• Italian grammar
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  • 1 Italian alphabet and pronunciation (letters,...)
  • 2 Function of Italian words (subject, object)
  • 3 Italian articles (the/a, an) [0/16]
  • 4 Italian numbers (cardinal, ordinal) [0/7]
  • 5 Italian nouns [0/13]
  • 6 Italian adjectives [0/17]
  • 6.1 Adjective agreement in Italian (endings) [0/2]
  • 6.2 Qualifying adjectives in Italian [0/3]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in Italian (my, your, his/her...) [0/3]
  • 6.4 Demonstrative adjectives in Italian (this, that) [0/2]
  • 6.5 Indefinite adjectives in Italian (some, any...) [0/3]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in Italian (one, the first...) [0/2]
  • 6.7 Interrogative adjectives in Italian (what/which,...) [0/2]
  • 6.8 List of adjectives in Italian (A-Z)
  • 7 Italian pronouns [0/28]
  • 7.1 Personal pronouns in Italian [0/6]
  • 7.2 Relative pronouns (who, that, which, ...) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.3 Possessive pronouns in Italian (mine, yours, his, ...) [0/4]
  • 7.4 Demonstrative pronouns (this, that, ...) in Italian [0/3]
  • 7.5 Indefinite pronouns (few, some, many, ...) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.6 Interrogative pronouns (who, what, which) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.7 Reflexive pronouns in Italian (myself, each other) [0/3]
  • 8 Italian prepositions [0/25]
  • 8.1 Italian simple prepositions [0/20]
  • 8.1.1 Italian preposition "di" (of, from,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.2 Italian preposition "a" (at, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.3 Italian preposition "da" (by, from,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.4 Italian preposition "in" (in, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.5 Italian preposition "con" (with) [0/1]
  • 8.1.6 Italian preposition "su" (on, over,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.7 Italian preposition "per" (for, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.8 Italian prepositions "tra/ fra" (between, among,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.9 "On" in Italian (su)
  • 8.1.10 "To" in Italian [0/4]
  • 8.1.11 Italian prepositions of place and time [0/3]
  • 8.1.12 Simple preposition chart - English to Italian [0/5]
  • 8.2 Italian articulated prepositions [0/3]
  • 8.3 Expressions with Italian prepositions [0/2]
  • 9 Italian adverbs [0/24]
  • 9.1 Italian adverbs of manner (good, bad, so) [0/4]
  • 9.2 Italian adverbs of frequency and time (always, now) [0/4]
  • 9.3 Italian adverbs of place (here, there) [0/4]
  • 9.4 Italian adverbs of quantity (more, nothing, enough) [0/3]
  • 9.5 Italian affirmation/negation adverbs (Yes, No, Neither) [0/4]
  • 9.6 Italian adverbs of doubt, interrogative/exclamative [0/5]
  • 10 Italian comparatives, superlatives (adjectives/adverbs) [0/7]
  • 11 Italian tenses and verb conjugation [0/17]
  • 11.1 Present tense in Italian (presente indicativo) [0/2]
  • 11.2 Past tenses in Italian [0/11]
  • 11.3 Future tenses in Italian [0/4]
  • 12 Italian verbs [0/94]
  • 12.1 Functions and classification of Italian verbs [0/1]
  • 12.2 Transitive and intransitive verbs in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.3 Active voice and passive voice in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4 Italian regular verbs [0/30]
  • 12.4.1 First conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -are) [0/16]
  • Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the first conjugation (Score -/-)Free
  • 12.4.1.1 Conjugation of abitare (to dwell) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.2 Conjugation of amare (to love) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.3 Conjugation of giocare (to play) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.4 Conjugation of lavorare (to work) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.5 Conjugation of mangiare (to eat) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.6 Conjugation of parlare (to speak) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.7 Conjugation of studiare (to study) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.8 Conjugation of pagare (to pay) in Italian [0/1]
  • 12.4.2 Second conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -ere) [0/6]
  • 12.4.3 Third conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -ire) [0/8]
  • 12.5 Italian irregular verbs [0/38]
  • 12.5.1 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -are [0/8]
  • 12.5.2 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -ere [0/24]
  • 12.5.2.1 Conjugation of sapere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.2 Conjugation of leggere (to read) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.3 Conjugation of mettere (to put) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.4 Conjugation of piacere (to like) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.5 Conjugation of rimanere (to remain, to stay) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.6 Conjugation of conoscere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.7 Conjugation of scrivere (to write) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.8 Conjugation of vivere (to live) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.9 Conjugation of chiudere (to close, to shut) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.10 Conjugation of prendere (to take, to catch) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.11 Conjugation of bere (to drink) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.12 Conjugation of tenere (to hold, to keep) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.3 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -ire [0/6]
  • 12.6 Italian modal verbs [0/6]
  • 12.7 Italian reflexive verbs [0/2]
  • 12.8 Verbi sovrabbondanti in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.9 Verbi difettivi in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.10 Verbi fraseologici in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.11 Verbi impersonali in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.12 Auxiliary verbs (essere, avere) in Italian [0/5]
  • 12.13 Verbs and prepositions in Italian
  • 13 Italian moods
  • 14 Indicative mood in Italian
  • 15 Subjunctive in Italian [0/9]
  • 16 Conditional in Italian [0/4]
  • 17 Infinitive in Italian [0/1]
  • 18 Imperative in Italian [0/3]
  • 19 Gerund in Italian [0/3]
  • 20 Present participle in Italian [0/1]
  • 21 Past participle in Italian [0/1]
  • 22 Italian sentences [0/15]
  • 22.1 Italian sentence structure (word order) [0/4]
  • 22.2 Structure of complex Italian sentences [0/4]
  • 22.3 Not in Italian (negation, negative sentences) [0/3]
  • 22.4 Italian interrogative sentences (questions) [0/1]
  • 22.5 Italian conditional sentences (if-clauses) [0/1]
  • 22.6 Italian passive sentences [0/1]
  • 22.7 Italian impersonal construction (Si impersonale) [0/1]
  • 23 Italian conjunctions [0/4]
  • In the following pages you will find information on the past tenses that belong to the indicative mood:

