Study the formation of the past absolute (also called past definite) of the regular verbs.
|parl ai||vend ei (-etti)1||sent ii|
|parl asti||vend esti||sente isti|
|parl ò||vend è (-ette)1||sent ì|
|parl ammo||vend emmo||sent immo|
|parl aste||vend este||sent iste|
|parl arono||vend erono (-ettero)1||sent irono|
The past absolute may be translated in two ways: parlai can be translated “I spoke” or “I did speak.” It is used to refer to single actions in the relatively distant past (cf. the Italian name for it: passato remoto).
NOTE: Except for the fact that each conjugation retains its characteristic vowel, the endings of the past absolute are the same for the three regular conjugations. The third person singular of verbs in the first conjugation (parlò) is the only exception.
1 Second-conjugation verbs in the past absolute are sometimes used with an old set of endings which occur only in the first and third persons singular and the third person plural.
ago (following time expression)
made (3d. sing. past abs., fare)
was (3d sing. past abs.,essere)