b at what time he/she gets up? c where does he/she usually sit? d if he/she gets angry with his/her brother? e if he/she gets bored at school? Ti annoi a scuola?

ii Come ti chiami? iii Ti orrobbl can tuo Iratello? iv A che ora ti alzi? v
Dove ti siedi di solito?


U the right form of the verbs in brackets to what they ar like.

a You are too talkativ . b You have got a spot on yOllr nose. c You never go to th swimming pool. d You always want to eat a pizza. e You can watch aps every day. f You are never at hom g You don't know how to speak English. h You go out wearing jeans. You say you are good at span. j You have to be more honest. (Tu)__


troppo loquoce.

(essere) __ un brufolo sui nasa. (averel Non mai in piscina.

Asking a friend or relative if he/she likes something

As we have seen, Italian uses 'to please' as a 'back-to-front'

way of conveying the idea of liking. To ask a friend or r lative if he/sh likes something, use:
ti piace questa coso? literally 'does this house please you?'
0, foil'a plural thing liked, the verb becomes th plural 'they' form:

(andare) ___ . sempre mangiore 10 pizza. (volere) ___ vedere Ie telenovele ogni giorno. (potere) Non mai a coso. (stare) Non __

ti piocciono queste case?

'_ porlare inglese. vestilo/a coi jeans. (uscirel che riesci bene nella sport.

Th rare oth r expressioi s which work like this; h r is a list of the most useful. ones:
piacere interessore rimonere fare mole andare di

___ ___ (dire)

you {sg.}
ti pioce Ii interesso t·irimane Ii fo mole il/lo ... ti vo di ...

you (pl.)
.ti piacciono ti inleressano

you like ... you are interested in ... you have ... left your ... hurt(s) you feel like ...

___ - essere piu onesto/a. (dovere)

and reflexive verbs Th ar form d in the sam way as in th i e pronoun is ti inst ad of mi.


ti rimangono

'I ti lonno mole i/le ...

io form but the



A kif:
a. b c d e
your friend's Ieet ache he/she has a plaster left he/she has any money left he/ he likes running he/she feels like going to the cinema f ...he/she likes Roberto Benigni's films g ... he/she is interested in the actors ___ i piedi? un cerolto? dei soldi? correre? di andore 01 cinema? ___ ___ i film di Roberto Benigni? gli allori?

c Are you taking the Pendolino? d Do you get in to Termini?


au have dinner with us?


__ ___ ___

il Pendolino? [prendere] a Termini? [omvore] can nai? (cenore)


f Are you going back to

the same evening?

a Torino (tornore)


sera stessa?


hattn g up - imagine you have already got to the tu tage with om b dy of the opposit x. Match the phra s, th over th right-hand side of the pag and see if ou can r m mb r th Italian tran lation a. W uld you lik a drink? b , 0 you pr f r r d or
whit cD
UJ 11


Vuoi una sigorella? Sei stanca/a2 Vuoi quolcoso do bere? Vuoi mangiare fuori? Fumi? Preferisci il vina rosso 0 il vi no bianco? Ti dispioce se fumo? ragazza? Hoi fame? Ti piacciano i film di fontascienzo2

and asking questions To mak a question in Italian, you can chang th intonation by making the voice ri e towards the nd of the ntence, as in English:
Sei slanco/a? Ti riposi? Ti interesse il calci02 Ti ricordi del giomo quando ... ? You are tired? You are having a rest? You're interested in football? Remember the day when .. .?



u mind

in srnok ?


u want a cigar tle?


vi vii
ix x

g Woulclou

lik . 10 go om dinner? h Ar u tired? DIu like 'ci-fi film ?

au got a boy/girlfri nd?

viii Hoi il ragazzo/lo

When e tra empha is or darit i ne ded, you can al 0 form a que lion b u ing the subj t pronoun tu. In some ca e you can place it at the end of the question. Of course this is not done often because tu. is not usually needed.
Ma, obili

Checklist: the tu form

You only us

Roma lu?

Tu giochi a lennis, 0 a pcllovolod Che preferisci tu. il tealro 0 il cinema? Hoi oscoltoto Ie nolizie tu? Tu ci senli bene? Tu mangi i frutti di mare? Parli anche tu 10 spagnolo? Tu prendi I'aulobus?

But, do yon live/are yo'u living in Rome? Do Yot! play tennis or volleyball? What do Y0lt prefer theatre or cinema? I .ave yo!.! heard the news? an yO'll hear well? Do yO1./. eat eafood? Do YOli speak. Spanish too? Are Y01.l, catching the bus?

the ttt form when sp aking to hildren, pets and p opl YOll know very well, or peopl who have invited YOll La us it. You do not use it to old r P ople YOLl do not know unl ss invit d to do so.

The tu form ound differ nt from all other, word tu i no normally needed. h lu:f: rrn of all verbs in th Ther rn ption . pr

the a tual

ern ten e ends in -i.

Practise saying questions 10 gel used 10 the sound, Remember 10 make your voice rise towards the end, You will probably feel silly 01 firsl, bUI don't worry, praclice eventually makes perfect.

Qu stions ar formed by hanging the intonation; for the ak of clarity or mphasis, th appropriate pronoun is sornetirn us cI after the v rb. egativ s ar formed by putting non in front of the verb.


Talking about someone or something else:


Pracu add th

a king our friend what he/ h is going lu. form of th verb in br ck ts.


do. Ju


a Have YOll got iii meeting in Rome next Tuesday? b re you leaving vcry early?

una riunione a Ramo marledi prossimo? [cvere] ___ rnolto preslo? [portlre]

If you know how to use the checklist p. 35.

lui/lei form go on to

his form i caned the third p Ii on. In English it i th 'h, he, it' form of the erb. An important thing to r memb r


i that thi form is al 0 used for Lei, the formal word for 'you'. usual, the ubject pr noun/per on word i not normally used, be au e th v rb endings ar clear enough by themselve ; however, Lei j ften u ed, p cially in que tions.
In Italian, there is no word for iI, Everylhing is masculine or feminine, Una coso ('a hause1 is feminine, so you say 'she is un libra ('0 book1 is masculine, so you say 'he is new'.

i L'awocalo __

i documenti del conlrallo di ocquisto. [preporore] La signora Peroni __ il documenlo di acquislo davanti all'a.wocato. (firmarel


LUi/lei/Lei and verbs which change the spelling of

their stem The verb with modified t m vow I p llings in th cond per on ingular (tu) f rm hav the arne changes in th third per n ingular lui/lei/Lei form. Here are ome e campl the change learly,
Infinitive Meaning to 'it


Th third person form is easy to learn, as it has the arne vow I as the infinitive form in the case of -are and -ere verbs, and ends in -e for -ire verbs. In oth r words, it ends in -Gfor -are verbs and -e for -ere and -ire verbs; th r are no xc ptions. For almost all v rbs th st m is the sam

.with the io at d tu forms, to how Third

si siede liene viene

First person
mi siedo

Second person
Ii siedi tieni vieni

Meaning you/he/ she/sit(s) you/he/ she hold(s) YOLi/he/ she come(s)

as for the tu form,

lu parli lu vendi lu parli tu linisci tu vai lu hoi

lui/lei poria lui/lei vende lui/lei lui/lei lui/lei lui/lei parle hnisce va ha

vowel hange e > ie

sedersi lenere venire



lengo vengo

LO m

The only exception to thi is e ere:

lu sei lui/lei

LUi/lei/Lei and regular verbs

The lui/lei/Lei form of -are verbs ends in -a (the vowel of the infinitive ending): (lui/lei/Lez) parla; compra; lava. Th lui/lei/Lei f rrn of -ereverb nds in -e (th vowel. of the infinitive ending): (lui/lei/Lei) com; beoe;viue. The lui/lei/Lei form of -ire verbs also ends in -e (like the tu form but with -e instead of -i): (lui/lei/Lei) sale;parte; prejerisce. Note that all of the e forms are also used for Lei.

lui/lei/Lei and irregular verbs The Italian verb which r irregular in the io and tu form are also irregular in th lui/lei/Lei form, the latter bing the formal word for 'you '. H r are the mo l useful on in the lui/lei/Lei form in the pre nt tense.
andare - va avere - ha dare - do dire - dice dovere - deve essere fare - fa


Find the rmght parr of th verb.

a Lei __ molte leltere ai giornali. (scrivere) b Zucchero _ canzoni in ilaliano e in inglese, (canlore) c Mia figlio __ in Inlernet. (navigare)

morire - muore polere - puo sapere - sa slare - sla uscire - esce volere - vuole

you go/he/she goes you hav /he/sh ha you giv /he/she give you 'ay/h I h ay YOLi . to/he! he has to hav you are/h / h - is you d /h / he docs YOlldi /he/ he dies YOllcan/are abl /he/she can/is able you know/(tlOw to)/hel he knows (how to) ou nay, are/he/she stays, is (location, state) you g out/he/sh goes out you want/h /she wants

d La sua ragazza __


rnolti gia.llL (Ieggerel Erminia __ molti messaggi di pasla elellronica. [rlcevere] II Signor Melli __ la sua coso. (venderel La Signora Peroni __ comprare una coso. (desiderore) La banco __ sold: ai suoi clienti, [prestore]


Choose a verb from the Ii ts above and complete each entence with the correct form. Then, if you are feeling adventurous, translate them into Engli h.
a Francesco __ b Suo fralella __ al cinema ogni domenica. che questo Iroppa.


c Un giorno,

lei non ~

andare spiaggia

perche non c'e spettacolo. facilmenle.

d f

Lui non __.. _ andare lei Ma

che fare, perc he sua sorella sl annoia


to comb
one's hair

Third person I Meaning

lsi petti no si riposa si siede si sveglia si veste






e __ g
b i


can sua sorella ..

(s) he./you comb(s)


stare can Ie sue omiche. lei ~ per andere rimanere _

Finalmente, Allora, Si __ II povero

0.1 bar.
a coso.

sedersi svegliorsi veslirsi

il frolello _ . in poltrono. ragozzo

to res'! to sit down

to wake up to get dressed

(s) he/you (s) he/you

down (s)he/you

rest(s) sit(s) wakets) get(s)

'" -e

dl noia!

How would you -ay the following? You can assume that any verbs not li ted a irregular will be regular.
a II signor Piccini _
milanese. iltreno. (dovere)

(s)he/you dressed


c __ d __

ondare prendere

a ReggiO Calabria (andare)


Citefa Luigi? Use the corr ct form of the verb given.

a __ . aile undici. (svegliarsi)


stazione. _

che deve stare una none in Irena. (sapere) dopa, Ie valigie __ a ReggiO. (arrivare) [overe] (meltere) Ie valigie. [tornore] su un corrello. due valigie.


a mezzogiorno.


II giorno

g __
h_ i_un

c __ d __ e __
f __

[lorsi 10 barba)
un poco. (peltinarsi) [lovorsi] (asciugarsi) can I'asciugamano.

taxi. [chicrnore]

j D




e prende

g __ h __

i denti. (Iavarsi) il giornale per il parco a leggere a carrere fino all'ora

reflexive verbs The refle ive pronoun for the lui/lei and Lei forms is si. 111 the following table, all the third person forms are also used for Lei, the forma] way of expressing 'you'.
In normal ll.e, non-reflexive) describe an action for which verbs this form is oflen used to there is no known or stated subject:

Luil leil Lei ond

[sedersi] [meftersi]



presto. [cnnoiorsi]

k __
m __

Dopa un'oro __

di ceno. (riposarsi)


Lei: the Iorrnol form of 'you'

Ask a stranger these questions, selecting tile right form of the appropriate verb tocomplete the question. a
Would into you like to come ___ ___ entrore nel ristorante? Lei? the restaurant?

Ouesto vino si vende 01 litre.

This wine is sold


the Iitr .

addormentarsi olzorsi annaiarsi arrabbiorsi chinrnorsi farsi 10 barba lavarsi

to fall asleep

Third person Meaning

si addormenla

get( )

Do you smoke? Do you drink white wine? wine?


C Do you eat meat?

___ ___ bianco?



il vi no? il vino rosso a il vino






e Do you prefer

red or

si annaio

(sjh /you

get( ) get(s)

~o get angry

si orrobbic





si chiama
si fa 10 barba si lava

(sj he is/you
called he/you

Lei and asking questions When extra emphasis or clarity is needed, you can also make a question by using the subject pronoun Lei. In some cases you can place it at the end of the question. Of course this is not done often because Lei is not usually needed,

~o shave

shavers) wash(e )

e stanco/a?

You are tired? You al-e having You're interested


to wash (one elf)

( ) he/you

lei si riposa? Le interessa il calcio?


(... self)

in football?

Si ricorda quando ... ?

Do you rem mb r th wh n .. .? Do y u liv / eni ?



Abila a Venezia Lei? Gioca a squash2

. you living in you playing



Using the Lei form Your mploy e i slacking ... Tell him/h doing
a You read the papel' in the morning. b You go to th.e toilet 8 times a day. e You take 2 hours for your lunch break. [lei] __ Oeggerel

r what he/she
il giornole


Do you play/Ar qua 'h?






. 01

bagna 8 valte


Practise saying questions to get used to the sound. Remember to make your voice rise towards the end. You will probably feel silly at first, but don't worry, practice eventually makes perfect.

giorno. [cndcrel __ due ore per il pranzo. [prendere] __ per 10 maggior parle del pameriggio. [dormire] il cruciverba nel pomeriggio. [fare I __ un whisky oll'oro del te. (prenderel __ lavorare di piu, [dovere] Che Lei in sua difesa? [dtre]

d You sleep the best part of

the afternoon.


Pra ti e sking your new bu ines acquaintance what he/sh i going to do. Ju t add the Lei form of the verb in bra k ts.
a Have you g t a III ling in Milan next W dnesclay? b Are you I aving vel)' early?
C Ar

e You do the crossword in

the afternoon.

f You drink a Scotch


una riunione a Milano

d What lim

e f G

the P ndclii o? d y u arriv ? Are QU ha ing dinn rat th h t I? .re ou ing back to Rom on Thursdayi'
YOll taking

mercoledi prossimo? [cvere] __ molto presto? (partire) __ il Pendolino? (prendere) A che ora __ ? (arrivarel __ albergo? (cenarel

at tea time. You have to work more. h What do you say in yOlIl~defence?

__ a Roma gloved]? (tornorel

Checklist: the lUi/lei/Lei forms ou usethe lui/lei/Lei erb form when you are talking about omeone or something, or wh n addressing som body by the formal 'you' form, Lei. The lui/lei/Lei endings of -are and -ere verbs us the vow I of th infinitiv ending. Th lui/lei/Lei form of regular -are verbs ends in -a .. by

Asking whether somebody else likes something As w hav een before, Italian u e 'to plea e' as a 'back-tofront' way of conveying the idea of liking. The thing that hang i th per onal pronoun which goes in front of the v rb piacere: glifor 'to him', lefor 'to her', Lefor 'to you' (th formal form).
gli/le piace questa casa? Doe pi a him/h r'?

The lui/lei/Lei form of r gular -ere and -ire verbs is mad adding -e to the stem. TI

/he like ... ? lit rally 'Do

thi hous

ommon irregular erb are andare (va), avere r (e) and fare (fa). for the lui/ lei/Lei form is si: com st

for a plural thing liked, the verb changes to piacciono:

like th e hou 'literally 'The e

Th r flexive pronoun chiama?

gli/le piacciono queste case 'S/h hous s are plea ing to him/h r'.


H To ask whether a stranger likes something:

Le ptoce questa ganna? Le piacciano questi guanti? Do Do
YOll YOll

like thi



Tolkinq about yourself end someone else:


like thes glov

If: you Clre not going to needl to use this form, skip the rest of this section, and go to the checklist on p. 38, as you need to be able to recognise it when you hear it, even if you don't use it.
You u th noi form (or the fir t per on plural) where you u e we in ngli h i.e. when talkin about yourself and om n els : we' , 'm hu band and I', 'my colleagues and 1', 'rn friend and 1', 'Mrs Brown and 1', etc.

Remember that the subjecl of Ihe verb is Ihe thing liked, and that Ihe person liking is expressed by a pronoun; the same happens with other similar expressions; see section 1.9.6.


The noi form of regular verbs The noi form is regular in almost all verb. It i made by adding -iamo t th stem of -are, -ere and -ire verb. R mernb r that in Italian, b au th verb ending i very distin tiv ,th ubject pronoun d . not uually need to b expr· d. noi form of srregular verbs tend to be close to the infinitive. This form is not af£ t d by tern vowel change, but d ne d the same sp lling change with verbs who e _tern nds in -c- and -g, a we aw with the tu form of the e verb. hi i to preserve the h I'd -(r or -g befor the -i- of th n ing by adding an -hr. ouple of e ample are includ d with the regular verb' below. an you spot them?

avere dire dovere essere fore polere sapere uscire volere

to hav to say

First person plural

abbiamo diciamo . dobbiamo siamo facciamo passiamo sappiamo usciamo vogliamo

we have ~ e ay we have to we are we do/mak we are abl / an we know we go we want


to have to to be to do/m.ake to be able to know to go out to want


Rem mb r: th stem is made by taking the -a:re/-ere/-ire off th infinitive. ee 1.1.2. Note that this form is often u d with the idea of 'Let's ...'
Andiornol Mangiamo! Let's o!

How would you say th following? end of th sentence.

a We are worki.ng today. b We are playing volleyball tonight, c We are meeting friends
at 6 p.m.

s th verb given at the

Oggi __ . [lovorore] ___ a pallavolo questa sera. [giocorel __ degli amici aile 18. [vederel in un buon ristorante. [cenore) ___ a casa aile 22. [lornore] a Terracina domani. londore) __ aile 8. [parlire) __ aile 11.15. [arrivare) ___ i biglielti alia slazione. [comprare) ___ molle valigie. [avere)

L t' eat!

Th table b low show some comn on regular verbs in the noi form; remember that each can be 1I ed for 'we ...' or 'we

d We are dining in a good

restaurant. e We are going home at 10 p.m. f We are going to Terracina tomorrow. g We are leaving at 8 a.m, h We arrive at I. L] 5 a.rn. We buy our ti kets at til. station .. j We have lots of suitcases.

are ... ing';

cambiare capire finire* giocare 10 vorare mangiare pagare parlare prendere rimanere scegliere

to' .hange to understand to finish to play to work to at to pay p ak to tak to ta to choos

First person plural

cambiamo capiamo lintomo giochiamo lavoriamo mangiamo paghiamo porlicmo prendiamo rimaniamo scegliamo

w change we und r tand we finish


~ work
w at we pa we speak we take we tay we choos_


How would you say the following in Italian?

a b c d e f g h
We are English. We speak Italian. We are going to Italy. We are choosing the departure clay. We are taking the train. We change 'trains in Milan. We understand the instructions. We stay in a hotel. We eat in a restaurant, We al-e doing 0 ertime work this evening. We finish at 6 p.m. We are playing tennis later. Noi inglesi. ilaliano. in ltolio. il giorno della partenza.


ll treno.
Ireno a Milano. Ie istruzioni. in un albergo. in un ristoranle. del lavoro slraordinorio questa sera. aile 18. ___ a lennis pill lordi.


ouce that -ire: -iso- verbs do not have th -iso- in the nQi form.


The noi form of irregular verbs All verb end in -iamo. The only verb' with an irregular noi form arc:



Noi with reflexive verbs

The reflexive form i made by adding ci in front of the verb, whether or not noi is expressed.
[Noi] ci chiamiamo Neil e John. We are called


Match these Engli h verbs with their Italian counterparts ..

a b
we have we are we are staying we are eating we can we are we want we are vogliamo leggiamo veniamo non capia:mo possiamo


Neil and John.

d e f






IFirst person p'lurall

ci addormenliamo ci alziamo ci laviamo ci riposiamo ci sediamo* ci separiamo ci svegliamo ci vesliamo we


coming land

arriviamo rimaniamo obbiorno facciamo non veniamo andiamo mangiamo partiamo vediamo


we do not under

fall a leep

lavarsi riposarsi sedersi separarsi svegliarsi

to g t up to wash to rest


h i


we get wash we r, st we sill down

k I

we are seeing we are leaving we are arriving we are

we g t s palrat we wake up

m n


we are cloing we are reading

we g
in this

dr sed



is no

need for a vowel change


ow cover up the italian and see if you can do them without help ..


How would you say the following?


up at even o'clock.

__ __ __ __

aile selte. [sveqliorsi] aile otlo. lolzorstl lIavorsi) [riposcrsi]

1.. .. Talking to more than one person you know 26

well: voi
Know about the vo.; form? Go to checklist p. 41
Thl is the plural equivalent of the tu form, and 0 is used with more than one person, followed by its own form of the verb. Although it 1· 'familiar plural' form, it is very often used instead of the formal plural Lei form. The voi form always ends in-ate, -ete Of -ue.

c d

We g t IIp at eight We are Ware sit


We are having getting

o'clock. wa hed, a I' SL. dr s ell.



fW h


on a sofa.

__ __


un divano.


g W fall a ileep.
Ware g,etting

laddormentarsi) [sepcrorsl]

s parated.

Saying that you and others like sornethinq As we have seen, Italian uses 'to please' as a 'back-to-front' way of conveying the idea of liking. To say that you and (an)other(s) like something, use piau:
ci piace questa spiaggia literally

Voi and regular verbs

The uoi form is always made by adding -ale, -eie or -ite to the tem of the infinitive, and there are only two useful irregular verbs in this form, so it Is very easy La learn. As usual, the subject pronoun Is usually unnecessary be au e the endings are so distinctive.
Porlale inglese? Avele uno mocchino Abuoie in Iloli02 itoliano?

'this bea h pleases


So, for a plural thing liked, the verb becomes piacciono:

ci piacciono queste arance we like thes orang

For similar 'back-to-front'

expressions. see section 1.9.6,. use the

Do you speak English? Have you gOI an Italian car? Do you live in Italy?

Checklist: the no; form To talk about yourself and someone else form in Italian ..

The two most u eful lrregular voi form

bere - bevele essere - siete




verbs end in-iarno.

you drink you are

vo! and asking questions Know all about asking questions? Go straight to

vi piace questa piazza?

literally 'does this squar you?'

pi as




for a plural thing lik d, the . erb b comes piacciono:

do you like these apples?

Qu stions are form d in th ame wy a" in the tu and Lei forms: by changing th intonation. 0 asionally, for mphasis, th pronoun is u ed, in whi h ca e it will u ually come at the end of th question.

vi piacciono queste mele?

For similar 'back-to-front' expre 'ions,

) .9.6.


over up the It ilian

a Are you going to b Have you gal an C Do you know th d Can all operate link-up? e

nd see if you can a k these que tions.

Andate 0110 riunione voi? Avete un appuntamento? Conoscete il direttore? Sopete usare l'cpporecchlo videoconferenza? per 10

Checklist: the voi form Th uoi form i used when talking to two or more peopl telling them what to do. You are quite likely to use the voi form to ask polit qu stions to two or more peopl :
Potele dirrni come andore a ... ? Sapele ... ? Conoscete 10 signora Yannetta? Dove abitate? Can you tell rn th wa to Do you .know (how LO do something)?

the In eting? appointm nt? MD? th video

an you contact your bo s? the hotel?

f Do you have to go back to

Do you want to lise the OHP) h Can you see the scr en well? i Do you tak not ?

Potete contaltare il vostro capo? Dovete tornare in albergo? Volete usore 10 lovagna luminosa? Vedete bene 10 schermo? Prendete appunti? Fate delle registrazioni? Siete pronti? Capite bene?

Do you know Mrs Yann Lta? Whel'e do yOll live?

Th voi form of regular verbs i made by adding -ate/-el.e/-ite to the stem of th infinitiv.
Almost all verbs ore regular.


you making r cording?

k AI'c you ready? I Do you understand?

and reflexive verbs The reflexiv pron un for the voi form i vi for both masculine and feminine.
Vi riposote il pomeriggio. Vi occupote del bornbino. A che ora vi svegliate? A che oro vi oIzate? You hay a r st in th afternoon. Y u ar I oking after the child. What time do you wake up? What Lim do you gel up?


Que tion are formed by intonation:

Avete uno rnocchtnof Have you got a car?

Reflexive verb add th pronoun vi:

Vi alzate presto! You get up early!


Talking about other people and things:



Match th f 11. wing Engli h and Italian phras s, th n COy r up the right-hand ide and ee if you can rem mb r the Italian.
an YOll rem mb r this man? AJ'e YOll having a rest? c Are you g uing dre sed all' ady? d AJ· you having fun? a

Vi vestite gia? Vi alzate tardi? Vi svegliate presto? Vi ricordate di questa Signore? Vi riposate? Vi divertite?

Thi form is ailed the third p rson pluraL In Engli h it i the 'they' form of th v rb. In fact, Lora, th plural form of 'you', j not often u ed, the voi form bing used for most ca e of 'you' (pl.). As usual, the subject pronoun/person word i not normally us d, be ause th verb endings are dear enough by themselves; however, Lora is sometimes u ed in question .

e f

D you g t up late? Do you wake up early?


I,' you know all about the loro form g.o to checkl.ist

D Asking others if they like something

we have seen, Italian uses 'to please' as a 'back-to-front' way of conveying the idea of liking. To ask wheth r the P ople you are talking to lik something, use piece:

Loro and regular -ore verbs The lora form is the sam as the lui/lei/Lei form of th verb, but with -no added. As ver, the subject pronoun i u ually unnecessary.

42 ..a


perle -

h . talking i studying

(Ioro) porlono [loro] studiono

- they are talking - they are studying

(lui) sludia - h

dall'ipermercoto. Non La __ Non 10 a rilrovare doppertutla.

10 loro rnocchlno [cercore] (riuscire)



Loro and regular -ere/-ire verbs Again, the loro/ Loro form ha the arne stem as the Lui/ lei/ Lei form: replac the final-e with -ono.
(lui) prende - he takes, is taking (lei) parte - she is leaving (Ioro) prendono taking (Iorof parlono - they areleavin " - (he take,

do nessuna parte. (vedere)

j D


10 polizio.



Lora and reflexive verbs

The ref xive pronoun for th

The reflexive aclion Si cohivono form of ordinary i limoni a. Sorrento

lora form is si.

verbs is olten used 10 describe on in

Loro and irregular verbs

for which

Ihere is no known subject:

In fa t, these are oft n similar to the io forms, owing to the en; l f the -0- on the preceding consonant. Th most useful irregular form ar in th following tab) .
andare avere bere dare dire dovere essere fore palere rimanere salire sapere sedersi stare tenere uscire venire volere

L· mons are cultivated

a rren to.

to go to have to drink to give
1.0 say La have to

First person Third sing. person pl.

vodo ho bevo do vanno hanno bevono donno dicono devo/debbo sono* fanno possono rimangono

the the go

oddormentorsi olzarsi annoiarsi orrobblorsl chiamarsi farsi 10.borbo lavarsi peNinarsi ripasorsi sedersi svegliarsi vestirsi

to fall asleep

Third person pl.

si addormentano si olzono si annoiano

they fall asleep they get up they get bored they get angry they are called


they drink
they give they say they have to they are

to get up to g t bored
to L angry

si orrabbiano
si chiamano si fanno 10 borba si lavono si peNinano si riposano si siedono si svegliano si vestono hail'

devo/debbo sono* foccio passo rimango solgo so mi siedo sto len go



so shav
to \ ash (oneself) to mb one's to r st to it d wn to wake up to get dressed

they shave

to be to do/make to be able to stay to go up to know La sit down to be, sLay to hold to go out to come La want

they wash (themselves)


they doz'mak
they can they stay they go up they knov they sit dowi




they rest they sit dov n they wake up they gel dressed

salgono sonno si siedono stonno lengono escono vengono vogliono

they arez'sta
they hold they go out they come they want


he fanno Fran esca

[loro) __ [rlposorsi] (svegI1iorsi)

ittoria prima di uscire?

vengo voglio

b __ -_ aile sei. c __ -_ (alzorsi)

d __ [lovorsi]



that sono is the form

used for both

'J am' and 'they are.

e __ -__ f __-_


a uscire.

aile otlo. [uscire]

Che succedei 'What i happening?'

omplete these

g ~ __ j __ -

01 bor. londore)
non [orrivore] [onnoiorsi]

s nlen e .
a I signori Pacelli



h I Ioro amici i le ragazze

fare spese. (volere) nuova. [overs] llosclorel [ondore] nel parcheggia.

means 'to go away'; us pronoun the verb as normal, but

una macchina all'ipermercoto.