     

    Here is a chart to sum up the main past tenses of the indicative mood:

     

      When to use it How to form it
    Passato prossimo action that took place in recent past Presente indicativo auxiliary verb + past participle main verb
    Imperfetto a continued action that lasted an indefinite time in the past
    1. Root + -avo, -avi, -ava, -avamo, -avate, -avano
    2. Root + -evo, -evi, -eva,-evamo, -evate, -evano
    3. Root + -ivo, -ivi, -iva, -ivamo, -ivate, -ivano
    Trapassato prossimo a past action that took place before another action took place Imperfetto auxiliary verb + past participle main verb
    Passato remoto an action which was concluded in the distant past
    1. Root + -ai, -asti, -ò, -ammo, -aste, -arono
    2. Root + ei/etti, -esti, -é/ette, -emmo, -este, -erono/ettero
    3. Root + -ii, -isti, -ì, -immo, -iste, -irono
    Trapassato remoto in subordinate clauses: a past action that took place before another action introduced by the passato remoto Passato remoto auxiliary verb + past participle main verb

     

     

    Present perfect in Italian

    This compound tense in Italian is called passato prossimo.

    This tense is used to refer to:

    1. an action that took place in the recent past
    2. an action in the past that still has ties to the present.

    This tense is usually found with marker words such as ieri (yesterday), questa mattina (this morning), appena (just) and prima (before).

    The passato prossimo in formed by:

    Present indicative of the auxiliary verb + past participle of the main verb

    Examples:

    • Ieri ho mangiato della frutta - Yesterday I ate some fruit
    • Ho appena finito di leggere il libro - I've just finished to read the book

    Some Italian verbs form the past participle in a regular way:

    • Parlare (to speak) - parlato
    • Vendere (to sell) - venduto
    • Finire (to finish) - finito

    Some Italian verbs form the past participle in an irregular way so they have to be studied by heart:

    • Aprire (to open) - aperto
    • Scegliere (to choose) ​- scelto
    • Chiedere (to ask) - chiesto

     

    Auxiliary verbs and the -are, -ere, -ire conjugations

    Here is a chart to help you with the conjugation of Italian verbs in the passato prossimo.

      Essere (to be) Avere (to have) Parlare (to speak) Vendere (to sell) Finire (to finish)
    Io sono stato/a ho avuto ho parlato ho venduto ho finito
    Tu sei stato/a hai avuto hai parlato hai venduto hai finito
    Egli/Ella è stato/a ha avuto ha parlato ha venduto ha finito
    Noi siamo stati/e abbiamo avuto abbiamo parlato abbiamo venduto abbiamo finito
    Voi siete stati/e avete avuto avete parlato avete venduto avete finito
    Essi/Esse sono stati/e hanno avuto hanno parlato hanno venduto hanno finito

     

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    Transitive and intransitive verbs

    All transitive verbs form the passato prossimo using the auxiliary verb avere.
    The majority of intransitive verbs form the passato prossimo using the auxiliary verb essere. When a compound tense is formed with the verb essere, the past participle must agree with the subject in gender and number.

