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Some verbs have dual forms for the participio passato, for example retrocedere (retrocesso, retroceduto). In this case WordReference (https://www.wordreference.com/conj/ItVerbs.aspx?v=retrocedere) lists both forms. But for the verb propendere (https://www.wordreference.com/conj/ItVerbs.aspx?v=propendere) it gives only a single form: propeso. Whereas Educalingo (https://educalingo.com/it/dic-it/propendere) gives only the single form propenduto. If the two forms are both commonly used, why does WR give only one? If one is much more common than the other, which is it?

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  • If I understand the contents of the "propendere" voice of Treccani dictionary, "propenduto" is not used and "propeso" is rare.
    – Charo
    Mar 17, 2022 at 16:29
  • As to the question “why does WR give [so and so]”, the answer is that WordReference is not an actual, reliable reference work, with an actual, reliable editing team and publisher; it's an amateurish “repository” (as it defines itself) of lots of heterogeneous stuff, often with no author or source given.
    – DaG
    Mar 17, 2022 at 19:14
  • Thanks, very helpful! I might add that the Devoto-Oli online dictionary gives just "propeso" as the participio passato. Devoto-Oli appears to be a "reliable reference work". But. as best I can tell, so is Educalingo, with its "propenduto". Thus my confusion. Perhaps I should downgrade Educalingo. I use WR despite knowing it is "amatuerish". One needs to double-check with other sources if something seems fishy. Which led to my confusion. WR does note that the compound tenses for propendere are rare. So propeso is "rare" only in the sense that it is rarely needed.
    – Ben
    Mar 18, 2022 at 2:41
  • Educalingo is a repository of diverse stuff too. If I don't see something attributed to work X, linguist Y, publishing house Z, it might well be made up, illegally copied or whatever. Linguists, lexicographers etc. are of course fallible, but about an unknown authority I cannot even have a general opinion. My best bet for learning about a language are (real) monolingual dictionaries. Yes, Devoto-Oli is one of the good ones, of course.
    – DaG
    Mar 18, 2022 at 9:53

1 Answer 1

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The book Italiano by Serianni says (XI.280) that the normal form is propenso (not *propeso), while propenduto exists but is uncommon. This certainly confirms my experience as a native speaker (I do not think I ever heard or read the form propenduto).

As an aside, while retroceduto does not feel "wrong" (probably by the influence of the by now fully regularized cedere), I would still consider much more common the form retrocesso.

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  • The Treccani dictionary propends for propeso as a rare form past participle, while it says that propenduto is not used.
    – egreg
    Mar 17, 2022 at 17:59
  • To add a data point, the paywalled Zingarelli dictionary also gives only the form propeso, marking it as rare. On the other hand, both Treccani and Zingarelli give as the etymology of propenso the past participle of the Latin verb propendere. Finally, Migliorini, Tagliavini and Fiorelli's Dizionario d'ortografia e di pronunzia give propenduto as the (rare) past participle. I'll try and check more dictionaries.
    – DaG
    Mar 17, 2022 at 19:11
  • Thanks! See comments above. I'll take a look at Zingarelli.
    – Ben
    Mar 18, 2022 at 2:41
  • It is true that the past participle of propendere exists mainly as an adjective (in the form propenso). I don't think I've ever seen either propeso or propenduto...
    – Denis Nardin
    Mar 19, 2022 at 17:23

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