Enhanced Comprehensive Italian Level 2 - Lesson #9
Italian verbs in the passato prossimo, some irregular past participlesAfter this class you should;
be able to conjugate regular verbs in the passato prossimo
understand the difference between the passato prossimo and the imperfetto
recognize and be able to use some irregular past participles
Conjugating regular Italian verbs in the Passato ProssimoThe Passato Prossimo is most often used like what we would call the "Simple Past" or "Present Perfect". It is formed by using either the verb essere or avere in the present tense followed by the past participle of the verb you want to use. For Example if you wanted to say "I ate" you would first conjugate avere in the present tense and then follow it with mangiato, the past participle for mangiare. With the subject pronoun included it would look like this;
Io ho mangiato (I ate or I have eaten)
Regular past participles are easy to form. You simple remove the infinitive ending and apply the past participle ending as shown below;
Verbs ending in ARE use ATO, for example; mangiare - are = mangi + ato = mangiato
Verbs ending in ERE use UTO, for example; credere - ere = cred + uto = creduto
Verbs ending in IRE use ITO, for example; finire - ire = fin + ito = finito
There are many verbs that use an irregular past participle. These you will need to commit to memory and many of these can be found on pages 54 & 55 of Italian Verb Drills by Paola Nanni-Tate I like to use math equations as an example but first here are the past participle endings for all regular verbs;
To conjugate the regular ARE verbs in the passato prossimo = conjugated auxiliary verb + (infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + past participle ending) = conjugated verb. Example;
Abbiamo (to have for we) + [Parlare (To Speak) - are = Parl + ato (past pariciple ending)] = Abbiamo Parlato (We spoke or we have spoken)
Parlare conjugated in the passato prossimo
To conjugate the regular ERE verbs in the passato prossimo = conjugated auxiliary verb + (infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + past participle ending) = conjugated verb. Example;
Abbiamo (to have for we) + [Credere (To Believe) - ere = Cred + uto (past pariciple ending)] = Abbiamo Creduto (We believed or we have believed)
Credere conjugated in the passato prossimo
To conjugate the regular IRE verbs in thepassato prossimo = conjugated auxiliary verb + (infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + past participle ending) = conjugated verb. Example;
Abbiamo (to have for we) + [Sentire (To Hear) - ire = Sent + ito (past pariciple ending)] = Abbiamo Sentito (We heard or we have heard)
Credere conjugated in the passato prossimo
Choosing the correct auxiliary verb when using Passato Prossimo
The book "English Grammar for Students of Italian" says regarding auxiliary verb selection for the Passato Prossimo:
"1. All transitive verbs (the verbs which can take a direct object...) use the auxiliary avere.
2. All reflexive verbs use the auxiliary essere ...
3. Intrasitive verbs ... can use avere or essere ..."
Due to the third point, some memory work is required to determine which verbs use essere. You can find a list of common verbs conjugated with Essere in the Passato Prossimo on page 53 of the book Verb Drills by Paola Nanni-Tate
It is important to note here than when you use a verb in the Passato Prossimo with the verb essere, the past participle must agree with the subject in gender and number. For example the verb andare or "to go"
Lui è andato (he went) or Lei è andata (she went)
Gli uomini sono andanti (the men went) or Le donne sono andate (the women went)
As is always the case with gender when the plural subject is a mix of masculine and feminine you use the masculine. Now lets look at the verb Andare in the passato prossimo = conjugated auxiliary verb + (infinitive verb – infinitive ending = verb stem + past participle ending that agrees in gender and number) = conjugated verb. Example;
siamo (to be for we) + [Andare (To go) - are = And + ati (past pariciple ending for masculine plural)] = Siamo Andati (We went or we have gone)
Andare conjugated in the passato prossimo
As with all other tenses, there are verbs that are irregular, this time by having irregular past participles. These past participles will have to be committed to memory in order to learn them. A list of the more common irregular past participles will appear in the vocabulary section of this lesson
|Basic Exercise on auxiliary verb selection for passato prossimo|
Printable large flash cards (English Side)
Printable large flash cards (Italian Side)
Printable small flash cards (English Side)
Printable small flash cards (Italian Side)
Exercise (Italian to English)
Exercise (English to Italian)
|Printable Practice Sheets|
|printable comprehension crossword|
Useful Italian statement (especially for children);
C'era una volta ...
Once upon a time
Class DialogLearn how to say everything below in Italian, print out and bring the printable form of this dialog and be prepared to say the dialog below for one of the persons in clas
Person #1 – Hi _________ Person #2 – Hi _________, how are you?
Person #1 – I am well, thank you, and you?
Person #2 – I am very well. We went to Rome last week!
Person #1 – What did you do in Rome last week?
Person #2 – We saw the coliseum! It is beautiful! I love history.
Person #1 – Did you go to the Vatican while you were in Rome?
Person #2 – No, we didn’t have enough time. Have you ever been to the Vatican?
Person #1 – Yes, I have been there once. It is beautiful. What else did you do in Italy?
Person #2 – We ate a lot of food! We drank a lot of wine!
Person #1 – I believe it but I wanted to know, what did you see in Italy.
Person #2 – I am sorry, I didn’t understand you. We visited museums in 7 cities, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Pisa, Milan and Florence. We also went to Pompeii.
Person #1 – Did you take any pictures while you were there?
Person #2 – Yes! I took more than 2,000 pictures while we were there! I also bought a lot of things while I was on vacation.
Person #1 – What did you buy? Did you find the Italian music you were looking for?
Person#2 – I bought a lot of books and wine. I also found the music I was looking for.
Person#1 – How did you all travel while you were there?
Person#2 – We usually drove but we flew when we went from Rome to Milan.
Person#1 – Will you be going back soon?
Person#2 – My dad said we can go again when I can pay for the trip. I have to go. Bye
Person#1 – Bye
printable class dialog
You can learn more about the Passato Prossimo on these pages of the following books.
73 - 75 & 77 - 79 of the book "English Grammar for Students of Italian" by Sergio Adorni and Karen Primorac, copyright 1995.
114 - 119 (page #'s may vary as I have an older edition) of "Ciao" by Carla Federici & Carla Larese Riga, copyright 1986.
124 - 131 of the book "Complete Italian Grammar" by Marcel Dansesi, copyright 1976.
249 - 257 of the book "Italian Grammar Drills" by Paola Nanni-Tate, copyright 2007.
50 -60 of the book "Italian Verb Drills" (Third Edition) by Paola Nanni-Tate, copyright 2011.
If you do not own these books, don't worry, it is not mandatory that you do unless you were instructed to buy them at the beginning of the class. However, they can be very useful in a lot of ways and if you would like to know more about these books and where to buy them, simply go to our online bookstore or quicker yet, just click on the appropriate book below.
Did you know?"A city of Tuscany in northern Italy that became an important rival of Florence during the Renaissance. Founded by the ancient Etruscans, Siena came under the control of the Lombards after the fall of the Roman Empire in the middle of the fifth century. The city won its independence...."
While in Siena, you may want to see some or all of the following; Palazzo Pubblico, the main square being the site of several medieval palaces and mansions and the tall Torre del Mangia. The Fonte Gaia, the cathedral of Siena, the neighboring Biblioteca Piccolomini and the Campo.
You can find this information and more at Encyclopedia.com Siena
You can see a just few pictures of Siena here.
Have you heard?A 2011 Release by Laura that has a bit of ... well, watch and see. Let's just say anybody my age or older will see what appears to be the past coming back to life to today's music! Great tune, interesting video LOL, you'll have to watch it to see what I am saying!
great songs are available on --->
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