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!

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?

2 replies - Last post by AnthonyM25 -
Oct 10, 2018

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...

4 replies - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor -
Oct 10, 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/it form and the one I'm...

1 reply - Last post by caterina-rocket-italian-tutor -
Oct 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 -
Oct 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 -
Aug 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 using intonation and inflection. My question...

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jul 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 -
Jul 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 -
Jun 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 the speed of travel.  I don't think it...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jun 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

Difference between subjunctive and present indicative

Take the verb Potere. I understand that to say "I can" I would say Io posso but you translate Io possa as I can in the section on subjunctive (14.8). When do I use one vs. the other?

2 replies - Last post by Tom-R -
May 2, 2018

Tu versus Ti

I'm confused as to when to use "tu" versus "ti". Would you help me with this? An example would be helpful. Thanks

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Apr 24, 2018

che or come for how

In the survival lesson on love, "How good you are" is Che bravo, but in the lesson on Vesuvius "How wonderful you (all) are" translates to come siete bravi.   While I understand siete bravi for he plural "you all", I don't understand why come is used here instead of che for how. Are these two...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Mar 19, 2018

Why is an infinitive used here?

I was studying my flash cards and came across the sentence:  "Mi piace guardare i miei figli giocare gli sport."  ("I like to watch my sons play sports" is my intended translation). I can't remember why "giocare" is supposed to be the infinitive form here instead of using "giocano."  I did...

4 replies - Last post by jrdevivo -
Feb 23, 2018

pronun for we

When is the pronun for we "ci" or "noi" appropriately used.  I have seen ci piace for we like and noi andiamo for we go. 

2 replies - Last post by vpserio -
Feb 7, 2018

Confused

In the lesson it states that tea with milk is Un te' al latte. I feel stupid asking this but why isn't it "con" latte. I thought "con" meant with.

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Feb 6, 2018

Grammer question.

Lesson 4.7 continuing action. Sentence “nessuno di noi  vuole andare a scuola”.  Can anyone explain why the third person of verb Volere  is used, and not the first person plural ie vogliamo? 

2 replies - Last post by AnthonyM25 -
Jan 30, 2018

The use of "al" and "con" with "te" and "caffe"

Why is "al" and "con" used differently with "te" and "caffe"? In the lessons, "tea with milk" is written "te al latte", but "coffee with milk" is written "caffe con latte". Thanks AR

2 replies - Last post by AR--9 -
Jan 15, 2018

position of adverb

Why does the position of "bene" move? For example when I say  "You speak italian well" it is "Parli bene l'italiano" (between the verb and the noun} But when I say "I don't speak italian well" it is "Non parlo l'italiano bene" (after the noun)?

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jan 2, 2018

verb tense

in lesson 11.3  Roberto says : Credo che lo spezzatino con la polenta d'inverno rimane qualcosa di imbattibile. I thought that in phrases where there is some doubt such as here with' credo che' that one uses the present conjunctive so why 'rimane' and not 'rimani'...

3 replies - Last post by Colin397 -
Dec 28, 2017

Confused - Agreement of past participle in 9.2

Hello In lesson 9.2 regarding filling your car, there is the statement "l'ha controllata recentemente'  Howard states that it is 'controllata' not 'controllato' because it refers to Le gomme.  I'm confused by this because my understanding is that the past participle only agrees with the...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Nov 23, 2017

quelli vs quei

Pushing through some of the level 2 grammar and there is a segment with quei lavori (those jobs). Why not quelli lavori?

5 replies - Last post by MickK -
Nov 15, 2017

grammar question

why is it le scarpe maronni and not maronne?

