Forum Rocket Italian Conversation in Italian ero parcheggiato (imperfetto + participio passato) ?

ero parcheggiato (imperfetto + participio passato) ?

Tony1248

In the conversation for 9.3 (Getting a parking fine...) Robert says the following (about his 4th sentence):

"Dunque, ero parcheggiato in città in via Bologna."

This combination of "ero" + "parcheggiato" - (imperfetto + participio passato) confuses me. I can't find this combination in verb conjugation tables. My specific questions are
(1) is this correct Italian?
(2) how does the meaning differ from the alternatives below (found in conjugation tables)?

A: "Dunque, parcheggiavo in città in via Bologna."
B: ​"Dunque, ho parcheggiato in città in via Bologna."
C: ​"Dunque, avevo parcheggiato in città in via Bologna."

The context here is that he's telling a story about how he was parked at this location and then returned to find he was getting a ticket. I can barely understand A,B, or C being used in this situation -- and that's why an additional possibility "ero parcheggiato" really confuses me.

Thanks!
 

caterina-rocket-italian-tutor

Hi Tony1248, 

Thanks for your questions! 
(1) it is correct
(2) your options A-B-C are correct but have different meanings, as you correctly assumed.

Option A uses the "imperfetto" of the verb "parcheggiare" --> I used to park the car
Option B uses the "passato prossimo" of the verb "parcheggiare" --> I parked / I have parked the car
Option C uses the "trapassato prossimo" of the verb "parcheggiare" --> I had parked the car

Robert, in this context, says "ero parcheggiato", using the verb "essere" as auxiliary rather than the verb "avere". This can be translated as "I was parked". Robert is therefore using the "trapassato prossimo" tense of the verb parcheggiare with "essere" as auxiliary verb in order to make it reflexive (to park oneself). Although it might sound unusual, this expression is actually used often in Italian:

e.g. "dove sei parcheggiato?" - literally: "where are you parked?"
"sono parcheggiato lì." - literally: "I am parked there."

Hope this explanation helps!

Tony1248

Your answer is very clear and helpful. I especially appreciate that you say this construction is used often in Italian and even provide examples.  I learned several things as I researched based on the guidance in your answer -- so thank you!

But your response also raises a question: I don't see any reflexive pronoun here and using essere "in order to make it reflexive", as you put it, is something I couldn't find anywhere

Can you point me to where I can learn more about this?
-Tony

Tony1248

 As I’ve learned more, I’ve come across a possible answer to my question:  perhaps these are examples of using “the passive voice” in Italian?   Is that right? 

That’s not covered until  the end of many Italian courses such as module 21 in Rocket Italian,  which is quite a bit further than I’ve managed so far. 

caterina-rocket-italian-tutor

Thanks for doing some further research and for this interesting observation.
In my opinion, it is correct to consider "ero parcheggiato" an example of "passive voice", which is an unusual case as the direct object of the verb "parcheggiare" is usually a vehicle - despite this, the sentence is still correct of course.
:-)

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