Forum Rocket Italian Italian Grammar What is "si" - where did it come, and how do I use it?

What is "si" - where did it come, and how do I use it?




I heard “si" (not sì) is used as a term for a general “you” like, “one would do this”.

However, I don't see much on the internet or even Rocket Italian regarding it's usage.

“si può perdere” “you will lose it" is an example I  online recently watching an italian video with both english and italian subtitles.

Can I get some more information on this “si”?




Hi James, 

Thanks for your question!
That's correct, you are referring to the Italian impersonal form with ‘SI’.
This impersonal form is used when the subject is not specified (when it's, in fact, impersonal), especially when talking about situations involving an indefinite and nonspecific subject.

It corresponds to the English "one"/"you" + verb or even "people" + verb. For instance:
  • "In Italia si beve molto caffè." = "In Italy people drink a lot of coffee." 
  • "In estate si va al mare." = "In the summer you go to the sea."
  • "Quando si viaggia, si scoprono posti nuovi." = "When one travels, one discovers new places."

As you can note, the impersonal form in Italian is made by combining the pronoun "si" and any verb conjugated in the third person singular.

Hope this helps, let me know if you wish to know more! :) 


Thank you! How can I learn more about this? Will there be anything in Rocket Italian about this in the future to go into more detail?

marieg-rocket languages

marieg-rocket languages

Hi JamesP69, 

There's a lesson in Level 2 that talks about this, it is lesson 12.5, in case you'd like to check. 

Kind Regards!

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