Verbs moods (modo verbale) in Italian are distinguished in two main categories: four defined moods and three undefined moods.
Every mood has several tenses (tempo verbale), that can be distinguished between simple and compound tenses.
The defined moods (modi definiti) aim to specify:
- the way in which the action is considered by the actor;
- the syntactic relations between clauses which describe different aspects of the action.
The main defined moods are:
The undefined moods (modi indefiniti) are impersonal and don't convey any modal value. Indeed, they assume the value of their corresponding defined mood.
The main undefined moods are:
The simple tenses are typically characterize just by a verbal form. The main simple tenses are:
- Imperfect (for indicative and subjunctive moods only);
- Absolute or remote past (passato remoto; for indicative mood only);
- Future simple (for indicative only).
Therefore, imperative mood has just the present tense, while the participle has both present and past as simple tense.
Otherwise, the compound tenses are formed by the auxiliary (essere or avere) and the past participle of the specific verb.
The main compound tenses for the indicative are:
- Present perfect (passato prossimo);
- Past perfect (trapassato prossimo)
- Preterite perfect (trapassato remoto);
- Future perfect (futuro anteriore).
The main ones for the subjunctive are:
Concerning conditional, infinitive and gerund, only the past tenses are compound.
Let's see them in detail.
|Indicative||Present: Io amo (I love)
Present perfect: Io ho amato (I have loved)
Imperfect: Io amavo (I used to love)
Past perfect: Io avevo amato (I had loved)
Absolute past: Io amai (I loved)
Preterite perfect: Io ebbi amato (I had loved)
Simple future: Io amerò (I will love)
Future perfect: Io avrò amato (I will have loved)
Present: Che io ami
Past: Che io abbia amato
Imperfect: Che io amassi
Past perfect: Che io avessi amato
Present: Io amerei (I would love)
Past: Io avrei amato (I would have loved)
Present: Ama! (Love!)
Present: Amare (To love)
Past: Avere amato (To have loved)
Present: Amando (Loving)
Past: Avendo amato (Having loved)
Present: Amante (Lover)
Past: Amato (Loved)
Careful! The subjunctive in Italian has many functions, and the translation in English depends on the contexts of use.
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