8.4 Asking for directions



Buon giorno,

While completing the quiz for this lesson i came across this:
Which one of the following verbs are conjugated in the polite form?

The answer is Continui. I thought it would have been Gira or Cammina as they seem to be the polite/formal versions that would fall under lui/lei/Lei ?

And whereas continui and vai fall under friendly/casual form?

I thought polite was formal, which falls under lui/lei/Lei and often Voi conjugations? And friendly/polite was the Tu conjugation.

Thanks hope to hear some help.


Hi rigoletto.

I think you will find the answer is correct as it is in the present subjunctive mood (if you do something etc.)
 The other three are in the imperative mood (telling someone to do something etc.)
Which doesn't use the pronoun when speaking.

I hope this helps.
I'm sure Lucia will help us out with this one.
Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi rigoletto and Grahame,

Directions are given in the imperative mood. These answers are all in the imperative mood, but only one is formal: continui. The formal counterparts of the other verbs are vada, giri, cammini.

The usage of formal/informal is as follows:
Tu = informal, singular
Lei = formal, singular (also translates she)
Voi = informal/formal, plural

Gira and cammina can either belong to:
- the imperative mood of tu (Gira a destra! Turn right! Cammina! Walk!)
- the indicative mood of lui/lei/esso (lei gira a destra, she turns right)
Vai is in the indicative mood (tu vai a destra, io a sinistra, you turn right, I turn left).

Cammini, on the other hand, belongs to:
- the second and third person subjunctive of camminare (che tu cammini, che lei/Lei cammini)
- the imperative mood of Lei (as used in the exercise)
- the indicative mood of tu (tu cammini, io corro, you walk, I run)

Hope this helps!



Hi Lucia,

Is there any reason why the ending swaps between imperative and indicative? i.e. tu cammini for indicative but tu cammina if imperative and vice versa. I've always found that confusing.

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi Drew,

It's because the Italian verb system, unlike the English one, is very irregular. Verbs are always conjugated and are used in their infinitive form only in the infinitive mood. While English attaches will, would etc. to infinitive verbs to compose other tenses, Italian verbs will change their endings.

Sometimes the conjugations for both indicative and imperative mood are the same, as in dormire:
Tu dormi - you sleep
Dormi bene! - sleep well!

Other times they are different, as is the case with camminare. As a rule of thumb, the verbs that have a different conjugation in both moods (in the second person singular) are the one in -ARE:

Tu ascolti / Ascolta! (ascoltare)
Tu cucini / Cucina! (cucinare)
Tu mangi / Mangia! (mangiare)
Tu studi / Studia! (studiare)

Tu bevi / Bevi! (bere)
Tu pulisci / Pulisci! (pulire)
Tu leggi / Leggi! (leggere)
Tu scrivi / Scrivi! (scrivere)
Tu esci / Esci! (uscire - a tricky verb! Io esco, tu esci, egli/lui esce, noi usciamo, voi uscite, essi/loro escono)

Hope this helps!



It does, thanks! It just adds to the long list of stuff I don't know! :)

Cheers, Drew

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