In order to structure an Italian sentence correctly it's necessary to remember some basic rules, which you will find back in this lesson.
Remember that the structure of a sentence is never really fixed, but rather changeable according to the communicative intentions of the speaker.
If you want to avoid mistakes and sound like a native speaker, it's fundamental to read, listen, and also try to speak Italian as much as possible.
Let's analyze the main types of sentences used in everyday language.
The core of a basic affirmative sentence is composed of three parts, in this order:
Affirmative sentence: Subject + Verb + Object
Example: Io (Subject) + parlo (Verb) + con te (Object). (I talk with you)
If you want to add more elements to a simple sentence, it will be necessary to respect additional word order rules, which are analyzed here Italian sentence structure (word order) and here Structure of complex Italian sentences.
To form simple negative sentences it's necessary to add Non (Not) before the verb you want to negate.
Negative sentence: Subject + Non + Verb + Object
To ask a question in Italian, you just need to use a rising intonation of your voice; the sentence structure remains unchanged.
Don't forget to add a question mark at the end of a written sentence.
Interrogative sentence: Same structure + Rising intonation + (Question mark)
If you want to ask a question with one of the so-called Wh-Questions, the sentence structure changes as follows:
Wh- Questions: Interrogative adjective/adverb/pronoun + Verb + Subject
To learn more, take a look at Italian interrogative sentences (questions).
If-clauses are introduced by the adverb Se (If).
The If-Clause can precede or follow the main clause.
If-clauses (1): Se + Clause + Comma + Main clause
If-clauses (2): Main clause + Se + Clause
The subject carries out the action expressed by the verb.
Active form: Subject + Verb + Direct object
The action falls on the object, which is moved at the beginning of the sentence.
Passive form: Direct object + Verb + [Preposition Da + Subject/Agent]
The passive could also be built with Si and the following structure:
Passive with Si: Si + Verb + Rest of the sentence
To take a deeper look at this topic, go to Italian passive sentences.
These sentences don't have a specified subject, but are rather carried out by everyone, all.
Impersonal form: Si + Verb + Rest of the sentence
If you want to know more, go to Italian impersonal construction (Si impersonale).
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Thank you so much for the feedback, Pedro! It's a pleasure to work with you and help you achieve your goal.
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I am a teacher of Italian to Speakers of Other Languages with many years of experience in teaching in public and private schools. I have taught Italian to speakers of other languages in schools, in migratory contexts and in vocational training at all levels (from pre A1 to C2 ). I have gained experience as a teacher with Arabic-speaking, Slavic-speaking, German-speaking, French-speaking, Spanish-speaking, Sinophone, Lusophone and Anglophone students, and have taught literacy courses for asylum seekers and refugees. I did a training internship as a lecturer in Italian at the Department of Romance at the University of Salzburg. I completed my training by teaching Italian to learners with special educational needs. Moreover, I am a CILS, CELI and PLIDA examiner for the speaking part. I also speak German, English and French and I successfully completed my Celta in October 2020.
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|1 Italian sentence structure (word order)|
|2 Structure of complex Italian sentences|
|3 Not in Italian (negation, negative sentences)|
|4 Italian interrogative sentences (questions)|
|5 Italian conditional sentences (if-clauses)|
|6 Italian passive sentences|
|7 Italian impersonal construction (Si impersonale)|