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This page contains information about:: Italian Present Tense, Plural, Italian Definite and Indefinite Articles, Numbers, Italian Alphabet, and some Italian Expressions.


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Level I

Lesson1: Italian Present Tense, Plural, Articles, Italian Numbers, Alphabet

Lesson2: Italian Irregular Verbs, Italian Reflexive Verbs

Lesson3: Italian Past Participle, Comparative, Superlative, Demonstrative Pronouns

Lesson4: Italian Past Tense, Present Perfect, Interrogative, Possessive, Pronouns

Lesson5: Italian Prepositions, Model Verbs, Italian Future Tense

Lesson6: Italian Adjectives, Negation, Past Perfect in Italian

Lesson7: Italian Gerund Imperative and Adverbs

Level II

Lesson1: Italian Past Tense, Imperfetto, Perfect, and Remote Past

Lesson2: Conditional, Italian Idioms and Proverbs

Lesson3: Subjunctive, More Italian Idioms, Proverbs, and Essential Dictionary

Lesson4: Italian Conjunctions, Italian Ci and Ne, and More Italian Vocabulary

Lesson5: Surviving in Italy, Eating, Drinking in Italy. More Italian Words To Know.

Lesson6: Getting Around Italy Transport, Italian Trains, Buses, and Traffic

Lesson7: Italian False Friends, Wrong Italian Words in English

Italian Expressions

Emergency in Italy

Hotel, Museum, Guided Tour, Shopping

Sentence Quiz

How to Learn a Language


Italian Lesson 3

Level 2 Lesson 3: Subjunctive, More Italian Idioms, Proverbs, and Essential Dictionary

Of the many Italian verb moods, the congiuntivo (subjunctive) is probably the most difficult to learn for an English speaking person. It does not have a direct or indirect comparison with any English verb tense and so it is often forgotten. But don't worry... many Italians often wrongly use another verb mood in place of the "congiuntivo", particularly when speaking and in informal situations. This is wrong, but is becoming more and more accepted, so if you make a mistake most people would not look down on you, if they even notice at all!

The congiuntivo is always used in a secondary clause, and its tense is determined by the tense of the verb of the primary clause. It is used in the following situations:

- When expressing emotion and fear: Ho paura che tu abbia un incidente (I'm scared you are going to have an accident).

- When expressing opinions and doubts: Non credo che tu sappia l'italiano abbastanza bene (I don't think you know Italian sufficiently well).

- When expressing desire: Voglio che tu vada a dormire presto domani (I want you to go to sleep early tomorrow).

- When expressing necessity and importance: È fondamentale che tu raggiunga questi risultati (It is critical that you achieve these results).

- When expressing appearances and hope: Spero che tu abbia prenotato l'aereo (I hope you have booked the plane).

- When expressing possibility and probability and lack thereof: È improbabile che Giovanni venga domani, è ancora in viaggio (It is unlikely that Giovanni comes tomorrow, he is still traveling).

- After certain conjunctions (mainly ending in -che): see lesson 4 for more details on these conjunctions.

It is to be noted, however, that the subjunctive is used only if the subject of the second clause is different than the subject of the first clause.

Ho paura che tu abbia preso l'influenza (I fear you got the flu). In this case the subjects of the two clauses are different, therefore the subjunctive is used in the second clause.

Ho paura di aver preso l'influenza (I fear I got the flu). The subject is the same in both clauses, the infinitive is used in the second clause.

There are four tenses for the congiuntivo: presente (present), passato (past), imperfetto and trapassato (past perfect).

