|- Learn Italian|| |
This page contains information about:: Italian Present Tense, Plural, Italian Definite and Indefinite Articles, Numbers, Italian Alphabet, and some Italian Expressions.
|Italian Pod||Learn More||
|Rocket Italian||Learn More|
Italian Lesson 1
Level 2 Lesson 1: Italian Past Tense, Imperfetto, Perfect, and Remote Past
The most common way of expressing the past tense in Italian is with the "passato prossimo" (present perfect), composed of an auxiliary verb (avere or essere) and the past participle. It is the verb tense most commonly used when referring to the past in spoken Italian. The following are perfectly correct and used expressions using the "passato prossimo":
Ieri ho mangiato una bistecca con patate (Literally: Yesterday I have eaten a steak with potatoes)
La settimana scorsa siamo andati in spiaggia (Literally: Last week we have gone to the beach)
Dove siete stati tutta la notte? (Literally: Where have you been all night?)
Cosa hai fatto questo pomeriggio? (Literally: What have you done this afternoon?)
However, there are other two tenses used to express actions which took place in the past: the "imperfetto" and the "passato remoto".
The "imperfetto" is typically used to express:
- Continuous or habitual actions in the past: "Quando ero in Italia andavo al ristorante tutti i venerdì" (When I was in Italy I went to the restaurant every Friday). If the action is not habitual in the past, we would use the past perfect: "Quando sono stato in Italia l'anno scorso, sono andato al ristorante tre volte" (When I have gone to Italy last year, I have been to the restaurant three times)
- Descriptions in the past: "Negli anni '50 Venezia aveva una popolazione di 150.000 abitanti" (In the '50s Venice had a population of 150,000 inhabitants).
- Physical, mental or emotional state in the past: "Da bambino avevo paura del buio" (When I was a child I was afraid of the dark).
The "imperfetto" is quite regular and is built by stripping the infinite of the verb of the suffix -re and adding the "imperfetto" suffixes, as follows:
The verb "essere" is irregular and needs to be learnt by heart:
The "passato remoto" is used to express events or actions in a distant past, for which there is a perceived "remoteness" and no perceived connection with the present. It is rarely used in spoken Italian, while it is very common in written form, especially in newspapers, novels and essays. In some Italian regions, such as Tuscany and most of southern Italy, it is used also in normal conversation, substituting the past perfect.
The regular verbs are conjugated as follows:
Many of the verbs ending in -ere also have alternative forms that are acceptable:
The auxiliary verbs "essere" and "avere" are irregular:
Many other verbs are irregular in the "passato remoto":
ITALIAN PROVERBS AND IDIOMS - PART 1
As many other languages, Italian is abundant in idioms and proverbs which would not make any sense in English if translated literally. Here are some of those most common and most likely to be heard in a normal conversation:
AN ESSENTIAL DICTIONARY OF ITALIAN - PART 1
To have a functional use of a language and be able to use it in everyday situation you need to know around 1000 words. This number is considered to represent about 85% of all conversations, so it is a good idea to learn them.
Tips: this is one of many exercises that can help in learning new words:
- Write the words on blank business card: the Italian word on one side and the English translation on the other.
- Pick a small number of cards, according to the time available every day for this exercise (perhaps 10 or 20 is a good quantity)
- Try to memorize the Italian words.
- After a few minutes pick up the same cards and look at the English side.
- Try to remember the Italian translation. Put aside all cards you remember correctly.
- Put back into the main deck the cards you don't remember.
- The following day pick the same number of cards from the main deck. They will contain some of the cards you didn't remember the previous day and some new cards.
- Repeat the procedure every day.
- Once a week go through the cards you remembered. If you have forgotten some, put them back into the main deck, so you can try to memorize them again.
You can adjust the number of cards you try to remember according to your memory, time available each day for the exercise, and speed at which you want to learn the essential vocabulary!
2013 © Speak7.com
Speak7.com receives advertising revenue from products featured on this website.
All Rights Reserved - Contact Us
Learn Italian the easiest way and for free, have fun and enjoy our lessons!