2 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Oct 2, 2017

Combined pronouns and verb agreement

I started lesson 10.7 on combined pronouns.  It made sense until I got to 2 examples that were in the past tense:   Tuo padre ti ha comprato la macchina ieri Your father bought you the car yesterday   Tuo padre te l'ha comprata ieri Your father bought it for you...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jun 15, 2017

Reflexive verbs - Vedere

In lesson 8.5, there is  the sentence:  "Allora ci vediamo a febbraio." which is translated as "So we will see you in February."  From the context of this sentence, the "you" is more than 1 person.   Why is the pronoun "ci" used instead of "vi?"  I would think that you would say ""Allora...

2 replies - Last post by jrdevivo -
Mar 31, 2017

Pronoun agreement with Noun

Under Section 2.12, I note Quello Studente is translated as that Student.  Why is it not Quello Studento?

1 reply - Last post by drewster -
Mar 25, 2017

io possa

Hi, This week's Rocket Fuel has the phrase io possa with the English translation of I can. I can does translate io possa but only as a subjunctive and there isn't any explanation or sentence given for context. Shouldn't it really be io posso or at least have a bit of a discussion around the...

5 replies - Last post by drewster -
Feb 6, 2017

article with italiano

Sorry if this is a silly question but why is it parli italiano? but tu, parli bene l'italiano? In the first instance the article is not used but in the second one it is. Is there a specific rule for this or does it not matter?

4 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jan 25, 2017

Bisogna

Hi Lucia, In 16.1, "to be necessary" is translated as "bisogna". Is that really exactly right?  Cheers, Drew

2 replies - Last post by drewster -
Jan 19, 2017

Non mi costringere a chiamare il dottore!

Hi, In 8.8, there's a translation for: Don't force me to call the doctor! .. which is given as: Non mi costringere a chiamare il dottore! Why is the infinitive used for costringere here and not costringi? Thanks! Drew

2 replies - Last post by drewster -
Jan 17, 2017

Preposition most commonly used for ending a task

Hi, In lesson 8.8 it says: The verbs joined to preposition ‘a’  usually express different situations such as the beginning of an action, the end of it, encouraging, inviting or convincing.  .. but then all the examples given for the end of a task use 'di' and it says that this is the...

2 replies - Last post by drewster -
Jan 17, 2017

Portere vs prendere

Ciao, what is the difference between "portere" and "prendere"? can you provide me with some sentences as examples so that I can differentiate the usage of these verbs? Grazie :)

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jan 13, 2017

Italiano verbi

Ciao, Qual è la differenza tra "sapere" e "conoscere"? Quali esempi ci sono (Any examples)?

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jan 13, 2017

Preposizione "a" vs "in"

Ciao, Perchè parliamo vado in enoteca per comprare una bottiglia di vino rosso e non "vado all'enoteca"? Qual è la differenza tra "a" e "in"? Grazie.

8 replies - Last post by drewster -
Jan 11, 2017

Imperfect subjunctive in lesson 14.8?

In the second part of this lesson the titles say Imperfect Subjunctive (Avere, Bere, Potere,) but it looks to me that ther examples given are all in the present subjunctive.  Or have I got this all wrong? I find it difficult to believe that I am the first to notice this but I have checked with...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jan 5, 2017

Non vs. no

I'm wondering what the difference is between non and no? My basic understanding was that the Italian non is used similarly to "not" in English, and that the Italian no simply means "no" in English. However, why do we: Use "no" here: Perché no? Why not? (Lesson 5.3) But "non" here: Perché non...

5 replies - Last post by albagli -
Jan 5, 2017

Conjugation question with 'Avere'

In the dialogue for lesson 8.3 there is the sentence:  "Credo di aver perso uno dei miei bagagli," which is translated as  "I believe I have lost a piece of my luggage."  I don't understand the use of "aver" in the sentence.   I would think it would be  either "perdevo" or "ho perso."...

6 replies - Last post by jrdevivo -
Jan 2, 2017

Trovalo e Trovali

Buona sera, Buone feste e buon natale! Ho una domanda chiedere, why does travalo mean find him? How is this word formed? I know that the infinitive verb is "trovare" but I don't kow how travalo or trovali is derived. Grazie per il tuo tempo!

