I. Leggere, scrivere, and mettere

Leggere (to read), scrivere (to write) and mettere (to put, to place) are regular except for the past absolute and the past participle.

leggere scrivere mettere
Past absolute lessi scrissi misi
leggesti scrivesti mettesti
lesse scrisse mise
leggemmo scrivemmo mettemmo
leggeste scriveste metteste
lessero scrissero misero
Past participle letto scritto messo

Conjugated like leggere are eleggere (to elect) and rileggere (to reread). Numerous verbs may be considered compounds of mettere, and are conjugated in the same way: ammettere (to admit), commettere (to commit), compromettere (to compromise), omettere (to omit), permettere (to permit), promettere (to promise), sottomettere (to subject; to submit), trasmettere (to transmit), etc.

The verb mettere can be used reflexively as well = mettersi — When used with a direct object, it means “to put on [something]”, such as an article of clothing: Mi metto la giacca. I am putting on my coat. When used with the preposition (mettersi a) + the infinitive, it means “to position [oneself] to [do something]”, as in “to start or to begin something”: Mi metto a studiare. I start / I am starting to study. 


VOCABULARY

*accano a
beside, next to
alunno
pupil
giornale (m.)
newspaper
lavagna
blackboard
*mettersi a (+inf.) =
cominciare a (+ inf.)
*ridere
to laugh
rivista
magazine, review
*scorso
last, past

 

 

Last revised on March 28, 2021.

II. Double object pronouns

When two object pronouns are used with the same verb, the indirect-object pronoun (except loro and Loro) precedes the direct; ne follows all pronouns except loro and Loro. Both direct- and indirect-object pronouns precede or follow the verb according to the rules governing single pronouns, but with the following changes in spelling.

  1. Mi, ti, ci, vi, and si become me, te, ce, ve, and se, respectively, whenever they come before lo, la, li, le, and ne. (Cf. andarsene, page 37.)

Me lo dice. –“He tells it to me.”

Te li portavo. –“I used to bring them to you.”

Ce ne danno. –“They give us some.”

  1. Gli (to him), le (to her), and Le (to you) all become glie which combines with lo, la, li, le, and ne, giving the forms below.
-“it to him,” “it to her,” “it to you”1

glielo

gliela

-“them to him,” “them to her,” “them to you”1

glieli

-“some to him,” “some to her,” “some to you”2

gliele

gliene

NOTE: Pronouns may also be attached to ecco (“here is,” or “here are”).

Translate the expression below:

Eccomi!                 Eccoci!

Eccoli!                 Eccone due!

1Glielo is used when “it” (the direct object) refers to someone or something of masculine gender, and gliela when “it” refers to someone or something of feminine gender. Similarily, glieli when “them” is masculine and gliele when “them” is feminine.

2The ne of gliene may mean other things besides “some,” e.g., various prepositions (“of,” “from,” “by,” etc.) followed by “it” or “them,” as in No. 8 of Exercise B, page 97. (Cf. meanings of ne, page 63, 3.)

VOCABULARY

*avvicinarsi
to approach
barcollare
to stagger
camminare
to walk, to go (on foot)
(cf. cammino, way, road)
chiuso
(past part., chiudere) closed
conduceva
(3d sing. imperf., condurre)   led
*da quella parte
that way, in that direction
*fermersi
to stop
indietro (adv.)
back
monello
urchin
orecchio
ear
osteria
tavern
*periocolo
danger (cf. pericoloso, dangerious)
*provarsi a
(+ inf) to try, to to attempt (+ inf)
riva
shore
scongiurare
to avert
*spiegare
to explain
*subito
at once, immediately
sussurrare  o whisper *tentare di
(+ inf) to try, to attempt (+ inf)
trattenere
to restrain, to hold back
ubriaco
drunkard

 

 

Last revised on January 30, 2017.

III. Ci and vi

The adverbs ci and vi (both meaning “there”) are used when the place for which they stand has already been mentioned and when no emphasis is desired. Ci is more common in modern spoken Italian, while vi is found most often in more formal or literary Italian. They are interchangeable.

Se vai al cinema, ci vado anch’io. –“If you go to the movies, I’ll go (there) too.”

Ci and vi precede or follow the verb according to the rules governing the personal pronouns. The change in spelling is the same.

Translate the sentences below, and note the usage of ci and vi.

  1. Andasti a vedere questo film? –Sì, vi andai ieri.
  2. Ci sono buoni ristoranti in questa città? –Ce n’è uno (ce ne sono molti.)
  3. Si sono divertiti al concerto? –Sì, grazie, ci siamo divertiti molto. –Vi è andato anche Carlo? –No, non voleva andarvi.
  4. Ci siete ritornato? Ritornateci!

VOCABULARY

accostare
to approach, to bring near
assunse
assumed (3d sing. past abs., assumere)
impossessarsi
to take possession of
*influsso
influence
*mescolare
to mix
*pianta
plant
rimase
remained (3d sing. past        abs., rimanere)
si sparse
spread (3d sing. past abs., spargersi)
verrà
will come (3d sing. fut., venire)
visse
lived (3d sing. past abs., vivere)

 

 

Last revised on March 28, 2021.

IV. Idiomatic uses of fare

The verb fare is very common in Italian. Most generally, it can be translated as “to do” or “to make,” but fare is also used in a number of idiomatic expressions that have specific meanings, beyond “to do/make.”

  1. Fare is used to express some weather phenomena. It is also used to express the idea of the weather being hot / being cold.

Che tempo fa? –“How is the weather?” or “What’s the weather like?”

Fa buon (cattivo) tempo. –“It is good (bad) weather” or “The weather is good (bad).”

Fa caldo (freddo). –“It is warm (cold).”

  1. When used before an infinitive, fare is causative; that is, the subject of such a construction causes the action expressed by the infinitive to be done by someone or something else. The construction is the equivalent of “to have something done,” “to cause something to be done.” “to order,” as in the following sentences.

Facciamo servire il caffè. –“Let’s have coffee served.” (vs. Serviamo il caffè. – “Let’s serve the coffee.”)

La farò servire subito. –“I’ll have it served at once.” (vs. La servo subito. – “I’ll serve it at once.”)

Ho fatto mandare dei fiori a Maria. –“I had some flowers sent to Maria.” [= I ordered some flowers for Maria.] (vs. Ho mandato dei fiori a Maria. – “I sent some flowers to Maria.”)

Feci venire il medico. –“I sent for the doctor.” [literally, I made the doctor come.]


VOCABULARY

accomodare
to take a seat, to sit down
*acqua
water
amaro
bitter
*appunto
precisely
bagno
swim, bath
ben otto
eight full
castagna
chestnut
*crescere
to grow
*da bere
something to drink
*da…parte
on…side
*debito
debt
*dentro
inside, within
eh via
well
foglia
leaf
giallo
yellow
*innanzi(a)
before, in front of
legno
wood (material)
*piano
flat
*secco
dry
siccità
dryness, drought
suocera
mother-in-law
tramontana
(the) north

 

Last revised on March 28, 2021.