Hacking Italian Verbs | Specific language questions | Forum

Hacking Italian Verbs | Specific language questions | Forum

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Hacking Italian Verbs
September 22, 2011
17:33
JWood424
CT, USA

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So my Italian mission has been going well so far, as I have built up a fairly good base knowledge of nouns and verbs, however I feel that in order to start talking, I need to be able to conjugate the verbs correctly.  As in any language, there are numerous tenses and moods, so my intention right now is to focus on the most "conversational" verb tenses, meaning the ones I will most likely find myself using in simple, one on one conversations.  I am not looking to give a speech or dine with Italian dignitaries, so I was wondering if anyone could offer advice on the most common tenses I will be likely to use so I can focus on those.  I have a verb dictionary at my disposal, but it covers 14 different possibilities.  For example, in Spanish I find myself using the present, the imperfect, and the conditional tenses the most and then I cheat with the perfect tenses and future tense (I use the ir + a + infinitive construction quite often)  My goal is to be able to converse one on one by the end of October.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!  laugh

Speaks: English Learning:  Spanish    Wants to add: Portuguese  If you´re bored and want to follow my progress, check out: http://jaimito424.wordpress.com/ 
December 26, 2011
13:44
maysunrain
Toronto, Canada
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December 26, 2011
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This is kind of late and I dont know if you need it anymore, but maybe it will be useful to someone else who stumbles upon this forum. Small backstory: I've been living in Italy for about 3 months now, and I've been having the same problems as you. I didn't know what to study at first before coming so kinda briefly tried to go over all the tenses, which was a complete waste of time. Everyone explained to me that in Italy, they basically only use Presente and Imperfetto (and some passato prossimo). And I was like, um, future? And they were like, nope, we uses presente or imperfetto for that too. So at a very basic level concentrate on those two. However, my host sister got annoyed with that, saying "Although that is true, you should still learn all the tenses if you ever want to speak in Italian like you do in English". So if I could give you a list of the most useful tenses, in order of usefullness, I would say Presente, Imperfetto, Passato Prossimo, Futuro, Condizionale (present and past) then the really annoying ones like Passato Remoto (useful if you plan on studying anything that talks about history i.e. Latin, Art, blahblah) Congiuntivo (a tense that doesnt even really exist in English but its big in the Romance Languages) and then the Imperative. So basically, focus on Indicativo (save Passato Remoto), then Condizionale, then Imperativo/Congiuntivo. Uhhhh...I think thats it. Hope it helped!

December 26, 2011
15:29
aapplejuicee
Italy

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The most used tenses are
- Presente
- Passato prossimo
- Congiuntivo
- Condizionale
Congiuntivo and condizionale are very important, however there are those (and they're a considerable group) who don't use them correctly.
Learn them and you'll have soon eliminated the 70% of your grammar mistakes!

     
feel free to correct my mistakes,
I will appreciate it!
December 26, 2011
15:59
fabriciocarraro
Brazil

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I always tend to use the future in Italian, although I don't use it in my native Portuguese. Am I being overpolite or something like that?

For example, I commonly use:

 

"Cosa farai domani?"
"Dopodomani io andrò a Milano."
"Dopo aver finito l'esame, io mangerò qualcosa."

Native:            Advanced: English (American)       Intermediate: Russian       Beginner:       Wishlist:   http://russoparabrasileiros.wordpress.com/  Feel free to PM me!
December 26, 2011
18:40
JWood424
CT, USA

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Forum Posts: 243
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maysunrain said:

This is kind of late and I dont know if you need it anymore, but maybe it will be useful to someone else who stumbles upon this forum. Small backstory: I've been living in Italy for about 3 months now, and I've been having the same problems as you. I didn't know what to study at first before coming so kinda briefly tried to go over all the tenses, which was a complete waste of time. Everyone explained to me that in Italy, they basically only use Presente and Imperfetto (and some passato prossimo). And I was like, um, future? And they were like, nope, we uses presente or imperfetto for that too. So at a very basic level concentrate on those two. However, my host sister got annoyed with that, saying "Although that is true, you should still learn all the tenses if you ever want to speak in Italian like you do in English". So if I could give you a list of the most useful tenses, in order of usefullness, I would say Presente, Imperfetto, Passato Prossimo, Futuro, Condizionale (present and past) then the really annoying ones like Passato Remoto (useful if you plan on studying anything that talks about history i.e. Latin, Art, blahblah) Congiuntivo (a tense that doesnt even really exist in English but its big in the Romance Languages) and then the Imperative. So basically, focus on Indicativo (save Passato Remoto), then Condizionale, then Imperativo/Congiuntivo. Uhhhh...I think thats it. Hope it helped!

 

No no, you are certainly not too late...thanks for the reply.  I am still working on my Italian (and Spanish and French) and your advice should really help me out!  While I would certainly like to get to a high level of fluency, right now, being able to converse is my main goal.  Thanks again!

Speaks: English Learning:  Spanish    Wants to add: Portuguese  If you´re bored and want to follow my progress, check out: http://jaimito424.wordpress.com/ 
January 13, 2012
16:58
aapplejuicee
Italy

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I always tend to use the future in Italian, although I don't use it in my native Portuguese. Am I being overpolite or something like that?

For example, I commonly use:

"Cosa farai domani?"
"Dopodomani io andrò a Milano."
"Dopo aver finito l'esame, io mangerò qualcosa."

 * Dopodomani io andrò a Milano ---> You don't need to put "io" because verbs have to be conjugated and you understand the meaning of the sentence anyway.

*  Dopo aver finito l'esame, io mangerò qualcosa ---> This sentence is grammatically correct, but we say "Dopo aver finito l'esame mangio qualcosa" also if it's not correct .-.

 

You're not too polite, don't worry! You just respect grammar rules (this means that you may speak better than native speakers, because people don't always follow grammar rules correctly when speaking in their mother tongue)

     
feel free to correct my mistakes,
I will appreciate it!
January 21, 2012
02:16
Astrid

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Agree with aapplejuicee, but to me using futuro also indicates some uncertainty in whether the thing you're talking about is going to happen, whereas if you use presente it's for sure happening. 

As in:

"Quando parti per Milano?"

a) "partirò domani" – I'll probably (implicitly understood) leave tomorrow, unless the weather is really nice, in which case I might stay another couple of days out here by the coast. 

b) "Parto domani" – I already have all my stuff packed in the car, and I'm leaving tomorrow at 9 am sharp.

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