Italian Grammar

By taking the time to understand how the Italian language works, you'll be able to speak Italian naturally, and read and write in Italian. We know this can be one of the more challenging parts of your course, and we’re here to help! You can browse the topics, do a search in the top right corner of this page, or start a new topic at the bottom. Don’t be shy!

Don't Make Fun

I need help with finding numbers section

0 replies - Last post by BongiornoFamily - September 17, 2020

Preposition after bisogno

In Grammar lesson 2.7 we have “Loro hanno bisogno”  which means “They need”, or literally “They have need”.In French there is a similar construction “Ils ont besoin de…”, so I wonder if there needs to be a preposition (di  perhaps) in Italian when used in...

0 replies - Last post by Peter--252 - September 17, 2020

When to do Language and Culture Courses?

Basically, title. Should I follow the order, doing the 5-6 audio lessons of each unit, then following that, do the language and culture courses? Should I alternate? Should I do every audio lesson of a level, then go back and do the grammar courses? They ...

0 replies - Last post by FeliceA4 - September 16, 2020

6.4 Nessun dorma

Why "...fredda stanza." and not "stanza fredda"?  It seems  to be an unusual example of adjective before noun?  Just curious.  Thanks.  Chris

5 replies - Last post by RobertR34 - September 12, 2020

Why is the present perfect conjugation of Venire different from othere -ire verbs?

I just noticed this and wonder if Venire is the only verb to use -uto instead of -ito in the present perfect. I thought it was because Venire is intransitive, but then I found that Fallire and Stupire were the same: Venire:  essere + venuto/venuti Fallir...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - August 13, 2020

Are reflexive verbs necessary?

I've been working through lesson 6.10 and as I become more frustrated, I'm asking why do reflexive verbs exist.  For example: Si sono svegliati in ritardo.   - They woke themselves up late Sono hanno svegliato in ritardo -- The woke up late Does "themselv...

2 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - August 13, 2020

Extra lessons?

It’s probably me, but I always check I’ve reached 100% on each module before proceeding. Today, I looked at modules 3 and 4 of level 1, to find the last lesson of each hadn’t been started! No problem - I can do them, but am very surprised. Have extra less...

2 replies - Last post by ChrisM108 - July 30, 2020

Infinitive verb following 'potere'

Hi On lesson 3.7 (level 1), it is stated that "the verb potere - "to be able to", like the verb volere - "to want", is ALWAYS followed by a verb in its infinitive form." Some examples are given, such as "Puoi aprire la finestra per me?" - and here clear...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - July 26, 2020

Pronunciation

In Lesson 18.8 Irregular Imperfect Subjective, there are two phrases that I think should be pronounced the same, but the aren't.   In one line the speaker says: Che lei fosse  and the fosse has an sh sound. In the next line the speaker says:  Che Lei fos...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - June 26, 2020

Spiegare -to explain

In level 1 lesson 6.5 "Polite phrases & misunderstandings" there is the phrase: "Non mi sono spiegato bene", using essere where avere is usually used with this verb ("Ho spiegato"). Is there a reason essere and avere are used in different circumstances wi...

2 replies - Last post by Signor Riccardo - May 29, 2020

Ce n'è solo una rimasta - 5.7 Continuing action

As Ce is ‘there is’, I don’t understand why “n'è” is necessary. Under what grammar rules should I include n'è? Grazie. Chris

2 replies - Last post by ChrisM108 - May 29, 2020

Lesson 6.6: può dirlo agli amici?

Is ' può dire ai suoi amici?' also correct?   I don't understand using 'agli', which means 'to the'.

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - May 29, 2020

Past perfect tense with Andare

In Level 1 module 5.9: Past Tense -Imperfect it states the following in the exercises: -Loro sono andati They went (feminine) -Loro sono andate You went (formal plural -not commonly used). I thought "Loro sono andati" should be "andate" if feminine, and ...

2 replies - Last post by Signor Riccardo - May 21, 2020

Si vs Sí

Can someone explain why in module 2.1 (Using Public Transport) the translation for "Yes, ready" is "Si, pronta" and in module 2.2 (Buying a Train Ticket) the translation for "Yes. Ready" is "Sí. Pronta"? Is there a reason there is an accent over one and n...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - May 20, 2020

Lesson 6.4: Sì, certo! Pavarotti l'ha resa famosa.

isn't "ha reso" the correct conjugation?