    Examples:

    • Luca è andato a scuola - Luca went to school
    • Lucia è andata a scuola - Lucia went to school
    • Luca e Lucia sono andati a scuola - Luca and Lucia went to school
    • Lucia e Luisa sono andate a scuola - Lucia and Luisa went ot school

     

    Imperfect tense in Italian

    This tense in Italian is called imperfetto.

    The imperfetto is used to refer to a continued action that lasted an indefinite time in the past.

    The imperfetto can be found with marker words such as mentre (while), da piccolo (when I was a child), quando avevo 5/10 anni (when I was 5/10 years old).

    Regular verbs form the imperfetto by adding certain endings to the root of the verb:

    1.  -are conjugarion: -avo, -avi, -ava. -avamo, -avate, -avano
    2.  -ere conjugation: -evo, -evi, -eva, -evamo, -evate, -evano
    3.  -ire conjugation: -ivo, -ivi, -iva, -ivamo, -ivate, -ivano

    Examples:

    • Noi mangiavamo una mela tutti i giorni - We used to eat an apple every day
    • Voi giocavate sempre a calcio - You always used to play football

    Irregular verbs have to be studied by heart because they do not follow grammatical rules:

    • Fare (to do/make) - io facevo, tu facevi, egli faceva...
    • Dire (to say) - io dicevo, tu dicevi, egli diceva...
    • Bere (to drink) - io bevevo, tu bevevi, egli beveva...

     

    Auxiliary verbs and the -are, -ere, -ire conjugations

    Here is a chart to help you understand how the imperfetto is formed:

      Essere (to be) Avere (to have) Mangiare (to eat) Scrivere (to write) Mentire (to lie)
    Io ero avevo mangiavo scrivevo mentivo
    Tu eri avevi mangiavi scrivevi mentivi
    Egli/Ella era aveva mangiava scriveva mentiva
    Noi eravamo avevamo mangiavamo scrivevamo mentivamo
    Voi eravate avevate mangiavate scrivevate mentivate
    Essi/Esse erano avevano mangiavano scrivevano mentivano

     

    Past perfect in Italian

    This compound tense in Italian is called trapassato prossimo.

    This tense refers to:

    1. an action that took place in the past
    2. an action which had finished before another action took place.

    Examples:

    • Quando arrivai a casa il telefono aveva smesso di suonare - When I got home, the phone had stopped ringing
    • Quando salii in macchina mi accorsi che avevo dimenticato le chiavi di casa - When I got in the car I realised i had forgotten my house keys. 

    The trapassato prossimo is formed by:

    Imperfetto of the auxiliary verb + past participle of the main verb

    Some Italian verbs from the past participle in a regular way:

    • Mangiare (to eat) - mangiato
    • Credere (to believe) - creduto
    • Partire (to leave) - partito

    Some Italian verbs form the past participle in an irregular way so they have to be studied by heart:

    • Dire (to say) - detto
    • Fare (to do/make) - fatto
    • Correggere (to correct) - corretto

     

    Auxiliary verbs and the -are, -ere, -ire conjugations

    Here is a chart to help you with the conjugation of verbs in the trapassato prossimo.

      Essere (to be) Avere (to have) Mangiare (to eat) Credere (to believe) Partire (to leave)
    Io ero stato/a avevo avuto avevo mangiato avevo creduto ero partito/a
    Tu eri stato/a avevi avuto avevi mangiato avevi creduto eri partito/a
    Egli/Ella era stato/a aveva avuto aveva mangiato aveva creduto era partito/a
    Noi eravamo stati/e avevamo avuto avevamo mangiato avevamo creduto eravamo partiti/e
    Voi eravate stati/e avevate avuto avevate mangiato avevate creduto eravate partiti/e
    Essi/Esse erano stati/e avevano avuto avevano mangiato avevano creduto erano partiti/e

     

    Remote past tense or absolute past tense

    This tense in Italian is called passato remoto.

    This tense is used to refer to an action that took place in the distant past.

