Italian Grammar Rules

Understanding Italian Grammar

Italian grammar is the body of rules describing the properties of the Italian language. The Italian language is based on the following categories: articles, adjectives, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions.

Italian Articles

In Italian articles are more than just simple words before the nouns. They identify the genre and the number of the nouns and are essential in order to recognize irregular nouns. They can be masculine or feminine, singular or plural and, except in some specific cases, they must always be used.

Italian Adjectives

Adjectives are words that describe a person or a thing.

Italian Nouns

Nouns are words that refer to a person or a thing; they can be masculine or feminine, singular or plural. Many Italian nouns have irregular form.

Italian Pronouns

Pronouns are words that are used in place of a noun. They can stand in for the subject, Io mangio - I eat; the object, Paola mi ama - Paola loves me; or the complement, Io vivo per lei - I live for her. There are many kinds of pronouns: personal, possessive, demonstrative, interrogative and indefinite.

Italian Verbs

Verbs are the core of the Italian language. They are words that refer to an action (andare - to go; mangiare - to eat) or to a state (essere - to be; stare - to stay; esistere - to exist). In Italian there are three classes of verbs, five moods and 21 tenses.

Italian Adverbs

An adverb is a word that tells you how or where or when an action is done, for example:

Italian Prepositions

Prepositions are words that show position in relation to space or time, or that introduce a complement. The main prepositions in Italian are listed below.

 
Preposition
Italian
English
di:
La casa di Paola
Paola’s house
a:
Io vado a casa
I go (to) home
da:
Il treno viene da Milano
The train comes from Milan
in:
La mamma è in Italia
The mother is in Italy
con:
Io vivo con Paola
I live with Paola
su:
La penna è sul tavolo
The pen is on the table
per:
Il regalo è per te
The gift is for you
tra/fra:
La banca è tra il supermercato e la scuola
The bank is between the supermarket and the school

Italian Conjunctions

Conjunctions are words that link to other words or to a group of words. Like e - and, ma - but, se - if..

The Auxiliary Verbs: Essere and Avere

Essere and avere can be used as common verb, with the meanings of to be and to have, but also they can be auxiliary verbs, io ho comprato - I have bought.

Essere:

Avere:

In the formal situation, the 2nd person is substituted with the 3rd person Lei.

Some special cases:

Italian Grammar Rules Summary

  • There are seven main categories in Italian: articles, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions and conjunctions.
  • Adjectives and nouns have a specific form for the masculine and for the feminine, for singular and plural
  • Verbs are the core of the Italian language
  • Some prepositions can be contracted with the articles
  • Essere and avere are the Italian auxiliary verbs.

Testing!

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Tip!

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