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - May 20, 2020

Comparing Things. Italian - Level 1, Lesson 4.7

Ciao a tutti, it has taken me a while to wrap my head around this lesson. I am still having trouble with more than in using "di".   Could anyone help me in advising when di is used instead of del, della or dei?  Right now I undestand it as follows:  di? ...

3 replies - Last post by MarkL57 - April 15, 2020

[question]

Why "the chocolates(plural)" having le cioccolate instead of i cioccolate?

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - February 13, 2020

Why is the conditional tense of "potere" used in this sentence?

Level 3, Lesson 16.1 includes this sentence in the conversation: Pensavo che potremmo fare una festa in giardino. Why is "potremmo" used in conditional tense form rather than in subjunctive tense form of verb potere? Grazie

3 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - February 6, 2020

Use of A to start a sentence

In lesson 9.8 there is a sentence:  “A Roberta piace l'America.” Why does it start with “A”?  Why doesn’t it say. “Roberta piace l’America”?

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - December 22, 2019

Italian grammar and reference book

Do you have any recommendations for grammar and vocabulary  reference book in Italian

0 replies - Last post by geupneic - December 21, 2019

Do some nouns have both Masculine and Feminine variants? When so I use which?

Hi, From what I understand, nouns are either masculine or feminine.  The italian word for cat is il gatto, but occasionally I see la gatta for cat. How do I know when to use la gatta? I was thinking maybe if you know the cat you referring to is a female c...

2 replies - Last post by MarkL57 - November 14, 2019

Dimenticata / dimenticato in Lesson 4.8

"si e dimenticata"  => "she forgot"  I wanted to find how say "he forgot". which Google translates "si e dimenticato" But conjugation tables for "dimenticare" only show "dimenticato" Is this an unusual verb whose ending changes with the gender of the re...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - October 31, 2019

How to speak formal Italian.

Ciao, I'm a bit confused on how to speak in formal Italian to a stranger or when being respectful, but think I may have worked it out. So what I noticed is that all you need to do when you speak to someone (or a group of people), is to refer to them in t...

3 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - October 31, 2019

"Fuori questione" and "non se ne parla"

In lesson 4/8, both translate as "it is out of the question", which makes sense for "fuori question", but does "non se ne parla" mean something like "no one talks about"? Thanks, Jack

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - October 31, 2019

Present Subjunctive

In Italian course Level 2,  Module 8:4 Asking For Directions, there's a sentence where Maria says: Per andarci, bisogna che faccia etc.    Howard explains the use of bisogna che, but then there's no explanation whatsoever that I can find to explain the u...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - October 11, 2019

Mi puo fare o Puoi fare per me

Do these sentences both translate as "Can you take photo for me?": Mi puo fare una foto? Puoi fare una foto per me? Do these sentences translate as "Can you take a photo of me?": Puoi farmi una foto? Is "farmi" a combination "fare" and "mi", and not a...

5 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - September 13, 2019

Italian grammar - Verb ending

Bisogna che io lavori (It's necessary that I work) from Level 2, Module 9.3 Why does "lavori" end with an "i" Looks like a masculine plural noun (works) but seems to function as a verb in this sentence. Please explain.

3 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - August 30, 2019

nel, nelle vs. al, alle

I see nel, nelle,  and al , alle 9and their various forms) both used for "at" in the translations. How can I know which one to  use?

2 replies - Last post by GerryS - August 28, 2019

Difference tra vorrebbe e piacerebbe

Ciao  Per favore spiegare la differenza tra vorrebbe e piacerebbe. Grazie

2 replies - Last post by Marsha264 - August 7, 2019

Chiedo and chiedi

In lesson 12.1  There is a line:  Se gliela chiedo (If I ask her) and the next line says: Se non gliela chiedi (If you don't ask her).   In these sentences they both refer to a single woman, so I don't see why they are different. When do you use chiedo an...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - July 29, 2019

Al vs di (in foods)

I am learning Italian from multiple courses.  Anytime I’ve learned the term “chocolate cake”, they teach “la torta al cioccolato”.  In the survival phrase lesson at Rocket Italian, they say “la torta di cioccolato”.  I always assumed di was a description ...

3 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - July 27, 2019

Struggling with the grammar lessons

I've not given as much attention to the language and culture lessons (the culture ok) but I don't find the grammar modules as engaging as the ones with the lessons presented by Alessandro and Maria. Apart from repeating the audio tracks, I've skipped mos...