    This tense can be found with marker words such as 5/10 anni fa (5/10 years ago), l'anno scorso (last year), nel 1300/1500 (in 1300/1500).

    Regular verbs form the passato remoto by adding certain endings to the root of the verb:

    1.  -are conjugation: -ai, -asti ,-ò, -ammo, -aste, -arono 
    2.  -ere conjugation: -ei/etti, -esti, -é/ette, -emmo, -este, -erono/ettero
    3. -ire conjugation: -ii, -isti, -ì, -immo, -iste, -irono

    Examples:

    • Tu amasti molto quel libro - You really loved that book
    • Voi temeste di aver perso le chiavi - You feared you had lost your keys

    Irregular verbs change their conjugation for the first and third person singular (io, egli/ella) and for the third person plural (essi/esse) have to be studied by heart.

    Some of these verbs have to be studied by heart:

    • Cuocere (to cook) - io cossi, tu c(u)ocesti, egli cosse...
    • Nascere (to be born) - io nacqui, tu nascesti, egli nacque...

    Others fall within two categories:

    1.  Verbs that end in -gliere, -ndere, -gere or -ggere usually form the passato remoto by adding the ending -si at the first person singular (io).
      E.g. Scendere (to get off/to descend) - io scesi, tu scendesti, esgli scese...
    2. Verbs that double the last consonant of the root of the verb.
      E.g. Bere (to drink) - io bevvi, tu bevesti, egli bevve...

     

    Auxiliary verbs and the -are, -ere, -ire conjugations

    Here you can find a chart to understand how the passato remoto is formed:

      Essere (to be) Avere (to have) Amare (to love) Temere (to fear) Servire (to serve)
    Io fui ebbi amai temei/étti servii
    Tu fosti avesti amasti temesti servisti
    Egli/Ella fu ebbe amò temé/ette servì
    Noi fummo avemmo amammo tememmo servimmo
    Voi foste aveste amaste temeste serviste
    Essi/Esse furono ebbero amarono temerono/ettero servirono

     

    Preterite perfect tense in Italian

    This compound tense in Italian is called trapassato remoto.

    This tense refers to an action that took place in the past before another action introduced by the passato remoto. This is why the trapassato remoto is usually found in subordinate clauses.

    This tense can be found with marker words such as quando (when), non appena (as soon as), dopo che (after).

    Examples:

    • Non appena ebbe finito di mangiare, Giulia uscì di casa - As soon as Giulia had finished eating, she left the house
    • Dopo che ebbe giocato tutto il giorno, si addormentò - After he had played all day long, he fell asleep.

    The trapassato remoto is formed by:

    Passato remoto of the auxiliary verb + past participle of the main verb

    Some Italian verbs form the past participle in a regular way:

    • Mangiare (to eat) - mangiato
    • Credere (to believe) - creduto
    • Dormire (to sleep) - dormito

    Some Italian verbs form the past participle in an irregular way:

    • Vedere (to see) - visto
    • Aprire (to open) - aperto
    • Scrivere (to write) - scritto
    • Leggere (to read) - letto

     

    Auxiliary verbs and the -are, -ere, -ire conjugations

    Here you can find a chart to help you to understand how the trapassato remoto is formed:

      Essere (to be) Avere (to have) Mangiare (to eat) Credere (to believe) Dormire (to sleep)
    Io fui stato/a ebbi avuto ebbi mangiato ebbi creduto ebbi dormito
    Tu fosti stato/a avesti avuto avesti mangiato avesti creduto avesti dormito
    Egli/Ella fu stato/a ebbe avuto ebbe mangiato ebbe creduto ebbe dormito
    Noi fummo stati/e avemmo avuto avemmo mangiato avemmo creduto avemmo dormito
    Voi foste stati/e aveste avuto aveste mangiato aveste creduto aveste dormito
    Essi/Esse furono stati/e ebbero avuto ebbero mangiato ebbero creduto ebbero dormito

     

    Next lessons

    1 Present perfect (passato prossimo) in Italian A lesson on the Italian passato prossimo tense
    2 Imperfect (imperfetto) in Italian A lesson on the imperfect tense in Italian (imperfetto)
    3 Past perfect (trapassato prossimo) in Italian Course on the Italian trapassato prossimo
    4 Absolute past tense (passato remoto) in Italian Course on the Italian absolute past tense (passato remoto)
    5 Preterite perfect tense (trapassato remoto) in Italian Course on the Italian trapassato remoto