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If you want to form a simple affirmative sentence, it's necessary to order three main elements first.
Simple affirmative sentence: Subject + Verb + Object
|Marco guarda la televisione.||Marco is watching television.|
|Il cantante saluta i fans.||The singer waves to the fans.|
|L'albero è in giardino.||The tree is in the garden.|
We can imagine other elements of the sentence as blocks. Each block has its own position.
Here's a recap of the possible spots in which you can collocate the linguistic elements you need.
(personal pronoun omittable)
|Direct/Indirect/Reflexive pronoun||Verb||(Adverb)||[Adjective]||Direct object||[Adjective]||Indirect object||(Adverb)
|(Oggi)||Maria||/||mi||porta||/||/||un maglione||rosso||/||(Oggi)||Today Maria will bring me a red sweater.|
|/||(Tu)||/||/||sei||sempre||un grande||amico||/||per Laura.||/||You are always a great friend for Laura.|
|/||La mia amica Sara||/||/||è andata||/||/||/||/||al mare||/||My friend Sara went to the sea.|
|Domani||(io)||/||ti||chiamerò||brevemente||/||/||/||/||alle cinque.||Tomorrow I will briefly call you at five.|
|/||Il regalo||del compleanno||/||era||/||blu e giallo||/||/||/||/||The birthday present was blue and yellow.|
Articles are used to point out a noun or other substantivized parts of speech.
Remember! Italian nouns are always introduced by an article (either determinate, indeterminate or partitive).
Unlike English, in most cases personal pronouns could be omitted because the conjungated verb clearly shows the subject of the sentence.
|(Io) Vado a scuola.||I go to school.|
|(Noi) Mangiamo della pasta.||We eat some pasta.|
|(Loro) Cantano molto forte.||They are singing very loudly.|
Direct and indirect object pronouns substitute another elment; reflexive pronouns stress that the action is carried out by the subject itself.
Pronouns: Subject/(Personal pronoun) + Direct/Indirect/Reflexive pronoun + Verb + Rest of the sentence
|Io ti vedo.||I see you.|
|Maria si lava i capelli.||Maria washes her hair.|
|Mario la ama.||Mario loves her.|
Indirect object pronouns generally precede direct object pronouns.
Direct and indirect object pronouns: Subject/(Personal pronoun) + Indirect object pronouns + Direct object pronoun + Rest of the sentence
|Il negozio te lo regala.||The store will gift it to you.|
|Me la presteranno.||They will lend it to me.|
|Te le restituirò.||I will give them back to you.|
In Italian sentences, direct objects precede indirect objects.
Direct and indirect objects: Subject/(Personal pronoun) + Verb + Direct object + Indirect object
|Mario dà un libro a suo fratello.||Mario gives a book to his brother.|
|La segretaria chiama un taxi al direttore.||The secretary calls the director a taxi.|
|Michel regala una bici a suo figlio.||Michel gives a bike to his son.|
Unlike English, adjectives generally follow the noun they refer to.
|Un maglione rosso||A red sweater|
|Un libro noioso||A boring book|
|Dei ragazzi interessanti||Some interesting guys|
Remember! Adjectives must always agree in gender and number with the noun they refer to.
Adjectives can also precede the noun, and, in this case, the meaning conveyed is completely different.
This happens with adjectives such as: Buono (Good), Grande (Big), Bravo (Good), Vecchio (Old).
|Noun + Adjective||Adjective + Noun|
|Un amico vecchio (A friend who is old)||Un vecchio amico (An old friend)|
|Un uomo grande (A big man, in size)||Un grande uomo (An important man)|
Possessive adjectives help specify a possession. They agree in gender and number with the noun they refer to.
Possessive adjective: Article + Possessive adjective + Noun + Rest of the sentence
|La mia macchina è rotta.||My car is broken.|
|Il suo accento è strano.||His accent is weird.|
|I nostri zii sono arrivati.||Our uncles are here.|
Simple and articulated prepositions are used to introduce a quality, a possession, a location or direction of a noun or verb; they are usually placed after the element they refer to.
Prepositions: Subject/(Personal pronoun) + (Preposition + Information) + Verb + (Preposition + Information) + Rest of the sentence
Check out the following examples.
|La casa di Maria è grande.||Maria's house is big.|
|(Io) Viaggio da Roma a Parigi.||I travel from Rome to Paris.|
Adverbs generally add a piece of information about the main verb.
Adverbs: (Adverb) + Subject/(Personal pronoun) + Verb + (Adverb) + Rest of the sentence + (Adverb)
Adverbs of manner/ending in -mente: Subject/(Personal pronoun) + Verb + Adverb + Rest of the sentence
|Luigi mangia velocemente.||Luigi eats quickly.|
|Il cane cammina tranquillamente.||The dog walks calmly.|
|Lui parlava chiaramente.||He was speaking in a clear way.|
Adverbs of place, time and frequency, quantity: (Adverb) + Subject/(Personal pronoun) + Verb + (Adverb) + Rest of the sentence + (Adverb)
These adverbs can go right after the verb as well as at the beginning or at the end of a sentence; it depends on the communicative intention.
|Domani (io) andrò al mare.||Tomorrow I'll go to the sea.|
|(Io) Ho preparato la cena stamattina.||I made dinner this morning.|
|(Tu) Non ascolti mai la musica punk.||You never listen to punk music.|
|Related grammar topics||Description|
Revise how Italian articles work in this lesson.
Take a look at our lesson about Italian pronouns.
Take a deeper look at how Italian adjectives work.
Revise the theory and usages of Italian prepositions
Refresh your knowledge of Italian adverbs.
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