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!

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

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."

0 replies - Last post by jrdevivo -
Sep 27, 2016

Domanda

Ciao, Which of these is correct?  1) Mi piace il gelato e la torta dolce. 2) Mi piacciono il gelato e la torta dolce. 3) Mi piacciono i gelati e la torte dolci. To describe the fact that I like ice cream and sweet cakes in general.

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 20, 2016

La grammatica pratica

Ciao, Qual è la migliore pratica per la grammatica? Grazie, Christoforo

6 replies - Last post by Christoforo -
Sep 19, 2016

My

Ciao, Perché "My family members" translated into i membri della mia famiglia which literally means the members of my family.  So if i want to say My classmates in the class, I have to say "The classmates of my class", is that right? Same for food, if i want to say Chocolate cake, or chicken...

2 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 16, 2016

Ciao

Ciao, cosa significa dove ci incontriamo in inglese? grazie!

4 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 14, 2016

Che cosa significa "fa"?

Ciao, Cosa significa "oggi fa ancora più freddo" in inglese? How is "fa" used to form sentences? Is it derived from fare (which means to make)? Grazie

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 13, 2016

Bel tempo

Ciao,   cosa significa oggi faceva veramente bel tempo? Why is it bel tempo and not bello tempo? Grazie

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 11, 2016

Passato Prossimo

Ciao,  is the Passato Prossimo used in the same way as English? Per esempio: Io ho mangiato la pizza leri Does this mean (I had pizza yesterday or I have eaten pizza yesterday? I feel that the translation refers to the latter, however it could also be translated as the former. Which one is...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 11, 2016

Italian preposition "su" and "in"

Hi Rachelyeo, The trick here is the word that comes after in, alto. In means in, but in alto means above, in the upper area! Su is generally used with movement (Voglio andare su - I want to go up) and for translating "on", as in on the table, sul tavolo, on the wall, sul muro. In alto is...

2 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 11, 2016

Italian preposition "a"

Hi Rachelyeo, It depends on the noun itself: You say a scuola, al museo, al centro commerciale and al cinema, but you also say in ospedale, in edicola, in tabaccheria and in banca. Both a and in can be used to translate the English at/in. A is more common for places (where? to where?), but...

0 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 11, 2016

Verb "dare"

Ciao, Cosa significa "dare" in inglese? per esempio, vorrei dare un'occhiata ad un libro su quello scaffale. Secondo il dizionario, la significa di "dare" in inglese é "to give", sono confondo perché la frase in inglese é "I would like to take a look at a book on that shelf." Aiuto,...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 10, 2016

Ti vs Te

Ciao, when do you use Ti and Te? What is the difference between these two pronouns? Grazie

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 10, 2016

(loro) sono vs stanno

Ciao, what is the difference between loro sono and loro stanno if both means they are? When should I use sono and vice versa? any examples? Grazie

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 10, 2016

Use of definite article with 'italiano'

In lesson 1.2 Maria asks: Parli italiano?     - no article before 'italiano'  - but later in the dialogue she asks: Da quanto tempo studi l'italiano?     -  Now we have a definite article before 'italiano'. And a further example of this is when Alex says: Studio l'italiano da un mese....

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 6, 2016

Italian nouns

Ciao, ho una domanda a chiedere Does it follow that every Italian noun that ends with -o means that it is a Masculine noun and vice versa, nouns that end with -a imply that they belong to the feminine? Example: il zaino, il bagno, il mano, il tavolo Grazie!  