The congiuntivo presente is formed by adding the correct endings to the stem of the verb

Mangiare

Vedere

Partire

Mang-i

Ved-a

Part-a

Mang-i

Ved-a

Part-a

Mang-i

Ved-a

Part-a

Mang-iamo

Ved-iamo

Part-iamo

Mang-iate

Ved-iate

Part-iate

Mang-ino

Ved-ano

Part-ano

 

Many verbs are irregular and therefore must be  learnt by heart:

Essere

Avere

Andare

Potere

Volere

Fare

Dare

Stare

Uscire

Sia

Abbia

Vada

Possa

Voglia

Faccia

Dia

Stia

Esca

Sia

Abbia

Vada

Possa

Voglia

Faccia

Dia

Stia

Esca

Sia

Abbia

Vada

Possa

Voglia

Faccia

Dia

Stia

Esca

Siamo

Abbiamo

Andiamo

Possiamo

Vogliamo

Facciamo

Diamo

Stiamo

Usciamo

Siate

Abbiate

Andiate

Possiate

Vogliate

Facciate

Diate

Stiate

Usciate

Siano

Abbiano

Vadano

Possano

Vogliano

Facciano

Diano

Stiano

Escano

The congiuntivo imperfetto is also created by adding the correct endings to the root of the verbs; of course, the endings are different.

Mangiare

Vedere

Partire

Mangi-assi

Ved-essi

Part-issi

Mangi-assi

Ved-essi

Part-issi

Mangi-asse

Ved-esse

Part-isse

Mangi-assimo

Ved-essimo

Part-issimo

Mangi-aste

Ved-este

Part-iste

Mangi-assero

Ved-essero

Part-issero

Again, many verbs are irregular:

Essere

Bere

Fare

Dare

Stare

Fossi

Bevessi

Facessi

Dessi

Stessi

Fossi

Bevessi

Facessi

Dessi

Stessi

Fosse

Bevesse

Facesse

Desse

Stesse

Fossimo

Bevessimo

Facessimo

Dessimo

Stessimo

Foste

Beveste

Faceste

Deste

Steste

Fossero

Bevessero

Facessero

Dessero

Stessero

The "congiuntivo passato" and "congiuntivo trapassato" are formed by adding the past participle of the verb to the "congiuntivo presente" or "congiuntivo imperfetto", respectively, of the verbs "avere" or "essere": Sia andato (congiuntivo passato), Fossi venuto (congiuntivo trapassato), Abbia dormito (congiuntivo passato), Avessimo saputo (congiuntivo trapassato).

But how to know which tense to use? It all depends from the verb tense of the main clause.

If the main clause is in the present, future or imperative, then you would use the "congiuntivo presente" if the second clause refers to something happening at the same time or in the future compared to the main clause, or the "congiuntivo passato" if it is something happening in a period previous to the period of the first clause. For example: Credo che tu sia troppo stanco ora (I believe you are too tired now): I believe, now, that you are too tired, now. Both clauses refer to something taking place in the present, so the "congiuntivo presente" is used. However: Credo che tu sia stato troppo duro con lei (I believe you have been too harsh with her): I believe, now, that you have been too harsh with her at some time in the past (even if not in a distant past). The congiuntivo passato is used here.

When the main clause is in the past tense or in the conditional, the "congiuntivo" imperfetto or trapassato is used, again according to the period to which the second clause refers too.

Ieri pensavo che tu fossi un bravo ragazzo (Yesterday I thought you were a good boy). Congiuntivo imperfetto.

Te lo avrei detto se lo avessi saputo (I would have told you if I knew).

ITALIAN PROVERBS AND IDIOMS

Che roba!

I can't believe it

Che schifo!

How disgusting!

Che ti passa per la testa?

What's the matter with you

Chi s'è visto s'è visto

Anyone for himself

Ci mancherebbe altro!

God forbid

Ci vuole altro!