2 replies - Last post by Laura Sedor - July 24, 2019

Ancke lei

Buon Pomeriggio . On lesson 2 dialogue,  Alex asks Aspetta anche Lei un taxi...Can we say Aspetta un taxi anche Lei instead? Grazie buon fine settimana Marcia

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - July 21, 2019

Sto male versus sono stanca, sono annoiatta?

Buon giorno,, Please someone explain why do you says sto male but you say sono stanca, sono annoiatta? Grazie

4 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - July 15, 2019

Formal/polite form

I learned that the formal you form follows the second person singular form. However, to practice my Italian, I am reading Le Avventure di Pinocchio, and I noticed that Pinocchio addresses Geppetto using the second person plural (voi) form. Can someone exp...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - June 17, 2019

Gender and number of article applying to several following nouns

I must check the wording on a proposed inscription. It includes the phrase "Il sito delle stamperia e accademia di ...". because there is insufficient room for an alternative which sounds to me more acceptable: "Il sito della stamperia e dell'accademia di...

3 replies - Last post by marieg-rocket languages - April 4, 2019

When to use scorsa and ultima

Ciao: Is it correct that "scorsa" and "ultima" both translate as "last"? If correct, are these two words interchangeable? Thanks AR

2 replies - Last post by AR--9 - March 6, 2019

"In the kitchen" - Do you say, "In cucina" or "Nella cucina"?

In speaking or writing the phase, "In the kitchen", do I use, "In cucina", or "Nella cucina"? Grazie

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - January 12, 2019

Posso or Permesso for "May I"?

Are "posso" and "permesso" interchangeable when you want to ask, "May I?"

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - January 12, 2019

Suo and Tuo

Hi Im currently studying Italian using Rocket, Paul Noble and Duolingo. In the Paul Noble course he refers to “your  father” as “suo padre”. Should that not be “tuo padre”? According to the link below, “suo” means “his/her/it’s”. https://www.theitalia...

5 replies - Last post by Paolo_Guitar - December 29, 2018

Word order in Italian

Lesson 2.3 has a sentance 'Mi può fare una fotografia con dietro la chiesa?' Can someone explain why dietro (behind) comes before comes before la chiesa - ie why its 'with behind the church' , not con la chiesa dietro?

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - December 12, 2018

Grammar - past tense.

In lesson 8.3 Roberto uses the phrase Io credo di aver perso. Why is this form used instead of ... ho perso?

6 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - November 7, 2018

può verses puoi

In Language and Culture 2.13 Talking about money..................... Why is it  " Mi può fare uno sconto?"   which Rocket Italian translates to  "Can you give me a discount?"   and not "Mi puoi fare uno sconto?" It seems like the first  uses the he/she...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor - October 10, 2018

Rocket Certification

I am having trouble with the Rocket Certifications at the end of each module. I have to do a hard reset of the test every time I finish the section in order to continue, and at the end it will not show that I completed it. Hopefully you can help me out.

0 replies - Last post by AlexandraK3 - October 6, 2018

Mio versus il mio

In module 2, the section on "love," we are introduced to some new vocabulary that employs the possessive. For example, "il mio fidanzato" as well as "mio marito." Where is the explanation of when we use these? Is there a lesson that I've missed?

0 replies - Last post by SheilaM17 - August 19, 2018

Lesson 1.4 - Piacere Grammar Question

I have a question about the grammar in this exchange: Ti piacere la cucina romana? Si, mi piace tutta la cucina italiana! In a previous lesson, we learned that questions can be made without having to change the syntax from the statement, simply by usin...

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - July 9, 2018

When to use con and al

For the word 'with' in Italian, how to know when to use 'con' and when to use 'al'?  I look at the statements in the lessons using con or al but can't figure out when I should be using con and when I should use al. Thanks!

4 replies - Last post by EvanS55 - July 7, 2018

Use of "Per andare a" and Come arrivare a"?

Ciao: Io ho una domanda. In what situation would I use, "Per andare a", and in what situation would I use, "Come arrivare a"? Grazie, AR

2 replies - Last post by AR--9 - June 14, 2018

Mistake in a module 3.7 example?

In module 3.7, I think one of the examples may be wrong. The example is: Noi viaggiamo meno veloci in treno che in aero. In this sentence, I think less fast  (meno veloci) is being used as an adverb to modify the verb, we travel (viaggiamo), by describing...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - June 5, 2018

Play/audio feature not working with Rocket Italian

I have never had problems before, but now when I click on the "play" button for the writing and verbal exercises, it is not working.

1 reply - Last post by muxlow1 - May 6, 2018

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