* This


10 macchino
spese. (faref

e __

pia e ne between ver-b.

the reflexive

(se in this case) and the


Asking whether somebody else likes something (plural) As before, th Italian way of expr ssing 'to lik ' us s'to please' with the appropriat pronoun in front of it to xpress the person liking.
Gli piace Venezia? Do they like Venic ? Doe Veni please them?

-ere verbs


There are f w r -ere verb . The regular endings for -ere verb are -0; -i; -e; -iamo; -ete; -ono. Most -ere verbs are regular, i... they follow the same pattern. C
-ire verbs


So, for a plural thing liked, th verb b


am s piacciono:
anals plea

Sl, gli piacciono i canoli. Yes, they like the canals. The

There are not so many -ire verbs. The regular endii gs for

verb are


-i; -e;

-iamo; -ite; -ono ..

Checklist: the loro form You use th 101'0 form when you are talking about someone or something. Th loro form always ndsin -no. Th loro form of r gular -are v rbs is made by adding -ano to th stem. The loro form of r gular -ere and -ire v rbs i made by adding -011.0 to the st 111. The most common irr gular verb ar (hanna), essere (sana) and fare (Janno).
and are (vanna), auere

Mo t -ire verbs ar regular, i.e. they follow th sam

pattern. I

Some -ire v rbs add -isc- to tile stem in all but the noian uoi forms.

Try to remember a phrase which you might use, which includes a word which you are trying to remember, e.g. Poria bene l'itcliono. Beviamo sempre vino rosso. Preferiscano andare in Itolia.


The present tense of common regular verbs Parlare


The r fl xive pronoun for the loro form is si: am

venda vendi vende vendiamo vendete vendono

porto parti porte portiamo partite portano

preferisco preferisci preferisce preferiamo preferite preferiscono


~ Fast track:

the present tense

poria parliamo parlate parlano

Italian verbs change the sp lling of th ir ndings according to the person who is doing the action. Rememb r that because each ending sounds different, the person word is not usually need d. There are a few irregular verbs, sorn of which ar useful. everyday verbs, but then you probably already know sam of these. A -oie verbs Most Italian verbs are -are verbs. The regular endings for -are verbs ar -0; -i; -a; -iamo; -ate; ana.

Try to learn each set of forms by heart, remembering that these are the models for the overwhelming majority of holton verbs. Try copying each set in large letters onto A4 paper, stick it on the wall and learn it while shaving, putting on make-up or washing up - the best times 10 learn Ihings by heart!

All new verbs are -are verbs, e.g. fibnare. M st


The effect of pronunciation on some verb forms Consider Lion of pronunciation often affect verb forms. 1. Verbs lik conoscere and all the -irev rb with -isc- stems in some form: the lora form and the io form hay a hard pronunciation of the -C-, not th '-slt-' sound of oth r forms. Thus:

v rbs are regular, i.e. they follow the same pattern.



1 sing,

2 sing.

e conosci preferisei

3 sing'. lui/lei/L.ei

11 pi •. no; sc

2. pll.


3 pl .• lora/lora hard c

faeeio fai fa faeciamo FaIe Fanno

po.tere posso puoi puc':> possiamo potete possono

so sai so sappiamo sa pete sanno

voglio vuoi vuole vogliamo volele vogliono



= Ish'
conoseiamo preferiamo conoscele preferite

conosco preferisco

conosce preferisee

1eonoscono . preferiseono

2'. A handful of oth rwis regular verb n d an -11.- to prot ct the hard -c- or -g- of the t m wh n followed by th -i- of the tu and noi forms; here are two e mples:

The following two behav mostly like -are erbs apart [rom the -a- in the tu form and the -nn- of the loro form: dare
do dai do dlorno dale danno

cercare eereo

pagare pogo paghi paga paghiamo pagale pagano

sto stai sla stiamo stale stan no

eerea cerc'hiamo cercale cercono

3. Mo t verb with infinitiv s ending in -iare loe th -i in th tu and noi form to avoid having daub] -i-; her ar orne useful verbs like this:
com;nc;are eomincio eominci eomineia eomineiamo comineiate eominciano

The following two hav a 'simplified' infinitive form, but present tens forms with a more normal stem, whi h is slightly variable in the cas of dire:
bere bevo bevi beve beviamo bevele bevono dire

lascio lasei lascia losciamo lasciate

mangio mangi mangia mangiamo mangiate mangiano

studio sludi studio studiorno studicte studiono

viaggio viaggi vioggia viaggiamo vioggiate viaggiano

dico dlcl
dice dieiamo dile dieono


The present tense of common irregular verbs Here are am of th most us ful irregular verb: an dare
vado vai va andiamo andate vanno

The following verb have an irr gular 'reinforced sound' in the io and loro forms, and/or a st m vowel.change in some of the others: can you spot the patt rns? rimanere
rimang·o rimani rimane rimaniamo rimanele rimango tenere tengo t;eni tiene teniamo tenete tengono

ho hoi ho obbiorno ovete hanno

devo/debbo devi deve dobbiamo dovele devono/ debbono

essere sono sei

vengo v;eni

s;edo siedi

veniamo venile vengono

sediorno sedete s;edono

siamo siele sono


All verbs based on the verbs listed, but with a modifying perform in the same way as the 'bose' verb whether



it is regular or

ow you ar talking about your If and a partn r. ay 'w do' (or 'don't do') the arne thing. For example:
Noi obbiorno a (Noil __ uno riunione una riunione pronti/e in centro. il metro. alia stoztone del Colosseo. dol rneiro. . can un collega.


irregular, e.g.' riporlire - porlire; rilenere - tenere; disconoscerecono5cere; svenire - venire.


You are talking about yours If. Use the verbs in brackets.
alia) __ una riunione pronto/a in centro. can un collega. [avere)

b __ c d

per partire.


b __
c __ d __

per partire. [ondore]


il metro. [prendere] alia slazione la piazza. del Colosseo.

g __


piazza. dovanti

f __
g __

dal metro, [uscire] (allraversare) dovonn il mio collega aspellare __ mezz'oro

h __ i Non

il nostro collega ospeltare __ rnezz'oro



molto lempo. in albergo.

jl 01
Colosseo. (volere) (Iornare) [cspenore]


h __


i j XL

Non __ Dopo

molto tempo. in albergo.

U ing the am ent ne , a k someon things. U th voi form. For exampl

Avele uno riunione? a __ una riunione pronti/e? in centro? (voi)? (avere)

lse the same

till u ing the arne senten s, ask sam one you know really well the ame thing. Use the tu. form. For example:
Hoi uno riunione a ._ _ b __
C __

b __
c __

(essere) (ondore) del Colasseo? (ottroversore) davonti (scendere)

Ilu)? (avere)

uno riunione can un colleg.a (Iu)? (avere) pronlo/a in cenlro? per parlire? (andare) del Colosseo? [scendere] (essere)

d __

il melro? (prendere)

0110 10


f __
g __

dol metro? [uscire] piozzo? il vostro collega ospenore __

d __
e __

il metro? (prendere) alia stazione

h __
Non __ Quando

aI Colosseo?


f __ dal metro? [uscire] g __ 10 piazza? (allraversore) h __ il tuo collega davanli 01 Colosseo? [aspet1are) i Non __ aspellare rnolto tempo? Ivolere) j Quando __ in albergo? (tornare) XLI ow report back in the singular, saying hez'sh does it. hoo e the correct verb in th brack ts. For example:
(lui/lei) Ha una riunione __ pronto/a in centro. can un collega. [overe] (ha/e/sole)

molto tempo2 (torn ore)


in olberga?

Finally, say it in the plural: 'they do it'. haas verb. For xample:
ILoro) hanna uno riunione. a

the carr ct

[loro] __

uno riunione

con un collego.



b __ c __ d __ e

Isono/stonno/salgonol Ivonno/mettono/valgono) del Colosseo. (scendono/stonno/donno)

in centro.

a (lui/lei) b __
C __

una riunione per parlire. (va/e/vende)

can un collego. (melle/e/sa)

il metro. (prendono/conoscono/salgonol

0110 10


f __
g __

dol metro. [escono/solgono/comprono) piozzo. (oscoltono/guordon%ltroversonol dovonti il loro collega aspellare __

d __ e __

il metro. (prende/

sale/ com pro) Iscende/prende/da)



del Colosseo.

h __
Non . _ _




f __
g __

dol metro. (esce/sa/entra) Ia piazza. (Iavora/corre/allraverso) davanti il suo callega aspellare __ mezz'oro

aspeHano) molto lempo in albergo. Iscelgono/vogliono/capiscono) Itornano/possono/honnol

h __
Non __ Dopo




Dopa mezz'oro

malta tempo. in albergo.

larriva/vuole/viene) (wole/fa/torno)




Ne9atives, interroqotives and imperatives

If you know what these are go on to 1.3.1. Th negative is used to a 'no', you 'don't' do sam-thing, you 'hav n't' got something, or to tell someone not to do something. A negative entence is a s ntenc with a 'no' 'not' or 'don't' in it. Th interrogativ
i used to ask qu stions,

iv use a question word and inv .rt the ubject and v rb wher a subj ct pronoun is used. In the following s ctions, read the examples and then cover up the English and see if you understand th meanings; then cover up the Italian and s e if you an put them back into Italian.




The imp rativ is us d to give order, dire ti n or instru tion - to tell sam one what to do or wh t not to do.

Changing the intonation Thi is the a i st and rna t used way to a k a question. Rememb I' y u have to us a rising ton towards th end of the questi n, which is what identifies a qu stion wh n poken. Practi saying th m aloud.
Capisci? Poria inglese? Conoscete l'Albergo Salerno? Michele so il latino? Ouesto treno vo a Cosenza? You understand? You sp ak English? You know the Hotel alcrno? Iich le knows 'Latin?


Negatives: how to say what you don't do

If you know how to use no and non •••, go on to 1.3.2. To say you don't do something, you put non in front of the verb.
Non so. I don't know.


This train is going to


If you wish to start the entence with an 'introductory' negation, use no.
No, non porto. No, I'm not leaving.

Inverting the subject and the verb This can b don wh re th subject pronoun is used for extra emphasis, being most common with tu and Lei. It can be used wh re a name or noun is expressed as the ubject:
Capisci tu? Poria inglese Lei? Conoscete l'Albergo Salerno voi? So il latino Michele? Do you understand? Do you sp ak English? Do you know the HOLel Sal rna? Does Michele know Latin? Is this train go.ing to Bologna?

Say you/they don't d the e things by putting non in front of th verb. ay the entences aloud to get us d to the ound.
a They don't drink wine.

b d

I don

often writ. I



__ __

vino. [bere] lettere spesso. [scrivere]

Va a Bologna questa Irena?

We don't buy magazines.


Using a question word followed

Che dici? Perche fa cosi? Dove allaggiate? Come vanno a Palermo? Chi conoscete? Quanti euro avete? II Ireno quando arriva a Bologna?

by the verb as normal

suo posta elettronica.

e I don't know! f He can't find the ntran e.

(Ieggerel __ riviste. [cornprore] __ I [scpere] __ a Irovare I'ingresso. (riuscire) __ questa sera. [venire] __ andare. [volere] __ andare Ii. (piacere .... ottenzionell __ I'aglio! (mangiore - fu]

What arc you saying? Whyar you doing this? Wher arc youtaying? How ar they goi,ng to Palermo? Whom do you know? How man curos do au have? When docs the train arri e in Bologna?


They are not coming tonight. I don't want to go. We dorr't Iike going there. You don't eat garlic!

Using a question word and inverting the subject and verb

Che dici tu? Perch;!)fa cosi Lei? Dove alloggiate voi? Come vanno lora a Palermo? Chi conoscete voi? Quanli euro avete voi? Quando orriva il treno a Bologna? What ar Whyar


Interrogatives: asking questions

Th re are four ways of asking aqu mak
ii invert the subjec

all sa ing? ou doing thi ?

lion. You can:

a statement and hange the intonation; and the verb wh r a subj ct pronoun is actually u ed; iii use a qu stion word, and then th verb as normal;

Wh r ar you taying? Howar th y going to Palermo? Whom do you know? How many uros do you hay ? Wh n 10 th train arriv at Bologt a?



Us m thod a b
a Brescia. Vonno

B to turn thes stat ments into que lions:

Abitono Bianchi? a Brescia i signori

orne on!

Ascohote! Fai presto! Aspel1a! Resti in linea! Si occornodtl Dai!

I signori Bianchi abitano

in voconzo.

c Prendano



Vanna 0110 Hanna Affiltano Giocona Praticona



b c d e f



Do sit down!
Turn left. Li I. n! Wail! (t 1 phon ).

e f g

un apportamenlo uno macchino. a golf.


H Id th lin h Hur r y up!

Giri a sinistral

lo sci

acquotico. in un ristoranle.

i j

Hanna degli amici 0 Positano. La sera. cenona

Remember that pronouns are not often u sed e cept where xtra emphasi n eds to be put on the per on involved. III se method

D with th se qu stion words:

Dove ~ Quando Come __ Perche __ Che __ Can chi (overe) Quanta (store) ? (andare) ? [ponire] ? (viaggiare) a Bari? [stcre] Dove vanno loro?

GiVing a relative or friend advice or instructions using the tu form Th tu form of address is used to give advice, instructions and orders to famil memb rs or friends ..A sp cia! form of th verb is u ed for this (th imperative); this is asy to form: for -are v rb , it end in -a, and for -ere and -iTe verbs it i the normal tu form.
Com pro una cravatta: nuova! Bevi il vina del Veneta! Soli facendo altenzione!

a Whcr ar they going? b When an: they laving?

cHowar t.h y travelling? d Why are th yin Bari? e What. ar III y doing? f Who are th y rn eting?

Buy a new lie! Drink wine from the Venice region!

Gel in carefully!

(fare] una riunione?

Ole that in th cas of reflexive verbs, th reflexive pronoun i added to th end of the imperative:
Siediti qui! Losciomi in pace! Gel up! Sit here! Leave me in peace!

How long are til' at the hOL I?


tempo __

in albergo?


Imperotives: giving orders, directions or instructions

If you know how to give orders and instructionsgo on to fast track 1.3.4. Th imperative is the paDrt f the verb you U' when you ar o telling orneon to do sam thing. or giving in tructions or an orde -: 'Watch OUl! topl Turn left!' etc. In Italian, ince th ere are four wa s of saying 'you', ther are four ways of telling somebody what to do. Of cour , you use the tu form ani when speaking to orneone you know w II or sam ne younger than you, the voi form for two or more of th m; you use the Lei form for a stranger or somebody enior t y u, and the Loro form for lWO mar or of them, but thi i used in very formal circum tan e ani .

orne irregular verb have a special stem, but most useful verb present no problems. Infinitive
andore overe dare dire essere fare sopere store

to go to have
to give

tu imperative

I, go

da'/doi di' sii fa'/foi sappi slo'/stoi

h~ve give

say to be


to do/make to know

to stand, be

do/make know be Zstand


Look at th se exarnpl s. am are for tu, some for Lei and others for voi. You will probabl hav heard some of th e befor . Whi h one do you know already? They are jumbled - can you sort them out?

t that wh n da', di', fa', la' and va' are followed b a pronoun alb r than gli, tl e firstconsonant of the pronoun is doubled,



Fogli un coffel

Give me )'OLII' hand! Make him a coffee!


To give n gative command with tu, simply u e non followed by the infinitive of th verb.
Non Non Non Non gridare! mangiere questo! ti preoccupare! mi lasciare! Don't shout! Don't eat that! Don't worry! Don't 1 av me!

orne irregular verb hav a spe ial stem which you will recogni e from the pre nt ten e, and any pelting changes een in certain verbs are al 0 appli d imlthis imp rative form. Note that refle ive and oth r pronoun re not added to the end of the imperativ rb form thi tim but ar placed in fran l of it:
La bevo! Non 10 compri! Drink it! Don't buy it!


r or

Non preoccuparti! Non lasciarmi!

Note how pronouns go in front of the n gative imperative or on the nd of it.

Tell a friend or
a Shut up!

lative to do or not to do th


H rare

b Don't si.11 down! c B careful!

d Giv me a pen!

e B g d! f Don't com h rc.

G! out of h re!

h Get up!

__ zilla! (stare) Non __ I [sedersi] __ cnenzionel (fore) __ mi una penna! (dare) __ il bravo I (fare) Non __ qui! (venire) __ via! (andore) __ ! (olzorsi: add reflexive pronoun 10 end)

som examples of Lei. form for regular, sp Hil gchange and u eful irregular verbs, and a reflexive verb (sederszJ:
Inf,initive .Meaning
to to

I.ei command form

por] venda parto finisca cerchi paghi vada bevo dia dice sic foccio rimongo solgo soppio scelgo stio esco vengo si siedo

speakl ell I leave! finish! look fori pay! g! drink! give! sa /telll bel do! stay! go up! knowl choose! land, bel go out! comcl sit down!

porlore vendere partire finire cercare pagore andare bere dare dire essere fare rimanere solire sopere scegliere store uscire venire sedersi



leav to Iini h

look f r

to pay go to drink

Giving relatives or friends advice or instructions using the voi form For voi imperatives when speaking to two or more children, family m mbers, or friends, u e th normal voi form of the pre ent ten e, which is usually like the infinitiv , but ending in -te in tead of -·re.
AspeHale! Andale! Venite subito! Wait! o. am qui kl

to to to to

give ay/t II b do

to tay to go up to know to hoo land, b to go alit to am. to it down


This form is at

u d for n gativ

voi imperati es:

Non mi dimenticate! Non bevete quello! Non scendele 10 scala!

Don't forget me! Don't drink that! Don't go down the stairs!

Giving a stranger advice or instructions using the Lei form The Lei form of addr ss is the one mo t likely to be used to gi advice, in tructions and orders to tr ng r or in public pla e . A spe ial form of th v rb is u ed for thi imperative (the subjun tiv ); this is easy to form, adding -i to the st m of -are verbs, and -{£ to the stem of -ere and -ire verbs. The same verb form is used for n gative commands:
Beva pill acquo! Salgo facendo altenzione! Non compri questo macchina I Drink more wat r! Get in car full ! Don't buy thi carl

In public notices, and in instructions such as for recipes, the infinitive is often used in place of imperatives: Spingere Suonore Togliare i pamodori Non colpestare I'erba Push Ring Chop Don't (on a door) (on a doorbell) up the tomatoes walk on the grass



What do thes

mean? Pair the jumbled phrase


a Enter YOUl- PI b Pull. c Wait for the tone.

Per fovore, rimanga in linea. Spingere. Perli vicino al microfono. Timbri il bigliello. Inserire il numero di codice segreto. Sento, per favore. Premo il pulsanle. Dice. Firmi qui. Tirare. Aspelti il segnale di libero. Aspetti.

As before, irr gularities nd p lling changes in the verb tern apply t . this form to . Note also that refle ive pronouns an I.other pronoun are plac d in front of the Loro imperative.
to 'it down sedersi - Si siedonol
it downl


d Speak into the microphone. e ign here. f Cancel your ticket.

g j


Thi ame form of the verb i ued for giving negative rnmands, although the e are rather rare:
Non si preoccupino! Non mangino in questa ristorante! Don't worry! Don't eat at this restaurant!

h Please hold the line. i Wait.

Press the button.

k Listen, please. I Hello. (tell me e.g. answering phone)


Tick th ones you know already. Highligh any which are different from what you would have expec ed and choos thr e new ones to try to rem mber .. VII Your assi .tant i not w 11.Giv him/her th Lei form of the imperative.
a Sit down a minute. b Co to see the doctor.
c Drink

Fill in the gap in the table b 1 w showing both regular and irregular ex mpl s..Highlight any which are different from what you would have exp ted and choo three new on s to try to rememb r.
to speak


L.e; command form


L.orocomm.and form

peak! sell! leave! finish!

some ad ice using

un momenta. [sedere] dol medico. (andore] piu acquo. (berel piu frullo. (mongiore] 0 piedi ol lovoro ogni



Si __ __ ___



more water. d Eat more fruit. e Walk to work every cia .


to I av t fini h to took for


venda porto finisco cerchi poghi



f Smoke less.
Co jogging. h Cet some fresh air. Go to bed earlier. Sleep longer.

giorno. (venire) __ di meno. (fumorel _. _ ___ un po' di footing (forel un po' d'orto fresco

pagore ondare bere dare dire


fini5cano cerchino paghino

--pay! go! drink! give!





to say/tell



j D

(prendere) __ a letto piu presto. (andare) ___ di piu, (dormire)


--to d


solire sopere


dlcc sio faccia rimongo

bevana diano dicano siano facciano rimangono 5algono


--be! do. stay!

to go up



Giving strangers advice or instructions using the Loro form Th Loro form of add res . i th plur lone most likely to be us d to give advice, instruction, and orders to strangers or in public place in very formal ircum tances, A special form of the verb i u ed for thi imperative (th subjun tive); thi i ea -y to form, adding -ino to the stem of -are verbs, and -ano to the stem of -ere and -ire verb; in other words, it has -no added to th nd like the Loro form.
Make our way to th Try this new win Fill in this forml r taurantl Si cccornodino 01 ristorante! Assoggino questa vino nuovol Compilino questa rnodulol

to choo


--uscire venire sedersi


to ·tay, b to go out




to it down

vengo si sledo

scelgano stiano escano vengana si siedano

go up. know! choose! stay, be! go out! comel sit down!

The noi imperative in ngli h, there I a way faying 'L t' d 'in Italian. In fact, thi i th subjun tiv noi form, which is identical to the normal form. a remind r, h r ar th form for r gular verb ,a ouple of sp lling-chang verbs, two u ful irregular verb and a refle IV verb; not that. r fle ive pronoun ar added to th nd of th imp rative.


comprare vendere partire finire cercare pagare andare fare sedersi

to bu to sell

No; imperative
compriomo! vendiamo! partiamo! finiama! cerchiamo! paghiamo! andiamo! facciamo! sediamoci!

let's let's let's let's let's let's let's let's let's buy sell leav finish look for pay go do/make sit down


Let' try a k p-fit session. Giv th uoi form of the verb in bra kets, taking particular car with r:fl iv s.
a Come in! b Get in line. c Find a space. d Run to the wall. e Stand with your feet apart. arms. g 00 five press-ups.


__ __ __ __ __

(entrore) in Fila. [rnenersi] uno spazio. (Irovore) Fino 0110parele. [correre] can i piedi divaricali. Ie braccia. (allungarel cinque flessiani sulle

to leave to finish to look for ro pay

to go



[store] f Stretch
__ __

to do/make iit down t


How would you ay:

a Let's go out. b Let's sta at h me. c Let's

h Lower your shoulders. i Bend your knees.

Don't move!

braccia. (farel __ Ie spolle. (abbossarel __ Ie ginocchia. (flelfare) Non __ I [rnuoversi]


T II some Italian visitors the way t


wn hall, u ing the

h TV.

d Lct'seaL.
e Let's get up ..

Loro form.
a Primo, __ di qui (uscire) b __ a destra. (girore) c __

How would you ive these in tructions? If you a~e likely to need to us the tu form {Mangia la verdura!, Va a leuot; practis this form; olherw~se con entrat on th Lei form. Both s ts of an wers ar glven.
a c

d __
e __

b --

d __
e __

g h

i --

j Xl

How would Lei i rm.


== == ==

f __
g __

10secondo strada a destra. (prenderel sempre diritto. (andare) 10 piazza. (attroversore) 10strada Fino 0110 rotataria. (seguire) a destra: il municipio

a sinistral (girare) 10 scala! [solire] 10 prima strado a deslra! (prendere) sempre diriltol [ondcre] fino al prossimo semaforo! [ccnnnuore) a sinislra e a deslra! (guardare) 10slrada! [onroversore] I'autobus! (prendere) davanti 01 tealro! [scendere] (mil un messaggio quando arrivi! [rncndore]

e Ii di

fronle. (girore]


First match the English and Itali n, th n cover up the righthand sid of th page and ify u an remember the Italian.
a Don't open the door. (tu) b Don't walk on the grass. (voi) c Don't eat in the shop. [voi] d Don't drink the water. (Lei) e Don't cross the road here. (voi) f Don 't lean out of the window. [loro] g Don '( leave yourhiggagc here. nul h Don't wail here. (voi) Don't put your boots on the table. (Lei) j Don't wear black. (tu) k Don't smoke. (Lora) Non aspetlale qui. Non bevo l'ocquo. Non vestirti di nero. Non losclcre i bogagli qui. Non aprire 10 porta. Non mangiale nel negozio. Non colpestote l'erbo. Non fumino. Non sporgelevi dol fineslrino. Non melfa gli stivoli sul tovolo. Non allraversote 10strada qui.

t 11 orneone to do thes


se the

pcnd less lime watching TV.

rneno tempo a guardare 10

N. (passare)
___ __ __ __ plu verdura. (mangiare) piu aequo. (bere) Footing. (farel 10 porta. (chiudere) 10fineslra. (aprire) il posscpono. (for vedere) pill lenlamente (parlare) con me. (venire)

b . at more veg tabl s. c Drink mar water.

d Go jogging.

g h

10'c the door. Op n the wind w. how our pa. pan. Sp ak more sl wly. C me with m .



These re ip instructions are for an lt~lia~ Eas.t .r Jrittata (omelette). Here th yare expressed wldh infinitives. Put th minto
a Prepar

Dove? Perche? Quando? Che/Che coso/Coso? Chi? Quole/i?



the ttL form.

th ingredients. Preporore gli ingredienti. Togliare a pezzetti il salome e 10 poncelto. Friggere un po' 10 poncetto e poi il salome. Bottere Ie uovo in una terrina. Aggiungere il salome e 10pancetto. Mettere nella terrino il prezzemolo trirolo. Mescolore bene. Riscaldore un po' d'olio d'oltvo in una padello Versare il conlenuto della terrino nella padella. Friggere a fuoco lento. Girore 10 frittoto ... .., e friggere l'cltro Iota.

b Chop up lb salami
and bacoi . c Fry th bacon and then th salami a little. d. B at the gg into a bowl. e Add the alarni and bacon.

Where? Why? When? What? Who? Which?





Imperatives: giving orders, directions and instructions

To mak th imp rativ when talking to children, family and fri nds, you use a form. nding in -rt for -are verbs, and -i for -ere and -ire verb. For most v rbs the stem is taken from the infinitiv . Some v' rbs hav sp Iling change or are irregular.
Aspetto! Wait!

f Put t.h eh pped parsley

into the b wl.

g Mix w 11.
h Warm up a frying pan with
som oliv oil,

i Pour th mixture into

For noi imp ratives, u e the normal noi form, which is u uall lik the infinitive, but nding in -iamo in t ad of -rz
Aspettiomo! Andiomo Let's wait!' Let's go!

th pan. Fry th om leue slowly. k Turn th m lctte over ...

I ... fl th other side. and



Fast track:

negatives, interrogatives and

For voi imp rati when sp aking to two or more peopl family members or friends, us th normal voi form, whi h i usually lik th infinitive, but ending in -te in lead of -re.
Aspettate! Wait!

Negatives: saying you don't do something
l don't know.
h /he isn't selling h r/his ar.

You put non in front of the verb.

Non so. Non vende 10 sua mocchina.

To make the Leiimperativ when talking to trangers or eniors, YOll use th appropriat form of the ubjuncti e, which for -nre verb ends in -i, and for -ere and -1:71! verbs end. in -a. For most erbs, the st m is taken from the infinitiv , and some verb have peHing change or irregularities.
Aspetti! Wa.it!

Interrogatives: asking questions

You can: • make a taternent and
Vai a Massa?

hange h intonation:
Are you going to Massa?

• invert th the


and th

verb wh n you want to stress

Is she going t.o Massa?


VA lei a Mossa2

• lise a question
Dove andote?

word, th n the verb a normal: Wher ar you going? subj ct

For the Lora imp rati e wh n talking t two or more urangers or s ni r, you us the loro form of the subjunctive which for -are v rbs ends in -ino, and for -ere and -ire v rbs ends in -ano. For most verbs the tem is taken from the infinitiv , but am verbs have spelling change or lrrcgulariti S. Thi form of the imperative is u ed rarely and in formal cir umstan c .
Aspettino! Wait!

• use a question word, th n invert th exp~e and verb when you want to stress the subject:
Dove vonno lora?

ate that pronoH!


are add

d to the end of the imperativ

Wait For rn !

