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 conversation. Don’t be shy!

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 no...

3 replies - Last post by Colin397 - December 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 pa...

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

grammar question

why is it le scarpe maronni and not maronne?

2 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - October 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 ...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - June 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...

2 replies - Last post by jrdevivo - March 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 - March 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...

5 replies - Last post by drewster - February 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 - January 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 - January 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 - January 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 '...

2 replies - Last post by drewster - January 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 - January 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 - January 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 - January 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 firs...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - January 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? (...

5 replies - Last post by albagli - January 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  e...

6 replies - Last post by jrdevivo - January 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 - December 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 ...

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - December 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 - December 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...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - December 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 w...

5 replies - Last post by rigoletto - December 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 beautif...

2 replies - Last post by rigoletto - December 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 conjugat...

4 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - November 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 w...

5 replies - Last post by jrdevivo - October 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 un...

16 replies - Last post by rigoletto - October 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...

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

stare

che cosa significa "starete benissimo"?

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - October 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 u...

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - October 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 tra...

2 replies - Last post by jrdevivo - September 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 tra...

0 replies - Last post by jrdevivo - September 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 - September 20, 2016

La grammatica pratica

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

6 replies - Last post by Christoforo - September 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 ...

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

Ciao

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

4 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - September 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 - September 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 - September 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 tr...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - September 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...

2 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - September 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 commo...

0 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - September 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...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - September 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 - September 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 - September 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:...

1 reply - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - September 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 - August 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 ...

3 replies - Last post by Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor - August 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 - August 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 - August 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 - August 19, 2016

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