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Sep 6, 2016

Di vs In

Ciao, I would like to ask the difference of 'di' and 'in' take for example this sentence : " Lei e di Palermo, in Sicilia. " is "di" used to describe a city, while "in" is used to describe a country (something larger than a city/area)? Grazie

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Aug 31, 2016

Use of italian preposition ('da' vs 'in')

Ciao, io ha una domanda a chiedere.  From what i understand,  'da' is used to mean from, by while in just means in in English. For this example that I saw on my assessment book, "Lui viaggia in macchina (He travels by car)", shouldn't it be Lui vaiggia da macchina instead?  Grazie

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Aug 22, 2016

Verb and Noun placements

Hi, Ho una domanda. Quando arriva la notte in inglese è When the night arrives/comes. However, why does the verb comes before the noun (la notte)? Is this a general rule in Italian? Grazie  

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Aug 20, 2016

Mi sento VS Mi sente

Ciao, Io ha una domanda da chiedere ( I have a question to ask ), I hope I said it correctly in italian :) What is the difference between Mi sento and Mi sente? and when are they used?  Tante grazie

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Aug 20, 2016

Present subjunctive verbs

Ciao, May I know exactly the situations where the use of subjunctive verbs is required, other than to express doubt? Tante grazie

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

Gender of noun- Finger (il dito)

Hi, 1: "Al mio dito c'e un anello"- There is a ring on my finger 2: "Le mie dita sono corte" - My fingers are short Why in (1) " dito" is used in its masculine form whereas in (2) is it used in its feminine form? Tante grazie 

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

Use of preposition- "a"

Hi, Is this correct? "io fatto una promessa a lei" ("I made a promise to her") Grazie Grazie

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

Possessive pronouns

Hi, Does "I suoi pantaloni" mean Her pants or His pants? I understand that I suoi is a possessive pronoun for "His (Male)", so when i see this phrase it is intuitive to me that this means His pants. However, "Pantalone (Singular, Masculine noun)", so is the use of "I suoi" due to the subject's...

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

freddo vs fredda

Hi, For this sentence, "Dylan and Alex feel cold", is it correct to say in Italian: "Dylan e Alex sentono freddo" ?(Freddo because the 2 subjects are Male) If the subjects are changed to one male and one female, i.e. "Dylan and Kimberly feel cold", is it still correct to say "Dylan e Kimberly...

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

Possessive pronouns

Ciao, what is the difference between these set of pronouns which all refer to 'yours'? 1st: il tuo , la tua, i tuoi, le tue 2nd: il vostro, la vostra, i vostri, le vostre 3rd: il loro, la loro, i loro, le loro Grazie!

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Aug 17, 2016

Usage of preposition "di"

Hi, I am confused by this sentence: "Tu spera di andare in Italia." I sort of understand from google translate that this means "You hope to go to Italy". However, why is "di" (which refers to "of") used here after "Tu spera" (which is you hope)? Would it be wrong to say "Tu spera andare...

4 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jul 25, 2016

Usage of "Andare" .. "To go" in English

Hi, i have a slight confusion with the usage of "andare"... for example,  to say: where do you go to work(/school/party)? Would it be right for me to ask a person "Dove andare a lavori?" / "Dove andare a scuola?" ?   

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jul 24, 2016

Subject pronoun- Tu/Lei vs Voi/Loro

Ciao, i have a slight confusion with the different types of subject pronoun (you). first, I understand that Tu is used among young people while Lei is used when you speak to someone you do not know or an elder person. Voi is known to be the plural form of you (Tu). When should i use...

5 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jul 11, 2016

Forming grammatically sound sentence

Hi, I have a confusion here. So here it goes: I have a dining room, in this dining room, there is a big dining table, 6 chairs and 1 sideboard. How do i express this sentence in Italian? Attempt 1: In questa sala da pranzo, ci sono è una grande tavola, sei sedie, è una credenza. Attempt...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jul 4, 2016

Gender of nouns

Hi, just to clarify is it true that all nouns that end in "-e" imply that it can be of either gender, thus we use the articles (the/ a, an) according to the gender of the speaker/recipient of the message? Example: Questo è una molto stagione! (This is a good season!) ----- A girl...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jul 4, 2016

Molto vs Molte

Hi, Just to clarify, is "molte" the feminine form of noun? Grazie.

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jul 4, 2016

The use of italian indefinite articles

Ciao, i have a question regarding the use of "a". From the dialogue between maria and alex in module 1.3, maria asked alex what he would like to order (boungiorno, preggo?) and alex replied "una pizza con la mozzarella". From what i understand, ​una is an feminine indefinite article. When a...