Where ar they g ing?

Us- ful qu
Quonto/ o/i/ Cornef

·tion words:
e? How much?/I-Iow Hm? Pardon? man ?

To give n gative ornrnandswith tu, us non followed by the infiniiiv of the v rb. For all oth r n gative commands, put non in front of the po itive forms.







The past tenses

Saying what y u have d n or what has happened If you know when. to use the perfect and imperfect tenses go on to 1.4.1. In Italian, just as in English, there ar different ways of xpressing the past. Th tenses you win n ed to use most are the p rfeet tense and the imp rf ct.

at how in the last one the ingle completed action is d crib d in the perfect.
Ask yourself: Did it happen once in the past? Is it over? Is it finished? Then use the perfect tense.


Ask yourself: Is it something which used to happen in the past? Was it happening when something else happened? If you can use 'was/were' + an -ing form in English, you use the imperfect in Italian.

The perfect tense: il passato prossimo The perfect tense is so called becaus it d scribes a single, completed action; like the English quival nt, it is mostly used for an action in the irnrn diate past, one which has just happened, but it is also used tor th English past simple, as seen in the exampl s b low. In sam ways it i th easiest Italian tens ,but it do s hay its complication, which have to be learnt.
I have eaterr/T ate. I have arrivcd/T arrived. Ho mangiato. Sono arrivato.

TI e perfect tense tran lat s 'I have play d' and' I played', and th que tion forms 'Hav you played?' and 'Did YOll play?'. You use the perfect tense when y u are talking or asking about something which h ppened al d finished in the pa t.
Ask yourself: Did it happen once in the past? Is it over? Is it finished? Then use the perfect tense.

The past definite tense: il passato remoto The past definite t nse, so called beau se it describe a single, complet d action at a defined moment in the (not ~ . ent) past; like th Engli h equival nt - tll past simple It I.S ~nostlyu e . for an action in the di tant past. It i mostly used nowaday 111 I gal language and in narrative or historical ItalL,n.' but you may co~ aero s it oeea ionally in spok n form: It 1 r gularIy u d m spoken Italian in certain r gions, mainly in the outh but also in Tuscany and Emilia R magna. In the rest of Italy, the p rf ct tens is used in tead. .
My par nts were born in Italy. H old his car, I miei genitori nacquero in ltollo. Vende 10 sua macchina.

Which tense are you going to

a Y terday I went to town. bIb ught a new pair of trainer. c h n r went to th gym. dIu d to go thr e times a w k, e I met my girlfri nd at the gym. f he was on th rowing machine. g was doing weigh . h h was laughing at me. i I ask d her why. j My shorts wer in ide out.

The imperfect tense: !'imperfetto The imperf ct ten e translates 'I was playing when ...,' 'Were you playing when ...?' and 'I us d to play (a long tim ago)', and is used for repeated actions and descriptions in the past. You u e the imperf ct tense: • to talk about what u ed
I us d to go to chool by bus.
It wa alwa raining. t . happ n in general: Andovo a scuolo in outobus.

1.4.1 The perfect tense: if possoto prossimo


• to describe thing in the pa t:

Pioveva sempre.

.... ....

If you know how to form the perfect tense with avere and essere go to 1.4.2. The P rfect ten e in Italian i made up of two pans like the Engh h p rf et tense: the .ppropriat part of an au iliary " v rb - avere 'to hay ' or essere 'to be' - and the past

• to say what was happeni.ng when som thing el e happened (an interrupt d action).
I was having a shower wh n he arrived. Mi facevo 10doccia quando arrivato.


participl . Remember, though, that it is u ed for both rent action in tJ e pa t and mor distant one. Most verb form the perfe t tense with auere, but om examples WitJ1 essere follow.


Who watch d the Telegiornale n ws bull tin? Complete sentences by adding the right form of auere. a b c d e f g b

the e


[Nol) __ [loro] __
(Leil __ Bionca __ (Vail __ (Loro)__ (Tul __ (10) __ (Luigi) __ (Lei)__

The perfect tense with avere First, verbs which u e aoere; to get used to' the

ound of the perfect tense choose on of the phrases, or make up one of your own and practise saying it until you are really fluent. rudy the following chart carefully. verb Past participle
spok n eat n old understood Iini h d

J hay you hav you hav

ho hoi ho obbiomo avete hanna

Porticipio Possoto
parlato mongioto venduto capito finito preferito

Past simple meaning

I poke you ate you sold h /she sold we understood you finished ' you preferred th y preferred

j B

guardato il Telegiornale delle 10:00. guardato il Telegiornale delle 12:00. guardato il Telegiornale delle 14:00. . guordato il Telegiornale delle 16:00. g.uordato il Telegiornale delle 18:00. guordato il Telegiarnale delle 20:00. guardalo il Telegiornale delle 22:00. guardalo il Telegiornale delle 24:00. guordato il Telegiornale delle 02:00. guordato il Telegiornale delle 04:00.

(familiar) (formal), has

The perfect tense with essere In Italian, as we have seen, some v rbs form the perfect with essere inst ad of auere. These include all reflexive
verbs, of which tabl . there are a couple of examples in thi


we have you have (familiar pI.) ou hav (formal pl.), lh



Auxiliary verb (Engl1ishversion)

I have you have (familiar) you have (formal), he/she has we have you have (familiar pl.) you hav (formal pl.), they hav I hav au have

Past participle
gone nter d fallen gone out gone up I. fL wash d rr got up If

sono sei

Porticipio Possoto
andato/a entrato/a caduto/a uscili/e salili/e portiti/e lavato/a alzati/e

Past simple meaning

I w nt you III r d you r. II h / hef II we went OUl you W III up you left they left ] wash d my you got up

You can s e that the pa

-are verbs -ere verbs -ire verbs

-cto -uto



as follow:


H re are



of avereverb



siama siete sana mi sana vi siete

Ho chiesro uno birra. Hai fotto 10 shopping. Ho perso un coltello e ho ratio uno tozzo. Abbiomo preso il Irena delle sei. Avete dimenlicolo Ie chiovi. Hanno abbondonoto 10 mocchino

I ordered a beer. You did the shopping. he has lost a knif and broken a cup. We got the 60' 1.0 k train. You have forgott n th keys, They have abandon d th car.




with the f Bowing. How would you

___ porloto


a I hav spoken b you hay spoken (tul c h has spoken

You can that with essere verb the past participle b hav lik adj ctives and agre in number and gender with the subj ct; thus, with ingular ubjects they end in for masculin and -a for feminine ubjects. In the plural they end in -i for masculines and -e for feminines. (For noun ndings and adjective agreernem, ee2.1 and 4 ..1.1).


d th Y ha c spoken
e you have old [loro]



Verbs which use essere to form the perfect tense

The majority of intransitive verb (ones which do not normally hav an object) and reflexive verbs form the

f we have 'old
have you h John has i you hay j (my wif

sold? [voi] understood understood [lei] and I) have understood


capito _


perfect tense with essere. Here ar some examples from th main groups of such verbs: • most verbs of mov ment or lack of movement:
andare, arrivare, cadere, entrare, essere, fuggire, giungere, partire, restore, rimanere, solire, scappare, scendere, stare, tornare, uscire, venire

Checklist: formation of the perfect tense To make the p rfect tense you use the right p rson of aoere 'to have' 01" essere 'to be' + the past participl
avere: ho, hoi, ho, obblcmo, avete, hanna essere: sono, sei, e. siamo, siete, sono


• verbs which indicate change:

apparire, crescere, dimagrire, diventare, guarire, ingrassore, morire, nascere, svanire


• impersonal verbs and verbs de cribing th w ather:

awenire, bastare, dlsplccere, mancare, piacere, sembrare, nevicare, piovere


How to form the past participle

If you know how to form the past participle, go to


few v rbs can us either auere or essere depending on whether th y ar being us d transitively or intransitively; with douere, potere and uolere, essere can be u ed if the foHowing verb is all essere verb:
Non sono potuto andare 01 cinema con mio fratello. [ could not go to th with my brother. in rna

Regular verbs In English th past participle of regular verbs i formed by adding 'ed' to th infinitiv
play played war h wat h d dan

dane d

In Italian, -are, -ere and -ire verbs each form their pa t participles in different ways.
-ore verbs


ar som exampl s of essere verb in s nten es:

[went to the I ar.


-ite verb
rbs -ito -uio,

Sono andato 01 bar. Sei uscito/a aile due. Luisa si alzata aile otto. Ci siamo ripasati a coso. Siete tornati/e a Napoli. Loro sono partifi/e per Roma.

You went out at two


Luisa got up at ei ht o'clock. We had a rest at h You went ba k to apl '. They left for Rom.

You take off the ending -are, -ere or -ire and add -ato, parlare > parlato; uendere > uenduto; partire > part ito. VI Using thes rules, what would b the pa t participle these verbs? a.




ornplete these sentences by selecting the orrect form of th past participle. Th n try tran lating them into Engli h. b
a Michele andato/andata/andati allavoro. Maria Grozia tornoto/tornato/tornate a coso.

b mangiare
c finire d vendere

k lavare I rivendere
fermore n palere 0 lirare p dimenlicare q uscire r entrare s sentire t partire

c E tu, Francesco, a che ora sei arrivate/arrivata/arrivali d I ragazzi sana gi6 uscite/uscilo/usciti.

a scuola?

e oscohore f ripetere
g tenere h aspeNare sistemore

e Emanuele e Alberto, a che ora vi siele a1zali/alzote/alzato? f Le mie amiche ilaliane sana venuli/venule/venuta a Iravarmi.

Put the verbs in th se sentence don't forget the agr ements.

a Franco __ b Laura __ aile dieci [orrivore] aile selte. Isvegliarsi)

into the correct form; B


c Noi __ per Genova aile undici. [portlre] d Lora __ molto a Capri. (divertirsi) e Gianni e Rosaria __ a Ercolano. (andare) f Lei __ a Irovarmi a coso. (venire)

Agreement of past participles You have found in section 1.4.1 that with v rbs whi h LI e essere for the P rfect tense, the past participl has to match th subject in numb rand g nder. With auere verbs, th past participl has to agree with the dir ct obj~ct pron~uns lo, La li , le which go in front of the verb. You will sometimes , e this agr m nt in other situations with auere verbs, but the e types of agre rnent are mostly optional, so ther is no


need to worry about them. Here ar some examples of nece ary agreements:
Dov'e lo mia penna? dimenticata. Ti piacciono comprati ho viste. i gatti? ieri. Non Ie la ho/l'ho

Remember that the examples can he translated as e.g. 'J have opened' or 'J opened':
apporire aprire coprire dire morire offrire venire




Dove sono Ie ragazze?

Where is my pen? m have forgotten it. Do you. like the cats? I bought them yesterday. Where are the girls? [ haven't seen them.

Past participle
opparso operto coperto detto

il sole e opporso ho aperlo porta ha cope rio padella non hanna delto niente mio zio

the sun appeared I have opened the door h covered the

scomparire rioprire scoprire moledire


I'" ,Qj

10 10


Che cosa hafauo Marco stmnattina? 'What did Marco do this morning?' Add the right form of the past participle, and watch out for any past participle agreements ..
a Ho
a tennis con Giulio. mia moglie ho Giorgio. del nuovo il mio

they have said nothing myun le has died w offered 20 euros she did not come today

[ played tennis with Ghdio.


offerlo venula

e mario

c d

obblcrno offerto

soffrire awenire

Poi ho a pranzo. Dopa collego Abbiomo progetto. ha

Then T invited my wife to Iurrch,




non e venula

Next Trang my colleague Giorgio. [chiornore] We talked about the new plan.

e Mi f

10 sua
la data stampa.

cooperazione. Abbiamo della conferenza ha

g Mi h Ho i l'ho




per posta elettronica. una pagina.

He assured me of his cooperation. [assicurore) "We considered the date of the press conference. [studio rei He sent me the new brochure by e-mail. [rnondore) a page. [cornbiore] I printed it out, [stamparel Here are the brochures; I printed them. [stompore] The letters? I sent them ..
[rncndore] I changed

The following chart lists other important irr gular past participles: they are grouped so that you can see which past participles are formed in similar ways. Remember, there are two ways of translating each one.
essere nascere bere

Past pa'rticip'le sloto

nato bevuto


E have been to


sono state a


Ecco i


Ii ho io.

e note

Salerno a Bergamo

Salerno she was.born in Bergamo they drank a beer

E made a mistake


hanno bevuto uno birra

le lettere? le ho Dopoho_una telenovela.

After that]

watched a TV soap.

Fore rompere

fatto rotto

hofatto hoi rotto chiave

un errore

soddisfare !rrompere


have broken the key

Irregular post participles Many English past participles are iln·, gular, but we are so used to them that we don't notice them.
run> run; at> eaten; drink > drunk

costringere dirigere distruggere friggere leggere scrivere

costretto diretto distrutto fritto

mi ha costrel1o a Faria Ponti ha diretto il film avete distrutto

Some Italian verbs also have irregular past participles. Ajthough there seem to be quite a lot, they are easy to learn, as clusters of them follow simjlar patterns. Fortunately, -are verbs are all regular except Forfare > fauo. Most -ire verbs ar regular except for those gr,ouped together in the chart below; some similar verbs are gicen they folilowthe same pattern, but there are many other .

he forced me to do it Ponti directed the film you've wrecked the house! I have fried some onions have you read this book? she wrote a leuer



ho Iritto delle cipolle hoi letto questa libro? ho scritto uno lettera


eleggere descrivere


chiedere porre vedere rimanere rispondere

Past partic;ipl'e

ho chiesto un aumento abbiamo Ie basi posto

I asked for a rise
we've laid the foundations did you see a train? they stayed at home they replied

richiedere imporre rivedere


Complete these sentences by adding the past participle of the verb given in brackets.
a II cliente ha il nuevo il testo. nel Th




chiesto posta visto rimasto risposto

hure .

has seen th

deplionl, (vedere)

new bra We wroi

b c d e f

Noi abbiamo (scrivere) Palma

the text.



avete visto un treno? sono rimasti 0' coso hanno risposlo ieri


ha (immettere)

Palma put it on the computer. The Fa a ompal~y


La ditta FoCo ha questa versione. II clienle pioce. Ha ho __ (dire) II contralto (Iare) che gli


this version. Th customer

said h

did he solve the problem? he turned his back spinto we pushed door they won the match ] met Gigli ] liked him a lot ricanoscere dispiacere the respingere rivolgere dissolvere

lik d it.
He asked for ih straight away.

risolvere volgere

risolro volto

he risolto il problema?

subirol (chiedere)

he volta
spalle abbiamo



ow tel] the story of Salvo's car ..Complete these sentence using the perfect tense of the verb giv 11 in brackets. ot all the past participles are irregular!
a b c
d Salvo nella lolteria

spingere vincere

spinto vinta



(vincere) comprare


alvo won
the lottery.



hanna vinto la partita

una nuova

He wanted W buy a new car

for his wife,

auto per suo mag lie. (volere)

canoscere piacere

canosciuta piaciuto

ho conasciuto
Gigli mi

10 L' auto
moglie. non

spot dl una (vedere) (camprare) a sua [decidere) sui rnocchlno.

e piaciuta

mccchlno elettrica.

H saw an advert for an electric ar,




molta chiudere decidere prendere ridere chiuso deciso preso rlso speso hanna chiuso they closed door have you decided? obblorno un presa we have had a tea he laughed riprendere sorridere the socchiudere

e f

His wife didn't

Jik th






di venderlo.
un onnunclo (mettere)

avete deciso?


She de id d to sell it. Sb put an advertisement newspaper. A fri ncl of her husband


Un omico l'outo,

di suo mmito per provare can il (vedere)

up his sleeve
you have spent a fortune! you have put rimettere rimuovere m n

un appuntamento (prendere)

made an appointment

to try

ha riso sotto i baffi hoi spesa una fortuna!



Salvo suo ornico

suo moglie in macchino. (credere) macchina. che si traltava



car with

a\ hi wife in the his friend.

the were having

I [ondcre]

di un'

He thought


metlere muovere


10 avete


affair. the car. went too fast. stopped him.



He followed

him out
[have moved and heaven earth!

a velocilo



ha rnosso mari e monti!

La Polizia Strada Ie I' (Iermore) pagore uno multa. (dovere)

The police

He had LO pay a fine.

Note that only a few of th similar 'compound' verbs are given as examples: there are very many others. Keep your eyes open!


ow can you translate these?

a Sofia has read his latest novel Have you read the book? (il suo ultima rornonzol.


d e

We haven tread the book. They have seen the film of the book. Sofia saw the film yesterday.


For mor pra tice with the oth r person , see if you an giv th right form f th p rf t t n e of alzarsi to ornpl t th nt nc : Wh n lid they get up?
a b c d
Stamattina, ia II paneltiere Sua moglie aile sei (rnasc.). aile quatlro. aile quatlro e mezzo.


f We haven teen the film yet. g Have ou seen the film?

Checklist: past participles Mo t pa t p irti iples end in -ato, -uto or -ito. R gular:
-ore verbs end in -oto: -ere verbs end in -oto: -ite v rbs end in -ilo.

Berta a:lle sette e mezzo. e Palrizio e Mariella aile setle meno un quorto. f Signora Cecilia, a che ora ? [lei] g Noi __ aile sei (rnasc.). h I signori Pirelli aile nove. che ora aile nove e mezzo, non tu questa mattina, Paolo?

i Lucia e Carla,

jA mo
In,filnitive addormentarsi annoiarsi orrobbiorsl diverlirsi farsi

e verof


Man of th most commonly u d verb have irregular past parti iple : Look for patterns to try to rernernb r them:

r orne more reflexiv of th m already,

erbs. Y u probablj know

aperla, coperlo; delta, foliO; scritto, letto; poslo, vislo; deciso, preso.

Meaning to fall asleep to g t bored to get angr to enjoy oneself to shave

to wash

P,resent tense mi addormenla mi annoio mi orrobbio mi diverto mi laccio 10 mi love mi pettino mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi

P·erfect tense mi sana addormenlalo/a mi sono annoiato/a mi sono arrabbiato/a mi sono divertilo/a mi sana fatto mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi sana sono sana sono


Reflexive verbs in the perfect tense

Refl xiv v rb b ha e the same in the perf; ct tense as in the pr nt, with th rene ive pronoun b fore the appropriate part f th auxiliary verb es ere. This mean, of cour that th past participles hay to agr e with the subj ct.
Present mi olzo Ii olz: si ci vi si

10 barba




lavarsi pettinarsi preoccuparsi prepararsi ricordarsi riposarsi sbagliarsi sedersi


IPerfect mi sana alzato/a Ii sei alzalo/a sl alzalo/a ci siorno alzali/e vi siete alzali/e si sana alzali/e

to comb one's hair to get worried to get ready to remember to rest to mak ami itake to sit down to get 10SL to wake lip to get dressed

preoccupo preparo ricordo riposo sbaglio siedo


lavato/ a pettinalo/a preoccupalo/a preparalo/a



svegliarsi veslirsi


sana ricordato/a sana riposato/a sana sbagliato/a soro sedulo/a sana smarrilo/a sono sveglialo/a

mi sana vestilo/ a

AI first you will probably only need to use refleXive verbs in the first
person, so learn one phrase by heart and use it as a model to make other phrases later.

Checklist: the perfect tense You u e the perfect tense to talk ab ut mething whi ha happen d at at spe ifi tim in th past. Mo t erbs form the p rfe t t n e with auere and the pa participle of the verb: Ito mangiato.
avere: ho, hoi, ho, obbiorno, avete, hanna


mi mi mi mi

sono olzoto presto sana lovoio sana pettinoto sana preporoto per andare 01 cinema

I gOL up early

I gOLwashed

T combed my hair
I gOLready to go to the cinema

orne v rb u e essere instead: sono arriuato; with the pa t parti ipl agrees with th ubj t.
essere: sono, sei,



sterno, siete, sono



The imperfect tense: when to use it

If you know when to use the imperfect tense, go to


You can see that th imperfect of th infinitive riding .

ndings start with the vowel


You us th imperfect tense to: • describe what omething was like in the past:

Regular verbs Her ar compl te xamples of r gular v rbs; note that -iscverbs are like all other -ire verbs here:
parlavo parlovi parlava parlovamo parlovate parlovano

..0 41 >


n I wa small, w lived


era piccolo,


vendevo vendevi vendevo vendevamo vendevate vend eva no

partivo partivi partiva partivamo partivate partivano

hruvo finivi finiva finivamo finivate finivano

in Scozia. La coso era vecchia. Pioveva ogni giorno.

hou wa ld. It rain d ev ry day,

1 used to walk to school.

• say what som one or something

We used to look for wood for the lire.

u ed to do:
a scuolo a piedi. legna per il fuaco. andava a pesca_


Cercavamo Mia padre



used to go fishing.

• describe an interrupted action (say what someone/ something wa doing when something else happ ned):
Lwa wat hing (imp rf ct) Lei i i n when th phon rang (p rf ct).
use 'was' or 'were' or 'used to' in English, you need to use Guardavo suonato la tivu quando il telefono. ha


Cosajacevano?What were th y doing when the lights went out?

a Mio morito __ b Carlo __
c Chiaro d __ davonti


relevisione. [dorrnire]


televislone. (guordare)
[chiccchlerore] [parlare) (telelonore] Iriparore) [giocarel

uno rlvlsto. Ileggere) can la mia vicino. la doccia. __ del nuovo presidenle. (fare) Ie loro mota in garage. a blllordo. alia suo rogozzo. __

10 __
Sora si __ Froncesco Andrea Nicola e

II you

e [Noi) __

the imperfect

to say the same thing in Italian.

Ihe weather 'it was raining'

, The imperfect

is usually the tense to use for describing Freddo, 'il was cold'; piovevo,

in the past: foceva

h i


suo omico

e Alessandro


B How to form the imperfect tense

If you know how to form the imperfect tense go on to 1.4.6. To form th imperfect, you n ed to know the infinitive stem e.g. paTiare> jJarfr and add th nding for -are, -ere and -ire verb as appropriate. This makes itju t about the easie t tense in Italian, with very few irr gular verb ! Here ar the regular form :
io tu lui/lei/Lei noi voi lora/Lora


Irregular verbs Only a handful of verbs ar . in gul.ar in the imperfect tense, but note that the endings ar th same as tho e of regular verbs. Here are the most us ful ones.
era eri era eravamo eravate erano

bevevo bevevi beveva bevevamo bevevate bevevano

dlcevo dicevi diceva dicevamo dicevate dicevano

facevo facevi facevo facevomo facevate facevano

-are verb

'Ovo -ovi -ovo

-ere verb endings

-eva -evi

-;re verb endings


-lvo -ivamo -ivate -ivono


Give th correct form of the v rb.

a She was quite small.
b The), used to do a lot of sport. c We were oung. __ __ __ __ abbastanza molto sport. giovani. un ragozzo intelligente. piccola.

-evorno -evate -eva no

'Ovate 'Ova no

You were a clever boy.


e ] u d to drink English

ou were

__ Tu __

birro inglese. che morivi dalla voglia

f You 1I red t say that dying to se me.

di vedermi.

Checklist: the imperfect tense The imperfect tense is asyas it is alway formed in the Same way. Tak the infinitiv of the verb. rem v th -are/ere/ire and add the n w endings. Th nding ar the sam for II verb, few irregular verbs ... he ending; T and there are just a


Giv the correct form brackets.

a (101__
0110 fermata

f th imperii ct of th verb in
dell'autobus. (aspeHarel



b d f

[Tul_ligabue Patrizio _ Mario __ -

sui tuo walkman. in cine. (andare) il giarnale. il suo rogazzo. di coso. fooling. (Ieggerel [ospeitore]


c [Noi] __ e [Lei)

[uscue] in campagna (farel [guardare) (bere) (stare)

for -are v rbs ar : -auo -aui -aua; -auamo, -auaie, -auano; for -ere v rbs: -evo, -etn, -eua, -eoamo, -euate, -euano; and for -i1'everb : -ioo, -iui -iua, -iuamo, -iuate, -ioano. You are mo t 11k-Iy to need to use the imperf ct tense when talking about yourself: facevo ero .... avevo ... ... :r about the weather: [aceoa c'era ..... tc.

h l

I suoi genilori Silvia __ Voi _ Mio



j XV

padre _

un aperitiva.

omplet the ntenc s to de cribe the ,.1/ ather by adding th - correct form of the imperfect of the v rb in brackets.
a __ bel lempa. (nevicare) sole. (essere) vente. [tlrors] [piovere) [dlssolversf (farel [essere] molto mosso. [essere) (fore)


Perfect or imperfect?
Remember to u th imp rfect tens for th action that wa ongoing and the p rfect L nse for the action that 'interrupted' it.

b __

e __


a calinelle. (tuonarel __ caldo.

f __

You need to us - both th imp rfect and the perfe tin these sentences. IFillin the verbs in the appropriat tens then tran late th s ntences.
a I suoi genitori [noscere], b Quando c Nadia lei __ __ __ [essere] piccolo. [overe] cinque [cvere] __ [abilare) a livorno quondo Nadia __ __ (andare)

La nebbia C __ II mare __

h i j

un lemporale.


sua famiglia

in Svizzera. anni quando suo fralello __ __ non __ (ospettare) [avere) dieci [lerrnorsi] l'ouiobus. (nascere). d Giuseppe anni. e __ [cltrcversore] semaforo. __ lvederel l'incldente menlre __ __ __ __ __ lui __ __ (avere) diciannove __ [sfudlore] i suoi sludi. quando [vedere] [conoscera] [fore) anni quando quando (dare) l'esorne di (decidere) di un incidente quando un'aulo

Reflexive verbs in the imperfect Refle IV verb b have the same way in the imperii t t nse a in th present. with th refl xive pronoun before the appropriat pan of the verb. so they present no problems. In the old day
a Quando il mio bisnonno __ piccolo, [essere) nel suo paese. [essere) _ in campagna.


01 f


slrada quando

Nadia mofurito.

[essere, obitore] b Le case __ c fatle di pietro. l'uvo. (coltivore) __ l'uvo. __ nella vigna. [raccogliere) il vino. [lore] [essere) (cucinare) a piedi, (volere) [dovere)
0 scuolo

g Lei __ h Nadia

C' __

meno di venli obilanli


d Si __ e I bambini



i __

(fare) un corso di informatica della MegaSA. (lavorare) __

f __ h i


g I suoi genitori Non c' __ Sua madre __ II mia bisnonno Per andere


Nadia Lei

per questa dillo quando del personale Nadia quando

l'elettricilo. __

il suo fUluro marilo. (essere) diretlrice d'impiego. [fare) bel tempo quando e Giuseppe domanda __

in un fuoco di legno. andare un'oro.


a scuolo, ci __




..,. ....

The past definite tense:

il possoto remota

If yOU' know about the past definite tense, go on to


The past definit tense in Italian is just lik th English past simpl t ns ,consisting of just one word. How v r, YOll will only come across it occasionally: this is because it is not used in spoken form over most of Italy, the perfect t 115 being used in tead. It is, however, commonly used for narrative in formal writing, for xampl in novels and histori al writing. Here, we willjust give you enough information to nable you to recognis it; for mar information, consult Azione Grammatico (Hodd rand toughton). Thi: ten ingl ,campI t d action in the pa t. he past definit tie i therefore used for narrative and reports of past events, only being used for recent everyday events in poken Italian in outhern Italy. In Italian, most v rbs form the past definite on a tern based on the infinitive minus -ase/ere/ire. These examples could be expressed in the perfect t nse if they concern recent actions, but ar more lik ly to b in the past definite in writt n Italian.

There are many irregular verb in the pa t definite ten e; ince thi tense i not one you are likely to need, we will imply give you a selection of u eful irregular verbs a that you can recognise the ending and how the stems of irregular verb change from one form to another. With all but e sere, there are identifiable patterns. essere
fui los Ii lu fummo foste furono


ebb avesti ebbe avemmo aveste ebbero

chiudesti chiuse chiudemmo chiudeste chiusero


feei laeesli Ieee lacemmo faeesle fecero

leggesti lesse leggemmo leggeste lessero

dicesf disse
dicernrno diceste


mettere muovere nascere

misi mettesli mise mossi movesti mosse nacqui naseesti nacque naseemmo nasceste nacquero

presi prendesti prese prendemmo prendeste presero


sletli stesti stette

rise ridernrno rideste risero

metleste misero

moveste mossero

steste stettero


bar e chiesi una birro. e rompesti

[ went to the bar and]

ordered a

an you ob erve the following feature ? 1. 2. 3.

II hay

Perdesn un coltello una

beer. You lost a knife and broke a cup. S/he went to lawn and did some shopping. We went to the station and gOl the 6 o'clock train. You Forgot the keys and abandoned the car. They went to the market and bought pears.

stems. usually


Ando in citto e fece

Andammo Dimenticaste Andarono



Th Sl ms for tu, noi and voi ar tern. Th or Sl 5-.

st lO the infinitiv

ms for io; lui/lei and loro ar


and often

nd in -


siozione e

prendemmo abbandonaste eomprarono


treno delle sei. e l'ouio,

4. For all v rb , the pasl definit ~r



Ie chiovi

-mmo, voi = -51e, loro = rono or -ero;


gular verb

u uall

with an a

are: io = -i, Iu = -sli, noi = alwai s nds in -0, -e, -i, nt and -e for irr gular v rb .

al rnercoto e delle pere.

As always, many oth r v rbs follow th s models.

Here ar th past d finite forms of regular -are, -ere and -ire verbs; note that -ere v rbs have two pas ible form for the io, lui/lei and loro forms: -are: parlare
parlai parlosti poria porlammo


tory telling in th past definite: put in th carr ct form of the right verb from the list below, then translate the story.
Molli _3_ _5_ Mia anni fa, (nail _1_ un apportamento il tempo prendendo _7_ 11 affittare, in Italia. _2_ a Diarnanle. Mia due settimane rnorilo



mare. io


-ere: vendere
vendei vendesti vende (vendette) vendemmo vendeste venderono (vendettero) (vendetti)

-irer partire
portii portisti porti portimmo portiste partirono

il sale sulla spiaggia

e leggendo. can noi. fino aile

fralello e sua moglie _6_ rnolto, La sera _8_ dopa, Il\l divertirsi, ecosa ballare, 12 eenore,

a slare un fine settimana in un ristoranle e poi _9_ il windsurf.


Ire dt notte. II giorno

tutti _10_

E voi, dove

po ria rono

fare (x 31. andare

[x 21. possore,

store, venire


Checklist: the past definite tense

You use the past d finite tense to talk about a singl , completed action which happened at a pecifi tim in the past. Almost all v rbs have regular irregular verbs. The endings ending, but ther ar many

The past definite tense

hi i used to d distant pa t. It i perfect ten ,but cribe a ingle, completed action in th ften u -d where we might xpect the u ually only in formal written reports. add:


To a stem ba ed on the infinitiv





for "Ore v- rbs: -oi, -osti, .0, -ornmo, -oste, -orono

for -are verbs are: -ai, -osti; -0, -ammo, -aste, are: -ei/eui, -e ti, -e/-elte, -emmo, are: -ii, -isti, -i, -immo, -isle, -irono.


verbs: ·ei/etli, -esti, -e/-elle, -emmo, -este, -erona/-ettera

The endings Th II for -ere verb -este, -erono/ -etiero. ndings for -ire verb

far -ue verbs: -ii, -isti, ·i, ·immo, -iste, -irono


are many irr gular verbs in this ten e.


.....Fast track:
Til I' are differ th past

the past tenses

happ n d in


The future tense and the conditional

The future:

nt way· of aying what ha

i/ Futuro

The perfect tense

This is used to d s ribe an action been complet d recently. in th past which ha

y u us the futur t nse, ilfuturo, to talk about something that i going to happen, something you want to do or are ing to do in til future. In Italian, just as in English, there ar two way of a ing what is going a happ n. ot also that th present tense is often used to express an event which' ill happ n in the near future (se s ction 1.2). The futu .e tens translat intention a w II a future mak ur he doe l'
guardero andre ascolteranna

The perfect tense is used whenever it is used in English, and also instead of the simple one-word pasllense form, i.e. for both 'I have spoken' and 'I spoke',

the English 'will' and can imply action, .g. 'He will go' - 'IDwill
I will watch he will go they will listen

The p rfect t nse is made up of an auxiliary or 'h Ipe r ' verb and th past participle, a in Engli h: auere for most verbs - 'I have eaten' ho mangiato - and es ere for orne verbs, including all reflexive: 'we have arrived' siamo arrioati. Note that pa t participle with e ere verb alway have to agr with th subject, and parti iples with auere verbs sometimes have to agree with a pr ding direct object.

The conditional:

if condizionale

This is not trictly onsider d future tense but it talks about the future: what you would do if ... It translat s 'would/ bould/could' in ; ngli h. 'I would like to go if .. .', talking about omething you would like to do in th future,
] would like to go to Rome. We really should/ought to go,. Could we go tomorrov ?

The imperfect tense

Theimperfect is used to tajk about action in the past. an ngoilrtg or habitual

[f you can use 'was/were' or 'u ed to' in Engli h you use the imperfect t nse in Italian. It is form d by adding to the infinitive tern th ndings: -auo, -aui, -aua, -auamo, -auate, -auano f r -are verb .-euo, -eoi, eva, -euamo, -euate, -euano for -ere V rbs, and -iuo, -ivi, -iua, -iuamo, -iuate, -ivano for -ire verb .

It is also us d as a more polite something:

way of stating or a king for

'I would like to leave now': Mi piccerebbe andare via subito.



The future tense: 'I will

Ilf you know aboullhe fulurelense go on to 1.5.2.
This is the 'proper' futur ten ometime called the futur simple becau e it can ists fju t one word. It translates the Engli h 'will' nd j u d to talk about events which will take plac in the future.
comprero andre ascolteronno

II mio



il suo completo

nero e una camicia




d Nicola _ i suoi [eons e una magliella, come sempre. e le mie amiche __ il Ioro veslito nazionale. f I miei amici __ dei pantaloni neri e una camicia azzurro




Noi __ che __ Che

dei calzetfoni

bicnchi e delle scorpe nere .

h E lei,


J will buy h will go th y will li ten

Irregular verbs
am tens. of th most common verbs are irr gular in the future

Regular verbs
Fortunat Iy almo t all verb are regular. The futuro is made by adding th s nding to a tern ba ed on th infinitive: -0, -ai, -emo, -ete; -anno. -are and -ere verbs us th infinitive st madding -er-, and -ire verb add -ir before th futur tens nding. A few verb have a lighly modified future stem.

look for patterns to help you remember

them and choose the four

that you think you are most likely to need, and learn the io form.



the endings

are very similar to those of the present tense of for the noi and the voi forms.

rna t us ful irr gular future verb tarting with irr gular' with the others the st rn is only slightly irregular, losing th vowel of the infinitive nding; but th endings are th same for all verb.

ere are th

essere, which is completely

the verb avere except

sare sorai

This may help you t

-are verbs
porlero parleroi

-ere verbs
prendero prenderai prenderc prenderemo prenderete prenderanno


-ire verbs
portiro partirai

sore soremo


parleremo parlerete parleronno

partiremo pa rtirete partironno

andare avere cadere dovere potere sapere vedere vivere


Giv a b c d f


correct. future
(guordare) [preporore] (metfere)

tense of the verb

in brackets.


noi __ tu __ voi __ loro __ lui __ Ioro __ noi __ io __ loro __


poro sopro
vedra vivro

[permetlere] (scrivere) larrivore) (entrorel (porlire) (50lirel

e Lei __

h i


following verbs have future stems ending Future

berro morro

in -1'''-:



Cosa portcranno?What

are they going to wear for th fesla?

della regione. bianco. rossa e una comicetto

morire porere rimonere

10 __

i vestiti tradizionali una gonna


b Voi __


tenere valere venire valere

terre vorro verro vorro


Writ in the orrect form of the verb in brackets:

a l'onno prossimo, io __ vent'onni. [overe] prossimo io __ in b In questa momento, Inghilterra. c 10 __ [ondore] un corso d'inglese a Iravormi a Oxford. (fore) il mio nuovo indirizzo. a Oxford, (mondare) studio in liolio, ma l'onno




d (10) f

ti __

ate also th following:

dare fore stare cominciore mangiore cercare paga.re

e Tu __ POi, noi __ andare g __

vero? (venire! in Scozio, mo __ necessario Iroppa! [polere, per mio

insieme a Londro. (andare) can il trenc __ io __

dare fare stcro comlncero rnonqero cerchero

onche fore un viaggio in aulo perche andare __ il rnio corso,

essere, costore]

Quando padre

in holio, e __ lovorore].

nel suo ufficio.

(finire, lornore,

What are the e people going to do? ornplete th entences by adding the orrect form of the verb andare:
a 10 __ bTu __ __ c Mario d Lei e Noi __ qualtro alia spiaggia in monlagna . alfiume a fare del windsurf. a fare della plano. a fare del rafting. fare surf. dell'automobile per comprare un'auto con


As you can ee, clare,fare,

tare keep th -a- of their infinitives, cominciare and mangiare lose the -i, urine e sary before the -~, and cercare and mamgiare need -It.. to k ep the hard -G~ or -g ound before th -~. otc that, a' alway, any compounds bas d on the verb abo e ha e the arne irregularit in the futur tense; in the cas of the last gr up, verbs with similar sp Iling have the same hanges.
Useful expressions: necessaria, te

01 mare a 01 salone
ruote motrici.

f h i

Voi __ Loro __

sulle Alpi per fare 10 sci. e Sergio in montagna __ a casa. sulle Alpi a fare snowboard. a fare alpinismo? sugli Apennini a fore speleologio.

g Natalia

Palrizio e Benedetto

j VI

10 __




fardi, 'I'll tell you later';


'it will be necessary'.

Il complearmo di Davide. What are they going to do for Davide' birthday? Add the mi ing part of th future len verb.
a I suoi colleghi b Tommaso c Sabrina d Isabella far spedir __ __ __ organizzer __ gli invili. __ cinque qualcosa bottiqlie un regalo. da mangiare. di Asti Spumante. una festa. una lorta.

m F r more pra tic give the corr ct form of the verb in

bra k
a io __ b voi __ c tu __ d noi __ e lui __ ls. (avere) (venire) (fore) (overe) (salire) (sopere) (volere) (dire) (metlere) (polere) (Ienere) (venire)

e Silvia preparer gli offrir __

e Sergio comprer

II suo padrone aiuler

g Raffaele decorer b Noi Silvio cercher

Ia coso. Raffaele.

f h i

lei __ noi __ voi __ loro __ Lei __ io __

i bicchieri.
.Tanti auguri a tel>,

g Loro __

Voi canter __



Bian a and Ric ardo and their children are going kiing in the wis Alps. Before they 1 ave they go over the travel arrangements with the tra I agenL. dd the correct form of the verb in brackets; mo t need to be in the voi [arm; watch out for th others.


a Quando __

(noi)? (partire)



(Voil __ il vola di Alitolia delle 14:50. (prenderel c Un pullman vi . _ _ 01 vostro orrivo e vi __ all'albergo. (aspettare/ portore) sciare. (potere)


d Voi tutti __

e A mezzoqlomo, [vel] __ oll'albergo __ (pronzore/volerel f La sera [voi] __ uscire. (potere)

in un ristorante, come

d speak [pcrlore] e live (vivere) f buy (comprore) g ask [chledere] h listen (oscoltore) ii watch (guordore)



Siccome __ (Iare/ dovere]

Ireddo, (voi) . _ _

portore sempre vestiti adatti.

Add the right part of giocar.e to the following. Remember the spelling change. aI
would play tennis.

b My friend would play too.

1.. .2 5

The conditional:

'I would


If you don't want to practise the conditionall go to 1.5.4, as you might needl to recognise it wlhen you hear it.
You probably already know the expressions vorrei and mi for 'I would like', both good examples of the conditional.

d e

Her friends would play too. We wouldn't play. You would play volleyball.

anche lei. Anche i SUO! amici Noi non Voi __ 0 pallavolo

10 a tennis. La mia amica

Add the right part of pref-erire to these sentences,

would prefer to go to the beach. b My boyfriend would pr fer to go windsurfing.

10 __ II



spiaggia. fore andere


mio rogazzo __

windsurf. Le mie omiche paese. Noi ristoronte. Coso

c My girlfriends would pr f r


The conditional is used to translate 'would', 'could' and , hould' in English. It is called the conditional because you use it when you are making a condition: 'I would go if you paid me!' But it is also used to be more polite: 'I would like a box of chocolates'.

to go to town. d We would pr fer to. dine ill. a re tau ran t. e What would you prefer to do?

cenore in un fare voi?



How to form the conditional

It is easy to learn as it uses the same stem as the future tense

Piacere and a few other verbs are 'back-to-front' verbs. Add the right part of each one, and the correct pronoun (see sections 1.2.2 and 1.9.6).
a ] would like to go. out. b Gino would like to stay in.
c Patrizia is interested in _ A Gino uscire. [piocere] rimonere a coso.

+ a special et of endings which are the same for all verbs.

A Regular verbs
-are verlbs
parlerei parleresti parlerebbe parleremmo parlereste parlerebbero

'-er:e ver,bs
venderei venderesti venderebbe venderemmo vendereste venderebbero

II -.ire verbs
partirei partiresti portirebbe partiremmo partireste partirebbero

going to the cinema. d My parents would be interested in going to Austria, e Would you like some books, Pino? f What would yo.Ulike to do, boys and gids? g What would you like to. do, Signor Piaggio? h Would you be interested in. theatre tickets, Signo.ri?

(piacere) andare 01 A Patrizio cinema. [interessare) Ai miei genitori __ andare in Austria.. [inleressore] __ dei llbrl, Pino? [piccere] Coso __ (piacere) Che __ (piocere] Vi __ fare, ragaai? fare, Signor Piaggio? dei biglielti del teatro,


How would you say the following? ] would ....

a eat [rnonqlore] b drink (bere) c steep (dormire)

Signori? (interessare)

Irregular verbs In the conditional, irregular verbs use the arne : tem as for the future, but w:ith conditional endings ... s a A


reminder, h re the for essere.

sarei saresli sarebbe saremmo saresle sarebbero

are, starting with the full set of forms


Talking about yours If: how would you say the following?
a ] would make something lO eat. b ] would leav town. c 1 would hay a fri nd.

__ ___ Lo _ ___ __ Mi __

do mangiare. dalla citlo. un ornico.

[avere) [dire)

d J would
e ] would

Len my friends.

ai miei amici. in ltolio. [venire) fore windsurf. il cappotlo.

-2 ID >


orne La ltal . f I could windsurf,

PUl on

[potere] [mettere)

g ] would j XIII

a coat.

h J would know the answ r. i ] would want La go out,

10 __ 10 gli




uscire. [volere) scrilto. [overe]

Verb with hortened

andare avere cadere dovere potere sapere vedere vivere

andrei avrei cad rei dovrei polrei saprei vedrei vivrei


I would hay

written to him.

What could they do? Fill in the corre

a Nadia ould go home. b We auld go l th lnei ta, c We uld go L the sports
Nadia Noi ___

form of potere.
lomare andare a coso. cinema.




centro sporlivo.

cerur . d J auld do karate . e You ould play volleyball. f Con eua could go riding.

Tu Concetla cavallo. I bambini piscina. ___

fare karale. giocare a pallavolo. andare andare incontrarci andore lomore dopo. bar. a in

Verbs with -rr- stem:

bere morire porere rimanere tenere valere venire volere

Th children could go swirnrnin . auld rn l aft rwards, auld go to th bar.

hw iw
berrei morrei parrei rimarrei terrei varrei verrei vorrei


We ould go ba k to m hous

a coso mia.


'...Fast track: .

the future and conditional

To say what you are going to do or what i going to happen, use th future t nse it fUlttm which is mad up from a st m based on the infinitiv with endings: -0, -ai, -a, -emo, -ele, -anno. Thes ar the most commonly us d irregular verbs in the future. It i us ful to be abl to recognise whi h verb they am from.
andare avere dovere essere fare pagare polere sapere stare ondro ovro dovro saro faro

Verbs with modified

dare fare slare cominciare mangiare cercare pagare

tem sp llings:
darei farei starei comincerei mangerei cercherei pogherei

poqhero potro sopro



vedere venire vivere volere

vedra verro vivro vorro

... or a requirement n e ary that'):

Bisogno che lui soppio

(after bisogna che/e necessaria che, ( it i

guidare. He must be able to drive.


The conditi nal tran lates 'would', e.g. '1 w uld go', 'I would hk '. You probably already know uorrei and mi piacerebbe ('I would lik '), so you already know a couple of the ending. The rna t u eful conditionals
mi piacerebbe vorrei preferirei polremmo dovremmo sarebbe

or a d ubt or uncertainty:
Non credo che


50ldL siano

I don't



he has an

E possibile

money che i bambini

It is possible that the children

are tired.

1 would lik [would love

and aft r certain fixed expre 'in ord r that', affinche/in

affinche lui orrivi in tempo


uch a :

modo che:
in order that be arrives on time

1 would P" fer we c uld w should, ought

it would be

to benche

benche 6:00
although she leaves at 6, o'clock

lei porta aile

'befor ',jJrima che

prima che lui compri il suo biglieHo before he buys his ticket


The subjunctive
If you are not ready for the subiunctive yet go on to section 1.8. The subjunctive is not used mu h in Eng!" h any more (only in xpres ions such as 'If I were you' ...), but it. has to be used in many xpressions in Italian ..You are not likely to need t u thos expressions your elf v ry often other than tho [arms used for imperative whoch you have already met ( e 1.3.3), but it is u eful to b able to recogni e th m when you hear them and you rna need to know which v rb is being us d. Choo e on or two of the expres ion to learn by heart and then u e th m as a model. If you want to know more about the subjunctive go to Azione Grammaiica (Hodder and Stoughton), The ubjun tive is very often preceded by th word che. B T thi do not mean that che i alway ~ limed by the subjunctiv . In Italian, ih ubjunctive is used after verb which a wish or de ire:
Voglio che vodo lui. Spero che lei vengo.

'until', finchi non:

[inche non orrivi



until he arrives at the station

dictionary: they will ohen give from is necessary.

If in doubt, examples

look 01 a good of expressions

using these and other constructions, the subjunctive

which you can see when


How to form the subjunctive

Put imply the subjunctive i formed with the same stem as th pre ent t n e, and by and large follows the sam patt rn of spelling variation from one person form to another. For -are verbs, th subjunctive ending are:

-i, -i, -i, -ioma, -iote, -ino

and for -ere and -ire verbs, th subjunctive endings are:

-D, -D, -D, -iorno,

-iole, -ono


at you spot the following

f atur

I \ am him to g . ] hop that he will come.

• -are erbs have nding mo t1ywith a dominant -i-, not th -a- au would expect. • -ere and -i're verb have ending mostly with a dominant -ain tead of -fr.


• FOI-m for io, tu; lui, lei and Lei are all the s me. • h noi forms are the same a for the 11 rmal' present (th indicative). You will recognise most of these form from the imperative use of th subjunctive (see 1.3.3). As you an e , the io form do s not end in -0 as in the normal pr ent t n e (indicative), but is the same as the second and third person singular. So io, tu; lui, lei, Lei are u ed in fr nt of th verb to clarif who is the p rson doing the action There ar bvious patterns: onc you know on other f. How very predictably and a ily. A ;0
parle parli parli

v rb in the subjunctive,
thi b k.
ondare overe bere dare dire davere essere fare piocere poiere

k th

erb tables at the end of


..a '"

vodo ho bevo do

;0 form




dio dice
devo [debbo) sio foccio pioccia posso solgo sappio sieda

devo sono foccia pioccia

form, the

Regular verbs ;0
venda vendo venda venda vendiomo vendiate vendano

salga so siedo



io form

poria pari a parta parliamo partiale partano


preferisco preferisco preferisca preferiamo preferiale preferiscano

solire sapere sedere store lenere uscire venire volere

lengo esco vengo voglio

parliamo parliale porllno

tengo esco vengo voglio

Note th l lJ1"ejerire and similar vel' s u the long -isc- form for th am per'oDS as in the normal pre nt tense. B Spelling-change verbs pelling-change verbs follow v ry obvious rul s, a in the present t nse:
c+h before .;. cercare
cerchi cerchi cerchi cerchiorno cerchiale cerchino


Expressions which take the subjunctive

Th se xpressions are always followed by th and they are only xarnples. Choose two to memorise as a pattern. Expressions of necessity ubjun live,

g+h before-;pCJgare
paghi paghi paghi paghiomo paghiote paghino

Removal of .jmang;are
mangi mangi mangi mongiamo mangiale mangino

E necessaria

che me ne vada.

I have to go. She has 1.0 know.

che lei

10 soppio. e

Futurity and purp

Prendero il treno affinche viaggio sappia sic comodo. perche 10 nolizio. La chiameremo

I'll tak the train 0 that th· journey will b omfortabl We'll call her to tell h r t11 n ws.

Wi hes, influence or preferences

Voglio che lui arrivi in lempo. I want him to b Preferisce che io vada

Irregular verbs The most u eful in gular verbs are in any a one whl h will be familiar to . ou becaus you se and h ar them a IOl as instruction in public places. For other [arm of the e


on time. pr f r me to go (til r ).

Pos ibility

possibile rilordo.

che lUi possa venire. che lui arrivi in



Doubt at d disbeli f
Non credo che lui sia malalo. Penso che lei venga. 1 don't b li v that he i ill. [think h will om .


.. Fast track:

the subjunctive


Emotion and judgement

Mi dispiace che lui sia slalo ferilo. E un peccalo che lu lion possa venire. 1 am sorry that h ha be n hun. 1.I.'s a pit that you ari't come.

Th ubjunctiv i u ed after rtain v rbs and expressions. It u ually conveys a feelii g of n gativity, uncertainty, doubt or ind cision: 'I don't want', 'I am not ure that', 'It i pos ibl that', etc.
It is u ually pre eded by a conjunction

or another verb and

eke, 'that': and sebbene, 'even if

you ar ill, ou ha to [ hop /wi 'h/doubt that ...


such as benche, 'although'


Benche Lei sia maiolo, deve presenlorsi in Iribunale.

i.e. it i u ually the second v rb in the sentence. The subjunctive of most verbs is mad from a tern based on the infinitiv . Remove th infinitiv ending and then add th s ndings for -are v rbs: -i, -i, -i, -iamo, -iate, -ino and thes for -ere and -ire verbs: -a, -a, -a, -iamo -iate, -ano. Although many of the irr gullar, some of the commands (imperative instructions. You don't to be able to recognise
andare - vada avere - abbia dire - dico essere - sic fare - faccia prendere - prenda sapere - sappio sedere - sieda venire - venga

go to ourt,

Esselltially, Ihe subjunctive is used whenever the slatement is looking forward, or refers to an unfulfilled or hypothetical action. Ask yourself 'did il happen/is it happening/will it happen?' If the answer is 'no', or 'not vet', you probably need the subjunctive.

Note that the ubjui imperative form ,

tive forms for Lei and Loro are used as

most commonly u ed verbs are subjunctiv forms ar . familiar a forms) in public notices and need to learn th m but it is u eful which verb th y come from:



the subjunctive

Even if you do not f el read- to u e th ubjun tive yet, it is u eful to be able t r gnlse it w11 n y u hear it. Which verb i being u d? Read the sent nee and work out the infinitive of the word in italics,
a. E necessario che venga. b Non penso che prenda

He must come. I don't b li ve he'll come by bus. I'm pi eas d that it's fine today.
I h pe y u feel w lcornel It's pos ible that they are ill. v .n if sh has a car, she will alway g on fool. h . will have to know. It' imp . siblc for it to be ornpl

c Sono contenlo che faccia bel tempo oggi. d Spero che vi senliote benvenuli!

You can try to avoid u ing the ubjunctive • by being positive and avoiding making negative taternentsl • using secondo me or a mio avviso to express an opinion, • using th infinitive instead of che + subjunctie possible: wher

E possibile



f Sebbene abbio

melon. l'outo, ondro

sempre a pied i. g Bisogna che 10 sappio lei. h E irnpossibile che si possa finire in lempo. Dubilo che obbiono un'auto


n' think

ted in time. (doubt)

Bisogna che beoiamo due litri d'acqua al giorno ('We have to drink two litr S of water a day') b com :
Dobbiamo bere 2 litri d'ocquo

they have



nuova. Mi dispioce molto che vog/iale parlire.

an wear. I am v ry

fry that you want to


Think of an easier way of aying it in English. Don't use two verb joined by 'that' in one sentence. Split it up and mak two sentences: 'I am. sorry that he is ill', Mi dispiace che sia malate.

malato? Mi dispiace!


Choose two or three examples to m rnoris a a pall rn. Of our

,and use th m

, in e nothing is v r impl ,th ubjunctive ha ther ten e too, but you will not me across n. If you want to know rnor ,tll n consult A.zione Grammauca.


..... ast track: F



If you know when to use the different tenses etc., go on to 1.9.




Other tenses
JiSt wh n you think you have learned all th tenses, you pick up a book or a newspaper and find that ther are ev n more. ortunatel you don't have to learn to u ie them to speak good Italian. lfyou want to know mol' about th other t n go to Azione Grammatica. Here, to giv, ou a flavour, is one extra tense which YOLl may find u .eful to be able to r cognise: the pluperfect, This is form d in the same way as the perfect t nse xcept that in tead f the present tense of auere or essere, it uses the imp rfe t. H r are some examples:
Prima di uscire, aveva mangialo. Ha chiamata luigi, ma era gio partito. Avevano lovorato rnollo. Eravamo saliti aile due. Before going out I had eaten. I called Luigi, but he had air ady left. They had worked hard. We had gone up at two o'clo k.

You use the present tense to talk about what is happening now:
leggo. ] am reading.

and to xpr ss generalisations:

Non guardo molto 10televisione. ] don't watch much lei vi ion.

Th s ar th question forms:
Leggi (tu) un giornale? Guardi (tu) ... ?

Do you read a dati Do you wat h ...?



You use the p rfe t tense to talk about what has happ ned at a sp cific moment in th past.
Ho giocato a tennis. Ho provalo a farlo. :I (hav ) play d t nni . :I (hav ) tri d LO do it,

These ar th question forms:

Hoi giocalo (Iu)? Hoi provalo a farlo? Hav you play d? Did yOll try to do, i.t?

As you an ee, this tens takes at jump one step further ba k into th past, to a time when sorn thing had happ n d b for the main time-frame. Here are example of an auere rb and an essere verb in the pluperfect tense. avere + studiato
avevo studiato avevi studioto aveva studioto avevamo studioto avevate studioto avevana sludioto


You u e the imperfect ten e to talk about wha has happ n d in th - past if: • it wa a habitual action:
Giocavo quando ero piccolo/a. J u ed to play (when] young). was

I (bad) studied you (had) studied be/she (had) studied we (had) studied you (had) studied they (had) studied

essel'e + al'rivQ.to
ero orrivato/ a eri arrivalo/ a era arrivato/ a eravamo arrivati/e eravale orrivati/e erano orrivati/ e

[ (had) arrived you (had) arrived he/she (had) arrived we (had) arriv d you (had) arriv d they (had) arriv d

• it wa an ongoing and interrupted

Guardavo 10 tel'evisione quando ho sentito un rumore.


I was wat hing t levision wh n I heard a nois ,.

The e are the que tion form .

Giocovi (tu) ... ? Guardavi (Iu) 10 lelevisione quando ... ? Did Y u us to play ... ? W r you wat hing t levi ion when ... ?


Past definite You use the pa t d finite ten e or passaio remota to writ about what happened at a defined moment in the not-sore ent pa t,
0 tennis.

ubjunctive erbs seem to have the 'wrong' nelings: bas d on -i- for -are verbs and based on -(b- for -ere and -ire v rbs, Irr gular verb mostly sound familiar because they ar often u eel for public I otices and instructions. In any case, you an always tell which verb they orne from, e.g.:
sia - essere lenqo - tenere





He played tennis. They arrived last year.

Future Th futur ten e i II ed to e cpres intention are going to do in the f I lire.

Faro ordine nel mio ufficio domoni. in Messico. Fro poco andremo

vado -

andare - fore - sopere

of what you

foccio soppio

[ will tidy my office tomorrow. Soon we will go to Mexico.

Recognising • If a word Ioro], • •

a verb

Th s ar


que Lion forms:

What will you do? When will you go?

thct you don't know comes oher a noun, lhe name of

lio, Iu, lUi, lei, Lei, noi, voi, lora or
-0 ts i, -ersi or

a person or after a pronoun Che faroi (tu)? parliroi? il is probably a verb. If it ends in

-ote, -ere, -ite,

of a verb.

-usi, it is an an infinilive.
and ends in -1o, il is a

Imperative The imperative i u ed to give ord

Va' a prendermi Chiuda Metlano Ie pontofole! per fovore! presto.

If it comes oher a part of overe or past participle If it ends in -0, -i, -0, probably a



or in truction

• •

tch me m slippers.



hut the door. please! (Lei)

Put y

Venile 0 Irovarmi

Ie loro valigie


om. to see me soon. (voi) \II' suitcases there. (Lora)

-e, -iamo, -ote, -ete, -ite, -ono or -ono, it is verb in the present tense. If it ends in -ovo, -ovi, -ovo, -ovomo, -ovate, -ovano or -evo, -evi, -evo, -evamo, -evote, -evano or -ivo, -ivi, -iva, -ivomo, -ivaIe, -ivano it is definitely a verb in the imperfect tense. If it ends in oro, -tai, -io, -remo, -rete, -taono, if is definitely a
verb in the future tense. If it ends in definitely If it ends in -emmo,

Interrogative Th interrogativ
Hoi ... ? Hoi visto ... ?

us d to a k qu


• •

-tei, -testi, -rebbe,


-tes Ie, -rebbero,

it is

a verb in the conditional


Have you got a ... ? id you see ...?

-ai, -asu, -0, -ommo, -osle, -orono, or -ei, -este, -e, -este, -erono or -ii, -isti, -t, -immo, -tste, -itono, it is the
form of a verb.

Conditional The conditional

Mi piacerebbe ... Potrebbe aiutarmi?

past definite

is used to put things more politely:


uld like ... uld you help me?



Useful expressions using verbs

If you know all these go en to 1.9.12 ..

or to express conditions: 10 ti
comprerei un regalo se avessi abbastanza soldi.

I would buy )'011 a presentif I had enough mane),.


Essere and stare

Some everyday xpressions using 'to be' in English do not 1I essere in Italian but stare instead. However, essere is th mo t used.

Subjunctive The subjunctive is us dafter ertain verbs and expressions. It is usually preced d by another verb and che, 'that'. You can avoid having to use it your elf b keepi ng ent nces simple.

'There is/are': c'e, ci sana Th - Italian ei PI' ions for 'tl ere is/are' ar
re pectively,

c e and ci ono


'To hove': specioi uses of avere Avere is used for a host of special expressions, and in a few where we would expect essere. 'To know' There are two verbs for 'to know' in Itahan> to know a peron or thing, conosceie; and to know a fact, sa/Jere. Impersonal verbs These are expressions in which there is no parti ular subject; they include many common, everyday expressions such as time and weather. 'Back to front' verbs Piacere, interessare and one or two others are used with the object liked, loved etc. as the subject. 'To take', 'to bring' and 'to look for/fetch/meet person' Prendere and poriare Ricordarsi di; 'to remember' dimeniicarsi; 'to forger' a

e necessario - it is necessary e vietato - it is forbidden

ote that instead of essere, aoere Is often used in expressions where we would use the verb 'to be' in English.



e.g. In Italian you don't : ay: 'I am 21' but 'I have 21 years', Ho 21 anni. For more of these, see 1.9.3. Whicherb would you use to tran late the following?


a. He is a student. b They are at home. c We are Italian.

d Stay still! e • am a Ferrari fan.


There is/are':




The Italian imp ronal expre sions for 'there is/are' are very similar to English, and transfer ea ily into other tens by using the appropriate form of essere in the tense required:
C'e malta do fore.

H 'To remember', and 'to forget'

(,w remind yourself of) and

ee fruIta? ee uno pera.

If you don't know them well, study th following sections.

1.9.1 Essere

and store

Some veryday expr ssions using 'to be in EngH h use stare rather than essere in Italian, though in fact essere is the most used. An asy way to decide which to use i: to remember that esser-ecomes from Latin esse, 'to be', so use essere for what i of the essence, essential, i.e. to say what something or somebody is or is iike.
I am a teacher, [ am English, J am old - Sono professore, sono inglese, sana vecchio

.. e ci sono molte monce. Non c'ero pone. Cerano dei pasticcini. Ci sora qualcos'allro? Si, ci soranno dei biscotli. leri c'e stoto un temporale.

There is a lot to do. Is there any fruit? There is one pear ... ... and there are lots of oranges. There was no bread. There were some cakes. Win there be anything else? Yes, there will be some biscuits. Yesterday there was a storm.


Describe the room you are in u ing c'e and ei sono.

1.9.3 ITo

hove': special uses of overe

Avere is used in some expression where 'have' is not used in English. First, a reminder of the verb aoere in the present tense:
ho, hoi, ha, abbiamo, avete, hanno

stare comes from Latin stare, 'to stand', so use stare for anything involving position, and in just. a few cases state. It is used for saying where something or somebody is, or what tale they are in ..
sto qui- I am SLaying here; stc' zitto - be quieti; store fermo - to be still; stare sedulo - to b seated; store in piedi - to stand; come slai? how all' you?

Here are the expre sion which u e aoere in this way: note the abbreviated form a1)erwhic~ is often used for the infinitive in such expressions .. Expr sing age: auere ... anni, 'to be ... year old':
Quanti onni hoi? Ho 21 anni. How old are you? I amz l.

There are many imper onal e presslons consisting of essere plus an adjective, e.g.


Expressing heat and

Ho freddo. Ho freddo Lei? Hanna malta Ireddo Hoi caldo? Lei ha calda. Avele coldo, non

old: aver caldo/freddo

] am cold. Are you cold? They are very cold. Are you hot? She is hot. You are hot, aren't you?

Checklist: expressions taking avere

avere _._anni over paura di aver freddo/ caldo aver fame/sete [oon] over ragione aver fortuna over sonno over freno aver mal di ... LObe '" years old LObe afraid LObold/hot


be hungl)'/tJlil"SLY

to be right/wrong

e vera?

Expr ssing hunger and thirst: averfame/sete, hungry/thirsty':

Ho fame. HOi sele? Ha sele anche lei. Avele fame? Non obbiorno fame. Non ovele sele! Non hanna molio fame.

'to be III

to be lucky to be tired be in a hun)' to have a pain in the ...


I am hungry. Are you thirsty? She is thirsty too. Are you hungry? We are not hungry. You are not thirstyl They are not vel hungry.

H w would you say the following? b

We ar right. YOll are wrong. (tu) Cram h l. They ar hungry. We are old. 1 am thirst. You ar vel)' I py. (lei) W· ar lucky. 1 am in a hun .

d He is thir ty.

Expr ssing fear: aver /Jaura (di), 'to be afraid (of)':

Ho paura di Ie! Abbiamo poura del lulmine I bambini hanna paura dsl toono Lora non hanno pouro di nienle. I am afraid of au! We are afraid of the lightning. The children are afraid of the thunder, They fear nothing,

h j

AI. d orne more:

Being right or wrong: aver ragione, 'to be right':

Hoi ragione! Ho ragione, vedi? Non avete ragione. Non obbiorno ragione. You are rightl I am .-Ight, as you can see! You are not right/ au are wrong. We are wrong.

k Th Y ar wrong. I J am v I)' old.

m They ar h


We are thir Ly. I am afraid of spider . Are YOll thir ty? (lui r you old? [Lei) ou hot? [voi] "e

Being in a hurry: aoerfretta; 'to be in a hurry':

Ho fretla. Avete Iretta? I am in a hurry, Are you in a hun)'?

p q


t u v

hungry? (Lora) ou rig.ht? (lu]

Being leepy: aver onno, 'to b sl

Ho rnolto sonno. Hoi sanna?


I am vel)' sleepy Are you feeling sleepy?


luck- or unlucky: aver fortuna, 'to be lucky':

You ar wrong! [Leil I" Oll afraid? [voi] w I am not a raid. x He i not afraid. y Ware not afraid. z 1-1 i alwa s right,

Hoi avulo fortuna! Abbiamo molro forluna, non Non hanna forluna. Lei non ovro moho forluna.

e vera?

You've been lucky! We are vel lucky, aren't we? They are not lucky. You are not going La have much luck.


in pain: aver male/far male

A in En -Ii h, there are two ways of saying that something

hurls or that you have a ... ache.


aver mal di ho mal di testa ho mal di stomaco far male a mi fa male il nasa leri mi facevano male i piedi





to have a pain in the ... /to hav bad/sore .../. .. hurts r have a heada he [ have a stomach ach to have a ... ache My nose hurts Yesterday my feet a hed

Ho conosciulo tuo zio.

I. met your unci. W m t y sterday. H know Modena well. o you know the openls b Puccini?

Ci siamo conosciuti ieri.

Lui conosce bene Modena. Lei conosce Ie opere dl Puccini?


As you can s e from th


Parts of the body whi h might hurt:

il broccio il dente iI dito la gambo. la gala la mana l'occhio l'orecchio il piede la schiena 10stomaco

sapere is to know how to do something (as a result f learning bow to do it): so, sai, sa, sappiarno, sapete, 'anno:
arm( ) l oth, t eth fing r( ) leg( ) tl roat hand(s) So guidare. Sapevo cucinare. I kn w h w to drive a car. .I us d to know how to cook.

Ie braccia* i denti Ie dito Ie gambe Ie mani gli occhi gli orecchi/le i piedi orecchie

conoscere is to know a p rson, thing or plac (to re ognis by eeing, hearing, tasting or touching): cono co, conosa conosce, conosciamo, conoscete; conoscono:
Lo conosco. Lo conoscevo. I know him. l kn whim.

eye( ) ear(s) fOOL, feel ba k stoma h in th

To express the ideo of how long you have been doing sornelhinq, e.g. knowing a person, Italian uses the present tense, not the past, as in lhe following examples: Conosciamo questa ''vVe have known this famiglia da Ire anni. family for three years'. (literally 'since three year ago') So guidare do cinque mesi. 'I have been able (known how to) drive for five months'. (literally 'since five month ago')


te thai braccio is masculine in the singular but f minin


How would you ay th following? Experience will tell you whi h expre ion to u , though in most cases either expr ssion can b us d.
a I have a h adache.

b Have y u g

t a tootha he? (tu) .H I' fOOLhurts. d My arm a he. e His kn e hurts. f Hav ou got a h adache? (Lei) g She has earache. hOur y hurt? [voi] i Does your back hur ? (Lora)

Which part of which verb are you going to wi h to try mar than on tense.)
a llo] il signor Pacelli da dieci onni. suo figlio. usore 10 posta elettronica. b Mia liglio __ e I nostri figli


? ( ou might

d (Noil __ bene 10famiglia Pacelli. e Mia moglie 10signora Pacelli due onnllo. (perfect) f I miei genilori suo padre. (imperfect) g Mio padre bene 10regione dove abitavano. [imperfect) h Mia moglie ed io non spedire messa9gi di pasta elettronica. i I miei genitori non usare il lelefonino. j Mia figlia __ sped ire delle foto can ll suo telefonino. k 10 non mondare delle foto via posta elettronica.

He has backache.

1 .9.4

'To know': sopere or conoscetes

here arc two verbs for 'to know' in Italian - sapere for 'to kn w a fact' or 'to b able to', and amoscere for 'to know a person or thing'. Her are orne example:
Non so coso successo. Sai che coso ha folto'2 Lei non sa guidore.


Impersonal verbs
These are expr ions in which there is no particular subject; they in lude many common, everyday expressions such a time, and weath r..

) don't know what happened. Do y u know what he did? he do not know how to drive.


W ath r xpression
fa coldo piove nevieo nuvoloso

such as:
itis hot itis raining it is snowing it is cloud


'To take', 'to bring' and 'to look for/fetch/ meet' a person
These English v rbs can b translated in various ways using prendere and portare; here are sam xamples of each. prendere
lO tak transport a drink and things in g·n ral, LO f I. h/ meet




such as:

ehe oro e?

e l'uno

sono Ie due e mezzo/mezzo

time is it? it is one o'clock it is half-past two

prenda l'outobus

Oth r ammon imp r ona1 xpre sions uch a :

bisogno basta manea si lratta di sembra ehe ei vuole il is necessary
it is enough

prendiamo una birra? andato a prenderla



I am taking the bu shall w have (take) a b r? he w nt LO meet her aLir tch her from the station
to can ,wear, bring, fetch, take something/somebody somewhere he's wearing a red shirt she's carrying a leather handbag bri.ng me a glass of wine ] want to take my watch to the beach ] took the children to the swimming-pool don't take the cup away a take-away pizza


(we) need, there's ... missing it's a question or ... il seems that it takes ...


How would you a these in Italian?

a It rains a lot in the b It is hot in hal . C [I is 12 noon. K.

porta una camicia rossa porta una borsa di cuaio portami un bicchiere di vino voglio porlare il mio orologio 0110 spiaggia ho portola i bambini


d Ilis9.15.

non portare via 10 tazza una pizza do portor via

ote al a cercare, 'to look for' (and 'to try to')

cereo una coso senza giardino I'm looking for a house without a garden I'll look out f r au in front of th bar


'Back-to-front' verbs
Piacere, interessare an I ne or two ther are u ed with th object liked, lov d t. as th u ~ect:
Mi pioee prendere un coffe aile dteci Mi piocciono i vini itolioni Non mi interessa il golf Mi interessono Ie auto I like to have a coffee allen o'clock I like Italian wines I am not interested in golr [ am interested in cars

vi eereher6 davanli




'To remember' and 'to forget'

Ricordare, 'to remember,
Ricordo che tu eri

1 remember that you were at home. Do you remember her address?


Ricordi il suo indirizzo?

ate how an it fir itiv is th ubject in the first one, and how the verb ha t b third P r on plural when a plural thing i liked et .
Write five sentences saying what you like and don'! like, and another five saying what you are and are not interested in. Make sure you have examples of singulars and plurals, and then learn them.

urpri es, but th refl xive form can al a b u ed when more of an ' ffort to remember' is implied, P dally r memb ring people: Ricordarsi di, 'to remember' (literally 'to remind your elf of something/someone/ of doing something'). In Italian, you remind your elf of something ..


Mi ricordo di Marco_ Non Ii ricordi di me2 Ricordoli di comprare il pone.

] r m rnb r Marco. Don't you remember me? Rem mber l buy bread.

non ... niente, 'nothing/not

Non ho fatlo niente.

I didn't

do anything.

Dimenticare; 'to forg

Preferisco dimenticare il mio incideme. Hoi dimenticato 10 leftero.

1 pref

non ... nes uno/a, 'nobody/no

r to forget about my
/ left the Non ha vislo nessuno. Non veniva nessuno. Non avete nessuno obiezione?

He didn


~ '"
I :: tions?

see anyon



accident. You have forgotten lett r b hind.

obody was coming. Don't you have an obj

e uno i
Nessun errore.

hart ned to nessuri before masculine noun.


Dimenticarsi, 't forget about something/doing

Non mi dirnenfichero di Ie. Ti sei dirnenlicalo di chiudere 10 porto!.



.1 won't forget YOll. You've forgcuen to shut th



The ideo of 'any' in 'not any' or ' no .. .' is not Iranslaled: tempo, 'I haven't any time/I have no time'.

non ho


How would you say:

a b c d
I r member John. He remembers me. He r member my house. We both remember the holidays. e [have forgotten my wife. f [don't r member her smile.

(non ...) ne .._ne, 'not ... ither ... or' /'neith

Non ho ne tempo ne soldi Ne mia sorella ne mio fratello porlono l'itoliono. I have neith Neither my si speaks Italia n.

I' ...

nor mon-)I_

r tim

l r nor

my brother

g My


have not Iorgou

n their moth



If you slart with Ihe main negalive word you don't need the marker non in fronl of the verb: Nessuno e venula. obody came

Negative expressions
Negative taternents includ saying what you don't do, and xpre ion- with 'no', 'nothing', 'never', 'nobody', etc. egation often start with 'no' as the first word in th sentence. You have already s en how non is put in front of (he verb to express 'not'.
No, I. don't know. I: don't sp eak Italian. [don't at meat. )-1 doesn't drink wine. Til y don't live in ncona, You aren't married? No, non so_ Non poria uoliono. Non mongio come. Lui non beve vino. Non obilano ad Ancona. Lei non e sposala/a?


How would you say the following? If ibl, say them aloud so that YOll can get L1 ed to th ound of them. Then coy r up th English, read them again and think about th meaning. Finally cover up the Italian and translate th whole sentence.
a I have never been to Italy.

10 [_l sana
Lora [_]

b They didn't hurt anyon c J never see Anna. d They have nothu gin
their house. e You have never learn to swim? d

[_l veda [_l Anno. [_l


[_l slolo in ltolio hanna falto mole a [_l.

Ioro coso.

[_l hanna [_l nella


imparato a nuolare?

ome negativ expressions are 'double n gatives': non go s in front of the verb, and th other negative word after the verb.
nmz ... mai, 'n vel":
Lei non e mai andata a Capri. h ha nev er been to Capri.

fl don't see an bod .

g She never rides a bik h I have nothing in my j

Carrara. obod is at home.


I have never been to Ma sa

[_l veda [_l· Lei [_l va [_l in bicidello. [_] ho [_l in lcsco. [_l sana [_l slalo a Massa Corroro. [_l 0 coso.


Match up these sentences.

a We haven't anylhing to cat. Non ho ovuto tempo per encore in cnto Non c'e ne pane ne formaggio. Non ho soldi. Non abbiamo niente do mangiare. Nessuno ha fatto Non vai mai


ho un appuntamento in banco? giorni stcrcnno a Londra? conosce a Londro?


b Nobody has been shopping.


I didn't have lime to go to town,


d There is no bread or cheese. e You never go lO the

supermarket, f I haven't any money.


'Since',' ogo' and 'to hove just

do, Fa and

Da, 'since' (also 'from'etc.)





Remember, there is no need for 'any' after a negative in Italian.

With thi expression you use a different ten e in Italian from the one you would expect to use in English. In English, when we want to ay we have been doing something for a certain length of time, we use the perfect tene. In Italian, we have to say they have be n doing it ince (a year etc.) and still are, 0 the pre em tense is used.
Abita qui do. set anni. lmparo l'itolicno do. due anni. Ho questa rnocchino do. un anno. Aspettano do. un'orc. Sono qui do due giorni. I have lived here for six years .. He has, been learning Italian for two years. I hav had this, ar a year. hey hav been waiting an hour. I hav b en h re two days.

'1.9'. '10

Question words and word order

Come? Dove? Quando? Perche? Quont%/i/e? Quanta tempo? Che? Che coso?/Cosa? Chi? Quale? How? Where? When? Why? How rnu h/many? How long? What? /Which? What? Who? Whi h?


How would you answer thee que tions? Remember to use the pre ent tense in your an wer .
a Do.quanto tempo obili qUi? b Do quanto tempo impari l'ilaliano?
c Do quanto tempo conosci il/latuo/tua rnlqliore amico/amico?

Aft r these question words you invert the order of the subject and the verb if a separate subject IDS expressed otherwise the verb follows the question word, as in the e amples, (See section 1.3.. .) 2
Dove andale? Come vo a Grasseto? Perche in Germania? Quando partite? Che cosa fate voi? Chi conoscono Loro? Quante camere avete? Where are YOll going? How is he going to Crosseto? Why is she in Germany? When are you leaving? What are you doing? Who do you know? How many bedrooms do YOLl have? What are you going to do?

Fa,'ago' To express the idea of a certain amount of time ago, simply use an expression of time followed by fa.
Sono partito due anni fa. Siete arrivoti poco fa. I left two years ago. You hav only just arrived.

APIJena: used to express 'to have just'

In Italian, use thi adverb (normal meaning 'hardly/ scarcely') to expre the idea of a very recent action ..For current situations, use the perfect with it; if related to a situation in the past, use the imperfect.
Sono appena arrivato a coso. Ho appeno telefonato. Abbiomo appena guardato un film moho brutto. lo mio ragazzo ero oppena orrivota. Avevomo oppena senfito 10 notizia. I have just got in. He has just rung. W haveju t sen a dreadful film. M girlfriend W had ju hadjust arrived.

Coso faroi?

Which question word would you use?

a b
c abita il Signor Vincenzo? si chiomo sua moglie? portono per Londra? vanna 0 Londra? faranno a Londra?


I hard

the news,



How wo lid you tran late: b c d e

a Pine appena orrivoto 0 coso. II mio omico ho appena telefonato.

Non fanna niente Non ha mai nuolato


Non ho vista nessuno

They aren't doing anything I have n ver swum th r I didn 'l see anyone

.a ...

Abbiorno appena cenoto. I miei genitori honno appena venduto 10 Ioro coso.

B Question words
Th se word
Quonda? Perche? Quanta/ a/if e? Quanta tempo? Che/Caso/Che Chi? Quale? coso?


finito il mio lavoro.


a qu stion:
When? Why? How much/many? How long? What? Who? Which?




....Fast track:
useful verbs

more on avere and other

xpr s ions whi h use averewhre most common on
I am I am ] am 1 am ] am ... years (old) afraid hot.Zcold hungl),/thirsty right

In Italian there are some ar :

Ho ... anni Ho pauro Ho coldo/freddo Ho fame/sete Ho ragione

w u e th verb 'to b 'in Engli h ..Th

The subj . ct (where there is ne expressed) inv rted aft r a qu stion word.
Quando va tuo padre ad Alassia2 Dove vai tu?

and verb are

H re are om
c'e/ci sana
c'erc /c'erono

other us ful expr

sions based on verbs:




e'. ou u e da to

there is/lhere there was/were

Da has veral meanings, in luding'sin answer the que tion 'how long'?
Do quanta tempo abiti in Calabria? Abita

How to say 'bring/t.ake/fetch':

prendere portore


prendo l'autobus

to I:<""lke/bring (someone/thing)

Ii do

dieci anni.

How long have you lived in alabria? 1 have Ii d there ten years. (literall I live there since 10 y ar ).

ow to

ay 'to r memb r/r call'

to remember to remember (lit: to remind yourself of omeone/something/doing something)

ricordare ricordorsi di

In Italian th an w r is in th till liv th r

pre ent tens

b cause you

At;pena us d to express 'to have just'

Sana appeno orrivato.
La ha appeno lotio. I hav just arrived. (I have. arcery arrived.) H has (only) just don it. (H has hardly clone i!t.)

dimenticare dimenticarsi

to forget to forget about

on is used by its If for traight negation whilst 0 is u d to start a sentence. ('1 have not' ...),

In Italian you use th present 'probably still doing it'.

ten e because

au are

Where other negativ expressions are used, non is put in front of the verb and niente/nulla, nessuno/a, mai at d ni ... come after th verb.


non .. niente/nullo non .. nessunol a non ... moi

nothing nobody never


Nouns and the word for 'the': iI,



VI \" Q)

How to recognise nouns and determiners
If you know what nouns and determiners are, go on to 2.2.
ouns are naming words. They tell you who mebody is (e.g. 'he i a oldi r', 'she is a mother') or what something is (e.g. 'it i a tabl ',. 'it is a rainbow').
You can recognize nouns because you can say of them - e.g.
0 '0'

The word 'the' i a determin r. It i al ailed the definit article becau e it refer a a definit thing, .g. the hous YOll live in and not just any hou .

Q) Q)

Ilf yo~uknow about ;1 and la and the gender o·f neune, go on to 2.3.

." C




Singular nouns
• The word for 'the' usually il:
il ragazzo il treno

in front

f in ular masculine
U1 bo th train


• The word for 'the' II ually La:

la ragazza la porta

in from of ingular feminine

th th zirl door


or 'the' in front

pencil, the dog, a house, the postmon



in Engli h the



an be a noun or a verb.

• The word for 'the' in front of ingular ma culine feminine words beginning with a vow 1 i i': l'uorno th man
l'ocquo th wai r


to drink - th drink to walk - th walk


are 10 nouns

in this txt.

Can you find them all?

• The word for 'the' in front ofa fairly mall group of singular masculine noun beginning with the letters z, x, pn, ps, i/ y with a vowel, or s with a can onant, is lo.
10 specchlo 10 gnocco the mirror the dumpling


My sister has her own restaurant. he goes to the market ach morning to buy fresh v getables to make the soup for lunch. The
other dishes she has pr pared the night before and 1 ft ready to cook in the fridge.

Put the correct a b c d e f

form (i~ lo, f or La) in front of the e. ar

liv andwi h ballpoint p 11, biro town, city quash (sport, not drinkl) xit motorway railway port tick t

determin ria word which com tell YOLl (d termine) which one it i :


front of a noun


oat; a coat; my coat; your coat, thi c at, which coat?

2. 1

Nouns and gender

If you know about the gender of nounsg,o on to 2.2.
In Italian all nouns are either m culin or feminine.

macchina (f) ollvo (f) panino (rn) penna (f) citta (f) squash (111) . uscita (rn) autostrada (f) ferrovia (t) sport (rn) biglietto (Ill)



The word for 'bottle', The word for 'garden',

bottiglia; is a f minine word. giardino, is a rna

uline word.

Feminine noun ar usually indicated by nf u: the dictionary (n = noun f = feminine) and masculine word by nm.

~ CD c


ow do the arne for these places. b

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ casa (I) farmacia (I) stazione (0 strada (I) sottopassaggio (rn) parcheggio (rn) banca (0 negozio (m) ufficio postale (rn) ponte (m) house chemist's station street subway . ar park bank shop post orr-ice bridge

10 casa il treno 10 gnocco

Ie case i treni gli gnocchi

Q ."


E ...


f g h j



Fill in the gaps with it, I', to or lao a b c d e f g h j k I m

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ olio (rn) gelato (m) noeciola (f) bagno (rn) insalata (1) uffieio (111) burro (111) spazzola (f) zio (Ill) zanzara (f) pranzo (m) viaggio (m) aequa (f) succo (rn) uomo (111) carta (0 scuola (f) mano (I) hnesfro (0 polio (rn) oil ice cream hazelnut bathroom salad office butter brush uncle mosquito lunch journey water juice man paper, map school hand window chicken

To make the plural of the noun in English, we usually add an -So Italian nouns are not so simple, because they come more directly from Latin, which had a wide variety of ways of forming plurals ..Here is a list of the main ways of forming Italian plurals. The first lWO ways of making plurals cover me majority of nouns, but there are plenty of the other kinds, Mas uline nouns which end in with an -i:
il vino (wine) il sistema (system)

or -a form their plural

i vini i sistemi

F erninine

nouns which end in -a form their plural with

Ie ragazze Ie tavole

an -e:
la ragazza (girl) la tavola (table)

All nouns (both

masculine and feminine) form their plural with an-i:

il carabiniere (Italian g ndarm 10 luce (light) ) i carabinieri Ie luci

which end in -e

n o ___

p q

ouns of both genders which end in -co or -ca; or -gO' or -ga, add an h in the plural before the c or the g, to stop the cor g becoming soft (i.e ...sounding like ch. or j in English):
il logo (lak ) 10 scacco (chequer) l'omico (female friend) i laghi gli scacchi Ie amiche (but



l'omico below)

Nouns in the plural: i,

gli and /e

If you knew about the plural go on, 1,0 2.4. In the plural, the word for 'the' with all f minine words is leo The word for 'the' with most masculine nouns is i. With the group of masculine nouns beginning with z, gn., x, pn, I)S etc. ,.it i gli.

However, there are a few exceptions. With a few nouns, the II; is left out, and so the c or g doe become oft, and is pronounced like cit or j. good demonstration of this is the family name Medici, which actually mean 'doctors'.
l'orntco (male friend) il medico (do tor) gli amici i medici

A small number

of feminine nouns ending in -0', -i, -ie and those ending with accented -a or-it tay the arne in the plural. There are some common exceptions among Feminine nouns ending in -ie such as: la moglie> ie 1·IWgli.


l'outo ( ar) la malo (motor bik ) la citla (town)

Ie aula Ie mota Ie citta




d la terrazza e la macchina f la mota





mall number of ma culine noun tay the ame in the plural. including all tho e endin in a con onant or an accented vowel.
l'outobus (bu ) il bar (bar) 10 sci (ski) il rogu (m 'at 'au gli autobus i bar gli sci i ragu

il castello

th th the the

h il tedesco i il pacco

terrace car motor-bike astlc the erman


th packet


Nouns ond the word for '0': un, un', uno



group of rna uline noun plural, ending in -a or -e

l'uovo ( gg) il braccio (arm) l'orecchio ( ar) il ginocchio (kne il dito (fing r) mille (thou and)

b com

femin n in the

Ie uovo Ie broccto Ie orecchie or gli orecchi Ie ginocchia Ie dito due mila (two

The word 'a' i a determiner. It i at 0 ailed the indefinite article beca I e it refers to any n it m and not a sp cific one: a bottle of red wine, not the bonl that you have cho en pecifi cally.

If you know about un, uno andl una go on to 2.5.

• The word for 'a' in front of ma un.
un battello


n un

is usually


Some plural are ju t irregular and have to be learned. Fortunately there are not many of them. In the a e of word endin in - cia and-ggia, both w rd 10 e he penultimate -i b cau e it i not ne ddt ften the cc and gg, a the -e which replace it do th job.
10 moglie (wife) l'uorno (man) Ie mogli gli uomini Ie facce Ie spiagge Ie mani

a ferry boat

• The word for 'a' in front of m ulin n 10 b ginning with z, gn. ,pn, ps, if y with a v w I, r s with a can onant i uno.
uno sportello a rap-door, ticket window

• The word for 'a' in fran

una pizza

of f minin
a pizza

n un is una.


faccia (face)

10 spiaggia (b each) 10 mono (hand)

If the feminine
un'ornico un'ideo

noun begins with a v wei, the article i

a f mal' friend an idea

To urn up, th majority of noun form their plural as follow':

Masculine Singular

I Feminine Plural



Imagine you are talking about your family and pe . How would you ay you have one of all the ? hoo between un, um', uno and una. Ho ... a
b c d e
frajello sorella nonno nonna zio


Singular -e I


zia cugino cugino figlia cone

Put the e word into the plural.

a il cane b il gatlo c la barca th d g the cat the boat In ltohon, you omit the indefinite article when talking abaut occupations, jobs, religions, nationality, etc.


Sana studente. E americana. Gino medico Sei conolicod

I am a stud n . He i American. ino i a d l r. Ar you a ath Ii ?

In Italian, you often need to use a word for 'some' or 'any' with a plural positiv sent nee, and the word for 'some' or 'any' ha to agree with the noun in th s nt nee. Here are the words you ne d to us : Masc. pi (most words] Masc. pl. beginning with x, 9n, x,pn, ps, i!y, with a vowel, or with s with a consonant


Some noun hav rna culine and a feminine form. The masculine form u iually end in -0, and to make the feminine form you u uaHy replace the -0 with an -a. ometime th is a s parate word for the feminine and rna culine forms and ornetimes the word is the same, just with a diff r n t article, e.g it tassista/la tassista.

Fem. pl. (all words)



un amico, un'ornico un dottore, uno dottoresso un ottore, un'ottrice un cantonte, uno cantonte un padre, uno madre un morito, uno moglie un figlio, uno Figlio

a friend ad lr Ha ...

un giardino un proto uno coso a garden a lawn a house Non ha ... un garage uno studio uno piscino a garage a stud a pool 'Un,.uno, una,

dei Fiori degli olberi delle pionte som som flow rs tre plants

a on, a daughi

/he has

gOl ....


How would y u ay.,.

a Vittorio is a lector. b Chiara is a uud nt,


is a t ach r. /h hasn't g

oIberi da fruHo olmi rose any fruit ire any lrns any ros .

d Ton i is an American.
e Enrico

is a ,(Ilholj .

f He is unemployed.

She is a ar driv r. The words for a are also known os the indefinite article, because they are used to talk about one thing but nol any particular one.


Complete the sentences with

dei, degii or delle.

a. II mio arnica abita in grande condominia. b Ha piccolo appartamento 01 quarto piano.

c Ha __ bella solo da pranzo. d Ha piccolo alcone dove liene 10 biclcleno. e Sui bolcone ci sana anche piante in _ vosl do Fiori. f Nella suo camera ci sana ormodio. libri, _ sedie e specchi.

hey are us d with ingular

una a



flo un appastomenio/Ho

talk about :


or 'an " and

m tim

than one thing in Engli h we say 'some' we ju t mi out the word

Ha degli opparlamenti. Ho delle fottorie? Non ho case.


g Ha

CD e

videoqiochi, rna non ha

leltore di

He's got some Hats. Has he got any farms? He hasn't got any houses,

DVD. C'e

solo ascensore, ma

e sempre rofto. masculine or

ornetime particular!

you an ju t mi ou th word for 'any', in negative sentenc :

Non ho tempo Non ho soldi


How to tell if a noun



I haven't got (any) time I haven't got (any) mon y

ILis not always possible to tell whetl .er a word i ma culine or ferninin in Italian unle s you already kr ow it. It i helpful to learn nouns along with th ir word for 'the'


(it or La). Ther are also some other wa a word is masculine or feminine:

of w rking out if

Now put til carr ct form of il; t , lo or la in front of tl words. Th rules above will help you.
a b c d e f
emozione scorpa seggio enoleeo


If you hear il, 10, un or uno being used in front of it, it is masculine. If you hear 10 or una being used in front of it, it is feminine (but if au hear I' it could be either). If you h ar i, gli or Ie being used in front of it, it is plural.

k I m

pinocoteco longenziole

clno negozio coria fiasco barco pasta vaporetto

The word for 'a' in front of f minin a vowel is usually un ~

un'orancia an orange

nouns beginning with


In addition to this, th r ar sam a lot of xceptions!

As a rule, most nouns ending in

rule - but th re are also ar masculin and mo


albergo zanzara zucehero sporco spiedo

p q

.. .5 E .. ...


"D C C

41 41'




nding in -a are feminin

train car

il treno 10 macchina


How to say 'my', 'your', 'his', 'her', etc.

If you know about these words, go on to 2.6.8.
These ar words for saying what belongs to whom: 'my oat', 'his umbrella', 'your briefca e', 'their hou e', 'our cat', tc. In English, wanly have one form of ea h: 'my', 'your', 'his, 'h r', 'our', 'their' ..In Italian, here are ingular and plural and masculine and feminine form to agree with their nouns. Mosc .. 59.
my our (familiar singular) our (formal) his/her/its our your (familiar plural) our (formal plural) their (mast and fern) il mio il tuo il suo il suo il nostro il vostro illoro illoro

Th se endings also usually indicate that a noun is mas uline:

-ore/·tore -ere/·iere -ame/-ale/-ile il professore (teacher), I'outore (author) I'ingegnere (engineer), il corabiniere (hal ian gendarme) il folegnome (carpenter), il giornale (newspaper), il missile (missile)

Til following feminin


ndings usually m an that a noun is 10 soluzione 10 bonro 10 gioventu 10 solitudine

I'origine 10 loringite I'ottrice 10 erisi 10 serie (solution) (goodness) (youth) (solitude) (origin) (lai ngitis) (actress) (crisis) (series)


M.o,sc. pl.
i miei i tuoi i suoi i suoi i nostri i vostri i lora i lora

Fem. pl.
Ie mie Ie tue Ie Ie Ie Ie sue sue nostre vostre



mia la lua

·tu ·udine -igine ·ite ·ice ·i ·ie

10 sua 10 sua 10 nostra 10 vostra

la lora

Ie lora Ie lora


nouns have a mas uline and a feminine form: 10 figlio 10 nonno 10 seritlrice 10 eomeriera 10 dottoresso
I'ottrice (son/daughter) (grandfather/grandmother) (writer) (wai te r/ waitress) (doctor) (actor/actress)



il figlio il nonno 10 scritlore il cameriere il dottore


2.6.1 'My':

if mio,






Th word for 'my' agree in number and gender with tb p rson or thing it is describing. This means that you u the masculine form il mio with ma sculine nouns and the feminine form la mia with feminine nouns.


il mio giardino 10 mio segretario il mio cone

my gard n my seer tar), my dog

il luo/la luo ... Sana i luoi/le lue ..


Note that the definit article it, la, t' i omitted b for members f th family in th singular, unles the word is a omp. nied by an adjecti e or modified (it mio jratello minore, it mio fratellino) :
mio fralello mia madre m br ther m m ther

a bambini b padre c madre d sorelle

e frotello f genitori
g liglio h liglie



r all d?


would you ask what they



Come si chiorno illuo/lo a b c d colleghe collega amico amiche

tuo... ? Come si chiornono il tuci /le lue... ? e amici f amico g fralello h sorelle

i genilori

'My' ill front of plural nouns is i miei [or masculine and le mie for f minine. The definit article 'il le is always us ed.
i miei gatli Ie mie sorelle my cats my sisters



1l mio or La mia?
a b c d e
gallo voligio momma papa libra

Note that callega ( OT collego) can be eith r masculine ferninin , like many noun In -a, like il/La giomalisl.a, l'artista.
coso amico lessero cone mocchina





'His' and 'her': il suo,

10 sua,

i suoi, Ie sue

plural. f


If you know about il suo, la sua, etc. go on to 2.6.4.

Th ar


Now do the a b c d e

ame for the

canigli cose battelli

g h j

giocche pesche giordini occhi denli

words for 'hi /her' rhym d in the arne way.

with if tuo/la tua etc., and



suo jralello mean

both 'his brother'

and 'h r brother';

m ... and

suet sorella m eans both 'his

omeon ay? i suoi amici mean both 'hi

ist r' and 'her sister'; fri nels' and 'h r friends'.

your family. Imagine you are howing photographs of YOLirfamily. What would you

Ecco il mio / i miei ... / Ecco La mia/ le mie ...

a bambini b morilo c rnoqlie d padre


Parla di Luigi. Talk about

(suo/il suo/ sua/la sua/i j

nonno cugine k cugino a b c d e

Luigi by filling in (he right word uoi/ le sue).

e madre f sorello


h nonno


'Your': il tuo,

10 tua,

i tuoi, Ie tue
with its
way. YDU an Dr someone form).


............ If you are not going to need this, go on to 2.6.3.

and number noun, lik it mio tc., and b haves in th same only u e these forms when peaking to a child that you know very w 11 (the familiar singular IV


it tuo/la tua etc. agrees in gender

omiche si chiorncno Maria e Giulia. , cugino si chiorno Giuseppe. frotella grande. madre scultrice. padre lovoro 0110 Banco d'holic. sorelle sono professoresse. frotello minore ho solo 0110 onni. sparl prelerito il tennis. pialti preferili sono 10 pizzo Quottro Slogioni e gli spaghetti

e e

0110 j

Carbonaro. colare preferilo

e II blu scuro.

Put the . rr t form of tuo/il tuo, tua/la tua, i tuoi in fron t f these words,

le tue


Not sure whether colore is 1m)or (f)? Look lor a clue in the sentence: preferilo.


'Their': illoro,


lora, i lora, Ie lora




Perla di Gabriella. and friends.


ow do th same for Gabriella's family

The word for 'their' is ii/la/ilk lam. Unlike the other posse sive ,thi word is invariable- although the article b fore it h nge according to g nd r and number, the word loro d e n't.



amica si chiama Filorneno. nonna si chiama Flavia. Iratelli si chiamano Enrico e Bruno.

b c d e

ay these ar

th ir thing .

il/lo Ioro ... Sono i/le loro ...

C ::J

d sorella si chiama Bianca. e Come si chiamano genitori? f monopattino nero e giallo.

a macchina garage biciclene giardino fiori pionte


passatempa preferito il pat1inaggio. colori preleriti sana il rosso e il bianco. piono preferito sono gli spaghetti. bevande preferite sana



grappa e





'Our': il nosfro, fa nostro, i nostri, Ie nostre

Know about

coso h porto i fineslre balcone

il nostro, la nostro, etc.? Go on to

The words for 'our' are nostso/nostra and nostri/nostre. Lik the other words you have met so far, they chang in th singular, plural rna culin and feminine: iL nostro appartamento, la nostra casa, i nostri ami, le nostre macchine.

2.6.7 'Your' (formal):



il suo, 10 sua, i suoi, Ie sue; lora, i lora, Ie lora



How would you ay the

are our things?

il nostro/la nostra

Sana i nostri/le nostre .. , e vini albero comere

The word for 'your' (formal form - for talking to strangers, II people older than you, etc.) is the same form as the word for 'his/h r' (il suo, la sua, i suoi, le sue), and works th arne way. For th formal plural 'your', the word is the same as 'th ir' (iZlaro, la lora, i loro and le laro). Sometimes, in more formal writing, the initial. s or l is capitalized (il Suo, la Loro, tc.).

a coso b appartomento c coni d negozio

f capannone
g mocchina h giardino

Ask if thes

are your things, using the formal form il suo,

La ua, i suoi, le sue.

E il suo/la
a b c d e gallo? sedio? libri? piedi? giacco? f lazze? g fralelli? h motoC? matilo?

suo .. ./Sono i suoi/le sue ...

2.6.5 'Y our:

il vostro,


vostro, i vostri, Ie vostre

The word for 'your' (familiar plural form) is asy to remember becau it rhyme with il nostro/ la nostra and i nostril le nostre and behaves in the same way: uostro jiglio, te vo ire orelLe. IX

Ask if these ar your things.

a b c d

il vostro/lo vostra .,. Sono i vostri/le vostre officina? sedia? matite? libri?

i camera?

e pantoloni? f guanti?
g ombrello? h robo?

lettero? chiavi?



... Fast track:

Th Th

nouns and determiners

or feminine.

All nouns in ltahan ar either masculin


More determiners
Remember d terminers are words which come befor th I oun and y 'which' one it i .You aIr ady know some but th re ar me more.
11 S


·e" "'

'"" "' 41




a c '"

word for 'the' with masculine singular nouns is if. word for 'th 'with mas uline singular nouns that begin with Z, gn, x, pn, ps, i/ywith a vowel. or J with a consonant, is lo. Th word for 'th 'with f minine singular nouns is La. Th word for 'th 'with singular nouns of either gender (hat begin with a vowel i l'. Th word for 'the' with masculine plural nouns is i. The word for 'the' with rna culinc plural nouns that begin with z, gn

you all' ady know: 'the table/a table/my table/your table' w ones: 'which table?/aH tables/the same table/ several tables/some tablesz'e ery table' ....

o Z


x, pn, p', i/Y with a vowel, or s with a consonant, :is giL The \ ord for 'the' with feminine plural nouns is le.
Th word The word i/y with he word The word for 'a' with fOI' 'a' with a vowel, or for 'a' with lor 'a' with masculine nouns is un. masculine nouns that begin with z, gn, x, 1m, 1)£, s with a consonant, is ttnO. feminine nouns is una. feminine nouns that begin with a vowel is tin '.

If you do n t think you need the come ba k t th m later.

il/la un/uno/una/un' il mio/lo mia/i miei/le mie questo/ questo/ questi/ queste quonto/ quonto/ quanti/ quonte? altro/ oltro/ ollri/ oltre molto/ molto/ molti/' molte poco/ poco/ pochi/ poche tonto/lonto/tonti/tanle tutto/tutto/tutti/tutte tutti/tutte e due OR enlrambi/enlrombe cerlo/ certa/ certi/ eerie troppo/lroppa/lroppi/lroppe stesso/ stesso/ stessi/ stesse qualche olcuni/ olcune nessun[o)/ nessuno nolnel,

yet, I av th m and
the a my this how much/how other much, many (a) little, few so much/many all or every both (a) certain
lOO much, too many same


To ay what p opl ou f n omit th

Sono studente.

are or do (th ir jobs, nationaliti


s, etc.)

in Italian:
I am (a) student.

plural of its own. Til plural of 'a' in . ngli h would b 'om 'or 'any'. In Italian it is som tim s mi d out, but u ually it is r nd r d as dei, degli or delle a ording to th gender and type of the noun it is with:
Cerco dei libri. Non cerco libri/nessun libro. I. am looking for some books. I am not looking [or (any) books.

some/any/a few some not any, no/none

It i. a g od idea to I am Italian nouns with 'th ' (iland la):

la strada; it gatlo.


ow to translate 'my', 'your', 'his', 'her', 'its', With sing. nouns Masc.
my your (familiar singular) your (formal singular) his/her/its ollr your (familiar plural) their (masc. and Iern.) your (formal plural) il mio Fem.


'This', 'these', 'that' and 'those': questa, questa, questi, queste, quel, quello, quello, quell', quei, quegli, quelle
The demon trative adjective questo/questa tc, are u ed to point to a particular thing or things.
this page, the' lothes, that b ok, thos books

With pl. nouns .Masco.

i miei i luoi i suoi i suai i nostri i voslri i loro i Ioro Fern. Ie mie Ie tue Ie sue Ie Ie Ie Ie Ie sue nostre voslre loro loro



il suo il suo il noslro il voslro il lora il loro

10 mia 10 tua 10 suo 10 suo 10 noslro 10 vostra 10 lora 10 Ioro

Sing.ulor Masc.
thi ,the e that, thos questa quel, quello

Plural Masc,
quesli quei, quegli

questa quella, quell'

quesle quelle

ote that que to and questa become quest' in front of words beginning with a vowel, .g. que t'anno quest'estaleand quella becomes quell' e.g. quell'arancia.


Put th

orr ct form in front of th se words.



Il n

b c d e f g h


I» C

! I»
c a

o Z


hotel molto buono. Di fronte a coso. c'e un giardino. In giardino cresco no delle piante. donne lavorano nel giordino. fiori sono rari. albero molto vecchio. poria riservata ai luristi. riviste sono graluite. ___ uomo fa delle folo.


That hotel is v ry good.

In front of this house there is a gard n. II this gard n, some plants grow .

Ci vuole molto lempo. Ci sono rnolti pesci nel mare.

d ltakes a lot of time. ar many fi he in th

Ce poco genie qui.

'(a) little',


aren't many (= th re are

Thes women work ill th gard n.

f , ) people

h reo

Ho pochi soldi. Ci sono poche case nel villoggio.

I haven't got rnu h (= I have gOl liltl ) money. Th r aren't many (= ther ar f w) houses in th village.

That d

r is re

rv d for touri



'so much/many'

primavera ci sono molti tromboncini.

Thes magazines are free. That man is taking photographs. Thi pring th re are lots of daffodil .

Ho tonli gatti! Ci sono tante mocchine in cilia!

Ih ha 0 many cats! Th r are so many cars in th


tuuo/tuua/tuui/tuue, 'all' or 'every'

tullo il tempo Mia 10 mia fomiglia tutli gli altri tutle Ie altre tutli i fiori tutti i giorni tutle Ie setlimane allth time all m rami! all ih other (m) all th other (f) < ll th flow rsl v· ry flow r


quanta/ quanti/ quante?

mal y?', and agre
Quanlo/quanta/quanti/quante? in number

'How much?', 'How many?': quanto/

mean 'how much?' or 'how and gender with the noun.

Singular Masc.

Plural Masc.

v ry day v ry week



tuUi/ tulle e due or erurambi/ entmmbe, 'both'

su enlrambi i loti Tulle e due/Tun'e due erano qui. on both sid s The were both here ..

II Put th a __ b __

orr front of th

t form of quanto/ quanta/ quanti/ quante in que tions.

una ceria donna un certo llbro cerli coni eerie ragozze

'(a) certain' a certain woman

a certain book ertain dogs crtain girls


macchine ci sono nel parcheggio? Iipi d: vino vengona prodolti qUi? anni hoi? vino vuoi? lone c'e nel bicchiere?

l'rotJpo/tmppa/lrofrlJi/trolYJle, 'too mu h', 'too many'


2 ..- 3- 'Sorne," 7

0ther ' ,

a II', any,

every, etc.

qualche i en ).

w rd agre a normal with the noun (but note that nly u ed in the singular, vel if it ha a plural other'
want something (anything) Is? Bring m 'an th r gla

Ho mangiato troppo cioccolato. Abbiamo passalo troppo tempo 01 sale. C'e troppo genie quil C'e troppo robo in cosa!

Vuoi quolcos' oltro?

He's had too mu h. hocolai . We've spenl too mu h tim in the sun. There are lOO man peopl h r ! There's too mu h stuff in the house.

° you

Portomi un ohro btcchiere di vino!

of wine!


stesso/stessa/stessi/stesse, 'same'
Siamo nella stessa coso, stesso giorno gli stessi ragazzi



Ware in th th· same da th same b ys






qualche, 'some/any/a


." D

ot that alcuno/ alcuna/ alcuni/ alcune can also be used to expr ss'some/any/a few'.
qualche tempo fa Ho qualche hbro. Ho alcune riviste. C'e qualche macchina guasta,

s m lim
I hav som I have sorn Th re are

b ks. magazin om brok n-down

pronoun is a word which stand for a noun. Instead of aying:

th woman and I yOIl can'ay you can say you can 'ay you can say he: lui she: lei we: noi they: loro




'(not) any'

Illy hu band/wife
Mr and Mr Brown

Non ho nessun llbro di Manzoni, Non c'e nessuno qui,

I have no book by Manzoni. Th re's no on her '.

In 'ngli h in t ad of saying 'table' we ay 'it'. In Italian the word for 'it', used with things, are esso (mascuhne) and as a (ferninin ). ote: Don't forg t that in Italian he ibject pronouns ar almost always missed out, b u the ending on th v rb doe their job, and tells you who or what is th subject of the verb,


10, tu, Lei, lui, lei, esso/ esso, 'I', you,

'he', 'she', 'it': subject pronouns

If you know what a subiect pronoun is, goon to

The subject is 'the person or thing who does the action.

1 run, you play,

eats, she drinks,

it shuts,

we liv ,you

swim, Lhe)' talk

he ubject pronouns in Italian are a follows:

.Singular first person
io - J

noi - we voi - YOll Loro - yOll (polite) loro - they

second person
third person

tu - you
Lei - YOll (polite) lui/egli - he lei/ella - she esso/essa - it



lo, 'I': first person singular

You use the fir yours If.
(101sono (101dormo (101bevo


person when you are talking about

lam I am I am J am J am ... leeping drinking listening called Smith and I live ...


e inglese. e la mia


H 's English. It's my car. I'm wailillg for my aunt. She" arriving soon.



mia zio. (lei) arriva subilo.

After lui/lei/esso/essa pr em tense.

the verb usually end in -a or -e in the

(101mi chromo Smith e (iol abita, ..

NOi, 'we': first person plural

You use noi to talk about yourself and all cone else. You u e this word when you would lise 'w ' in English. with the other pronouns, noi is usuall ornitte I because the verb nding does its job for it.
(Noi) parliamo tedesco. degli spaghetti. grozie,

10 is only written with a capital letter at the beginning of a sent nee", After ia the verb usually ends in

in the pr sent




We speak


'you': second person singular, familiar form

(Noi) mangiamo [Nol]

You us tu wh n you ar talking to one per on you know very w II sam on who has in ited you to do so, or La a child.
Tu hai un cone? Tu sei andalo a Ramo?

non fumiamo,

We are aLing pagheui. We don't smoke, thanks. S III

After nai the v rb alway ends in -iamo in the pr


Ha you g La dog? Did you go to Rome?


VOi, 'YOU': second person plural, familiar form

You LIS uoi wh n you are talking to two or more p ple you k.now well, or who are younger than you, related to au etc. It translates 'you. Voi is often r ferred to as the 'familiar plural' form, a it is u ed in th plural wh n talking to p ople you kn w. After voi the verb always nd in -ate, -ete r -ite in the pre ent ten .e, a cording to wh th r the v rb j an -are verb an -ere one or an -ire one. '
(Voi) mangiate (Voi) prendete cioccololo? il Ireno?

After tu the v rb end

in -i in th pr sent ten


Lei, 'you': second person singular, polite form

You use Lei when you are talking to one person you don't know ve well, your oo s at work, your tea her, someon who i older than you, etc. It translates 'you', but has th same form a the word for 'sh " and is written with a capital in more formal writing, but an also b writt n without. After ei th verb nd in -a or -e in the present ten except for essere (to be) whi h ends in -e.
lei lei

Do you at ho olate> r you taking the train?

(Voi) finite presto?

Ar you Iini hing soon?

e insegnanle? e italiano, signor


Arc ou a tea h r? Are you Italian, Mr Rossi?


Lora, 'YOU': second person plural, polite form

Y~u use Loro when YOll are talking to two or more peopl ither gender, whom you don't know, in a very formal cant xt, It also translate 'you'. After La'TOth t n e. rb end of


Lui reg/i), lei (ella) and e550/ esso, 'he', 'she', 'it': third person singular
You u e lui/lei/esso/essa when you ar talking about s mean or ornething else. They tran fat 'he', 'sh 'and 'it'. Rcrnernb r that in Italian everything is eith r masculine or feminine. A chair is feminin , a if you want to ay al ything about it, you have to use essa ('she'); similarly, a book i rna sculin a if you want 1'.0 r fer to it, you have to say esso ('he'). For people you use lui ('he') and lei Cshe '). But don't forget that th pronouns are usually omitted anywayyou only u e them for reinforcement, emphasis or contra tc.g. E tuo jJadre? - No, lui e mio padre.

in -ano, -ono or -an no in the present


Lora, 'they': third person plural

You use lora wh n you are talking about more than one p rson or tl ing. It tran lates 'they'.
Noi siamo ilaliani, ma lora sono


10 ho

We are Italians, but they al-e G rmans. I hav tI dog.

0 aLS,

due galli,

ma lora hanna

un cane,

but they have a


After loro the verb usuallyends present tense.

in -ano, -ono or -anno in the

You use lui/lei and esso/essa (third person sirrgular) translate 'he', 'she' and 'it',



Which Italian subject pronoun should you use?

a [am going to the cinema tonight. b After the cinema weare going to a restaurant. c My girlfriends will be there, d The house is very nice. e Luca is playing, f Isabel is going to watch.

In Italian everything i: either masculine or feminin so the table (la tavola) 1 'she' (essa) and the book (it libro) is 'he'
(esso) .


c a.

After lui/lei and esso/essa the verb usually ends in -a or -e in the present tense. You use noi (first person plural) to talk about yourself and someone else. You use it when you would use 'we' in English. After noi the verb usually ends in -iamo in the present tense .. You use voi (second person plural, familiar form) to translate 'you '.
Voi i often referred to as the 'plural familiar' form, as it is used in the plural when talking to friends or young people.


Where are you going?

Which subject pronoun would you use in these sentences?

a Giovanni abita a Venezia, __ prende spesso il vaporetto,

I miei genitori si chiamano Luigi e Moria obltono a Como C ,__ non sterno oneara pronli, d Vieni anehe ? e Mia sorsllo giom a calcio. __ gioca malta bene. f Mi piace ilte, __ bevo malta Ie,


Come si chiama questa ragazza? __ vi ehiamate Giovanni e Paola?

e malta bella!

i __ guidiamo una jl Do dove venite __ ?

Fiat 50Q, Andiama molto piano!

After ooi the verb usually ends in-ate, -ete or -ite in the present tense. You use Loro when you are talking in a very formal context to two or more people ofeither gender, whom you don't know, who are older than you, etc. It also translate. 'you'. Lora is often referred to as the 'plural polite' form, as it is used mn the plural when talking to someone older than you or to strangers in a very formal context. After Lora the verb usually ends in -ano, -ono or -anno in the present tense. You use lora (third per on plural) to translate 'they'. After 100tothe verb u ually ends in -ano, -ono or -anno in the present tense.

3. 1.9

A pronoun
I run, you play, heeats,

subject pronouns
it shuts, we live, y01.~ swim, tllLy talk

is a word which stands for a noun:

she drinks,

The subject is the person or thing who does the action" Pronouns are usually omitted in Italian, but when you do use them (usually for emphasis or clarification), they are as

You use io (first person smngular) when you are talking about yourself. Aft r io the verb usually ends in

in the present tense

You u e tu (second person singular, familiar form) when you are talking to one person you know very well, someone who ha invited you to do so, all' to a child, After

L0, I0, li.] e, 'hh I, 11m, 'h er ' 'it', 'them':


direct object pronouns

If you Iknow wha,t a direc.tobiect pronoun is and how to use it, goon to 3.2.1.
'Him', 'her', 'it' and 'them' are called obje.ct pronouns. hey are the person or object which has the action done
to it.

the verb usually ends in -i in the present


You use Lei when you are talking to one person you don't know very well, someone who is older than you, etc. It translates 'you', After Lei the verb u ually ends In -a or -e funthe present tense.


I aw] hn. John aw Karen. I bou 'ht the watch.

him her it him her them

3.2.2 Mi,

ti, ci and vi: 'me', 'you' and 'us'




o c o



llik Paul. He Jik Isabelle. he do n't like the boys.

These pronouns mean the sam as 'me', 'you' and 'us' in English, and they al a com in front of the verb ..
Mi ha vistol Ti chiama! Ci vede. Vi aiutiamo. She's seen me! He's calling au! He Can see us . We're helping you,

o e


In Engli h it is ea to recognis th direct alway comes traight after th verb. Whi h is the dir

obj ct as it



a I bought a new car. b My husband drove it home for me. c dog hased a cat across the road .. d H werved and hit a tree.
broke the wing mirror. bought me a bunch of flowers. took the cal' to the garage to be repaired ..


.... Fast track:

In English 'him', after the v rb. 'her',

direct object pronouns

'her', 'it', 'them', 'you': direct straight

Lo, la, ii, le, La, Le, Li, 'him', object pronoun 'you',

'it', etc always com

3.2 .. L 0, , a, ,.,I, 1

e: 'h·irn , , 'h ' 'it' 'th em;' .er, I, La, Li, Le: 'you'

In Italian, th lo, la, li, le, La, Le and Li usuaJl come in front of th verb, but they are sometim s attach d to the end of it ( .g. infinitive, imperatives, present participl s, runds and the word eeeo).
La prendo. La veda. I take it. I see her. There it is!

he words for 'him/h r' or 'it' in Italian are lo (rna culin and La (feminine), and the words for 'them' are li (masculine) and le (ferninin ). The words for 'you' (polit form) are La in the singular and Li in the plural. In Italian the lo, la, li and le usually come in fran t of the verb. I ow v· r, they can be attach d to th end of th verb in certain cases ( .g. infinitive, imp ratives, pre ent participl s, gerunds and the word eccoi.
Eccolo! li prendo. oiutondola La vedo. Ther it/he i ! I'm taking th m. h Iping h r I see it/him (m):

Eccolol Mi; ti, ei and vi: 'me',

'you' and 'us'

Like the oth r pronouns, th s words usually come in front of the verb xcept after an infinitive, imperative, etc.
Arrivederci! Vi preghiamo di non parlare. Mi ami? Ti odio! We'll meet (us) again! We ask YOli not to talk. Do you love me? I hate you!

Lo and La b come or h. II In
rt the correct

l' b fore words beginning direct object pronoun.

with a vow


. ! see her. a

b She sees him.

c We see them. (m) d I have it. e I am helping* YOli. (polite form) f I am wearing* it. (m)

vedo . vede. vediorno, Ce __ 'ho. aiuto. _porlo.

'to me', 'to you', 'to him', 'to her', Ito us', Ito them': indirect object pronouns
If you know what an indirect obiect pronoun is and
how to use it, go on to 3.3.1.
In English, an indirect direct object pronoun front of it. object pronoun is the sam as a but has (or can have) 'to' or 'for' in
it is the thing that

Mi, til 91i, Ie, ci, vi, 9Ii/loro,

*Th se are pr s nt t n e , the pronoun



I bought her it. I bought it (direct objectbought) for her (indirect object).



Give me it, Give it (direct object-

the thing which is being gi en)



Fill in the mi

ing pronoun.


me (indire t object). They showed him it. They showed it (direct objecs - the thing which is being hown) to him (indirect obj ci).

a __ . ha dolo 10sua motito Ito me) b Chi .__ poria? Ito us)
c Quanti soldi donno __ 2 Ito them)


2 a.

d __
Indirect pronouns are used with verbs like 'give/send/write/show/buy/offer/tell/lend' something to/for someone/something.
e __

hoi mondoto il pacco? (to her] ho porloto oggi? Ito IOU, pI. farn.] ho dato il biglietl02 (to you, sing. tam.] ho spieqoto coso devi fare? (to you, sing. Iarn.] do un libra. ILO her) ho doto uno bolliglia di vino. (to him) doi uno mono? (to LIS)

where you do

f Mia moglie __
g __


Identify the indire se n tences.

obj ct pronoun

in the e English

h __ i Mio zio __

j __

Try saying 'to/for' in front 01 the pronoun to see if it is indirect.


The pronoun ne
e i u ed to r place eli and noun or pr noun. It is us d to mean 'of it r 'of them', and has to be u din sentenc s when it would b omitted in English:
Quante sorelle hoi? Ne ho Ire. How man)' sisters have you got? I've got three (of them).

a Luigi sent m a text message.

b I could not read it. My friend can. I how d it her. c She translated it for me. d L wrote him a reply. e She sent it for m . f He sent h ran \' message.

Wh n u ed with a personal pronoun it will u ually mean omething like 'of her/him/us' etc.
Mia madre partita, e non ne ho notizie. Conosci questi piloti? Sl, ne ho spesso sentilo parlare.

She did not

how it me.

h She ern him a photo of herself. i He s nt h ran th 1'message. j he s ni him a repl . k She did not t 11 me what he said. I She gave rn my phone back and w

My mother has left, ami] haven't heard about her. Do you know these racing drivers? Yes, I have arlen heard of them.


3.3.1 Mi, ti, gli, Ie,

Ti do 100 euro.

etc.: indirect object pronouns


In Italian, you always put the indir ct obj ct pronoun in front of the erb except for loro, which goes aft r the verb.
Mi ha detto che sono scemo! Le ha fatto vedere 10sua macchino nuova. Non ci danno abbostanzo 501di! I am giving you 100 cum'. /He said (to) m that I was stupid! He showed (to) h r hi new car. They don't gi e (to) money!


Word order of pronouns: indirect + direct

If you don't want to know about this yet go on to 3.4. If two or more pronouns are used together in a sentence, they go in the order shown in the table below (this table include i, whi h is a refl xiv pronoun). When mi, ti, ci, vi andi pre I another pronoun, they become me, te, ce, ve and e. Wh n ne i used it goes in the po ition indicat d by the final c lumn of the table.
me 10 Ie 10 glielo se 10 ce 10 ve 10 me 10 te 10 glielo se 10 ce 10 ve Ie me Ii te Ii glieli 5e Ii ce Ii ve Ii me Ie te Ie gliele se Ie ce Ie ve Ie me ne
te ne


Mi, ti, ci and vi ar th same a th so OLl only have to remember:

direct obje L pronoun,

Le ('to you', polite gUIle (' to him/her'),

ingular form, 'to him/her'),

Loro ('to you' polite plur 1 form, 'to them'),

and gli/loro ('to them').

gliene se ne ce ne ve ne


How would you say the following?

a He gave it (m) La me ..

Word order of pronouns: indirect + direct If two or more pronouns are used together, they go in the following order:
me 10 te 10 glielo se 10 ce 10 ve 10 me

C :J


e I.

b I have written it to her. e She gave it (f) LO them. d They ga.v it 1.0 you (sing). e You gave it to us. f She bought him it (rn).
He gave it to us. i We gave it to you (pi).


10 10 10 10


g h

He read it to me ..

se 10
ce ve

me Ii Ie Ii glieli se Ii ce Ii ve Ii

me Ie Ie Ie glie.le se Ie ce Ie ve Ie

me ne te ne gliene se ne ce ne ve ne

C ::t



They read it to them ..

k She gave it (1'I1) to me. ~I won't give it (m) to you!

If you have had enough ·of p:ronouns m.ove on to C:hapter 4 and come back. la,te:r.


Me, te, lui etc.: prepositional or


disjunctive pronouns
Prepositional or disjunctive pronouns are only used when talking about people or animals ..Most of them are th same as the subject pronouns.
lui ('with him'), senza d; lei ('without her'), d; fronte a me ('in front of me") , per lora ('for them'). allorno a no; ('around us'}, dieuo di lora ('behind them'), etc,


.....Fast trac:k: indirect

object pronouns

In English, an indirect object pronoun is the same as a direct object pronoun but has (orcan have) 'to' or 'for' in front of it. Indirect pronouns are only used with verbs like: 'give/send/write/show/buy/offer/tell/lend' wher you do something to/for someone .. In Italian, indirect object pwnouns go in the same pla e as direct object pronouns ..To sum up, this is: • usually immediately in front of the verb, except loro, which always goes after; • on the end of infinitives, imperatives, present participles, gerunds or ecco; • compulsorily on the erid of a positive command.
, The indirect object pronouns are very similar 10 Ihe direct object pronouns. mi Ii gli Ie gli/le to me to you (familiar to him

Ouesto libro per Ie. Voglio andare a Roma can lora.

E per Lei? E can lei.

This book is for you. I want to go to Rome with them, Is it for you? He's with her. We're buying a present for him. Are we going with you?

Compriamo un regala per lui. Andiamo con Loro?

me Ie lui lei se Lei

IIPlural me
you (familiar singular) him/iL her/iL ...self you (formal singular) noi voi lora se Lora us you them ...selves you (formal plural)



to it

Replace the people in italics witt. a pronouIl ..

a Questa macchina di Roberto. b Giovanni andalo in clno con suo maglie. e E uscila can ; suo! amici. d II Signor Nosella ha compralo un regalo per suo figlia.

ci vi gli/loro Loro

to you (formal singular)

to us La you LO them to you (formal



e La borsa blu e di Riccardo, e 10 borsa rosso e di Isabella. f Ha mangioto con i miei bambini e me.

g E sua madre! h Siorno partili j

Esco con


con ; nosut bambini. i Abbiamo comproto dei gelati per te e per; tuai amici.

Che/che cosa/cosa?, 'what?' There are three ways of saying 'what?' in Italian - chet, che cosa? andju t cosa? Cosa by i elf is slmghtl.y more common in spoken Italian, but the th r ar us d too.
Cos'e? Che coso stoi per mangiare? Cosa volete fare? What i il? Wl,at ar you about to eat? Whal would you like to do?



o ...



3.4.1 Mi,

ti, ei, vi,

lora, 'me', 'you', 'us', 'them' and

the r tiv r sla' and ( ..

the imperative
With imperati es, the word for 'me', 'you', 'u ' and reflexive pronoun are joined t the end of the imp verb. The x eptionis loro ('to them'), which i n v join d to the verb. After the imp. rativ s fa', eli', da' va', the initial con onant of th pronoun is doubl d dimmi, dalla Jalla). II How would you say: a L ok at LIS! b Giv it lO me! COil! d Wake up!
e Wri; it!

Quale? Quali?, 'which?' Thi word is used if there is choi b tw n two or more thing . Quale i the ingular and quali is th plural.
Ci sana due librt Quale preferisci? Ha tre sorelle. Quali sono qUi? 'h r

two books, \ hich


do you pr C r?
He has three sist Which


are her-?

Quanto? quanta? quanti? quante], 'how much?' 'h w many?' s d as an adjective or a pronoun, this agree' with the nouns(s) it refers to. It i ometirnes u ed as an adv rb in which ase it doesn't change. As an adj clive or a pronoun:
Quanta vino hoi? Quanta lotte vuoi? Quanti Irotelli hai? Quante case ci sono nella citta? How mu h win have you got? How mu h milk do you want? How many 1 rothers have YDU Tot? How many houses are there in th city?


Chi? Che/che coso/coso?, 'Who?'

'What?': interrogative words
n interrogative word is used to ask questions like 'who', 'why', 'how', 'which'. Most are ither pronoun or adv rbs. Here are orne common one, with their meanings. I

As an adverb:
Ouonto vale? How rnus h is it worth?

Fill in the gaps in the Iollowing

a How rnu h water d

__ __ aequa vuoi? sorelle hai?

If you know all about iinterrogatives go on to 3.6.

Chi?, 'who(m)?' This word mean 'who' ifit refers to the subject of th entenc and 'whom' if it r fers to the object.
Remember the subject is the person or thing who 'does' the action.


ist r have you got? c H r ar two room ..Which do you PI' ~ I'? d Wha; w uld you like to drink? e Whos hou e is thi ?

b How many

Ecco due eomere. preferisCi? __ vuoi bere? __ __ ._ _ __ __ e questa caso2 vale questa maeehina? ti piace? libri hoi? coso 10 tuo?

Chi e questa donna? Con chi sei?

WhD is this woman? WhD(m) are you with?

f How mu h is this car worth? g What do YOLI Iik ? h How many book have you got?

Di chi?, 'whose?' This word m an a question lause ...

Di chi e questa macchina? Di chi fratello?


when it i used in

Whi h hou is yours? Who is this woman?

e questa donna?

Who e caris thi ? Whose broth r i he?


:c ::»



how to say 'it's mine', 'it's yours': possessive adjectives and pronouns
If: you walnt to ,avoid usin'9 the possessives for the moment you conisay instead diGiovonnietc. and go on to 3•. 7.

II mio, 10 mia, if too, /0 tuo:




'who', 'that'! 'which': relOitive


How to xpress 'The one who, whom, which ...' If you can recognise a relative pronoun, 'go on to
Relative pmnouns


(ill mio (ill tuo (ill suo (ill suo (ill nostro (ill

yours (informal


yours (polite sing.) ours yours (informal pl.) theirs (masc. and fcrn.) yours (polite pl.)


(il) lora (il) lora

(101 (101 (101 (101 (101 (101 (10)

mia fuo sua sua nostro

(i) miei (i) tuoi

[le] mie





(Ie) sue (Ie) sue

Ii) suoi (i) nostri (i) vostri (i) lora (i) lora



[le] [le] {leI [le]

nostre vostre lora lora

are t.he words 'who', 'which', 'whom', 'that' and 'whose' when they are used to refer to orneone already mentioned. Sometimes in English t.hese words ar completely missed out - but NEVER in Italian (e.g. 'th grurl - I was with/the girl who/whom I was with'). Some of them look like question words, but they erve a different purpose - they link sentences, but they do not ask questions.
Che mst.he norma] relative pronoun, after a preposition.
10 donna che abita a Ramo
il ragazzo in citla il cane

but cui has to be used

who lives in Rome

Poss ssive adjectives translate the EnglUl 'my', 'your',

the woman

'his/h,er/its', etc., and possessive pronouns are 'mine', 'yours', 'his', 'hers' ,'ours', 'yours' ,'theirs'. In Italian, poss ssive adjectives and pronouns are thesame, and both are used with the definite article. They have to agree with the noun they are replacing. Remember to leave out the dfinit.e article wit.h members of the family in the singular. This omission also applies after the verb essere in ases such as Di chi e questa penna? - E mia/tua.
Guardi questa macchino. E 10 mia. I/o mio to agree 'with mocchino)




the boy (whom) we saw in town the dog which/that barks every day the car in which we arrived the boy with whom 1 came ('the boy 1 came with') the country (of which) I was talking



ogni giarno

10 mocchina
il rog.ozzo il paese

con cui siamo arrivati can cui sana venuto

slavo parlando

di cui

The part of the sentence after the relative pronoun a relative clause ..


Replace the nouns in italics with the correct form of the pronoun: (il) mio/(la) mia/(le) mie/(t) miei.
a b
Questa non

A clcuse is a port own but depends meaning.


a sentence which


make sense on its its

e il tuo libro E

on the rest


the sentence to complete

Quesfa coso opportiene

a me.


iI vin~

che ho com proto ieri.

d Mi piece malta 10 coso dove e Ci sana uno Lancia e uno Fiat nel garage. Sono f Roberto e Paolo non sana i tuoi fralel/i. Sono g Mario e Assunto sono brave sorel/e! Sana __ h Quesli coni non sono malta giovoni. Sana __

E __ E __ abita. E __


3.. . 1 Chi, 7

'the person who'

You can lise chi to say 'people who', 'the person who', 'he/she who', 'anyone who', etc., but even if the sense is plural the verb is always singular and any related adjective will be masculine.
Chi vuole uscire deve dirmelo oro. Chi non rispormio povero. niente sora

(Anyone) who wants to le ave must tell me now. (Those) who don't save anYlhing will be poor.



Quello che, que/la che, cia chef


'that which',

Complete the seruenc s using ih appropriate relative pronoun form a b st fit the meaning of th senten .e:
a. b e d e f
Come ___ __ si chiamo




e a.

o e

Quello che and cio che ar used to translate 'what', meaning 'that which' ( .g. 'tell me about what you did today = 'tell me about that which you did today'). The e word are only used to giv th meaning of 'what' when it isn't a que tion. ote also quello/quella che 'th one which' and quelli/quelte che 'the ones which'.
che hoi comprato un po' non mi piace. Porliamo Dammi



ho vista !lei parco?

Non conosco vivequi Non so __


What' the name or the girl I saw in the park? I d n't know the woman who liv here. I don't know who to talk to ab lit all this. Thi i the boy whose ar hit rn


devo parlare __ non so

di questo.
Ecco il ragazzo mocchino mi ha colpilo.

e successo.

di cio


10 borsc,

quella che

e sultovolo,

.1don't like bought. L I.'S talk a happ n Civ m th i on th

\ hat y u hav bit ab lit what d. bag, the on which table,

uno donna

niente. Cerco abita un inglese __ a Ramo.

he is a woman about whom I know nothing. I'm looking 101" an Engli ihrnan who live in Rome ..

3.7.3 II qualella qualeli quafille quali,


'the one(s)

1l quale/la qua/eli quali/le quali i . most commonly used after a preposition, and can be a direct replac ment for per cui, in cui, el . 10


'that one', etc.

que/la/queI/o: 'this one',


quale (a cui] ho

spedito uno cortcltno

the woman to whom I have sent a postcard (the woman I have sent a I ostcard 1.0) the hous s in which they lived (the houses they lived in) Ther is the boy about whom YOLl' c talked. (the boy you've talked about)

Ie case nelle quali (in cui] abitavano Ecco il ragazzo del quale [di cui] hoi parlato.

There are two kinds of d monstrative pronoun in Italian which do the sam job as 'thi ' and 'that' in EI glish, They agr e in number and gend r with the noun they ar r ferring to, and each has a differ nt function according to how far the object bing referred lo is from III p r. n who is sp aking. When you would use 'thi ' in English (i, . for something near you), use questo/questa (etc.). For omething that is further away, use quello/quella (etc.). Here is a table of both words in all th ir form .
Sin.gular Masc.
This (near

Plura'i Fem.
questa quella questi quelli quesle quelle


IIcui, 10 cui, etc.,




Cui with a definite article (it, la, i or le only) has the meaning of 'whose' ..The definite arti le has to ;;;\gre in gender and number with th noun it r fi r to, but cui is invariable.

That (further away)

quello Quale degli anelli preferisci?


e rurnoroso


il cui motore il cui nasa

the car whose engine

is noisv

il presidente Ie donne

e grande

i cui bambini

the president whose nose is big the worn -n whose children arc ih boring h tels whose rooms are xpensiv

Which one of the rings do pref I"? I pref r this One (here).


Preferisco questa Tu preferisci quello? questi e tu quelli.

gli a1berghi Ie cui camere sana care

Ouo] fiori preferisci?


preferisco preferisci

Do ou pref r that one (th ere)? Which flowers do you P" er? r PI' fer these, and you pr [, r those,


Say you want to order the e thing, using questo/questa/ questi/ quesle.
a un dolce



b c d

dei vermicelli delle uno bottiglio penno

l_l [_l cora melle [_l

di vino

Direct object pronouns: 'me', 'you', etc. Th dire t obj ct pronoun lands in for the person or object who or which has th . action done to it. Th yar :
mi ti

e un pacco di buste

f uno

h i

un quadro

l_l [_l

[_l [_l

m you him/iL h r/iL you (formal)

delle motite [_) delle scarpe dei guanti bionche [_)

la La

Ii Ie Li/Le


l_l [_l

us you th rn (rn) th rn (I) you (formal)

Say you want those things, u ing quello/quella/queUi/queZle.

a b d e f g h i
una bottiglio dei libri

di vino

In English th y come aft r the verb; in Italian they come in front of th verb ex ept that they have t be attached to the


c uno rnocchino dei guanti [_] delle tovoglie un armadio delle tende


nd of infinitives, gerund, past parti ipl s.

I sce him «I) him s ) h s es me « h ) me

La veda Mi vede Non

and 'free tanding'



l_l un televisore l_l un'outorodio [_l j dei fiori [_l

The see you «Th y) you

We don't se th don't sec)

n vedono
Ii vediorno

«Wc) th m


3.9 ..... track: iFast


Indirect object pronouns: 'to me', 'to him', etc. In English, an indirect object pronoun i the same a a direct object pronoun but has (or an have) 'to' or 'for' in front of it. In Italian th re is a pecial set of them. mo t of which are v ry similar to the direct object pronoun. Indir ct obje t pronouns are normally placed in front of th verb, xcept that they have to be attached to the end of infinitiv s, g runds, imperatives and 'free tanding' pa t participl s... Th yare:
mi Ii gli Ie Le

A pronoun is a word which tal d for a noun. Subject pronouns A subj ct pronoun i a per on or thing who does the action describ d by a verb: T 'you' ... tc, They can be used in front of v rb and to r plac a person or thing air ady mentioned. In Italian th yare usually missed out becau e the verb ending does th if job (which is to show who or what the verb is r ferring to). They are:
io tu

LOIII LOyou (familiar) to him/it to her/It LOyou (formal)
ci vi gli/loro Lora
to LIS

to you to th m LOyou (formal)

noi w

you h'

voi loro Loro

lei Lei


you th y ou (formal)

Most indirect object pronouns.


are the some as the direct object


In :::)

If you have more than one pronoun in front of the verb, the pronouns go, in the following order:

If mio, 10 mia, iI tuo, 10 tuo, etc.: possessive

pronouns/adjectives They translate the Engmish'my/mine', 'yom(s)', 'his', 'heres) " 'its', 'OUT(S)', 'your{s)', 'theirts) '. They have to agree with the noun they are replacing.
my/mine your(s) (informal (il) mio sg.) iii) iii) Iii) Iii) !ilf



e a.

10 10

glielo se 10 ce 10 ve 10

me 10 Ie 10 gliela se ce ve


10 10

me Ii Ie Ii glieli se Ii ce Ii ve Ii

me Ie Ie Ie gliele se Ie ce Ie ve Ie

me ne Ie ne gliene se ne ce ne ve ne

In the perfect tense Ihe pronouns always come before the porI of avere [except loro)

his/hel:(s)/its yourts) (polite sg.) our(s) YOllr(s) (informal pI.) their(s) (rnasc. and fem.) yourts) (polite pl.)

lin lin

1101 mio tuo [lcl tuo suo 1101 suo suo 1101 suo 11051ro 1101 nostra (101 vostro voslra [lol loro lora

iiI miei
[il fuol
Iii suoi iiI suoi 10 noslri In vostri Iii lora In lora

Ilel mie Ilellue Ilel sue Ilel sue Ilel nostre lie) vostre Ile)loro lie) loro

Di,sjunctive pronouns There is a set of pronouns which are used after prepositions (e.g..per me, con noi) to provide emphasis etc. These are called disjunctive or emphatic pronouns.
me Ie lui/esso lei/essa se Lei me you (familiar) him/il her/it self YOll (formal) IP;lural noi voi loro/essi loro/esse se Lora us you them th m


1101 lora

Che, cui,

etc., 'who',


'whose', etc.: relative

Che, cui, - 'who', 'that', 'whom', 'whi h' Chi - 'the p rson who ...' Quello che, queffa coe, cio che - 'that which', 'what' II quale/la quale/i qua Ii/Ie quali - 'th II cui, fa cui,elc. - 'whose' on (s) whi h'

YOll (formal)

Singular Masc.
questa quello

questa quella

'this', 'that', etc.

Malse. quesli quelli

. E Ch·2 , Ch e coso. 2 , 'Wh 0 2' , 'Wh at.2' : .interroqctives I. ..

quesle quelle

These are used to ask questions like 'Who?' or 'What?' Chi?, 'Who(m)?' This word means 'who' ifit refers to the subject of the sentence and 'whom' if it refers to the object. Di chi?, 'Whose?' This word means 'whose' when it is used in a question clause. Che/che cosa/cosai, 'What?' There are three ways of saying 'What?' in Italian: Che?, Ch« cosat, andjusl Cosat
Quale? QualZ:?,'Whi.ch?'This word i used if there is a choice between two or more things .. Quale? is used when referring to singular objects or people, Quali? is used to refer to plurals, Quanto? Quanta? 'Quanti? Quante?, 'How much?' 'How many?' Used as an adjective or a pronoun, it has to agree with the noun referred to: to ask how much use Quanto? Quanta? for how many use Quanti? Quante?

Singular Masc. Feml.


IPlural .Malsc.

Feml. nuove vecchie

new old


nuevo vecchio


an adjective?
..... ..... If you klnow what an adjective is, go on to 4.• . 2
Adjectives are 'describing' words; you use th m something or someone is like.


Fill in the right form of: nuovo/nuova/nuovi/nU01Je (your choke). b

a un libro una coso C negozi __

or vecchio/vecchia/vecchi/vecchie

say what

Highlight the adjectives in these sentences.

a Peter is short and fat.

d e

She has long. blonde hair and green eyes.

c He has just bought a new computer. d She likes to wear new clothes for parties and casual clothes for
gardening. e Her car is large and old and has four-wheel drive. f Her boyfriend is and dark.

macchine un treno f una lelevisione g vesliti __ h borsette


Regular adjectives
Most adjectives end in -0 for the masculine, -a for the feminine, -i for the masculine plural and -e for the feminin plural, There are some exceptions, but these are usually quite logical and easy to predict. Here are examples of the main groups ..
SingulCir .MClsc. Fem .• nuovo piccolo: buona rosso IPlural Masc. nuovi piccoll buoni rossi IFem. nuove piccole buone


g She manages a small insurance company. h He has an older sister and ill younger brother.
i Her favourite dish is spaghetti.

He likes his beer very cold.



Adjectival agreement
In Italian the adjective 'agrees' with the noun. Most singular adjectives end in -0 when they are used with a masculine noun, and change their ending to -a with a feminine noun.
There ore some adjectives which don't work quite like this.

little good red

nuovo piccolo buono rosso



I:f you know about adiectiv,al agreement, go on to 4.3.

If the noun is masculine singular, the adjective usually ends in-o: nuouo, oecctuo. If the noun is feminine singular, the adjective usually ends in -a: nuova, oecchia. If tine noun is masculine plural, the adjective usually in -i: nuovi, uecchi. nds

Flll in the mi sing form. Check your answers and work out how the adjective relate to each other and form a pattern.

Singular Masc. Fem,.

Plurall Masc.

Fern •.

If t1henoun is feminine plural, the adjective usually ends in -e nuove, uecchie.

a happy b beautiful e ugly d tall e short fgood


Singular Masc.


Sing.ula'r Fern.






g bad h quiet i noisy j strange k shy I serious m frivolous n sensible o stupid p sincere q insincere r thin fat

orne adjectiv s do not change at all, in the ferninin or masculine, or th singular or plural, he most common of these are colours. Singular

blu marrone viola rosa

blue brown violet pink
blu marrone

blu marrone viola rosa

blu marrone viola rosa

viola rosa



4. 1.3

Irregular adjectives
Most adje live ending in -e clan 't change betw n th masculine and feminine singular and both th plural form ar the am a well - they both end in -i.

Adjectives ending in -co with the stress on the last syllable hav Laadd an It before the -i or -e ending in the masculine and f minine plural (to keep the c ound hard, lik It in English). Masc.
little (not much)




Singular Masc.
verde forte

Plural Masc.
verdi forti

verdi forti

green strong

verde forte

Most. ad] ctiv s nding in -co form their ma culine plural by imply adding -i (so th c sound i often d, to ound like 'eh' in English), but k ep the hin the f minine (so th c stay hard). Masc.

If an adje live ends in -tme in the masculine singular, it changes th ending to -ana in the D minin ,and to -om and -one in the ferninin and mas uline plurals, like a regular adjective. Singular Masc.



Fern .•


I, chiccchieront


All adjectives ending in -go acid an h in th plural b fore the -i or -e (as with the adjectives ending in -co, this is to top the g ound being soften d to an English j ound b the i and the e). Singular Mosc.

Some adje tive end in -ista in the rna culine and feminine singular. These have a masculine plural ending in -i and a feminin plural ending in -e, as with regul r adj ctives.


lung hi



Adjectives with an i in penultimate place don't add another i In the masculine plural but are otherwise regular:
Mosc. Singul'alr Masc.
cantrall)' conlrorio

Singu'lar IFem.
Before s with a consonal1l

Plural Mase.
Before a vowel Befor


IP;lural Fem.




Before a consol1anl

Before a vowel

B for a onsonanl


A small number of adjective nding in a onsonant followed by -cio or -gio lose the i in the plural form (because it would be hard to say, and the i and e that follow do its job anyway):
Singular Masc.
smooth wise liscio soggio

Before s Before COI1S0anynant / lhing before vowel begli quegli belle quelle

bel quel

bello quello

bell' quell'

bello quello

bell' quell'

bei quei


Choose the right form of the adjective in brackets.


Plural F,em.
liscio saggio

II Signor Barlaam I maglioni sono

lisci 50ggi

usee sagge


La Signora Barlaam

e~ [comurusto]. e molto __ [chiccchierone].



IViolo). le pelli sono molto __ [liscio], Abbiamo ~ (pccol soldi. Siomo moho __ II cielo lblul. Ouesf coni sona _ [rnorrone]. Gli spaghetti sono __ !lungo). C'e __ [poco] genie qui, oggi. Abbiamo delle __ [bello] rnele.

The adjectives buono and buena change in the ingular only when they are b fore a noun, and when the noun begins with a vowel; used withouta noun the masculine ingular is
buono. Sing,ular Masc.
good buon

h i j
k 1


Plural Mal$·e.+ vowel


buono buon' + vowel



+ consonant

Vini _Ifortel in vendue qui. Ci sono dei _ [bello] gnacchi in questo negozio. m Dove sono i gabinetti __ . [pubblico], per fovere? n Ouond'e il _ IGrandel Premio d'italia? o A Venezia ci sono dei conol: (grande).

The adjective grande changes in the singular only in the following ways:
Singular Ma,sc. ,and fem. + ,consonant
large gran

p __ IBuono) viaggio! q La coso e molto ~.

r s t

Plu.rall Mase. and tem. + zlgn/pslx


Igrande). I miei Iratelli sono molto . _ _ lchrccchlerone]. Ouesf uomini sono rnolto __ Iforte). I miei genitori sono rnolto __ Isoggio).

Masc. and fem'.

Mase. and fem.

4.'1 .4 Adjectives of nationality

Most adjectives of nationality end in an -0 or an -e. Tho e ending in an -0 in the masculine have a final -a for the feminine form. Those ending in an -e stay the same in the feminine form.
SinglJl!ar M.asc.
Belgian Moro can German Am ncan belga marocchino tedesco americana

+ vowell


The adjective bello changes like the definite article and the demonstrative adjective quello, acordlng to what follows it:

PI!ural Masc. fem.

belghe* morocchine tedesche americane

belgo morocchina

belgi moracchini tedeschi americani



Singular Masc.
francese inglese canodese scozzese spagnolo italiono svizzero russo is irregularl

francese inglese conodese scozzese spagnolo itoliono svlzzero
'I russo




francesi inglesi canodesi scozzesl spagnoli itolioni svizzeri russi

francesi inglesi conodesi red

rosso giollo ozzurro blu green black \ hite grey brown OIrange purple pink

rossa giolla azzurra blu verde nero bianco grigia marrone arancione Viola rosa

giolli azzurri blu verdi ned bianchi grigi marrone oroncioni viola rosa

French English Canadian

rosse gialle a zzu rre blu verdi nere bianche grigie marrone ora ncioni viola rosa


Spanish Italian Swiss Russian

spagnole itoliane svizzere russe

verde nero bianco grigio marrone arancione viola rosa

* This

Fill in the nationalities in the correct form.

a Michael c Madonna Schumacher b Jensen Button

d f

Luciano Pavarotti Domingo Tim Henman Roger Federer Tom e Martha Billy Connolly Ouesf

_ e

sana _. . sana sana ' ' '


omplete the s nten es with the right form of the olour giv 11 in brackets.
a Alessandro c II medico porta una camicia [rnorrone]. porta una camicia [rosso]. (verde), [ozzurro], (orancione), [bicnco]. (Viola). (giallo), (nero), (rosa), 19ri9io), b I suoi guanti sana _ d II suo impermeabile e Mario

e Placido

e Jose Carreras

e Kelly Holmes sana

h ii

e __


e __


a Washington:


e __

poria un vestilo ~ sana sana _ indosso un maglione

signori vengono

do Montreal:

Le sue scarpe Carlo I suoi guanli


4. 1.5

Most adjectives of colour agr e in the same way as other adjectives, and they alwayscorn after the noun th y describe: a r d train becomes a train red, un treno rosso; the White House becom s the hous whit, la Casa Bianca.
Choose a phrase to memorise to help you remember the order:

Enrico porta una cintura _.__


I suoi stivali sana _ Le lora sciarpe sono _


vine bianco, un 901/0 nero,



The position of adjectives

In English, adj ctives come in front of the noun they are describing: 'a larg hous " 'a fast car', In Italian mo l adj ctives come after th noun ('a hou e large', 'a ar fa t'). A f w adjectives can come before the noun:
bello buono beautiful good short bad, ugly bad young grande grosso largo lungo piccolo vecchio big, large big, large

Don't forget that the adjectives and that Ihey 'agree' in gender

come after the noun Ihey are With, and number with the noun,

The adje tives of colour form their agreements using the same rules as th oth r adjectiv s. Note that some of the colours ( .g. rosa, viola) are invariable, i.e. don't hange for rna culineyf minin and plural ; verde only has the one ingular form and the one plural form.

breve brutlo callivo giavane

wi Ie



Some change their meaning according to whether they come before or after the noun:
alto basso buono caro cattivo certo diverso dolce grande grosso nuovo numeroso povero santo semplice unica varia vero alta stagione un uoma alto uno povero donna una donna povera

9 Adjectives with an i in penultimate the masculine plural. 10 Adjectives ending in a consonant in the plural form. 11 Buono changes in the singular

place don't

add another

i in

followed by -cio

-gio los the i

I.Meaningl befo.re noun


Mean,ing after noun

tall small, low (number) good (in quality) dear, xpensive bad, vii! certain, reliable different fresh (water) big, tall big, w II built (p rson) new (i.e. not old) large in number poor (I. . notrich) holy ('sainted') simple, eas unique, special different true, authentic

before a noun, and when the noun

high low good (in ability) dear, pre ious bad, unpl asant (a) certain, some variou , S veral good, sweet great big, serious (thing) new (another one) numerous, n'llany poor unfortunate blessed ( xpletive) just, simply, only (only) one various, s veral real (emphatic)

begins with a vowel. 12 Grande changes in the singular only (see table above). 13 Bello changes in th singular and the plural (see tabl above). 14 Most adjectives of nationality end in -e in the masculine and the feminine singular or in ·0 in the masculine and -(1, in the feminine singular, and they end in -i, or in -i and ·c r spectively, in the plural.

Singu!lar .Masc.

una camicia rossa una mocchino una donna ehiaeehierona una donna eomunista una borsetta blu poco aequo una legge pubblica una bibuo lunga: 10 direzione eontraria uno madre saggia buona notte! verde



un maglione rosso 2 un Ireno verde 3 un uomo chiocchierone

macehine verdi donne chlccchierone donne eomuniste borsette blu poche acque leggi pubbliche bibite lunghe Ie direzioni conlrarie madri sagge buone notti Ie case grandi delle belle case

treni verdi uomini ch iaech ieron i uomini comunisti libri blu pochi vini gabinetti pubblici posf ,Iunghi i sensi eontrari padri saggi buoni giorni i grandi premi dei begli spaghetti uomini tedeschi

high season

a tall man
a poor (unfortunate) woman a poor (impoverished) woman

4.3 .... 'tr,aclk: odjectives Fast'


4 5 6 7 S

Most adjective' end in -0 and -a in the mgular and -i and -e in the plural. Most adjectiv 'ending in -e don't, hang in the singular. The plural forms end in -i. _djective· nding in -one and-ona ill the singular change to -oni and -one in the plural. Adjective nding in -ista in both singular forms mak their plurals with -tsti and -iste. Sorn adj ctives do not change at all.m the f minlne or masculine, or the singular or plural. ~dj ectives ending in -co with th tr S5 on the penultimate add an Ii before the ending in th plural. syllable

4 un uomo eomunista 5 un libro blu 6 poco vino 7 un gabinetto pubblico 8 un pasto lungo 9 il sense contrario 10 un padre saggio ]] buon 9iornol 12 II Gran Prernlo


coso gmnde

13 un bel canto
14 un uomo ledesco

una bella ragazza una donna tedesca

donne tedesche

Word order
Most adjectives come after the word they are describing:
uno macchina rogazza rosso - a red car; un uomo bravoa good man; una giovone - a young girl

djectives ending in -co form th Ir mas uline plural by adding -i, but also add an II in th feminin plural. djectives ending in -go add an h in th plural before the -i or -e.

but th se ones often come in fron ':

bello, buono, breve, bruno, cottivo, giovone, grande, lung.o, piccolo, vecchio grosso, largo,


Adjectives with more than one meaning Some adje tives change their meaning according to whether they come before or after the noun:
una nuova rnccchmo - a new car (i .. a differ nt on ); uno mocchino nuovo - a new car (i.. not a u done)

II Signor Barlaam importante, ma 10 Signora Borlaom pill imporlante.

Mr Barlaarn is important Mrs Barlaarn is mar



Colours Lik most other adjectives, the adjective ofl after th word they are de cribing.
un cone nero - a bla k d g

ur . orne

Luigi piccolo, ma suo sorello pili piccola. Riccardo intelligenle, ma suo lrotello pili inlelligente di lui.

e e e

important. Luigi is small but his si t ri smaller. Riccardo is intelligcn but his

brother is more intellig tlhan him. I travel more by car than b train.

Viaggia piG con 10 macchina che col treno

ay the second things ar all 'more' than the first: b

a Ouesto macchina e veloce, ma quella e __ Tuo sorello bella, ma mia sorella e __ c I noslri coni sono grandi, rna i voslri sono __

Most colours take the arne ending

rosso, rosso, rossi, rosse

as oth r adje lives:


d I libri di Giulio Cesare sana inleressanti, mo quelli di DonIe Alighieri

Comparotive and supedative

Th comparative is the form you u e when you at . comparing two things and ay, for e ample, that omething is bigger, small r, newer, older, etc. Th Slip rlative is the Cormwhen you say something is the best, bigg t, smallest, be t of all.
big uno macchina grande small una macchina piccolo

sono e L'esame d'ltoltono e difficile, ma quello di moternotico f La Francia e un bel paese, rna l'llolio e un poese __ g Questa coso rnaIto cora, ma quello h I miei genilori sono poveri, ma i luoi sana __

e __

e __

Stai per comprore uno radio cora, ma sliamo per comprare una radio

Ouesto bicicleno e malta bella, rna cerchiamo una bicicletto __ per nostro figlio.

Comparative bi ger
uno macchina pili grande

Superlative big

o ay ornething is less you us meno inst ad of /Jiu:

Alessandro meno vecchio di suo frolello.

10 10

macchino pili grande

Alexander i.s less old than his brothel!'.

mall r
uno macchina pili piccolo

mall st
macchina pili piccolo


a these things are all 'more' or 'I s ' than ",

a (+) Lo Ferrari e _

b (+1Una

e_ cora di uno Fiat. I-l Luigi e __ . infelligenle di suo sorella.


veloce della Mclaren.

As grande and piccolo are adjectives they still have to agree with the noun they describe.

d (+) II serpente
e (+) II cane

e __


perlcoloso della scarpione. grande del gatto.

f (-)Le Dolomili h

g [-I La Sardegnae


Comparing two people or things

In Italian, you put piu ('more') in front of the adjective. F r 'than' you use di befor names, pronouns, numeral and adverbs. Before adverbs, nouns, pronouns, participles, infinitives, prepositional phrases which are dependent on th sam verb, and b tween two adjectives, you use che to translate 'than'.

sono ~ aile degli Appennini. _ grande della Sicilia [+) Torino si Irova ~ a nord d: Ramo. (-) l'argenlo e prezioso dell'oro.

j (+) II

presidenle Silvio Berlusconi Giovanni Agnelli.

e __

famoso del Senatore


The superlotive
il/la/i/le il/la/i/le piG ... meno ...


To say 'the most' and 'the least' you use piil and 'meno, The adjective has to agree with the noun in gender and number, as usual, and you don't repeat the determiner:
10 coso men a piccolo il cane pill stupido

piu buono or migliore piu caltiva piu gronde pill piccolo or peggiore or maggiore or minore


(used for people,

implying older) smaller (used for people, implying younger)

Even when th adjective follows the noun you don't repeat the determiner:

il vino pili cora della ccnnno. pill bello del

Ecco il galla negozio.

It's the most exp nsive wine in th winery, It's th most beautiful cat in the shop.

These adjectives are the same in masculine and feminine singular forms: migliore, peggio1"e, maggiore, minore. The masculine and feminine plural forms are: migliori, peggiori., maggiori and minori. _ As with the other comparisons, 'than' is express d by di, and it is just omitted if there is no follow-up to the comparison (in oth r words if only one thing is said to be better, worse, etc.).
Glovcnnle tl Irotello minore di Giulio.
II formaggio Francese

FiB in these comparssons. a b c d e 1+1 Venezia e 10 cillo __ bello del mondo. 1+) La RolIs"Royce e 10 macchino ~ core del mondo. 1+) La balena e i.1 mommilero ~ grande di tutti i mammileri. (+1 La zanzara e l'inselto _ pericoloso di lutti.
La Citlo del Valicano II chihuahua

e buono

ma quello


e migliore.

H fH

e il cone

e ii' paese



del mondo

Insert the Italian for th word in brackets:

a Questa vino


del mondo.

e buono,

mo l'oltro

e [better],

b d f

Saying. 'as Ibig) as'

If you are comparing two things which are similar, you use the expression tanto ... quanto Oil' COSt ... come ('as (big) as'). As with other comparatives, the adj ctives have to agree with the noun they are describing.

c Franco

e [older] dl Rosario. Rosario e Iyoungerl di Palmo.

I miei voli sono [worse]


e Rosario e Rosario sono [younger] di Franco e Palma. I calciolori dell'lnler sono [better] dei colciotori del Milan.

E Ilantol

alto quanta

Questa vino

e [cosi]

suo padre. buono

come quello.

He is as tall as his father. This wine is as gooc1as that (one) ..

.....Fast' 'track:

comparative and superlative


Say these places are (1) bigger; (2) less big; (3) as big as ... Remember to make the adjective agree with the noun wh re necessary.
a L'Albergo Interconlinentale


La cillo di Romo II porto di Gli ipermercali

e .__ Marghero e __ e __

e __

The comparotive This is the form you use when you are comparing two things and say, for example, that something is bigger, smaller, newer or older. In English we can either add'-er'
green healthy tired


Reale. [31 [21 Penny. III

cine dl Milano.


or use the word 'more':

greener or more green healthier or more healthy tireder 0:1' more tired

porto di Napoli.

sono __ Liguria.


e lo Lombardio



Irregular cornporltives
The words for 'better', 'worse', 'bigger' and 'smaller' have optional irregular forms which do not form their comparative with piil or meno. Unlike the other adjective comparative words, these four words are invariable in the singular and do not have to agree with the noun they are describing.

In Italian there is only one way. You add the word jJit'"

(more) or meno (less).

pili verde; piu inlelligente; meno slanco

As the word is art adjective it still must agree with the noun.
l'olberoe pill verde.

meno stanco di me.

The tree is greener. She is less tired than me.


The Superlative Wh 11 you ar talking about the b st or the worst you use the. u] dative. In Italian the sup r1ativ is made by ins rung it, la, i or le before th piu or tneno. Note, however, that wh n the adje Live follows th noun, as most do, the arti Ie is not repeated, sine it goes in its normal place befor the noun. e .. . g
10studenlesso piG intelligente della clcsse i biglietli meno cari di tutti the most intelligent student in the class the cheapest tickets of all

an adverb?
are words which d scribe a verb.
h . drives fast. He speaks loa loudly.

A the word is an adje tive it still must agre

il bambino piu lerribile

with the noun:

Som ad rbs can qualify an adjectiv r adv rb, e.g. 'very' ('fa t'), 'quite' ('loud'), 'lOO' (,hard ).


rogazza piG bello i libri piG interessonti

'Better', 'worse', 'older' and 'younger' The optional words for 'better', 'worse', 'older' and 'younger' (migliore/i, peggiore/i, rnaggiore/i and minore/i; do not change for masculine/feminine, only for singul r/ plural.
piG buono or migliore piG catlivo or peggiore piG grande r maggiore piG piccolo or minore better worse bigger (used fOJ" people, implying older) smaller (used for people, implying younger)


Formation of adverbs
Regubr adverbs
Most Italian adverbs are form d by adding -mente to the f, minine ingular form of th adjective, if thi is diff r nt from th ma culine singular:
lento/lenta > lentomente ropido/ropida > ropidamenle alto/alta> altamenle slowl quickl loudly

Di or che ar

omitted if there is no follow-up to the

Adjectives which alreadyend after it:

dolce> dolcemente recenle > recentemente

in -e ju t n ed to add -mente
gently r enily

II formaggio francese e buono ma quello italiano

e migliore.

djectiv -menie:


nd in -le or -re lose the final -e c nd add

il regularly

facile> facilmenle'a regolare > regolormente

Wh 11 the -le or -re have another consonant retained and -metue is added:
folie> follemente mediocre> mediocremente madl poorly

before, the


Altrimenti (differently, i oiolentemente.

otherwi e) i ju

t ...

different. And so


5. 1.2

lrrequlor adverbs
ome adverb ar irr gular and ar not like their adj ctiv s:
buono - good migliore

5.2 ..... track: adverbs Fast

Adverb are w I'd which describ 'slowly' etc. an action: 'well', 'fast', In Engli h m t words which nd in -'ly' are adv rbs: 'naturally', 'rornanticall ','sadly' etc. In Italian In t adverb are mad by adding -mente to the feminine ingular form of th adj ctive, if it is diff r nt from the ma culine:
lento/lenfa sicuro/ sicura dolce regolare lentomente sicuramente dolcemenfe regolormenfe



bene - well (adverb) meglio - better male - badly peggio - worse

- b tter

cottlvo - bad peggiore - wor e

Make these adjectives into adverb:

a secco b folie c sernplice

d f

rapido regolare

e facile g roro

h cottivo
vero buono

orne u eful adverbs:

bene male poco meglio

well badly little better frequen til'/ often


Adverbs to watch
H re are some adverbs of degree - these can qualify other adverbs or djectiv and are often LI ed with them:
meno poco obbastanza


less not v , , littl quit so much so, so rnu h, ov very more too (mu h)


e word ar u ed with anoth r adverb or adj clive:

bello volta felice bruno

rnolto - moho piccolo poco - poco sempre - sempre guasfa

very small not very beautiful always out of order ometimes happy quite ugly too expensive

tanto malta piu


qualche froppo

volto - quolche - obbasfanza caro - froppo



The e are adverbs of time and frequ ncy:

olloro ancoro dopo gia ormai poi presto subilo mai sempre spesso

now then et after already by now then soon, quickl immediately never always often

, fast

Prep. IBefore Before Be·fore· IBefore Before Before Before ;1 10 Ie 10 91;


to/at! in/on (he









C 0 0



dol del nel sui

dollo della nella sullo

doll' dell' nell'

dallo dello nello sullo

doi dei nei sui

dalle delle nelle sulle

dagli degli negli sugli

sing prepositions
........ If you know what a prepos.ition is g.o on to 6.2 Prepositions are words like 'in', 'on', and 'und 1". nlik adjective, they do not change. They are usually us d in onjunction with a noun or pronoun, e.g. 'in th cupboard', 'near the station', 'for her', 'with m ' Pre po itions can tell you: where a person or thing is, i... its position:
salta 10 lovolo den Ira 10 coso und r th table insid the house

di in su

the of the in/to the on the





A (or al, dal, etc.) an mean 'to', 'at', 'iri', 'of or 'on', according to the context:
Siomo a coso. Arriviamo aile (= a Ie) dieci. Abito a Venezia. Oggi vado a Ramo. Andiomo a cavallo. un panino W ar at home. We arrive at len. I Iiv in Venice. Toda [am going to Rome. L· t' 0 on horseback.

how omething is done, i.e. manner:

can burro senz'ocquo with butt r without water



A i u ed with names of town and cities b

not for


or regions.

when something
fro cinque minuli dopo ceno

happens, i.. time:

in flminutes after dinner

Da i u ually used to say where something or omeone is from:

Vengo do Treviso. Stavo uscendo dol (= do ill negozio. I come from revi o. He was coming from/out shop. f the

for whom omething is don

per me

for me

It can al

signify omething's

purpose, or what it i for:

bathroom (= r om for bath) a teacup (= cup f r t a)



Some common prepositions

The following preposition ection looks at the mo

stanza do bogno una tozza do Ie


ote: uno lazzo di Ie - a infinitive,


of lea

ometimes it i u ed after adverbs with the meaning 'to':



6.2. 1 A, do, di, in

and su

Non c'e nienle do fore.

There's nothing to do.

Th e pr po ilion hange wh n they are u ed with the definite arti 1 , and ombin t; form a epa rate et of word (in th same way a the adjective bello doe ). They h ve a s t f forms whi h corre pond to il, la etc. d pending n the fir t letter( ) of the following noun. One or two oth r preposition' u h as con al 0 have similar sets of forms, but they ar not often u ed. Here is a table of how the hang work:

It can also mean 'for'; Studio i'italiano da tre anni. Or 'to': Vado dal dentista:
r 'by:

E stato

scriuo da Paolo.

Di usually has the sense of 'of, and i used in Italian (and other outhern Europeanlanguag ) in tead of the axon g nitive ('s) which is commonl u d in Engli hand

c '" o '::,

German - in other words, you don't but 'the dog of (dt) Francesco':
10 maeehina di Roberto Rob rt'

ay 'Fran esco's dog',

ar (~ the

Mia madre viene sempre can me. chilli can corne Guidcte can prudenza. Sana venuto eon il Irena delle 8.

My moth er always comes with me. chilli with meat Driv arefully (= with prudence). [ arne on the 8 o'clock train.

C o .,c

car of
house sister


10. coso di mia madre

Rob rto) my mother's house (= th f my mother) Ermen gilda's sister (== of Erm negildo)


10 sorella

di Ermenegildo


6.2.4 Fro

Fra mean' the same as 'in' us d with time (e.g. 'in five


una vista del (= di ill mare una battiglia di vino uno tozzo di te ( abov under do) una bortiqlio di aequo minerale frizzanle a b ttl of fizzy min ral water

minute " 'in three hours'), or it an have the ense of 'among or 'between':
Torno fro cinque minuli. Ci vediorno fra poco. II villoggio si trova fro i manti. I'll b back in five minutes. W '11 see each other in a little while. The village .is ( ituated) in the mountains.

fn can m an 'to', 'in' or 'by', according

Andiamo in cino. Vado in Scozio Mia madre ospelto in giardino. Andiorno in treno. Capodanno in gennaio.

t the context:

Let's go to (~ into) town, I'm going to otland, My moth r is waiting in the garden. We're going by train. New Ye r's Day i in January.

Tra usually means the sam

as between or among and is used

The house is between the two shops. A dog is among tile lambs. We discussed it amongst ours Ives. Some of these women are English.

with expres ion of spac .

La coso si Irova Ira i due negozi.

In is used rath r than a with nam s of countries and r gions, and i often used for ther places (sono/vado in montagno/in spiaggia etc.) . Su is usually used to show something's position at or on a plac or thing, and it can have the ~ense of 'about', as in English (e.g. 'a book on cooking'). It can also mean 'out of' as in a fraction ('8 out of 10, or '8 over 10').
La tua rnoqlio Questa un llbro sui Rinascimento italiano. Hoi ottenuto alto su dieci


cone Ira gli agnelli. L'abbiamo discusso Ira di noi.

Alcune Ira queste donne sana inglesi.


Sapro and sotto

opra u ually means the sam ame a 'under'.
II boldacchino sopra il letto. II gabinetto e sopra 10cueina. Siorno seduli 50110 l'olbero. Ha parlato solto voce.

e sullo lavola.

Y ur .wcater is on the table. Thi is a book on (~ about) the 'Italian Renaissan e. You g t eight out of ten.

as 'above'. Sotto means the

The canopy is above the bed. The toilet is above the kitchen. We are sitting under the tree. He spoke in a low voice ('under voice').


Per usually mean the same as 'for' or 'in the direction of. It can also mean 'through'.
Ecco un regalo per teo II Irena per Venezia parte aile dieci. Posse per Brescia aile sette. Chiomo per lelefono Here is a pr ent for you. The train for V ni e leaves at 10. It goes through Bre cia at 7. I'm calling by phone.

How would you ay YOll were going to these places? Vado ...
a 10spiaggia b I'albergo c 10 piscina

6.2.3 Con

d l'ospedole

tall mans the same as 'wi th'. I t can al wh n it i u ed with a mean of transport.

mean 'on',

e il museo f 10diseoteca


g il teotro h 10 stazione
i 10banco


wh '11 sornething happens, i.e. time for whom som thing is done et ,

~ c

il dislribulore [p trol station] om of th word


0 0

A (or al, dal, etc.) can mean 'to', 'at', 'in', 'of or 'on',
according from. Di usually has the sense of 'of', to the context. is



in can be used instead of a,

o o
~ ...

... D.


Say what thes things are made of or who they belong to by putting ill th appropriate pr po ilion, ombining it with the definit arti Ie a neces ary. a a ham sandwi h b a vanilla i e r am
c the gil'ls' b oks d the teacher' (II' e the winds r .n of the ar un ponino prosciutlo un gelalo voniglio i libri rogozze 10 mocchino professore il porobrezzo mocchina uno lazzo una boftiqlio il giordino il libro uno pizzo

Da is usually used to say wh r sorn thing or someone



In can mean 'to,

'in' or 'by'.

Su is usually used to show something' position, and it an have the sens of 'about'. It can also m an 'out of as in a fraction ..
Per-usuall means th

f a cup of


vino rosso amici mio madre formaggio

a boul f (th ) red win h the friend. ' garden i my moth r's book

It can also mean 'through'

same as 'for' or 'in he direction ..

of. 'by',

j ill

a cheese pizza

Con usually mans the same as 'with'. It can also mean when it is used with a means of transport. Fra mans
the same as 'in' us d with time (e.g. 'in f:iv minutes', 'u thr hours'), or it can have the sense of 'among' or 'b tween', Tra usually means the same as 'betw the sam en' or 'among'.


lh s s ntence

with th




a leri sera sono andalo

Venezia il mio ornico, b Abbiomo passato un paio d: are bar, e La, abbiama parlalo _ due belle rogazze,

Last night I went to Venice with my friend. We spent a couple of hours in the bar. here \ c chatted to two pretty gir'ls, Then we took the train together to Mestre. rom Mestre we went b bus to Padua. In Padua we , ent to the disco. h'

Sopra usually means same as 'under'.

as 'above';

sotto means th

d Poi abbiamo preso il treno

insieme Mestre. e Do Mestre siomo andati il bus Padova, f A Padova siamo andali discoteco. g Le due rogazze hanno ballato noi, h La discoteca si Irova 10slazione.


Other useful prepositions

Ther ar a lot of other prepositions which you might encounter, and which might be us ful to you. Here i a list of most of them:
altraverso circa conlro dietro dentro di fronle a dopo eccello fino a Iranne verso vicino 0 across around, about against behind inside opposite after except as far as/up to except towards near (to)

girls danced with


Th discotheque is above the uation.

6.3 ...ast track: F

and 'under', They do

Prepositions ar words like 'in', 'on' not chang . Th Y t II you:

where a per'on or thing i , i.e. its p ilion how something is don , i, ,mam er



Expressions of time
The e tell you when omething happen
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·Vi o



at (time) at 10 o'clock after after breakfa t


b for going LO th office luring luring the day for Io a week ab ut ab ur/towards 10 o'clock

Here are some useful words forjoinmg two parts of a sentence or filling in gaps in a conversation:
e ma and but but tin n anywa what a pityl here it i oh d ar that's all

DaTi ospeno dalle dieci Abito qui da Ire onni.


poi lultovia che peccalo! eccolo/ eccola Dio mio! baslo

b en waiting for you since 10 lock n jiving her for thr c

H ha b y ar ..


Da quontoternpo sludi I'ilaliano? Studio l'itolicno do due anni.

How long hav YOLI b n studying Italian? (you still arc) ] hav b n ·tudying Italian for two years. (an 1 I till am)



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This chapter lists regular verb forms and the main irregular verb forms for the tenses covered in I:hi book, For those who wish to take their studie further, the present subjunctive has been included.

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Examples of verbs in this category are cominciare, uiaggiare and lasciare: Thes verbs al 0 have just one i in the form' m ntion d in b). but drop the i of the tern in the futur and conditional:


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