2 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Dec 26, 2016

Is there a "come vai?"or just "come va?"

I'm doing lesson 8.2 and I noticed that Robert says "Come va" to Maria at the beginning of the dialogue.  The "tu" form is used throughout the dialogue so I wondered why it was "Come va" instead of "Come vai."  I googled "come vai" and it doesn't seem to mean "how are you?"   Does "come va"...

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Dec 21, 2016

The use of "l" before Italiano and Inglese

Is it necessary to use 'l' when asking "parli italiano?" or "parli l'inglese?"  Is "parli Italiano?" and "parli inglese?" also correct?

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Dec 19, 2016

Polite Imperative Form...

In the section "5.8 Imperatives",  in the lesson it says; The imperative tense only applies in three forms: tu - you (familiar) voi - you (plural) noi - we/us Well, I thought there is also a polite form for the imperative tense. Is this wrong? I saw this before, people can use it like....

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Dec 19, 2016

Suffixing direct and indirect pronouns to sentence

I am a little confused with where we locate the direct/indirect pronouns, Depending on wether the object i'm trying to find / buy is f/m for example if i was to write: I cannot find it 1. Non lo/la posso trovare 2. Non posso trovarlo / trovarla I would like to buy it 1. Lo/La vorrei...

5 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
Dec 10, 2016

ESSERE Imperfect vs Present perfect

Ciao a tutti. I have seen instances where essere verb was conjugated Imperfect vs Present perfect forms and to me they sound almost a like. Era una giornata bellissima (it was a beautiful day?) È stata una giornata bellissima (it was/has been a beautiful day?) È stata una cena buonissima...

2 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
Dec 8, 2016

Auxiliary verb for "invitare"

In lesson 6.6 there is the phrase "Non siamo più invitati a casa loro." (We are no longer invited to their place.)  When I looked up the verb invitare (http://www.italian-verbs.com/italian-verbs/conjugation.php?parola=invitare) it said that it is conjugated with avere instead of essere.  Is...

4 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Nov 27, 2016

Nit question on "quale" + vowel

In 5.10, there is a simple question as part of the vocab:  "Quale albergo?" I would have thought it would had been "Qual'albergo"   because of the albergo starts with a vowel.  What the rules for worlds like quale, quello, etc when the next word begins with a vowel?    Thanks, Jay

5 replies - Last post by jrdevivo -
Oct 23, 2016

I need clarity with 'di' & 'a'

Ciao :) I am needing a little more clarity with the usage of 'di' and 'a' prior to some verbs. I realise it is often used as often as not as well.  I will give some examples below: 1. il tempo di cuocere il sugo 2. Non andrò a lavorare domani I can understand example 2 with 'a' indicating...

16 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
Oct 17, 2016

Adjective placement

I often get confused on adjective placement.  The dialogue in lesson 5.1 includes each of the following sentences. 1.  È questo piccolo appartamento al secondo piano. 2. È un appartamento piccolo, ma c'è tutto! In sentence 1, it is translated as "little apartment" and sentence 2 it is...

3 replies - Last post by jrdevivo -
Oct 7, 2016

stare

che cosa significa "starete benissimo"?

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Oct 3, 2016

Lei desidera or Lei desideri

I cannot understand the following sentence: Ma allora Lei desidera un caffe americano So you want an american coffee …If Lei is the formal word for tu, the verb desidera in present tense is tu desideri, right? So why don't we have Ma allora Lei desideri un caffe americano?

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Oct 3, 2016

Possession - when is mio/mia used?

The sentence (in lesson 4.5)  "Porto la macchina fotografica per questa gita?" is translated as Shall I bring my camera for this trip?   Why isn't "Porto la mia macchina fotographica" to say my camera?  I would think that as it is written, it would be translated as "the camera."

2 replies - Last post by jrdevivo -
Sep 28, 2016

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