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
Jul 2, 2016

Capitalising Italian pronouns

Ciao, I would like to ask if "io" has to be capitalised at the start of a sentence or should it remain as it is even if it is at the start of the sentence? For example, "io amore  di mangiare gelato". Grazie.

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

abbiamo / siamo

Ciao Lucia. I have a question.   While doing a flash card in 4.7 and having realised the card: siamo appena arrivati = we have just arrived just curious, what would the difference be using abbiamo in this sentence instead ? abbiamo appena arrivati? Can both be used or is it...

6 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
Jun 14, 2016

ho fatto, fatta in casa ?

Hi, I am learning the perfect past tense. I understand that 'I made' in Italian is 'ho fatto'. The lesson says that it will always be fatto with an 'o'. But I see a quote on my pasta machine that says 'la buona pasta fatta in casa'. Why is this 'fatta' ? Thanks! John 

2 replies - Last post by johnlee -
Jun 2, 2016

Conjugating verb-pronoun

I came across "Lei non vuole vederlo" - she does not want to see him. I was wondering, if i wanted to say, she doesn't want to see it, instead, if say for argument sake we are speaking of a "video" how would you conjugate the vedere verb? Video being masculine gender, I am thinking vederlo...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
May 30, 2016

arrivare lesson 4.7

Ciao a tutti, While doing flashcard in lesson 4.7 i came across: Aspettando il tuo arrivo, ho parlato con Maria I am curious about the word "arrivo" being used here, I understand it is conjugation of "arrivare", however could it be clarified why arrivo is used and not "arrivare" instead. I...

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
May 27, 2016

lavare verb

Ciao :) In lesson 6.5 the lavare verb was conjugated to: "...............Li ho appena lavati" Could I be explained further how it becomes lavati and not lavato for the past tense. If i am to guess correctly, and usually I am wrong, I am under the belief that because they / them fall under...

4 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
May 24, 2016

Few additional questions

Buongiorno! :)  While doing some flash cards today i came across a couple of other things that got my attention: 5.7 "La sua camera è pronta fra mezz'ora....."  which means "Your room will be ready in half an hour" However, to me this reads as "His room is ready in half an...

2 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
May 19, 2016

Per andare

Ciao a tutti., A little confused with this one. Especially now that i have progressed further into the later lessons and modules 6 etc. For example in lesson 2.1 getting around: Per andare alla stazione dei treni? - How do you get to the train station? and in 2.4 taxi: Per andare al centro?...

6 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
May 17, 2016

Future tense "metterò" 6.3

I have a question in relation to lesson 6.3. "Mi metterò il mio favorito speedo!" I realise he starts off with Mi in the sentence. Why do we commence the phrase here with "mi" and not with "io" instead? Is there a significant difference beginning the sentence of the future tense between the two?

2 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
May 16, 2016

qual è la differenza fra contenta e felice?

Both words mean happy. Examples: Tu sei felice Tu sei contenta/o Io sono felice Io sono contenta/o Which one is more adequate when applied to myself and others, and where can I use both, as well as in which situations, conditions should I avoid the use either felice and contenta. Or can...

2 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
May 16, 2016

Qual è la differenza fra questi due verbi: essere e stare?

Hello :) I just realised today that both are a "to be" verb/s right? If i am correct, essere is used to refer to what and how you are doing or feeling, where as stare what you are doing in actions? I am a little confused between the two and could do with some more clarification please :) Also...

2 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
May 13, 2016

Question on adjectives / noun positioning in sentences

Hello, A question i have always had on my mind is, when and what goes first? The adjective, or the noun in sentences? Is there a rule? I'm sure there is. While doing the survival kit Proverbs there is the saying of: Donna buona vale una corona  "A good woman is worth a crown!" I see that...

4 replies - Last post by rigoletto -
May 12, 2016

Calle/calli

8.9 ("Venezia" section) translates Venetian "streets" as "calle". If the singular is "la calle", this plural should presumably be "calli"?

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor -
May 9, 2016

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