Italian Workbook For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon
As you're studying Italian, either on your own or in a course, keep this Cheat Sheet handy for a quick reference on articles, personal pronouns, tenses, and more.

Definite and indefinite articles, and the partitive

In Italian, articles vary in gender, number, and spelling. They’re the best predictor of a noun’s gender. The following table outlines the two types of articles and the partitive, and their variations.

Gender/Number Definite (the) Indefinite (a, an) Partitive (a little, some, any; [preposition di + definite article])
m sing. il/lo/l’ uno/un del/dello/dell’
f sing. la/l’ una/un’ della/dell’
m pl. i/gli dei/degli
f pl. le delle

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns in Italian serve the same purpose as in English. Italian has some pronouns that English doesn’t have, though: stressed and reflexive pronouns.

Person Subject Direct Object Indirect Object Stressed Reflexive
1st sing. io mi mi Me mi
2nd sing. tu ti ti Te ti
3rd sing. lui/lei/Lei lo/la/la gli/le/Le lui/lei/Lei si
1st pl. noi ci ci Noi ci
2nd pl. voi vi vi Voi vi
3rd pl. loro le/li gli loro si

Simple prepositions

Italian has eight basic prepositions (amongst many), which correspond to the basic prepositions used in English. Remember, though, that although the translations shown here reflect the meanings in each language, the usage sometimes differs between the two languages, depending on context.

The basic prepositions are as follows; I’ve put a star by the ones that are typically — but not always! — contracted with a definite article:

  • di* (of, about, some, possession)
  • a* (at, to)
  • da* (from, by, at)
  • in* (in, into, to)
  • con (with)
  • su* (on, onto)
  • per (for, through)
  • fra/tra (between, among)

Tenses in Italian

This section provides you with samples of the tenses included in the book.

Modo indicativo (indicative mood)

 Modo Indicativo (Indicative Mood) Tenses Example Using guardare (to look/to watch)
presente (simple present) Io guardo. (I look/I’m looking/I’m watching/I do watch.)
presente progressivo (present progressive) Io sto guardando. (I‘m looking./I’m watching
imperfetto (imperfect) Io guardavo. (I looked/I was watching.)
imperfetto progressivo (past/imperfect progressive) Io stavo guardando. (I was looking.)
passato prossimo (present perfect) Io ho guardato. (I have looked/I did look.)
trapassato prossimo (past perfect) Io avevo guardato (I had looked.)
futuro (future) Io guarderò. (I will look.); infinitive stem
Future anteriore (future perfect) avrò guardato (I will have looked/watched.)


Modo condizionale (conditional mood): Infinitive Stem + –ei, –esti, –ebbe, –emmo, –este, –ebbero

Tense Example Using guardare (to look/watch)
presente (present) Io guarderei. (I would look/watch.)
passato (past) Io avrei guardato. (I would have looked.)


Modo imperativo (imperative mood)

Subject Pronouns Example Using guardare (to look/to watch)
Tu Guarda! ([You] look!)
Lei (you, formal) Guardi! ([You] look!)
Noi Guardiamo! ([We] Let’s look!)
Voi Guardate! ([You all] look!)
Loro (plural; you, formal) Guardino! [You] look!)


Modo participio (participle)

Infinitive Ending Participle Ending Example Infinitive Example Participle
­–are –ato guardare (to watch) guardato (watched)
–ere –uto ripetere (to repeat) ripetuto (repeated)
–ire –ito finire (to finish/to end) finito (finished/ended)
Irregular Irregular dire (to say/to tell) detto (said/told)


Modo gerundio (gerund)

Infinitive Ending Gerund Ending Example Infinitive Example Gerund
–are –ando guardare (to look) guardando (looking)
–ere –endo ripetere (to repeat) ripetendo (repeating)
–ire –endo dormire (to sleep) dormendo (sleeping)

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

This article can be found in the category: