I. Past absolute of regular verbs

Study the formation of the past absolute (also called past definite) of the regular verbs.

I II III
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.


VOCABULARY

argento
silver
arricchire
to enrich
cammino
way, road
dappertutto
everywhere
eccellere
to excel
*fa
ago (following time expression)
fece
made (3d. sing. past abs., fare)
fu
was (3d sing. past abs.,essere)
*mese (m.)
month
*ramo
branch
*sapere (m.)
knowledge
scienziato
scientist
*scoperta
discovery
*scorso
last, past
spandersi
to spread

 

Last revised on January 30, 2017.