I. Partitive

The partitive, the idea of “some” or “any,” may be either implied in Italian, (as in English) or expressed in the following ways.

  1. Before a noun, “some” or “any” is frequently expressed by di plus the definite article.

Compro del pane. –“I am buying (some) bread.”

  1. “Some” or “any” may also be expressed before a noun by qualche or alcuno. These two words, though, have the restrictive idea of “a few.”

Ho qualche amico. –“I have some (a few) friends.”

Ho qualche lira. –“I have a few lire.”

Carlo è con alcuni amici. –“Charles is with some friends.”

REMEMBER: Qualche is invariable and is always followed by a singular noun.

  1. As a pronoun, “some” or “any” is expressed by ne. Ne may also mean “of it,” “of them,” “from it,” “from them,” etc. It is equivalent to the preposition di and a following noun and may therefore be translated in numerous ways. Its position in the sentence is the same as that of the personal pronouns; that is, it precedes the conjugated verb or is attached to the end of the infinitive minus its final e.

(pane) Ne abbiamo. –“We have some.”

Non ne abbiamo. –“We haven’t any.”

Voleva parlarne. –“He wanted to speak of it.”

(amici) Ne ho tre. –“I have three of them.”

NOTE: The past participle agrees with ne, that is, with the noun which ne replaces. Translate the two expressions below.

Avete ricevuto delle lettere?

Ne ho ricevute due.


VOCABULARY A

insegnare
to teach
 *lungo (pl., lunghi, -e)
long
 *metà
half
 rallegrare
to gladden
  risalire
to go back
  undicesimo
eleventh

 VOCABULARY B

*affare (m.)
affair, matter, business
avvezzo
accustomed
burro
butter
*qualcuno
someone, anyone
tacciono
are silent, are still (3d. pl. pres., tacere)
tasca
pocket

 

 

Last revised on January 30, 2017.

II. Irregular verb uscire (basic meaning: to go out, to come out)

Present tense: esco, esci, esce, usciamo, uscite, escono

Imperfect: uscivo, etc.

Past absolute: uscii, etc.

Past participle: uscito (-a) [conjugated with essere]

Conjugated like uscire: riuscire (to succeed; to go out again)


VOCABULARY

a questo proposito
in this respect
*assai
very
*bastare
to suffice, be enough
calpestato
trampled upon
dannoso
harmful
*dotto
learned
fiorire
to flower, to flourish
germe (m.)
germ, seed
guasto
ruined
*imparare
to learn
inaridirsi
to dry up
*incontrare
to meet
labbro (pl. labbra)
lip
messo a brani
torn to bits
*nessuno
no one; (as adj.) no
operaio
worker, laborer
*osare
to dare, to venture
pendere dalle labra = ascoltare attentamente posta
mail
solito
usual; (di solito – usually)
stella
star
suolo
soil
vedere
to see (irreg.)

 

Last revised on April 19, 2017.

III. Pluperfect

  1. There are two pluperfect tenses in Italian, both easily recognized and easily translated (word for word). The first and more common of them consists of the imperfect of the auxiliary (avere or essere) plus the past participle.

parlare                                       arrivare

avevo parlato                             ero arrivato (-a)

avevi parlato                              eri arrivato (-a)

aveva parlato                             era arrivato (-a)

avevamo parlato                        eravamo arrivati (-e)

avevate parlato                          eravate arrivati (-e)

avevano parlato                         erano arrivati (-e)

Avevo già finito il mio lavoro alle tre del pomeriggio. –“I had already finished my work at three (o’clock) in the afternoon.”

Era arrivata più presto ch’io. –“She had arrived earlier than I.”

The rules concerning the agreement of the past participle are the same as those for the present perfect: The past participle of verbs conjugated with avere agrees only with a preceding direct object; the past participle of verbs conjugated with essere agrees with the subject.

  1. The second pluperfect (also called past anterior) consists of the past absolute of the auxiliary (avere or essere) plus the past participle. The second pluperfect is used only after conjunctions of time such as quando, dopo che, etc., provided that the independent clause is in the past absolute.

parlare                                       arrivare

ebbi parlato                               fui arrivato (-a)

avesti parlato                             fosti arrivato (-a)

ebbe parlato                              fu arrivato (-a)

avemmo parlato                         fummo arrivati (-e)

aveste parlato                            foste arrivati (-e)

ebbero parlato                           furono arrivati (-e)

La conferenza ebbe già finito quando arrivammo. –“The lecture had already ended [or ‘was already over’] when we arrived.”

Quando arrivai, egli fu già partito. –“When I arrived, he had already left.”


VOCABULARY

delitto
crime
dia
gives (3d. sing. pres. subj., dare)
*diritto
(n.) right; law; (adj.)straight
*dopo che
(conjunction; also dopochè) after
*già
already
giro
walk, drive, ride
giudice (m.)
judge
legge (f.)
law
mezzogiorno
noon (literally midday)
pena
punishment
reo
guilty
*secondo
according to
sia
is, be (3d. sing. pres. subj., essere)
tormento
torture

 

 

 

Last revised on January 30, 2017.

IV. Irregular verbs

FARE (basic meaning: to make, to do)2

Present tense: faccio (or fo), fai, fa, facciamo, fate, fanno

Imperfect: facevo, etc.

Past absolute: feci, facesti, fece, facemmo, faceste, fecero

Past participle: fatto

PORRE (basic meaning: to put, to place; to suppose)

Present tense: pongo, poni, pone, poniamo, ponete, pongono

Imperfect: ponevo, etc.

Past absolute: posi, ponesti, pose, ponemmo, poneste, posero

Past participle: posto

Conjugated like porre: comporre (to compose), esporre (to expose), imporre (to impose), proporre (to propose), supporre (to suppose), trasporre (to transpose)

NOTE: Many irregular verbs follow the same pattern as these two in the past absolute; namely, they have one stem for the first, third, and sixth forms, and a different stem for the second, fourth, and fifth forms. To these are added the endings –i, –esti, –e, –emmo, –este, –ero. Avere also follows this same pattern (cf. page 56). These endings are just slightly different from those of the past absolute of second-conjugation regular verbs (cf. page 54).

2 For special uses of fare, see Unit 12, page 99.


VOCABULARY

 *adesso
now
 altezza
height
 *conoscere
to be familiar/acquainted with
 cortile (m.)
courtyard
 *del resto
moreover
 echeggiare
to echo
 gatto
cat
 giocoso
playful
 *lotta
struggle
 marmo
marble
 *nemico
enemy
 pagliaccio
clown
 *piazza
square
 *pronto
ready
 recarsi
to go
 rimangono
remain (3d. pl. pres.,rimanere)
sarebbe
would be (3d. sing.cond., essere)
siano
have (as aux. verb) (3d. pl., essere)
*sommo
great, greatest
soprannominare
to nickname
tema (m.; pl. temi)
theme

 

Last revised on January 30, 2017.