It takes much more than that

Come non detto

As you were

Chi lascia la strada vecchia per la nuova sa quel che lascia, ma non sa quel che trova

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know

Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano

Slow and steady wins the race

Del senno di poi son piene le fosse

Hindsight is always 20/20

Il troppo stroppia

Too much breaks the bag

Il desiderio rende lunga l’attesa

Watched pot never boils

AN ESSENTIAL DICTIONARY OF ITALIAN - PART 3

disposizione

Disposition

distanza

Distance

distinguere

To distinguish

distruggere

To destroy

dito

Finger

divenire

To become

diventare

To become

diverso

Different

divertire

To have fun

dividere

To divide, to share

dolce

Sweet

dolore

Pain

domanda

Question

domandare

To ask

domani

Tomorrow

Domenica

Sunday

donna

Woman

dopo

After

dormire

To sleep

dottore

Doctor

dove

Where

dovere

To have to

dubbio

Doubt

dunque

So, therefore, thus

durante

During

durare

To last

duro

Hard

e

And

eccellenza

Excellence

eccetera

Etc.

ecco

That's it

economico

Economical

effetto

Effect

egli

He

elemento

Element

elettrico

Electrical

elevare

To elevate

energia

Energy

enorme

Huge

entrare

To enter

entro

Within, by

epoca

Age

eppure

Yet

erba

Grass

errore

Error, mistake

esame

Exam, examination

escludere

To exclude

esempio

Example

esercito

Army

esistere

To exist

esperienza

Experience

esporre

To expose

espressione

Expression

esprimere

To express

estate

Summer

estendere

To extend

estero

Foreign

estremo

Extreme

età

Age

europeo

European

evitare

To avoid

fabbrica

Factory

faccia

Face

facile

Easy, simple

fame

Hunger

famiglia

Family

famoso

Famous, well known

fantasia

Imagination

fatica

Fatigue

fatto

Fact

favore

Favour (Note: Per favore = please)

fede

Faith

felice

Happy

fenomeno

Phenomenon

ferire

To harm, to hurt

fermare

To stop

ferro

Iron

festa

Party

fianco

Side

fiducia

Trust

figlia

Daughter

figlio

Son

figura

Figure

film

Movie

filo

Thread

finalmente

Finally, eventually

fine

End

finestra

Window

finire

To finish, to end

fino

Until

fiore

Flower

fiume

River

foglia

Leaf

folla

Crowd

fondare

To found

fondo

Fund

forma

Shape

formare

To shape, to form

fornire

To provide

forse

Perhaps, maybe

forte

Strong

fortuna

Luck

forza

Strength

fra

Between

francese

French

frase

Sentence, phrase

fratello

Brother

freddo

Cold

fresco

Cool

fretta

Hurry

fronte

Forehead

frutto

Fruit

fuggire

To escape

fumare

To smoke

funzione

Function

fuoco

Fire

fuori

Out, outside

futuro

Future

gamba

Leg

gatto

Cat

generale

General

gente

People (note: gente is singular in Italian)

gesto

Gesture

gettare

To throw

già

Already

giallo

Yellow

giardino

Garden

giocare

To Play

gioco

Game

gioia

Joy

giornale

Newspaper

giornata

Day

giorno

Day

giovane

Young

girare

To turn

giro

Turn

giù

Down

giudicare

To judge

giudizio

Judgment

giugno

June

giungere

To arrive, to come to

giustizia

Justice

giusto

Just

godere

To enjoy

governo

Government

grado

Degree

grande

Big

grave

Serious

grazia

Grace

grazie

Thanks, thank you

greco

Greek

gridare

To scream

grigio

Grey

grosso

Big, large

gruppo

Group

guardare

To look, to watch

guardia

Guard

guerra

War

guidare

To drive

gusto

Taste, flavor

idea

Idea

ieri

Yesterday

immaginare

To imagine

immagine

Imagine

imparare

To learn

impedire

To prevent

imporre

To impose

importante

Important

importanza

Importance

importare

To import

impossibile

Impossible

improvviso

Sudden

incontrare

To meet

indicare

To indicate, to show, to point at

indietro

Back

industria

Industry

industriale

Industrial

infatti

In fact, indeed

infine

Finally, eventually

inglese

English

iniziare

To begin, to start

inizio

Start

innamorare

To fall in love

inoltre

Furthermore, moreover

insegnare

To teach

insieme

Together

 

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