17 votes
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PrEndere but tenEre

Conventionally, people say that Italian verbs fall into three categories, or conjugations: those ending in -are, in -ere and in -ire. Those in -ere, however, correspond to two different conjugations ...
DaG's user avatar
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14 votes
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"Tenersi pronto" = to get ready or to be ready

The meaning of the locution tenersi pronto is slightly different from both "to be ready" and "to get ready". It is however closer to the first. Tenersi pronto means something like "to stand in ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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13 votes
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Cosa significa "infrociarsi"?

Deve sicuramente avere a che fare con le frogie, cioè le narici del cavallo e, per estensione, quelle dell'uomo. Quel personaggio, cioè, si infila nelle narici la presa di tabacco, con il possibile ...
DaG's user avatar
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12 votes
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Correct usage of the verb "divertirsi"

Your misconception arises from trying to translate too literally idiomatic expressions. To give a simpler example, in English you pay attention but in Italian fai attenzione (you do attention). In ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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12 votes
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Dropping the last letter of a verb in some cases

It is an example of apocope or truncation (I linked the Italian wikipedia because it has a better explanation in the context of Italian language rather than general linguistic). In brief, for ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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12 votes

Problem using subjunctive mood in different tenses

I would translate the example sentences as follows: Se l'avessi chiesto dopo, non avrebbe accettato Se avessi il suo numero, la chiamerei Se avessi avuto il suo numero, l'avrei chiamata This kind of ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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11 votes
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In which mode is the verb *amare* when we say *c'eravamo tanto amati*?

The sentence c'eravamo tanto amati is in the reflexive voice. Precisely it is what is called a "reciprocal reflexive" (indicating that the action is done by two or more subjects, acting on ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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10 votes

Why do Italian road signs use the infinitive tense and not the imperative?

Another reason is related to the fact that the Italian imperative must be conjugated. For example, Turn off the lights might be translated, using the imperative, as: Spegni la luce (informal, 2nd ...
A. Darwin's user avatar
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10 votes

Correct usage of the verb "divertirsi"

The verb in Italian for 'to have fun' is divertirsi. (Notice it is reflexive as is often indicated by the -irsi ending.) Reflexive verbs are conjugated with the auxiliary verb essere (as opposed to ...
gbutters's user avatar
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10 votes
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How and why did avere get the 'h' in some present tense forms?

The H in some forms of avere does come from Latin. There was a debate a few centuries ago between those who wanted to keep all H's and those who wanted to get rid of all of them. A compromise ...
Mauro Vanetti's user avatar
10 votes

"Mi sono fatto" - Intransitive?

This is not an intransitive verb. This is a form of reflexive voice. Italian verbs can be conjugated in three voices: active, passive and reflexive. You can recognize the reflexive voice from the ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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9 votes

Conjugation of "sparire"

Indeed, the auxiliary verb for sparire, as for most intransitive verbs, is essere (as can be checked in any real dictionary), so the passato prossimo is sono sparito, sei sparito, è sparito, siamo ...
DaG's user avatar
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9 votes
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Does the verb "scendere" need "avere" or "essere"?

Scendere can be both intransitive and transitive. The transitive meanings are: Going down something: this is the case you found in the book: scendere le scale = going down the stairs Bringing down ...
fbbdev's user avatar
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9 votes
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Qual è il significato di "smarrono" in questo brano?

Nella frase «se non smarrono, per la miseria, sono in cattedra!», “smarróno” è la prima persona del verbo “smarronare”, non una persona del verbo “smarrire” (se fosse la terza plurale del presente, ...
DaG's user avatar
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9 votes
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Qual è il significato di "bandire" in queste espressioni?

Il senso proprio di "bandire" (http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/bandire/) è quello di "mettere un bando", ossia affiggere dei manifesti pubblici in un posto per annunciare qualcosa. Tutt'oggi si usa ...
Giovanni Mascellani's user avatar
9 votes

When to use the verb "cercare" and when to use the verb "guardare"?

You are mistaken in the meaning. The verb guardare means to look at, to observe, while the verb cercare means to look for, to search. Look in English can have many different meanings, depending on ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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9 votes
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What does "v'ha" mean?

It is[1] a contracted form of Vi ha, itself an archaic form for Vi è, there is. The meaning is There is a god protector of [those in] misfortune Compare, a few lines below, with più ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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9 votes

Is it necessary to use pronouns with the verb "essere"?

No, it is not necessary to use personal pronouns with any verb, in particular not with the verb essere. Using a technical language we can say that Italian is a "null-subject" language. ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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9 votes

Is it necessary to use pronouns with the verb "essere"?

Your teacher is wrong and your examples are perfect. The subject pronoun can be used, for emphasis or for marking distinctions: I would say Io sono italiano, lei è catalana. when asked about me ...
egreg's user avatar
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8 votes
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Cosa significa "disassare"?

Il gerundio disassando è assai probabilmente un neologismo inventato dall'autrice per dire il lavoro tenace e faticoso per avere terra coltivabile. Il neologismo nasce con l'utilizzo del prefisso dis- ...
Benedetta's user avatar
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8 votes
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How is 'sii' supposed to be pronounced?

My ear as an Italian and, more verifiably, the pronunciation given in Migliorini, Tagliavini and Fiorelli's Dizionario d'ortografia e di pronunzia agree in saying that the correct way is the first one....
DaG's user avatar
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8 votes

What mood is "Non ti arrabbiare!"?

The verb is “arrabbiarsi”, in reflexive form. The mood is imperative. When the imperative (second person singular) is used in a negative sentence, the infinitive must replace the normal inflected form:...
egreg's user avatar
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8 votes

Volevo chiederle se + congiuntivo o condizionale?

Secondo Treccani, in questo caso, entrambe le frasi possono considerarsi corrette. Infatti Treccani a riguardo dice: DOMANDA È corretto dire: "volevo chiederle se potrebbe..." o va usato il ...
abarisone's user avatar
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8 votes
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How to use "rendere" in a sentence?

As an Italian, I wouldn't understand what Io ho reso una pittura means. If you mean “I made a painting” or something like this, it's Ho dipinto un quadro (or, colloquially, Ho fatto un quadro). The ...
DaG's user avatar
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8 votes

Come si può dire "mettere sotto la pressione" con una parola sola in italiano?

Per quanto riguarda il carico di lavoro, forse la parole che stai cercando è "oberare". Il mio capo mi ha oberato di lavoro per il fine settimana. Tuttavia anche un molto simile "...
Easymode44's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why are the 2nd/3rd singular forms of present of « potere » irregular?

The forms puoti and puote (obtained from poti and pote by regular stressed open syllable diphtongization) are in fact attested in the early Tuscan and survived in literary Italian till quite late (in ...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
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8 votes
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Future Perfect in Italian

The futuro anteriore (in a first approximation) denotes an event that is going to happen earlier than another future one (for which the futuro (semplice) is used). The futuro anteriore is constructed ...
DaG's user avatar
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7 votes
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Qual è il significato di "avanzare" in questo contesto?

"Avanzare", tra le altre cose, ha il significato di "lasciare da parte". In questo caso ne intende una versione un po' distorta che sta per "evitare". – Meno male, – disse Pinco, – se era vecchia e ...
Diego Martinoia's user avatar
7 votes

Qual è il significato di "imbastire" in questa frase? E qual è il soggetto e il complemento oggetto del verbo "imbastire" nella frase?

L'imbastitura è un particolare tipo di punto da cucito che si usa per fissare i margini della stoffa prima della cucitura vera e propria. In senso figurato si usa in frasi come imbastire un discorso ...
N74's user avatar
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